December 1, 2011

"But homeownership and college aren’t causes of middle-class status, they’re markers..."

"... for possessing the kinds of traits — self-discipline, the ability to defer gratification, etc. — that let you enter, and stay, in the middle class. Subsidizing the markers doesn’t produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them."

135 comments:

Big Mike said...

Yup.

Revenant said...

Very true.

Scott M said...

The Boomers weren't very big on putting of self-gratification, hence the abyss we're currently teetering over.

Calypso Facto said...

From the article:It’s a bit of a passion of mine, and I work hard to make sure my sons grow up respecting those that work with their hands.

My favorite Andy Rooney quote: "Don't rule out working with your hands. It does not preclude using your head!"

My grandfather working his way from truck driver to EVP with only an 8th grade education was a great example.

Scott M said...

putting "off"

Paul Zrimsek said...

Though it doesn't necessarily make them wrong, I can't help but be wary of law professors who want to tell me how great it is to be a mechanic.

lewsar said...

@scottm: horseshit. blanket indictments of an entire generation are contemptible. do you think it's ok to denounce all jews/blacks/irish/catholics/whatever as money gougers/shiftless/lazy/mackerel snappers?

do some boomers have sub-optimal habits or ideas? certainly, why would boomers be different than anybody else?

i'm a boomer, and i've worked hard all my life. i've worked white collar jobs (aerospace engineer) and i've worked blue collar jobs (truck driver). my wife and i have been married for over 27 years, and we have two children of whom we're very proud. i enlisted in the navy (turns out i'm 4f :( ), i've paid my taxes, i've made a special effort to be an informed voter and to vote come hell or high water, and yes, i have put off self-gratification for decades at a time.

i'm one hell of a guy, actually. who the hell are you to so casually blame me for the world's ills?

ndspinelli said...

Amen. We bought a house in our daughter's college town. She lived there and managed the property which was worth more than her formal education. She learned a lot! One thing she learned when she graduated, moved to the big city, and started paying rent was just how much she wants to buy a house. She and her fiance are saving and I believe they'll buy one in a few years.

Original Mike said...

Exactly. I bought a house only after I had saved up a substantial down payment. (One third, IIRC). And I didn't buy a mansion.

Coketown said...

Scott M said: "The Boomers weren't very big on putting of[f] self-gratification..."

lewsar said: "i'm one hell of a guy, actually."

What were you saying, lewsar? About making blanket statements?

Scott M said...

do you think it's ok to denounce all jews/blacks/irish/catholics/whatever as money gougers/shiftless/lazy/mackerel snappers?

No. Just boomers.

Joe said...

I've been saying this for years. It applies to education too; just because successful kids do A, B and C, doesn't mean making all kids to A, B and C will make them successful. For example, the notion that if parents but showed up for parent teacher conferences, their childrens' performance would magically improve. It doesn't work that way. Most parents that show up for parent teacher conferences also pay attention to their kids' grades and try to work with their kids. It doesn't always work (my first son being a prime example) but it works more often than not and a whole lot better than not caring at all.

traditionalguy said...

Michelle Obama engages people even if she is wrong about the value of redistribution demands as a policy that helps people.

Barack must never engage. He can't engage because he has to carefully talk about policy A in public, but keep policy B hidden out in his Marxist lead Regulatory Agencies undermining every thing that he pretends to support in policy A.

Joe said...

I agree that it really is a subset of boomers that are the problem; mainly the ex-hippie, ex-protestor, liberal pseudo-marxist boomers, especially ones from the upper-middle class and lower upper-class.= (who had the money and time to be hippies, protestors and pseudo-marxists.)

jimbino said...

Still, I think it a good idea to give everybody a college degree along with legal, medical and teacher certification at birth.

Milton Friedman would agree, and our schools and universities would then have only students who wanted to learn-- none of the deadwood polluting the classrooms.

Joe said...

And lewsar, hate to say this, but scientific studies are finding that, in fact, you are the source of all the earth's ills. (I can't show you the raw data nor run a trend in Excel, but trust me on this.)

bagoh20 said...

There is one cause of middle class status: freedom.

It gives a person the opportunity to get there, stay there or pass through on their way to higher ground. Take away freedom, and there is no way to create and sustain it. The less freedom - the less middle class. The strength of the middle class is a measure of your nation's freedom, and respect for humanity. The trend is not going the right way at this point in history.

If you want to see why we are failing, just listen to the Occupy people. I feel sorry for them, they have lost so much. We boomers have failed them badly.

LordSomber said...

To all the boomers who *did* work hard but like to get butthurt offended when people generalise, here is a reading comprehension trick:

If what is written does not describe you, then it's not about you.

Pianoman said...

"Correlation Does Not Imply Causation"

Just because a successful person possesses X doesn't mean that giving X to someone will make them successful.

t-man said...

Having a college degree became a required pre-condition for many jobs when aptitude tests were essentially outlawed by the Supreme Court based on claims of racial discrimination.

Shanna said...

Having a college degree became a required pre-condition for many jobs when aptitude tests were essentially outlawed

It's a signaling device, an imperfect one, but the best most companies have to use as a proxy for intelligence and drive.

edutcher said...

This is where Insta's at his best - when Shinseki made the Ranger beret the Army headgear, he was trying to do the same thing.

It didn't work and everyone but the brasshats knew it because they understood what earning something means.

Calypso Facto said...

From the article:It’s a bit of a passion of mine, and I work hard to make sure my sons grow up respecting those that work with their hands.

My favorite Andy Rooney quote: "Don't rule out working with your hands. It does not preclude using your head!"


