Poor People

23 views
Skip to first unread message

Arthur J. Byrnes

unread,
Sep 4, 1986, 12:53:13 PM9/4/86
to
(MUNCH)

The discussion about poor people has been rather
interesting, but no one has gotten to the real
meat of the subject.

We (the USA) have been spending more on poor people
then any society in history. But the percentages
have remained about the same, except for on notable
figure. The more we spend on poor people, the more
poor people we create!

Some one here flamed the libertarians pretty badly,
with a phrase something like; "They never look at the
consequences." (sorry if I paraphrased too badly).

I'm not a libertarian, but it seems they have the right
idea. If we spend less on poor people, then we will
have less poor people.

Anyway, lets see some other solutions to this problem,
since throwing gobs of money at it hasn't worked.

Arthur J. Byrnes

Disclaimer: these opinions are my own. (no one else
wants them)

gold...@su-russell.uucp

unread,
Sep 8, 1986, 7:35:50 PM9/8/86
to
In article <3...@ge-dab.UUCP> byr...@ge-dab.UUCP (Arthur J. Byrnes) writes:
> If we spend less on poor people, then we will
>have less poor people.

Actually, taking them out and shooting them might have the same
effect only it would be faster. Mass gassing, I understand, is
cheaper then wasting bullets.

>Arthur J. Byrnes

>Disclaimer: these opinions are my own. (no one else
>wants them)

How right you are!

-Jeff Goldberg

/*
** Jeff Goldberg
**
** ARPA: gold...@russell.stanford.edu, gold...@csli.stanford.edu
** UUCP: ...!hplabs!russell.stanford.edu!goldberg
*/

d...@mips.uucp

unread,
Sep 9, 1986, 10:23:39 AM9/9/86
to
In article <1...@su-russell.ARPA> gold...@su-russell.UUCP (Jeffrey Goldberg) writes:
>In article <3...@ge-dab.UUCP> byr...@ge-dab.UUCP (Arthur J. Byrnes) writes:
>> If we spend less on poor people, then we will
>>have less poor people.
>
>Actually, taking them out and shooting them might have the same
>effect only it would be faster. Mass gassing, I understand, is
>cheaper then wasting bullets.
>

I take this to mean that you think that cutting off poor people is
akin to starving them. I don't agree with this. I do know that this
statement has some shred of truth in it. There are poor people that
commit suicide simply because they are a burden to the family, and
many more have thought about it.

The question here is whether simply giving money to the poor is a good
idea. My opinion is that this country is creating a group of people
whose best skills involve filling out forms and standing in lines.

There are people in this country doing nothing because there is nothing
for them to do. What's wrong with creating jobs for these people?

People argue that creating jobs costs more money than simply giving
the money away. That's true, but you get what you pay for. If it costs
$10 an hour to pay someone $3.50 an hour to pick up litter out of
ditches, we get a clean ditch and a working person (but is this person
still poor?). If it costs $5 an hour to provide this person with a welfare
check, we get a clean conscience and some happy welfare workers.

>>Arthur J. Byrnes
>
>>Disclaimer: these opinions are my own. (no one else
>>wants them)
>How right you are!
>
>-Jeff Goldberg

Arthur was silly to add that extra line. I don't blame Jeff for this
last shot.

David

Steve Blore Howard

unread,
Sep 9, 1986, 2:09:16 PM9/9/86
to
In article <3...@ge-dab.UUCP> byr...@ge-dab.UUCP (Arthur J. Byrnes) writes:
>
>We (the USA) have been spending more on poor people
>then any society in history. But the percentages
>have remained about the same, except for on notable
>figure. The more we spend on poor people, the more
>poor people we create!
>
>I'm not a libertarian, but it seems they have the right
>idea. If we spend less on poor people, then we will
>have less poor people.
>
And if we napalm poor neighborhoods, we'll have even fewer. And if we
make the death sentence mandatory for minor offenses, we'll have fewer
criminals. And if we drown minority babies at birth, there'll be less
racial disharmony.

We're talking about human beings here, after all. Such cold-blooded tactics
may look all right in the accountant's ledger, but who has to go out and say,
"I'm sorry, Mrs. Jones, but we've decided to spend less money on poor people
in order to get the infant mortality rate back up where it should be, so no
more food stamps for little Johnny."?

--

"I can walk like an ape, I can talk like an ape, I can do what
the monkey can do"

Steve "Blore" Howard, a Fun Guy from Yuggoth
{hplabs, seismo}!hao!udenva!showard
or {boulder, cires, ucbvax!nbires, cisden}!udenva!showard

Marcus J. Ranum

unread,
Sep 10, 1986, 11:55:11 AM9/10/86
to

Whatever happened to Social Darwinism ?

"Think of it as evolution in action...."
--

Lightning flash, crash
Better than my verses.... white
Ueno ? Asakura ?

kas

unread,
Sep 10, 1986, 1:09:00 PM9/10/86
to
Seen on a bumper sticker:

"Work harder. Millions on welfare depend on you."

*
/ \
|---/---\---| Ken Scofield C-9355
| Gone | Hewlett-Packard PCD
| Jumpin' | Corvallis, OR
|-----------|
{ucbvax!hplabs, harpo, ogcvax}!hp-pcd!kas

Rob Vetter

unread,
Sep 10, 1986, 5:28:50 PM9/10/86
to
In article <3...@ge-dab.UUCP> byr...@ge-dab.UUCP (Arthur J. Byrnes) writes:
>
> If we spend less on poor people, then we will
>have less poor people.

Just like the captain of the Titanic said before it sunk,
"If we bail less water out of the boat, we'll have less
in the boat."

I do understand your point, however the problem is not
the amount spent, but the effectiveness of the spending.

Charities regularly publish statistics on the amount of
money regularly going directly to those in need. A
80% rate is considered excellent. As aid programs get
larger, 50% is considered good. Generally the larger the
organization, the smaller the percentage that gets to
the purported recipients. The US government is one of the
worlds largest. I'd like to see their statistics.

