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Old man's hand holding several pennies.
Hey look, according to a new poll 47 percent of us aren't monsters.
In 1995, in the midst of a raging political debate about welfare and poverty, less than a third of poll respondents said people were in poverty because of issues beyond their control. At that time, a majority said that poverty was caused by "people not doing enough." Now, nearly half of respondents, 47 percent, attribute poverty to factors other than individual initiative.

“In hard economic times, people become more sympathetic to the poor,” says Martin Gilens, Ph.D., a political scientist at Princeton University.

Go figure. It turns out about half us recognize that there are things that can make you poor—from simple lack of opportunity to medical crises to local economic conditions to a not-very-long string of bad luck—that do not stem from a simple case of insufficient bootstrap-pulling.

We could probably boost that number if certain news organizations let folks know that actual poor people still existed, but it's a start.

Originally posted to Hunter on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 02:22 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I await a Twitter war (7+ / 0-)

    Over the hashtag #NotAllPoorPeople

  •  Takers (25+ / 0-)

    The idea that people are poor because they are lazy goes all the way back to the Poor Laws in Tudor England.

    "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

    by gjohnsit on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 02:29:34 PM PDT

  •  It is not because news organizations (15+ / 0-)

    have failed to let us know that poverty exists but rather because it is easier to blame bad luck and lack of "individual initiative".  News outlets seem to let us know how much unemployment there is or how many free lunches are being offered to school children. I think it is because of the definiton of poverty has changed over time and it is more inclusive.  More of us are now considered to be poor.

  •  This idea was inherited (10+ / 0-)

    From England. I'm inclined to say they probably inherited it too. Too bad it's so pervasive.

    http://www.thedreammapnovel.com

    by DAISHI on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 02:33:27 PM PDT

    •  Probably has its roots in the Reformation (9+ / 0-)

      I'm not an expert on the history of Christianity, but the widespread belief in the US that poverty is the fault of the poor probably originated in the Reformation in England. Some people bought into the new Calvinist ideas more heavily than others, namely the Puritans, while others remained Catholic in all but name.

      Puritanism, evangelicalism & the Prosperity Gospel may be why so many Americans still have these views about wealth & poverty. Polls in Britain today tend to show people believing poverty is caused by structural rather than individual factors by 2 to 1 or more, though plenty of people in the Tory Party are happy to blame poverty on the poor and they have no shortage of cheerleaders in the press.

      If I can shoot rabbits, then I can shoot fascists- Manic Street Preachers

      by Liberal Of Limeyland on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 03:35:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And it's just plain greed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aunt Pat, VioletBlack

        they have to justify their horrible conscience, so they make up all these things about Jesus wanting lazy people to be poor to make themselves feel less like an asshole.

        Actually being less of an asshole never occurs to them.

        Mediocrity cannot know excellence ~ Sherlock Holmes

        by La Gitane on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 06:30:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Greed is more of a character flaw than Poverty! (0+ / 0-)

          I wonder what that says about Wall Street and the wonderful stories of success among the wonderkids who know how to do nothing except swap and trade derivatives.  Wonderful character trait, isn't it?

          Jesus would be really impressed by all of the Christians!

          If Money is Speech, Speech isn't Free! I wonder what it is about that that Antonin Scalia cannot understand?

          by NM Ray on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:48:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Martin Luther may have been an asshole but (6+ / 0-)

        at least he always kept a pot of hot soup on the fire. He was always willing to feed a hungry beggar if he showed up at his back door.

        Tho I'm not Lutheran my mother made me go through that churchy stuff when I was younger. I never heard a single Lutheran pastor say the poor deserve their lot. They did say if you have plenty you share. It was obscene to be rich when there was so much poverty around you.

        “You think You're frightening me with Your hell, don't You? You think Your hell is worse than mine.” --Dorothy Parker

        by Ice Blue on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 06:39:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not Lutherans: Calvinists. (0+ / 0-)

          I loathe their doctrines with a passion; but that's probably the part of the Reformation where this idiocy began.

          English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

          by Youffraita on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 11:13:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Same goes for this church going Catholic (0+ / 0-)

          MANY (if not most) of the sermons I've heard over the years have pretty much been along the lines of "Give to the poor because that's what Jesus wants". I can't speak for other faiths, but that's what I've heard in my church, for the most part.

          A village can not reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.

          by METAL TREK on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:38:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Damned Calvinists (10+ / 0-)

    Can we send the Puritans and their Calvinist work ethic back to Europe? Probably not. Europe wouldn't take them. They kicked the Calvinists out once before. Maybe I should more to Europe. I will, just as soon as I can find a job and work out the visa issues.

