Rand Paul: "There are no rich, there are no poor, there are no middle class."

Sara - posted on 11/04/2010 ( 103 moms have responded )

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Well, this just gives me warm fuzzies all over.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

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I agree with you to a certain extent Christa. On your 1st point about life not always being fair... that's just a reality. The prettiest girl doesn't always get the modeling contract. The smartest man doesn't always run a successful business. The hardest working couple doesn't always get to buy their dream house. The straight A student doesn't always get to go to college. I get that! And I think most people get that. Most people don't think they will ever "fulfill" their dreams, but they pursue them anyway. I believe being a woman, old, disabled or even poor shouldn't be an obstacle in the pursuit of that dream. I think everybody should be given an equal opportunity to achieve whatever goals they set for themselves. Even if they fail, at least they can say they tried and then they move on to plan B.



As I tried to describe in my last post, most people dream modestly and define success differently. Most people want to just be able to go to work and know that their children are some place safe, they can pay their bills, go to the Dr. when they are sick and buy nutritious food for their family. They want to live with dignity and respect. Which brings me to your 2nd point about Republicans being uncompassionate.



Once upon a time your average American companies and corporations used to provide those benefits & incentives for their employees. Now, with all of the downsizing and outsourcing and layoffs, more and more people have no choice but to turn to the government when they need help. But when we hear Republicans saying such harsh things like, "people on unemployment are lazy and don't want to work", "cut Medicaid and welfare because those people are frauding the system", or "slash SS benefits"knowing that many of those people were forced to stop working and others have no other way to receive health care, that sounds uncompassionate. Telling someone to "pull themselves up their bootstraps" or "work smarter" or "life just isn't fair", is just a poor excuse to justify the selfish, "money over people, self-centered, greedy and narcissistic ideology that has become so prominent in this country. People need to justification their lack of uncaring, so why not blame the victim?



And to answer your question about why Liberals insist on trying to make life fair...I can only speak for myself. As a Christian woman, I was taught that to whom much is given, much is required, take on my brother's burden and love my brother the way the Lord loves me (just to name a few). I don't want to live in a country where the lust for money, sex and power dominate the masses. I want to live in a country where every body's life has value regardless of what they can contribute and that help will be available whenever needed. If you think that's crazy or wrong..take it up with my Lord. I serve HIM not any Rep or Dem. But I can vote for the party that I think will try and do that. Hopefully this new Congress will try to solve many of this country's troubles...but I doubt it!

Krista - posted on 11/07/2010

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The example that really comes to mind is the "Pursuit of Happiness" story. That man NEVER gave up. That is the kind of tenacity and hunger that people need to have in life. Luck will eventually find you.

And for every one guy like that, there are hundreds of others who work just as hard, but never get that break. Given some different luck, that gentleman could have wound up dead in the ditch, with his child in foster care.

To base your entire economic philosophy upon those rare few "happily-ever-after" cases where things DO turn out well...I'm sorry, but I just don't think you're being realistic.

Pamela - posted on 11/11/2010

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Fear is such a useful tool as it can hold an entire nation hostage to a corporate narrative designed to manipulate and control. We really need to counter that narrative - mostly through action. Not violent action but the kind of action where we turn away from the corporate narrative and create our own narratives - rejecting the fear and embracing life. Have any of you heard of Yes Magazine? They talk about what people are doing to make changes that embrace our humanity rather than steal our humanity from us by reducing us to mere consumers. Another interesting rag is Good Magazine - they focus on what people are doing for their communities and one another.

We can create a different system but it will take a lot of work...

I don't want my country back. I want my life back - I'm tired of a system that demands all of my time and life energy to run in this corporate hamster wheel. I want clean air, water and good food that actually nourishes for myself and others. Is this truly so much to ask?

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I know I'm late to the conversation, but I agree with Krista and Pamela (surprise, surprise). There are several variables that determine one's status in life. And although America is the land of opportunity, if you are poor, uneducated, a woman, old or disabled, those opportunities are limited and the "pursuit" of those opportunities is quite difficult.



That's not to say that hard work and determination would not pay off eventually, but those qualities alone, do not guarantee success. And the definition of success is different for everyone. For some people, getting an apartment in their own name is success. For others, getting a degree is success. For me, after 10 years of infertility, bearing healthy children was a success but for my step-dad who is 63yrs old, keeping his job (even though his company is doing everything to make him leave) is success.



In this country, there will always be the rich and the poor. The gap however, between the two is getting bigger and bigger. Budget cuts have laid off people in droves (fire-fighters, police officers, teachers, health care workers, etc). After school and all day education programs have been slashed. Corporate positions were outsourced oversees and several manufacturing jobs were eliminated, never to return again.



Government programs need to be revised. If they are not doing what they were intended to do, get rid of them. If someone is frauding the program, kick them off. If you can cut down on the paperwork and red tape, do it. But to get rid of them all together would take much needed food stamps, health care and unemployment away from families that really depend on them. Older men, single mothers and desperate families are downsizing, re-inventing themselves and working at jobs that they are over qualified for, just to keep their heads above water.



I love this country! Wouldn't want to live anywhere else. I believe our collective situations will get better. But it's going to take a long time if the "right" keeps blaming the poor and the "entitlement" programs for the country's problems, while the "left" blames the rich and "tax cuts" for the country's problems. There has to be more "honesty" and less "politicking" going on in Washington". Us hard-working, decent Americans deserve it!

Pamela - posted on 11/07/2010

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I have a friend who had to leave her husband because he was brutally abusive. She left him and took her kids but had really no where to go. She had little training - hadn't finished college because she got married, had kids and stayed home to raise those kids. Unfortunately in our culture, raising kids is regarded as something of a waste of time career wise (oh people sagely nod their heads and say what an important job SAHM's are, but good luck getting a job that pays anything with that experience). Luckily, she had a friend who managed to help her land section 8 housing. She can live there for 2 years - just enough time for her to get a nursing degree.



