Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Some People Were Destined to Live in a Trailer Park

We all have our destinies, some of us to be mothers, doctors, others to be thinkers and movers and changers, some change the political landscape, others to bring joy into strangers lives and some are destined to live in a trailer park.

I came across this article on Zillow after reading that a home rebuilt by Extreme Home Make Over faces foreclosure. I LOVE Extreme Home Makeover- which is why this frustrates me. Granted, not all the families have thrown their windfall to the wolves, but this is another great case study of human nature.

Face it, some people were meant to live in a trailer. They aspire to nothing more, and when something more is shown to them, they get greedy. Why we think we should continue to throw money at this welfare generation is beyond me. Who are the geniuses that think the best way to solve this economic recession is to take money away from those that provide jobs and give money to people who don't want to work?


victim of Momnesia said...

Amen sister! I am a huge fan of your blog. I wish I could write an articulate, fun, & informative blog such as yours. Instead I'll keep you on my favorite list & tell people, if I could write how I feel, go to this blog.
Thanks, & keep blogging!

Mikie said...

The socialists will tell you it's because everyone has a right to some standard of living (material equality... bleh.) It kinda makes me ill to think that people believe that entitlement mentality is right or good.

Silvs said...

Obviously I'm with you as evidenced by my own post today. The most frustrating thing is that the redistribution thing just doesn't work as well as our system does. It's the same reason why Cuba is starting to allow farmers to operate privately because the government farming isn't providing enough for the country. Ugh. Why won't people understand these lessons we should have already learned...

Will and Natalie Giddens said...

Oh Kory! I couldn't agree more. Here's the article that appeared in the Atlanta Journal Constitution yesterday: http://www.accessatlanta.com/entertainment/content/entertainment/tv/stories/2008/07/25/extreme_makeover_foreclosure.html

It's a little more in-depth, but trust me, just as sickening. What's that saying about teaching a man to fish? Yeah... And I feel badly because I think for the right families, Extreme Home Makeover is a huge blessing and they act responsibly. But sometimes when I watch it I do wonder if the family is going to be smart financially.

adam said...

I feel bad for the family... yes they made a stupid decision. Perhaps they should have been given 25 years of financial planning or at least a Suze Orman book to go with that house.

I may be accused of being a "socialist" (as anyone left of the right tends to be called) but I don't think we should be giving money to "people who don't want to work." I think MOST of us will agree on that one.

Nice post. It's punchy. :)

Britt said...

Amen Sister (inlaw)! I get so sick of people feeling entitled or saying that they just need a 'break' to get on top. They get free hand outs and still make bad choices.
I have had MAJOR issues with the "Tax stimulas" checks. We personally received nothing because we are the "evil rich people". Some have gotten this check and have hardly worked a day in their lives. AND what do they do with this check?........blow it on big screen tvs. No big deal they have no desires to get out of goverment housing (why? They are getting that for free with my tax dollars).....but wow they have a big screen tv.
These people need to be taught how to WORK not how to stand still with a hand reached out.

Jolly said...

Stories like this are frustrating and sad.

I live in the foothills of appalachia and I see a lot of poverty, more than anywhere else I've lived. I see poor people who work hard, live on the family land owned for generations. I see welfare people who live in subsidized housing, who make efforts to get out of thier situation, but like the lobster allegory they get pulled back down by the others--this has been especially evident in newly baptized members of our church who are at a major crossroads and turning point, but because of where they live and what surrounds them--and the only social network they've known their whole lives--it is extrememly difficult (and rare) that they successfully make a permanent change.

I don't think that this means we should do away with wellfare programs though. I have seen a lot of people in the community come from those poverty stricken backgrounds, go to vocational school and become a nurse--making more money than my husband will after his PhD. They are HARD workers! Some of the hardest, and they face a challenge that you and I have never and will never have to face.

I think of the lost sheep allegory--is it worth it when only a few are saved?

