Homeless people

vbimport

#1

(Stemming from the hypocrisy thread)

I’m curious as to the thoughts people here have on whether homeless people should receive government aid, should be allowed to beg people for change, or whether people should give them change.

(Note: I’m considering this a political thread, and will moderate it as such).


#2

Political eh ?

Then i’m not allowed to answer


#3

Hmm, homeless people. I see them everyday on the streets and in the subway. Sometimes when they beg for change and you dont give it to them you feel like a bad person. Sometimes they start cursing at you and commenting upon the fact that no one gave them anything. Even worse, they on occasion attack some people.

This should not be happening. I should not have to start off my morning feeling like a villain because I didnt offer any change. I believe that there should be well maintained, safe centers that are properly funded by the government to help these people and get them back on their feet with job opportunities.

Also, its not my responsibility to give anyone money. If there are centers where they can receive aid, then for what reason am I compelled to give away money. Human compassion is one thing, extortion is another. Example: Me and my friends were hanging around our school during a convention held there and saw some homeless people. We decided to give them our coffee. We expected some sort of gratitude but instead we were cursed at. They felt that they should get money instead of food.

In my opinion, the police should crack down on the homeless on the streets, but first they have to make sure that the centers they are herding them into are not so violent and run down that they are forced once again onto the streets. We have a real problem with that in New York as some of the “guards” in the centers are extremely corrupt and useless. There have been stabbings, rapes, and murders at these places. No wonder people leave those places with their families.

Better shelters, tougher enforcement of laws prohibiting begging, and a better attitude would help all.


#4

Any level of social welfare is bad. Our taxes should never be used to prop wasteful aspects of society up. If society were a purely capitalistic and dog-eat-dog system, everyone will be working their butts off trying to stay afloat or better yet, stay ahead.

If you can think of a better place to spend money on than homeless people, that is where it should be spent. Infrastructure, police and defense come to mind.

People will work harder when they know that there is no social safety net to keep them from hitting the bottom. When there is, they work with less motivation. The strongest urges in man are the instinct to survive and pure & simple greed. A capitalistic, to the extent of dog-eat-dog system, would be the best union of the two.

Another interesting way of looking at it would be that of social evolution. Social welfare (and even more broadly, welfare in general) is anti-evolutionary and acts against us. If you have a society where the weak and incapable are left to themselves, eventually only the strong and capable will remain. If you have one with a welfare system then you will have both, with the weak slowing down the strong. A chain is as strong as its weakest link - get rid of it!

And…before other posters accuse me of being heartless, I am. I sold my soul (figuratively, of course - I’m an atheist) a while back. So the heartless/bastard/etc. insults don’t work any more. If I am going to be convinced this way is bad, it won’t be by ethics, but by profits. Heh…before I used to try to not look beggars in the eye (thats what they want - to get eye contact and make you feel guilty). Now I just look them in the eye, give a wry grin and walk on.

Morality is as good as the next person who writes up their own set of moral ethics. Buzzword is moral relativism.


#5

@Devils Advocate

A society/country is judged by how it treats its lowest citizens.


#6

There is not a lot of homeless people where I live only a few alcoholics that would get help to treat their illness (alcoholism) if they only wanted it. And they would get someplace to live if they could handle the responsibility. But instead they drink all summer and commit some minor crime in the autumn sit in jail over the winter and get released in the spring. They don’t beg however I don’t think they are poor because they can afford buying lots of beer and liquor. Ofcourse they cost society a lot of money but they are a product of the society and the society have a responsibility to take care of them.

@ Devils Advocate
How can you call a society where everything is based on ‘survival of the fittest’ to be socially evolutionary?
That’s the way it was until just a few hundred years ago when social welfare started developing so a society without a social safety net is IMO a step several hundred years back in time.


#7

in a society of only the strong and capable, there will be a new weak class. remember, all animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others.


#8

Originally posted by Flying Dutchman
[B]@Devils Advocate

A society/country is judged by how it treats its lowest citizens. [/B]

Correction:
The ethics of a society/country is judged by how it treats its lowest citizens.

The wealth/power of a society/country is judged by its GDP, military budget, etc. - all of which are not affected by the homeless to any extent, but by the working John & Jill Doe.

Results speak for themself.

Originally posted by Donald Duck

How can you call a society where everything is based on ‘survival of the fittest’ to be socially evolutionary?
That’s the way it was until just a few hundred years ago when social welfare started developing so a society without a social safety net is IMO a step several hundred years back in time.

You can not use a timescale as a reliable measure of social progress. If you want to, look at communism - the ultimate embodiment of social welfare. It is history too, and evolved from communism to capitalism.