This is welfare. I have no problem with this because she needed a hand up and out of a bad scene. Without this assistance, she would have to work 2-3 jobs, probably placing her kids in daycare (which would eat up at least one of the paychecks). If my taxes are used to help someone like this woman make something of herself, well then that's a righteous thing and I'm for it.



The problem with this whole "pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps" is, it's IMPOSSIBLE. Have you ever tried actually pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps? I have. It can't be done. It is literally an impossibility.



The fact is, we all need one another. I need you and you need me. We are, all of us, family. (See? Barney the purple dinosaur was right in his big annoying way!) We cannot do this life without one another and that's just a hard fact. We're all in this together.



My getting ahead is both a combination of hard work, being in the right place at the right time and having the capability and resources available to capitalize on it. I don't think there's a liberal alive that would say hard work shouldn't factor into this.



But while hard work does figure into the whole "getting ahead" model, it isn't the only thing that factors into it. Some of us have more resources than others - we have families who raised us well, who were able to give us what we needed (and in many cases, what we wanted). We went to the dentist and doctor when we needed to go; we had decent food - nutritious and good for us. Many of us (though obviously not all of us) grew up in reasonably stable - though not perfect - homes. All of that is what is called ascribed privilege. We were born with it, we didn't earn it.



We all have a sense of fairness. Now with the realization that life overall is pretty stinking unfair, should we therefore give up? Shouldn't we at least attempt to create a world and a government that is just? Much of poverty is systemic. Shouldn't we try to amend that?



The reason we go around and around in these conversations is, in part anyway, because these are very difficult problems that are not easy to solve. I prefer solutions that pull from both sides - conservative and liberal. Because frankly, one side doesn't have all the answers. In fact, both sides don't have all the answers. Only Elvis does. Nah. I'm just kidding.



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Pamela - posted on 11/15/2010

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Oh I did. My OB-Gyn told me it's pretty normal for middle-aged menopausal women. See what you have to look forward too! Exciting ain't it? :o)

Christa - posted on 11/15/2010

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Laura, Rep. policies do not "take away from the poor", they allow people to have the ability to take care of themselves. Whether or not people take advantage of this opportunity is up to them. And yes is does bother me there are some many lobbyists, but that's not a Rep. thing, that's a problem in our political process across the board.

As for peeing yourself, you may want to have that checked out. ;)

Isobel - posted on 11/13/2010

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and did you say that America runs on a free-market system...cause I almost peed myself laughing.

You guys are as close to a free market system as Canada is to communism.

Isobel - posted on 11/13/2010

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I would like to hear ONE policy (not social issue) of the republicans that does not support the rich and take away from the poor.

They use your social issues like abortion and gay people to manipulate you into believing that they represent you, when they CLEARLY represent corporations.

Why does it not seem to piss any of you off that there are 35 lobbyists for every congressman???

Christa - posted on 11/12/2010

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I agree with much of what Theresa and Pamela have said in their recent posts.

Theresa, you are absolutely right that many have made money their God. But that is true from the poor all the way up to the rich. The very nature of our consumerism is to be "worshiping" the next gadget. I'm so irritated with these new TV's and Blu Rays. How much better do we really need our pictures to be? Do you want to see Brad Pitts pores and nose hairs? I don't. I'm perfectly happy with my "average" picture on my "old" tv and ancient dvd player. I've had the same cell phone for over 4 years now and all it does is take pictures and call people *gasp*. But most of America is not like me. We want the next best thing and we don't care who made it or how it got there, just is it great and how cheap can I get it. This I think is a MAJOR cause of all our problems, from poor treatment of employees to shipping job oversees. For companies to give us "greedy Americans" the latest and greatest at rock bottom prices requires cutting every corner we can. WE as a society demand companies to trade good employees in for cheaper ones and use slave labor or cheap labor over sees over giving those jobs to Americans. I put that to the fault of every person involved from the employers making the decisions to the consumers buying the products. We are all to blame for that. I don't know how you fix that, because greed and selfishness are not things you can legislate away. Which is why I believe in the free market principles that give the consumers the power. It used to be that people would buy American made over foreign even if it was more expensive. My grandfather wouldn't be caught dead in a car that wasn't American made, but I'm not like that and most of America isn't either since Toyota has been #1 for years. We have an inherent attitude problem and I don't know how you fix that. Being a Christian I think taking God out of everywhere is the exact opposite of what we need to be doing, but I know I'm in the minority in this group.

Pamela, I COMPLETELY agree with what you said about welfare. Making people get a job and supplement OR going to school. Like I've said before I believe there should be strings attached when you are taking government money. I think the idea should be, and was meant to be, a temporary hand up. We MUST fix the fraud and inefficiencies of our welfare programs so they can go back to just being a safety net. I agree 100% with your post on this.

Here's what I think is our actual only real solution. We have to change the political process, but I'm not sure exactly how to do that. Obviously campaign finance is a major issue, but I think an even bigger issue is our two party system. The problem is to get through the primaries, especially in the current political climate you have to be one extreme or the other. Then the general elections become extreme left vs extreme right and then no matter who wins we end up with two extremes that cannot compromise. I do think the Tea party hurt the republicans in a lot of races particularly here in CO and in NV. I think if the "traditional" GOP candidates (both of whom I voted for) had made it through the primaries in both the CO senate and Gov. races the GOP would have won them same thing with Reid's seat in NV, but because the tea party candidates won the moderates when democrat because the tea party was TOO extreme. I think if you all choose to put up "true progressives", as was mentioned on the other thread you will see the same defeats in competitive races. Somehow we have to figure out a way to get more "moderate" candidates to the general elections so we have a better chance for compromise. Because we all know the path we are on is failing and stone walling each other isn't going to help. This is why I do hope and pray that those elected to the house will do as they've promised and bring Obama's agenda more to the center and we can actually pass some bipartisan bills. But we will see on that. . .