The irony is, as Insta, again, pointed out yesterday, a lot of trades require as much, if not more, native ability than many professions.

PS Don't judge the Boomers by the Bobos and the campus commandos. A lot of us were raised not having everything handed to us on a silver platter. We earned what we got and we learned the wisdom of saving for the long haul.

Henry said...

Subsidizing the markers makes me think of that old "give a man a fish" epigram. Which made me think of Ron Swanson:

Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Don’t teach a man to fish…and feed yourself. He’s a grown man. And fishing’s not that hard.

Levi Starks said...

pretty much nails it

Allie said...

@scottm: horseshit. blanket indictments of an entire generation are contemptible. do you think it's ok to denounce all jews/blacks/irish/catholics/whatever as money gougers/shiftless/lazy/mackerel snappers?

do some boomers have sub-optimal habits or ideas? certainly, why would boomers be different than anybody else?

12/1/11 2:02 PM

I agree with lewsar, why the across the board bashing of the Boomers? Neither I nor my late husband came from money, he owed thousands of dollars in loans for his education, yet we managed to pay them off before he passed away. He put me through nursing school and we managed to buy a home at the same time. We boomers knew hard work and didn't shy away from it.

Scott M said...

Then your parents were among the Good Ones.

elcrain said...

Yeah. *Pet Peeve.* The Boomer bashing is a little too easy, a little too smug, and a little too informed by ignorance of history. We didn't deliver up SS, Medicare, the Great Society, and the Welfare State to our children and grandchildren on a silver platter. That was done by the ones who came before us, the ones who had bought what FDR was selling.

And don't tell me that if the shoe doesn't fit I don't have to wear it, LordSomber. I've been called hateful names my entire life, by leftists, by right-wing fundamentalists, and now by kids.

And you, ScottM, didn't mention the "Good Ones" of my generation until Allie challenged you. Next time you go off on the lot of us, please try to remember those of us who worked and studied and never wanted a damn dime from anyone.

Shanna said...

Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Don’t teach a man to fish…and feed yourself. He’s a grown man. And fishing’s not that hard.

I love Ron Swanson so much.

bagoh20 said...

Boomers made whining noble. It wasn't before. It was that generation that started it. They were born into a historically safe and prosperous world that demanded little of them to survive and be comfortable.

It wasn't some other generation that did that, and chose to make it into what we did. I'm a boomer too, and I raised two kids to be self-sufficient and hard working, but it was still my generation that did the damage. Saying "boomers" just means the culture of whining to get what you need or want, rather than earning it. Our generation started that wholesale for the first time.

ricpic said...

Bagoh said...

If you want to see why we are failing, just listen to the Occupy people. I feel sorry for them, they have lost so much. We boomers have failed them so badly.

Not saying I disagree with this comment, just not sure what it means. What have the Occupy people lost? Is their loss the lack of being shown by example (by boomers) the behavior that leads to success in life? Or to living an effective life? Is that how boomers have failed them?

Scott M said...

And you, ScottM, didn't mention the "Good Ones" of my generation until Allie challenged you.

It's hard to consider a challenge to obvious snark (ie, the parallels between southern whites and "good" negros).

My parents, boomers both, didn't come within smelling range of hippies...which is remarkable if you think about it. They were hard-working people that had nothing to do with countercultures, protests, hippies, radicals, etc.

When I refer to Boomers, as I did earlier, and have explained before, I'm referring to the leadership class on both sides of the isle. The academics, the lawyers/politicians, CEO's, etc. Good things and bad, but from my lofty perch up here on Olympos, aggregate bad. Deadly, even.

Sure you can blame those items mentioned above on the WWII generation, but far more pernicious, at least in my mind, is the political correctness Boomers are responsible for. It's the base of a very tall and many-fluted piller of reasons we can't get anything done in this country. Political correctness, by definition, requires a victim. Victims require oppressors, and thus the cycle we find ourselves in.

If you submit the Boomers didn't give us political correctness, I'm willing to see the reason why that would be the case.

Mike said...

"Subsidizing the markers" is a kind of "cargo cultism." The cargo cults thought by erecting all the visual trappings of aerial supply lines, they would conjure aircraft full of goodies.

But it didn't work, and similarly, you can't conjure people with discipline and drive simply by giving them the visual trappings of what those attributes would help them achieve.

Back when the push to make home ownership easier was started, it was noted that people who own their homes tend to be more stable, have better incomes, more intact families, etc. Nobody seemed to want to point out that those things are a big part of why people were able to buy the homes in the first place, and not the other way around. Making it tremendously easier for the financially unstable to buy a house doesn't make them stable. It just puts everyone at higher risk.

bagoh20 said...

"We didn't deliver up SS, Medicare, the Great Society, and the Welfare State to our children and grandchildren on a silver platter."

Of course it was started by a generation that had suffered greatly through two world wars and the great depression. They had reason to feel the need for a safety net. but it was later when and endless parade of more benefits and programs were added for people who never new hardship. It was done, not out of need to help, but need to feel good about themselves. They wanted to be great like, while also rebelling against, the greatest generation.

The whole generation is not culpable, of course, but they have, as a group, done a lot of damage.

E.M. Davis said...

referring to the leadership class on both sides of the isle

How I sometimes wish it truly were an isle.

Sigivald said...

Effects aren't causes. Who knew?

Peter said...

Joe said, "For example, the notion that if parents but showed up for parent teacher conferences, their childrens' performance would magically improve. It doesn't work that way."

Surely, if gov't would just offer a $200. incentive for parent(s) to show up, student performance would improve?

ndspinelli said...

