Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Economics for Idiots - 101

Now I know that all you aspiring and junior deputy economists out there are smarter than your average bear.

And I know that economics, when it really boils down to it, is REALLY not that difficult.

So for your average person, economics should be a pretty easy concept to grasp and usually, it is.
Unfortunately, not everybody is gifted as us. We have people that are not necessarily as smart as us. Some people are poorer and never learned to read. Additionally, the public schools do their darnedest to turn out idiots, and thusly something as simple as economics is like trying to understand quantum physics for a lot of people.

So, because I am a kind, charitable soul, I thought I'd offer a lesson for the stupid people in the world. Kind of an "Economics for Idiots" lesson, so that not only can geniuses like you and me understand economics. Not only can average everyday people understand economics. But complete freaking retards and mollusk can understand economics.

This need for "Economics Lessons for Idiots" was brought to my attention when I got an e-mail from American highlighting the recent Census Bureau report on income distriubtion and poverty and wealth as PROOF POSITIVE Bush's economic policies are creating Nazis and killing babies.

The proof?

Well, as you know my affinity for charts, I decided to use the chart they sent me;

A pity. Shame shame shame. Obviously the work of a retard...or a mollusk.

OK, so, let's begin the lesson in Economics for Idiots - 101 because it is glaringly obvious we need one.

First, if you're going to make a chart, don't manipulate it by changing the scale on the Y-axis so that it shows this dramatic increase when in reality, it is quite small. If you are an idiot, you would look at this chart and think poverty has tripled under the Bush presidency. When in reality it's only gone up by 20%.

Now the idiots over at the Center for American Progress will still probably get all in a tizzy over that fact right there, a 20% increase in poverty. They'll salavate over it, HEE HEEE HEEEE HEEE! 20% increase, WE HAVE BUSH NOW!!!!

Well, that's because they're idiots.

Any person of average intelligence would say, "hey, hasn't the population of the country been growing? And wouldn't a more accurate measure be some kind of, you know, "poverty rate," you know, like the percent of the population that's under the poverty threshold?" And by golly, those good men and women at the Census Bureau have calculated just such a thing. They call it;


Those crafty devils!

Well here's a chart FROM THAT SAME DAMNING REPORT that shows the poverty rate.

Not quite so damning is it? The poverty rate doesn't show this dramatic increase in poverty as the Center for American Progress would have you believe. Who would have guessed a communist institution like the Center for American Progress would misrepresent data?

Second, also notice another thing, aspiring and junior deputy economists. Notice how the chart from the Center for American Progress goes back a whopping 5 years. While the good men and women of the Census Bureau go back to 1959. See, this is what we call "context."

With context we see that the poverty rate, though ever so slightly up, is still technically at a historic low. Thus, official economists would come to the professional conclusion that;

"People should shut the hell up and stop their whining. Poverty is not a problem in America."

Third, no doubt you've heard this Census Bureau report being paraded by the left for the fact that incomes have remained stagnant or slightly dropped in the past 4-5 years. Again, PROOF POSITIVE that Bush is out hurling rocks at the elderly and kicking dogs. But do you see a trend here? The left keeps going back only 4-5 years. Might it be time, once again ladies and gentlemen, to use that "context" we learned about earlier?

Well, here's the chart;

When you look at it you'll notice them nice slim shady lines. Those are recessions. Notice after each recession how real incomes historically have dropped and then recovered, as you WOULD NORMALLY EXPECT THEM TO DO???? So perhaps this is just a function of a normally functioning economy and not Bush hurling rocks at the elderly?

You see folks, this what happens when you have publicly educated children who never grow up and major in El Crapo studies in college while working for some non-profit or the government because they have no skills of use that the private sector would actually want to fork over good money for. People who find nothing wrong with misrepresenting data and reality to the detriment of society because it makes them feel good and feel like their lives actually have a purpose. Because they feel like they're crusaders. Because they feel like they're heroes fighting some imagined evil (If you need an amazingly interesting reference to this cowardly psychology, please feel free to read this post).

