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  #21  
Old 26 August 2008, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by snopes View Post
...start sending
checks to those that actually work, pay there bills and pay there taxes.
Where bills? Where taxes?
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  #22  
Old 26 August 2008, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Don Enrico View Post
According to the US Census Bureau, it depends. More on how the bureau calculates "poverty" can be found here.

Don Enrico
According to that first link, I definitely fall under the definition of poor. I guess I need some kind of program!
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  #23  
Old 26 August 2008, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Troodon View Post
Is health insurance a neccessity?
Only if you want to live.

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More generally, is being able to receive the best medical care possible something that everyone is entitled to?
Yes, I think so.
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  #24  
Old 26 August 2008, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Natalie View Post
Little known fact - 100% of poor people are on welfare.
That's just not true.
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  #25  
Old 26 August 2008, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Troodon View Post
Is health insurance a neccessity?
Yes.

Quote:
More generally, is being able to receive the best medical care possible something that everyone is entitled to? It sounds heartless to say "We could prolong your life, but that would cost more than you can pay," but on the other hand, the rich have better quality of life than the poor; is there really such a huge ethical gap between that and better quantity of life as well?
Yes.

Wow, that was easy.
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  #26  
Old 26 August 2008, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by rangerdog View Post
That's just not true.
I believe that was sarcasm aimed at the OP, which seemed to assume that all poor people are on welfare.
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  #27  
Old 26 August 2008, 02:33 PM
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Just where would one acquire a working black and white tv in 2008? Color has been the standard for long enough that old, used cheap tvs are still in color. I'd say that having a vcr and no dvd player reflects a pretty low amount of disposable income since you can get a new dvd player for $20.

And where are these people supposed to live to get no access to AC? Most apartments have AC here in Texas, as a matter of fact we have laws about turning off unpaid electric in the summer to keep people from DYING. But I guess staying alive is a luxury for the elderly poor. Since a landlord can install a window unit for $50 or so, it's not shocking that many poor renters have some AC. How well insulated that house is and how cool the AC gets are beside the point I guess. For that matter I guess having AC installed and functional counts even if you keep the AC and lights off all the time to afford your bill.

Can we define "stereo" because again you can acquire one new for $20 if a little desktop model counts.

Heck, I grew up poor in the 1980s, and we had a (barely functional 20 year old) car and a (barely functional gift from an uncle) color tv and AC (in our roach-infested government housing apartment) and THREE rooms per person. I guess I only thought I was poor because there wasn't enough to eat and my clothes were raggedy and we had no access to healthcare and ANY crisis could make us homeless because there was no safety net. And secretly I was wealthy the entire time and didn't even know.
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  #28  
Old 26 August 2008, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by I'mNotDedalus View Post
I fail to see how your two examples suddenly disprove the necessity of having health insurance. You make a better argument against providing false identification. Answer: Retinal scans. But then your blind buddy would surely cheat, wouldn't he. Never trust a man who can't tell you how many fingers you're holding up.
It doesn't disprove anything, but it does show that health insurance is a different sort of thing than, say, food or shelter. I doubt that many people who can afford food and shelter are choosing not to get those things.

As for my friend, he can see just fine. He just needs some kind of horrifying injections directly into his eyes (or something like that) every month.

Quote:
Entitlement? One significant (and obvious) reason the rich have a better quality of life is because they have (and have had) constant access to premium health care without being financially crippled by the cost--ask your doctor about Lourdes of Lower Manhattan if crippling continues.

By the by, what the heck is "better quantity of life"? Bouncier and more babies?
I should have said "longer life expectancy." The rich person can afford to do things that the poor person can't, and he can also afford to do them for longer before dying. Is the latter fact unacceptable while the former is quite normal?
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  #29  
Old 26 August 2008, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Troodon View Post
It doesn't disprove anything, but it does show that health insurance is a different sort of thing than, say, food or shelter. I doubt that many people who can afford food and shelter are choosing not to get those things.
Health insurance is just as much a necessity as food and shelter. It's just that its lack doesn't kill you fast.