Shanna, The libertarian Ron Swanson is the best character on tv. I also love him.

edutcher said...

FWIW, there are several subdivisions among the Boomers.

The Buckley Conservatives who studied when they were in college and were the backbone of the Reagan Revolution.

The Hardats who were the blue collar guys who made up the bulk of the army that fought the Vietnam War.

And, yes, the hippie dippy types who scorned materialism until the blush wore off the counterculture existence and then went back to Daddy's stock brokerage firm where they are to this day.

Allie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
m stone said...

Where do I find Ron Swanson, spinelli?

Allie said...

Eddutcher, my husband and I both were hippies, we figured we could be of better use to society with some essential skills. So, he went to med school and I later on to nursing school.

We didn't abandon the values we found as hippies, yes I said values. Not all hippies ended up as old washed up dope smokers, some of us actually used what the hippy culture taught us and put it to good use to do some good in the world.

We stayed liberals and never "grew up" to conservativism.

Scott M said...

We stayed liberals and never "grew up" to conservativism.

Have either of you ever been mugged?

edutcher said...

Allie said...

Eddutcher, my husband and I both were hippies, we figured we could be of better use to society with some essential skills. So, he went to med school and I later on to nursing school.

We didn't abandon the values we found as hippies, yes I said values. Not all hippies ended up as old washed up dope smokers, some of us actually used what the hippy culture taught us and put it to good use to do some good in the world.

We stayed liberals and never "grew up" to conservativism.


You said it.

m stone said...

Mugging will change a hippie's perspective.

BTW, whatever did my generation of hippies ever teach you?

And don't say "freedom."

garage mahal said...

Mugged, sure. See Republican governors across the country and their abysmal approval ratings for evidence of muggings.

Allie said...

Eddutcher, YET , my husband and I despite being " dirty" hippies, we lived a productive life, we succeeded, we did something we both were very proud of.

No we were never mugged, we paid taxes without resentment, knowing that is the price we pay to live in a safe society. It does take a village. That's what we learned as hippies.

Signed Proud Hippie.

Michael Gersh said...

Sure, bash the boomers. I quite agree with it too. As a boomer myself, with a personal story much like lewsar's, I can take it, better than he can, with this proviso - if you think the boomers have a lot to answer for, just wait until the children of the boomers take over.

The hippies came out of the world war generation that didn't say "No" to their kids enough, but at least they were fathers and mothers to their kids. Many boomers prefer to be more like friends than parents to their kids. The next wave will make the boomers look like heroes of probity and deferred gratification.

Remember that it the scum of any generation that goes into public "service." Hard working people who are all about building a family rarely make a career as a vampire at the public trough. That is left to the academic incompetents and the power mad. The congresscritters and school boards of tomorrow will make today's look like restrained munchkins. Unless there is war or famine, then everything will reset. Might happen, too.

Stephen said...

What about the GI bill and the great public universities, like California, Michigan and Wisconsin?

How about scholarships for excellent, but poor students?

All mistaken subsidies? Or did/do they actually help some people rise up the economic and social ladder who would not have been able to do so.

Allie said...

Michael Gersh said;
Remember that it the scum of any generation that goes into public "service." Hard working people who are all about building a family rarely make a career as a vampire at the public trough. That is left to the academic incompetents and the power mad.

12/1/11 4:49 PM

Such bullshit.

Shanna said...

Where do I find Ron Swanson, spinelli?

Not spinelli, but Ron Swanson can be found on the show Parks and Recreaction. He is love. The show is on hulu and netflix.

For good Ron Swanson episodes check out the hunting episode and the Pawenee Rangers, but he has gems in all of them.

bagoh20 said...

"No we were never mugged, we paid taxes without resentment, knowing that is the price we pay to live in a safe society. It does take a village. That's what we learned as hippies."

I was a hippie too, but I do resent paying deep into 6 figures in taxes.

I can't reward my employees, help friends, family, or charities to do good work with that money, but rather have to give it to congress to spend on their friends and preferred purposes so they can get reelected. That's downright immoral.

If you don't resent paying taxes in the current system, it means you have no experience in how to use money for good, no realistic idea about how it is wasted by government, and no imagination to understand the power of freedom to lift people.

You really can't think of how to use that money better than the government will?

Really?

Allie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

While the Boomer generation has plenty of problems associated with it, our government's bankruptcy isn't particularly one of them. The worst you can say about them is that they failed to undo the damage caused by the WW2 and Great Depression generations, i.e. the folks who foisted the unsustainable entitlement state onto us.

Browndog said...

Sigivald said...

Effects aren't causes. Who knew?


Cause=Effect

Therefore, interchangeable.

Effect=Cause

It's the new math.

Thank a teacher.

Allie said...

Bagoh, I'm not saying government is perfect, I'm not saying we don't need reforms. My money and skills have been used effectively to improve the lives of those less fortunate. It STILL doesn't mean I resent paying taxes, it's part of the social contract we live under, like it or not.

Until and if society degenerates into small bands of libertarians and/or anarchists, we must pay taxes to provide social programs that protect and uplift some members of it. It's not a hand out its a hand up, sounds trite but it's true.

No Government is perfect, but ours is still better than any other on earth.

12/1/11 5:31 PM

edutcher said...

Allie said...

Eddutcher, YET , my husband and I despite being " dirty" hippies, we lived a productive life, we succeeded, we did something we both were very proud of.

No we were never mugged, we paid taxes without resentment, knowing that is the price we pay to live in a safe society. It does take a village. That's what we learned as hippies.

Signed Proud Hippie.


