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Luxuries and Anti-Poverty Programs

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Scott
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Luxuries and Anti-Poverty Programs

Post by Scott » September 20th, 2009, 9:01 pm

If you haven't already, check out my most recent poverty blog post: Luxuries vs. Basic Needs

In it, I say that basic necessities include include sufficient food, clothes, shelter, health care, retirement, unemployment insurance, and disability insurance, as well as the job-related costs incurred to get them such as education, uniforms and transportation. I also provide a list of examples of luxuries.

Ultimately, I contend that, to be effective, anti-poverty charities and anti-poverty programs need to refuse to provide help to people who purchase luxuries. Do you agree? And how do you suggest organizations do that? How do anti-poverty organizations make sure their resources actually help people escape and avoid poverty rather than enjoy luxuries?

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Scott
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Post by Nick_A » September 20th, 2009, 11:06 pm

I respectfully assert that your suggestion is wishful thinking. There is no way to legislate it. People will beat the system since it would be easy to do.

The trouble is that in the past our society has had a greater sense of obligations. Loss of respect for what the country is founded upon assures the loss of the sense of obligation. Political influences have made it so that people demand more rights. The willingness to assume Obligations guarantee rights. Beating the system rather then assuming obligations just assures that rights will be lost.
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace

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Re: Luxuries and Anti-Poverty Programs

Post by Dewey » September 21st, 2009, 2:29 am

Scott wrote:

Ultimately, I contend that, to be effective, anti-poverty charities and anti-poverty programs need to refuse to provide help to people who purchase luxuries. Do you agree? And how do you suggest organizations do that? How do anti-poverty organizations make sure their resources actually help people escape and avoid poverty rather than enjoy luxuries?

That contention can’t be argued (except by a nit picker like myself who might dream up a charity or program wealthy enough to waste some money and yet be effective).

I don’t know enough about the subject to suggest specific methods or to describe the methods being used. I do know there is no lack of concern and that various controls have been developed and are in use.

As I say, people are very concerned . They nobly overcome their natural selfishness and foresake the luxuries they could have enjoyed; only to hear they have enabled someone else to enjoy those luxuries – and they haven’t reduced poverty one whit. How infuriating!

That’s what they hear. But what do they know? What do we know? How big is this problem, really? I searched a bit and didn’t find any statistics or other objective data on it. (Pardon the skepticism. It's at a high level now, probably the result of seeing in some of the other political forums so much indignation and vituperation being wasted on very questionable premises.)

Does someone have factual data?

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Re: Luxuries and Anti-Poverty Programs

Post by nameless » September 21st, 2009, 4:01 am

Scott wrote: Ultimately, I contend that, to be effective, anti-poverty charities and anti-poverty programs need to refuse to provide help to people who purchase luxuries. Do you agree? And how do you suggest organizations do that? How do anti-poverty organizations make sure their resources actually help people escape and avoid poverty rather than enjoy luxuries?

Thanks!
Scott
One man's necessity is another man's luxory. Donate assistance and be done with it. If it is a priority for someone to rent a car for a few days rather than pay a bill, what is it to you? Whats with the 'strings'. Maybe she needed the car to get to her dying mother? What do you know? If you wish to help, do it and be done. If buying a pack of nice cigarettes makes someone who has had to juggle every cent to keep her family floating, fed and healthy, makes her feel 'human' for a moment, like the 'winners', what is it to you to begrudge that small ray of light in a pain filled life.
If you feel blessed to the extent that you wish to contribute to those with less (or more?), do your homework, be mindful, and then do the act (anonymously?) and leave, with faith and patience, the consequences to god!

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