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Rusty Jones
11-15-2013, 03:28 PM
This fall, a truck dumped eight million coins outside the Parliament building in Bern, one for every Swiss citizen. It was a publicity stunt for advocates of an audacious social policy that just might become reality in the tiny, rich country. Along with the coins, activists delivered 125,000 signatures — enough to trigger a Swiss public referendum, this time on providing a monthly income to every citizen, no strings attached. Every month, every Swiss person would receive a check from the government, no matter how rich or poor, how hardworking or lazy, how old or young. Poverty would disappear. Economists, needless to say, are sharply divided on what would reappear in its place — and whether such a basic-income scheme might have some appeal for other, less socialist countries too.


Even better, conservatives think, such a program could significantly reduce the size of our federal bureaucracy. It could take the place of welfare, food stamps, housing vouchers and hundreds of other programs, all at once: Hello, basic income; goodbye, H.U.D. Charles Murray of the conservative American Enterprise Institute has proposed a minimum income for just that reason — feed the poor, and starve the beast. “Give the money to the people,” Murray wrote in his book “In Our Hands: A Plan to Replace the Welfare State.” He suggested guaranteeing $10,000 a year to anyone meeting the following conditions: be American, be over 21, stay out of jail and — as he once quipped — “have a pulse.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/17/magazine/switzerlands-proposal-to-pay-people-for-being-alive.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&smid=fb-share

This is strange...

The article paints the right wing as all over this one, because it would effectively replace all other "entitlement" programs. Some people say it would disincentive work, but... in reality, if $10,000 is all you get... no food stamps, no section 8, no public housing... you would have to work, because $10,000 isn't going to cut it. And a McDonald's or Walmart income on top of the $10,000 would actually add up to a living income.

The thing is... EVERYONE would get it. Even if you make six figures, even if you're a Hollywood celebrity. I'm assuming that this would hypothetically replace unemployment as well (but hopefully not Social Security). Would inflation spiral out of control?

And if someone isn't working or can't find work.... what are they going to do with $833 a month? That barely covers rent for a 2-bedroom flat where I live.

Apparently, Libertarians love it because the money is simply paid out - there's no government involvement beyond that.

What are your thoughts?

imnohero
11-15-2013, 03:58 PM
Making some assumptions for simplicity's sake: 300 Million people in the US, 10000/yr tax free for every single person = $3 Trillion/year. And that's just a rough figure, it's probably actually higher. I don't have readily available the total spending on poverty aid programs (soc sec., medicare, medicade, SNAP, etc.). It would be interesting to see a comparison for the US with actual figures counting all the economics at federal and state level to see how the 10K/year figure compares.

The Basic Income Movement (as the article calls it), would only make sense to me if it does what its intended to do. Reduce government spending and complexity, and aid individual standard of living, mobility, etc. I don't know if it's been done before in modernity. There are sort of comparable things, like the Alaska thing where they send residents checks from the oil revenue, but I'm not sure that's the same thing.

AJBIGJ
11-15-2013, 04:01 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/17/magazine/switzerlands-proposal-to-pay-people-for-being-alive.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&smid=fb-share

This is strange...

The article paints the right wing as all over this one, because it would effectively replace all other "entitlement" programs. Some people say it would disincentive work, but... in reality, if $10,000 is all you get... no food stamps, no section 8, no public housing... you would have to work, because $10,000 isn't going to cut it. And a McDonald's or Walmart income on top of the $10,000 would actually add up to a living income.

The thing is... EVERYONE would get it. Even if you make six figures, even if you're a Hollywood celebrity. I'm assuming that this would hypothetically replace unemployment as well (but hopefully not Social Security). Would inflation spiral out of control?

And if someone isn't working or can't find work.... what are they going to do with $833 a month? That barely covers rent for a 2-bedroom flat where I live.

Apparently, Libertarians love it because the money is simply paid out - there's no government involvement beyond that.

What are your thoughts?

It's more direct and straightforward than strict welfare. I'm not sure I'd go as far as to say inflation would spiral out of control, but I could see a rise in prices. To me it would seems smarter to just decrease the income tax rates by a margin, but I guess this seems more flashy, like Christmas or something.

My thoughts are that it would probably just move the poverty line to a roughly $10K higher amount. Let's face it, sometimes this additional "income" would be directed towards self-destructive behaviors. You can never really remove pauperism from society, only actively discourage it.

Realistically looking at it, it's not a far cry from a source of employment just cancelling a person's benefits and adding a certain amount to their individual salary. Only the government is the source rather than the employer.

AJBIGJ
11-15-2013, 04:05 PM
Making some assumptions for simplicity's sake: 300 Million people in the US, 10000/yr tax free for every single person = $3 Trillion/year. And that's just a rough figure, it's probably actually higher. I don't have readily available the total spending on poverty aid programs (soc sec., medicare, medicade, SNAP, etc.). It would be interesting to see a comparison for the US with actual figures counting all the economics at federal and state level to see how the 10K/year figure compares.

The Basic Income Movement (as the article calls it), would only make sense to me if it does what its intended to do. Reduce government spending and complexity, and aid individual standard of living, mobility, etc. I don't know if it's been done before in modernity. There are sort of comparable things, like the Alaska thing where they send residents checks from the oil revenue, but I'm not sure that's the same thing.

Very similar to that actually from what I read into it. Only difference there from what I can surmise is Alaskan Oil Companies provide those subsidies.

AJBIGJ
11-15-2013, 04:10 PM
I will add this, it's not super friendly to the indigent, for those who believe in government being the entity that cares for the indigent.

Rusty Jones
11-15-2013, 04:14 PM
Making some assumptions for simplicity's sake: 300 Million people in the US, 10000/yr tax free for every single person = $3 Trillion/year. And that's just a rough figure, it's probably actually higher. I don't have readily available the total spending on poverty aid programs (soc sec., medicare, medicade, SNAP, etc.). It would be interesting to see a comparison for the US with actual figures counting all the economics at federal and state level to see how the 10K/year figure compares.

Only people aged 21 and over would receive it.

raider8169
11-15-2013, 04:15 PM
The idea sounds interesting to me but I am sure I dont understand what all this would mean for everyone. 10k a year for nothing sounds awesome but if that means I have to pay 10k more a year for a place to live it does me no good. Plus if you have kids does that mean they get 10k as well? That wouldnt help those that just keep popping out kids and just encourage it so they get more money.

AJBIGJ
11-15-2013, 04:19 PM
The idea sounds interesting to me but I am sure I dont understand what all this would mean for everyone. 10k a year for nothing sounds awesome but if that means I have to pay 10k more a year for a place to live it does me no good. Plus if you have kids does that mean they get 10k as well? That wouldnt help those that just keep popping out kids and just encourage it so they get more money.