Fourth and finally. This will be your assignment in Economics for Idiots - 101. What might the effect be on poverty levels AND WAGES OF THE LOWER INCOME QUINTILES if 10.5 million illegal aliens have entered the country AND if the Census Bureau does NOT exclude non-citizens from the data?


PanEcclesiastes said...

In the political media give and take I keep hearing about how this guy has caused the price of oil to go up and availing ourselves of that reservoir or field will cause the price to go down.

Is there some way to estimate just how much oil it takes to move the price of oil? If so, what is that amount of oil and what are the limitations of the estimate?

Mahan said...

Well and truly ranted. I appluad you, sir!

PanEcclesiastes said...

Captian? I found this on Powerline:

It has lots of charts.

Anonymous said...

Found you through a link at Small Dead Animals. Great post!

Bucktowndusty said...

Hey Capt. Would this article answer the question you post?


dtrum said...

And there's even more to say:

JTapp said...

Nicely done, sir.

Anonymous said...

Would the writer of the 'brilliant piece' on Economics for Dummies, etc. supplied with graphs/charts and all CARE TO TAKE A WALK THROUGH N.A.'s most notable cities (take a walk in the downtown area) and COUNT THE DERANGED, STARVING, VERY ILL (PHYSICALLY AND MENALLY) LARGE NUMBERS STREWN, PROSTRATE, AT DEATH'S DOOR so to speak. Your clever at economics, SIMPLY COUNT THE BODIES still barely alive.

Above task completed. Let's have a reworking of the basis of your statement of 'poverty increases of little consequence'.

Hate to say this, but you need a few days of starvation, sleeping on the streets, brother, in the interests of gaining a reality check on life on the streets of our fair cities.

You've painted an intellectually dishonest portrait of reality. And that's not 'smart economics'.

Captain Capitalism said...

Pan - Yeah, I saw that post too, Mahan forwarded it to me.

Jtapp- Good to hear from you

Anon- You're a freaking moron. I busted my ass off and lived just barely above that level in the famous "Ghettos in the Sky." (Mahan will attest to that). The only difference between me and the inebriates on the "street" is that I chose to be a real man, support myself, and instead of buying booze, I bought books and college tuition. Now go suck off your daddy's tit for some more suburbanite money.

Mahan said...

I can personally attest to the Captain living in one of the worst areas of where we both studied. Funny how when we were in school, that tended to be the case; nowadays, it's all gentrified.


Captain Capitalism said...

Hey Buck,

Yep, that about answers it.


Cripes, that was a crap hole!

dtrum said...

Nice countered, Captain! It's always the same argument. People blame others for their own faults. They expect that somebody's gonna help them. Besides, I think we shouldn't call it "poverty" in the industrialized world. Nobody has to die of starvation or cholera. Either the government or private caritative organisations are gonna feed you through. And even if you've got absolutely nothing, you still benefit from the infrastructure and safety, two things that are uncommon in countries like Columbia or Ghana.

N. said...

That was wonderful, as always, Captain. I enjoy your informative posts.

Anonymous said...

Captain Capitalism:

Your so full of shit. You have taken the damn numbers and twisted them into an emotional myriad of idiocy. Even your readers are so stupid, they believe the crap your shoveling out.

Look at Figure 4. Gee, the number of people have gone up. Why? Is it because there is the possibility that we have had an increase in population? i.e.,illegals? An increase in the boomer population who are retiring. If you anyone of you morons read the report it will say it includes money and excludes other government benefits. As you get older you work less and earn less and use Social Insecurity for your retirement. Did you actually see the % of population that is on poverty? It went down. It was higher under the Clinton Administration than it is now.

This is a classic example of how someone takes figures, skews the numbers to their liking and passes it off to a bunch of morons, who have the inability to read the fine print while believing a bunch of horseshit and lies.