--

Rob Vetter
(503) 629-1044
[ihnp4, ucbvax, decvax, uw-beaver]!tektronix!dadla!rob

"Waste is a terrible thing to mind" - NRC
(Well, they COULD have said it)

David Hayes

unread,
Sep 10, 1986, 7:17:55 PM9/10/86
to
In article <1...@su-russell.ARPA> gold...@su-russell.UUCP (Jeffrey Goldberg) writes:
>In article <3...@ge-dab.UUCP> byr...@ge-dab.UUCP (Arthur J. Byrnes) writes:
>> If we spend less on poor people, then we will
>>have less poor people.
>
>Actually, taking them out and shooting them might have the same
>effect only it would be faster. Mass gassing, I understand, is
>cheaper then wasting bullets.
>
>>Arthur J. Byrnes
>
>>Disclaimer: these opinions are my own. (no one else
>>wants them)
>How right you are!
>
>-Jeff Goldberg

If you are living comfortably on welfare, just what the hell is your
incentive to go out and earn your own way?

dave

Peter Osgood

unread,
Sep 11, 1986, 9:20:06 AM9/11/86
to
In article <1...@gouldsd.UUCP> mjr...@gouldsd.UUCP (Marcus J. Ranum) writes:
>
>Whatever happened to Social Darwinism ?

Most of us rejected it because we realize that we are indeed our
brother's keeper.

---peter osgood---

Clayton Cramer

unread,
Sep 13, 1986, 1:12:19 PM9/13/86
to

Being "our brother's keeper" is a wonderful idea -- as long as people
don't start becoming lazy just to avoid having to work. This is the
heart of the opposition to making "welfare" (in quotes because the
term is nebulous, and refers to a large group of only vaguely related
programs) available to those who are able to work. (Especially since
work is readily available.)

Clayton E. Cramer

Thomas J Keller

unread,
Sep 14, 1986, 6:29:42 PM9/14/86
to
In article <10...@kontron.UUCP>, cra...@kontron.UUCP (Clayton Cramer) writes:
> > In article <1...@gouldsd.UUCP> mjr...@gouldsd.UUCP (Marcus J. Ranum) writes:
> > >Whatever happened to Social Darwinism ?
> >
> > Most of us rejected it because we realize that we are indeed our
> > brother's keeper.
>
> Being "our brother's keeper" is a wonderful idea -- as long as people
> don't start becoming lazy just to avoid having to work. This is the
> heart of the opposition to making "welfare" (in quotes because the
> term is nebulous, and refers to a large group of only vaguely related
> programs) available to those who are able to work. (Especially since
> work is readily available.)

As usual, the 'libertarians' make seemingly reasonable statements which
mask half-truths or deliberate misinformation.

Sure, there is work available for *MANY* (not all) who are able to work.
BUT, can one earn a LIVING WAGE doing the work that is available. In most
cases, no. According to every survey and study I have encountered, of all
the "new jobs" being created by the economy MOST are minimum wage jobs.
It is simply not feasible to provide for a family on minimum wage.

I suggest that this makes the 'libertarian' argument that there are jobs
unfilled, therefore there are lazy people a crock. Sure, there are some
lazy people. To typify all, or even most unemployed persons as lazy is
a dishonest and deliberately misleading tactic.

--

Disclaimer: Disclaimer? DISCLAIMER!? I don't need no stinking DISCLAIMER!!!

tom keller "She's alive, ALIVE!"
{ihnp4, dual}!ptsfa!gilbbs!mc68020

(* we may not be big, but we're small! *)

Ron Thompson

unread,
Sep 15, 1986, 10:05:52 PM9/15/86
to
> >I'm not a libertarian, but it seems they have the right
> >idea. If we spend less on poor people, then we will
> >have less poor people.
> >
> And if we napalm poor neighborhoods, we'll have even fewer. And if we
> make the death sentence mandatory for minor offenses, we'll have fewer
> criminals. And if we drown minority babies at birth, there'll be less
> racial disharmony.
>
Interesting how two people can read the same words and interpret them
so differently. I took the first paragraph to mean that the less attractive
we make it to be poor, the more incentive there will be to be something
other than poor. Actually the only people that should be on the list for
handouts are the mentally incompetent and the severely physically disabled.
I see too many jobs open at minimum wages and above to believe otherwise.
The first category I interpret to include people that have more children
than they can afford to feed because they don't qualify for wages that
will. I can't see justifying the punishment of children that have no control
over the situation, but at the same time, I can't justify having others pay
for the material possessions of those that don't have the responsibility to
earn it themselves.
--
Ron Thompson AT&T Information Systems Customer Programming
(404) 982-4217 Atlanta, Georgia Services Center
..{ihnp4,akgua}!cpsc53!rt (Opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Col. G. L. Sicherman

unread,
Sep 16, 1986, 11:15:19 AM9/16/86
to
> Whatever happened to Social Darwinism ?

It couldn't compete with alternative philosophies, and died out. |-)


"Sitting quietly, doing nothing,
And the Net grows by itself."
--
Col. G. L. Sicherman
UU: ...{rocksvax|decvax}!sunybcs!colonel
CS: colonel@buffalo-cs
BI: colonel@sunybcs, csdsiche@sunyabvc

cra...@kontron.uucp

unread,
Sep 17, 1986, 1:10:31 PM9/17/86
to
> In article <10...@kontron.UUCP>, cra...@kontron.UUCP (Clayton Cramer) writes:
> > > In article <1...@gouldsd.UUCP> mjr...@gouldsd.UUCP (Marcus J. Ranum) writes:
> > > >Whatever happened to Social Darwinism ?
> > >
> > > Most of us rejected it because we realize that we are indeed our
> > > brother's keeper.
> >
> > Being "our brother's keeper" is a wonderful idea -- as long as people
> > don't start becoming lazy just to avoid having to work. This is the
> > heart of the opposition to making "welfare" (in quotes because the
> > term is nebulous, and refers to a large group of only vaguely related
> > programs) available to those who are able to work. (Especially since
> > work is readily available.)
>
> As usual, the 'libertarians' make seemingly reasonable statements which
> mask half-truths or deliberate misinformation.
>
> Sure, there is work available for *MANY* (not all) who are able to work.
> BUT, can one earn a LIVING WAGE doing the work that is available. In most
> cases, no. According to every survey and study I have encountered, of all
> the "new jobs" being created by the economy MOST are minimum wage jobs.
> It is simply not feasible to provide for a family on minimum wage.
>

Minimum wage is still more money than welfare pays. If you can't raise a
family on minimum wage, you can't do it on AFDC.