A capistalistic ‘survival of the fittest’ is merely the embodiment of what we see in the non-social equivalent in nature; namely that the weak get left behind to their own devices while the strong do not have to worry about picking them up and carrying them.

Originally posted by ckin2001:

in a society of only the strong and capable, there will be a new weak class. remember, all animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others.

Of course. The potential to generate a new weak class is always there. That is the whole point of uncontrolled capitalism. It would force everyone to be on their toes or suffer the consequences. Everyone is a master of their own destiny, and every individual pays for their weaknesses as an individual and not a collective.

Remember wealth is never an absolute quantity. It is relative. For the rich to exist, there must be the poor as well. If everyone becomes wealthy together, everyone will become poor together - c.f. communism.


#9

Originally posted by Devils Advocate
[B]

A capistalistic ‘survival of the fittest’ is merely the embodiment of what we see in the non-social equivalent in nature; namely that the weak get left behind to their own devices while the strong do not have to worry about picking them up and carrying them.

[/B]

Yes that’s the way the animals do but humans have developed societies for the people to feel safe and know that there is a net that will catch them if they fall. Remove the safety and we’re all basically just like animals having to perform well all the time or fall of the wagon. I don’t think that many people could live in a system like that.


#10

(Considerably more than 2 cents here. If you can’t be arsed to read all of this just skip to the numbers at the bottom. Or just skip me altogether:p.)

In my opinion a lot of the sentiments expressed in the posts above, even though they claim to be of the type “I’m not bothered - it’s their own choice to be penniless, homeless, and hungry - if they got off their butts and did some work they could be where I am - comfortable and middle class” in fact display signs of guilt and subsequent denial.

The fact that the thread is ‘political’ and the comments have started to be very generalised and politically-minded (e.g. evolutionary ‘superiority’ of capitalism over socialism) demonstrates to my mind the seriousness of this topic. It is a big issue [UK members geddit] the ramifications of which go down to the foundation of how we view our society.

No one talks about homelessness because it’s just a visible element of the ugly underbelly of societies which on the surface are polite and respectable, but underneath are as cruel or apathetic as any “less advanced” societies.

I have no definite view on a “solution”, but I would like to add these considerations:

  1. When we feel guilty, usually this means something, and often the more we try to rationalise away the guilt, the more we are avoiding the issue.

  2. Redistributive societies as described by Marx have never actually been tried and tested. The ideals of socialism have been perverted every time by people who wish to exploit society for their individual benefit.

  3. What is “natural” and “evolutionary” is not necessarily civilised, progressive, or good.

  4. If you think homeless people could pull themselves out of the gutter and sort themselves out to get back into society, you’ve obviously never spoken to homeless people and listened to their stories.

  5. If you give small change to a beggar, don’t feel awkward. If he didn’t actually need the money he wouldn’t be sacrificing his dignity like that. He’s not asking you for a global political solution.

  6. Living on the street is undescribably unpleasant. Before you rehearse your self-justifying rationalisations and walk past meeting the beggar in the eye and giving him an unsympathetic leer - try living rough for just 48 hours. Then you will be too hungry and cold to remember your political arguments.

  7. There will always be poor people and people marginalised by society. There will always be strife and war. There will also always be disease and death. But we don’t stop trying to fight and improve these things.


#11

Originally posted by Devils Advocate

every individual pays for their weaknesses as an individual and not a collective.

im not sure i’ll ever be able to read a post of yours again without laughing.


#12

To ckin2001, drybaboon and Donald Duck:

Try ending up in an ER one day in a critical condition with your life nearly lost because of some idiots. It is a life changing moment. I don’t want to go into it because I have been trying to repress the memory for the past year or so.

After that you become a changed person. I never used to bother much about physical development (you could say I was a geek) after that I worked on both mental and physical development. I go to hand to hand combat classes once a week and physically train a few to five times a week. This is in addition to my work schedule.

Donald Duck:
I see where you are coming from but being an atheist, believe that there is no greater difference between a human and an animal apart from our larger grey matter mass. You may believe in the soul/spirit/etc. but I don’t.

Drybaboon:

  1. Guilt used to bother me. Now I just find it funny I’ve made someone elses day. I don’t go out of my way to make life unpleasant for others, but if it happens (when previously it used to really get me down) I just ignore it. I don’t need to rationalise it because when you (figuratively) sell your soul, guilt gets replaced with an empty feeling.

  2. Perversion of a distributive society as envisioned by Marx is irrelevant. The bottom line is that they got perverted anyway and in any form, a distributive society is inefficient.

  3. I don’t care what is ‘natural’ or ‘evolutionary’. I only care for what maximises my pleasure. And that is not sharing Mao standard-issue peasant uniforms or having my money wasted on charities.