What I do believe in is democracy and the freedom and ability to make changes to government programs like wellfare--its your country, my country, we have a say it how its run.

Saying that, it is hard for me to genuinely feel enough passion to try and make a change because of how difficult and long it takes to change policy.

I think small movements like your blogs--dialogues that are getting us to think and participate--help to make a more informed voter and I hope they'll add up to something greater someday, maybe even soon.

This doesn't mean I'm voting for Obama though. ;-) Undecided with a capital U.

crazy4danes said...

What can we expect?!...the whole reason they were on Extreme Home Makeover is because they were in need of one because of some sort of financial windfall, unexpected illness, ect...so how do we expect them to be able to keep it up if they were failing in the first place! Sometimes I think that some sort of financial boot camp would be better than extreme home makeovers! Plus I think it would be more fun to watch. :)

Linda said...

Jolly, darling: Our forefathers founded a Constitutional REPUBLIC, not a Democracy. At any rate, even a democracy is not what we have in our country today. The U.S. Constitution has become an instrument which is largely ignored by our federal, state and local governments, and we have become a SOCIALIST DEMOCRACY.

The Constitution was designed to LIMIT government and PROTECT our natural rights and freedoms. Two hundred years later, that is not what we have in our country.

What is especially frightening to me, and to many who value our liberty, is the popular public belief that government can (let alone should) solve all of society's problems. And how is government able to do this? By bondage. Read Alma to find out what the role of government should be.

Sadly, socialist policies and governments just result in greater economic extremes, i.e. greater poverty. More serious than that however, is the reduction of personal freedom and liberty. You have read the Book of Mormon - see what happens when a nation begins to take its liberty for granted?
The Great Plan of Happiness is founded upon LIBERTY. Free Agency is the Lord's plan, bondage (to any degree) is Satan's.

Linda said...

Since their very inception government welfare programs have been a failure in every respect. Historically, churches, individuals, and private charitable organizations have been the best at administering social welfare programs.

Thirty five (35) years of my being a landlady has resulted in some strong feelings regarding those who get something for nothing (no matter HOW deserving). Neither I nor my landlady daughter will forget recent $16,000 damages/loss as a result of careless, selfish, greedy, and lazy tenants on subsidized housing.

Loss, in real dollars to the landowner, and losses in long term economics and character to the tenant are the real result of gov't. housing welfare programs.

Gov't owned &/or financed subsidized housing in our city accounts for a LARGE percentage of the rental market. This is nothing more than gov't fraud artists using taxpayer $ to compete with private real estate investors. And because the majority of these properties are gov't owned, they are propery tax exempt while citizen owned properties are not.

Linda said...

Why do we "think we should continue to throw money at this welfare generation?" I can only surmise that most of the voters either:
1. do not think.
2. are stooopid.

pr0le said...

I don't know, I tend to agree with Jesus on matters of welfare. Oh, and the LDS church:

But who listens to them anymore?

Let the justifications against these teachings begin.

Steve said...

I'm with pr0le on this one, Jesus WAS/IS a socialist or at least a left leaning Democrat. The premise of welfare is to provide a safety net. Does it get abused, yes. Do the rich and corporations abuse the system for their gain as well, YES! You can't blame the system when it's the people that are to blame for being so greedy and dishonest. They ALL should be punished, but don't punish the legit people, ie the single mother of three who works two or three minimum wage jobs just to feed and shelter her children who still qualifies for food stamps and free healthcare.

BTW, this is why I hate Extreme Makeover. This isn't the first time this has happened. Often, these people go from having a house worth little to having one of the most expensive houses in the community. Hello, property taxes!!! Many times, these poor families, thus why they are getting the house in the first place, are forced to sell the homes b/c they can't afford to keep it. Extreme Home Makeover is just a big circle jerk for Ty Pennington and ABC so they can pull in the ratings, feel good about themselves, and sell advertising.

