Poverty and Politics- Is life fair?

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    The following 11 points came from a commencement speech widely attributed to Bill Gates entitled Rules for Life. While many dispute the source, whether it was proffered by Bill Gates or not:

    Rule 1: Life is not fair — get used to it!

    Rule 2: The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

    Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

    Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

    Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping — they called it opportunity.

    Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

    Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

    Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

    Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

    Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

    Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.


    "Here’s the thing – we all face challenges, and life treats us all unfairly. We all make regrettable choices, and we all suffer from things thrust upon us do to little if any fault of our own. When I suffered a debilitating stroke at an early age, I certainly asked myself “why did this happen to me?” I could have felt sorry for myself and became bitter, I could have thrown in the towel and quit on my family and myself – I didn’t. It took two years of gut-wrenching effort, but what I thought was a great injustice at the time changed my life for the better. Today, you couldn’t tell I ever had a stroke. The greatest adversity life can throw at you simply affords you an opportunity to make changes, improve, and get better.
    By the title of today’s column you have no doubt surmised I believe life is not fair, nor do I believe we should attempt to socially or financially engineer it to be such. Fair is not an objective term – it is a matter of perspective filtered by a subjective assessment. My subjective assessment is that fair is an entitlement concept manufactured to appease those who somehow feel slighted. Life isn’t fair"
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikemyat...eal-with-it/2/
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
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  4. 34 Comments so far...

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    I saw this on huffington post.

    Our family of 3 (parents and I) came here 12 years back with no more than 1000 in our pockets. We made no excuses, we got no welfare, we got no help from anyone. We worked hard and long, we swallowed our pride and did what many didn't want to. While there are exceptions of the case, people shouldn't be making those chronically poor to be a victim. They are not looking for a way to raise above their level. I will work hard till I fall over, I know that. I - likely - won't get a chance to spend time in a college, but I do have a pretty decent life, I own a business, I am making my mark - it took a decade to grow, but we did. Knowing nobody here, knowing to language to speak of. people need to stop making excuses why they are unhappy and do something about the said unhappiness.
    Arseny M on HuffingtonPost
    Jolie likes this.
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    "I heard this line a long time ago after someone had opined “Life just isn’t fair!” The reply was “And isn’t that great!?!? Can you imagine this happening to you because you really deserved it?” I think life IS fair in many cases because the situation is about life taking over and ‘making it that way’, it’s the result of the individual not taking the opportunity to make life the way they want it to be. It’s what happens when you are reactionary in nature, expecting something to appear before you, whether it be opportunity or your next meal. If you don’t take charge of the situation, the situation will take charge of you and you deserve everything you get, because you haven’t done what you need to do to make it otherwise. I make great money right now. I have a AA degree in ‘General Studies’, I’m finishing up my second career and no one gave me anything. I’ve been hired, fired, admonished, and treated exactly like I should have been. I’ve lived in a car for 3-months, I’ve mopped and waxed floors, flipped burgers, and washed dishes. I’ve also run nuclear power plants, led men into battle, and am now running a safety department for a utility. What to do when I hit 60 in a couple of years? Well, I’m going to get into consulting. Will I make it? I don’t know but I do know what will happen if I do nothing, nothing will happen other than I’ll be at the mercy of life as I’m swept along. No thanks! Life isn’t fair but it is ‘just’ – you get ‘just what you work for"
    Life Isn't Fair - Deal With It - Forbes
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    chicago111
    "I had parents that expected a lot of me and when I was an ignorant kid I thought it was unfair. As an adult I realize what I learned and how it prepared me to handle life. Bring it on I say, I’ll meet the challenge and I won’t ***** about it. Those that are not as lucky to have parents to teach them hard lessons do, in fact, need help. It’s also good for society as a whole to help those that need it. But that help isn’t a hand out, it’s teaching them how to survive in a world that is and should be unfair.
    One example of this type of solution would be to alter the welfare program such that in order to get your welfare check, you need to work some meaningful amount of hours per week for the state. This delivers the financial support the person needs and they learn skills. It would also lower the operational cost of the state as the state wouldn’t have to hire as many people to do the state’s work. This in turn would leave more money in the private sector which would improve economic growth and create more jobs.
    Those of us that believe life shouldn’t be fair are not cold people that don’t care about others. In fact, I argue that we care more than most because what we want is to deliver a solution that really works"
    Life Isn't Fair - Deal With It - Forbes
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    I agree that life isn't fair. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to get ahead. It takes education and self discipline. When speaking of an individual, yes life isn't fair, and that individual should work hard to get ahead instead of whining about it. But when talking of a group that is designed to protect and help the people it serves, should they take the "life is not fair attitude" and ignore those that are less fortunate? Do we still ignore those in need? The government is for the people, by the people. It is the duty of government to care for all its citizens, both rich and poor.