Pamela - posted on 11/11/2010

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What is behind the violent rhetoric? Why the stonewalling and overall fear mongering? Because there are forces at play here that are manipulating people into believing that the U.S. government is evil and wants to control their lives - while it's actually corporate America (as well as multinational corps) that want to control us - how we think, what we buy, etc. Why? Because they stand to make enormous amounts of money and that's what this whole thing is about. They will not make as huge amounts of money under Obama that they would under an administration that is sympathetic to their greed.

Sarah - posted on 11/11/2010

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What I find interesting is that the Right is screaming about extending the Bush era tax cuts and decrying the Left's proposal to extend them to all but the wealthiest if the wealthy. Did anyone see the WaPo's comparison of the two proposals? For those of you who think the Dems are trying to take away your tax cut, please take a minute to see what they are actually proposing: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con...

Another thing that I find absolutely amazing is that according to a survey conducted by researchers at Harvard and Duke, respondents (Republican, Democrats, men, women, rich, and poor) all agree that the wealth distribution in this country is out of whack. Even more amazing is that all these groups agree that there needs to be more equitable wealth distribution AND these groups all want to see it distributed in approximately the same proportions. Check out the report: http://www.people.hbs.edu/mnorton/norton...

So why all the violent rhetoric? Why all the stonewalling of Obama's proposals? Why all the fear mongering?

Pamela - posted on 11/10/2010

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Bootstraps are more like this:

Step 1: Pull on bootstraps
Step 2: Keep pulling! You'll get the hang of it!
Step 3: Keep puuuhling! Cm'on, you can do it!
Step 4: What? Can't get up? Lazy bum!

Jenny - posted on 11/09/2010

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Well, with no income and few social nets, they should take the bootstraps and fashion some sort of trap for food I suppose.

Krista - posted on 11/09/2010

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I have no idea. They're sort of like the underpants gnomes from South Park.

Step 1: Pull oneself up by one's bootstraps.
Step 2: ????????
Step 3: PROFIT!!!!!

Jenny - posted on 11/09/2010

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Ok, this just proves my point. The pie is FINITE. How are these people supposed to find jobs that don't exist? How can they POSSIBLY work harder to gain employment?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/09...

There simply aren't enough jobs to employ four out of five unemployed Americans, according to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The total number of available jobs in September was 2.9 million, according to a BLS report released Tuesday. It's a decline of 163,000 job openings from the previous month. During that same period, there were about 14.8 million people unemployed, BLS data show (hat tip to Economic Policy Institute).

A simple calculation shows that the ratio of unemployed people to job openings was 5.0 to 1. Put another way, there are only enough jobs to employ a fifth of the unemployed population.

As the workforce suffers, the job-creators are flush with cash. With the main interest rate near zero, companies can get money cheaply. But because corporations have little incentive to spend that cash, many companies are simply hoarding it. As of the end of last month, U.S. companies hold about $1 trillion in cash, Reuters reported.

As HuffPost's Shahien Nasiripour reported, the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing program, in which it will buy up to $900 billion in U.S. debt, with the intention of lowering interest rates still further, won't necessarily do much to encourage companies to create jobs. With corporate America still in a defensive crouch, companies are likely to use the easy money to fill their coffers even more.

Charles Evans, president of the Chicago Fed, warned last month that the economy is in a so-called liquidity trap, in which money is cheap but people still don't put it to use. It's a rare situation in which the typical effects of monetary policy don't materialize. If Evans is right, then the quantitative easing program might not be as effective as some at the Fed hope.

[deleted account]

I was recently reading an article about a Steel Company in PA ( Monongahela Valley Plant) that decided make their employees partners in the company. They trained something like 2500 employees in everything from customer in queries, to the mysteries of market economics. The employees have shares in the company and make actually decisions about which direction the company should go.

The company believes that an investment in the employees not only gives the employees a sense of pride, but also makes them smarter, loyal and genuinely interested in the success of that company.

The benefit to the company is that they don't have to constantly turnover their staff. They don't have to fire older employees and hire new "fresh out of college" employees. In fact, according to Susan Foreman (one of the supervisors), by the time a potential employee graduates from college, most of the technological information they've learned is already obsolete. She said it has been cost efficient to train the employees they already have, then interviewing people who specialize in one particular area or another and then running the risk of that person leaving.

They boast about the workers being self-directed and able to adapt and adjust to the constant fluctuating and competitive market. They are creative and innovative and well trained and well rounded. They are about to begin exporting to Mexico and Asia.

I think this is a possible solution. The company may not make billions, but they can make millions. And people feel valued, pay their bills and don't need the government.

Sara - posted on 11/09/2010

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Kurt Vonnegut, whom I admire greatly, always talked about the labor leader Eugene V. Debs who said, among many things, "Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free". You just reminded me of that, Pamela.

Pamela - posted on 11/09/2010

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We are all in this together - if one group is oppressed, we are all oppressed then. We are all connected not just to one another but also to all life on this planet. What we do to the earth, we do to ourselves. What we do to our neighbor, we do to ourselves. Nelson Mandela said "For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."



I firmly believe that the current welfare system is in great need of revising and reforming. I believe it does hold people back from their full potential and keeps them down. There is plenty to criticize regarding welfare but let's try different ideas to see what will work.Ideas!! Let's come up with ideas - not rhetorical bullshit or nifty political sound bites because obviously none of that actually does anything for anyone except polarize sides. Tell FOX and MSNBC to stick a pipe in it and let's put our thinking hats on. Like, this is our country - all of us. If we don't band together, regardless of our background or whatever, we're totally screwed.



I've always thought that welfare should be supplemental to a person's wage - especially if that wage is not a livable wage. To be on welfare, you have to have a job - part time if that's all there is or full time. If you don't have a job, you need to be in school.