Kids that actually live to 21, from what I gather. It would sort of penalize the parents of such up to that point.

Rusty Jones
11-15-2013, 04:40 PM
I don't think it would affect the housing market much, particularly the rental market. This plan would increase demand for rental housing, but in just about every place I've lived... there's way too much unoccupied "supply" out there too push rents up. People in their 20's who live with their parents would actually be able to move out and occupy all those vacant rentals.

The problem I see with this, is... it's basically saying "Here's an $833.33 monthly check. Don't have children, because that's all you get!" This replacing the "entitlement" programs would mean that money wouldn't be "concentrated" where the greatest need is.

I suppose that getting rid of family size based entitlements and replacing it with this could create a disincentive for the jobless to have children; but how effective would it be... and would we have a new problem on our hands with children being homeless and starved? Could this force us to go back to the way we have it right now?

imported_WILDJOKER5
11-15-2013, 04:56 PM
This fall, a truck dumped eight million coins outside the Parliament building in Bern, one for every Swiss citizen. It was a publicity stunt for advocates of an audacious social policy that just might become reality in the tiny, rich country. Along with the coins, activists delivered 125,000 signatures — enough to trigger a Swiss public referendum, this time on providing a monthly income to every citizen, no strings attached. Every month, every Swiss person would receive a check from the government, no matter how rich or poor, how hardworking or lazy, how old or young. Poverty would disappear. Economists, needless to say, are sharply divided on what would reappear in its place — and whether such a basic-income scheme might have some appeal for other, less socialist countries too. Can someone explain how poverty disappears. If this was the case, why doesnt everyother handout program terminate poverty. And lets see, Alaska does pretty much exactly what is being proposed, I bet they still have poverty. Lastly, what is the Swiss deficit and debt running at right now.



http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/17/magazine/switzerlands-proposal-to-pay-people-for-being-alive.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&smid=fb-share

This is strange...

The article paints the right wing as all over this one, because it would effectively replace all other "entitlement" programs. Some people say it would disincentive work, but... in reality, if $10,000 is all you get... no food stamps, no section 8, no public housing... you would have to work, because $10,000 isn't going to cut it. And a McDonald's or Walmart income on top of the $10,000 would actually add up to a living income.

The thing is... EVERYONE would get it. Even if you make six figures, even if you're a Hollywood celebrity. I'm assuming that this would hypothetically replace unemployment as well (but hopefully not Social Security). Would inflation spiral out of control?

And if someone isn't working or can't find work.... what are they going to do with $833 a month? That barely covers rent for a 2-bedroom flat where I live.

Apparently, Libertarians love it because the money is simply paid out - there's no government involvement beyond that.

What are your thoughts?Same questions as before.

Do two people living in the same house get two seperate $833 a month.

$10,000 x 300,000,000 adults come to $3,000,000,000,000, I think we have that just lying around somewhere...

imported_WILDJOKER5
11-15-2013, 04:59 PM
Making some assumptions for simplicity's sake: 300 Million people in the US, 10000/yr tax free for every single person = $3 Trillion/year. And that's just a rough figure, it's probably actually higher. I don't have readily available the total spending on poverty aid programs (soc sec., medicare, medicade, SNAP, etc.). It would be interesting to see a comparison for the US with actual figures counting all the economics at federal and state level to see how the 10K/year figure compares.

The Basic Income Movement (as the article calls it), would only make sense to me if it does what its intended to do. Reduce government spending and complexity, and aid individual standard of living, mobility, etc. I don't know if it's been done before in modernity. There are sort of comparable things, like the Alaska thing where they send residents checks from the oil revenue, but I'm not sure that's the same thing.

Anyone pay attention to what happens to the rent in a military area when BAH goes up? Guess what happens to the entire market place if everyone is just handed free money each month?

Rusty Jones
11-15-2013, 05:15 PM
Can someone explain how poverty disappears. If this was the case, why doesnt everyother handout program terminate poverty. And lets see, Alaska does pretty much exactly what is being proposed, I bet they still have poverty. Lastly, what is the Swiss deficit and debt running at right now.

Same questions as before.

Do two people living in the same house get two seperate $833 a month.

$10,000 x 300,000,000 adults come to $3,000,000,000,000, I think we have that just lying around somewhere...

That's not the total adult population. That's the total US population. People under the age of 21 make up just under a third of the population; so we're looking at a figure that's about two-thirds of what you put up there.

Also consider the fact that unemployment is MORE than $833.33 a month for most; and that if we look at the SNAP program... maybe someone gets $500/month. That's comes to $6,000 per year right there. And that's just food stamps alone - we haven't even started talking about the welfare cash payments, subsidized free school lunches, section 8/ public housing, WIC, etc, etc. And then, we also have to throw in what is costs to administer these programs - costs that would go away if this plan was implemented.

This does end up being cheaper than what we have in place now. But... it also doesn't give two shits about anyone's unique circumstances. That's there the controversy comes in.

imported_WILDJOKER5
11-15-2013, 05:24 PM
That's not the total adult population. That's the total US population. People under the age of 21 make up just under a third of the population; so we're looking at a figure that's about two-thirds of what you put up there.

Also consider the fact that unemployment is MORE than $833.33 a month for most; and that if we look at the SNAP program... maybe someone gets $500/month. That's comes to $6,000 per year right there. And that's just food stamps alone - we haven't even started talking about the welfare cash payments, subsidized free school lunches, section 8/ public housing, WIC, etc, etc. And then, we also have to throw in what is costs to administer these programs - costs that would go away if this plan was implemented.

This does end up being cheaper than what we have in place now. But... it also doesn't give two shits about anyone's unique circumstances. That's there the controversy comes in.

So $2 trillion? We have that just laying around?

So you want people to be fired and trying to live off the $833 a month right?

But where did you get your $10k figure from? I am sure its cheaper, but why would it just be $10k and who thinks it will actually stay at that number for any length of time?

Rusty Jones
11-15-2013, 05:31 PM
So $2 trillion? We have that just laying around?

Whatever we're spending on current "entitelment" program right now, we obviously have THAT laying around; right?


So you want people to be fired and trying to live off the $833 a month right?

No. That's the issue that I take with this program.


But where did you get your $10k figure from?

It's in the article. Read it.


I am sure its cheaper, but why would it just be $10k and who thinks it will actually stay at that number for any length of time?

I accept it as common sense that it will go up every year to keep up with inflation/cost of living.

Absinthe Anecdote
11-15-2013, 05:43 PM
This has me scratching my head and I don't know what to do except to consult Homer Simpson...

Homer?

"If you really want something in life you have to work for it. Now quiet, they're about to announce the lottery numbers."