It only takes a village if you like being told by the village elders how to live your life.

And hippies lived mostly by panhandling and drug trafficking, so that's what hippies learned.

PS The single-celled intelligence has been caught in so many lies, it's hard to know what to believe, but I'm sure she really is proud of living on the fringe of society.

Craig said...

Cargo cults -- mixing up cause and effect. The left is famous for it.

One of the fads in the Rust Belt these days is to use billions of dollars of taxpayer money to spruce up downtowns, build light rail systems and bolster the arts. This will, according to inner-city liberals, attract the creative class who will reinvigorate dying economies.

Of course, spruced-up downtowns with a thriving arts scene are the result of economic prosperity. Not the cause.

And so it goes.

Allie said...

Allie said...

Eddutcher, YET , my husband and I despite being " dirty" hippies, we lived a productive life, we succeeded, we did something we both were very proud of.

No we were never mugged, we paid taxes without resentment, knowing that is the price we pay to live in a safe society. It does take a village. That's what we learned as hippies.

Signed Proud Hippie.

It only takes a village if you like being told by the village elders how to live your life.

And hippies lived mostly by panhandling and drug trafficking, so that's what hippies learned.

PS The single-celled intelligence has been caught in so many lies, it's hard to know what to believe, but I'm sure she really is proud of living on the fringe of society.

12/1/11 5:44 PM
Eddutcher you fucking moron, name one "lie" you or anyone here has ever "caught" me in. Pathetic attempt to discredit me.

How about this ? I suspect Eddutcher may be a pedophile, or how about this? I suspect Eddutcher spen the last 30 years in prison. Or how about this? I suspect Eddutcher has Alzheimer's.

AJ Lynch said...

Stephen - your examples are good examples that worked. I think their success was because they were universal - all were eligible even rich vets and rich Californians. Today's govt benefits are too complex, adminsitered by thousands and geared to the so-called needy many of whom game the systems to get as much govt stuff as they can.

I prefer a system where benefits like the GI bill are available to GHW Bush, a rich man's son, and to my father who was the son of a coal miner.

Simon Kenton said...

Bagoh2o wrote:

"f you don't resent paying taxes in the current system, it means you have no experience in how to use money for good, no realistic idea about how it is wasted by government, and no imagination to understand the power of freedom to lift people."

Just wanted to call this out, as one of the best political sentences written in the corpus of Althouse commentaries.

Allie said...

Eddutcher, one more thought, I live in a house you would envy, I live with wealth you would envy, I have the love of children you would envy. If I live on the fringe of society, you Eddyboy would be damn lucky to live the life I lead in that "fringe". Loser.

AJ Lynch said...

A hippie couple proudly paying their taxes? Ain't saying its not true but sounds odd to me.

poppa india said...

Allie sure sounds angry for someone who's so happy...

andinista said...

lawser's po'd dat Scott M slagd boomers

Its useful n valid 2 id lrg historial trends: d lost generates, d GenXorz, etc. Generats hv describal aggreate behvors. In d aggreate, boomrz hv spent dere folks money, dere own, and dere kids. Its bn 1 long party, d bill is comin due. Whn SS eats d hol Fed budget, yull seee. D boomrz riotd 4 Vietnam, n dey'll riot 1 last tym whn SS is kaput. OWS is dere vangard.

Boomrz is an aggreate term. Ifn u don likit, don self-id wid em, insted cuss em out.

D 70yr anomusly long pax Americana is comin to an end. Git redy for sum tuff tyms, yr gonna be tight wid tragedy, n yr gon find out just how cheap life is.

Allie said...

AL Lynch the hippie couple grew up to be a good liberal tax paying doctor and nurse, made four kids , bought a beautiful home and lived a life worth living on a gorgeous lake in Wisconsin. See my profile and the neighborhood I live in, my taxes aren't cheap, but I'm not a selfish right wing Teabagger.

Yes hippies get mad sometimes.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Eddutcher you fucking moron, name one "lie" you or anyone here has ever "caught" me in. Pathetic attempt to discredit me.

Constantly accusing me and others of cyberstalking you because you got your knickers in a wad when you were losing an argument. Going to another person's joke blog and making rude remarks because you assumed it was me or some one else.

Oh...wait...those weren't lies, just crazy paranoia.

If you were a "hippie" I'll eat your shoes. I grew up in the SF Bay area and moved to live near the Golden Gate Park in 1968-9. I know what Hippies are/were and you ain't it.

bagoh20 said...

"I'm not a selfish right wing Teabagger."

Who brought up sex? Nobody was suggesting anyone would teabag a dirty hippie. That's just gross, and totally inappropriate to be discussing here.

Allie said...

Oh good grief Dust Bunny, you always show up to add your sweet bunny voice to Eddyboy or some other hater, don't you have plums to can?

Your're starting to make me think you are jealous. Just when I was beginning to like you.

Larry J said...

LordSomber said...
To all the boomers who *did* work hard but like to get butthurt offended when people generalise, here is a reading comprehension trick:

If what is written does not describe you, then it's not about you.


Really? Try substituting another group in your statement and see if your last sentence would get you off from being condemned as a bigot. Instead of Boomer, try substituting Muslim, Black, Jew or Latino. Ignorant Bigotry is still ignorant bigotry regardless of whether the hatred is directed at a race, a religion or a generation.

Revenant said...

The real shocker is that someone is still using that "it takes a village" line.

Allie said...

Bagoh, you know darn well I am not using the term Teabagger in the sexual context.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Bagoh, you know darn well I am not using the term Teabagger in the sexual context.

Cool. So when I tell you to get fucked you know it really isn't in the sexual context then either.