Quote:
As for my friend, he can see just fine. He just needs some kind of horrifying injections directly into his eyes (or something like that) every month.
If he no longer gets those injections, he won't be able to see, I'm betting.
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  #30  
Old 26 August 2008, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by AnglRdr View Post
Health insurance is just as much a necessity as food and shelter. It's just that its lack doesn't kill you fast.
This is splitting hairs (and not intended to be an argument), but I think lack of health insurance, in and of itself, won't kill you, but lack of food, in and of itself, will.
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  #31  
Old 26 August 2008, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
I believe that was sarcasm aimed at the OP, which seemed to assume that all poor people are on welfare.
Yes, it was sarcasm. From the Census numbers I looked at, as much as 10% of people they classify has poor are not receiving any government assistance (AFDC, food stamps, Medicare, housing assistance, and one other thing I can't remember).
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  #32  
Old 26 August 2008, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Natalie View Post
Yes, it was sarcasm. From the Census numbers I looked at, as much as 10% of people they classify has poor are not receiving any government assistance (AFDC, food stamps, Medicare, housing assistance, and one other thing I can't remember).
Not only that, but the guidelines for poverty according to that link upthread are insane. Insane and would be funny if they weren't so cruel. And they aren't adjusted for what part of the country you live in.

According to those guidelines, a man and a woman with two children and another relative (in this case a great aunt) - or any 5 related people, that was just their illustration - are above poverty level if the combined household income is somewhat over 25,000 a year.

That blows my mind. In a lot of places it costs well over a thousand dollars a month for rental housing that is not even adequate for 5 people...(well, by the OP's apparent standard of twelve people in a one and a half room shack I guess a thousand bucks a month in San Francisco would buy a mansion) that's half the income right there. And forget ownership in an area like that.

Even someplace that has the lowest housing costs in the country, where I live, a three bedroom home (which in this scenario would have at least 4 of the people sharing bedrooms) is pretty close to a thousand a month for rent. You can find some places a couple hundred less but not a lot. With costs of utilities and transportation, I don't know how anyone on that amount of income has money left for beans and rice, much less frivolous indulgences like health care or clothing.
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  #33  
Old 26 August 2008, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by snapdragonfly View Post
Not only that, but the guidelines for poverty according to that link upthread are insane. Insane and would be funny if they weren't so cruel. And they aren't adjusted for what part of the country you live in.

According to those guidelines, a man and a woman with two children and another relative (in this case a great aunt) - or any 5 related people, that was just their illustration - are above poverty level if the combined household income is somewhat over 25,000 a year.

That blows my mind. In a lot of places it costs well over a thousand dollars a month for rental housing that is not even adequate for 5 people...(well, by the OP's apparent standard of twelve people in a one and a half room shack I guess a thousand bucks a month in San Francisco would buy a mansion) that's half the income right there. And forget ownership in an area like that.

Even someplace that has the lowest housing costs in the country, where I live, a three bedroom home (which in this scenario would have at least 4 of the people sharing bedrooms) is pretty close to a thousand a month for rent. You can find some places a couple hundred less but not a lot. With costs of utilities and transportation, I don't know how anyone on that amount of income has money left for beans and rice, much less frivolous indulgences like health care or clothing.
I've mostly been living on less than $25K for the past several years (one person in Ohio); but I have a paid for house and funds that I can tap if need be. The problem with extreme frugality is that after a while stuff starts wearing out/falling apart.
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  #34  
Old 26 August 2008, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by claudia View Post
I've mostly been living on less than $25K for the past several years (one person in Ohio); but I have a paid for house and funds that I can tap if need be. The problem with extreme frugality is that after a while stuff starts wearing out/falling apart.
No kidding! In the end, my extreme frugality in seminary (at one point I earned a little over $8000/year) cost quite a bit. When I left, I needed to replace just about everything I owned. Shoes, socks, underwear, etc.--you have to buy these things on a fairly regular basis. Yes, you can put it off, but if you do for a long time--everything gets holes and rips and becomes useless.

Avril
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  #35  
Old 26 August 2008, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Avril View Post
No kidding! In the end, my extreme frugality in seminary (at one point I earned a little over $8000/year) cost quite a bit. When I left, I needed to replace just about everything I owned. Shoes, socks, underwear, etc.--you have to buy these things on a fairly regular basis. Yes, you can put it off, but if you do for a long time--everything gets holes and rips and becomes useless.