"Oh, look at me! I'm making people happy! I'm the Magical Man from Happy-Land, in a gumdrop house on Lollipop Lane! Oh, by the way, I was being sarcastic."

imported_WILDJOKER5
11-15-2013, 06:15 PM
Whatever we're spending on current "entitelment" program right now, we obviously have THAT laying around; right?True.


No. That's the issue that I take with this program.That the program with its simplistic form will cut out tons of government jobs? So you still want to keep the lion feeders employed at the zoo with no lions to feed?


It's in the article. Read it.I figured, I am a tad busy though, thank you.


I accept it as common sense that it will go up every year to keep up with inflation/cost of living.

And as we see with anything the government gives their blessing to with money or backed loans like college or housing, the price of goods always go up at the same rate as what the government sets for handouts. Its cyclicle really.

Measure Man
11-15-2013, 06:30 PM
Also consider the fact that unemployment is MORE than $833.33 a month for most; and that if we look at the SNAP program... maybe someone gets $500/month. That's comes to $6,000 per year right there. And that's just food stamps alone - we haven't even started talking about the welfare cash payments, subsidized free school lunches, section 8/ public housing, WIC, etc, etc. And then, we also have to throw in what is costs to administer these programs - costs that would go away if this plan was implemented.

This does end up being cheaper than what we have in place now.

Welll...except that not everyone gets unemployment, SNAP, foodstamp, etc...

So, basically...under this program...sounds like the poor would get less than what they currently get, and the middle class and rich would get more.


But... it also doesn't give two shits about anyone's unique circumstances. That's there the controversy comes in.

Measure Man
11-15-2013, 06:32 PM
the price of goods always go up at the same rate as what the government sets for handouts. Its cyclicle really.

I don't think that is true.

imported_WILDJOKER5
11-15-2013, 06:37 PM
I don't think that is true.

So you are saying the price of college tuition doesnt go up as soon as the fed says it will back even more in student loans? Or the price for houses didnt go up after Freddy mac and Fanny started backing risky loans?

imported_WILDJOKER5
11-15-2013, 06:41 PM
Welll...except that not everyone gets unemployment, SNAP, foodstamp, etc...

So, basically...under this program...sounds like the poor would get less than what they currently get, and the middle class and rich would get more.

If everyone gets the same, why not just give everyone the same big fat ZERO? If people are going to be "inspired" to get a job because $833 doesnt go that far, wouldnt they be even more inspired if they recieve nothing at all? Who thinks the poor are constantly going around thanking the rich for their food stamps and welfare while not complaining at all that they have so much less than the rich people?

Measure Man
11-15-2013, 06:46 PM
If everyone gets the same, why not just give everyone the same big fat ZERO?

Because a big fat ZERO would not provide minimum life sustenance.


If people are going to be "inspired" to get a job because $833 doesnt go that far, wouldnt they be even more inspired if they recieve nothing at all?

Not necessarily...there is a point where people give up hope. There is a point where lack of food and shelter means you are unable to perform at work.


Who thinks the poor are constantly going around thanking the rich for their food stamps and welfare while not complaining at all that they have so much less than the rich people?

Is that what you are after...the poor to not complain and just say "thank you, sir...oh yes, sir, thank you so much"?

Measure Man
11-15-2013, 06:49 PM
So you are saying the price of college tuition doesnt go up as soon as the fed says it will back even more in student loans? Or the price for houses didnt go up after Freddy mac and Fanny started backing risky loans?

No, I didn't say that.

I said that your statement that "the price of goods always goes up at the same rate as what the government sets for handouts" is not true.

imported_WILDJOKER5
11-15-2013, 06:49 PM
Because a big fat ZERO would not provide minimum life sustenance.That would mean actual work would need to be done to provide sustenance for ones self right?


Not necessarily...there is a point where people give up hope. There is a point where lack of food and shelter means you are unable to perform at work.
And what would that number be? Can everyone make up this number for which they would strive to try harder to look for a job before they become discouraged? I will set mine low at about $100,000 and that way, I wont be discouraged to stay at home all day.

[quote]Is that what you are after...the poor to not complain and just say "thank you, sir...oh yes, sir, thank you so much"?
Do you feel they have a right to complain when they are given something for nothing?

Measure Man
11-15-2013, 06:52 PM
That would mean actual work would need to be done to provide sustenance for ones self right?

To provide it for oneself, yes.


And what would that number be? Can everyone make up this number for which they would strive to try harder to look for a job before they become discouraged? I will set mine low at about $100,000 and that way, I wont be discouraged to stay at home all day.

Whatever...you obviously do not want to seriously consider the issue, so why waste everyone's time?


Do you feel they have a right to complain when they are given something for nothing?

Yes.

Rusty Jones
11-15-2013, 07:02 PM
I look at it like this: if all I was qualified to do was minimum wage work; I could do that or go on public assistance if I'm a single parent. So... at $7.25/hr, I'm making $15,080/yr.

Now, if I'm on welfare and I start work full time... the welfare goes away. I can work the minimum wage job, or stay on welfare... and it won't make much of a financial difference either way. Decisions, decisions.

However.... $10,000 is significantly LESS than what I'd get on welfare. And If I work... I still get to keep it. If I work full time at Burger King, I get to add that $15,080 to the $10,000; for a total of $25,080.

What does this mean? EVERY American over the age of 21 who works full time will have a living salary. Anyone who does not work will NOT.

If you read the article, you'll actually see that most of the support on this is coming from Libertarians.

imnohero
11-15-2013, 07:35 PM
From the 2010 Census, the number of people 21 and over: 220,958,853 (lets just round up to 221 million, OK)
@ 10K per person per year, the total outlay would be about $2.2 Trillion.

2014 Forecast Total (Fed and State) welfare spending: $529.1 Billion
2014 Forecast Total (Fed and State) healthcare spending (including medicare): $1.3 Trillion
2014 Forecast Total (Fed and State) on pensions (including Soc Security): $1.175 Trillion

Looks like we are already spending more on basic standard of living than such a policy change would cost. As to cost of inflation, we do that already every year, so it's kind of moot.

That said, there is no doubt in my mind that such a program would NEVER happen in the US.


* See entire breakdown of costs by state, federal, and programs here: http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/year_spending_2014USbn_15bs2n_4047#usgs302

AJBIGJ
11-15-2013, 07:36 PM
I look at it like this: if all I was qualified to do was minimum wage work; I could do that or go on public assistance if I'm a single parent. So... at $7.25/hr, I'm making $15,080/yr.

Now, if I'm on welfare and I start work full time... the welfare goes away. I can work the minimum wage job, or stay on welfare... and it won't make much of a financial difference either way. Decisions, decisions.