    I agree that there is too much spending in Washington. What I disagree is what the spending should be about. Instead of cutting safety net programs, it's the pork barrel spending that needs to be cut. Instead of cutting welfare to the poor, how about cutting corporate welfare? How about more spending on education? How about more spending on making education more affordable to all and not just to a few? How about a reasonable health care system, where everyone can get the health care they need without going bankrupt? How about a jobs training program to help displaced workers find real work that they can support their families? How about a nutrition program that not only helps people to afford food to eat, but maybe teaches them more ways to stretch their food dollar and still eat healthy, nutritious meals? This is where I want to see my money going.

    Yes, life is not fair. It is not fair for the poor here in the USA, and it is not fair to the children in Africa. Will you stop helping the ones you currently help because "life isn't fair"?
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    Quote from Pudnluv
    When speaking of an individual, yes life isn't fair, and that individual should work hard to get ahead instead of whining about it.
    Glad you feel this way. Remember too that our government is made up of just people/individuals.

    Quote from Pudnluv
    But when talking of a group that is designed to protect and help the people it serves, should they take the "life is not fair attitude" and ignore those that are less fortunate? Do we still ignore those in need?
    Our government throws away $200 billion every year through fraud, waste, duplication and mismanagement," So first we have to ask if the government is still really working for the people?
    Both Democrats and Republicans are guilty of this. When they spend money foolishly, what is their real message to the people. Coburn shows what $28 billion in government waste looks like - CNN.com

    Can you define care when you say "it is the duty of government to care for all its citizens, both rich and poor"

    Quote from Pudnluv
    I agree that there is too much spending in Washington. What I disagree with is what the spending should include. Instead of cutting safety net programs, it's the pork barrel spending that needs to be cut.
    I think we both agree pudnluv that there is too much spending. In fact, I think we agree more than we disagree, but we just need to dig a bit deeper.

    So let's break it down a bit further. If the government is being useless with our money, which we both agree on, is this not the same thing as telling it's people "suck it up, we are going to spend your money how we want, on things that don't matter"

    For example. Let's look at global warming. Our government spent approx. 22 million last year on researching our climate... and plans to spend 21 billion this year. This is approx. 43 billion dollars.

    There are less than 5% in the US who are making less than minimum wage.Who Earns the Minimum Wage? Suburban Teenagers, Not Single Parents

    3.7 million Americans reported earning $7.25 or less per hour.

    If we took the money from researching "climate" and spent $20/person (an amount you may think is more fair) $5.00 breakfast, $7.00 lunch, $8.00 dinner, you could feed approx. 50 million people. For 2 billion, you could feed approx. 100 million people. Could this help, or even be your cure for the minimum wage crisis?

    Quote from Pudnluv
    Instead of cutting welfare to the poor, how about cutting corporate welfare? How about more spending on education?
    If we cut out unnecessary programs, and had a balanced budget, I would definitely be in favor of spending it on education...but I want education/aid with strings attached, whenever possible...I'll tell you why I say this.

    I know most all assume I am against helping. I am against helping with no goals in mind. I am against helping when you don't know how much you have to even help with.

    The question is this, do the less fortunate kids really want to be taught? If they do, I am in favor of helping them get whatever it is they need to become participating citizens like the rest of us. What I don't want to see is just a band-aid on a problem that isn't really getting a whole lot better.