We need to create jobs - we need to revamp our entire infrastructure (which actually does create jobs). Inner cities have spaces where food could actually be grown - welfare recipients could work those gardens. Not only would they be given work, it would be meaningful work. People would be learning potentially marketable skills and they would be providing for their communities with some good stuff.



Legalize these damnable drugs, so they can be regulated and taxed. That would create some really needed revenue. Want to put an end to gangs? That would be far more effective than our current "drug war". Want to sucker punch the illegal drug trafficking coming over our borders? Make drugs legal. (My libertarian, Tea Party dad and his extremely conservative, Tea Party big business friends all agree that this would be a great step in the right direction). Prohibition doesn't work. Never has, never will.



There are all kinds of ideas out there that haven't even been tried. So let's try them. Let's stop all the rhetorical bullshit and solve some problems. If something doesn't work, reform it. If it still doesn't work, ditch it. Keep welfare - but as a safety net (which was it's original purpose in the first place). Keep Medicare and Social Security. They're safety nets that our most vulnerable citizens (the elderly, the disabled, and children) need.



What other ideas do you all have? Let's throw out some.

[deleted account]

I believe there is a direct correlation between the plight of the poor/middle class and the good fortune of the rich. You can't give focus to just one of them. I hear calls for slashing these entitlement programs with no real conversations about why so many people are on these programs in the 1st place. If the problem is jobs...what about jobs is the problem? Are there not enough jobs? Are jobs paying substandard pay? Are jobs not providing enough hours? Are jobs not offering benefits? Are jobs not training their employees for more advanced work? Are jobs being outsourced? Are jobs having massive layoffs? Whatever the answers are to those questions, then we need to figure out solutions.

I agree, we can't force the rich to give their money away (and I wouldn't want to). I don't want anyone to take my good hard earned money away either. But there is something fundamentally wrong with companies who do the things listed above, yet still expect the government to give them tax breaks, cuts and incentives. It is irrational and immoral.

The "rich" in this country don't want to just keep their money. They want an excess of money. Money has become their God. Money has become the priority over everything and everyone. Employees are not valued and are viewed as insignificant. If you're too old, good-bye. If you want more money, too bad. If you want to learn a new skill, do it yourself. You've given 25 yrs of your life to my company, oh well.

This country's unemployment is at 10%. About 1/2 of those jobs are never coming back. What are those people supposed to do? There are so many Home Depot and Publix jobs out there. Part-time jobs don't offer benefits. If you make a certain amount of money, you don't qualify for medicaid. If you can't pay your mortgage, you have to leave your house, but you can't sell it, so while you're paying rent somewhere else, the bank takes your house. It's ludicrous, but it has become the reality for so many Americans.

I'm going to leave because I'm rambling. I just want the people in this country to wake up and "see" what is happening to their neighbors. And instead of saying "that's their problem", care! I agree with the concept that we are all intertwined...but if that's the case, then why is there such a mindset in this country of "every man for himself" instead of "all for one and one for all"?

LaCi - posted on 11/09/2010

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We grow the pie by printing 600 billion dollars. Isn't that what I heard we were doing (again) a few days ago? Because that works.

So rather than taking rich peoples money away, we'll further inflate the dollar which makes them (and everyone else) poorer anyway.

Jenny - posted on 11/08/2010

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"Instead of trying to re distribute wealth we need to be focused on growing that pie. The only way that happens is to encourage job growth in the private sector. The government produces NOTHING. For the government to do anything it MUST rely on the private sector to pay its bills. If it KILLS the private sector what's left? It's like a parasite killing it's host, then they both die. The only way to get the private sector to grow again is to let people get rich. That is the only incentive for those "rich selfish heartless" CEO's to hire more people"

Well that makes for great sound bites but it's not possible. How do you grow the pie when there's no income to invest growing it in the first place? Aside from consumerism how does one grow the pie? Investing is just smoke and mirrors, moving numbers on a computer. We can only make so much stuff to sell. We can only build so many houses. Not to mention the depletion of non-renewable resources, did you watch my Home link yet? Capitalism is unsustainable.

Here's Forbes list of the world's billionaires: http://www.forbes.com/lists/2010/10/bill...

So where are these rich people moving away too? 40% of the WORLD's bililonaires live in the USA. Now we can see how many rich people your country has created compared to other countries. How's that working out for your economy? Tell me how trickle down theory works again?

Krista - posted on 11/08/2010

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In fact I think anyone on government assistance must take a money management class and submit a plan as to how they will get off.

Hell, we should have to do that before getting approved for a credit card. But without debt, our economy would probably collapse completely at this point...

What do you think of the idea of free job skills training for people on social assistance? Here in Canada, we have something called the Job Creation Partnership. Basically, an employer agrees to create a job for someone on unemployment or social assistance, which will give that person new job skills. The government pays that person's wages for one year. This helps people who have weak skills (or who have the skills, but no experience), become more competitive in the workplace, and allows employers to have a free employee for a year, saving them quite a bit of money.

Do you folks do anything like that in the U.S? Do you think it could work there?

Christa - posted on 11/08/2010

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Krista, again I agree in a hand up, I've said that. But it needs to be temporary. In fact I think anyone on government assistance must take a money management class and submit a plan as to how they will get off. Submit said plan and get an end date for benefits. Something like that to hold people accountable and help/force people to actually get to those goals. Thus helping them long term not just giving them unlimited welfare. It goes back to that drug testing thread. If you want money from the government there should be strings attached. Just like when you get a loan from the bank.

Christa - posted on 11/08/2010

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Mary, then you are ok working for no pay? :)



Theresa, you and I have had this discussion before. I agree with your last paragraph completely, I just think that we have to do that voluntarily and not by force of government. If someone wants to be greedy with their money it is not my or your place to tell them otherwise.



Laura, I don't care if they have 90% of the wealth, we are talking about income vs taxes. Those figures don't take into account property taxes, estate taxes, etc. All of which I'm sure they pay more then their share if those as well.