However.... $10,000 is significantly LESS than what I'd get on welfare. And If I work... I still get to keep it. If I work full time at Burger King, I get to add that $15,080 to the $10,000; for a total of $25,080.

What does this mean? EVERY American over the age of 21 who works full time will have a living salary. Anyone who does not work will NOT.

If you read the article, you'll actually see that most of the support on this is coming from Libertarians.

An ideological, Economics focused Libertarian probably would tend to see this as a nice compromise from the status quo way of doing business, and I'm sure many would probably support such a measure as a step in the right direction. It's kind of like Libertarians not being too fond of the way stimulus gets distributed. Most of my ideological contemporaries would probably tell you that, if you're going to hand out the money anyways, just stroke a check right to the indigent rather than feed it to the big banks and expect it to trickle down through job growth. Businesses only create jobs when there's a ROI on the horizon, not just because they have more disposable income on hand.

garhkal
11-15-2013, 10:09 PM
Anyone pay attention to what happens to the rent in a military area when BAH goes up? Guess what happens to the entire market place if everyone is just handed free money each month?

Its not just with BAH.. but OHA as well.

Measure Man
11-15-2013, 10:37 PM
From the 2010 Census, the number of people 21 and over: 220,958,853 (lets just round up to 221 million, OK)
@ 10K per person per year, the total outlay would be about $2.2 Trillion.

2014 Forecast Total (Fed and State) welfare spending: $529.1 Billion
2014 Forecast Total (Fed and State) healthcare spending (including medicare): $1.3 Trillion
2014 Forecast Total (Fed and State) on pensions (including Soc Security): $1.175 Trillion

Looks like we are already spending more on basic standard of living than such a policy change would cost. As to cost of inflation, we do that already every year, so it's kind of moot.

That said, there is no doubt in my mind that such a program would NEVER happen in the US.


* See entire breakdown of costs by state, federal, and programs here: http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/year_spending_2014USbn_15bs2n_4047#usgs302

So, this $10K is supposed to replace someone's Medicare, fed/state pensions and Social Security?

Uhm, yeah....no.

Measure Man
11-15-2013, 10:40 PM
Its not just with BAH.. but OHA as well.

I've seen it on OHA as certain homes generally cater to Americans by upgrading to meet base standards and then listing with the housing office, etc.

Really...never seen it happen in the US...probably does in VERY small housing markets...but most bases, as far as I know, are large enough where a few extra bucks for servicement does not really affect the housing market. I have seen it the other way around...where the housing market goes crazy and then after a year or two, the BAH rate adjusts to it.

imnohero
11-15-2013, 10:49 PM
So, this $10K is supposed to replace someone's Medicare, fed/state pensions and Social Security?

Uhm, yeah....no.

I don't know what it would replace or not. I looked up and posted the numbers so we could have something more accurate than guesses on what it would it would cost and what we spend already.

MrMiracle
11-16-2013, 03:03 AM
While working in the VITA office, I once did taxes for a woman who lived on $6,600 a year. If you're frugal, you can function on $10,000 a year. You share an apt, cook your meals instead of eat out, go to the library, get movies from redbox, don't replace your cell phone every year, etc.

The problems is that if everyone gets $10,000 a year for doing nothing, then the price of necessities will skyrocket. You're basically shoving 3 trillion into that market with the expectation that grocery stores and apartment complexes are going to be nice about it.

The other issue is that fewer and fewer people know how to spend money wisely. They'll get that first $833 check and go out an buy an ipad or something. Me? I probably wouldn't spend it. If my wife and I could put $1633 a month into savings, we could probably retire early and finish up our working lives making cultural or creative contributions.

SomeRandomGuy
11-16-2013, 05:06 AM
While working in the VITA office, I once did taxes for a woman who lived on $6,600 a year. If you're frugal, you can function on $10,000 a year. You share an apt, cook your meals instead of eat out, go to the library, get movies from redbox, don't replace your cell phone every year, etc.

The problems is that if everyone gets $10,000 a year for doing nothing, then the price of necessities will skyrocket. You're basically shoving 3 trillion into that market with the expectation that grocery stores and apartment complexes are going to be nice about it.

The other issue is that fewer and fewer people know how to spend money wisely. They'll get that first $833 check and go out an buy an ipad or something. Me? I probably wouldn't spend it. If my wife and I could put $1633 a month into savings, we could probably retire early and finish up our working lives making cultural or creative contributions.

My high school teach lived (mostly) on his $35K per year salary. He had a wife and 7 kids. Occasionally he would work some odd jobs to pay for "wants" but they always had "needs" taken care of. I learned a lot from him. Most people have no idea how much they are paying in interest by borrowing to keep up with the Jones.

Rusty Jones
11-16-2013, 03:09 PM
While working in the VITA office, I once did taxes for a woman who lived on $6,600 a year. If you're frugal, you can function on $10,000 a year. You share an apt, cook your meals instead of eat out, go to the library, get movies from redbox, don't replace your cell phone every year, etc.

Huh? $6600 a year doesn't even cover rent. Even if she split rent with someone else, her share of the utilities means every dime of her money is gone. We're talking $550 a moth.

garhkal
11-16-2013, 09:58 PM
While working in the VITA office, I once did taxes for a woman who lived on $6,600 a year. If you're frugal, you can function on $10,000 a year. You share an apt, cook your meals instead of eat out, go to the library, get movies from redbox, don't replace your cell phone every year, etc.

The problems is that if everyone gets $10,000 a year for doing nothing, then the price of necessities will skyrocket. You're basically shoving 3 trillion into that market with the expectation that grocery stores and apartment complexes are going to be nice about it.

The other issue is that fewer and fewer people know how to spend money wisely. They'll get that first $833 check and go out an buy an ipad or something. Me? I probably wouldn't spend it. If my wife and I could put $1633 a month into savings, we could probably retire early and finish up our working lives making cultural or creative contributions.

My high school teach lived (mostly) on his $35K per year salary. He had a wife and 7 kids. Occasionally he would work some odd jobs to pay for "wants" but they always had "needs" taken care of. I learned a lot from him. Most people have no idea how much they are paying in interest by borrowing to keep up with the Jones.

Exactamundo. I know several people who easily live within their 20-30k income, one guy earns even less (if i am to believe how much he makes) cause they only take care of needs and not cater to their every wants.. And at the opposite end of the spectrum i know two families who between mom and dad rake in 130k, and feel they are streached to the limits cause they spend everything..


Huh? $6600 a year doesn't even cover rent. Even if she split rent with someone else, her share of the utilities means every dime of her money is gone. We're talking $550 a moth.