    Zen is "infinite respect for all things past; infinite service to all things present; infinite responsibility for all things future."--Huston Smith's Zen Master

    by Ree Zen on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 02:40:49 PM PDT

    •  No Calvin scholar here, but... (5+ / 0-)

      as chairman of the Social Justice committee at my [relatively] urban Presbyterian church, I have an interest in this...

      see:
      John Calvin, Social Justice Advocate

      and
      John Calvin would have been in the Occupy Wall Street movement, says WCRC’s Nyomi.

      and
      Calvin and Social Justice

      ...He also attempted through his preaching to promote a more ethical society where the poor would not be exploited and deprived of their property by the wealthier members of society. He was extremely critical of the exploitation of the poor by the rich, and felt that many of them had gained their wealth at the expense of their poorer citizens. In these instances, believers should assist the poor while being wary of committing any wrong themselves. He felt that believers should not only not steal or exploit others themselves, but should act when they saw others being treated unjustly, as if they failed to act against injustice and oppression, they became implicated in them. Thus, Calvin stated that

      ‘(L)et none of us think that it is only lawful for us to guard what we have, rather, as the principle of charity exhorts us, let us see that we preserve and procure our neighbor’s property as much as our … (and) that we should always aspire towards that celestial heritage, knowing that therein we shall possess the fullness of all goods in perfection’...

      Not saying there aren't some real issues with Calvinism, but some of that comes from a narrow understanding of the man and his times.

      "I think in America, the opposite of poverty is justice." Bryan Stevenson

      by gfre on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 03:29:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Interpretations of predestination (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gfre, Aunt Pat, Dreidlgirl, Oh Mary Oh

        The problem likely comes from how some sects interpreted the 'predestination' idea. From what I understan, Calvin himself thought there was no way of knowing who was saved and who wasn't, but inevitably certain people began looking for visible signs of salvation. Wealth was the most obvious sign of salvation, and indigence the most obvious sign of damnation.

        If I can shoot rabbits, then I can shoot fascists- Manic Street Preachers

        by Liberal Of Limeyland on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 03:41:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  the word "predestination" has pretty much (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Aunt Pat, Oh Mary Oh

          disappeared from the mainline Presbyterian church.
          Generally, the denomination itself is pretty liberal --

          see Office of Public Witness (PCUSA)...  

          but some congregations feel otherwise, and many are a mixed bag.

          "I think in America, the opposite of poverty is justice." Bryan Stevenson

          by gfre on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 04:01:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes I think it is just the PCA that believes in (0+ / 0-)

            predestination. The reason I say that is because my sister once belonged to a PCA church ( Presbyterian Church of America), which is the more conservative, evangelical type Presbyterian church.  We were talking about my mother's death and she was saying how God determined all of that from the time Mom was conceived and so on. I almost laughed but I wanted to be respectful as she was so sincere. But we were raised Methodist but all of us ended up in various churches. So my parents, myself, all of our family never believed in predestination but she was the lone one in our family during that period of time. And she said that is what she was taught at her PCA church.

            Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

            by wishingwell on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:33:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, there are two kinds of predestination. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wishingwell

              The first is the regular kind, where you still have free will but God knows in advance what choices you are going to make (due to time being non-linear for God).  The other is called double predestination and that is the one commonly associated with Calvinism.

              You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

              by Throw The Bums Out on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 02:45:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Providentialism (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Yonit, METAL TREK

          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

           a mental acceptance of the provision that all that happens in the world is for the greater good, since "God created the social order and appointed each individual in his place within it"

          I think the biblical reference cited for this stuff was, "by their fruits shall you know them."

          This idea seems to have been popular among certain elements of the English gov't during the Irish potato famine. Charles Trevelyan, who was treasurer at the time,described the famine as 'a direct stroke of an all-wise and all-merciful Providence', one which laid bare 'the deep and inveterate root of social evil'. The famine, he declared, was 'the sharp but effectual remedy by which the cure is likely to be effected... God grant that the generation to which this great opportunity has been offered may rightly perform its part...' and he opposed any food assistance on the grounds that the free market was the will of God.

          The Irish were lazy and drunk and, worst of all, Catholic; the famine was God's judgement and it would be wrong to interfere with His will. Pretty much.

          I read a book on the famine not too long ago, and was struck by the similarity to statements of American conservatives today. The idea that bad things only happen to bad people is, sadly, still very much alive.

          •  Pat Robertson said as much after 9/11 (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Yonit, METAL TREK

            when he blamed gays, feminists, pro-choice supporters, and so on.

            And no, I don't think we can blame Calvin for all of this. What little I've read seems to indicate that he was a lot less harsh than Robertson and his ilk.

      •  True. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gfre

        Thank you for reminding me that Calvin wasn't all bad.

        Zen is "infinite respect for all things past; infinite service to all things present; infinite responsibility for all things future."--Huston Smith's Zen Master

        by Ree Zen on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 08:08:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  When we all, essentially, "citizen farmers" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yonit

      or peasants or serfs or whatever, hard work had a direct impact on how much we had to eat and wear.

      An industrial society doesn't work on the same rules as an agrarian one.

      Imagine that.

      "The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.”" -- Paul Dirac

      by Rikon Snow on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:43:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Damned Calvinists (0+ / 0-)

      calvinists and hobbsians...