And my point was not life unfair so why give a s**t, it was it's unfair in all different kinds of ways. Why is it ok to try and even the playing field monetarily but in no other way. Let's say for a minute that we were able to create a world where everyone came from the exact same wealth/money. Now those who are more attractive, or funnier, or more charismatic, or those with no morals (sleeping their way to the top), or those who know the right people, or those who are just plain lucky will have the upper hand. Then what?



Instead of trying to re distribute wealth we need to be focused on growing that pie. The only way that happens is to encourage job growth in the private sector. The government produces NOTHING. For the government to do anything it MUST rely on the private sector to pay its bills. If it KILLS the private sector what's left? It's like a parasite killing it's host, then they both die. The only way to get the private sector to grow again is to let people get rich. That is the only incentive for those "rich selfish heartless" CEO's to hire more people. I don't have time to find links right now but look at the tax hikes on the rich done in Maryland and New York recently. In both cases tax revenue went DOWN, because the rich left. That is what happens. You can't FORCE people to give up their money, whether you like it or not. They will always find a way to keep it if they are greedy enough. Look at the credit card legislation that was passed early in Obama's presidency. It was passed to help protect the consumers from the "big bad credit card companies", you want to know what happened? CC companies are no charging as much as 59.9% interest and adding all kinds of new fees. They will get their money one way or the other. The only way to protect to consumer is to educate them. I am all for funding education programs to TRULY elevate the poor, but what we are doing now sucks and is pointless. I'm all for vouchers, the more I learn the more I like that idea, but that's really another thread. . . .

Krista - posted on 11/08/2010

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A few things I wanted to touch on. . . Life's not fair. We all know that. We can NEVER make it fair, so why do the liberals insist on trying?

Because we may not be able to make it perfect, but we can always make it BETTER.


George Clooney got brought up he was from money and he's gorgeous, that's just the situation he was born into. Is that his fault? Should we take his money and mangle his face to even the playing field?

Nope. But when talking about the 1000 other actors who weren't born into Clooney's situation, it would be helpful if we'd stop telling them that the only reason they're not successful is because they're just not trying hard enough.

I don't think any progressives/liberals are trying to make everybody perfectly equal. We know damn well that there is always going to be the haves and the have-nots, and that some people are going to do better than others. And that's fine. But we also think that for the people who are NOT doing well, why not help them out to at least a subsistence-level standard of living? That money will be going back into the economy anyway, as these people will be buying food and shelter (it's not like poor people squirrel their money away in offshore investments, right). So by making sure that the poor can at least feed and house themselves, we're not only doing the ethically right thing, but we're actually creating more consumers for goods and services, and hence, helping our economy.

ME - posted on 11/08/2010

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Mary, you mentioned when you become a full time professor your children will get a free/discounted education. How is that fair? Did I work any less hard then you? Do my children not deserve a free/discounted education too? I think my children deserve that discount more than yours, so I'm going to have the government take that from you to give to my children, because I work just as hard as you. Sound fair?

lol...Christa, I think everyone should get a free college education :)

Isobel - posted on 11/08/2010

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If you have no interest in even TRYING to make the world a fairer place, there really is no reason for us to speak...and yes...10% of the population owns 90% of the wealth...it is fact, and ignoring it won't help...but since we aren't BOTHERING to make the world fair, then who cares.

I think you finally hit the nail on the head...we don't feel the need to try to answer the question "why even bother" cause that question is IMHO an inhuman question to ask.

Christa - posted on 11/08/2010

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Wow! I've missed a lot. I of course agree with most of what Kelly said, but I also agree with parts of Pamela and Theresa's last posts.

A few things I wanted to touch on. . . Life's not fair. We all know that. We can NEVER make it fair, so why do the liberals insist on trying? I've asked this before and never get a serious answer. We are all blessed with certain strengths that help us get where we need to go whether it be brains, looks, money etc. George Clooney got brought up he was from money and he's gorgeous, that's just the situation he was born into. Is that his fault? Should we take his money and mangle his face to even the playing field? Some women are blessed with multiple children while others are barren, should we take some kids from those who have multiple to give to those who have none? Some people are born with amazing athletic ability, should we break Peyton Manning’s arms to give someone who wasn't quiet as blessed a chance? Life will never be fair. Some will be born with money others won't. Just because someone is born with money doesn't mean their life is easy, look at Paris Hilton. She has more money than anyone really needs and I wouldn't change places with her for a moment. It is not right to take someone’s hard earned money (and yes I mean earned) to try and even that playing field (which is impossible) when we can never all start from the exact same spot. Let's put that useless idea aside and try to think of more productive solutions that will really help people.

Mary, you mentioned when you become a full time professor your children will get a free/discounted education. How is that fair? Did I work any less hard then you? Do my children not deserve a free/discounted education too? I think my children deserve that discount more than yours, so I'm going to have the government take that from you to give to my children, because I work just as hard as you. Sound fair?

Theresa, I want to clarify one thing. I actually don't think it needs to be clarified I think this is a tactic of the left to keep painting the right as "uncompassionate", but I'll clear it up anyway. Republicans do NOT want to do away with entitlement programs all together. We believe in the safety net and believe everyone needs a hand up now and again. I don't remember who's story it was, but the story of the divorced women who was on welfare for two years to get a nursing degree. I am 100% ok with that. Welfare should be just that TEMPORARY. If we could fix the fraud and abuse on the systems I think we would all get along just fine. The problem republicans have is we feel people take advantage of the systems and that is NOT what our hard earned tax dollars are for. I think if we had a fraud free system and we still had people who REALLY needed help people wouldn't mind a modest tax increase. The problem is this liberal idea of redistribution of wealth. THAT is our fundamental difference.

Last thing to Laura, did you completely ignore my tax post? They don't make 90% and they already pay double their income percent in taxes. The wealthy ALREADY carry the biggest tax burden by a disproportionate amount. By your 1 to 1 ration they pay too much and deserve a significant tax cut.

