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There are freezing masses in the US. 842000 people without a home on a given night in February. Yeah, that's insignificant and negligible. 3.5 million people experiencing homelessness in a given year. Of course, the fact these people won't get pensions in the schemes you promote don't matter : life expectancy is very low for the homeless.

There is absolute poverty in the US and other industrialized countries. And the number of people living in poverty varies according to the state policies.

Try to use facts rather than groundless affirmations.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:22:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's about 3 per 1000. Compared to Australias 5 per thousand. The estimates in France range between 90.000 and half a million, depending on who you ask, which is about 1.3 per thousand to 7.5 per thousand. In Sweden there is about 2.5 homeless per 1000. In United Kingdom there seems to be a bit over 2 per 1000, and in Canada 4.5 per 1000. And in Japan between 0.12 and 3 per 1000 depending on who you ask.

Although I suspect most of these differences are based on how you measure, again this supposed huge poverty in the US vanished in a big puff of smoke when you actually look at it.

Besides, most people that are truly homeless, ie really have no permanent place to keep their stuff for a significant period of their lifes in the US are homeless for the same reasons as the homeless in France or anywhere else in the western world, and that drug abuse, alcoholism och mental disorders. That is not a poverty issue.

It's hard to measure. I have been officially homeless. Once for 14 months I didn't have an official address. I still had somewhere to sleep (although this admittedly was just a bunkbed in the dormitory at the military). That's not real homelessness, but it counts in the statistics. I've also had a shorter period of a month or so where I moved around amongst friends. I just couldn't get a permanent place to Stay in Stockholm, because the housing market there is highly regulated which in practice means that the only way you kind find a place is to rent illegaly in second hand for ridicolous prices. That's homelessness in a more real sense (although it probably didn't count in the statistics since I put my permanent address at my parents by that time), but not a poverty issue in any real sense.

by freedomfighter on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 11:56:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Read links when you try to reply.

3.5 million people experiencing "homelessness" is 1.5 %, not thousandth.

There are working people, who have a daily job, and are homeless. People who aren't alcoholic or mad. A third of the homeless in France ; a similar share in the US.

And it's not about "not having permanent address". It's about having no place to sleep in, and having to ask to an emergency shelter. The fact that you compare your past situation to homelessness shows you have only a very tenuous grasp with what poverty actually means in the industrialised world.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 12:15:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Experiencing homelessness" during the course of a year is not the same as "being homeless", and therefore not even remotely comparable to the numbers for the other countries, and as such not useful.

And it's not about "not having permanent address". It's about having no place to sleep in, and having to ask to an emergency shelter.

No it's not. It is about not having a permanent adress. That's the definition used, and then number of around 800.000 is what other sources also use. And that is NOT about going to shelters, but not having apermanent address.

The fact that you compare your past situation to homelessness shows you have only a very tenuous grasp with what poverty actually means in the industrialised world.

Realitycheck: It is homelessness in the definitions used to gather the statistics above. I explained this in my post. What was unclear?

Try to use facts rather than groundless affirmations.

Try to not throw stones in glass houses. You just claimed that 1.5% of the population of the US lives in shelters or on the streets. That's ridicolous. It's time to come back to reality.

by freedomfighter on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 02:38:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The word "address" doesn't appear on the link I provided. Nor in the page where that site define homelessness. So I fail to see how you deduce that the statistics are compiled with your definition of homelessness. Again, read the links. (And it's not only shelters and street, either.)

"Experiencing homelessness" may not be the same as "being homeless", but it is a sure sign of strong poverty, of unreliability of housing access. It is an indicator of absolute poverty.

And 1.5% of Americans experiencing homelessness every year is reality, as frightening as the 2% that sleep in jail every night (another indicator of poverty)

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 07:28:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You are now grasping on a set up number as a last straw in your mental defences, and completely ignore to check what these numbers mean in reality or that you need to make a comparison with the rest of the world, if these numbers are really to say what you want them to say.