> I suggest that this makes the 'libertarian' argument that there are jobs
> unfilled, therefore there are lazy people a crock. Sure, there are some
> lazy people. To typify all, or even most unemployed persons as lazy is
> a dishonest and deliberately misleading tactic.
>

> tom keller "She's alive, ALIVE!"

The most generous welfare program is AFDC. Recipients are seldom
capable of working because they usually have small children at home.
On the other hand, the reason the mother is receiving AFDC is frequently
because the father of the kids is unwilling to work. I've seen it a
lot in people I know.

And yes, even where Tom Keller lives in Sonoma County, there are
minimum wage jobs going begging.

Clayton E. Cramer

Ma-Ma-Ma-Max Ma-Ma-Max Headroom

unread,
Sep 21, 1986, 4:55:21 PM9/21/86
to
If most of the "new jobs" are minimum wage jobs, simply pay out
in welfare only the difference between what is being paid now,
and what could be earned at minimum wage. That way, it forces
people who simply do not WANT to work to get a job to feed their
family.

Scott

Thomas J Keller

unread,
Sep 24, 1986, 4:01:16 PM9/24/86
to

Great idea, Scott. Only two problems:

1) there *USED* to be such a program. The Reagan Adminstration dismantled
it within months of taking office, on the grounds that it would save
money. In point of fact, sufficiently large numbers of recipients,
realizing they couldn't live on their part-time minimum wage jobs
quit or got themselves fired, and went back to receiving full welfare
benefits, thus costing the government much *MORE* money.

2) the fact is that in many places (California is one) one can actually
survive (however meagerly) on welfare. One often cannot survive on
a minimum wage salary. One reason for this is that while the actual
cash income is approximately the same, under welfare (at least in Ca)
one receives *SOME* medical benefits. In a minimum wage job, one does
not.


On a slightly different topic, I keep seeing 'libertarians' talking about
those "irresponsible" welfare recipients who have large families. What these
people fail to realize (deliberately, I suspect) is that today, there are many
largish families on welfare that were large when the parents were earning,
but due to massive layoffs in many industries, these families no longer have
an independent income.

Now, your typical 'libertarian' will argue that these folks should accept
*ANY* job that comes along, regardless of pay scale. The fact that these
families simply *CANNOT* survive at the pay scales of *MOST* available jobs
doesn't even occur to 'libertarians'. And of course, these highly knowledgable
'libertarians' also fail to realize that fast food outfits seldom hire full
time employees. Yet, the 'libertarians' are extremely fond of suggesting that
these folks should take fast food jobs rather than accept welfare.

Face it. "Libertarian" is a synonym for "cynical, self-righteous, self-
satisfied, self-centered greedy bastard".

Clayton Cramer

unread,
Sep 26, 1986, 1:15:19 PM9/26/86
to
> In article <9...@hou2g.UUCP>, sc...@hou2g.UUCP (Ma-Ma-Ma-Max Ma-Ma-Max Headroom) writes:
> > If most of the "new jobs" are minimum wage jobs, simply pay out
> > in welfare only the difference between what is being paid now,
> > and what could be earned at minimum wage. That way, it forces
> > people who simply do not WANT to work to get a job to feed their
> > family.
>
> Great idea, Scott. Only two problems:
>
> 1) there *USED* to be such a program. The Reagan Adminstration dismantled
> it within months of taking office, on the grounds that it would save
> money. In point of fact, sufficiently large numbers of recipients,
> realizing they couldn't live on their part-time minimum wage jobs
> quit or got themselves fired, and went back to receiving full welfare
> benefits, thus costing the government much *MORE* money.
>

Yes. About 10% of the recipients ended up on welfare. A bad decision
by the Reagan Administration -- anyone that shows enough drive to work
when they can sit around and collect welfare should be the LAST person
cut off.

> 2) the fact is that in many places (California is one) one can actually
> survive (however meagerly) on welfare. One often cannot survive on
> a minimum wage salary. One reason for this is that while the actual
> cash income is approximately the same, under welfare (at least in Ca)
> one receives *SOME* medical benefits. In a minimum wage job, one does
> not.
>

Most of the bigger chains make medical insurance available to full-time
employees (not free, however.) The bigger issue, though, is "Do you get
better at a minimum wage job?" Yes. For most people, minimum wage jobs
are a stepping stone to something a little better paying, or a temporary
jobs while in school. Let me point out also that in areas like Santa Clara
Valley, fast food restaurants usually start above minimum wage simply
because there's a shortage of people interested in jobs.

>
> On a slightly different topic, I keep seeing 'libertarians' talking about
> those "irresponsible" welfare recipients who have large families. What these
> people fail to realize (deliberately, I suspect) is that today, there are many
> largish families on welfare that were large when the parents were earning,
> but due to massive layoffs in many industries, these families no longer have
> an independent income.
>

There are areas of the country where whole industries have evaporated,
at least partly because unions drove wage rates up to uneconomic levels.
But there are a lot of people collecting welfare who have NEVER worked.

> Now, your typical 'libertarian' will argue that these folks should accept
> *ANY* job that comes along, regardless of pay scale. The fact that these
> families simply *CANNOT* survive at the pay scales of *MOST* available jobs
> doesn't even occur to 'libertarians'. And of course, these highly knowledgable
> 'libertarians' also fail to realize that fast food outfits seldom hire full
> time employees. Yet, the 'libertarians' are extremely fond of suggesting that
> these folks should take fast food jobs rather than accept welfare.
>

If a person has any job skills at all, they aren't starting at minimum
wage. My brother-in-law, when not stoned and collecting welfare, has held
a variety of jobs, most of which paid between $900 and $1100 a month. This
is a guy who graduated high school and has never worked more than two months
at any one job in his life. He has no marketable skills of any sort except
brute labor.

I don't think Tom knows enough people in the welfare class.

> Face it. "Libertarian" is a synonym for "cynical, self-righteous, self-
> satisfied, self-centered greedy bastard".
>

> tom keller "She's alive, ALIVE!"