Salt H2O said...

pr0le- If you want to get into teachings by the church and the savior let's get back to the most basic concept- that of agency. In socialism you have no agency to give or not to give, you're taxed like hell.

I don't think anyone here is against being charitable, quite the contrary- it's the manner in which charity is distributed. I think all of us would like to end proverty, but I'm of school of thought that the best way to end poverty is through education and through work.

I'm a big fan of the fisherman.

If someone does not want to work, does not want to save, feels like mortgaging their own home so they can have some cash, buys a house that is far too large for their income, and feels compelled to live above their means- we should be forced to bail them out. Those that can provide for themselves but choose not to are not the poor-they are slothful. With out consequences for over expenditures, friolus spending and slothful living those who do work will be supporting the lazy entitlement generation.

By no means do I begrudge charity to anyone who tragety has befallen. I think it would be so much the better if those that were give the homes, instead of being sent away on vacation, stuck around and helped to build the house. Because it's only after putting a little work into something, that you truely appreciate it.

I've worked with some of those single moms- and I agree some people need temporary assistance, but along with that assistance they need education as to how to get out of the hole. It's only by increasing their education that they increase their earning power and stop the circle of poverty.

I have no issue towards those that genuinely need assistance, but to those that have made a lifestyle from that assistance (again, these are some of my extended relatives)

I agree, I think people on Extreme are given far too much- but then how would you find sponsors to pay for the home if you couldn't get the wow factor from the audience?

As to not having enough money for the property taxs, if you read the article the family who's house foreclosed was given enough money to pay the property taxes for 25 years.

Jolly said...

Reminds me of a conversation lately about Oprah-- back to the show "extreme house makeover" or whatever it's called. On the surface sounds cool. Still, just like Oprah, its exploitation. Ratings have to be won, money has to be made, people's misfortune has to be exploited.

One thing we're all agreed on, this kind of help is not the best kind of help.

mj said...

I was awed by the weird timing of me reading this post right after I wrote a post about my recent experience trying to help a new friend of mine find health care for her currently untreated diabetes (sadly she has a constant stomachache and is slowly wasting away: basically dying). As she is uneducated and has also become legally blind in the last couple of years, she does not have the skills to get a job. She raised two sons, but unfortunately neither of them is in much of a position to help her as they are both low-income with no insurance and have children of their own! You would think that this is exactly the sort of person it would be easy to find help for. Well, it's not. I've been trying. It has made we wonder if those that decry the horrible misspending (and it IS misspent AND mismanaged as Steve points out)of the US government as a waste of our taxes have ever met a marginalized person.

That said, I absolutely agree that education is key to helping someone help themselves. But education is not free, either.

Salt H2O said...

"It has made we wonder if those that decry the horrible misspending (and it IS misspent AND mismanaged as Steve points out)of the US government as a waste of our taxes have ever met a marginalized person."

I don't see the corrilation here. Are you saying that we should just sit back and watch those with no need, and no desire to provide for themselves be given charity while people like your friend are over looked?

No one has discredited the fact that there are people that need help. While people like your friend go unattended to, there are families like this family, who was given the world and squandered it.

It is those with whom I take issue.

pr0le said...

"While people like your friend go unattended to, there are families like this family, who was given the world and squandered it."

The folly, of course, is believing that these people are anything but the edge cases; that we should do away with programs that help out the majority of our brothers and sisters in need, simply because of a few rotten apples.

I've seen governments that don't care about the welfare of their people, and it ain't pretty.

Mikie said...

"The folly, of course, is believing that these people are anything but the edge cases; that we should do away with programs that help out the majority of our brothers and sisters in need, simply because of a few rotten apples."

The folly, of course, is believing that the government is anywhere near efficient and/or effective at administering relief, and that they even have a right to take money by force to do it. It's immoral.

Of course you can't do away with those programs overnight. But something needs to be done to move away from them and move towards more effective means of helping those in need. There is no love in government aid, and I sometimes wonder if there's anything more than guilt and/or self-righteousness motivating those who honestly feel the government should take control and take care of people.