At this point all I can do is to repeat what I already have said until it hits home, but my experience is that it's a very frustration experience to do so, and it takes a long time, and most of the time fails, so I'm not gonna waste my time doing that. You'll just have to continue to live with your pre-concieved idea of how the world looks.

by freedomfighter on Sat Oct 27th, 2007 at 05:17:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're repeating yourself and not giving any kind of evidence of what you assert, unlike everybody else on this thread. You are the one with no understanding of reality, or a wish to hide it.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sat Oct 27th, 2007 at 10:28:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I repeat, because you ignored this. The case that was presented here was twofold:

   1. That freedom of choice was an argument for keeping the current situation in French pensions.

   2. That if you allow people freedom of choice in pensions, poverty and starving old people  will ensue.

There has been exactly zero evidence to support this. Instead you are digging down the debate into a quagmire by repeatedly asserting statements that have no contact with reality, and using irrelevant statistics in an effort to polish a complete turd of argumentation.

Then claiming that I don't come with evidence is rather absurd.

It is not debate, it's me trying to explain, and you putting your fingers in your ears and loudly repeating random numbers to yourselves to prop up your myths and avoid challenging your basic assumptions. Or foundational myths, as rg calls them. That was a good post, read it:

http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2007/10/21/65910/511

I think the foundational myths here are:

  1. The effects of an action is what you wanted them to be.
  2. Since we are nice persons those that do not agree with us are evil.
  3. Everything that happens happens because somebody decided it should happen.
  4. The bigger the effect, the more powerful the person.

All of these are wrong. But these myths means that all good things that happens happens because somebody good and powerful wanted them to happen, and all bad things happen because somebody bad and powerful wanted them to happen. And with that attitude, all the evils of the world must come from some really powerful place. And the most powerful place is the US government.

Hence, US is evil. Hence, US policy is evil. Hence, the US must be a much worse place to live than most other places.

The rest of the sick and screwed up arguments here, together with the general fear of freedom, can probably be extracted from these basic assumptions.

by freedomfighter on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 09:15:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm scratching my head at how someone could conclude that poverty and homelessness don't really exist in our societies just because he or she hasn't experienced it first-hand.

Besides, most people that are truly homeless, ie really have no permanent place to keep their stuff for a significant period of their lifes in the US are homeless for the same reasons as the homeless in France or anywhere else in the western world, and that drug abuse, alcoholism och mental disorders. That is not a poverty issue.

OK, first:  "Truly" homeless?  Are you really arguing that a person is not "truly" homeless if he or she only lacks a home for, say, two months?  Two weeks?  Two years?  What kind of "significant period" meets this mysterious defintion of "truly"?  Just out of curiosity.

But defining only the chronically homeless are "truly" homeless is a handy way to pretend that poverty and homelessness aren't real societal problems that need to be addressed.

Second, your definition of "most" needs some work.  According to the National Health Care for the Homeless Council:

Approximately one-third have mental illnesses. Perhaps one-half have a current or past drug or alcohol addiction.

That is not my definition of "most."  It is, of course, more convenient to believe that the only thing that could possibly lead to "true" homelessness and "true" poverty in our enlightened societies is mental illness, but that's just fantasy.

There are many factors that lead to homelessness, including domestic violence and illness - and for the record, I'm talking about illness of the physical kind, since it seems that some people believe that those who suffer from illness of the mental kind are for some reason less deserving of sympathy or support.  Which is not a belief I share, but let's move on.

Next, mental illness and drug addiction are issues of poverty, in that the poor and homeless have far fewer resources for dealing with those problems than the rich and homed.  Diseases of the physical and mental kind affect the poor and homeless in roughly the same proportions as the general population.  But the poor have fewer (or zero) treatment options, and are likely to encounter much greater difficulty getting help.  As a consequence, they may not recover from illnesses (mental and otherwise) that a person with more resources might recover from easily.

