Today I want to talk about the uber poor.
Currently there exist three classes of folks; The Rich, the middle class and the poor. I would argue that there are more than this. I would argue that there are five classes, the Uber rich, Rich, middle class, poor and very poor.
Anyone with over a Billion dollars is Uber rich. When you get into this club you have enough “gold” to make the rules.
The rich are really just upper middle class as they cannot make the rules and must live by the ones created by the uber rich however; since they are in the upper middle class they know some of the folks who make the rules and can have influence.
Before you write me and tell me uber rich don’t make the rules, I know congress makes the laws / rules but I am also savvy to Avenue K and lobbyist and who hires them…
I am skipping the middle class at the moment to jump to the poor.
The poor have apartments, houses, cable TV, one or more televisions, at least one computer and have most likely figured out how to get enough government assistance or other “invisible income” to make up the difference between being poor instead of very poor. I would argue that these folks are really middle class; they for a large part just pay taxes as if they were poor or living in poverty.
Then there are the very poor, they are street folks who live under bridges and basically exist on the benevolence of others, charitable organizations or what they can find on their own.
Now we have the middle class. These are the folks that strive to be upper middle class or rich and really have too much pride to be anything else. These are the people that get up every day and go to work whether they feel good or not. These are the folks that take two jobs, take their kids to soccer, and do all of the other stuff that most do but they are driven to press on, to get ahead, to give their kids a “chance” at something better than what they have.
Some would argue that their eye might not be on giving their kids something better but on having more “do dads, or gadgets” or trying to keep up with the millionaires.
These are also the folks who have little to no control over the rules. These are the folks that try to vote for the right person, do the PTA thing, and use whatever influence they have to make a difference.
These are also the folks who are most taken advantage of, not only by the rich and uber rich, but the poor as well. These are the folks who the 9000 pages of tax code screw the most because they don’t have enough power to anything about it!
These are the folks who get the Cable, satellite radio, cell phones with data plans and other do dads to fill voids in their lives that life quite frankly is not fulfilling. These are the folks who have the “universal fees” taken out of their ass-pocket, not knowing that they are one of the government’s ways of redistributing wealth!
I was in a park not long ago. While there, a guy, “street person” walked by me. He smelled bad and was a good distance from me. That is not however what got my attention. He was talking on a cell phone. He was in fact calling 911 because one of his fellow street people had taken his trash bag full of stuff or so he alleged. I am certain that the local police were really happy that this gentleman was able to call 911 with his “emergency.”
This is the uber poor or poorest of the poor. Not only is he relegated to living on the street, carrying his stuff in a trash bag but, he has no support system. Even though this is Texas it still gets cold in the winter. Instead of getting these people phones, would they not be better served with some other assistance? Let’s start with clean dry clothes and a warm place to sleep and some warm food. Let’s get them some medical care, including mental health. Let’s teach them what constitutes and emergency. While I am certain that was an emergency to him, that call could very well take away from a real life and death situation. There are other numbers for non emergency stuff and that should be the number he used. Truth be told if he had called sanitation he most probably would have learned that they pick up and discard full trash bags left alone.
Some folks are there on the street because that is where they want to be, I get that. Some are there because of mental illness. Some are there because they have no training to get a job or are wrapped up in some sort of substance abuse problem and waiting to hit “true bottom.” Some are undoubtedly there because of “shit happens.“
These folks don’t need a cell phone or internet, they need help! There is no money to be made in helping these folks however; giving them something tangible like a cell phone and allowing them to vote without a picture ID makes perfect sense to the government, and creates “more useful idiots.”
The purpose of this diatribe is to offer a solution to the problem. Unlike Washington and the uber greedy, I think outside the box. So, take that cell phone money and cable TV money and all of those other “universal fees” that Carter started, Clinton pushed through and Obama expanded upon and do this.
Set aside government land outside of large cities that is “farm worthy.” Enlist faith based groups, and other groups like habitat for humanity and set these folks up farms.
I am not talking about buying $150K tractors, just land and some modest accommodations and some hand tools while they make it a working business. A mule pulling a plow worked for our forefathers, maybe that could be located until they could earn their own stuff. Using the habitat for humanity model, they must put in sweat equity… I would say they must stay clean, pass drug test etc but that is just common sense, isn’t it?
Farming is not rocket science but, it is becoming a lost art. Kids today who grow up on the farm are leaving it at alarming rates. Involve the Aggies in teaching these folks the principles of farming. As the population continues to grow, does it not make sense that we could use some more farmers?
Offer this to the street people that don’t want to be on the street.
Offer this to the poor and downtrodden trapped in desperate situations; in neighborhoods that are virtual war zones with drug and gang activity. Offer them a way out, a hand up.
Find leaders among these people to self police themselves. Assist these folks to regain some sense of self worth.
First, get them medical help including mental and drug rehab. Part of that is learning how to farm. They can learn to farm, run a business and sell their product on the markets. Subsequently they can make profits and purchase tractors and what have you. If they could just feed themselves, that would be a huge win! It would be a “shot!”
I would also offer these types of programs to the 75 thousand currently in prison for non-violent drug offenses. Put ankle monitors on them and give them a chance to re-deem themselves. Prison is no place to “rehabilitate oneself.” Prison is a good place to learn how to be a smarter criminal. What if we had them help the others to become something more than a lost soul.
If we could get 75 thousand out of prison which the American people are currently paying to house,feed and manage, as well as help the poor to re-gain their lives and self worth, would this not be “giving them a shot” Mr. President? Would this not be “spreading the wealth,” in a way that makes sense?
Wealth is not just money Mr. President, it is knowledge. If I give poor people money and phones and other stuff I am enabling the poor to stay poor and in effect, I am crippling them. I am giving them a handout, instead of a hand up! All they learn is how to take.. Kennedy said, “ask what you can do” (paraphrased) Should we not teach them to fish?
If I take currently non-productive people and give them a sense of purpose; is that not giving them a shot?
Instead of kicking this can down the road people, we need to take ownership of it and make it our problem; instead of our grandchildren’s’. We need more givers than takers and it starts now.
There are smarter people out there than I, and possibly with enough “think tank” collective from the American people, maybe something good can happen. We have enough bad things on the news each and every day, it is time for something good, don’t you think?
Here is the challenge to you the readers. I am not trying to get anything out of this. This is my way of giving back. Writing a letter to the white house would end up in file 13…the bin. One voice in the wind is one voice. I need millions of voices. The only way that this has a chance is to re-blog, re-post, re-tweet and make it as viral as possible. If enough read it, someone with some “influence” will get this to the right person or people. Maybe some Hollywood type that is tired of his or her tax dollars going to keep non-violent drug offenders locked up might think outside the box as well.
Let’s give this administration a positive way that they can “fundamentally transform this country in a good way” by teaching those that need help, how to help themselves.
Yes there are details that need sorting out and I would offer that private citizens do it. Maybe, just maybe some benevolent Capitalist might have some good ideas or contacts, or a way to help. If the government gets involved too heavily with the details, we will have another 9000 pages of tax code, 60 thousand earmarks, amendments creating turtle tunnels in the tundra, and nothing will ever happen to help these people. This process needs to be streamlined and someplace like Detroit might make a good pilot as that place “like Chicago” is a war-zone.
These kids need an out and learning how to take from the government is not it. Learning how to not get shot walking to school, or how to look innocent in a lineup is not what they need to be learning.
This would also work at the state level. How about it Mr. Perry, can you make this work and show the Country /World how Texans take care of things?
Some prisons have farms already, are some of those inmates candidates to teach others?
-Best to you and those that you care about, now get reposting… Thanks!