  4. Homeless people pulling themselves out of the gutter? Can it happen? I don’t care - it is their problem. Not mine.

  5. Before I ended up in the ER in a critical condition because of some idiots, I used to give money, sandwiches to beggars. Yes, it felt good. After that I just see them as potential idiots as well, so screw them.

  6. I have no doubt living on the street is unpleasant. But why should I try to develop sympathy for them? Because it is good for my eternal soul? Bah. I don’t believe in that. In fact, I’ll say it now that if God exists, I think he’s doing a REALLY bad job at being God.

  7. You can never remove a poor class from society. Why bother fighting the inevitable? Like I said, wealth is relative. You can not have the rich without the poor.

ckin2001:
I’ll ‘laugh’ with you because I don’t believe in what is right, but instead believe that might - you being a mod - makes right. But you don’t have to know what I think about people who are not able to comment intellectually on a subject and instead just point a random finger or two.

Any one of you, or others, before passing judgement, should try being evil for just a day. You will find it a very liberating experience. There are so many scumbags in the world anyway chances are you’re being a scumbag to another scumbag.


#13

Its quite funny. If everyone of us decides to have that “liberating” experience and be evil then society would not function. When the majority of people work agaisnt one another it is no longer a society. Society is dependant on socializing, the basis of its meaning. By becoming overtly selfish and detrimental to the health of the union established between people as a basis for a society (aka friendship and/or trust) , you are eroding the foundations of it (society) and in a way, forgive the language, being an ass.

:cool:

No disrespect meant.


#14

every person is an idiot when it comes to something.

its not a question of removing a poor class - its a matter of giving a poor class some kind of hope. take away hope, and see what happens. every negative action taken against some person could potentially make them more likely to snap against someone. and snap, of course, is as relative as rich vs poor. some snap, and say something. some go a lot further.

if i told you how often we used to end up at the hospital thanks to idiot friends, you’d probably laugh. 3 words - homemade shotgun blanks.


#15

When I created this thread, I was thinking about other welfare issues that I will bring about later somewhere.

Spend some time between 00:00 and 05:00 in Seoul subway and railroad stations, and you will find thousands of homeless people.

No one talks about homelessness because it’s just a visible element of the ugly underbelly of societies which on the surface are polite and respectable, but underneath are as cruel or apathetic as any “less advanced” societies.

Hardly. I don’t think many of you could possibly survive in those “less advanced” societies if you have to start your lives freshly without the knowledge, the wealth, and the relationship your societies have given you. It could be also cruel and apathetic even when you are not grouped as homeless. At least, it has always been to me.

Imagine a mother of four children who is also the wife of a cruel man. She has to put up with the guy who is nearly always drunken at home and beats his children and her, has to go to work at 7 AM to come back home at over 11 PM to earn US$5-10 per day, and cannot do anything about it except escaping the prison called family and entering the profession of prostituion. She was my mother now 55 years old. The four sons have all left home but she still does the hard work inside and outside home for all day. But then it is usually the children who have to suffer the most under such situations, sometimes by death either slow or fast.

My first wife-to-be is a person the society calls “Jang-Ae-In” which is close to the English expression, handicapped person. It seemed to me the state, the local and central governments, the schools, the family and relatives, friends and communities, neighbors and hospitals, and even her dead mother were unable to do much for her. Because of lack of love, neglect, selfishness, hypocrisy, face, (either lack of or greed of) money, or whatever else may not matter so much after all this.

In both cases, the physically and socially weak individuals were treated like prisoners or sometimes worse, to be abused and then neglected. Even prostitutes and physically very weak people can be forced to work for others and those in the name of “protectors” can use them to receive money from the governments and other less official institutions.

I have met and spent much time with hundreds of Marxists and all kinds of social activists. They all want to help. To advance their own causes. You can use even issues like this for your own politics as well.


#16

Flying Dutchman:
You know, I respect people who go through hell and still turn out to be nice to others. More often than not, however, I find that they are people who have some kind of foundation in religion which gives them the strength to continue to (as some would put it) be human. Of course, being an atheist, it rings hollow with me because I don’t believe in that kind of thing.

Just because everyone is working against each other need not necessarily mean that it is no longer a society. There are various definitions of a society (taken from the Merriam-Webster dictionary):
Companionship or association with one’s fellows : friendly or intimate intercourse.
This, of course, is your definition.

The other ones if you read further down are:
a community, nation, or broad grouping of people having common traditions, institutions, and collective activities and interests OR a part of a community that is a unit distinguishable by particular aims or standards of living or conduct : a social circle or a group of social circles having a clearly marked identity
This is a definition more applicable to what I am talking about. The former in terms of everyone collectively trying to capitalise on something within the law, the latter all having the aim of making more money.