Near gulfport there was an appartment community, decent but not luxurious or ghetto either. 3 bed appts ran 950/mo. Split 3 ways thats just over 313 a month each. A third of power/water/gas/tv would hit another 30 a month per person. That leaves just over 200/mo for gas, food and phone.

Rusty Jones
11-16-2013, 11:57 PM
Near gulfport there was an appartment community, decent but not luxurious or ghetto either. 3 bed appts ran 950/mo. Split 3 ways thats just over 313 a month each. A third of power/water/gas/tv would hit another 30 a month per person. That leaves just over 200/mo for gas, food and phone.

Electricity for three adults who are stuck in the house all day (because they don't have money to do things like... go see a movie or go to out to a bar) will be AT LEAST $150. Water will be $40. Let's assume everything is electric; no gas. We'll even keep the electric at $150. Split $190 three ways. That's $63. Add that to $313; that's $376.

Cell phone? Let's say she's with a local company. $40 month to month. And she NEEDS that cell phone. You know, so her boss can call her whenever he has some more hours to give her. We're at $416 now.

Let's assume that she drives an old beater. BEST case scenario for liability insurance is $25. Gas for commute to work only will be at least $25 a week. We're now at $541.

She has $9 to buy food with. Oh, and clothes, car repairs (which she WILL need, considering what she drives), personal hygiene products, medicine, laundry, household cleaning products...

...yeah. It can't be done.

AJBIGJ
11-17-2013, 03:05 AM
Electricity for three adults who are stuck in the house all day (because they don't have money to do things like... go see a movie or go to out to a bar) will be AT LEAST $150. Water will be $40. Let's assume everything is electric; no gas. We'll even keep the electric at $150. Split $190 three ways. That's $63. Add that to $313; that's $376.

Cell phone? Let's say she's with a local company. $40 month to month. And she NEEDS that cell phone. You know, so her boss can call her whenever he has some more hours to give her. We're at $416 now.

Let's assume that she drives an old beater. BEST case scenario for liability insurance is $25. Gas for commute to work only will be at least $25 a week. We're now at $541.

She has $9 to buy food with. Oh, and clothes, car repairs (which she WILL need, considering what she drives), personal hygiene products, medicine, laundry, household cleaning products...

...yeah. It can't be done.

I personally have been without a cell phone for 3 years running, and I have far more room in my budget, it's not a dire necessity. Some people live within walking/bicycling distance of their place of employment, some other well-to-do people even do that for health. Some people can make clothes last 10 years or more, I tend to in fact. If you buy groceries basically on the outside area of the grocery store, or better yet in bulk, grocery bills can be kept very low. It's a stretch but it is quite doable.

Rusty Jones
11-17-2013, 04:20 AM
I personally have been without a cell phone for 3 years running, and I have far more room in my budget, it's not a dire necessity.

I'm assuming you also have a full-time job, where the struggle to get 40 hours a week is a non-issue. For someone who makes $6600 a year, that IS an issue. Once that requires a cell phone to mitigate.


Some people live within walking/bicycling distance of their place of employment, some other well-to-do people even do that for health.

Are we assuming that this woman lives in the best possible case scenario? Because we're pushing the boundaries of realism.


Some people can make clothes last 10 years or more, I tend to in fact.

That would require an abnormally large wardrobe.


If you buy groceries basically on the outside area of the grocery store, or better yet in bulk, grocery bills can be kept very low. It's a stretch but it is quite doable.

She can't afford to buy in bulk. Even if she could, it wouldn't make sense for someone who is single with no children to do so. That big container of food would rot before she's even a quarter of the way through.

AJBIGJ
11-17-2013, 05:31 AM
I'm assuming you also have a full-time job, where the struggle to get 40 hours a week is a non-issue. For someone who makes $6600 a year, that IS an issue. Once that requires a cell phone to mitigate.

Are we assuming that this woman lives in the best possible case scenario? Because we're pushing the boundaries of realism.

That would require an abnormally large wardrobe.

She can't afford to buy in bulk. Even if she could, it wouldn't make sense for someone who is single with no children to do so. That big container of food would rot before she's even a quarter of the way through.

You're making a whole lot of assumptions about this hypothetical female. Why, lacking a full time job is this cell phone so absolutely essential? This makes no sense to me. I was under the assumption this "woman" was making an attempt to live within her means with a relatively low budget, so things like a bike in lieu of a car, not having a wardrobe of brand new designer clothes, and a budget of about 150-200ish a month for groceries, which would require a person to not get microwave dinners every night. People have done austerity and it does work. It's not something I would personally choose but it can be done.

Rusty Jones
11-17-2013, 05:51 AM
You're making a whole lot of assumptions about this hypothetical female. Why, lacking a full time job is this cell phone so absolutely essential?

For third time, her boss might call her when he has hours that she can work. Someone calls in sick, it opens up the hours that she needs. But that won't happen if she's not reachable at all times.


This makes no sense to me. I was under the assumption this "woman" was making an attempt to live within her means with a relatively low budget, so things like a bike in lieu of a car, not having a wardrobe of brand new designer clothes, and a budget of about 150-200ish a month for groceries, which would require a person to not get microwave dinners every night. People have done austerity and it does work. It's not something I would personally choose but it can be done.

I also think that you and others are trying hard to make the $6,600 a year work more than is realistically possible. Too many planets would have to be perfectly aligned, and such. Likely, the woman who made that worked mostly for tips or an occupation where she leases the workspace and keeps the profit (i.e., taxi driver, stripper, hair stylist, masseuse), and only credit card transactions were recorded as income.

garhkal
11-17-2013, 06:11 AM
Electricity for three adults who are stuck in the house all day (because they don't have money to do things like... go see a movie or go to out to a bar) will be AT LEAST $150. Water will be $40. Let's assume everything is electric; no gas. We'll even keep the electric at $150. Split $190 three ways. That's $63. Add that to $313; that's $376.

Cell phone? Let's say she's with a local company. $40 month to month. And she NEEDS that cell phone. You know, so her boss can call her whenever he has some more hours to give her. We're at $416 now.

Cell phone and insurance i did forget to include, but the power/water bill was at a highest 110 a mo.. And yes i did see the bill.

MrMiracle
11-18-2013, 09:54 AM
Allow me to provide a few details about this woman for whom I did taxes:

-Her income came primarily from a widow's pension. She didn't have to work, but would sometimes help out others in her neighborhood.
-She lived in a trailer home, which was paid for. She only paid rent for her individual space.
-To keep her bills low, she accepted that she would be cold in the winter and warm in the summer.

She was one of those tough ladies who just wouldn't take more than she needed, not something I'd expect the average American to be willing to do.

AJBIGJ
11-18-2013, 11:54 AM
For third time, her boss might call her when he has hours that she can work. Someone calls in sick, it opens up the hours that she needs. But that won't happen if she's not reachable at all times.