What's the result of all this?  Let's just talk about my hometown, the so-called "Capital of the Free World."  In Washington, D.C., according to the Washington Legal Aid Center for the Homeless, nearly half of all homeless people are women and children.  One of the largest homeless shelters in D.C. is run by the CCNV:

Over 65% of the shelter guests work full- or part -time on a regular basis.

That's right, they're working full- or part-time, and are still homeless.  They're living in a homeless shelter, not a military barracks.  This is genuine poverty and true homelessness.  It's real, and denying that won't make it so.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 01:54:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm scratching my head at how someone could conclude that poverty and homelessness don't really exist in our societies just because he or she hasn't experienced it first-hand.

Well, that would be puzzling. Now who are you referring to exactly?

This debate is now edging into to the world of underhand accusations and straw men. I'm not gonna go there. I will not defend positions I have never had and I will not stand for being accused of opinions that have nothing to do with what I said.

Thank you for debating seriously.

That is not my definition of "most".

First of all those numbers relate to not having a permanent home, not the people living on the streets or in shelters. Second of all one third + one half = five sixths, and 5/6th is indeed "most".

by freedomfighter on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 02:44:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now who are you referring to exactly?

You were the one who brought up your experience, as if it had some relevance to your argument.

Second of all one third + one half = five sixths, and 5/6th is indeed "most".

Only an idiot or an ideologue would argue that the one-third and the one-half could not possibly overlap and must therefore total five-sixths.  Have you heard of a Venn diagram?  Or are you just being intellectually dishonest?

I will accept no barbs from you about debating seriously, thank you.  Study some basic math, then come back and chat.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 10:23:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My experience does have relevance. It is your conclusion of what my pinions re that are weird.

The third and the half does not exactly overlap, which is rather obvious. Thus it must in total be more than one half, and hence, it is "most".

You are not debating seriously, you are rude, and asking me to study mathematics is seriously stupid.

I'm sorry that what I'm going to say now is gonna sound as rude as what you said. But the difference is that it's true.

I was invited here by a friend to discuss politics. Unfortunately, this place is full of people with preconceived idea who gets angry when reality comes knocking on the door. It's rather pointless to continue debating with those people since it prevents all serious debate, since the only thing that is accepted is sucking up and agreeing to your fantasies of how you want the world to behave, even when that is not how things are.

You want the poverty in the US to be horrid. No, you need it. The US must be a horrible place for poor, because the US politics must be evil, because the US is the most powerful country in the world, so if they aren't evil, everything would be fine, right?

Sorry, you have no idea of how things work, you don't understand a pluralistic society and as a consequence you are afraid of freedom, and instead grab comfort in collectivistic myths.

I wish I understood how to make people like you understand. But I guess I never will.

by freedomfighter on Sat Oct 27th, 2007 at 05:17:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here, I think I found what you were looking for:

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Sat Oct 27th, 2007 at 05:43:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Right. Trying to bash down walls work better that talking to them. You are right. :-)
by freedomfighter on Sat Oct 27th, 2007 at 06:50:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]

You want the poverty in the US to be horrid. No, you need it. The US must be a horrible place for poor, because the US politics must be evil, because the US is the most powerful country in the world, so if they aren't evil, everything would be fine, right?

Just so you know, you are responding to an American person, and probably close to half of the regular readers of this site are Americans.

Unpatriotic ones, presumably.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Oct 27th, 2007 at 09:18:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
People are just as prone (if not more) to harbouring myths about their own country as of others.

Unpatroticism is good.

by freedomfighter on Sat Oct 27th, 2007 at 09:29:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jérôme told you tsp is American, but she herself already told you more in her very first response:

Let's just talk about my hometown

She is taking about stuff she saw with her own eyes, it's you who clings to myths six thousand miles away.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Oct 27th, 2007 at 04:26:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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