Lion of the Blogosphere

Archive for the ‘Underclass’ Category

No, there isn’t always work to do

One of the commenters to my previous post about a guaranteed basic income insisted that there is always some work for people to do so we shouldn’t pay people for doing nothing

But that’s not really the case. I was reminded of a post at the Prospect Park Litter Mob blog (written by a bobo type who leads a volunteer group of like-minded bobos who pick up litter at Prospect Park). It seems that someone in New York City had the exact same idea about putting welfare recipients to work:

I see people sitting around a lot. In the complicated strata of workers in the park there are people who – in order to continue to qualify for welfare checks – are required to put in some hours here, working. Mostly I see them at the bathrooms where I try to wash my hands after the Mob; the bathrooms where there is never any soap the dispensers (There was no soap yesterday, either). Why insult people by not expecting them to work? Here is a workforce available. How it is managed or motivated I couldn’t tell you. Poor management and poor morale seem to be a big issue, in general. I am beginning to wonder how work is defined. To me, it means action. Physical movement. Lifting and carrying and dragging. Results. I see a lot of resting, at all levels.

So it turns out that people don’t just do anything useful even though you put them to “work.” You need to manage and motivate them, which costs money. In fact, it’s rather ironic that a conservative type who probably thinks the government is useless and inept at everything, thinks that government can somehow get useful labor out of people when private business can’t even do it. If private business found their labor useful, then they wouldn’t be jobless and collecting welfare in the first place.

If there were a robotic device that could pick up litter (which is probably going to be reality and not science fiction in another ten years), it’s would be a less expensive and more effective to use the robot than to pay may for people to supervise lazy shiftless welfare recipients.

In fact, the welfare “workers” appear to make the park worse and not better, because they hang around the restrooms and are intimidating to bobos who want to enjoy the park. Their “work” actually has negative value.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 13, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Posted in Economics, Underclass

Gunfire rules the night in St. Louis

That’s the title of an article in the NY Times, an engaging portrait of a ghetto neighborhood in St. Louis which has an entirely non-judgmental vibe regarding the protagonist’s drug dealing. “Mr. Wayne says he himself has put the brakes on his high-risk life. He no longer smokes marijuana, he said, and sells drugs only occasionally when he needs a couple of extra dollars.” In my opinion, even selling drugs “only occasionally” is not very smart if you want to avoid going to prison again. But bobos strongly adhere to the philosophy of non-judgmentalism with respect to the lower classes and minorities.

The article also demonstrates other sociological trends. The article mentions that the neighborhood used to be racially mixed in the fifties, but then whites fled to the suburbs. The post-WWII availability of automobiles as a gating mechanism allowed middle-class people to live in non-walkable suburbs and remove themselves from people too poor to afford a car. That was heavily taken advantage of. One of the key trends of modern society is that people of one social class don’t want to live close to members of lower social classes.

The article also demonstrates how high-tech surveillance makes it a lot easier to catch criminals, and may be an explanation for why crime is down. It’s not because criminal propensity is down, but because criminals get caught so quickly and are then locked up. With the criminal element behind bars, the streets are safer. And maybe some would-be criminals learn that crime doesn’t pay, or maybe they don’t because they have such low future-time orientation. The protagonist of the article still sells drugs even though he has had “multiple arrests.”

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

November 20, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Posted in Underclass

Marmot Biggie no longer sold

It’s interesting that Marmot has stopped selling the Biggie because the type of people (ghetto blacks) who were buying the coat were tarnishing their reputation as a company selling stuff for outdoorsy bobos.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

November 12, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Posted in Bobos, Underclass

What should the Barneys shopper have done with $2,500?

Welfare mom spends $2,500 on a handbag at Barneys.

In the absences of needs-tested government benefits programs, I’d say she should save the money if she doesn’t need to buy anything right now (and she certainly doesn’t need to buy a $2,500 handbag).

But it’s possible that saving the money would be the wrong real-world choice because she might lose access to Medicaid, AFDC, financial aid for her college program, and whatever other benefits depend on a person having close to zero savings.

I am opposed to wealth-based tests for need. (1) They are the easiest to lie about anyway so they disproportionately punish the honest; and (2) they discourage frugal behavior, and that’s the opposite of what we should be discouraging.

Everyone should get the same government benefits without regard to “need.” This would better reward frugality and work.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 25, 2013 at 3:21 PM

Posted in Economics, Underclass

Hilarity at Barneys

A 21-year-old unmarried welfare mom from the ghetto, pregnant with a second child, goes to Barneys (a very high-end clothing retailer in Manhattan) and buys a $2,500 handbag with a temporary ATM card that doesn’t have a name on it. Hilarity ensues.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 24, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Posted in Underclass

More about abortion an family values

Jay writes in a comment:

I see a lot of very, very weak arguments on here from so-called conservatives against abortion, and this is troubling since we should use reason, logic, and empirical evidence to make public policy decisions.