I also think that you and others are trying hard to make the $6,600 a year work more than is realistically possible. Too many planets would have to be perfectly aligned, and such. Likely, the woman who made that worked mostly for tips or an occupation where she leases the workspace and keeps the profit (i.e., taxi driver, stripper, hair stylist, masseuse), and only credit card transactions were recorded as income.

One doesn't have to try very hard to imagine how this is POSSIBLE, none of the constraints you've given are examples of hard constraints that every individual would inevitably face, only constraints that someone somewhere in the world might face.

Rusty Jones
11-18-2013, 02:52 PM
Allow me to provide a few details about this woman for whom I did taxes:

-Her income came primarily from a widow's pension. She didn't have to work, but would sometimes help out others in her neighborhood.
-She lived in a trailer home, which was paid for. She only paid rent for her individual space.
-To keep her bills low, she accepted that she would be cold in the winter and warm in the summer.

She was one of those tough ladies who just wouldn't take more than she needed, not something I'd expect the average American to be willing to do.

...and you're full of it.

For one thing, you're giving out more personal information about this woman than you're allowed to give out. Secondly, lot rent comes out to about $300 to $400 a month, which puts us right back in the same scenario as splitting a 3 bedroom apartment with two other adults. Third, elderly people are especially vulnerable to summer heat and winter cold than any other age group, and many die every year because they lack heat and/or air conditioning. They can't simply "do without" in that area like you, I, or our children could.



One doesn't have to try very hard to imagine how this is POSSIBLE, none of the constraints you've given are examples of hard constraints that every individual would inevitably face, only constraints that someone somewhere in the world might face.

Possible, but not probable. You keep throwing out things like, "What if she's walking distance from her job?" and "What if she doesn't have a phone?" Two dozen unlikely factors, ALL of which have to be present, in order for the $6,600 a year to work out.

Will we ever see a "Subway Bowl"? You know, the hypothetical Super Bowl where it's the Jets vs Giants at the MetLife Stadium? Sure, it CAN be done. With just about as much likelihood as someone getting by on $6,600 a year.

AJBIGJ
11-18-2013, 03:33 PM
Possible, but not probable. You keep throwing out things like, "What if she's walking distance from her job?" and "What if she doesn't have a phone?" Two dozen unlikely factors, ALL of which have to be present, in order for the $6,600 a year to work out.

Will we ever see a "Subway Bowl"? You know, the hypothetical Super Bowl where it's the Jets vs Giants at the MetLife Stadium? Sure, it CAN be done. With just about as much likelihood as someone getting by on $6,600 a year.

I'm not sure where you see the unlikelihood here, especially for someone living in relative austerity. It is heavily dependent on where a person lives to begin with, even in Hampton Roads there are people who do bike to work over at the Naval Station and other such entities. While you do see a lot of people with cell phones these days, that does not equate to absolutely being an essential to living, like I said I myself have managed without one for three years and running, and I can afford the bill.

Rusty Jones
11-18-2013, 04:17 PM
I'm not sure where you see the unlikelihood here, especially for someone living in relative austerity. It is heavily dependent on where a person lives to begin with, even in Hampton Roads there are people who do bike to work over at the Naval Station and other such entities.

Considering the fact that the area surrounding NS Norfolk is all houses and no apartments... well there is Breezy Point, but you're not going to live there on a $550 a month budget... that still wouldn't add up.

While I was driving taxis, I can tell you from my own experience... if someone worked at McDonald's, Walmart, Food Lion, etc... more often than not, they did not work at the one that was closest to their home. I've picked up people in Park Place who worked at the Wendy's on Military Highway, when there's one on Monticello; or who worked at the Food Lion at Southern Shopping center, when there's one on 24th & Colley and another on Tidewater & Cromwell; and so forth.

People have to take jobs where they can find them. You're not guaranteed to have something that's within walking or biking distance, or even a route where it's safe to do anything but drive. For example, If I worked at JANAF Shopping Center or Military Circle Mall - or ANYWHERE on Military Highway - I don't care if I lived on Military Highway or not. There are no sidewalks there, there's heavy traffic, bushes on the side that would require you to walk in the street to get around them... it's just not safe route for walking or biking.


While you do see a lot of people with cell phones these days, that does not equate to absolutely being an essential to living, like I said I myself have managed without one for three years and running, and I can afford the bill.

This is my fourth time saying this... and I don't know why you can't grasp it. Do you work a job where you're not on a full-time schedule? Are you at the mercy of your boss who has to give you hours to work? Some people are. That's why they need a cell phone. So their boss can call them and let them know.

How many more times are you going to make me say that?

raider8169
11-18-2013, 05:40 PM
This is my fourth time saying this... and I don't know why you can't grasp it. Do you work a job where you're not on a full-time schedule? Are you at the mercy of your boss who has to give you hours to work? Some people are. That's why they need a cell phone. So their boss can call them and let them know.

How many more times are you going to make me say that?

You have said that a lot but how often does something like that happen where the extra hours she would be for having the phone provide more income than what having the phone costs? Besides the prepaid phones are fairly cheap. If the person only uses it for getting extra hours I dont see that being a huge factor.

Rusty Jones
11-18-2013, 06:22 PM
You have said that a lot but how often does something like that happen where the extra hours she would be for having the phone provide more income than what having the phone costs?

If she's with a local carrier - for example, in Virginia, we nTelos - it should cost her no more than fourty dollars a month. At minimum wage, that takes six hours to make. Actually, 5.51 hours, but I'm allowing for payroll deductions.


Besides the prepaid phones are fairly cheap. If the person only uses it for getting extra hours I dont see that being a huge factor.

Have you ever had a prepaid phone before? I have had a few. And they're NOT cheap. You actually get charged extra minutes up front just for placing a call. Prepaid phones are normally marketed to people who don't have good enough credit to qualify for a regular plan, or people who aren't good at keeping up with their bills. It's what Rent-A-Center is to financing. And it costs MORE.

Going with a local carrier is the best possible deal you can get with cellphones.

Rusty Jones
11-18-2013, 06:26 PM
To put this in perspective, when I had prepaid phones; it wasn't due to financial issues. I had it, in addition to my regular phone, when I was single and dating. I used it mostly to test for women screening my calls, if I suspected they were no longer interested and couldn't tell me that themelves.

raider8169
11-18-2013, 06:43 PM
To put this in perspective, when I had prepaid phones; it wasn't due to financial issues. I had it, in addition to my regular phone, when I was single and dating. I used it mostly to test for women screening my calls, if I suspected they were no longer interested and couldn't tell me that themelves.