  •  And the people who disagree (11+ / 0-)

    think that "being black" is a character flaw.

    30, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 02:49:04 PM PDT

  •  im guessing wqe are only talking about americans (7+ / 0-)

    at least i hope we are. there is a heck of a lot of the world that absolutely has no chance as things currently are to escape poverty.

    and of course being an american i have to realize there are a heck of a lot of americans who will never escape poverty as things currently are.

    myself included i am a poor person who really has no hope.

    as for the future oulook im not holding my breath. things will probably get worse a  lot worse- global warming, lack of medical care spreading disease, pollutants spreading disease, hunger spreading disease, war spreading disease. pretty sick world we live in

  •  But it is the wrong half. (3+ / 0-)

    I need your support, my paypal is: boothie68@gmail.com

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 02:50:06 PM PDT

  •  What category do the (5+ / 0-)

    folks that work themselves to an early grave and never have much more than a pot to piss in fit in the Calvinsist/Randian scheme of things?  Takers, no matter what?

    •  Guilty for Calvinists, Don't Matter for Randians n (4+ / 0-)

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 03:04:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes my parents had friends who worked long hours (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yonit, METAL TREK

      and several jobs even though their doctors said they should slow down as they were killing themselves. But these people could not afford to slow down or give up one of their part time jobs.  So they worked themselves into an early grave. That is the expression my mother used to say about the Poor....most of the poor work themselves into an early grave as they must work long hours for little pay, can never afford to take a sick day , their job does not have benefits and they work themselves to death basically.

      Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

      by wishingwell on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:37:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My brother, who is an evangelical involved with (10+ / 0-)

    groups of the "Christian Nationalist" bent, said about 10 years ago that poor people were morally inferior and that people who were wealthy were morally superior and that's why they succeeded.
    He said it as if it was part of the koolaid he was drinking...the groupthink. There's probably books in the Christian Bookstore that expand on this idea.

    Now that he and some of the most fanatical Bible thumpers around him have gone through hard times, he's evolved from that position, I think.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 02:51:58 PM PDT

    •  They Always Change Their Posititions Solely Due (10+ / 0-)

      to tragedy for themselves, and sometimes family and friends.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 03:05:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's it. (6+ / 0-)
        “In hard economic times, people become more sympathetic to the poor,”
        Because they saw the abyss open up right in front of them and realized that, no matter what they did, how "good" they were, they could be sucked into that hole so easily.

        If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

        by CwV on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 03:16:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yep. Self-serving bias. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        David54, Aunt Pat

        That's what it's called in attribution theory.

        People tend to attribute their own problems to unstable, uncontrollable, and/or external forces (e.g., the economy just sucks). Other people's flaws are interpreted as just deserts of stable, controllable, internal traits (e.g., laziness).

        Self-serving bias is not limited to the far right by any means. But it does seem to be a common trait of nutters. And I don't know that I would attribute changes in attributions about others to increased sympathy. Attributions about others vary depending on how different the other person is from oneself. As you say, the change likely stops with family and friends.

        Just because you're not a drummer doesn't mean that you don't have to keep time. -- T. Monk

        by susanala on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 03:49:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In my brother's case, he has a lot of sympathy (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Aunt Pat

          and very deep compassion, as a person, but he got hooked up with this network/church (I call it a cult)and feels obligated to force his native goodness into dogmatically authorized parameters. I have at times made him aware of his tendency toward being a control freak, on one level he knows it, on another level he can't control it.
          So he's what I'd call truly spiritual on the one hand, and tethered to Christian  authoritarianism on the other.
          Troublesome.
          We always had the habit of playing devil's advocate to one another, so I know to some degree he attempts to push my buttons, then functions to the moderate side with some of his  fellow church people.
          The problem is that these folks are obsessed with seeming more moderate and "interested in cool stuff" but they're literalists with the Bible and with "left behind" ish interpretations of Revelations.
          So in some ways they're more scarey than the overt "lets put the 10 commandments in the courthouse" crowd.

          You can't make this stuff up.

          by David54 on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 04:30:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  How did he get involved with this church? Was (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TerryDarc

            it through marriage ( that happened to two of my friends who did not even attend church and were proud agnostics all of their lives ) but married an Evangelical or had inlaws who were Evangelicals.  My one friend came from an abusive home and he was not close to his parents so he was drawn to his inlaws who were so good to their kids. The trouble was he worshipped his wife and inlaws and is now a full blown right wing, intolerant, self righteous, fundy.

            Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

            by wishingwell on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:46:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Your brother has (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TerryDarc

            a lot of sympathy for very specific people on a short list. It's too bad that's not very sympathetic of him.

    •  Are you sure he's evolved? (6+ / 0-)

      Because many of the people who think like that just assume that when they fall on hard times assistance is legitimate, but everyone else who receives the same assistance is a giant moocher.