Tom is still upset because I suggested that the reason he can't find a
job he's willing to take is because he won't live Sonoma County. Of
course, he's collecting disability, but trying to get a job. If he's
disabled, he can't work. And if he can work, he shouldn't be collecting
disability. Everyone now understand why Tom is so concerned that everyone
be sympathetic to those who can work and don't want to?

Clayton E. Cramer (libertarian, and very unsympathetic to people like
Tom Keller)

Thomas J Keller

unread,
Sep 28, 1986, 6:37:56 AM9/28/86
to
In article <10...@kontron.UUCP>, cra...@kontron.UUCP (Clayton Cramer) writes:
>In article <10...@gilbbs.UUCP> (Thomas J. Keller) writes:
> [much irrelevent text deleted to save space - tjk]

> > Face it. "Libertarian" is a synonym for "cynical, self-righteous, self-
> > satisfied, self-centered greedy bastard".
> >
> > tom keller "She's alive, ALIVE!"
>
> Tom is still upset because I suggested that the reason he can't find a
> job he's willing to take is because he won't live Sonoma County. Of
> course, he's collecting disability, but trying to get a job. If he's
> disabled, he can't work. And if he can work, he shouldn't be collecting
> disability. Everyone now understand why Tom is so concerned that everyone
> be sympathetic to those who can work and don't want to?

Cramer, *HOW DARE YOU*????? I corresponded with you private and attempted
to explain my situation to you. Had I wished to discuss the matter with the
entire net, I would have posted to the net. You had absolutely *NO* right to
bring my personal comments to you into the public arena!

Compounding the issue is the sleazy manner in which you take what I told
you out of context, *AND* mis-represent most of what I said as well. I am
not going to bore the net with the details of my personal problems, as I
am sure most of these filk aren't interested. I do wish to clear up one
issue, however:

I am officially certified as disabled, for reasons that are none of your
business. I collect SSI disability benefits as a result of this certification.
While people with your limited intellectual capabilities may not be able to
comprehend such an issue, the SSI regulations recognize that there is much
positive benefit for both the recipient *AND* the government in encouraging
recipients to attempt "Working in Spite of Your Disability" (quotation from
SSI brochure on program of same name). Thus, recipients are permitted to
work for a certain length of time as an experiment, to see if they can cope
with the problems of working despite their disabilities, without losing
eligibility for disability benefits.

I have held one job under that program. It didn't work out (again, the
reasons are none of your business). I want very much to try another time.
I would *LIKE* to earn my own keep, as much for pride sake as to improve my
living conditions. Fortunately, the SSI administration is willing to encourage
my search. Unlike insensitive, narrow minded jackass 'libertarians', many
people realize that a disabled person may not be able to re-locate for a
job (particularly an entry-level job in a strange area), and that many jobs
are simply not viable for such people. Thus disabled persons are not placed
in a "take *ANY* job that comes along, regardless of location, nature or
pay scale" situation.

Cramer, I specifically pointed out to you 3 reasons why I could *NOT*
relocate to the Silicon Valley area. You conveniently ignored all 3, and
mis-represented my position as "won't" relocate. As you are *NOT* an MD nor
a licensed psychotherapist, I do not consider you qualified to judge the
merits of my reaons. Furthermore, you blatantly imply that I am defrauding
the government by accepting disability benefits, despite the fact that you
are completely unfamiliar with the regulations or rationale behind the
disability system, and thouroughly unaware of the nature and scope of my
particular disabilities (for the record, the things I did discuss with you
didn't cover half of the problems).

Finally, through innuendo, you imply that I am not working because I have
chosen not to. Much as I never thought I would say something like this,
Cramer, I sincerely hope that someone comes along to injure you along the
lines of my injuries, such that you cannot work. I would dearly love to see
you squirm.

I wish to point out to all readers that my comments about 'libertarians' are
gross generalizations, which I have held since long before I became disabled
and unemployed. My comments and views regarding 'libertarians' have
absolutely *NOTHING* to do with Mr. Cramer, or anything he has said to or about
me, or about poor people in general. I would note that his sensitivity to
my comments is, for me, indicative that I have struck a nerve, and further that
in my opinion, Mr. Cramer does in fact personify most of what I consider to
be reprehensible and unsavory about 'libertarians'.

In closing, let me explain why I made this posting, in light of my recent
announcement of temporary retirement from net participation. A friend
wrote me a letter and pointed out Mr. Cramer's article to me, so I read it.
After many hours of deliberation (and, frankly, a lot of cussing, fuming and
screaming...my poor housemate had to take her daughter and leave the house for
two hours), I finally determined that I had to make this posting. My
retirement still stands, though I will monitor this newsgroup for a short
while to see what, if any, excuses Mr. Cramer can make for his irresponsible,
unethical and highly offensive behaviour.


--

Disclaimer: Disclaimer? DISCLAIMER!? I don't need no stinking DISCLAIMER!!!

tom keller "She's alive, ALIVE!"

Matt Crawford

unread,
Sep 28, 1986, 6:25:44 PM9/28/86
to
Viva Keller! Abajo con Cramer!

Libertarian: one who is enraged by an `economic free rider',
but is perfectly happy to be a `moral free rider'.

Until the libertarian so-called `principles' are demonstrated
successfully in a community of 100,000 or more, they should stop
advocating them as a policy for any state or any country.
_____________________________________________________
Matt University craw...@anl-mcs.arpa
Crawford of Chicago ihnp4!oddjob!matt

Yow! I want my nose in lights!

Michael C. Berch

unread,
Sep 29, 1986, 2:24:30 AM9/29/86
to
In article <10...@gilbbs.UUCP> mc6...@gilbbs.UUCP (Thomas J Keller) writes:
> In article <10...@kontron.UUCP>, cra...@kontron.UUCP (Clayton Cramer) writes:
> > . . .