We need leaders who will inspire people to be better to each other-- not ones to come up with new ways to force people to take care of each other whilst wasting resources in the process.

Jolly said...

"We need leaders who will inspire people to be better to each other-- not ones to come up with new ways to force people to take care of each other whilst wasting resources in the process."

Ha ha ha ha ha ha! That's funny.

mj said...

I guess I didn't quite finish my thought. I would love it if our "safety net" were more effective and efficient. But, in general, I care more about the fact that there are people not getting the help they need than that there are people abusing the system. So, if in the course of getting more people that deserve it the services they need we fund a few leeches, so be it. It's a sad system but it's the best we got for now.

Steve said...

MJ and pr0le are right on again. If you believe everything mikie and Salty are saying, you'd think since there are a few extreme cases abusing the system, thus we should do away with the whole thing. Again, I make take it to the other side, what about corporations abusing tax loopholes or corporate responsibility, such as Enron did, should we ban ALL corporations?!?!? Even I see the idiocracy in that argument.

mikie, I feel sorry for you that you have such little faith in the government. There are hundreds, if not thousands of men and women that care and are doing everything they can with the resources they have to accomplish the greatest good for US citizens and others. I'd point out myself, but also Sherpa, for personal examples. And also I'd like to point out the HIV clinics and water distribution system installed in the desert providing water to thousands of impoverished Ethiopians I saw yesterday. Would a government that is inefficient, ineffective, or insensitive do such things or the thousands of other things that you claim it does not or can not accomplish? Don't assume that the government consists of only Congress and the President. They might try to make the rules, but there are thousands of us behind the scenes that aren't sold to big business or getting cushy job perks and money in our pocket to push an agenda. We are simply here to help those that aren't able to help themselves, which IS one of the main reasons for government, unless you are a nihilist, no matter which dogma you subscribe to.

Steve said...

I forgot to mention that MJ too is a person doing what she can within the govt and Abby too!

I really don't mean to be so antagonistic, but before you all start pointing the finger at the problems, what have you done lately to solve the problems. And don't even say vote, since that is something that every one should do regardless, much like breathing. I hate to use these words, but if you want change, you have to put people into place that are going to cause change, not the same old, same old fashioned way of running the world.

Linda said...

"The folly" is thinking that the role of government is *any* kind of welfare. Jesus said, "ye have the poor always with you." It is not the *taxed* individual's, but the *free* individual's responsibility to give of their substance and consecrate their properties for their support.

Does anyone reading this think he/she will be blessed for imparting of their substance to the poor because they pay their taxes? And these taxes which we are forced to pay, whether we believe in them or not, may or may not be distributed to the poor.

Government has stolen our agency by taxation, and some of us have little or no substance left to give.

Gov't has stolen the integrity and godly faith of the poor who expect that same gov't to feed, clothe, and house them. Such help often is perceived by the recipients as their "right."

To say that Jesus was a socialist is arrogant and absurd:

1. He was speaking to individuals, not gov't agencies when he counseled us to love one another and impart to the poor.

2. He promoted one-on-one charity. The welfare he advocated was individual charity, not gov't welfare.

3. He was/is a believer in individual agency, not force. Taxation by any government is force. Force is Satan's plan, not Jesus's plan.

4. He said to give to Caesar that which was Caeser's.

5. He did not promote *any* politics. In fact, he went *against* the Saducees and the Pharisees who were the politicians and gov't of his day. He was apolitical.

6. He promoted teaching someone to fish rather than just giving the fish.

7. He wanted to bring people into a personal relationship with God the father, not with their assigned welfare case worker.

8. His message was about faith in him and his atonement, and faith God the Father. Gov't welfare works against faith in its beneficiaries. It encourages them to look to gov't instead of to God for help and support.

Finally, let me say one more time that the role of government in a free society does not include redistribution of wealth among its citizens. If you want to live in a free society then you must be vigilant about government usurpation of your freedoms.