      "Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions.” --Lord Vetinari

      by voracious on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 03:18:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, he's evolved. He was a very good person (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aunt Pat

        before he got involved with his "church" and we come from a Democratic background, and there's other signs that he's changed.
        But he's still tethered to some bullshit.

        You can't make this stuff up.

        by David54 on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 04:33:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Did her have friends, spouse, coworkers who got (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MarcKyle64

          him involved in one of those churches. That is often what we watched happen to a few of our friends from high school and college that we now see on Facebook. These once former liberal or moderates who were either agnostic or belonged to a more liberal church somehow are now right wing Evangelicals. I found it often it started with a spouse, inlaws, or friends , or coworkers getting them to visit a church and making them feel welcomed  and loved.

          These right wing Fundy churches will welcome people and fuss over a newcomer and encourage them and try to be their best friend and do most anything to help them and be their friend and it can be quite addictive and a nice change for some who are looking for a connection or friendship or acceptance.

          Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

          by wishingwell on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:49:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Your brother's old beliefs (4+ / 0-)

      almost perfectly echo the Calvinist-inspired belief that wealth is a sign of God's grace and poverty is a sign of His wrath.

      The elitism of the right is not un-Christian as such, as it's tied to a peculiar flavour of Protestantism.

      If I can shoot rabbits, then I can shoot fascists- Manic Street Preachers

      by Liberal Of Limeyland on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 03:45:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What if he evolves towards the fascist position? (0+ / 0-)

      When pure all-out capitalism betrays the rank & file of the far right, there's always more excuses.  Like saying that "our" kind are morally superior and should be rich, but are prevented by a commie/jew/gay/atheist/etc conspiracy.  Thus the history of fascist economic theory.  They're supposed to be anti-communist, so they can't call for the overthrow of capitalism.  But they don't really believe in markets, they believe in racist outcomes.  So they have to explain the evils of capitalism by dividing business into patriots - typically military contractors and industrialists - and traitors - typically bankers, actors, artists, and anything associated with Jews or homosexuality.  Since all their followers are obviously patriots, they expect their corporate allies to pay them off for the favor of crushing communism.

      Which leaves us with the idea that the free market can be selectively violated to rig the game in favor of white Christians.  Which in fact is something that America's current hot Christian extremist faction, the New Apostolic Reformation associated with Palin, Bachmann, etc., is talking about.  They prophecy a "great redistribution" in favor of their kind at everyone else's expense.  Since their political agenda is utterly undemocratic, due to their convenient belief that everyone who disagrees with them is controlled by demons, not surprising that when they take over the "Seven Mountains" of power there will be a great redistribution.  

      I doubt the other factions of the Tea Party are any different.

      •  Well, his concerns are other than those of the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite, Aunt Pat

        straight up dominionists, but the fact is that he and others like him are vulnerable to being caught up in the agenda of the NAR.  In my view, there is a spectrum to the authoritarian political cult that is hijacking Christianity, from the straight up Dominionists to less radical evangelicals. It is the goal of the hard core authoritarians to wrap up all Christians into this cult in common cause to install a theocracy that they will control.
        That's what the "War on Christmas" hysteria is all about, for instance.

        The problem for these folks is that their efforts are a threat not just to the freedom of religion of atheists, buddhists, etc. but really of all sects other than the "state" religion, and even those persons, because they won't be free to choose but will be coerced.
        Unfortunately these folks  have a problem understanding that.

        It is necessary to make common cause with people of all faiths, including evangelical Christians, to defeat this authoritarian political cult that is dragging us down the road of 1930's Germany.

        You can't make this stuff up.

        by David54 on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 05:23:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  ps: What other factions? Tea party=gop base (0+ / 0-)

        = Christian Nationalists.

        You can't make this stuff up.

        by David54 on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 08:37:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes it is that damn prosperity gospel that began (0+ / 0-)

      to grow in popularity due to TV Evangelists in the 80s and since.  

      I recall my parents ranting about how they hated the prosperity gospel and got into some big arguments about it with friends and some fellow church members.

      Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

      by wishingwell on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:39:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes as one they lose their job or their child (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yonit, METAL TREK, MarcKyle64

      becomes poor because he or she cannot get a job or loses a job, they evolve on that and make exceptions.

      It is like when a conservative has a child who is LGBT and suddenly they are pro marriage equailty. But before that happened to their family, they were anti LGBT and were bigoted.

      Many Evangelicals,..conservative Evangelicals that is....lack empathy. They suddenly evolve once a family member falls on hard times or they lose their job or whatever..but they lack empathy.

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      by wishingwell on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:42:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I know a bunch of... (6+ / 0-)

    ...well educated, industrious professionals with amazing CVs who went well over a year during the Great Recession without being able to land a job.

    I was one of them.

    Anyway, so basically 53% of Americans are deeply misguided on this issue. Gotcha.

    Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

    by The Termite on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 03:00:17 PM PDT

  •  and yet when you apply for jobs investigations (10+ / 0-)

    into your character as well as finances, criminal record and prior employment are indemnified from liability so you're fucked by fishing expeditions

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 03:00:35 PM PDT

    •  The credit report should have zero (4+ / 0-)

      Influence on employability.

      I need your support, my paypal is: boothie68@gmail.com

      by Horace Boothroyd III on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 04:27:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly because when one loses a job and is job (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite, Horace Boothroyd III

        searching, often their finances are in bad shape, they are just managing to hang in there and survive. So their credit reports are gonna to naturally suck.  You would think most employers would know that if a person is looking for work and was laid off from a job, that naturally their credit is going to take a hit.

        I had a boss who preferred to hire people who were unemployed for a while as they needed the job and they seemed to appreciate and value the chance more than someone who jumps from job to job and never has been unemployed.

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        by wishingwell on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:54:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  So 53% of Americans blame the poor... (9+ / 0-)

    for being poor.

    And 77 percent of Americans self-identify as Christians.

    That means, at a minimum, 24 percent of self-identified Christians blame the poor for being poor.

    May they go to Hell.

    •  That's not so clear... (0+ / 0-)

      ...because the article that was linked in the diary only gave the percentage that don't blame the poor for being poor.  But it doesn't say how many of the other 53% explicitly blamed the poor and how many just responded with a "don't know".  

      For that matter, the wording of the poll question, number of respondents, etc were missing from the article, as well.

      All in all, it was a great example of crappy journalism on the part of NBC.

      If Democrats proclaim the the Earth is round and Republicans insist it is flat, we will shortly see a column in the Washington Post claiming the the earth is really a semi-circle.

      by TexasTom on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 10:36:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why Americans Hate Welfare, by Martin Gilens (10+ / 0-)

    The guy quoted.  A good book.

    His claim, as I recall it, is: Americans don't hate federal assistance.  They hate "welfare," when that assistance is associated with "undeserving" (i.e., black) recipients.  An operative form of unconscious (or in some cases probably conscious) racism.

    "It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us in trouble. It's the things we know that ain't so." (Artemus Ward)

    by Silencio on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 03:10:37 PM PDT

    •  Major Focus of Generations of Propaganda (5+ / 0-)

      Luntz' Razor, never attribute to natural mental or emotional activity, attitudes which have been the focus and object of generations' and millions of dollars' worth of propaganda.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 03:56:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The military is welfare for rednecks & contractors (8+ / 0-)

      The healthcare debate forced me to think a lot about the right-wing hypocrisy towards the federal goodies they get versus the ones they want to destroy.  It occurred to me that it's more than simply hypocrisy - it's become a chilling tribal worldview.

      Tribalists don't really believe in markets.  They believe that every form of human activity in existence must be relentlessly rigged in favor of their kind at everyone else's expense.

      But the far right ideology implies that blacks, Latinos, and any white who strays from support for casteism is NOT part of the tribe of Real Americans.  So a govt that serves all Americans is actually treasonous.  Minorities are no different than conquered tribes - they live at our mercy.

      Furthermore, tribes hand out goodies not based on elections, but on "traditions", which are easily rewritten in Orwellian fashion by the tribal leaders.  The tribe's traditional obligations are purported to be to its own elderly, and to its brave warriors.

      Thus the oft-noted spectacle of anti-Obamacare rallies full of sick old white people in Medicare-subsidized scooters, even oxygen-masks, invariably with ballcaps claiming veteran status.

      This class of washed-up in-denial racists have always supported the war machine, which rewarded them by moving its operations South and buying up its worst politicians.  Now the warrior tribe is an unbreakable monolith, myths twisting gun rights together with both the Revolution & Confederacy, armed evangelism abroad in the name of spreading their Christ & their capitalism, "free" markets that are expected to naturally favor the morally superior white man, etc.  But practically speaking, all this is an excuse to divert tax money from ni**er priorities to tribal priorities.

      So it's not welfare or socialism when the government does it FOR TRIBAL OBLIGATIONS.  Because the government is the servant of the tribe, not the society at large.

  •  FLAWED. (4+ / 0-)


    I think clowns wear makeup just to get my attention. Actually, I’m more of the big shoe type.

    by glb3 on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 03:16:03 PM PDT

  •  it's easy to fall through the cracks (3+ / 0-)

    today in California, they have made it 'legal' for homeless to sleep in their cars. People who lost their homes in the crash have had to experience poverty firsthand for the first time in their lives. The numbers of homeless who live from their cars is growing and poverty is on the rise, just as planned by big banks and Wall St.

    All roads lead to Chalabi.

    by steelman on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 03:27:11 PM PDT

    •  at least ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Horace Boothroyd III, Aunt Pat, viral

      hopefully they'll stop harassing the alternatively homed here in Venice now that this law has been struck down. The excuse for the harassment (actually heard this on the radio this morning) was that sometimes they found garbage and pets in these trailers and motor homes. I'm still trying to figure out how a pet is a bad thing.