> > Tom is still upset because I suggested that the reason he can't find a
> > job he's willing to take is because he won't live Sonoma County. Of
> > course, he's collecting disability, but trying to get a job. If he's
> > disabled, he can't work. And if he can work, he shouldn't be collecting
> > disability. Everyone now understand why Tom is so concerned that everyone
> > be sympathetic to those who can work and don't want to?
>
> Cramer, *HOW DARE YOU*????? I corresponded with you private and attempted
> to explain my situation to you. Had I wished to discuss the matter with the
> entire net, I would have posted to the net. You had absolutely *NO* right to
> bring my personal comments to you into the public arena!
> [. . .]
> Finally, through innuendo, you imply that I am not working because I have
> chosen not to. Much as I never thought I would say something like this,
> Cramer, I sincerely hope that someone comes along to injure you along the
> lines of my injuries, such that you cannot work. I would dearly love to see
> you squirm.
> [. . .]
> In closing, let me explain why I made this posting, in light of my recent
> announcement of temporary retirement from net participation. A friend
> wrote me a letter and pointed out Mr. Cramer's article to me, so I read it.
> After many hours of deliberation (and, frankly, a lot of cussing, fuming and
> screaming...my poor housemate had to take her daughter and leave the house for
> two hours), I finally determined that I had to make this posting. My
> retirement still stands, though I will monitor this newsgroup for a short
> while to see what, if any, excuses Mr. Cramer can make for his irresponsible,
> unethical and highly offensive behaviour.

I don't think that Mr. Cramer owes anyone an apology or "excuse",
particularly not Tom Keller. I try to stay out of personal flaming
wars on the net, but I can't stay out of this one. For those of you
who are tempted to feel sorry for Mr. Keller for the alleged "breach
of confidence" regarding his disability, I'd like to point out that
Tom Keller has hardly kept this a confidential matter, and in fact he
has on several occasions retreated behind his claimed "depression" or
"illness" to excuse some of the more vituperative and ad hominem
examples of his postings. I'm sorry I don't have all of the articles;
you might want to refer to <10...@gilbbs.UUCP>, his "retirement
announcement" posted to soc.net-people, as an example.

I certainly would not belittle anyone's disability, whether physical
or psychological, and can only give Mr. Keller the benefit of the
doubt as to its nature and validity, based on the evaluation of his
doctors. Nevertheless, I find it particularly ridiculous for him to post a
number of articles citing his personal problems (e.g., to net.jobs and
{net,soc}.singles), and then fulminate with rage when someone has the
bad taste to mention them.

This "retirement" business is also nothing new. After Tom Keller and I
had exchanged a number of articles on the subject of Nicaragua in
net.politics last April, in which his rhetoric became rather obnoxiously
ad hominem and emotional (a fact noted by other participants in the
discussion), he apologized to me by mail, blaming his personal attacks
on me on his "depression" and stating that he was going to retire from
posting further articles to the net. Obviously, he did not retire,
nor did he change his style. Now, I would not normally relate that sort
of matter in a public forum, but Mr. Keller has thrown the entire matter
of his character and personal problems into question, and since he brought
up the subject, other relevant evidence is certainly in order.

As to the substantive matter of his unemployment and disability, I
express no opinion save that the fact that he can post articles
competently to Usenet and has expressed some kind of technical
proficiency with regard to UNIX would certainly qualify him (at the
very least) for an entry-level programming position; he states that he
is "unable" to go to Silicon Valley to do so, but declines to state
the reasons. I can only presume that they are unpersuasive.

What bothers me the most is that Mr. Keller has never stated that he
will attempt to improve the tone and manner of his postings in order
to try to conform to our collective sense of netiquette. Instead, he
rants and raves in the most foul manner (you might want to check out
his recent personal attacks on Greg Woods in, I think, net.news.group)
and then claims that the postings are a product of his "depression"
and that he isn't going to post anything anymore. This "devil
made me do it" kind of reasoning is not highly persuasive, and I would
prefer that Mr. Keller simply cleaned up his act instead of making
numerous apologies and promises of retirement. Frankly, I hope that
he does not retire, as I enjoy a diversity of opinion in the "talk"
groups; I just wonder why he is unable to repress his emotional
attacks when the rest of us seem to do so reasonably well.

Michael C. Berch
ARPA: m...@lll-tis-b.ARPA
UUCP: {ihnp4,dual,sun}!lll-lcc!styx!mcb

Danny Low

unread,
Sep 29, 1986, 2:01:10 PM9/29/86
to
>
> Until the libertarian so-called `principles' are demonstrated
> successfully in a community of 100,000 or more, they should stop
> advocating them as a policy for any state or any country.

From what I have read of Libertarism, it appears that we already have
a Libertarian government. It is called the United Nations. Consider
the various characteristics of the UN...

1. It writes laws (i.e. treaties) but obedience is voluntary.
Enforcement of these laws is up to the individuals (nations).
There is even true individual enforcement (i.e. mercenaries.)

2. It has a voluntary court (the World Court.)

3. It levies taxes (dues) which are also voluntary.

4. Any action decided by the Security Council can only be
implemented voluntarily by the individual nations.

The current state of the world is a good indication of how well a
libertarian government does work.

Any comments on this note should be sent to *.politics where I
can ignore it. :-)

Danny Low Hewlett-Packard
"If you don't know where you're going, it doesn't matter how you get there."
...Flying Karamozov Brothers
... but if you want to get here, try ...!ucbvax!hplabs!hpccc!dlow

Clayton Cramer

unread,
Sep 29, 1986, 3:03:03 PM9/29/86
to
> In article <10...@kontron.UUCP>, cra...@kontron.UUCP (Clayton Cramer) writes:
> >In article <10...@gilbbs.UUCP> (Thomas J. Keller) writes:
> > [much irrelevent text deleted to save space - tjk]
> > > Face it. "Libertarian" is a synonym for "cynical, self-righteous, self-
> > > satisfied, self-centered greedy bastard".
> > >
> > > tom keller "She's alive, ALIVE!"
> >
> > Tom is still upset because I suggested that the reason he can't find a
> > job he's willing to take is because he won't live Sonoma County. Of
> > course, he's collecting disability, but trying to get a job. If he's
> > disabled, he can't work. And if he can work, he shouldn't be collecting
> > disability. Everyone now understand why Tom is so concerned that everyone
> > be sympathetic to those who can work and don't want to?
>
> Cramer, *HOW DARE YOU*????? I corresponded with you private and attempted
> to explain my situation to you. Had I wished to discuss the matter with the
> entire net, I would have posted to the net. You had absolutely *NO* right to
> bring my personal comments to you into the public arena!
>

You want our sympathy. You want our money. What you say in any context
is relevant.