Krista - posted on 11/08/2010

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Yep -- even age makes a difference.

My father-in-law owned a lobster pound. The industry wasn't doing so well around here, because catches are way down. So he had to look for another job to make ends meet.

You think a 61-year-old man, with no work experience other than running a lobster pound, is going to find any kind of job that pays half-decently? Nope. Even if he went back to school...who the hell is going to hire a 61-year-old?

Hard work is great. Hard work CAN get you places.

But if EVERY OTHER FACTOR is weighing against you, well...your hard work very well might all be for naught.

Jenny - posted on 11/07/2010

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Kati, my understanding of the Conservative philosophy is that people need to try harder to get out of their ruts. I recognize that is not an actual solution (how's it working for us so far?) but that is how the Conservative answer to that question has come across to me.

Rosie - posted on 11/07/2010

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what do you suggest then kelly, to fix the cycle of poverty? cause i do agree with you-to an extent. the system is set up for failure. but without that system, the people that truly need help wouldn't be able to get it. so do you just give a big F-U to those people, just so the people that are abusing the sytem don't abuse it?

cause everything that would be proposed to fix that cycle of poverty, republicans freak out about. i'll steal a line from tupac, cause i think he said it best, lol! "instead of a war on poverty, they got a war on drugs so the police can bother me." seems pretty simple to me to make poverty go away in the inner city is to educate, make pot legal (maybe even other drugs, still havn't decided on that one), and use the money for our "war on drugs" on programs to lift up the inner city kids, instead of just throwing money at them like a bandaid to fix the outcome of their upbringing. now i know for sure that neither rep. or dem. politicians would agree with that. but take a dem. out on the street and most everyone i've talked to vehemently believes that will work, ask a conservative, and they'll retort in fear at the thought of giving up their precious war on drugs. heaven forbid their precious little glass houses get broken by the thought of someone smoking pot. the thought process of the "typical" conservative is a completely skewed version of what the real world actually is like. stuff looks good on paper, but in actuality it just can't work.

Kelly - posted on 11/07/2010

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Kati, my intention was not to patronize you or imply that you or anyone else here didn't work hard. I am sorry if that is how you took what I wrote.

What is ludicrous to me is the idea of NOT looking for a different job if the one you have doesn't meet your needs. I don't care how much you may have spent on an education or a degree. If you are working in your chosen profession, and depend on the Government for food stamps, or assistance in making ends meet, what good is that expensive education?

I realize that it takes a lot of "little guys" to make the big wigs who they are. But those big wigs started somewhere too. Yes, some of them were born into wealth, went to Ivy League schools, and were handed golden opportunities. But there are plenty that started at the bottom and worked their way up. Am I just somehow special because I happen to know many of that second type personally? I really don't think so.

The big issue I have with the Liberal "way" is that they keep the poor right where they want them. Uninspired and dependent on the Government. A lot of you ladies have apparently bought the party line that there is no hope, the American Dream is dead, you will never succeed beyond where you are now, and you will struggle forever. If you smart, "middle class" women feel that way, where does that leave the truly poor? Dependent on Sec. 8 housing, welfare, and food stamps. Instead of trying to better themselves or get ahead, they are content with depending on others to take care of them. That is damaging to our economy and our society in general. If you grew up in a household where your food, housing, etc. was "free" why would you ever want anything else? Add to that the glamorization of gangs, drugs, etc by tv, music and celebrities, and you have the environment we see in the inner cities. There are a lot of seriously ignorant people out there. The Dems have taken full advantage and exploit those people, buying them off with their "free" support. It is a never ending cycle of lower class. And then they go a step further by blaming it all on the "rich, white, Republican males." I really don't know what is more impressive, the stupidity of the poor, or the cunning agenda of the Left.

Rosie - posted on 11/07/2010

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i am sorry for my temper tamtrum, but seriously, up until your last post here you've just been acting like people can just do whatever, whenever. the real world just doesn't work that way, no matter how cute it is to say that you can do whatever in america, it just isn't true. life gets in the way.

by suggesting people get a different job seems ludicrous to me. how would you suggest to someone who's spent tens of thousands of dollars getting their masters degree in english, to just find a job in a different profession?



in my situation, i was much like you. i went to college, and i didn't finish. i couldn't figure out what i wanted to do, and just now, at 32, i think i have it narrowed down to 2 professions. but life circumstances are such, that i have 3 kids now, and would prefer not to quit my job to go back to school. i don't want to go on welfare. i refuse to unless one of us involuntarily looses our job. i think when my youngest is in high school, i may try to go to school-we'll see when the time comes.



for now i am content with how things are. i get to see my kids grow up, and my household functions fine. sure, it'd be great if we made more money. but for everyday living we don't need it. my kids are clothed and fed well, and my bills are always paid. the only problem is my childrens health. if we didn't have insurance through the state for my kids (not title 19, a different program called hawk-i) i don't think my kids would be receiving the help that they need. i would need to make 6 figures or more a year to pay for all the crap my kids need medically.



i guess what i'm trying to say is that i do work hard, my husband works hard, mary elizabeth works hard. please don't patronize us by saying we could earn more if we just worked for it. or implying that someone who works retail isn't working as hard as the person who owns the business. it's insulting to assume that the people who got that CEO to where he is today don't deserve the title of "hard worker."

Jenny - posted on 11/06/2010

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Thank you Kelly, I marked your post as helpful for taking the time to respond.



Kelly: Of course I am not saying all teachers should quit their jobs. I know plenty of teachers that make a decent living doing it. I even have a few teachers in the "liberal wing-nut" side of my family. I can tell you that my sister who taught at an alternative school for a while made more than $330 a week. My aunt who taught college in California DEFINITELY made more than $330 a week. And my cousin who teaches in Texas public schools even makes more than that :)



I send my daughter to private school because I do value her education. It is a personal choice that I wish more families had access to. I know we have gone several rounds on that one........... My point to Mary was that she at some point needs to evaluate her own situation and decide what is more important to her. She is not limited to being a teacher. I just don't think that she should be whining about the "evil conservatives" trying to hold her down when she is doing a very good job of that all on her own.”