      •  Pests? Perhaps? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aunt Pat

        Why don't they check out some slums in Compton if they are so concerned with being health inspectors?

        I need your support, my paypal is: boothie68@gmail.com

        by Horace Boothroyd III on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 04:29:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Alternatively homed? (0+ / 0-)

        I'm sorry, but that phrase is an abuse of the English language.

        Yes, I'm sure that the intent is decent, which is to spare embarassment for homeless people by softening the terminology.

        But I think that is a mistake, because it also softens the impact in terms of reminding people about very real human suffering.  "Homeless" is clear cut -- it's people who have nowhere to live, and who obviously need some sort of shelter.  "Alternatively homed", on the other hand, does not provide any real indication of need, but just seems to be gibberish.

        If Democrats proclaim the the Earth is round and Republicans insist it is flat, we will shortly see a column in the Washington Post claiming the the earth is really a semi-circle.

        by TexasTom on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 10:39:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  David Simon of The Wire (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      steelman

      wrote several years ago that "the US writes of 10% of its population at birth."

      The Great Recession wrote off 30 - 40% of Americans who had previously thought themselves upwardly mobile. It didn't discriminate across race or education.

      (But it also did. At the height of the recession, white males with college degrees suffered an unemployment rate of 3.9%. You wouldn't know that by the hand wringing from the media. As long as it's "other people" who can't get a job, they're ignored).

      Essentially, we had a two year period that erased tens of millions of individual and generational financial accomplishment.

      I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

      by CFAmick on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 08:18:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's amazing that following (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat

    the worst recession in the postwar era (i.e. in the lifetimes of the vast majority) which has directly negatively affected the finances of most Americans, so many are still unwilling to acknowledge the dominant role of luck in their own lives and hence in those of others.

    Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

    by benamery21 on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 04:22:55 PM PDT

    •  Because it isn't luck (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, Aunt Pat

      The probability ratio is too far skewed for luck to be so random as to be unattainable. This is a concerted effort by the 1% to box us into debt slavery. Anyone that has graduated with student loans is already there.

      I need your support, my paypal is: boothie68@gmail.com

      by Horace Boothroyd III on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 04:31:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, I agree the game is rigged (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Horace Boothroyd III, Aunt Pat

        I'm saying the losers (all of the 99%) who haven't been hurt too badly yet (the majority who stayed employed, kept their house, etc) see their relative success (which they may not have realized is subpar for most of the postwar era) as evincing their personal prowess rather than luck running uphill on a tilted field.

        Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

        by benamery21 on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 04:56:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I compare it to this: (0+ / 0-)

      Facebook bought a company for $19 billion, and we're supposed to marvel their hard work and ingenuity.

      But there's 1000 other companies that do the exact same thing, some of them better. One will sell for $2 billion, one for $100 million, one for $50 million, one for $5 million, one hundred others will break even, and the rest will lose money.

      We're supposed to eliminate any fall back option for those entrepreneurs in order to "inspire" them. That's a brutal system.

      I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

      by CFAmick on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 08:22:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If only these Republicans knew a few (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat

    employees of McDonalds or Walmart, they would know that it is not lazyness or character flaws that keep them there.  Mostly it is a below-par education, for the younger ones, or ageism for the older.  Or just a plain lack of better jobs.

    An illusion can never be destroyed directly... SK.

    by Thomas Twinnings on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 05:02:05 PM PDT

    •  McDonalds and Walmart (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat, viral

      may not be the best poster children for that audience, since they typically don't believe that is hard work.  Most of them do know that the people who mow their lawn, and clean their house are not lazy, but they are A-OK with paying them next to nothing.  

      Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

      by benamery21 on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 06:14:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My friend has worked at Walmart for years, she (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        METAL TREK

        only stays because of her health issues. She has been able to take a job in the office where she can sit at a desk.
        She says with her chronic inflammatory bowel disease plus her high blood pressure problems, it is best at her age to just stay put until she retires.  

        She is a liberal Democrat and she says too many employees at Walmart and other retail she has worked out, my husband is also in retail and agrees...too many employees at these stores were right wingnuts. They vote against their own interests. As they tend to be single issue voters on issues like guns, abortion, marriage equality and mostly social conservatives.

        Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

        by wishingwell on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:00:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Status Quo Bias; (3+ / 0-)

    Public ideas of what constitutes fair income inequality are influenced by actual inequality: when inequality changes, opinions regarding what is acceptable change in the same direction.

    There are two reasons for this, says Dr Kris-Stella Trump. One is the status quo bias; a form of anchoring effect causes us to accept actually existing conditions. The other is the just world effect. We want to believe the world is fair, and if we want to believe something, it's very easy to do so. This is the system justification theory described (pdf) by John Jost and colleagues. There is, they say, "a general psychological tendency to justify and rationalize the status quo" which is "sometimes strongest among those who are most disadvantaged by the social order."

    All this corroborates my Marxian prior, that inequality generates cognitive biases - ideology - which help to sustain that inequality.

