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Picture of What is Wrong With This Country

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@ Boyce


Doesn't taking out more than you put into something like that where the money isn't invested but just taken from the new investors to give to the mature investors called a Ponzi scheme? and illegal?(This message has been edited by BS-87)

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After returning from a year long deployment, here's a perception of America today:


- "Wants"--tatoos, nice cars, electronics, expensive clothes, eating out every meal, vacations--have become "needs" and "rights," and folks just gotta have them no matter what

- "Needs"--paying bills, feeding your kids--now considered optional because someone else (Uncle Sam, local charity, you and me) can be depended upon to provide.


(Naturally this is nothing new, but I'm floored by the scope of it all, even after three months back.)


There are many cases of genuine need in America, and I think we should do our best to help as we are so moved. However, I do not view our scouting principles of helpfulness and kindness as blanket policies that universally apply to every soul who proclaims a need, and that we must fulfill it, or risk being considered falling short of our scouting values.


Discernment is important. When we provide charity to people who really don't need it, the truly poor go without. Resources are not unlimited.


Who is qualified to decide who is needy and who isn't? You and I. Our assessment of any given case might differ, but you can support the charities you wish, and I mine.


We each possess a finite amount of energy, money, and time.




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As most know once my father left my family, we were one of those families that were in need. Yes my mom tried to get food stamps, only to learn she made about $25/year than the limit at the time. It was suggested by the social worker that she amend the original forms she submitted so that she qualified, and mom refused. That was part of teaching me courage and honesty.


She gave me the choice of switching to a public school, which would free up some money for other things like new clothes, AC, etc. Or I could apply for financial aid at the private school I went to, and try and get into their workstudy program in which I would pay back by working at the school. I made the decision to stay and do work study. That taught me the value of education and working for what you need (don't ask about New Orleans public schools at the time).


In order to remain active in scouts, I did every fundraiser I could. That inlcuded troop dues, monthly campouts, summer camp, and the HA trip I took. I admit Mom did do some fundraising as well on my behalf for the HA trip, and I did get a campership as I wound up a little short, despite all the hardwork. that taught me the value of hard work for getting your wants and the importance of charity and the generousity of others. Part of why I have been active in scouting before my oldest became a Tiger was to help give back and provide opportunties for others.


I say all this because you got to instill in folks the work ethic. I've seen some peers, but mostly the teenagers interact with at work, with the "gimmee" and entitlement attitude. From having their wants met by parents who buy them everything, to "I earned an A by just showing up to class," if folks don't leanr the value of work, the situation will get worse.


Now I understand those who lose their jobs and need help. Heck a very good friend of mine lost his job. But he has worked part time while looking for a job and has gone back to school because, despite his experience in his field (over 20 years), a college degree is now required for even the most basic job in his field.



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One other BIG thing is the new "24-7 Professional Politics" in which both parties have an ongoing, never-ending political battle.


This leads to political nonsense: serious issues reduced to sound bites.


The death of serious consideration of issues, by voters as well as politicians. Both parties are in this ongoing, never-ending tussle.


I wonder to what extent the "culture wars" are just a side-show of this ongoing, 24-7 battling.

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there is no elephant in discussion. There is poor white trash, as much as their black partners. Being poor in the inner city does not discriminate based race or nationality.


The people in my earlier discussions were all poor rich white folks. So if you were thinking racist thoughts, I was not.



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I'll just insert a comment about terminology and names: The SM for this unit is black. Almost every boy and family in the troop do not have an ethnic connection to Africa - his son and one other boy are the only two black members at this time. The SM is very well-liked by the parents and boys and I think all of us feel we are lucky to have him.

He is also very up-front about racial things and sets all emotion aside when he maintains that the term, "poor white trash", is as racially-charged and hurtful as the kinds of things that have been applied to him and his family in the past. Worse, people seem to feel like they can throw the term around casually without suffering the kinds of social liabilities that they would if they had used terms applied to certain other ethnic groups. After listening to his reasoning, I agree with him. If you'd like to discuss this more, however, it might be better in a new thread. I just wanted to insert this to let you know how some folks feel about it.

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Following along PackSaddle's lead: Why in this thread do you have to be inner city to be poor? The poorest counties in my state are in rural counties which are bereft of cities of more than about 50,000. In many ways, they often have less than the poor in the inner city. The rural poor in the past did not have significant drug abuse problems but that has happened as well. In my area, there are many programs to assist inner city troops. When I used the term poor troops referring to the inner city, I was corrected. It seems that most troops in our area in the inner city are well equipped whereas many rural troops are not. So it should be just the poor.


While on this topic, while an undergraduate in college my son took a course on the history of Appalachia. The Historian discussed in his class and his book how the standard of living declined in Appalachia when the government stepped in to eventually become the sole source of assistance. This lead to the disintegration of the community and the end of self reliance. Although some things require government assistance, taking away a sense of community and destroying people's self reliance and replacing it with dependence on the government is bad.

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Around these here parts....:)


We have a combination of both Basements and Vol_Scouters situation:


The incorporated citys have higher tax rates and also higher services expenditures.You pay both County AND city property taxes on your homes, vehicles and real property.


But yo also have city owned/ federally subsidized low income housing and rent controlled apartments and such.


You either live in the contry club fancy neighbor hoods, the middle range, or in the downtown (closer to state ports, industrial areas) and less affluent areas.


But then you have tye county areas. These places are in the county, don't have the higher tax rates and costly infratructure, but you also have old wells, septic tanks made of block and tar, and terra cotta pipe from homes built over 60 years ago. Seeing 3 or 4 rusted out cars in the back or front yard is so common, they don't cause anybody to notivce them.


Go around a bend in the hiway,and suddenly you see a mile long brick fence with integrated planter on top. The break in the fence in a wrought iron steel fence operated by remote control that leads to a25 acre estate that either butts up omn a river or the intracoastal waterway. 3 BMW's and a Mercedes in the driveway.


Another mile up the road is a crack house, then the next mile reveals a gates community of $5 million dollar/30,000 sq ft houses that are seperated by only 10 feet of the most expensive sod that can be bought. Of course, the homeowner never sees the sod anyways because the HOA handles all maint and lawn services.




Point being, poor or rich do not have a particular type of area they live in.Some live in the city because they cannot afford to own a yard. Some live in the country because they inheirited their family land and cannot afford to live in the city or small towns.

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It's interesting to see the economic turn in the discussion. I've seen a good deal of poverty in the rural situation. . . and it's poverty never much mentioned by the national media or various kinds of political leaders.


And to be sure, it's the kind of poverty that crosses generations: a poor family with children that don't get an education and then stays pretty poor themselves.


I note the mention of the term "poor white folks" and I'm guilty of the use of that terminology; thanks for noting the problems with it. I'll do better.

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