> Compounding the issue is the sleazy manner in which you take what I told
> you out of context, *AND* mis-represent most of what I said as well. I am
> not going to bore the net with the details of my personal problems, as I
> am sure most of these filk aren't interested. I do wish to clear up one
> issue, however:
>
> I am officially certified as disabled, for reasons that are none of your
> business. I collect SSI disability benefits as a result of this certification.

Of course it's not any of our business. We might be able to judge whether
you are disabled, or just plain lazy.

> While people with your limited intellectual capabilities may not be able to
> comprehend such an issue, the SSI regulations recognize that there is much
> positive benefit for both the recipient *AND* the government in encouraging
> recipients to attempt "Working in Spite of Your Disability" (quotation from
> SSI brochure on program of same name). Thus, recipients are permitted to
> work for a certain length of time as an experiment, to see if they can cope
> with the problems of working despite their disabilities, without losing
> eligibility for disability benefits.
>
> I have held one job under that program. It didn't work out (again, the
> reasons are none of your business). I want very much to try another time.

Why didn't it work out? Physical disability? That would be a very valid
reason. Or is it your incredible temper tantrums (which the net gets to
see a lot of) makes it impossible for you to hold a job?

> I would *LIKE* to earn my own keep, as much for pride sake as to improve my
> living conditions. Fortunately, the SSI administration is willing to encourage
> my search. Unlike insensitive, narrow minded jackass 'libertarians', many
> people realize that a disabled person may not be able to re-locate for a
> job (particularly an entry-level job in a strange area), and that many jobs
> are simply not viable for such people. Thus disabled persons are not placed
> in a "take *ANY* job that comes along, regardless of location, nature or
> pay scale" situation.
>

Especially, "pay scale". You told me you were offered a job programming in
CP/M for $800/month. That sounds very low -- but maybe that's all your
experience is worth.

> Cramer, I specifically pointed out to you 3 reasons why I could *NOT*
> relocate to the Silicon Valley area. You conveniently ignored all 3, and
> mis-represented my position as "won't" relocate. As you are *NOT* an MD nor
> a licensed psychotherapist, I do not consider you qualified to judge the
> merits of my reaons. Furthermore, you blatantly imply that I am defrauding

Of course. Let's not discuss the merits of your reasons. We could judge
for ourselves then.

> the government by accepting disability benefits, despite the fact that you
> are completely unfamiliar with the regulations or rationale behind the
> disability system, and thouroughly unaware of the nature and scope of my
> particular disabilities (for the record, the things I did discuss with you
> didn't cover half of the problems).
>

Or maybe you are defrauding a potential employer when you assert that you
want a job, and are capable of doing a job. Are you disabled? It's
possible -- but you have been complaining about having to move and how
much you hate Santa Clara County -- this sounds like a matter of choice,
not a matter of disability.

> Finally, through innuendo, you imply that I am not working because I have
> chosen not to. Much as I never thought I would say something like this,
> Cramer, I sincerely hope that someone comes along to injure you along the
> lines of my injuries, such that you cannot work. I would dearly love to see
> you squirm.
>

Oh? So "you cannot work"? Then why are bitching and moaning in net.jobs
that you can't find a job? Maybe you are legitimately disabled, and most
employers are unable to accommodate your disability. That's unfortunate.
But it's hardly an indication that employers are peculiar for not giving
you the kind of job you want.

> I wish to point out to all readers that my comments about 'libertarians' are
> gross generalizations, which I have held since long before I became disabled
> and unemployed. My comments and views regarding 'libertarians' have
> absolutely *NOTHING* to do with Mr. Cramer, or anything he has said to or about
> me, or about poor people in general. I would note that his sensitivity to
> my comments is, for me, indicative that I have struck a nerve, and further that
> in my opinion, Mr. Cramer does in fact personify most of what I consider to
> be reprehensible and unsavory about 'libertarians'.
>

Your temper tantrums on the net in the past have indicated a serious
emotional disturbance. In the past, I have made sincere, genuine attempts
to be of help. You explained several months back in e-mail that you were
having trouble finding a job. I made several useful suggestions, and the
responses were all excuses why you couldn't. I'm tired of your bitching
and moaning about things you either CAN'T change, or WON'T change.

> In closing, let me explain why I made this posting, in light of my recent
> announcement of temporary retirement from net participation. A friend
> wrote me a letter and pointed out Mr. Cramer's article to me, so I read it.
> After many hours of deliberation (and, frankly, a lot of cussing, fuming and
> screaming...my poor housemate had to take her daughter and leave the house for
> two hours), I finally determined that I had to make this posting. My

I see why you can't hold a job. Someone says something you don't like
and fly off the handle so badly that the people you live with have to leave?
If anyone was considering hiring you before, seeing BY YOUR OWN ADMISSION
what a childish temper you have should have stopped them from considering
it.

> retirement still stands, though I will monitor this newsgroup for a short
> while to see what, if any, excuses Mr. Cramer can make for his irresponsible,
> unethical and highly offensive behaviour.
>

> tom keller "She's alive, ALIVE!"

I think it's time for you to look for psychological help. I'm just amazed
how irrational you can be.

Clayton E. Cramer

Clayton Cramer

unread,
Sep 29, 1986, 3:06:07 PM9/29/86
to
> Viva Keller! Abajo con Cramer!
>
> Libertarian: one who is enraged by an `economic free rider',
> but is perfectly happy to be a `moral free rider'.
>

I'm not enraged by someone who is disabled and unable to work. I'm
annoyed by people unable to work because they have small children to
care for, and the father is being irresponsible, but I accept that it
is necessary to provide welfare under these circumstances. I will not
tolerate people who refuse to work because they don't like the work
that is available, and then expect me to take care of them.

> Until the libertarian so-called `principles' are demonstrated
> successfully in a community of 100,000 or more, they should stop
> advocating them as a policy for any state or any country.
> _____________________________________________________
> Matt University craw...@anl-mcs.arpa
> Crawford of Chicago ihnp4!oddjob!matt

NO set of principles works successfully in a community of 100,000 or
more -- big cities are just too weird.