Me: I agree the public system is messed up. I would rather fix it though. Education must be our most invested in future institution. It affects EVERYTHING in the future. I would like to see more apprentice type/job shadowing programs and splitting off in high school for trades or academic learning. I would also fund post secondary fully. We can never sacrifice knowledge for money, it just doesn't benefit us a t all.



Kelly: As far as your other post, that is the one I touched on in my answer to Krista. Luck does play a part, but I believe hard work plays a bigger one. If your partner lucked into his job and then slacked off, or sucked at it, I doubt he would still have it.



No, I don't work out in the fields for hours and hours on end and come home dirty and covered in invert. My husband does. Luck played a role in his job in the sense that he heard through a friend of a friend that this company was hiring. He called and called to no avail trying to set up a meeting with the hiring manager. Finally he got in his truck, drove 3 1/2 hours, and showed up in the office. He sold himself, got an entry level job rolling pipe, and has busted ass every day since to prove he is an asset and move up. 3 years later, he now is the field trainer, and an Operator. He knows how to run every tool the company offers to rigs and has a class A CDL. That part is most definitely not luck.



We have been married almost 10 years, and only recently have been allowed a little breathing room financially. Even since getting this last job we have seen VERY lean times on occasion. He doesn't get paid if he doesn't work. We have made huge sacrifices along the way. I in no way feel "special" or superior to anyone else. We have each paid our dues in our marriage, and for a few years I was the main breadwinner. (Of course I made a LOT less money) I wouldn't hesitate to get a job outside the home again if I had to to keep my kids fed, clothed and in school. (I do work part time from home to supplement a bit as it is)





Me: Thank you for addressing my points here. See, even for you, luck played a big part. There's only so many jobs available at that company and your husband was lucky enough to get a heads up on one. If it wasn't him, it would have been someone else but the amount of jobs available would have remained the same. For my partner it required leaving home for 6 week stretches to go to school with little income (EI covered some). Of course there's hard work and sacrifice involved but it doesn't absolve the luck involved in landing the opportunity in the first place.



Kelly: As far as entrepreneurs go, who do you think provides the backing finances to get up-starts off the ground? RICH PEOPLE with disposable income. Investors aren't going to invest if they are taxed to death. And banks can't afford risk these days. Going back to the OP, the point Paul was making is that the classes all somewhat depend on each other. When you focus in on one to tax disproportionately, it will effect the others. And as someone (maybe Krista?) said earlier, we can't all be CEOs. There are certainly different levels of success, and we all fit in somewhere.



Me: The failure rate of start up companies is very large. It's not feasible for someone who can't get a job or has a family to support. There is a lot of planning involved. I'm a bookkeeper/office manager for a custom wood furniture manufacturer. I set the books up from scratch and know exactly what's involved in a startup. It's not a good job alternative for the unemployable unless you really have a good plan and product or service.

Isobel - posted on 11/06/2010

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I will never understand how middle/lower class families support the GOP when they CLEARLY only do good for the wealthy...let's talk about it for a minute...they REFUSED to discuss tax cuts for the middle class UNLESS they got a tax cut for the wealthy...who, exactly do you think they are representing?



when you save the wealthy people money...they keep it, they do NOT create jobs out of it, they put it in their off-shore accounts.



The wealthy people of the world vote republican because they will lose less of their fortune. period.



and if you make 90% of the money...you should pay 90% of the taxes. period.

ME - posted on 11/06/2010

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It's lovely that you're suggesting I could be more Kelly...thanks...
Adjuncts are indispensable to most colleges and universities, and we are notoriously treated like shit. Yes...that's what I make...but, if I suffer through this, and get a full time job after gaining some experience, then I will make a decent living as a full time faculty member; plus, my children would almost certainly get a free or very inexpensive education from whatever institution I am working for...The fact that I will one day do pretty well for myself and my family doesn't change the fact that people in my current position are not paid appropriately for our work. Our union is fighting for us, but most colleges make it very difficult for adjuncts to join a union...This is just the way the world of academia works right now...

Kelly - posted on 11/06/2010

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Your post:
Well Kelly, supply and demand,. Income is income. If people are willing to pay money for drugs, someone will be willing to supply. Capitalsim at it's finest.

Are you suggesting teachers should quit their jobs if they don't make enough money? Is education not something to be valued and invested in? Or since you put your kids in private school, should the rest of us pay for it too?

My answer:
Of course I am not saying all teachers should quit their jobs. I know plenty of teachers that make a decent living doing it. I even have a few teachers in the "liberal wing-nut" side of my family. I can tell you that my sister who taught at an alternative school for a while made more than $330 a week. My aunt who taught college in California DEFINITELY made more than $330 a week. And my cousin who teaches in Texas public schools even makes more than that :)

I send my daughter to private school because I do value her education. It is a personal choice that I wish more families had access to. I know we have gone several rounds on that one........... My point to Mary was that she at some point needs to evaluate her own situation and decide what is more important to her. She is not limited to being a teacher. I just don't think that she should be whining about the "evil conservatives" trying to hold her down when she is doing a very good job of that all on her own.

As far as your other post, that is the one I touched on in my answer to Krista. Luck does play a part, but I believe hard work plays a bigger one. If your partner lucked into his job and then slacked off, or sucked at it, I doubt he would still have it.

No, I don't work out in the fields for hours and hours on end and come home dirty and covered in invert. My husband does. Luck played a role in his job in the sense that he heard through a friend of a friend that this company was hiring. He called and called to no avail trying to set up a meeting with the hiring manager. Finally he got in his truck, drove 3 1/2 hours, and showed up in the office. He sold himself, got an entry level job rolling pipe, and has busted ass every day since to prove he is an asset and move up. 3 years later, he now is the field trainer, and an Operator. He knows how to run every tool the company offers to rigs and has a class A CDL. That part is most definitely not luck.