    My mom used to say "no desert until you finish your veggies" It made me do something I didn't really want to, but felt rewarded when I accomplished it. Although I don't think we should reward with food, I do think one should always work for food...whenever possible...it's actually less cruel to build self worth! Even disabled people want to work and feel needed. It's not a dirty word. It's healthy! It's worse for all if we give without wanting change (for those capable).

    Quote from Pudnluv
    How about a reasonable health care system, where everyone can get the health care they need without going bankrupt?
    We will disagree on this one. I feel there is way too much waste on healthcare, and much of it can be prevented.

    Quote from Pudnluv
    How about a jobs training program to help displaced workers find real work that they can support their families?
    What do you mean by displaced workers? Have our schools not provided job training? Our missing parents from the picture? So, if this is the case, I would (sadly) agree with you. Again, cut the nonsense of global warming type programs and monkey poo programs (there's that word again LOL) balance our budget and see how much we have to give those who have lost their way, another chance...since they didn't get it from school or parents, or apparently any role models.

    Quote from Pudnluv
    How about a nutrition program that not only helps people to afford food to eat, but maybe teaches them more ways to stretch their food dollar and still eat healthy, nutritious meals? This is where I want to see my money going.
    Yes, I would like to see this too. But when doctor's complain they don't have time to see people, and our government aid offices are already over their heads, how would we get this education to them? This is why I thought of a kiosk in a store while limiting their choices to health food. If we cut out unnecessary spending, and balanced our budget, then I wouldn't mind adding more healthy food to a WIC style SNAP program. You and I agree on this?

    Quote from Pudnluv
    Yes, life is not fair. It is not fair for the poor here in the USA, and it is not fair to the children in Africa. Will you stop helping the ones you currently help because "life isn't fair"?
    You bring up a very good point. I get great joy in my heart when my money helps to buy a rod/reel for one who really wants to fish. If our MTV generation wanted to work as hard as those in Africa, I'd rejoice...sadly I think we have let our nation down by our "feeding the animals" theory. Is it too late for us to see the typical Bill Cosby family? A family I admired most on TV? I hope not, but I have serious doubt. However, I am willing to discuss almost anything that would make more positive change for our country.
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    I have a hard time with that multi quote thing, so I will do it this way.

    You ask me to define what I mean by the government has a responsibility to care and protect it's people. Our forefathers defined the purpose of government. Every citizen has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is not up to the government to make people happy, but to provide an environment that allows for the pursuit of it.

    There are both the fortunate kids and the less fortunate kids who squander the opportunity they receive for education. For those poor kids who want an education, they should receive it. Do we take away their opportunities because there are some that don't want it. The same can be said for the rich kids. My sister in law is a teacher at an inner city school. She says she has kids who really want to learn and a few that don't. Seems about the same as the suburban high school my kids went to.

    I think we do agree on health care. I would like to see a health care system that guarantees health care for all. But I would like to see it done in a way that cuts out the outrageous spending and costs in our current system.

    A displaced worker is a worker who lost is his/her job. When Carrier Corporation pulled out of my area, thousands lost their jobs. These are displaced workers. When you have been a machinist for 20 years and suddenly lose your job, you probably don't have another skill handy in your back pocket. Also, when a manufacturing area loses manufacturing and turns into a service area, job retraining is necessary.

    Government spending has got to be controlled. I do not believe that cutting safety net programs such as public assistance and SNAP are the areas that need to be cut to help the deficit. Only 5% of spending actually goes to welfare programs. I think there are other areas the government should consider first (think pork barrel spending) before cutting social programs. I also would have no problem with some cuts to these programs, if cuts were also made to subsidies for corporations. It is not balance if you all you do is move things around your plate.
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    Pudnluv,
    How can you use our forefathers as an example when the one who wrote the constution owned slaves? In fact, 12 of the first 18 presidents owned slaves.

    Jefferson had over 200 slaves when he died.

    So, are you saying that only African American's were excluded from Life and Liberty to all when the constitution was written?

    You are saying all the forefather's slaves where living "pursuit of happiness" when they wrote the constitution? The slaves were making them wealthier. Please explain.