Avril
I've just started paying for things that I have been putting off for a long time, like getting my wisdom teeth removed, and it is really starting to add up. Even though I've been at my job since March, I have very little savings yet.
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  #36  
Old 26 August 2008, 09:38 PM
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The last time I saw a black & white TV for sale retail, it was more than twice as much as the low-end color TVs, because it was some kind of portable that could run for a couple of hours on a 6-volt battery, or be plugged into a car's cigarette lighter, and had some kind of internal, electronic antenna. I suspect it was B&W so it could be smaller-- this was before flat-screen technology, and a color TV with that kind of electronic innards would be huge, and not exactly portable.

You can get a new, non-flat, non-plasma, 13" TV for about $60 at wal-Mart. I once got a 19" at Goodwill for $5, and it lasted for three years.

Most cable companies have tiers; around here, the most basic cable-- networks, PBS, and a couple of regional stations, costs like $12 a month. Now if you want Comedy Central, TNT, AMC, etc., even without the premium stations, it's around $39, IIRC. With a premium package, it's like $70, then jumps to something like $120 if you get digital, but if you also have cable internet and phone with them, you pay like $140 for the total package.

Coming after the homeowners stat, the one about AC was a little misleading. Around here, rental units must have AC now. I think it's a city ordinance that's been in effect for about 5 years. Anyway, it means anyone in poverty who happens to rent will have AC. Doesn't mean they can afford to run it, just that they have it.

Also, around here, there are lots of people who have a house on property that has been in their families for awhile. They own it outright; it's not even mortgaged. However, the roof may leak, and it may not have grounded outlets, and it might generally be a fire trap, but since they're poor, they can't afford to repair or move.
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  #37  
Old 26 August 2008, 09:43 PM
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Looking back at the OP, I wonder how old it is. It uses the word "stereo," and mentions VCRs, though you can't even rent tapes anymore. The few people I know who hve VCRs actually have fairly high-end units, which is why they're even still working. You can't buy a new one unless it's a DVD/VCR in one unit, and that costs more than a DVD player by itself.

And anyway, even if a poor person has a VCR, it has no resale value anymore. Pawn shops won't take them.
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  #38  
Old 26 August 2008, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
Coming after the homeowners stat, the one about AC was a little misleading. Around here, rental units must have AC now. I think it's a city ordinance that's been in effect for about 5 years. Anyway, it means anyone in poverty who happens to rent will have AC. Doesn't mean they can afford to run it, just that they have it.
Also, many rental units around here come equipped with a microwave and/or dishwasher. A/C is standard even if it's just an old window unit in one room. You can't realistically live here without A/C from May to September, and I've never seen an apartment or house that didn't have some type of air conditioning.
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  #39  
Old 26 August 2008, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
Looking back at the OP, I wonder how old it is. It uses the word "stereo," and mentions VCRs, though you can't even rent tapes anymore. The few people I know who hve VCRs actually have fairly high-end units, which is why they're even still working. You can't buy a new one unless it's a DVD/VCR in one unit, and that costs more than a DVD player by itself.

And anyway, even if a poor person has a VCR, it has no resale value anymore. Pawn shops won't take them.
This reminds me: my father had a construction company when I was little, which failed. In the midst of very hard economic times, he often found work only to discover the people he worked for would not pay him. He worked out a lot of deals to settle with people when he thought he'd never see the money anyway. With one electronics store, he settled by taking a VCR for just about everyone who was related to the company or to us. And thus, though I was on a free lunch program at school, I was the first person I knew to have a VCR. (My father's bad business sense is one reason he now works for other people instead of himself.)

I don't say all this to indicate a trend. But things are not always what they seem.

We also had next to nothing to play on it and mostly used it to record stuff from the TV.

Avril
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  #40  
Old 26 August 2008, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
...around here, the most basic cable-- networks, PBS, and a couple of regional stations, costs like $12 a month. Now if you want Comedy Central, TNT, AMC, etc., even without the premium stations, it's around $39, IIRC.
Wow, you have cheap cable!

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Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
Looking back at the OP, I wonder how old it is.
This thread from the old board dates it to 1995.

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