    And this in turn poses a challenge to democratic egalitarians. If this is right, the fact that there's public support for - or at least acquiescence in - inequality is no evidence whatsoever for the justice of that inequality.

    http://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/...

    You Don't Happen To Make It. You Make It Happen !

    by jeffrey789 on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 05:35:41 PM PDT

    •  As witness (4+ / 0-)

      the multiple minority minimum wage waitresses (in a fairly blue part of SoCal) with unemployed husbands who tell me that raising the minimum wage would be bad because it would just raise prices, and that food stamps should be cut because they need them but can't get them.  Admittedly, and anecdotally, the tendency is stronger among married, white or male servers.

      Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

      by benamery21 on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 05:50:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Washington State (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        benamery21, viral

        Most of the studies cited just look at what business reactions are to a
        wage hike not to what actually happens to the general business
        environment under the new conditions.

        The NYT had a story that covered how small businesses were affected when
        Washington State increased the min wage. They looked specifically at
        businesses on the border with Idaho whose min wage was 50% lower. What
        was expected was a run of businesses across the border to Idaho. The
        actual result was the economic climate picked up so dramatically that
        the state’s major business lobby, the Association of Washington
        Business, changed their position and no longer fought the minimum-wage
        law.

        The story can be found at,

        http://www.nytimes.com/...

        You Don't Happen To Make It. You Make It Happen !

        by jeffrey789 on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 06:41:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Good link (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jeffrey789, Aunt Pat

      Stumbling n' Mumbling's one of my favourite sites. It's taught me all sorts

      If I can shoot rabbits, then I can shoot fascists- Manic Street Preachers

      by Liberal Of Limeyland on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 05:59:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've had Rand Paul (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, asterkitty, Odysseus, viral

    stuck in my craw (eww) all day, and this diary seems an appropriate place to vent.

    Three quotes (two in the last week) from him are enough to make you want to go all Sam Jackson on his ass:

    As bad as it sounds, ultimately we do have to sometimes accept a wage that’s less than we had at our previous job in order to get back to work and allow the economy to get started again,” Paul said. “Nobody likes that, but it may be one of the tough love things that has to happen.”
    I do support unemployment benefits for the 26 weeks that they’re paid for. If you extend it beyond that, you do a disservice to these workers.”
    That one is from a Charles Blow article that is a must-read.

    And, last but not least:

    Government can supply bread, but it can’t mend a broken spirit,”
    "I know you're down and your spirit is broken, so I'm just gonna break it more".

    And Rand, you mother fucker, you don't even believe in the government giving people bread. Why don't you tell us how much money you've made since you've been in the Senate? Getting paid on our dime, asshole.

    Gawd, I just want to slap this fucker silly. I really do.

    Today's been a bad day.

    Mediocrity cannot know excellence ~ Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 06:52:20 PM PDT

  •  Not sure there's such thing: "string of bad luck" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CFAmick

    Seems to me, as one suffering "a not-very-long string of bad luck," that being of an advanced age (over 50) in a "young man's profession" (a 'creative') that was "right-sized" by a non-departmental bean counter (a new HR VP that wanted to rebuild my department around her recent college grad son), and not having any protection by a union contract and grievance procedure (ahem), that my employment prospects had, and have, very much less to do with "luck" and the poor display of stars over my birth, or the messy glob of chicken entrails in a saucer that some say govern my fate, than some well-entrenched design of management of the mid-sized corporate workplace and the prerogatives reserved to the nominal "owners" of the business I helped create over several years by my own efforts.

    Having seen my "retirement savings" absorbed by landlords and insurance companies that reinvest in Wall Street funds, and seeing hedge fund managers bank their new-found wealth after looting retirement funds of over-leveraged buy-out-victim mid-sized manufacturers, I'm pretty certain that old guys like me that trusted company-controlled retirement funds and 401-K savings as our own hedge against aging in a youth culture (that we helped create, f'sure) are ruing our choices, years ago, to "let the Company manage the retirement fund," and "give ME control of my own 401-K Savings" ephemera.

    Word of warning:  If you give the Ruling Class the legal means to steal from you, they WILL.
  •  Part of the problem is that we don't really like (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yonit

    to talk about our troubles.

    I can remember sitting at the Thanksgiving dinner table with family railing about things -- not knowing that we were in the midst of some of those very big problems and that the programs they were talking about might just help us out in a major way.

    More and more, though, people know somebody who, for the first time in his or her life, has been unemployed for a long time.  Or, they know somebody who's lost their home.

    Etc.

    It's hard to come to grips with the changes in this country, and it's hard to accept that you can lose everything no matter how hard you try.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:34:24 AM PDT

  •  Is this news? (0+ / 0-)

    That almost half the population would concede that character flaws might not beget poverty is what I'd expect. We call this cohort of Americans "Democrats."  The problem lies with the other half.