:-D

PatCA said...

My plumber and window installer guy both have degrees, here in the land of(formerly) cheap state colleges. A good friend graduated with a degree in Russian lit started his own contracting company.

None of them took out loans and none of them regret any of their decisions. College was fun and interesting, but they didn't want the cubicle life and wanted to be their own bosses.

Allie said...

Revenant, what shocks me is people who don't see the truth in that statement. What kind of village do YOU want to live in? One in which no one gives a shit about their neighbor or their neighbors kids? One in which we turn a blind eye to pedophilia by coaches in powerful positions?

Revenant said...

Bagoh, you know darn well I am not using the term Teabagger in the sexual context

Oh, please. The only reason it is an insult is because of the sexual connotation. You might as well call a black guy a "stupid n-----" and then claim you didn't mean it in a racist context.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Regarding tarring an entire generation as "Boomers", which in itself is a pretty nebulous definition, just like hippie is a hard term to pin down: is, as stated above bigotry.

All people of a certain age or certain demographic group or race are not the same. They have had completely different life experiences and outlooks on life and are individuals responsible for themselves only and the the actions of an artificial group.

To try to lump all people into a stereotype, like calling all people who take up the Tea Party agenda selfish teabaggers.....is bigotry.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

and NOT the actions of the entire group.

Proofreading is important. DOH!

edutcher said...

Allie said...

Eddutcher, one more thought, I live in a house you would envy, I live with wealth you would envy, I have the love of children you would envy. If I live on the fringe of society, you Eddyboy would be damn lucky to live the life I lead in that "fringe". Loser.

Amazing how, each time one of the trolls has no rebuttal left, all they can do is brag about the imaginary life they lead (how does she know what The Blonde and I have?) and then scream, "Loser", like a tantrum-throwing 3 year old.

bagoh20 said...

Everyone accepts that paying taxes is necessary for a functioning government, but how much tax and how much function are the issues.

I except that having the government functions that are limited to just those in the Constitution are so necessary that I must accept the lower efficiency, and even waste that results.

I'm not however willing to give up all the good I can do with the rest of my money just because politicians convince people that they can do it better. I know they can't. In fact we all do, we are just in the habit of letting other people take care of our responsibilities to each other, even if they do it poorly.

Just imagine that the thousands of dollars you pay in taxes was in your bank account today. You have to get rid of it, but are given a choice: spend it on charity, invest it, give it away, whatever you want; OR give it to the congress to do their thing with it.

Would that be a hard decision? Wouldn't you feel guilty giving it to them instead of using it for the good you could do?

Allie said...

Eddutcher, my "imaginary" life? Gawd, you really are a sad little man.

Revenant said...

What kind of village do YOU want to live in? One in which no one gives a shit about their neighbor or their neighbors kids?

If you want a say in how children are raised, go have some.

Allie said...

Bagoh, we always seem to end up on the note that we fundamentally disagree on the role of government and trust in government. I don't think we will ever see eye to eye on it, our political philosophies are so polar opposite, yet I respect you as a decent human being who just disagrees with loberals on how best to run a successful society.

bagoh20 said...

"What kind of village do YOU want to live in? One in which no one gives a shit about their neighbor or their neighbors kids?"

So when your neighbors need help, you give the money to the government for them. So I guess you believe the government will care more than you do about them.

The truth is you are saying that it takes a nation of 300 million with a government thousands of miles away, run by people you never meet, to raise your children.

There is no village, if there was, then the guy who is hungry because he wants to lay around getting high all day, would have to face me and explain why I should give him money to eat. To which I would say: "No, but I have a job for you if you want it, and then you can buy your own." Then, we would both be better off.

Now which scenario is more moral, and which one is the liberal plan?

Allie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Allie said...

Revenant I have four of them and three grandchildren, and I still have room in my heart to care about kids who I don't have a biological connection to. It's called the family of man.

E.M. Davis said...

Revenant I have four of them and three grandchildren, and I still have room in my heart to care about kids who I don't have a biological connection to. It's called the family of man.

This kind of compassion and caring you allude to existed long before the excesses of our federal government. Because I do not see the government as a vehicle for "caring" does not mean I exist in a world devoid of compassion.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

we fundamentally disagree on the role of government and trust in government.

Yes. And that is why your claim to hippiedom is so laughable.

Hippies did not trust the government. Did not trust 'the man' to have their best interests at heart. They didn't trust anyone over 30...man. In fact, Hippies didn't trust any agencies that had any connection with government control and that includes the medical professions. Holistic remedies, homeopathic medicine, midwifery instead of hospitals... yes.....government controlled medicine, nope.

Hippies started communes so that they could be independent of the government and control their own lives WITHOUT interference.

Libertarianism, which is the main philosophy of the Tea Party, is more directly aligned with Hippie ideals than anything you have ever espoused.


Hippie....don't make me laugh.

Allie said...

Bagoh, the liberal plan would agree with yours , in that offering the job would be the best scenario. BUT when a young woman who comes from an inner city home, one in which she was the subject of abuse, the victim of lead paint and low IQ, sexual abuse by Mama's boyfriend has a kid out of wedlock, I am glad there are social safety nets there to help her get on her feet and on to a productive life.

As I said earlier at the risk of being trite, "hand up, not hand out".I agree that reforms of the tax code is needed, reforms of our social programs, etc etc etc.

bagoh20 said...

"Bagoh, we always seem to end up on the note that we fundamentally disagree on the role of government and trust in government."

That is certainly true, and thanks, as I respect you too and even understand your views perfectly. I would ask you to think about it. I've been a liberal so I know how you feel.