I used them in Korea. It was dirt cheap as I never used the phone other than for work. I think I spent 10 dollars every 3 months or so.

Rusty Jones
11-18-2013, 06:54 PM
Eventually, wants become needs... for mental well-being. For example, people in certain types of confinement in prison - where no personal possessions are allowed (such as books) will actually start to go crazy and hear voices if they're stuck in a cell with nothing to do but stare at the wall all day.

That eventually applies to this woman. Do we really expect her to merely sustain herself, and nothing more? To work, go home, and stare at the wall? Whether she goes with a local carrier or with a prepaid, I'm sure that she has family - children, grandchildren, siblings, etc; that she's going to want to keep in contact with.

AJBIGJ
11-18-2013, 07:14 PM
Considering the fact that the area surrounding NS Norfolk is all houses and no apartments... well there is Breezy Point, but you're not going to live there on a $550 a month budget... that still wouldn't add up.

While I was driving taxis, I can tell you from my own experience... if someone worked at McDonald's, Walmart, Food Lion, etc... more often than not, they did not work at the one that was closest to their home. I've picked up people in Park Place who worked at the Wendy's on Military Highway, when there's one on Monticello; or who worked at the Food Lion at Southern Shopping center, when there's one on 24th & Colley and another on Tidewater & Cromwell; and so forth.

People have to take jobs where they can find them. You're not guaranteed to have something that's within walking or biking distance, or even a route where it's safe to do anything but drive. For example, If I worked at JANAF Shopping Center or Military Circle Mall - or ANYWHERE on Military Highway - I don't care if I lived on Military Highway or not. There are no sidewalks there, there's heavy traffic, bushes on the side that would require you to walk in the street to get around them... it's just not safe route for walking or biking.

This is my fourth time saying this... and I don't know why you can't grasp it. Do you work a job where you're not on a full-time schedule? Are you at the mercy of your boss who has to give you hours to work? Some people are. That's why they need a cell phone. So their boss can call them and let them know.

How many more times are you going to make me say that?

As I said before when you stated it to me I find it difficult to grasp things that make no sense at the outset. Again, you're casting aspersions on this lady that are quite frankly unknown quantities, a person may, instead of a cell phone, have a home phone on a land line, should they need it, at very low rates, some under $10 a month. Again though, we don't even know for sure if this is the case with this particular lady or not. Not all part time everywhere is "On Call" type of work.

As to the rest, all you've stated is what I've stated already, location is of importance here. We have no basis upon which we can state that this lady lives in an area with no sidewalks or even heavy traffic like in the Hampton Roads area, we only know what we've been told, which is only a fraction of the total story. She very easily could live in an area where it is a short walk or a quick bike to work, these are essentially unknown quantities here, and very important variables in the equation if we're discussing what types of things she absolutely must include in a budget.

If this person worked, part time, was on call and needed to pay for a cell phone (and didn't take what some refer to as the "Obama Phone" deal), had to pay for extensive coverage for some reason, added roaming charges and texting like a 15 year old girl, drove a Hummer, paid full insurance on it and regular payments, and went to McD's for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, then you would be absolutely correct, it would be near impossible to be maintain a budget of less than probably $1000 a month.

All of these caveats you're throwing in there are not known about this person, and unnecessary.

AJBIGJ
11-18-2013, 07:15 PM
That eventually applies to this woman. Do we really expect her to merely sustain herself, and nothing more? To work, go home, and stare at the wall? Whether she goes with a local carrier or with a prepaid, I'm sure that she has family - children, grandchildren, siblings, etc; that she's going to want to keep in contact with.

If she chooses to live as such, absolutely.

Rusty Jones
11-18-2013, 07:29 PM
As I said before when you stated it to me I can't grasp things that make no sense at the outset. Again, you're casting aspersions on this lady that are quite frankly unknown quantities, a person may, instead of a cell phone, have a home phone on a land line, should they need it, at very low rates, some under $10 a month. Again though, we don't even know for sure if this is the case with this particular lady or not. Not all part time everywhere is "On Call" type of work.

As to the rest, all you've stated is what I've stated already, location is of importance here. We have no basis upon which we can state that this lady lives in an area with no sidewalks or even heavy traffic like in the Hampton Roads area, we only know what we've been told, which is only a fraction of the total story. She very easily could live in an area where it is a short walk or a quick bike to work, these are essentially unknown quantities here, and very important variables in the equation if we're discussing what types of things she absolutely must include in a budget.

If this person worked, part time, was on call and needed to pay for a cell phone (and didn't take what some refer to as the "Obama Phone" deal), had to pay for extensive coverage for some reason, added roaming charges and texting like a 15 year old girl, drove a Hummer, paid full insurance on it and regular payments, and went to McD's for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, then you would be absolutely correct, it would be near impossible to be maintain a budget of less than probably $1000 a month.

All of these caveats you're throwing in there are not known about this person, and unnecessary.

Dude, what YOU are doing is giving every possible best case scenario for one to live under $6,600... INCLUDING factors that she doesn't have control over. For example, the location of the employer who hires her.

A having a land-line means that she misses important calls - for example, from her boss who may have hours available for her.

I understand that not all part-time work is "on-call." Technically, it's only "on call" if she's REQUIRED to work those hours. But if you're only making $6,600 a year, you're obviously not working full time. If that was the case for you, and a co-worker calls out, would YOU want to miss the chance to work those hours.


If she chooses to live as such, absolutely.

But the likelihood just isn't there. I don't care how bad you're struggling, you WILL eventually break and give in to a "want."

AJBIGJ
11-18-2013, 07:41 PM
But the likelihood just isn't there. I don't care how bad you're struggling, you WILL eventually break and give in to a "want."
This is just one person who chooses to live their life as they chose to live it, we may not empathize with the way they chose it, but not all people desire to be billionaires in the world either.

Not everyone is all that materialistic, some do choose austerity, albeit maybe not very many.

I will say I have a lot more respect for an individual who chooses austerity over those who live with entitlement-mindedness but no means to achieve it with their own efforts, and the truly indigent in society are equally few in number as those that choose austerity. I will say, most of those who are genuinely indigent are also thankful for the assistance they do get, from whatever the source.

Rusty Jones
11-18-2013, 07:54 PM
This is just one person who chooses to live their life as they chose to live it, we may not empathize with the way they chose it, but not all people desire to be billionaires in the world either.

Not everyone is all that materialistic, some do choose austerity, albeit maybe not very many.

I'm not saying that everyone wants to be a billionaire or is materialistic.

What I AM saying is that we all have wants. It doesn't have to be a bunch of electronic gadgets or cars, either. It might be a $15 book. It may be a $10 DVD. And if you're living off of $6,600 a year; those items aren't cheap. Show me someone who lives off of $6,600 who doesn't eventually break and give into those wants, and I'll show you someone who isn't human.