I guess you could say what I am trying to say is that you are right that it may not be a “society” as we would prefer to know it, i.e. a friendly one. More likely it will be a competitive one held together by fear of the law (goes back to the might is right thing).

ckin2001:
About your experiences with idiots, when you talk about homemade shotgun blanks, it sounds more like any untoward event that happened to you was an accident by people who were still largely your friends. After the incident, they are still your friends (albeit foolish ones). In my case, it was being (as the saying goes) “Biting the hand that feeds you”.

Re: Giving hope to the homeless. First off, you may be interested to know that some beggars can make more money off begging than working class people. Secondly, there are charities that are meant to give such hope to them - offering some kind of work, shelter and food. Of course, I think that such charities should be disbanded and the money spent on things like police or infrastructure development, but a charity is a charity and if people want to go give their money away that is their business.

Yeah, yeah, I know I’m a bastard but hey, I’m happy with my attitude towards people – I’m merely giving what I received – and in real life I try not to show it anyway.


#17

Beggers anywhere in my country, some people looks really poor( Cutted limb, burned body still alive, blind, children, even good dressed guy only need money to get some food). In China, beggers are some special work if we admit that this is a industry.
I think most CD-Freaks never come to China, so this situation you will think incredible, however, it really exist. So you don’t know who’s real homeless people or whose job is begging…

my goverment keep telling people only communist can save China, but most people know this is a lie. Do you think we have human right? Poor people don’t know what’s their right? They only care how to survive, not how to live. When you are talking about Car, computer, internet, ten million Chinese people don’t have electricity. I remeber once I traved in a mountain country, there is no electricity there, people never know what’s TV, what’s radio. Can you guys imagine this? Why not change this? Beat communist? This is not the point, even China can establish a multi-party goverment, poor situation still occur and make people ignorant.

Money, money that’s why I like money so much…(because you never understand if you have no money to get a TV…)


#18

Originally posted by Devils Advocate
The other ones if you read further down are:
a community, nation, or broad grouping of people having common traditions, institutions, and collective activities and interests OR a part of a community that is a unit distinguishable by particular aims or standards of living or conduct : a social circle or a group of social circles having a clearly marked identity
This is a definition more applicable to what I am talking about. The former in terms of everyone collectively trying to capitalise on something within the law, the latter all having the aim of making more money.

What? Where did you get that the last definition is concerned with people making money? Either way you look at it, in both definitions, the word “group” is still used. If everyone became a loner such as youself, we wouldnt be a group with common interests. We wouldnt be a social circle either.

I guess you could say what I am trying to say is that you are right that it may not be a “society” as we would prefer to know it, i.e. a friendly one. More likely it will be a competitive one held together by fear of the law (goes back to the might is right thing).

Even a competitive society still has common interests. Actually what you described in your last sentence is a perfect example of todays society. In a capitalistic society, people work to profit and are held in check by systems of laws. However, this society is “friendly”.

You are hitting a brick wall with this topic. I doubt you will ever convince people that killing homeless people is the right thing to do (which you are, by getting rid of their sources for survival and most importantly hope). I guess Hitler had the same notions about the Jews, the homosexuals, the Slavs, etc.


#19

Originally posted by Flying Dutchman
[B]

What? Where did you get that the last definition is concerned with people making money? Either way you look at it, in both definitions, the word “group” is still used. If everyone became a loner such as youself, we wouldnt be a group with common interests. We wouldnt be a social circle either.
[/b]

I am a loner in belief but not in nature. I smile, chat and rub shoulders because it is necessary for my career. Don’t make wild assumptions about me just because of my different opinions. I could just as well say you’re gay because you have the word ‘Dutch’ in your name.

Originally posted by Flying Dutchman
[B]

Even a competitive society still has common interests. Actually what you described in your last sentence is a perfect example of todays society. In a capitalistic society, people work to profit and are held in check by systems of laws. However, this society is “friendly”.

You are hitting a brick wall with this topic. I doubt you will ever convince people that killing homeless people is the right thing to do (which you are, by getting rid of their sources for survival and most importantly hope). I guess Hitler had the same notions about the Jews, the homosexuals, the Slavs, etc. [/B]

I NEVER SAID TO KILL HOMELESS PEOPLE. STOP PUTTING WORDS IN MY MOUTH JUST TO STRENGTHEN YOUR ARGUMENT.


#20

If you arent killing them, what are you suggesting. You say take away their safety net. Take away their shelters and food. Take away any chance they have of climbing up the social ladder. What are you doing then. You are killing them in all but name.

Now, I am not saying you are doing this directly. But if your ideas were implemented it would mean certain doom for the homeless. That is what I meant by my previous post.