Wisconsin Repubs to Restrict Poor People Food

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Re: Wisconsin Repubs to Restrict Poor People Food

Postby Zamfir » Thu May 21, 2015 2:51 pm UTC

I looked up some numbers. The Dutch social program expenditure is around 62 billion a year, a substantial sum on a GDP of 800 billion/year.

Of that, 32 billion goes to the PAYGO government retirement system. This system has very objective limits on participation, mostly age-based. Shame is not going to stop lazy moochers from meeting the criteria of this program.

Next largest are the disability related programs, about 14 billion a year. This is probably where shame could have the largest effects - the criteria for these programs are inherently vague, and there are definitely people who play the system. The system already tries hard to identify those people, 25 years of successive governments of every political stripe have been pushing on these programs. You won't be able to shame solely the shirkers - you will have to shame everyone in the program, and hope that the nastiness drives out the shirkers. Obviously, the remaining people will then be both disabled and shamed. There might be several billions to be saved this way.

Next, 5 billion to unemployment benefits. The only eligible people are people with an employment history. Leady's proposed shame vectors won't be very effective on these people. Let's be generous and say you can save a billion here.

Next, bijstand (welfare) for 4 billion. A low minimum for people who don't have assets or income. Does this include shirkers, outside of genuinely desparate people? Definitely. Trouble is, these shirkers are people are by definition willing to live without assets on a minimal grant, already stigmatized as well. You'll need serious shame to get them to move. Perhaps we can oblige everyone in the program to wear a B on their jackets. Like the disability programs, success here will mean that everyone in the system is both genuinely desprate, and deeply shamed on top. Can we save another 2 billion? I am skeptical, but let's put it in.

Next, social workplaces for 2.4 billion. Subsidized workplaces where people can work when they can't get a real job. Many people consider this dignified, so we should cut it all for leady.

Next, work reintegration programs for 1.4 billion. Basically, what we have instead of the shame capaign. Let's cut them all, and reserve this money for the national shame system.

Then the small fry: widows and widowers for 0.8 billion. Shame can not yet raise the dead, so not much gain here. 0.8 billion for asylum seekers and immigration programs. Perhaps more shame will chase these people away from the country, but it's not like we're not doing that already. Another few hundred million?

Let's assume our 21th century shame system is really hard and highly succesful, and lots of shirkers prefer to work over the shame of being in a program. Only the truly needy stay and endure the nastiness. Let's make it 4 billion on disability, 1 billion unemployment, 2 billion welfare, 2.4 billion social workplaces, 300 million asylum seekrs.

Upside: 1.2% more money for the rest of the people. Downside, everyone who genuinely cannot get a full job has an extra-nasty live. Alternatively the serious shirkers are not easily shamed. Then we don't get much savings, only the nastiness. Unless the warm feeling of superiority is worth something. Some people would pay for that.

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Re: Wisconsin Repubs to Restrict Poor People Food

Postby jseah » Thu May 21, 2015 2:58 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
leady wrote:All of that is true and yet it is a tried and tested mechanism for social control, one strongly in use today in a mixture of circumstances both good and bad. As to who decides, well that's the same in any political discussion - its definitely not me though :)
The mindless herd does. Shaming is a very potent type of attack used a lot by social justice warriors, on Twitter and other social media. It works. Unfortunately it is a lot like a baby nuke, rather indiscriminate. And those self same people who use it, may well decry it, when used by others against targets they want to protect. It's fairly amusing when you think about it.

I am aligned with your objectives / principles as stated so far, but morriswalters has point here.

Social weapons are impossible to control, indiscriminate and have punishments that are meted out on a case-by-case with little regard for consistency, being grounded in external factors.
They are not rational. They can't even be trusted not to follow the next fad/meme as fashion dictates.