AJBIGJ
11-18-2013, 07:57 PM
I'm not saying that everyone wants to be a billionaire or is materialistic.

What I AM saying is that we all have wants. It doesn't have to be a bunch of electronic gadgets or cars, either. It might be a $15 book. It may be a $10 DVD. And if you're living off of $6,600 a year; those items aren't cheap. Show me someone who lives off of $6,600 who doesn't eventually break and give into those wants, and I'll show you someone who isn't human.

There's actually a word for it "asceticism".

Rusty Jones
11-18-2013, 08:05 PM
Given the current information that we have on this woman, if you were forced into a bet... would your money be on her practicing asceticism, considering how extremely rare such a "virtue" is? Mine wouldn't.

AJBIGJ
11-18-2013, 08:16 PM
Given the current information that we have on this woman, if you were forced into a bet... would your money be on her practicing asceticism, considering how extremely rare such a "virtue" is? Mine wouldn't.

I wouldn't even go as far as referring to it as a "virtue" but more as a belief system of sorts, with the little information provided quite frankly I would prefer to decline to bet. I have no idea, it's not really all that rare, it's essentially what the Amish do.

Rusty Jones
11-18-2013, 08:23 PM
I wouldn't even go as far as referring to it as a "virtue" but more as a belief system of sorts, with the little information provided quite frankly I would prefer to decline to bet.

You forfeit. I win.


I have no idea, it's not really all that rare, it's essentially what the Amish do.

A dying religion that will eventually shrink into non-existence because of that.

AJBIGJ
11-18-2013, 08:28 PM
You forfeit. I win.

A dying religion that will eventually shrink into non-existence because of that.

Sure, I am happy to forfeit the contest where the winner makes giant assertions with little factual backing and presents it as gospel. As to the religion itself, time will tell. If we keep driving up more debt in this country and someday the big investors decide it's better to cut their losses than buy our US Treasury bonds, we may find the Amish have some useful skillsets to teach us!

Rusty Jones
11-18-2013, 08:38 PM
Sure, I am happy to forfeit the contest where the winner makes giant assertions with little factual backing and presents it as gospel.

If either of us were sure of the facts 100%, it wouldn't be called "betting" would it? Bets are based on probability. You bet on which you think is most probable. Which do you think is more probable? The reason you're not betting, is because you know your money would be in the same place mine would be. But you'd destroy your own argument by admitting that.



As to the religion itself, time will tell. If we keep driving up more debt in this country and someday the big investors decide it's better to cut their losses than buy our US Treasury bonds, we may find the Amish have some useful skillsets to teach us!

I doubt it. I'm from Kent County, Delaware - right in Amish country. I've known, grown up with, dated, went to school with, had sex with, drank with, shared lunch with, and have done just about everything with apostates from the Amish faith, or their children or descendants thereof. Some are middle class, some are dirt poor - but are still happy to no longer be Amish.

AJBIGJ
11-18-2013, 09:29 PM
If either of us were sure of the facts 100%, it wouldn't be called "betting" would it? Bets are based on probability. You bet on which you think is most probable. Which do you think is more probable? The reason you're not betting, is because you know your money would be in the same place mine would be. But you'd destroy your own argument by admitting that.

I doubt it. I'm from Kent County, Delaware - right in Amish country. I've known, grown up with, dated, went to school with, had sex with, drank with, shared lunch with, and have done just about everything with apostates from the Amish faith, or their children or descendants thereof. Some are middle class, some are dirt poor - but are still happy to no longer be Amish.

It's completely accurate that I generally hesitate to engage in gambling because quite frankly I see it as akin to throwing one's money away over the long term. As far as which is more probable, I just flat out hesitate to say because reviewing the facts as presented by MrMiracle if they are to believed as facts (the only one who knows whether it is accurate or not) I have such incomplete information to speculate effectively about it. What he does state supports my theory, but since I don't have actual tax returns in front of me I've only his statements to go by in terms of evidence. Since I prefer to be as intellectually honest about issues as I can be I cannot make definitive prejudgments based on incomplete information and sweeping generalizations that I understand are not universally true.

Along those lines, you may in fact be correct that the Amish may inevitably go the way of the Druids someday. I have very little insight into their future and would not pretend otherwise.

Absinthe Anecdote
11-18-2013, 10:02 PM
If either of us were sure of the facts 100%, it wouldn't be called "betting" would it? Bets are based on probability. You bet on which you think is most probable. Which do you think is more probable? The reason you're not betting, is because you know your money would be in the same place mine would be. But you'd destroy your own argument by admitting that.




I doubt it. I'm from Kent County, Delaware - right in Amish country. I've known, grown up with, dated, went to school with, had sex with, drank with, shared lunch with, and have done just about everything with apostates from the Amish faith, or their children or descendants thereof. Some are middle class, some are dirt poor - but are still happy to no longer be Amish.

My ex-wife is second generation Amish apostate (her mother left the faith) family in PA & DE... I'm under the impression that more and more of the Amish are joining the Mennonite church, but I'd agree that their numbers are dropping. I'd say the Amish religion probably morphs into something else.

I always thought you were from the south side of Chicago; did you spend time growing up in both places?

Rusty Jones
11-18-2013, 10:06 PM
Look... we're not preteens. My question may or may not have been a rhetorical question, but if you're going to keep dodging it... I'm not going to keep playing semantics games to try to make you answer it.

The point I'm not trying to make is that... there are very few Confuciuses, Jesuses, Buddahs, Dalai Lamas, etc, etc, in the world that are going to survive on $6,600 in the US. I'm sure there are plenty of people in the US who've only made that amount or less... but chances are, they're either living in shitty conditions or they're being supported by someone else.

I'm doubtful as to the claims being made by MrMiracle, as he seems to know an awful lot about someone for whom he was merely doing taxes. Someone who can't itemize, because they can't don't have the money to be able to afford anything tax deductible in the first place (indeed, the standard deduction is higher than $6,600 anyway. IIRC, it's somewhere around 8 or 9K).

Rusty Jones
11-18-2013, 10:08 PM
My ex-wife is second generation Amish apostate (her mother left the faith) family in PA & DE... I'm under the impression that more and more of the Amish are joining the Mennonite church, but I'd agree that their numbers are dropping. I'd say the Amish religion probably morphs into something else.

I always thought you were from the south side of Chicago; did you spend time growing up in both places?

No. My knowlede of Chicago is based purely on internet research. Bunch is the man to ask about the place.

Absinthe Anecdote
11-18-2013, 10:13 PM
Rusty Jones

Thanks! Sorry for the confusion...