Your a dishonest moron and you would do your readers a favor by telling them to read the entire census report. It goes to show the comments made by them indicate that they are too lazy to read yet alone understand what is being said.


J-willy said...

Got the link from

To back up what dtrum said, I read somewhere that an American below the poverty line lives better than the average European, regardless of income level. Oh, those poor, poor, pitiful poor!

Anonymous said...

Bravo Captain, keep teaching.

Darryl said...

Captain Capitalism you're well on your way to a promotion...mmmmm. Colonel Capitalism.

Anonymous said...

Captain, although I agree with almost everything you blogged, I feel I need to take issue with your statement "poverty is not a problem" because the rate is lower than it usually has been. You miss a few fairly important things.

The fact that a few million people are poor is indeed a problem. Whether it's because of successful indoctrination, lack of motivation (same thing?), addiction (same thing?), a disability (mental or physical) or whatever, the fact remains that human beings living in poverty is a problem. It may not be a problem appropriate for government to address, but it's certainly a problem.

Likewise, falling rate or not, Whatever institutions (homeless shelters, etc.) have been set up to accomodate the poor require constant expansion as the population expands.

You don't think it's a problem that this country has millions of citizens so unmotivated as to have no marketable skills, at a time when we're importing millions of skilled (mostly) Asians on H1-B visas?

Okay, the "problem" is very different from the one the liberals think it is, but it’s a big one, nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

Captain, although I agree with almost everything you blogged, (though it's not quite brilliant like Terrorists and Leftists), I feel I need to take issue with your statement "poverty is not a problem" because the rate is lower than it usually has been. You miss a few fairly important things.

The fact that a few million people are poor is indeed a problem. Whether it's because of successful indoctrination, lack of motivation (same thing?), addiction (same thing?), a disability (mental or physical) or whatever, the fact remains that human beings living in poverty is a problem. It may not be a problem appropriate for government to address, but it's certainly a problem.

Likewise, falling rate or not, Whatever institutions (homeless shelters, etc.) have been set up to accomodate the poor require constant expansion as the population expands.

You don't think it's a problem that this country has millions of citizens so unmotivated as to have no marketable skills, at a time when we're importing millions of skilled (mostly) Asians on H1-B visas?

Okay, the "problem" is very different from the one the liberals think it is, but it’s a big one, nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous,

Do you find it significant that the more social benefits and programs a city has for the, as you said, "DERANGED, STARVING, VERY ILL (PHYSICALLY AND MENALLY) LARGE NUMBERS STREWN, PROSTRATE, AT DEATH'S DOOR," the more likely it is that that city is governed by a liberal Democrat administration, AND, that when those programs are reduced the recipients tend to move to a more liberal city with better benefits?

herfmonster said...

Well done Captain. To top it off you were the first link in Neal Boortz' Nealz Nuze reading assignments. Well deserved sir. As I am at the time unemployed I know there is no one to blame for my condition but myself. Now everyone pray for me to get off my lazy can and procure a job. Someone lazier than me needs my tax money.

Anonymous said...

I just feel the need to throw something at the "look at the degenerates" fellow; something like 90% of the homeless in America are either drug addicts or alcoholics. Big surprise that life's losers are homeless, eh? Not to mention that maybe they have trouble getting back to normal because government keeps jacking up the price on everything with a million regulations while green groups and advocacy morons sue anything that moves, further hurting companies and making expansion and job creation impossible.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. Don't forget that the average poor person in America is still better off than the average regular person in Europe. I saw a study where the average poor person in America still have a color television, air conditioning, roof over their head, etc.

I firmly believe that being poor is a choice (barring disability). This is the land of opportunity - equal opportunity, not equal outcome as those pesky liberal communists/socialists desire. Equal outcome will result in everyone being equal - equally poor and oppressed!

Jeremy Conner said...

This is one of the best blog posts I've ever read...I'll be linking your blog off of mine (those additional 20 hits per month will send your counter into overdrive!)