We have been married almost 10 years, and only recently have been allowed a little breathing room financially. Even since getting this last job we have seen VERY lean times on occasion. He doesn't get paid if he doesn't work. We have made huge sacrifices along the way. I in no way feel "special" or superior to anyone else. We have each paid our dues in our marriage, and for a few years I was the main breadwinner. (Of course I made a LOT less money) I wouldn't hesitate to get a job outside the home again if I had to to keep my kids fed, clothed and in school. (I do work part time from home to supplement a bit as it is)

As far as entrepreneurs go, who do you think provides the backing finances to get up-starts off the ground? RICH PEOPLE with disposable income. Investors aren't going to invest if they are taxed to death. And banks can't afford risk these days. Going back to the OP, the point Paul was making is that the classes all somewhat depend on each other. When you focus in on one to tax disproportionately, it will effect the others. And as someone (maybe Krista?) said earlier, we can't all be CEOs. There are certainly different levels of success, and we all fit in somewhere.

Jenny - posted on 11/06/2010

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...and to add to Laura's statement on how they make it. The emhpasis in our societies is to make money, not the morality invovled in the process. That's why drug dealers have a fairly easy ride, they flash the cash with zero benefit to society. I want the product legalised to take that away and bring in the tax dollars but that's another thread. And, no, I don't see value in drug dealers. I understand why they are there and I understand how to diminish their numbers. Regulate the market.

Isobel - posted on 11/06/2010

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well...people who do come from money get role models (who went to University and got a degree and know how to handle money) and people who are raised in poverty are generally presented with role models who make their money through crime...that's not an even starting point (IMHO)



and that's the problem with valuing people based on how much money they make

Kelly - posted on 11/06/2010

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Laura, I went back and re-read to make sure...... $1900 per course over 17 weeks. That is $5700 total for 3 courses. Divided by 17 weeks makes it $335 and change a week. Mary, certainly correct that if you for some reason misspoke in your post.

Yes, I do believe you can CHOOSE your job. The amazing thing to me here is that we all have some similar stories. It doesn't seem that any of us "came from money" yet we take our experiences and have vastly different feelings and insights from them.

Jenny, considering that I live in the middle of nowhere surrounded by herds of buffalo, I probably wouldn't find someone in a bathroom with their kid. But I see your point there. :) I just feel like you have a very cynical outlook on life. I really honestly feel that you get out of life what you put in. Some have to struggle a lot more than others to get there, hence the saying "life isn't fair." I have personally witnessed and experienced hard work paying off many times over.

Jenny - posted on 11/06/2010

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Jenny, I kind of covered your first post with my answer to Krista..... As far as the second, I had a feeling you would see value in drug dealers :)

I don't think that was an adequate response to my post. I know there's only so much time and we have other responsibilities so I don't expect an immediate response but a direct one would most certainly be appreciated.

Jenny - posted on 11/06/2010

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"Here's the thing......... I am glad that you love your job. But if it isn't enough to feed your children, by all means DO SOMETHING ELSE. Why are you expecting others to help you when you are the one who chose to have your children, and chose the career path you have taken? Rand Paul and others like him aren't holding you back, you are. "



Kelly, there are only a certain number of jobs in each income bracket. With that in mind and the unemployment rate how do you expect EVERYONE to just work towards a different job in a better income bracket when they don't exist in the first place? How do you compete for something imaginary?

Isobel - posted on 11/06/2010

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There's a reason that man is famous...cause it almost never happens.

Jenny - posted on 11/06/2010

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"The example that really comes to mind is the "Pursuit of Happiness" story. That man NEVER gave up. That is the kind of tenacity and hunger that people need to have in life. Luck will eventually find you."

No, luck eventually found that one person. Oh and if you found a person sleeping in a public bathroom with a child what would your reaction be? I'm guessing it wouldn't be he's pulling himself up by his bootstraps to be a stockbroker, leave him be. At least judging by the news that's not how things work where I llive. It's more of an out of sight, out of mind attitude but I won't speak for you.

Kelly - posted on 11/06/2010

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Jenny, I kind of covered your first post with my answer to Krista..... As far as the second, I had a feeling you would see value in drug dealers :)

Of course I am not saying all teachers should quit their jobs. I know plenty of teachers that make a decent living doing it. I even have a few teachers in the "liberal wing-nut" side of my family. I can tell you that my sister who taught at an alternative school for a while made more than $330 a week. My aunt who taught college in California DEFINITELY made more than $330 a week. And my cousin who teaches in Texas public schools even makes more than that :)

I send my daughter to private school because I do value her education. It is a personal choice that I wish more families had access to. I know we have gone several rounds on that one........... My point to Mary was that she at some point needs to evaluate her own situation and decide what is more important to her. She is not limited to being a teacher. I just don't think that she should be whining about the "evil conservatives" trying to hold her down when she is doing a very good job of that all on her own.

Isobel - posted on 11/06/2010

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$330 a week is what she said she makes per course...she also said that she's teaching 3 courses.

But this DOES bring up an interesting question. Do you guys really believe that everybody can CHOOSE their job?

I, for instance, borrowed money from the govt to go to hairdressing school...as it turns out, being a hairdresser didn't pay enough to raise my family AND pay my student loans and I fell behind. As it turns out, you cannot get a new student loan if you are behind.

So therefore (if not for extremely fortunate circumstances) I would have been stuck as a hairdresser, working mostly nights and weekends and never seeing my kids and barely IF making my bills.

If you are born into poverty, and you have no role models to show you HOW to succeed, and the only financially successful people you see are drug dealers and criminals...exactly who is going to tell you that you should go to school?

Do you really believe that everybody starts out on a level playing field?

I'm not saying that the end results should always be equal...but the starting point should be...no?

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