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Haves versus Have Nots by Jack on Sun Dec 05, 2010 10:22 am
I viewed a discussion at viewtopic.php?f=23&t=191&start=540 that amused - but then, I have a macabre sense of humor. In essence, one side suggested that "the community" will voluntarily help each other, while the other side indicated that the haves were not, in their view, providing for the have-nots.

My first thought was Norse Greenland colony, alluding to Jared Diamond's Collapse. There, the haves took care of the have-nots - and, in the end, they all starved to death as they froze in the dark. On Easter Island, they fought - true, there was, apparently, a die-off of 95%, but the remnants survived. It seems that cooperation may be less effective than competition.

On further reflection, the issue of haves versus have-nots is not a binary condition. Rather, there is a distribution curve of means. For each of us, some are more affluent, some are...

[ Continued ]

0 Comments Viewed 10296 times
Buck, a Survivor of the Shut Down by eastbay on Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:45 pm
Deleted the rough first few chapters, just like last time.

The book is done, submitted and should be on Amazon (paperback and Kindle) and available through major bookstores this spring.

0 Comments Viewed 36592 times
The culture of Poor by wisconsin_cur on Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:26 am
A question was posed to me recently, "At what income level to you think that someone is 'making it' and at what point are they poor?"

This is a issue upon which I have some strong emotions stemming mostly from my biography. My parents were married at 18 and their path to their present level of success began with a newborn and one High School diploma between them. There was no seed money from their parents to get them started but there was an attitude and ethic worth more than the Hilton-family trust fund. For me anyway the nature of their beginings are neither a source for pride or shame. It is just what was. I do, however, take pride in the way they faced that beginning.

Between them they had an ability to get things done and make the best of what they had. In the late seventies and early eighties, when the unemployment level of my home county hovered around 20%, They worked hard, saved what they could, bought a house, went back to school and politely declined government programs...

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3 Comments Viewed 57880 times
Happy Days by wisconsin_cur on Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:31 am
From Monday's NYTimes Blog

My mother’s illusion came to an end when, one day, her labor camp cat stopped coming. She never learned exactly what happened to it. Unfortunately, that became a template for nameless outcomes by which her sister, her father, and most of her friends disappeared. Of her many illusions of youth that the Nazis snuffed out, the feeling that she could control her destiny was one of the most difficult to accept. But for my mother, and for all those who lived through similar experiences, surviving meant not only possessing a special toughness of body, but also of mind. She found a way to face the world without the illusion of control, of dealing with life as it comes, day to day, without expectation.


This is, in my mind, the key to mental preparation: to be completely clear on what one can and cannot control, to be fully a...

[ Continued ]

2 Comments Viewed 53166 times
Whence housing? by Jack on Mon Sep 28, 2009 5:48 pm
One of the developing themes over at tickerforum.org is housing - both foreclosures, and the avoidance of foreclosures by the banks. It seems that if a bank forecloses on a property and sells it, the bank must recognize the loss, representing a major hit against capital. And with too many losses, the bank ceases to be viable and must (by law) be dissolved. So - the banks don't foreclose. The property may be occupied by the former owners (but how can one be an owner with no equity?), or is abandoned and becomes prey for squatters and worse.

The problem, of course, is that the economy may stagnate with high unemployment and reduced business activity - or, worse, peak will hit with a vengeance and force the economy into another slide. In either case, we could easily see an increase in abandoned properties. If gasoline takes another run to $4 per gallon, it seems likely that the suburbs will be notably vulnerable to such developments (pun intended).

This creates a variety of interesting...

[ Continued ]

4 Comments Viewed 14996 times

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