Keep up the good work!

Fratznrazzle said...

Thank you Captain! That was truely refreshing and I loved your sarcastic tone throughout since I would personally like to spank each and every idiot who is suckered into all the heinous misinformation out there. I found your link on - a great resource which you probably already know about.

BTW that "Anonymous" post above I believe is an example of the idiots you're talking about, the bleeding heart liberals who desperately try to distract us from the truth by changing the focus to the particulars - the small picture and not the big one. I've seen real poverty first hand and as ugly as it is, it doesn't change the truthes which you expounded. Thanks again for a great post.

new reader said...

Capt C.

I found a link to your post on Neil Boortz's web site. Bravo! I will be back to check it out more over the weekend.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the first chart in your poverty series, the idiots further compounded their errors by using a rectilinear scale on the Y axis. Any economist who is not an idiot would know that only a semi-logarithmic scale would show the increases in a truly accurate representation.

Am I the only MBA who knows this???

Enjoyed the rant. Please continue.

Reverent Randal in Aurora

Mel said...

Some of those in the US who have never travelled outside the US, need to go out and see what poverty truly is. I am an immigrant (legal) and can say that US is the land of opportunity where even a total dim wit can make a decent living if they work hard. If you can't make it in the US, you cannot make it anywhere in the world period.
Poverty threshold in the US = $9,973 (
Poverty threshold in 3rd world countries = $365

Even after you consider PPP, you don't come close to the poverty lines in the US.

amcdonald said...

very thought provoking, dtrum. thqt would be a nice paper. never get published professionally, but hey... What I would like to see would be a nation by nation comparison of 'poverty' levels. Tell me poverty in Ghana equates to poverty in New Orleans. Oops. Maybe it does now...

Anonymous said...

I apologize if the question is a bit on the naive side but how do they actually calculate the "poverty line" we hear about so often? Also, how do they measure one's status in relation to that line? Is it based on income, wealth, etc?

Anonymous said...

Firstly, the Captain needs to get off his high horse. Newsflash, you are no better than anybody else.

Secondly, its difficult for impovershed individual to make it in this world. Be it in Columbus or Cairo, the poor have an uphill battle, especially when competing for high paying jobs with individuals who inherited that status (had college paid for, didnt have to work in college).

As a once poor person myself, I know its difficult to try to go to college while working jobs at the same time. Medical Schools dont even allow you to have another job while your attending.

Thats why we need SOCIALIST EDUCATION. Sounds scary, but an influx of educated workers is a boost for the market economy.

Sadly for many capitalists, democracy brings about socialism. Its happening in Europe, and its picking up in America. Of course, they call it 'national healthcare' instead of socialist healthcare to make it sound better, but its the same idea.

Paladin said...

It's unfortunate that those who really need to learn these lessons are the same ones who never will. They are blinded by the contempt they hold in their hearts for those of us who "get it".


Oh and I must remember to thank Boortz for sending me here.

azcamaro said...

Well said Captain,
As for Anonymous, well, let's say I strongly disbelieve that he/she/it has ever spent much time around the poor and homeless. I used to work for a food bank, and while visiting St. Mary's food bank in Phoenix, I had a bunch of the "homeless" come up to me to tell me how well they live. People usually feel sorry for them due to the dirt and ragged clothes they wear, and being downwind of them is truly an assault on your nose... Yet these people were happy, and said that begging on a street corner met all of their needs. I asked how this was so, and they all (over 20 of them) crowded around to explain that on a good day, they 'made' over $2000, and that on bad days they usually made better than $500. This means that just begging on a street corner nets them at least $130,000/yr, if they just have bad days 5 days a week, and were they motivated to work hard enough to go out 5 days a week.

This is pretty sad, but knowing how hard most of us work, knowing that others make a living by being dirty and looking like crap kind of gets you down. Still, most of these people really enjoy telling others how they support their habits, and trade ideas of how to garner more money from panhandling.