Abortion could be made even more effective (from a eugenic prospective) than it already is by having it encouraged and offered free of charge to poor women. Long-term contraceptives (like IUDs or Depo-Provera) too could be made more effective by encouraging its use and offering it free of charge to poor women. This fact is something the bible thumpers and other pro-lifers in the GOP are making harder to implement. Let me repeat that point: abortion and long-term contraceptives could be made more effective from a eugenic perspective if we encouraged its use and offered it free of charge to poor women.

You have to understand that abortion and contraceptives are one of the few issues where being “conservative” actually leads to worse decisions (public policy wise) because conservatives insist on being pro-life and anti-contraceptives. We need to remember that there are few (if any) other eugenic public policies accepted by the mainstream media other than abortion and long-term contraceptives. We could easily sell its use as “empowering” poor women with a message that it allows them to take their reproductive rights “into their own hands” and offer it to them free of charge, and this policy would actually be encouraged by the mainstream media.

In the end, the benefits of this policy would greatly outweigh the costs since we would save lots of money, lower our crime rate, and improve our quality of life in numerous other ways…and you want to know what the best part is? This public policy is already accepted by the mainstream media. There is no need to convince the media elites about this policy since they already agree with it.

Very good comment by Jay. Abortion promotes true family values because it can be part of the fight against single motherhood. Especially when combined with something like the excellent public information anti-pregnancy campaign I still see on the subways, which I previously blogged about. This campaign didn’t come from conservative Christians, it came from liberals in New York City.

Why aren’t conservative Christians behind campaigns like this? Because the sad fact is that Christians like single teenage mothers, because a single teenage mother is someone who had the “courage” to not abort her baby (as if getting knocked up and then living off of taxpayer-supported welfare is somehow courageous).

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 13, 2013 at 7:16 PM

Posted in Religion, Underclass

Abortion and the just-world fallacy

To quote Wikipedia, “the just-world hypothesis or just-world fallacy is the cognitive bias (or assumption) that a person’s actions always bring morally fair and fitting consequences to that person, so that all noble actions are eventually rewarded and all evil actions are eventually punished. “

I see this cognitive bias in many of the comments to anything I post about abortion. Anti-abortion people have this bias that they believe that banning abortion (which is supposed to be evil) will bring better outcomes. But the reality, as I keep pointing out, is that abortion is effective at reducing the birthrate of poor women.

For example, according to the Guttmacher Institute “Forty-two percent of women obtaining abortions have incomes below 100% of the federal poverty level ($10,830 for a single woman with no children)” and another “twenty-seven percent of women obtaining abortions have incomes between 100–199% of the federal poverty level.

So we see that the women most likely to have abortions are those who should be having abortions, women who have no way to support their children except by collecting welfare, and children raised by welfare moms are many times more likely to be criminals, so it’s not surprising at all that Steven D. Levitt, author of Freakonomics, found that abortion reduced crime. (And Levitt rigorously rebuts Steve Sailer who tried to argue that it didn’t.)

People who care about the future of our country should be trying to promote abortion rather than trying their damndest to stop women from obtaining them. Abortion lowers welfare payments, lowers crime, and gives single pregnant women an option that significantly increases their chance of achieving a self-supporting career and getting married in the future. Abortion would be even more effective at doing this if Christian nuts weren’t trying so hard to convince women that it’s evil.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 11, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Another reason not to move to Detroit

Fifty thousand stray dogs roam the city in packs. “Pit bulls and breeds mixed with them dominate Detroit’s stray population.”

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 21, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Posted in Underclass

Don’t move into bad neighborhoods

More than a week ago, in a bad neighborhood in St. Paul, a white man was beat up by a gang of black youths and suffered “serious brain injuries.” According to law enforcement officials, it’s not a hate crime.

The victim appears to be a hipster type who attempted to be on the vanguard of gentrifying his neighborhood. This is why it’s a lot better to have rich parents so you can have a low-paying starter job in a creative industry and not have to live in a neighborhood like that.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 14, 2013 at 6:44 AM

Posted in Crime, Underclass

Sterilization for welfare

Because some commenters think I never offer any solutions, I am offering my big solution to the problem of unmarried women having too many children. This is my sterilization for welfare plan.

In order for a woman to obtain welfare benefits, she must obtain a freely provided tubal ligation. This is more humane than cutting off all welfare benefits entirely, because her unfortunate child will get welfare benefits, but the sterilization requirement prevents her from having more children that the state must pay for. The woman has demonstrated irresponsibility by having a child she can’t afford, so tubal ligation seems like an appropriate punishment.

When a woman shows up at the hospital to give birth, without insurance or means to self-pay, this should be done automatically.

Although this still means that women will be able to have one child before being sterilized, this suggestion will drastically reduce the number of welfare children born to single mothers, and after only a few generations, the problem of multi-generational welfare dependency will be mostly eliminated.

If a one-child policy works for China, I think it will also work well in the United States.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

June 20, 2013 at 2:29 PM

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