    Re: education. Would you agree that most kids who come from low-income families, are less interested in education? If so, how can we get them more interested? What solutions do you have?

    Also, if a caucasian child has worked hard all throughout school to get A's and then wants to get a pell grant, after working and paying taxes as a young adult.. Should they also (equally) be able to get one just as a minority would? Or should my tax dollars not cover that?

    Health care for all. How much would this cost the average person per month?

    Re: unemployment. If the government finds a way to create jobs, such as drilling, natural gas, coal, would you rather see that vs hungry people or 7 billion more each month? Or do you believe continuing unemployment helps our economy. What solutions do you have to get people working again?

    Do you believe it's more important to feed people if it meant cutting global warming budget ? I am sure some of the homeless could use some global warming right now in this freezing weather...sorry couldn't resist.
    Last edit by jaad on Jan 8
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    Quote from jaad
    Pudnluv,
    How can you use our forefathers as an example when the one who wrote the constution owned slaves? In fact, 12 of the first 18 presidents owned slaves.

    Jefferson had over 200 slaves when he died.

    So, are you saying that only African American's were excluded from Life and Liberty to all when the constitution was written?

    You are saying all the forefather's slaves where living "pursuit of happiness" when they wrote the constitution? The slaves were making them wealthier. Please explain.

    Re: education. Would you agree that most kids who come from low-income families, are less interested in education? If so, how can we get them more interested? What solutions do you have?

    Also, if a caucasian child has worked hard all throughout school to get A's and then wants to get a pell grant, after working and paying taxes as a young adult.. Should they also (equally) be able to get one just as a minority would? Or should my tax dollars not cover that?

    Health care for all. How much would this cost the average person per month?

    Re: unemployment. If the government finds a way to create jobs, such as drilling, natural gas, coal, would you rather see that vs hungry people or 7 billion more each month? Or do you believe continuing unemployment helps our economy. What solutions do you have to get people working again?

    Do you believe it's more important to feed people if it meant cutting global warming budget ? I am sure some of the homeless could use some global warming right now in this freezing weather...sorry couldn't resist.
    When I talk about our forefathers, I speak of the principles under what this country is founded upon. Are you suggesting that we ignore the very basis for why we, as country, exist? Our forefathers may themselves, have been slave owners, but do we throw out the Constitution because of this? Do we ignore the Declaration of Independence because it was penned by a slave owner? On what principles would you like to see your form of government based upon? The principles are sound, even if the men were flawed.

    I do not believe that just because a person is poor, he/she doesn't want an education. I have been over that. I think many children, rich or poor, are squandering their education. I think there are parents on both sides of the fence who do not take enough interest in their children's education. I do believe that for many poor children, education takes a back seat to what is going on in the home or the lack of a home. It is awful hard to worry about doing your homework when you are hungry or cold of don't have a home to go to. What I would like is to see is the opportunity made available to all, rich or poor. The choice would be up to the individual. And no, I do not agree that children who come from low income household are less interested in education.

    Pell grants should and are available to all who qualify. They are not granted on the basis of skin color. To make a sweeping generalization that all poor people are black and all rich or middle class people are white is just plain ignorant.

    Of course I would like to see jobs created. I have said that. I also believe in job training for the millions of workers who have lost their jobs. Unemployment should be used as safety net to help those workers while they are out seeking a new job or receiving job training. This is my solution. I do not know how to make it any clearer.

    Yes, feeding people is more important than global warming. The problems of global warming do need to be addressed, but not at the expense of feeding and housing the poor.

    Again, I believe that health care should be made available for everyone at a reasonable cost to both the government and the individual. I do not know what the actual numbers should be, as I am not a financial analyst. I am a nurse. Promoting good health and maintaining it is my business. Would you like to see health care made affordable so that everyone has access to it without bankrupting the government or the individual?
    Elvish, BCgradnurse, aknottedyarn, and 2 others like this.
  13. 0
    An interesting read in the failure of the War on Poverty.

    JEFFREY: Escape poverty — graduate, work, get married, have kids | Rare


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