Captain, keep up the good work, the truth in all of its ugliness needs to be told.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff. Wish those bound my their "myths of preconceptions" would simply read but....

Anonymous said...

Well done Captain. I can see why Boortz felt compelled to put you forth. I shall return.


Anonymous said...

To anon @ 10:05 A.M.,

Quitchyerbitchin and take it like a man.


Anonymous said...

Good God! I work in SE DC by the Navy Yard (let's just say, there are damned few white marble buildings and limos with Limbaugh look-alikes inside lighting cigars with $100 bills here) so the "DERANGED, STARVING, VERY ILL (PHYSICALLY AND MENALLY) LARGE NUMBERS STREWN, PROSTRATE, AT DEATH'S DOOR" must be in-freakin'-visible.

Certainly there were more of life's losers lying around during the 1990's. I guess the ultra-secret Karl Rove death squads have been rounding them up so they don't offend the rich Republicans, hey?

Nah, my "success" is all part of a master plot by my fraternity brothers (wait, I dropped out of community college as a stupid kid, busted my ass through menial jobs to get where I am now), or maybe my wealth parents gave me everything? (Nope, Mom was a school teacher for a poor Catholic school, Dad retired from the Army, went to college afterwards for his BA and MA, and became a parochial teacher too.)

It COULDN'T possibly be because I decided I wanted to be able to live in comfort and ease when I'm still young enough to enjoy it more than I needed a hip urban lifestyle and $6,000 rims on my leased Lexus, could it?

So says the Republican design engineer who commutes 2 hours one way in a 10 year old compact car while his wife (who makes more money) drives an eight year old station wagon so we can one day retire and play with grandkids without relying on Social Insecurity for a dime.

Yup, we're not only awash with "BODIES", but we are heatless to boot. Never mind the fact that the last 6 people I saw with begging signs turned down my offers for help (1 job, 5 offers to buy them a sandwich, NO CASH).

Bloody communists.

Anonymous said...

I used to feel sorry for some of those guys with the "will work for food" signs. Then I found out some of them make $300 a day tax free! If you were to offer them a meal, they'd say "screw you, give me money!". I also came to doubt the so-called "poverty rate" when I learned the government does NOT include handouts like welfare in the income of the poverty victims. Bet most of them are above the poverty line if you figure in all the benefits they get.

Anonymous said...

Not death squads.....Rove was feeding them into his Hurricane machine and ran out last year after Katrina.

diesel_driver said...

I heard about your blog on Boortz today, I had to check it out....

It is now bookmarked in my computer, in case I need "ammo" against the lying leftists....

My mother told me not to get into a battle of wits with an unarmed person, but liberals are just sooooooooooooo funny when they are beaten....

Anonymous said...

It is not hard to achieve success. Look at Farrah Gray, a person at 6 who had the determination to succeed and struggled at times, but eventually became a millionaire, and this is a black person who started in the ghetto of Chicago. Come on people! If a 6 year old black kid in the ghetto can become a millionaire by the time he was 11 due to determination, then no person has any excuse why they can't succeed.

Welfare and minimum wage is for pathetic losers with no determination or desire for excellence.

Sonny Lykos said...

Fellas, I’m a semiretired remodeler, originally from Chicago, lived in MI for 13 years and became the largest remodeler (26 field staff) in 3 counties. One day in 1976 when I only had about 6 guys, I bought a mint condition ‘74 Chrysler Fifth Avenue for my wife. I had One of my employees, Floyd made a cocky comment about be being Mr. Got-Rocks. I said ”Floyd, lets sit down for a minute.”

I told him that in back in ‘71 in Chicago, I was broke with a wife, 4 kids and $200 in the bank. I squeezed a few bucks to buy magazines like Handyman, Popular Mechanics, and a set of Do-It-Yourself encyclopedia books. I bought the above while you, Floyd, were spending your money on grass and beer. And at night while you were smoking your grass and sitting in front of the “tube”, I was reading those magazines and books. I also spent evenings and Saturdays at our library. In other words, Floyd I taught myself what I needed to get ahead in life.