  •  The meritocracy lie persists. (3+ / 0-)

    The fact that only 47% recognize the influence of "factors beyond one's control" on outcomes proves it. This is why trickle-down economics lives. This is why we continue to lose ground to the oligarchs. Because 53% remain infected by the lie.

    I mean, when the zip code and income of one's parents are the most significant indicators of future economic success, where is there even a fucking argument here???

    I mean just because one in ten thousand manage to make it out of extreme poverty and become economically "successful" is no basis for concluding that the rest could as well if they simply tried harder...

    I encourage anyone who hasn't read Chris Hayes' Twilight of the Elites to do so. Especially those within the 53%. You owe it those living in poverty. They've earned your intellectually honest consideration.

    I've never left a blank space on a ballot... but I will not vote for someone [who vows] to spy on me. I will not do it. - dclawyer06

    Trust, but verify. - Reagan
    Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

    by Words In Action on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:51:49 AM PDT

  •  So... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    METAL TREK

    The 47%, who Romney describes as "takers", are "willing to concede" that their being poor isn't necessarily a mark of laziness and sloth?

    That means, of course, that the remaining 53% are not "willing to concede" this.

    sad.

    As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

    by BPARTR on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:53:20 AM PDT

  •  hillary clinton (0+ / 0-)

    Remember the good old days when Bill Clinton ran for president? Remember how you couldn’t turn on the radio or the television without hearing or seeing something really awful about the campaign? Remember the soft, thoughtful words of talk radio hosts who sometimes seemed to be in a twenty-four hour a day Bash Bill and Hill competition?
    Well, good news, folks, those grand old days are back and wouldn’t you know it, the target of all that bile is none other than that other Clinton, you know–the female one. If you’ve been paying attention during the last few weeks (or if you’ve been following my political blog, www.washingtonspectacle.com) you’ve noticed a determined uptick in the number of negative stories about Ms. Clinton and her supposed campaign 2016 kick-off. And what has been the proof offered that Hillary’s popularity (and therefore campaign chances) aren’t what they used to be?
    Why, it’s not this purported scandal or that supposed excess or that insinuated rumor. It isn’t Bill’s celebrated extra-marital love life or past impeachment hearings. It’s book sales. Yes, you heard that correctly. The right wing blogosfolks have been inundating us with sales figures for Hillary’s new autobio, “Hard Choices” and these sales figures apparently tell a story of faded reputation and hopeless unpopularity. I mean people had high hopes for this book and what happened? A hundred thousand hard cover copies in a week? Not very impressive. I mean any of us out here in the real world could sell than many copies of our daily diaries, right?
    This is, of course, just the beginning of what promises to be the most targeted and attack-happy campaign for president in the history of targeted and attack-happy presidential campaigns. A lot of time and money and effort is going to be spent to savage the reputation of Hillary. Because, after all, her last name ends with that seven letter name.

  •  An interesting thing we noticed recently as our (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, Eric Nelson

    friends are aging too right along with us. Some of them are finding it difficult to get a job or they have a sibling or close friend who cannot get a job because of age discrimination. It depends on who the folks are and their job history and their circumstances.  The conservatives we know in our age range in their 50s to 60s who have had the same job for decades or even just for 10 years are less empathetic unless someone in their family is suffering due to job loss and inability to get a job.  

    We even have a cousin who admits she has trouble with empathy. She has to know someone going through hard times to be able to empathize. At least she admits she struggles with empathy because she cannot relate to a lot of problems others have.  She said she does admire me that I have a big heart and a ton of empathy but she cannot be that like that.

    Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

    by wishingwell on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:06:22 AM PDT

  •  Extreme wealth (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, Eric Nelson

    comes from character flaws. Like sociopathy.
    Old quote-- behind great wealth lies a great crime.

  •  If they worked harder (0+ / 0-)

    they wouldn't be unemployed, someone else would, because "normal" people, the ones who make good decisions, accept an economy that REQUIRES losers by design and then makes it socially acceptable to blame the "losers"...

    I've never left a blank space on a ballot... but I will not vote for someone [who vows] to spy on me. I will not do it. - dclawyer06

    Trust, but verify. - Reagan
    Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

    by Words In Action on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:34:12 AM PDT

  •  Great news! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DROzone, ChuckChuckerson

    That means that only 53% of Americans are sociopaths with no concept of empathy.

  •  wealth and elite (0+ / 0-)

    status are not the result of good character either, but that is  stating the obvious.

  •  I looked in the mirror.... MONSTER!!! (0+ / 0-)

    Then I realized it was this old carnival glass mirror I cobbed from some amusement park after the zombies had finally all fallen off the roller coaster and other rides...

    At the bottom of the glass it was stamped, "MADE IN GOP".

    Ugh. --UB.

    The Republican Party is run by the KOCH BROTHERS.

    by unclebucky on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 01:18:55 PM PDT

  •  I'm willing to concede that most Americans rely... (0+ / 0-)

    I'm willing to concede that most Americans rely upon television in order to understand their reality...

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