The thing about conservatism and especially libertarian ideas is that they are hard. You need to get beyond the fear, and distrust of your fellow citizen, especially when you trust anonymous politicians and bureaucrats more. They don't have a good record long term or short, and it gets worse the more power you give them. That goes regardless of what party they join.

Even though I disagree with you quite bit, I'd still trust you with your tax money before I would any politician in any party.

Revenant said...

Revenant I have four of them and three grandchildren

And yet never once have you waited for me to tell you how you should be raising them.

Weird.

Allie said...

Dust Bunny, lol, what, do you think you have the market on hippiedom? Lord, woman get a grip, why are you mad that I claim to have been a hippie, do I care if you believe me? Sheesh, how silly.

ken in sc said...

My wife used to be a hippie. She's a medical doctor now. She is one of the most staid Presbyterians you ever met. She does not smoke dope anymore. I think Allie still does. That's the difference I think.

edutcher said...

Allie said...

Eddutcher, my "imaginary" life? Gawd, you really are a sad little man.

Every bit as imaginary as the single-celled intelligence's estimate of mine.

I suppose she expected me to be devastated over how wonderfully she portrayed how she and hubbo have done.

WV "sucke" (no kidding) Make your own.

Allie said...
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Allie said...

Why thank you Bagoh, that is very liberal of you:)

Allie said...

Dust Bunny, you have a lovely blog with great recipes, don hate me cause I don't match your version of a old hippie.

Eddyboy, eh whatever. Not worth wasting my time on.

Allie said...

Haha, Ken, no I do not smoke the Ganga. I live a clean and wholesome life, I eat no processed foods, I even make my own yougurt! It's thick and rich made with full fat milk and strained to make the best Greek yogurt you ever ate.

bagoh20 said...

"I am glad there are social safety nets there to help her get on her feet and on to a productive life."

If that woman needed $10,000 to save her, the government would need to take $30K from you to do it. Much would get wasted as it was passed from you to D.C. back to some state agency, then on to the local provider. All along the way getting picked at as it crosses the nation through greedy hands who don't care about her or you. Much of what's left will go to some other person scamming the system, pretending to need the help she does. Then when it does get to her, she feels no responsibility, or gratitude toward the people who provided it. She feels no pressure to avoid having to ask again. It becomes a job, a career likely to be handed down to her children.

It's a toxic way to help people. There was always support for people in need, it was local, face to face, respectable, dignified, human, and non-addictive.

I feel like I'm berating you and that's not my intention. I just feel a pit of passion about this. I'm done now. Thanks for listening.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

To get back to the topic.

Subsidizing doesn't produce the desired traits and if anything it undermines.

If the trait that you want is a work ethic, ability to defer gratification and self reliance, the government's method of handing out money with no questions asked and no strings attached is just undermining those traits.

Yes. There is a difference between a hand out and a hand up. Just giving someone money without asking for work, something in exchange... even something menial and simple, it is not a hand UP.

When you give generations of people hand OUTS, you undermine their will to work, their self respect and self discipline. And... then you get Detroit.

This is why government needs to get OUT of the business of charity. Charitable institutions and especially locally controlled organizations will know who is truly needy and worthy of charity or....the hand UP.

Government uses the hand OUT as a tool to keep people subservient and to buy their uninformed votes. They are using MY tax dollars against my will and like bagoh20 says, we can use that money more efficiently, wisely and humanely.

ken in sc said...

OK, Allie, I apologize.

Revenant said...

It is sad that we live in a world in which so many people consider it generous to give away *other* people's money.

ken in sc said...

Allie, when you say hippie, what do you mean?

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Dust Bunny Queen said...
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B said...

Allie in a nutshell:

OMG, you're jeeeeealous!!!!

This is not middle school, you airhead. People here don't hate you because you fantasize about being a hippy. They don't admire you nor are jealous of you because you have a few up and coming middle class kids. You're no different nor more accomplished in doing that than our neighbors. They don't give a shit about your life.

That's not jealousy you think you're detecting, Apple Bottom. Writing or even thinking that's the case is a mark of your sublimely stupid smugness. Take it at face value instead. They think you're a vacuous bint.

Allie said...

Ken, my late husband and I dropped out of college, went to Haight Ashbury and lived the "life". We attended anti war protests and we did smoke the Ganga back then and more.

We decided that we would come back home to WI, continue to live a life we felt would matter, one in which we felt we could do some good. I was pregnant and we loved each other enough to drop aspects of the hippie lifestyle we knew wouldn't be conducive to raising a child. We married and my husband finished his undergrad and went on to med school. Later on he put me through nursing school.

There were plenty of hippies that channeled their energies into productive careers.

Allie said...

"B", you always show up right after Eddutcher and I have a knock down drag out fight, why is that? Too cowardly to show up as your real self? Are your iitials ED? Pathetic.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

my late husband and I dropped out of college, went to Haight Ashbury and lived the "life".

If everyone who said they went to Haight Ashbury (which is an intersection of two insignificant streets near Golden Gate Park and are the only names that wanna be's pull out of their hats) actually went there they would have to have been cord wooded to the sky and western SF would have tilted into the sea. Just as if everyone who "said" they went to Woodstock actually went....impossible event.

I don't hate YOU. I hate hypocrisy and inconsistency and won't hesitate to point it out.

Allie said...

OK Dust Bunny, you are THE hippie, the TRUE real life Ganga smoking hippie, here I thought you gave it up, LMAO.

Shanna said...

Subsidizing doesn't produce the desired traits and if anything it undermines.