I finalized my comments by saying: “So you see, Floyd, except for the decisions you made and the decisions I made, I could be working for you. So take you Mr. Got-Rocks and stick it up your ass.”

So I have no empathy for the homeless, only pity, because in the greatest country in the world, and the one with the greatest opportunities, it takes one hell of a lot of gall to throw one’s hands up and in effect say to the world: “Please help me because I am such a pathetic person that I cannot even support myself, much less my family.”

Every single one of us is the sum or our life’s decisions - every one of them. It’s called accountability!

I few years later I learned that Floyd’s wife died in a suspicious house fire, and Floyd walked away from his 3 children, which were subsequently adopted by their aunt and her husband, an ex-employee of mine. Pieces of sh*t usually stay true to form throughout their lives. I chose instead to financially help divorced women with kids, and divorced due to animals, another form of sh*t, who physically abuse their wives.

Anonymous said...

For Anon at 10:14-
Grew up middle class. Mom was a teacher, Dad was a preacher.
No, mommy and Daddy did not pay for my college. I did.
Yep, worked full time, too. I have no idea how my "inherited status" you assume that I had somehow entitled me to a high paying job.

Mom always said choices have consequences. Sometimes good, sometimes not so good. Turns out that paying for my own college and working full time developed something called WORK ETHIC. That WORK ETHIC has lead to a high paying JOB. I would argue that most poor people don't have WORK ETHIC. Wealth, or the lack of it, is a CHOICE.

You want socialist education and healthcare? Air Canada is ready when you are. Try getting surgery or an MRI in Canada sometime. Let me know how that works out for you. Last time I checked, it takes a minimum of 2 weeks for an MRI. Elective surgery? FORGETABOUTIT. If you have money, you go to the USA.

Thanks Captain Capitalism. Notice how none of the folks who are complaining about your observations have an alternative solution?!!

Anonymous said...

well i see a chart that shows that there are a lot of left wing nuts out there that belive anything you see on the news at night. if we are so smart all of us should be able to see what is really out there foe the so called poor or starving. if thay would get off there ass and get a real job to support themselves and not just take from the goverment. i get tired of giving my moneys to the worthless of this country i work hard and i need to take care of my self and my family. so how bout you left wing idiots get them off there ass and help them your selves.

Anonymous said...

I have a question for you. Can you explain the US governments "method" of budgeting? It makes zero sense to me.

Anonymous said...

To one of the many "anons" out there stating that medical schools don't let you work....HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

My story...I came from a family so poor that as a twin I only got a present every other year because it 'wasn't my year'. Christmas trees were dead branches spray-painted white (with the paint we used to paint house numbers on the streets to make a little money). Would be funny if it weren's to tragically true. I left home at 17 so that I would no longer be a drain on the family. I worked to put myself through college. Part of it was through the military's GI Bill (A great place to start for anyone). Then I WORKED THROUGH MEDICAL SCHOOL (to the anon that says medical schools don't allow it). And now I am one of the RICH that everyone hates so much. Nevermind that it took me 20+ years of hard work from 17-40 to get to where I am.

So now instead of being one of the homeless, as I did live on the streets for a short time when I left my home and family, I treat the homeless in a hospital. And I treat the illegals, the addicts, the poor, and downtrodden. I get to see the differences between good decisions and bad decisions. And when I hear bleeding hearts preach about the homeless and how things are beyond their abilities to make life better, I just laugh. Been there, done that. Made my life better. And everyday I hear one of my patients talk about how life dealt him a bad deal and he needs a dollar to get by.

I'm not better than anyone else, I just don't like relying on anyone else.

/rant off.

btw...Cpt, nice post. Linked from Boortz.