Clayton E. Cramer

Matt Crawford

unread,
Sep 30, 1986, 12:30:45 PM9/30/86
to
Normally I don't smear people by revealing embarrassing
facts about them or betraying the contents of confidential
communication ....

So I won't start now.

Clayton Cramer

unread,
Oct 1, 1986, 1:24:53 PM10/1/86
to

Tom's e-mail to me concerning his "disability" wasn't labelled "confidential",
nor did he ask me to keep it confidential. Ordinarily, for most people on
the net, I might be inclined to wonder if Tom wanted something like that
kept confidential, but since Tom has in recent history posted articles in
which he complained about not having sex with his SO in two years...it's hard
to believe there's ANYTHING Tom wants kept quiet.

Clayton E. Cramer

Matt Crawford

unread,
Oct 2, 1986, 12:09:02 PM10/2/86
to
"All money and no heart makes Jack a libertarian."

Clayton Cramer

unread,
Oct 6, 1986, 1:49:01 PM10/6/86
to
> "All money and no heart makes Jack a libertarian."

The assumptions here are fascinating:

1. That libertarians are unwilling to provide assistance to people genuinely
in need.

Most libertarians I know are involved in substantial humanitarian aid
activities, both the tax deductible sort, and the assistance that doesn't
qualify for any sort of tax deduction, and is therefore much more expensive.

2. That assisting someone in need is always the best thing that can be done
for that person.

There are people who are CAPABLE of working, but choose not, sometimes
out of sheer laziness, sometimes because of self-pity or depression. In
both cases, a little hunger can do wonders to encourage more responsible
behavior.

3. That opposition to government redistributing income is the same as
opposition to voluntary income redistribution.

The way that government redistributes income tends to assist a lot of
people -- many of whom are not poor by any definition. We object to
coercive redistribution of income for the same reason we object to
the draft -- if it's really such a good idea, and it really has majority
support, you don't need to force it.

Clayton E. Cramer

Mike Huybensz

unread,
Oct 7, 1986, 11:51:59 AM10/7/86
to
It's really nice of Clayton to come right out and demonstrate how stupid
his rationales are.

In article <11...@kontron.UUCP> cra...@kontron.UUCP (Clayton Cramer) writes:
> We object to coercive redistribution of income for the same reason we object
> to the draft -- if it's really such a good idea, and it really has majority
> support, you don't need to force it.

Why then should we coerce to enforce any law then? The vast majority thinks
keeping their posessions is a good idea: why then do we need laws against
theft?

The answer is that there is an advantage to be gained by violating socially
desired conventions. Conventions that make lots of socially useful sense
cannot be supported in the face of too many violators (freeloaders.)

Plainly, Clayton, your argument is incomplete at best.
--

Mike Huybensz ...decvax!genrad!mit-eddie!cybvax0!mrh

Matt Crawford

unread,
Oct 7, 1986, 7:44:34 PM10/7/86
to
In article <11...@kontron.UUCP> cra...@kontron.UUCP (Clayton Cramer) writes:
>> "All money and no heart makes Jack a libertarian."
>
>The assumptions here are fascinating: ...

Your own assumption is fascinating: that "heart" == "giving away money"

Matt Crawford

Clayton Cramer

unread,
Oct 10, 1986, 5:02:16 PM10/10/86
to
> It's really nice of Clayton to come right out and demonstrate how stupid
> his rationales are.
>
> In article <11...@kontron.UUCP> cra...@kontron.UUCP (Clayton Cramer) writes:
> > We object to coercive redistribution of income for the same reason we object
> > to the draft -- if it's really such a good idea, and it really has majority
> > support, you don't need to force it.
>
> Why then should we coerce to enforce any law then? The vast majority thinks
> keeping their posessions is a good idea: why then do we need laws against
> theft?
>

You have a valid point IF the coercive redistribution of income applied only
to a minority of the population, and IF you fail to distinguish between
criminal actions (i.e. aggressing against others) and non-aggressive behavior
(making money).

> The answer is that there is an advantage to be gained by violating socially
> desired conventions. Conventions that make lots of socially useful sense
> cannot be supported in the face of too many violators (freeloaders.)
>
> Plainly, Clayton, your argument is incomplete at best.
> --
>
> Mike Huybensz ...decvax!genrad!mit-eddie!cybvax0!mrh

Incomplete, yes. But if you want to argue that the welfare state represents
majority will, you are going to have to explain why people have to be forced
to support it.

Clayton E. Cramer

Clayton Cramer

unread,
Oct 10, 1986, 5:06:55 PM10/10/86
to
> In article <11...@kontron.UUCP> cra...@kontron.UUCP (Clayton Cramer) writes:
> >> "All money and no heart makes Jack a libertarian."
> >
> >The assumptions here are fascinating: ...
>
> Your own assumption is fascinating: that "heart" == "giving away money"
>
> Matt Crawford

Why then, did you mention "All money" and "no heart" in the same context?

I should mention that when I was poor and hungry I felt even more strongly
than I do now about this subject -- I live comfortably enough now that the
welfare system is just a nuisance.

Work is the most effective welfare system known -- and hunger is the
surest incentive to participate in work.

Clayton E. Cramer

Dan'l Oakes

unread,
Oct 12, 1986, 3:03:25 PM10/12/86
to
In article <11...@kontron.UUCP> cra...@kontron.UUCP (Clayton Cramer) writes:
>
>You have a valid point IF the coercive redistribution of income applied only
>to a minority of the population, and IF you fail to distinguish between
>criminal actions (i.e. aggressing against others) and non-aggressive behavior
>(making money).
>

And you, in turn, have a valid point IF you accept that making money is
a fortiori a non-aggressive action. In particular, the stance required
is that making money in excess of the needs of yourself -- and, of course,
your dependents (if any) for the necessities of life (food, clothing, shelter,
education, and a basic level of recreation) is a non-aggressive action. In
personal terms, that is to say "My need for a new VCR takes precedence over
any desire I may have to see that fellow over there fed," and to feel that this
is not in any way an act of aggression against that-fellow-over-there.