I think the thing that a lot of liberals don’t see is how perverse incentives can wreak havoc on our society. If you incentivize something, you get more of it. When you make it bad behavior pay more than good behavior, you are going to get more of that and it’s not good for anyone.

It's a toxic way to help people.

Not to mention it’s so much easier to screen for fraud when you are thinking about actively helping a neighbor that you know. You know if Bob down the street is a good guy who is hard on his luck and needs some help between jobs versus Joe who is a lazy SOB who is just trying to scam you. The guy scanning a govt form in an office has no clue.

the victim of lead paint

This is weird phrasing…

jamboree said...

From what I've seen, the very rich and the poor have more in common with each other than they do the middle class who have the traits we are discussing. The other two live almost exactly the same except one has money and one doesn't. Sometimes it takes a generation or two from the gen that actually earned the money....

When it becomes very obvious that the very richest have zero discipline or other "noble" qualities, yet clean up, and that the middle class is basically supporting everyone on their overburdened shoulders - especially on the lower end who don't get many benefits for the stress- that's when you have issues with societal resentment.

sorepaw said...
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B said...

B", you always show...

Do I? Really? Ah, middle school antics again. Can't be more than one person who thinks you're an asshat, right?.

No, Apple Cheeks. I don't always show up after you have a 'fight' with E.D. or anyone else. Not even one of the 'girlie' (your word) fights you challenged our host too.

Try getting through your head. You are dealing with professionals or every stripe here. Business owners, engineers, lawyers, doctors. You are a dollar short and an hour late here. You can't school anybody, impress anybody, or offer any new vacuity that we haven't read from leftist loons here with far more smarts than you.

Now and then you get a kind word here, Taffy Apple, but it's just that. A kind word. A pat on the head. Don't mistake it for anything more than that, and certainly not respect.

bagoh20 said...

Oh, by the way, Thanks Simon. High praise indeed, considering I find this to be the highest quality commenter community on the internet.

Allie said...

OK "B", yes all the "professionals" here really intimidate me. I am so impressed with the "professionals" here, oh me oh my. I so so desire respect from the likes of you whoever you are a sock puppet for, oh please.

The professionals I have socialized with for many years now do not go around proclaiming that they are professionals. What a joke you are.

William said...

I have a college degree and own my own home. I don't find these to be markers of middle class status. They're more like stigmata. What little success I've had in the business world was in spite of not because of my EngLit degree. And every year I wonder which will lose more money: the value of my home or the value of my portfolio.

B said...
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B said...

"OK "B", yes all the "professionals" here really intimidate me...whoever you are a sock puppet for, oh please.

Whoosh. Right over your head. I didn't say and don't think you are or should be intimidated by them. The point was that you are nowhere near impressing them.

And, jeez, you and J. with the sockpuppets. Is yours named byro too?

The professionals I have socialized with for many years now do not go around proclaiming that they are professionals. What a joke you are.

That's your response. After all your proclamations, bragging, smugness...that's your response.

Of course they don't. They don't need to proclaim their success as professionals any more than the people here do (or I did). Professionalism is what is exhibited in what one does. What one accomplishes. The label is earned, not assigned. You're too shallow to pick up on it.

Clear your head of the nonsense that inhabits it for a minute. Take a good long look at the avatar you chose to represent you. That is the impression you leave here. That is what you project. That is the ditz you claim socialized with all those professionals all those years.

That is the image of comic relief.

Ralph L said...

I still have room in my heart to care about kids who I don't have a biological connection to.
So you'll vote for people who won't reform Medicare & SS, which will impoverish them under current law and demographics.

Allie said...

"B" what the fuck ever, you have proven yourself to be a coward and a hater over and over again. From the time you said my husband committed suicide to get away from me to the this latest display, how proud of yourself you must be. What a kind decent ethical human being you have shown yourself to be, impressive indeed.

E.M. Davis said...

BUT when a young woman who comes from an inner city home, one in which she was the subject of abuse, the victim of lead paint and low IQ, sexual abuse by Mama's boyfriend has a kid out of wedlock, I am glad there are social safety nets there to help her get on her feet and on to a productive life.

The family was the original safety net, but societal engineering via government policy has destroyed the basis of the urban family. The results are manifest in the problems you've described above.

By eroding the ages-old precepts of personal responsibility, we have systematically created a perpetual class of people who have no one else to rely on but government.

We've incentivized out-of-wedlock birth, child abandonment and unemployment by the very policies put forth to remedy such things. We've doomed future generations of inner city youth without school choice. We've sacrificed the aspirations of thousands at the altar of feel-good politics.

To take the tortured metaphor too far, in order to build these beloved safety nets, we needn't tear down the trapeze of freedom and responsibility.

B said...

"B" ...you have proven yourself to be a coward and a hater...

Really? A coward? How? Quote it or link it. And if it's because I've offended your feminine sensibilities, pick up your jacks and go home.

You're reverting to middle school again. Nobody here hates you. I already said that. They just think you're a liberal jackass without an original thought in your head. You don't have enough impact here to engender any level of emotional response approaching hate. Not even in the ball park.

From the time you said my husband committed suicide

You're mistaken, deluded, or a liar. Quote it or apologize or be known as the third. I don't operate that way. Taffy Apple. I deal with just what you say, project, spout, drivel, yawp. Besides, you offer more than enough asshattery to mock without my ever having to disparage your husband or kids.

Don't hide behind your husband or your kids. Neither give YOU any added authority for any statement you make. Neither gather any sympathy, license, or stature for you. Haven't from the start. It's about you and what you offer and as far as I can see that's just puckered ass smugness.

how proud of yourself you must be. What a kind decent ethical human being you have shown yourself to be, impressive indeed.

Take your jacks and go home. Apple Bottom. This place is far to rough for you.

Allie said...

"B", now I can add liar to the coward you are. You deny saying I was a "breeder"? You deny saying my husband committed suicide. Whatever. Its extremely suspect that you ONLY show up "in time" to add your ugly voice to Dust Bunny.

What is actually funny is that you and Dust Bunny have an emotional meltdown whenever I shakeup your pathetic right wing world view, by displaying that a liberal can be as patriotic and successful as any of you on the right.

What I say about my life is said for the purpose of adding a personal touch to my opinion, as do others here, it isn't to impress or brag. I don't give a rats ass about if you or Dust Bunny are impressed by my lifestyle or not. It's a pathetic attempt by you both to discredit anything I have to say that disagrees with your very narrow view.

It reflects badly on you both as human beings, to constantly be on the attack like two rabid dogs, very ugly.

ndspinelli said...

What a slugfest.."The Thrilla in Vanilla"

"Can't we all just get along?"
Rodney King philosopher/felon

Michael said...

"The family of man."

Prize smug and sanctimonious platitude of the month. It is early days....

Michael said...

DBQ: A "tell" is when it is "Haight Ashbury" and not "The Haight."

There used to be Rand McNally maps that had a fake street to subtly copyright their work. In SF the street was "Gay Street" which was ironically and unintentionally placed in the Castro before the Castro became a gay Mecca. Retailers were always scratching their heads when asked where it was, with the tourists pointing to the fake street on the otherwise perfect map. Plenty of gays who never went to the Castro were known to brag of having lived on Gay Street.

William said...

Further thoughts on homeownership as a marker: It's closer to an albatross. Every year the home loses more of its value while the mortgage payments remain the same and the real estate taxes increase.....The victims of predatory lending get to declare bankruptcy and move on to a rental. The middle class, the victims of their own prudent decisions, get to keep making mortgage payments and hoping that some day the tide will come back in.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

A "tell" is when it is "Haight Ashbury" and not "The Haight."

I know. Wanna be's always say they went to Haight Ashbury when they try to claim Hippiedom. As if that is the only place to be a 'hippie'. Flowers in their hair...met some gentle people there etc etc.

Same thing with Woodstock and Altamont. If everyone who said they went there REALLY did....it is impossible.

BTW: When I lived in SF in the early 70's we lived at 20 Hartford St. The Castro was just beginning to be a gay mecca. I loved to go shopping in the clothing boutiques there. Killer sexy shoes and other wild clothing. Great restaurants too. The best pizza I ever ate was at a place almost right behind our house.

Later we moved to the Mission District. Near 20th and Gurerro close to Delores Park. Lovely neighborhood at the time. Don't know about it now as I haven't been back there for years and years. If I was still living there in a rent controlled apartment I would be paying $125 a month. LOL...wow!

The point is only pretenders claim The Haight. Most people that I knew who were really hippies....and that wasn't me BTW....avoided The Haight because it was full of tourists.

Rusty said...

I have a college degree and own my own home. I don't find these to be markers of middle class status. They're more like stigmata. What little success I've had in the business world was in spite of not because of my EngLit degree. And every year I wonder which will lose more money: the value of my home or the value of my portfolio.

12/1/11 9:39 PM


Oh boy. Truer words were never spoken.
I have a degree in Anthropology and I'm a journyman machinist and certified welder. I'm working harder now that I'm close to retirement age and have less to show for it.

B said...

"B", now I can add liar to the coward you are. You deny saying I was a "breeder"?

Nope. Never denied it. You're fantasizing again, Apple Bottom. I told you some time back that if all you could offer to lend yourself authority was the accomplishments of your children, then YOU were defining yourself as just a breeder.

You deny saying my husband committed suicide.

Quote it, or apologize, or you are a liar. Now it may be that your...lets call it the J. approach...to being told you're wrong is to pretend that everyone holding that opinion is one and the same person. In which case, you are, like J., teetering on the edge of mental illness. I wouldn't wish that on anybody, but if that's the impression you wanty to give, the so be it. I think you're better off just admitting to being a liar.

Whatever. Its extremely suspect that you ONLY show up "in time" to add your ugly voice to Dust Bunny.

I thought I was Eddutcher? Now I'm Dust Bunney? Are you J.? If not, perhaps he'll let you use byro. More the merrier.

What is actually funny is that you and Dust Bunny have an emotional meltdown whenever I shakeup your pathetic right wing world view, by displaying that a liberal can be as patriotic and successful as any of you on the right.

Oh good lord.

'You're jeeeeelous'

'It's cause you hate me.'

And we have the problem with controlling our emotions?

Pick up your jacks and go home, Taffy Apple. This is an adult forum. Take your jacks

What I say about my life i...isn't to impress or brag.

Actually, it is. And as I mentioned, the people here are successful professionals who simply aren't impressed. You'd think that would have penetrated by now.

B said...

Michael said...Prize smug and sanctimonious platitude of the month.

South Park did a great segment on people like Taffy Apple Bottom and smugness a few years back. If memory serves, the segment had the people who didn't shed it disappear up their own assholes.

Allie said...

Yes "B", your own asshole is where you appear from in between appearances as Your Sock Puppet, In actuality , you are the asshole 24/7.

How is life up your own asshole? Dark, dank and smelly I suspect, but you seem to feel at home there.

Allie said...

And as for Michael, as Garage said yesterday, go get fucked. You should be able to afford it.