For those that asked about the poverty calculations: many years ago, the government put together a formula that would estimate the needed income to just meet the necessities of life; food, clothing, shelter, and recently added transporation. Below that level was considered poverty. It has been indexed to something ( I don't remember what) so that it increases accordingly. Now for the fun doesn't include assets. Thus, if I have a house, car, clothing, etc, and decide to take off a year from work (and my interest income is below the poverty level), then I am counted among those who live in poverty (as dictated by my IRS return). So, for the many baby boomers who are in the stages of retirement, if they are living off their savings until social security kicks in, they too are among the impoverished. The truly impoverished do exist, but no where near the 12% of individuals in this country. Although there are those that are in poverty through no fault of there own, they are the distinct minority, not the rule, AND THEY DONT STAY THERE VERY LONG (hence the purpose of my story at the beginning).

Dr C Simon

Anonymous said...

I worked my way through college back in the late 60's and early 70's when Teddy Kennedy and the Democrats were creating today's homeless problem. By "mainstreaming" the mental patients and brain-fried substance abusers who previously occupied our mental institutions, they turned a minor problem handled on a local level into a major national problem. A problem which they could use to show their compassion and build their power base by funneling large amounts of tax money into it. Further by building a Byzantine system of overlapping social support systems fed by those federal dollars, they built a constituency of the impaired and their cadre of ineffectual do-gooder, enablers whose support they could count upon to keep the gravy train on track.
We had a system that worked till Teddy fixed it.

Frank said...

"so how bout you left wing idiots get them off there ass and help them your selves"

You serious? That would require effort and doesn't give anyone a quick ego boost unfortunately - much easier to endlessly whine about it and make as much noise as possible, and you become an instant hero to boot!

Anonymous said...

i'd like to offer an even simpler aspect of economics. when people have more money, they go out to eat more, and tip better in bars. when they don't have money, liquor store and grocery store sales increase, because they can't go out. wouldn't a better guage of the american economy be the status of it's bartenders and waiters?

Anonymous said...

Also found you through
Bookmarked! JK

gwenivere said...

I have been homeless and I have had money. Both can be pretty bad depending on how you choose to conduct yourself. While homeless I got my mental *wake-up* call. I started a coalition of homeless people in the area I was living so they could more easily find assistance, know what paper-work they would need to get help, what their rights were with local law enforcement and also met with local law enforcement to let them know that certain behaviors by LEOs would no longer be overlooked (police burning homeless folks belongings, shaking down homeless women for *favors*, etc). I was living in a tent at the time.
I am now working, in college (at age 49!) and have handed off my org. to another person that had been through the homeless situation.
I have also learned that poverty can be a *mindset*. Once you fall into it, it is extremely hard to get out. Same with homelessness. Many of the homeless ARE mentally ill or have drug or alcohol problems...but you might ask...which came first...the homelessness or the illness or addiction? I saw a LOT of folks that developed their problems AFTER becoming homeless. It is a stress-filled life. Finding a safe place to sleep, protecting your few possesions, walking from gov't. office to office or to charity org.s to get help or a meal or a shower or to do your laundry. Filling out job applications and not knowing what to put in the address section. No phone to get contacts. If you have a family, a lot of shelters seperate the husbands and wives and make them live in different sections. Some shelters CHARGE for your stay even though they are charitable organizations (Sal. Army in Asheville gives you first week free, 60 bucks per person per week after that, you can only stay one month).
The problems of poverty and homelessness are much more complicated that a few charts can show. The only way a person gets out of the cycle is with a lot of self-determination. No government or charity can give you that.
I was lucky. I managed to get myself up and out. I had help from a family member in the form of a bus ticket to get me where there were jobs and a shelter that demanded you work and save your money while giving you a safe place to live.

Anonymous said...

I'm truly lost in all these explanations and comments. I don't even know how to relate your explanations with the charts, y and x axis and all. And I happened to drop by because I keyed in "economics 101 for idiots" in google search since I want to understand what's happening in the US economy in very simple layman's terms. So can you help this idiot?