I cannot see any such welfare-control scheme, grounded in something so capricious, having any merit.
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Re: Wisconsin Repubs to Restrict Poor People Food

Postby leady » Thu May 21, 2015 2:59 pm UTC

PAstrychef wrote:Yes, let's stigmatize poverty, as if we don't already. And stick a smiley face onto our smug pretentious sanctimony so that we can absolve ourselves from any culpability for the society we live in. Then, having made a socioeconomic problem into a personal moral failing, we can sleep the sleep of the just-the just plain assholes.
Shaming unwed mothers didn't stop women from having sex, it just created a market for back alley abortionists, orphanages and shady adoption agencies. Cultures which really use the idea of shame tend to see a lot of suicide in situations that I would say don't merit it-failing an exam in school, losing a job, being accused of a crime. And there the shame is accrued by the family, not the person.


That's still not what I'm suggesting, I'm suggesting stigmatising the behaviours that cause poverty - which is distinctly different. Yes everything you say there is completely true - the question is whether the trade offs are worthwhile. Lets be clear here an illegitimacy rate approaching that of the 40s and 50s (i.e. less than 1%) would have profound economic and environmental benefits on any western nation. The trade off is whether a handful of extremely miserable people is worth a shedload of very miserable people and a huge self perpetuating economic drag. Western society today has decided on the latter.

Zamfir - you are missing some of the pretty major expenditures in that analysis I suspect. In the UK, my rule breakers have a cost of around £8000 in housing and healthcare alone. Direct cash payments are a small piece of the pie. I doubt the nice Dutch folks give these folks 50 euros a week and kick them into the streets :)

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Re: Wisconsin Repubs to Restrict Poor People Food

Postby Zamfir » Thu May 21, 2015 3:22 pm UTC

Social housing corporations house about 30% of households. You might try for a shame campaign on such a scale, but I doubt it will do much. For one, people would have to move out and live in richer neighbourhoods to avoid the proposed stigma - in a system that encourages richer people to be nasty to them.

I don't see how you would tackle healthcare. You already need a doctor's approval before money is spent on medical procedures. There might be people who succesfully pretend to be ill so they get to take free medication or free surgery, but at that point, is a stigma going to stop them? You might go for a general "it's shameful to see a doctor" program, and it will undoubtly save money. Potentially, a lot more than my numbers above. But the money will mostly be saved by people avoiding healthcare that they actually need. A tad too Logan's Run for me.

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Re: Wisconsin Repubs to Restrict Poor People Food

Postby PAstrychef » Thu May 21, 2015 3:24 pm UTC

And here you continue to miss the point: behavior alone does not cause poverty. Many of the behaviors you decry arise because people are poor.
And there are still plenty of kids born out of wedlock. They just aren't treated as inherently bad because their parents weren't married when they were conceived. Better birth control and education has reduced the rate of unwanted pregnancies, but I suspect that the same numbers of women are having sex.
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Re: Wisconsin Repubs to Restrict Poor People Food

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Thu May 21, 2015 3:29 pm UTC

PAstrychef wrote:And here you continue to miss the point: behavior alone does not cause poverty. Many of the behaviors you decry arise because people are poor.

Pfff. As if. I was poor and I didn't do any of those things, therefore no-one does if they don't want to! :)

... wow, that felt wierd.

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Re: Wisconsin Repubs to Restrict Poor People Food

Postby leady » Thu May 21, 2015 4:32 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:Social housing corporations house about 30% of households. You might try for a shame campaign on such a scale, but I doubt it will do much.


One of the key reasons for such a widespread need for social housing is a breaking of those 4 rules :)

For one, people would have to move out and live in richer neighbourhoods to avoid the proposed stigma - in a system that encourages richer people to be nasty to them.

I don't see how you would tackle healthcare. You already need a doctor's approval before money is spent on medical procedures. There might be people who succesfully pretend to be ill so they get to take free medication or free surgery, but at that point, is a stigma going to stop them? You might go for a general "it's shameful to see a doctor" program, and it will undoubtly save money. Potentially, a lot more than my numbers above. But the money will mostly be saved by people avoiding healthcare that they actually need. A tad too Logan's Run for me.


I'm not actually suggesting stigmatising the consumption of services, I'm suggesting stigmatising some of the reasons leading the excess consumption of those services. Essentially the same logic as stigmatising smoking to avoid the costs of ill health, rather than stigmatising chest x-rays.

and of course this is very much dependent on behaviour being mostly cause rather than symptom - although as with all things there will be a reinforcing mix of both (but I'd submit that people are more willing to treat symptoms once you've cleared the fog of causes )

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Re: Wisconsin Repubs to Restrict Poor People Food

Postby Zamfir » Thu May 21, 2015 4:56 pm UTC

OK, you've lost me. I thought my proposed system was already remarkably scattershot, and cruel. Making live extra miserable for many, to flush out a much smaller subset. And you want to make it less targetted instead?

