Is poverty a moral failing...

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Re: Is poverty a moral failing...

Post by Brian Peacock » Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:36 am

Can you guys stop making me hungry and start taking things seriously. All this talk of food is making me want to go out shoplifting!
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Clinton Huxley » 21 Jun 2012 » 14:10:36 GMT
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Re: Is poverty a moral failing...

Post by Brian Peacock » Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:31 pm

Universal credit wait fuels poverty and food bank use, says research

Ministers have come under renewed pressure to fundamentally overhaul universal credit after fresh research claimed that the welfare benefit’s built-in five week wait for payment fuelled claimant poverty and increased food bank use.

The Trussell Trust food bank network said the minimum 35-day wait for payment endured by claimants after signing on to universal credit could have a rapid, devastating and long-lasting impact on their finances, housing security and mental health.

Claimants unable to cope without income during the waiting period faced destitution, Trussell said. They were unable to afford food, frequently went without meals, failed to pay utility bills, ran up rent arrears and risked eviction.

Food bank use had soared by a third in areas where universal credit had operated for a year, it said, drawing on data from 414 food banks. Demand for food parcels increased by 40% where universal credit had been in place for at least 18 months, and 48% where it had been established for at least two years.

...

Government measures to mitigate the negative effects of the five-week wait were either limited or failing, Trussell said. Repayable advance loans issued to claimants to tide them over simply created long-term difficulties for claimants as they paid them back, in effect leaving them “deciding between hardship now or later”.

“Universal credit should be there to anchor any of us against the tides of poverty. But the five-week wait fatally undermines this principle, pushing people into debt, homelessness and destitution,” said Trussell Trust chief executive Emma Revie.

...
The design of universal credit built in a six-week waiting time for a first payment – later reduced to five weeks – to put claimants on to a monthly-in-arrears payment cycle, paid electronically, ostensibly to reflect the world of work. The benefits it replaces typically had a 15-day wait for payment.

However, the designers seemingly failed to recognise that substantial numbers of claimants were used to one or two-week payment cycles, and few had sufficient savings to tide them over a lengthy period without income, making their transition to the new benefit an often traumatic struggle.

Universal credit bundles together six working-age benefits into one monthly payment. It was originally due to be fully operational in 2017 but the current deadline is 2023, when about 7m people will depend on it. A devastating auditors’ report last year found it was unlikely to deliver planned financial savings or employment benefits.


https://www.theguardian.com/society/201 ... s-research
The more that is reported on this 'reform' of unemployment benefits the more it looks like that creating hardship was built into the system. The issue which a number of reports have highlights are, to even the untrained observer, blindingly obvious oversights - as if the difficulties presented to claimants in claiming Universal Credit are actually part of the process - perhaps even deliberately designed into the system as a disincentive.

One must also acknowledge the government's rhetoric which surrounded this 'reform', that of wanting to 'make work pay', of encouraging 'strivers not skivers, workers not shirkers', and of a so-called 'hand-out culture where benefits are seen as a lifestyle choice' (as if anyone would willingly choose a lifestyle of penury and hunger). It seemed that driving the unemployed into deeper poverty has been considered a moral corrective which encourages people to try harder - but if the threat of abject poverty worked we wouldn't be giving bankers lottery-sized bonuses every year for not fucking up but stripping 99% of their animal income when they do. No, the wealthy are motivate to excel by money whereas the poor are motivated by the threat of homelessness and hunger - wasn't it ever thus?
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Clinton Huxley » 21 Jun 2012 » 14:10:36 GMT
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Re: Is poverty a moral failing...

Post by Sean Hayden » Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:42 pm

Of course they are. Remember that next time you get antsy 'bout China's social credit system. We already do it, and so much better. :biggrin:
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Re: Is poverty a moral failing...

Post by Sean Hayden » Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:56 pm

The problem with being poor is that everything is impossible. Every little mistake can cost you big time. For example, a few years ago I lost my license because of a no-insurance ticket. I had insurance, I just didn't have it on me at the time. All I had to do was report to court and prove I had it. Well that proved difficult for me and before you know it the state was tacking on major fines in addition to what would have been owed initially. Eventually being behind cost me my license.