I am not claiming that this an unethical stance; however, to deny that this is
in essence what you are saying, Mr Cramer, when you categorically define the
making (and, implicitly, the keeping) of money as "non-aggressive behavior"
-- to deny this would be simply lying to yourself: bad faith.

Gomen nasai.

Dan'l Danehy-Oakes

c...@entropy.berkeley.edu

unread,
Oct 13, 1986, 7:16:39 PM10/13/86
to
In article <11...@kontron.UUCP> cra...@kontron.UUCP (Clayton Cramer) writes:

>Work is the most effective welfare system known -- and hunger is the
>surest incentive to participate in work.

So you think that the approximately one-third of welfare recipients who are
children should either work or starve? What kind of work do you propose?
Child prostitution?

Charlotte Allen

Michael C. Berch

unread,
Oct 14, 1986, 2:03:53 AM10/14/86
to
In article <5...@ptsfd.UUCP> d...@ptsfd.UUCP (Dan'l Oakes) writes:
> . . .

> And you, in turn, have a valid point IF you accept that making money is
> a fortiori a non-aggressive action. In particular, the stance required
> is that making money in excess of the needs of yourself -- and, of course,
> your dependents (if any) for the necessities of life (food, clothing, shelter,
> education, and a basic level of recreation) is a non-aggressive action. In
> personal terms, that is to say "My need for a new VCR takes precedence over
> any desire I may have to see that fellow over there fed,"and to feel that this
> is not in any way an act of aggression against that-fellow-over-there.

Well, in reality, all of us implicitly make this kind of decision
every time we spent a cent on anything except charity, e.g., "My need
to buy groceries takes precedence over sending my entire net assets to
USA for Africa." How this can be viewed as an act of aggression
against anyone escapes me, and I assume that Mr. Oakes is not taking
up that particular point of view. Perhaps he can elucidate.

I also assume that Mr. Clayton's "making money" is shorthand for
"making money in a lawful, non-coercive manner" and I have taken it as
such.

Clayton Cramer

unread,
Oct 14, 1986, 2:13:26 PM10/14/86
to
> In article <11...@kontron.UUCP> cra...@kontron.UUCP (Clayton Cramer) writes:
> >
> >You have a valid point IF the coercive redistribution of income applied only
> >to a minority of the population, and IF you fail to distinguish between
> >criminal actions (i.e. aggressing against others) and non-aggressive behavior
> >(making money).
> >
>
> And you, in turn, have a valid point IF you accept that making money is
> a fortiori a non-aggressive action. In particular, the stance required
> is that making money in excess of the needs of yourself -- and, of course,
> your dependents (if any) for the necessities of life (food, clothing, shelter,
> education, and a basic level of recreation) is a non-aggressive action. In
> personal terms, that is to say "My need for a new VCR takes precedence over
> any desire I may have to see that fellow over there fed," and to feel that this
> is not in any way an act of aggression against that-fellow-over-there.
>

Care to tell me what definition of "aggression" you are using? It's clearly
not a definition of the word that anyone recognizes. The only way that me
making money is "aggression" against another is if I go over to that guy
and force or threaten him into giving me something.

You better work on your command of English.

> I am not claiming that this an unethical stance; however, to deny that this is
> in essence what you are saying, Mr Cramer, when you categorically define the
> making (and, implicitly, the keeping) of money as "non-aggressive behavior"
> -- to deny this would be simply lying to yourself: bad faith.
>

> Dan'l Danehy-Oakes

Again, you don't know what that word "aggression" means. Maybe you should
go back to school and learn.

Clayton E. Cramer

Mike Huybensz

unread,
Oct 14, 1986, 2:26:46 PM10/14/86
to
In article <11...@kontron.UUCP> cra...@kontron.UUCP writes:
> > In article <11...@kontron.UUCP> cra...@kontron.UUCP (Clayton Cramer) writes:
> > > We object to coercive redistribution of income for the same reason we
> > > object to the draft -- if it's really such a good idea, and it really has
> > > majority support, you don't need to force it.
> >
> > Why then should we coerce to enforce any law then? The vast majority thinks
> > keeping their posessions is a good idea: why then do we need laws against
> > theft?
>
> You have a valid point IF the coercive redistribution of income applied only
> to a minority of the population, and IF you fail to distinguish between
> criminal actions (i.e. aggressing against others) and non-aggressive behavior
> (making money).

Then my point is valid because: 1) coercion against theft and tax evasion is
analogous. There is a standing threat to potential violaters, and the vast
majority are never actively coerced. 2) The criminality of theft and tax
evasion revolve around the question of ownership. Part of the social contract
you must abide by as a citizen is the agreement that the government owns a
portion of your income. Neither theft nor tax evasion need be aggressive:
both may be fraud (which is also generally considered criminal by normal
people and libertarians alike.)

> > The answer is that there is an advantage to be gained by violating socially
> > desired conventions. Conventions that make lots of socially useful sense
> > cannot be supported in the face of too many violators (freeloaders.)
>

> ... if you want to argue that the welfare state represents


> majority will, you are going to have to explain why people have to be forced
> to support it.

Read my paragraph again, Clayton. Sound out the big words if you need to.
It explains exactly what you demand.

Evidently Clayton want laws to read like this: "This law doesn't coerce or
threaten good people who don't break it, only bad people who do break it."
That way the majority of good people isn't coerced, and only the minority
of bad people is. :-(
--

Writing with conviction is no substitute for writing with a rational argument.
--

Mike Huybensz ...decvax!genrad!mit-eddie!cybvax0!mrh

Clayton Cramer

unread,
Oct 15, 1986, 1:32:38 PM10/15/86
to
> In article <11...@kontron.UUCP> cra...@kontron.UUCP (Clayton Cramer) writes:
>
> >Work is the most effective welfare system known -- and hunger is the
> >surest incentive to participate in work.
>
> So you think that the approximately one-third of welfare recipients who are
> children should either work or starve? What kind of work do you propose?
> Child prostitution?
>
> Charlotte Allen

Children are not welfare recipients -- they are dependents of welfare
recipients. As my previous postings have made clear, I accept the fact
that AFDC is necessary. What I do not accept as necessary is supporting
able-bodied men, or women without kids.

Clayton E. Cramer

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages