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Are we ever justified in buying luxuries?
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27 / M / Tx
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Posted 2/14/07
hey someone delete my post. i answered it right. i said yes cUse all work and no play makes jack a dull boy.
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35 / M / 中国
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Posted 2/14/07
Well I don't think giving anything away really ever helped anyone. I'm a firm beleiver in "give a man a fish and he'll for a day, teach a man to fish and he'll for the rest of his life"

I think we have a become (in america at least) a society that focuses on handouts and not enough on fixing the problems that cause poverty. Essentially addressing the symptoms and not the cause. If it were up to me, I'd kill welfare and invest that money into making urban and other poverty stricken areas safer and cleaner, as well as dramatically improving education. I've always thought there should a be free basic skills center for post high school/GED that teaches them something useful, like carpentry or other basic skills they can use.

I don't think that will happen because handouts are now used as leverage for votes. "Vote for me and you can keep your welfare! Vote for me I'll increase your welfare!, etc." It's basically the robin hood style of government - robbing from the rich and giving to the poor.

I don't buy this victim crap in the least. There is no excuse for an american citizen (without severe mental or physical handicaps) to be in poverty - there are too many opportunities. Live in a bad area? Leave. It's not that hard. It may not be comfortable, but it may be necessary. Can't afford school? There are so many scholarship opportunities out there it is absurd. If you didn't apply yourself in school hard enough to get one, then it's your own damned fault. And worst comes to worst - there is always the military. That's how I'm paying for school.

I guess I don't beleive anyone is owed anything. You earn what you need. You don't sit there and expect it. Yes, I beleive it is our repsonsibility to help those in times of tragedy (like natural disasters, etc), and we should do everything we can to provide people with the capability to better than themselves, but if they're not willing to put for the effort I don't see why I should put forth the effort to take care of them.

Kids are obviosuly a different issue since they really can't help themselves. I'd be more inclined to go out of my to help them. Also foreign countries under corrupt or unstable governments, as well as underdeveloped nations are worthy of helping. They don't have all the opportunities alot of us in developed nations have. I don't necessarily think I owe anyone anything aside from those who have gone out of their to help me. But alot of that responsibility falls to them, the governments they've supported, their inaction in improving their own countires.

Do I feel guilty about living an extravegant lifestyle? Not in the least. In fact, I revel in it. And I've seen some pretty bad areas in the world (and the US).

It all comes down to personal responsibility. Nobody seems to be responsible for their own actions anymore. Everything is someone else's fault. Hard work isn't valued, success is condemned. What kind of messed up world are we living in?
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77 / F / in the club
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Posted 2/14/07

Xrn_the_Nigma wrote:


simpleyesa wrote:

Buying luxurious something for myself is a gift of my labor. I worked hard inorder to buy whatever i want. It is not easy as ABC to just give away your money to poor people that you don't even know. It's selfish - but i'm hypocrite if i do that. I am not that rich to throw away money - Me alone can not change the world - a dollar to a beggar is helpful but giving you guilts for buying something to your self - as it is luxury - isn't fair too. We buy cos we do things to have them.


If your giving your money away to someone on the streets that is less fortunate then you are then technically your not throwing your money away....
It is as easy as "ABC" to give money away to a total stranger, your just a selfish and cheap person...
Also, you only give a dollar? What's that person going to buy a couple of gum balls and maybe a ghetto juice?


I know for myself that i am not selfish cos at least i give something to less fortunate; a dollar is a money whatever the amount would be, it's still money. But the argument here is the guilt of buying luxury - instead of just buying what is needed and save the money for charity - not the amount or the act of giving. You are hypocrite if you want to buy PS2 but opted not to cos you will save and give the money to charity. Maybe our principles are way opposite cos we don't understand each other's point.
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30 / M / San Francisco, CA
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Posted 2/14/07

Eros wrote:

A few things that are safe to say.
1) DON"T GIVE BUMS CASH, give them food coupons or the like.
2) The U.S. Should be giving much more then it does. "We know, too, that at least in the next year, the United States Government is not going to meet even the very modest United Nations-recommended target of 0.7 percent of gross national product; at the moment it lags far below that, at 0.09 percent, not even half of Japan's 0.22 percent or a tenth of Denmark's 0.97 percent."
3) Several of you typed something along the lines of, "I don't have that kind of money to give away." I suspect many of you, living in developed countries, are rather well off compared to the worlds population.

I think a key question is, "Can negative events be causes?" In other words,
'negative event' means these sorts of things: abstaining from acting; failing to act;
neglecting to see, hear, or do something; etc.

Damn I'm sick, I'm going back to bed.


On the topic of giving bums money...well places like here in san francisco they have a programm to try to help the bums get off the streets. This is because we have large amounts of homeless people...they even offer classes in the sociology department here about homelessness and homelessness awareness. Anyways back to what I wanted to say is that the homeless have this chance to get back up on their feet. How? They first go through a type of rehab that helps them if they have any drug addictions (which is highly common among the homeless here), then they are put back on the streets to sell these sort of mini newspapers that former homeless and drug addicts help publish. They only cost about $1 each but they do have some pretty good stories on different peoples times on the streets, addictions, std's, etc. Eventually they can use this money to help themselves get back on their feet (along with the money they can file to get for actually being homeless). I think that it's helped a lot of people here in the city and more and more people are conscious about the general wealth and greediness of the population...not to mention that this is one of the most active cities in the country to begin with...

on your second point (or number)...we are part of the g8 and are dealing with much more problems than most of the other countries are...most of it comes from what you mentioned too...
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28 / M / VanCity, World.
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Posted 2/15/07
Some one told me that homeless people make more money then some regular people... like you know when they come up to your window and wipe your windsheild... usually they get like a dollar or even 5 dollars! and thats for wiping a windshield... guess how many they do a day! Its kinda hard to believe at first... but its kinda true.
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30 / M / San Francisco, CA
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Posted 2/15/07
^ here in the US you can be paid for being homeless by the government...you have to say that you are looking for a job and also trying to find a home...
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30 / F / Canada, BC
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Posted 2/15/07
Yes but not all people give them money... and most homeless people are drug addicts and spend all the money they get on getting more and more drugs to calm their addiction. And I don't think anyone is purely alturistic all the time and are infraerogatory most of the time. People do give whatever is needed in the time of need because they know that if they don't help when a disaster occurs in some other country, it is unlikely that anyone else will help them when they're the ones needing the help.
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Posted 2/15/07

azrael910 wrote:

Well I don't think giving anything away really ever helped anyone. I'm a firm beleiver in "give a man a fish and he'll for a day, teach a man to fish and he'll for the rest of his life"



No offense azrael but I don't think you should rely on those kind of "common sense" phrases. Especially when dealing with this topic.
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35 / F / By the water
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Posted 2/15/07

azrael910 wrote:

I think we have a become (in america at least) a society that focuses on handouts and not enough on fixing the problems that cause poverty. Essentially addressing the symptoms and not the cause. If it were up to me, I'd kill welfare and invest that money into making urban and other poverty stricken areas safer and cleaner, as well as dramatically improving education. I've always thought there should a be free basic skills center for post high school/GED that teaches them something useful, like carpentry or other basic skills they can use.

I


Okay, I don't know if you are familiar with the welfare program as such but here is how I understand it for the area I work in, namely Baltimore, MD. Yes, those on welfare are only allowed a specific time on the program. And yes, to continue receiving assistance they have to attend classes of some sort. I know this for certain not because I work with the welfare office directly, but because who I rent to fall into the "lower income bracket".

But let me throw some basic math at you why the money from welfare will NEVER be used to fund urban renewal by the federal government directly. My father and I buy distressed properties in Baltimore for around $25,000-$55,000. It costs us anywhere from $60,000-$80,000 to rehab and renovate the property, one property mind you. It may cost more or less depending on the market and cost of materials and labor. But that is only because we have our own employees, tools, trucks, and material contacts in the area. This is just one city in the US, I don't know how much distressed buildings cost in other parts of the country.

The Federal government would have to hire a contractor, then in turn hire subcontractors (thus begins a bidding war that could take months). I will tell you this is a long, slow, and painful process. Our company has worked for the federal government (In Washington DC) before and it is a mess, and it is hard to collect the money for work done. So from the proposal phase, to the bidding phase, permitting phase, construction, inspection, utilities, and final stages, would take ages.

Our company can get in and out in a minimum of three months. It would take the government considerable amount of time, and double to triple the cost. So if you ever look at a fairly large cities housing website you will see how badly they want private firms to take over the urban renewal process.

Basically, it is easier, faster, and more cost effective for the private sector to take over urban renewal. And if any one wants to see what our company has done to take a completely distressed property and what it looked like after we were done, feel free to pm me.
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30 / M / San Francisco, CA
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Posted 2/15/07
^ hah! I knew there was something like that in the US! I wasn't sure how it exactly worked though...
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Posted 2/15/07
would you guys stay on topic at least once?
*deleted some posts*
more content less spam
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30 / M / US
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Posted 2/16/07
Slate is featuring articles about philanthropy.

http://slate.com/
http://www.slate.com/id/2159922/nav/tap1/
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30 / M
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Posted 2/16/07
This is a joke.

The claims of Singer are entirely centered on establishing moral-relavance, and ignore the moral value (or lack thereof) of the situations he brings up.

If we establish that saving a child in a drowning pond is the same morally as donating to Unicef (or whatever claim he makes - his stuff is all the same), it does not follow that we need to donate. It can just as easily follow that our gut reaction to a child drowning in a pond is wrong, and that while we think we have a moral obligation, we actually do not. Think about it - when a child is rescued by another in a relatively low-risk situation, it still makes the news. If someone is merely following through with a widely accepted moral obligation, such a case would be trivial and certainly not newsworthy.
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30 / M / US
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Posted 2/16/07
I find your post exceedingly unclear.

I find it simply amazing how many people on this forum simply refuse respond to the question given, and go off on whatever.
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Posted 2/16/07
Yeah, at least give a straw man or something to chew on.
And I agree with Eros, 556 I'm not following your post.
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