The kicker, the no-insurance ticket was written after some lady had totaled my car. Yep, I was t-boned by a bad driver and the cops wrote me a ticket on top of it. Her insurance paid me btw, so it wasn't like fault for the accident was in dispute. I've never been in an accident that was my fault. I don't even get speeding tickets. But the state tried to get thousands of dollars from me, and when they couldn't they took my license and dinged my record.

Can you guess what it took to get the license back? Evidence that I'm a good driver? That I always had insurance, even when they wrote the ticket --think about that man, I had insurance, something they could find out in an instant, but didn't, why?

Nope, more money.

I even had a lawyer through insurance to help me figure out what the hell was going on. He showed up to court late, never even talked to me, and just stood in front of the judge like a fucking idiot! :lol:

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Re: Is poverty a moral failing...

Post by Sean Hayden » Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:05 pm

I can't complain though. Just look what happens when you've got no money and some dumb cop gives worse than a bs traffic ticket and can't be arsed or forced to do his job:
https://www.texasmonthly.com/articles/u ... or-texans/
How the Unchecked Power of Judges Is Hurting Poor Texans
Can’t afford a lawyer? Don’t expect justice.
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Re: Is poverty a moral failing...

Post by Rum » Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:18 pm

The view that the poor are deserving of their fate is as old as feudalism I would say. If you couldn’t hand over your share of your crops then you were thrown off the land, no doubt with the justification you were at the very least hapless. The way poverty has been managed in the UK both prior to the Poor laws and after were ingrained with judgementalism and ideas of moral weakness after all.

The notion is pretty deeply imbedded in society and individuals I would say. Even liberal lefty me can’t help but take a less than charitable view of the chav wearing a month worn track suit and marching with determination to find his next fix with his last five quid. There’s a part of me that says I could never be that guy and judges him, even when I know he is almost certainly the victim of social conditions.

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Re: Is poverty a moral failing...

Post by Sean Hayden » Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:02 pm

What you're really mad at is his inability to pay for his drug habit. We know this because drug use is fairly consistent across classes. What isn't evenly distributed are the consequences of addiction, go figure.
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Re: Is poverty a moral failing...

Post by JimC » Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:17 pm

I've read of wealthy heroin addicts who function quite well. Never short of a fix (with clean needles always), got somewhere to live, enough money for food etc. so the bad consequences are minimised.

Much the same with gin, really... :tea:
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Re: Is poverty a moral failing...

Post by Sean Hayden » Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:27 pm

That and heroin is like a slow mummification. If you don't off yourself you can look remarkably good in old age.
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Re: Is poverty a moral failing...

Post by Brian Peacock » Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:04 am

Sean Hayden wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:05 pm
I can't complain though. Just look what happens when you've got no money and some dumb cop gives worse than a bs traffic ticket and can't be arsed or forced to do his job:
https://www.texasmonthly.com/articles/u ... or-texans/
How the Unchecked Power of Judges Is Hurting Poor Texans
Can’t afford a lawyer? Don’t expect justice.
That's appalling, and all too believable. Laziness on the part of the police dept, and basically corruption on the part of the judges - and nobody is bothered because a past record condemns you for life regardless of the circumstance. Made my blood boil.
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There are two other possibilities: one is paperwork, and the other is nostalgia."

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Clinton Huxley » 21 Jun 2012 » 14:10:36 GMT
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Re: Is poverty a moral failing...

Post by Sean Hayden » Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:34 am

Yeah it's really bad. I find it hard to think about.
Galveston’s jail docket—a system in which defendants who couldn’t afford bond were forced, as he saw it, to plead in a hurried, assembly-line fashion.
I've witnessed this first hand and it's horrible. If it weren't for jailhouse lawyers--just a person in jail who's been through the system enough to know better--even more would fall victim to the corruption. One time a court appointed lawyer came to me and said the judge wanted to give me 15 years.

Okay. Fuck that.

Well, you can sign this and get the 15, or I can go in there and make him mad and who knows what he will give you. If it weren't for all the old timers who stepped up and called him out on his bullshit and told me to tell him to go in and reschedule, I might have signed it. What the hell did I know?

btw, it was a pitiful violation i.e. a failure to report to my officer.

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There are good people though. Thank fuck for the good people man.
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