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Re: Wisconsin Repubs to Restrict Poor People Food

Postby Angua » Thu May 21, 2015 4:58 pm UTC

leady wrote:
Zamfir wrote:Social housing corporations house about 30% of households. You might try for a shame campaign on such a scale, but I doubt it will do much.


One of the key reasons for such a widespread need for social housing is a breaking of those 4 rules :)

Citation needed.

Also, I'd like to see a citation for the cause and effect nature of your rules and poverty. Because at the moment all I'm seeing are a lot of confounding variables in as much as poverty can lead to the inability to follow these rules.

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Re: Wisconsin Repubs to Restrict Poor People Food

Postby morriswalters » Thu May 21, 2015 5:02 pm UTC

leady wrote:One of the key reasons for such a widespread need for social housing is a breaking of those 4 rules
I wonder if that is true? Certainly there have always been poor. Look at Hells Kitchen in New York city. From the Wikipedia.
After the American Civil War the population increased dramatically, as tenements were erected and increased immigration added to the neighborhood's congestion. Many in this poverty stricken area turned to gang life and the neighborhood soon became known as the "most dangerous area on the American Continent". Around the start of the 20th century, the neighborhood was controlled by gangs, including the violent Gopher Gang led by One Lung Curran and later by Owney Madden
Not a lot of public housing or social services at that point. Unwed pregnancies were pretty shameful. I suspect that poverty has always been there. Prior to that time it the US was rural and I know that there were a lot of poor people who lived hard. And it isn't hard to see this in developing economies. The Favelas in Brazil for one, in fact every mega city has massive slums. You simply can't beat entropy. What you can do is keep it from destabilizing society overall.

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Re: Wisconsin Repubs to Restrict Poor People Food

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu May 21, 2015 7:38 pm UTC

Tirian wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
Tirian wrote:And if you're talking about the Stanford marshmallow experiment as your proof that delayed gratification is highly correlated with success, you're putting a lot of faith in a single 32-person study that happened 45 years ago.


That was the START of this research. It's more accurate to charaterize this as a conclusion that's been researched for the past 45 years. It's not as if everyone heard of the marshmallow experiment and gave up studying the topic forever. In fact, much of the value comes from following the progress of the subjects in life. By nature of the study, that takes a while.


[citation needed]

There are two ways to go forward. There is the longitudinal study of Walter Mischel following up on his test subjects and finding out that not eating a marshmallow ten years ago affects your SAT scores. (That result surprised him, as well it should have, since the original study was done on 4-6 year olds and it was noted at the time that the age of the subject was a significant factor in the ability to wait.)

Then there is repeating the experiment with a different and larger set of kids to see if Mischel accidentally picked a biased group or unethically put his finger on the scales to make a career as a psychologist. I do not see evidence that this has happened.

Indeed, the only independent follow-up experiment I can find is one done in 2012 at the University of Rochester. It cuts at the heart of the interpretation of the original marshmallow experiment, suggesting that children who have a history of being lied to by authority figures will tend to "underperform" on the marshmallow test. Of course, this is an entirely rational response.


Sure. http://rochester.edu/news/show.php?id=4622 is another follow on study, forty years later. You'll note that some did indeed learn with age, but there's still significant predictive ability.

These studies don't really contradict each other in any way, they just paint a more complete picture. Age is a factor, authority figures are a factor, all that makes sense.

morriswalters wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:If improvement over parental skills were impossible, all humanity would still be in the stone age. Humanity has people learning skills their parents did not possess basically all the time.

Yes, there may be a range beyond your skills where you can no longer effectively guide someone, but you can see, value, and encourage skills beyond your own personal skillset. People do so every day.
It depends on where you start at. The poorer the skills your parents have, the poorer the skills you start with. To learn the skill deferred gratification, you need to be exposed to it early and often. Savings is an example. If you don't see your parents save, you have to teach yourself. That means you start as an adult or whenever you have money to save. If your parents don't have it, you will never have as much as someone whose parents did and were able to transfer that skill. This is a generational problem. The longer you are in deep poverty the longer it takes to dig out. So maybe in five or six generations you get out. Mentoring can help. But role models of the right type are few and far between.

Quoting from Tirian's link.
Almost on cue, the children in the unreliable group knew the researcher wouldn't fulfill her promise and they ate their marshmallow quickly, as opposed to those in the reliable group who knew they would be rewarded as they had been in the past by waiting
This is how it is when you are poor. Kids respond to what they see you do, not what you say. You can't tell them to save and encourage them, they have to see it.


Sure. But a *lot* of this is based on cultural responses, not "lack of money" in regards to poverty. Hell, immigrants are generally not overly wealthy, but they perform well. Generally better than natives to the US, despite having an inherent disadvantage in terms of familiarity with...quite a lot of society.

They dig themselves out of poverty fast, compared to your five or six generation estimate. Why is this?

Zamfir wrote:The old institutions didn't seem very good at preventing poverty? It's almost like their goal was not to decrease poverty, but to offer richer people a warm feeling of superiority.


While age isn't a guarantee of virtue, how do you measure prevention of poverty? Because the "new" institutions of poverty-fighting have had free reign in baltimore for decades, and the needle hasn't budged.

Quercus wrote:
leady wrote:I don't know, they seem pretty specific and achievable to me

That's because they are pretty achievable to you. You are, however, not representative of everybody. Kindly suggest to me how someone with, say, major depression and no effective personal support networks goes about finishing school and holding down a job. Your advice works for some people. It doesn't work for all people.


That describes a CRAPTON of people climbing up the ladder. Being poor and feeling overwelmed is inherently a bit depressing. Working your way through school doesn't give you a lot of time for support networks, and anyway, your family probably mostly didn't go to school, doesn't have a lot of money for visiting or support, etc. This was true for me, it's true for a ton of other people. But, people do successfully do it.

You do it by copying the people with success, not the people without. That's it. It ain't rocket surgery. You decide you're not going to repeat the errors of your parents.

Now, as a society, there are things we can do to make that path more obvious and easier. Statistically speaking, this should result in more people successfully taking that route.

morriswalters wrote:
leady wrote:Shame is the ultimate social control tool
Only if your poor. I don't notice it reducing water consumption in wealthy neighborhoods in California according to the New York Times.


Shame only gets you so far. Overuse can actually make someone lash out against the annoyance, or simply give up in apathy. Neither is useful.

This gets back to the whole carrot and stick thing. Relying on JUST the stick is depriving yourself of an excellent tool. And, honestly, I'd rather use carrots more than sticks, all else being equal. Shaming may have a place for the extremes, but using it too widely makes it a poor tool. Would it not be better to reserve it for extreme cases, and instead laud those who do good things? Surely the desire to be recognized positively can be a motivator as well.

leady wrote:But honestly the vast bulk of poverty is self inflicted to a greater extent
Could you support that? I've watched this hotly debated for a number of years, I must have missed it.[/quote]

A majority of people in the bottom quintile of income had parents NOT from the same quintile. In other words, inheritance is not a factor that dominates all others.

Now, I've got to put a caveat in here. It *is* a factor, and a significant one. It's about 40% from generation to generation, whereas by chance, you'd expect only 20%. So, your odds are worse of being poor if your parents were. It just isn't larger than all other factors. An obvious mechanism for this is educational attainment, which correlates with both, and causal relationships are easy to draw.

morriswalters wrote:
leady wrote:I don't accept that the truly accidental means that the generalisation can't be applied, in fact I think its damaging.
You are probably right. And poverty isn't an accident. It's a feature not a bug. What you can do is make the middle of the bell curve bigger at the expense of the ends. Which I believe is called wealth transfer.


Wealth distribution, yes. But in absolute terms, no.

And I'd rather be poor in the US than decently well off in a developing country. Given immigration pressures, the expressed opinion of humanity seems to agree with this sentiment.

So, absolute wealth matters. Even if you're still poor relative to the rest of society, but you did something to make your life better and your family's life better, you've done something good, and should be proud of it, percentages be damned.

Zamfir wrote:Next largest are the disability related programs, about 14 billion a year. This is probably where shame could have the largest effects - the criteria for these programs are inherently vague, and there are definitely people who play the system. The system already tries hard to identify those people, 25 years of successive governments of every political stripe have been pushing on these programs. You won't be able to shame solely the shirkers - you will have to shame everyone in the program, and hope that the nastiness drives out the shirkers. Obviously, the remaining people will then be both disabled and shamed. There might be several billions to be saved this way.


I realize that you are not actually advocating we do this, but a key problem here is the selectivity. People who knowingly take advantage of others and abuse systems are probably LESS likely to be bothered by shame than average. So, a heavily shame-focused campaign would probably select against efficiency, as any given level of social sanction is probably more bothersome to legitimate participants.

So, while weeding out shirkers is all well and good IMO, I don't see any reason to assume that shame is an effective filter in this case.

leady wrote:That's still not what I'm suggesting, I'm suggesting stigmatising the behaviours that cause poverty - which is distinctly different.


To a large degree, we mostly already do. There are exceptions, such as subcultures that glorify frankly excessive alcohol use, etc, but stigmas are already associated with most anti-social behavior. And social stigmas are not wholly logical. Yeah, maybe avoiding early sex back in the day before we had contraceptives was a reasonable thing to encourage. But...science is WAAAY better at solving the problem than shame is. But the shaming isn't really a switch you can just flip off. So, that persisted for a while, and still persists, even when people are being objectively responsible to not have accidental children before they can care for them.

And thus, all manner of silliness exists, because of social inertia. So, to an extent, a reliance on shame is kind of playing with fire. You can't wholly control it.

PAstrychef wrote:And here you continue to miss the point: behavior alone does not cause poverty. Many of the behaviors you decry arise because people are poor.
And there are still plenty of kids born out of wedlock. They just aren't treated as inherently bad because their parents weren't married when they were conceived. Better birth control and education has reduced the rate of unwanted pregnancies, but I suspect that the same numbers of women are having sex.


Different cultural groups respond differently to not having money. Treating this poverty/bad behavior as solely a lack of money misses this, and will lead you to unwarranted conclusions(such as wealth transfers fixing the issue). There's definitely differing social values at play in various cultures and subcultures here...and those CAN be changed. Not by anything so clumsy as "you're bad and you should feel bad", of course. That will do little but raise ire, and then both sides shout at each other a little, and nothing changes.

But...let's look at the people who DO make it, and celebrate them.

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Re: Wisconsin Repubs to Restrict Poor People Food

Postby Zamfir » Thu May 21, 2015 8:36 pm UTC

To a large degree, we mostly already do. There are exceptions, such as subcultures that glorify frankly excessive alcohol use, etc, but stigmas are already associated with most anti-social behavior.

I don't know how well this travels, but around here there is a tradition of posh students who glorify alcohol abuse, and associated misbehaviour. It extents beyond student life, to the point that some expensive law firms tend to celebrate successes by hiring a part of a hotel, and replaying their vomiting-on-the-waiters student days. There are other professions where such drinking old boys clubs are strongly present. Surgeons, pilots, bankers. I have known industrial firms where salesmen would take clients to brothels, because few things create a bond like cheating on your wives together.

Once upon a time of money shortage, I taught remedial classes in one of the more expensive neighbourhoods in the country. The classes were full of children from broken or breaking families - broken by high-pressure careers on either side, or traditional fucking of the secretary, or just being nasty people of a kind that works better in business than at home. Or just for the same reasons that can break families everywhere. Children failing school for many reasons from good to bad, except the parents would pay to put them through anyway, remedial classes and all. And some of these children had a smart insight in their future, based on close familiarity: study programs that were easy to pass, the right drinking clubs to join, the good jobs for people like them. They were going to make it, don't worry. Others, not so much.

There are many activities that would fit right into a culture of poverty story - except for some people they are in fact helpful in high-paying careers. It makes me highly skeptical about moralizing stories of poverty. For every person whose poverty is mostly self-inflicted moral failing, I know someone whose similarly self-inflicted moral failings had no material downsides whatsoever.

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Re: Wisconsin Repubs to Restrict Poor People Food

Postby morriswalters » Thu May 21, 2015 8:49 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Sure. But a *lot* of this is based on cultural responses, not "lack of money" in regards to poverty. Hell, immigrants are generally not overly wealthy, but they perform well. Generally better than natives to the US, despite having an inherent disadvantage in terms of familiarity with...quite a lot of society.

They dig themselves out of poverty fast, compared to your five or six generation estimate. Why is this?
I would have thought that it was obvious. Immigrants, by any measure you want to use, are motivated and not as poorly educated as their language might make you think. To get here requires the ability to take a difficult task and complete it. It also requires the ability to defer gratification and see into the future. Neither do they have the cultural baggage that goes with long term poverty in America. They know how to save for a goal. They know how to work hard. They tick all 4 points on the list. I expect them to do well.

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Re: Wisconsin Repubs to Restrict Poor People Food

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu May 21, 2015 9:07 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:
To a large degree, we mostly already do. There are exceptions, such as subcultures that glorify frankly excessive alcohol use, etc, but stigmas are already associated with most anti-social behavior.

I don't know how well this travels, but around here there is a tradition of posh students who glorify alcohol abuse, and associated misbehaviour. It extents beyond student life, to the point that some expensive law firms tend to celebrate successes by hiring a part of a hotel, and replaying their vomiting-on-the-waiters student days. There are other professions where such drinking old boys clubs are strongly present. Surgeons, pilots, bankers. I have known industrial firms where salesmen would take clients to brothels, because few things create a bond like cheating on your wives together.


Yeah, this isn't even necessarily a poor person thing, more of a conspicuous consumption thing. But still, maybe not the best of practices. I have definitely been at company parties where the alcohol bill was astronomical. It does depend on area some, but I feel safe saying it's not just your area.

There are many activities that would fit right into a culture of poverty story - except for some people they are in fact helpful in high-paying careers. It makes me highly skeptical about moralizing stories of poverty. For every person whose poverty is mostly self-inflicted moral failing, I know someone whose similarly self-inflicted moral failings had no material downsides whatsoever.


Well, there's an element of luck. Maybe someone boozes too much, drives home, and just happens to not get caught. Obviously, frequency is going to have a hand here. But yes...we shouldn't excuse someone's irresponsible behavior just because they're rich. Maybe various other virtues overcome the deleterious effects of a bad habit, or they are good at covering it up or whatever, but we still shouldn't actually celebrate alcohol abuse. That's a cultural aspect that bothers me a little.

morriswalters wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Sure. But a *lot* of this is based on cultural responses, not "lack of money" in regards to poverty. Hell, immigrants are generally not overly wealthy, but they perform well. Generally better than natives to the US, despite having an inherent disadvantage in terms of familiarity with...quite a lot of society.

They dig themselves out of poverty fast, compared to your five or six generation estimate. Why is this?
I would have thought that it was obvious. Immigrants, by any measure you want to use, are motivated and not as poorly educated as their language might make you think. To get here requires the ability to take a difficult task and complete it. It also requires the ability to defer gratification and see into the future. Neither do they have the cultural baggage that goes with long term poverty in America. They know how to save for a goal. They know how to work hard. They tick all 4 points on the list. I expect them to do well.


Precisely. Marriage per se may not be involved, but the other habits are almost certainly selected for. Immigration isn't easy, legally or otherwise. The skills that allow someone to immigrate also assist them in getting ahead in other ways.

It's no doubt something of an accident that our immigration system selects for these skills more efficiently than our educational system teaches them, but surely that highlights areas of potential improvement.

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Re: Wisconsin Repubs to Restrict Poor People Food

Postby Quercus » Thu May 21, 2015 10:47 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
Quercus wrote:
leady wrote:I don't know, they seem pretty specific and achievable to me

That's because they are pretty achievable to you. You are, however, not representative of everybody. Kindly suggest to me how someone with, say, major depression and no effective personal support networks goes about finishing school and holding down a job. Your advice works for some people. It doesn't work for all people.


That describes a CRAPTON of people climbing up the ladder. Being poor and feeling overwelmed is inherently a bit depressing. Working your way through school doesn't give you a lot of time for support networks, and anyway, your family probably mostly didn't go to school, doesn't have a lot of money for visiting or support, etc. This was true for me, it's true for a ton of other people. But, people do successfully do it.

You do it by copying the people with success, not the people without. That's it. It ain't rocket surgery. You decide you're not going to repeat the errors of your parents.

Now, as a society, there are things we can do to make that path more obvious and easier. Statistically speaking, this should result in more people successfully taking that route.

When I was talking about major depression I meant the clinical diagnosis of major depression, in contrast to what is sometimes termed reactive depression i.e. feeling crap because crap things are happening, which appears to be what you are talking about. It's true that some people manage to function effectively despite having an untreated major depressive disorder, but that's very much the exception rather than the rule. I mentioned it for a specific reason, which is that poor mental health provision is one of the most unambiguous barriers to people escaping poverty, and goes directly against the notion that the solution is always an individual one.

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Re: Wisconsin Repubs to Restrict Poor People Food

Postby morriswalters » Fri May 22, 2015 1:02 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:It's no doubt something of an accident that our immigration system selects for these skills more efficiently than our educational system teaches them, but surely that highlights areas of potential improvement.
It isn't an accident at all. These people don't come here as refugees. They come to do what they do. Take advantage of the ability to make it in a stable society where opportunity exists. And our educational systems don't teach those skills at all. Parents do. Very sort of Darwinian. Countries with good economies and opportunity don't have high rates of immigration. Do they?

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Re: Wisconsin Repubs to Restrict Poor People Food

Postby Weeks » Fri May 22, 2015 3:04 am UTC

leady wrote:I don't know, they seem pretty specific and achievable to me - although its telling people will argue against them (I guess they aren't complex enough :))
Yeah, usually when someone is wrong, we try and explain to them why they are wrong.

How to achieve them individually is not proscriptive, and whilst they are really a means, treating them as an end works.
For whom? It seems you don't have much to support your claims other than personal experience, which sadly does not make a compelling argument.

As to how to this socially, I'd suggest we use the old method if not its institutions, which is basically shame. I recognise that shame requires judging though and that judging is out of vogue bar for a few isms.
Judging is not out of vogue, I am judging you right now. Shame is not very effective though, else you would have realized a long time ago that attempting to stir controversy while adding smiley faces to your posts is pretty shameful.
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Re: Wisconsin Repubs to Restrict Poor People Food

Postby Zamfir » Fri May 22, 2015 4:20 am UTC


It's no doubt something of an accident that our immigration system selects for these skills more efficiently than our educational system teaches them, but surely that highlights areas of potential improvement.


How is this an accident? For the US, these are the requirements:
First Preference: Priority Workers, including aliens with extraordinary abilities, outstanding professors and researchers, and certain multinational executives and managers
Second Preference: Members of professions holding an advanced degree or persons of exceptional ability (including individuals seeking a National Interest Waiver)
Third Preference: Skilled Workers, professionals and other qualified workers
Fourth Preference: Certain special immigrants including those in religious vocations
Fifth Preference: Employment creation immigrants (investors or entrepreneurs)

Effectively, have a succesful career, be in the early stages of a promising career, or bring a boatload of money. Perhaps it's an accident that these requirements tend to select for people with successful careers or boatloads of money, but I suspect it was intentional. If a school set these as entry requirements, their students would do well on average.

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Re: Wisconsin Repubs to Restrict Poor People Food

Postby Angua » Fri May 22, 2015 6:51 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:

Perhaps it's an accident that these requirements tend to select for people with successful careers or boatloads of money, but I suspect it was intentional. If a school set these as entry requirements, their students would do well on average.
This is exemplified by many schools that are out there already with exorbitant fees.
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Re: Wisconsin Repubs to Restrict Poor People Food

Postby leady » Fri May 22, 2015 12:18 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:OK, you've lost me. I thought my proposed system was already remarkably scattershot, and cruel. Making live extra miserable for many, to flush out a much smaller subset. And you want to make it less targetted instead?


Depends what you mean. For example if dropping out of school was stigmatised than its not specifically targeting a group, but I recognise (and indeed intend) that the bulk of the stigma will hit the lowest percentiles - in my view to their wider benefit as a group.

Rich people can always bypass social conventions even they are covered by them (as per the extra schooling example)

Citation needed.
Also, I'd like to see a citation for the cause and effect nature of your rules and poverty. Because at the moment all I'm seeing are a lot of confounding variables in as much as poverty can lead to the inability to follow these rules.


you can't really need a citation to understand the mechanism by which a society that no longer has stable nuclear families will have both an upward impact on the cost of housing generally, combined with a higher demand for social housing. Looking at British stats ( which is a nightmare given the multitude of ways its funded and provided ) it looks to me that ~25% is a direct result of relationship breakdown, which is a pretty good lump - https://www.gov.uk/government/statistic ... te-renters - I haven't got the inclination to work out whether the private renters also includes a large lump of socially paid for housing (I think it does)

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Re: Wisconsin Repubs to Restrict Poor People Food

Postby Angua » Fri May 22, 2015 12:29 pm UTC

leady wrote:
Citation needed.
Also, I'd like to see a citation for the cause and effect nature of your rules and poverty. Because at the moment all I'm seeing are a lot of confounding variables in as much as poverty can lead to the inability to follow these rules.


you can't really need a citation to understand the mechanism by which a society that no longer has stable nuclear families will have both an upward impact on the cost of housing generally, combined with a higher demand for social housing. Looking at British stats ( which is a nightmare given the multitude of ways its funded and provided ) it looks to me that ~25% is a direct result of relationship breakdown, which is a pretty good lump - https://www.gov.uk/government/statistic ... te-renters - I haven't got the inclination to work out whether the private renters also includes a large lump of socially paid for housing (I think it does)

Yes, actually, I can. The school of 'it stands to reason' doesn't really work for me. If you are proposing an intervention for something, then you are the one who needs to give the proof that it works. People coming up with interventions for societal improvement without any evidence is actually extremely common, but for some reason we keep doing it anyway.

Also, I have a citation for that claim:
http://www.humanosphere.org/basics/2013/07/how-playpumps-are-an-example-of-learning-from-failure/
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Re: Wisconsin Repubs to Restrict Poor People Food

Postby leady » Fri May 22, 2015 2:13 pm UTC

I'd forgotten about those silly things - cheers for that link

If you take away the social correction method - do you dispute the view that the break up of the nuclear family structure increases demands on housing?

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Re: Wisconsin Repubs to Restrict Poor People Food

Postby Angua » Fri May 22, 2015 2:41 pm UTC

I don't know, I haven't done the research. However, I could imagine lots of confounding variables like people living together in house shares (which may be less likely if a pair of them are a couple and more than 2 people are living per house as a lot of people find it awkward living with a couple), if people are still living at home (in which case becoming a couple might mean two different people moving out of their respective houses to live together in a 3rd house), if increasing the imperative to stay a couple leads to more children and thus a greater need for housing in the long run, etc.

Also, this isn't even getting into whether or not housing at the cost of living with someone who are no longer in a relationship with is actually any good in the long term when looking at the societal costs of problems like domestic abuse, neglect, and psychological problems.
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Re: Wisconsin Repubs to Restrict Poor People Food

Postby Lucrece » Sat May 23, 2015 9:23 am UTC

Angua wrote:
Zamfir wrote:

Perhaps it's an accident that these requirements tend to select for people with successful careers or boatloads of money, but I suspect it was intentional. If a school set these as entry requirements, their students would do well on average.
This is exemplified by many schools that are out there already with exorbitant fees.



Not just financially. Academically too.

It's now been trending that schools will also have no grade forgiveness and establish grade point average prerequisites for ALL attempts, essentially barring out students that fixed their grades on subsequent attempts but didn't have a perfect record (so it would tarnish the institutions' precious averages).

It's really all an excuse to keep the pool small to have better bargaining power. Much of our institutions work like guilds, who strive for the interests of its exclusive members and try as much as they can to restrict access which might make them compete for their bulk of resources. Immigration is no different.
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