Unlimited government = limited opportunity and choice.
Limited government = unlimited opportunity and choice.

Steve said...


Thanks for the very well thought out reply. I have a new respect for you. :)

I can't disagree with what you say, but like most things, it seems to only work in theory. We TRIED to do what suggest for the first 150 years of our country and Europe did it for thousands of years; however, it simply did not work. Is it any wonder that the Great Depression forced government, especially here in the US under FDR to see the need for some sort of income distribution in the form of a sefety net? Is it also any wonder that doing so not only eradicated most, but not all, poverty in this country, but also springloaded the US into the most successful country the past 70 years sinces? Granted, it's not a complete cause and effect and other major policies led to this, including a generous immigration policy; but redistribution has helped many rise out of their rags, something individual charity just doesn't have the resources to do. It's like a lot of Christian beliefs, what is preached is often not what is practiced, in every denomination.

Mikie said...

Another perspective suggests that it was misguided federal policies that caused the downturn that began in 1929 and prevented the economy from fully recovering for a decade. That policy blunders by the fed. reserve, congress, and Hoover and Roosevelt really had a negative impact on the economy rather than a positive one.

So who is right? You work for the government, I expect that you've been indoctrinated by them and I also expect there's little to nothing that anyone could do to change your mind.

I do appreciate your sincerity, however, in your efforts to administer to relief to those in need. It is not welfare in general that I have issue with, but merely the immoral and economically destructive use of force used to obtain those resources. You're probably right that individual, person to person, charity doesn't quite do the job. To suggest the government is the only organization capable of doing that job... that's just not true. I am also not convinced by your argument that need of one person justifies another to take from someone else to help them. When men lose their freedom they become slaves.

While the government today, again, may be trying to fight recession, in the long term they are doing more damage than good. The more "money" they pour into rescuing mortgage businesses and banks and what not, the more debt they incur and the more the dollar is inflated, making everyone able to do less with the money they're making.

We're in a pretty big mess, it's not going to be an easy or short road out of it. And you're right-- doing away with these programs all together and all at once is not the solution. We're in it pretty deep from the past 70 years of policy, as you pointed out.

Steve said...

mikie, if you think that 1) I am "indoctrinated" by the govt, you clearly don't know me and my history (nor do the people that do my security clearances, haha) and 2) that the govt is even capable of doing such things aside from the Neo-Cons that want to do that to ALL of us! But to believe the govt can does such things is as crazy as some of the "revolutionaries" I knew in college with their anti-govt theories. In any event, one could say that you have been indoctrinated to distrust or dislike the govt! I'm not saying that, but this is an statement that cuts both ways and is fruitless to continue.

I do agree with you about the current state of affairs. I just saw this morning that the economic "stimulus" package that Bush insisted upon was a big failure, big surprise and I'm sure you can go back and read some of my comments on here from that time stating it would be. The bailout is tricky, b/c on one hand most of these people were irresponsible with financial planning, yet if we let them all fail and the banks that took the big gamble, more banks will fail and we will be one step away from the 30's. With inflation out of control, even those of us that have been prudent and only paid for those things we could afford will begin to slip b/c our money in our pockets will no longer stretch as far and suddenly our homes, thus mortgages, will become more and more expensive to keep, ultimately some of us will fall victim to foreclosure, further creating an economic tailspin. At some point, action has to be taken to prevent it from hitting rock bottom, like it did under Hoover.

The exact steps to take, I am not sure, but throwing money around to anyone besides the banks is populist. And I say this HATING banks and see them for the fascists they are!

Allie said...

On the opposite end of the feelings of entitlement, and the feelings of selfishness.

Do we believe that everything we have, we have because we have been blessed by Heavenly Father? If that is the case, then we should be much more willing to share with those who have less than we do. If you can't view social programs as something you can do with a spirit of giving why do you think you'd be able to start giving once no one made you? I would like to see government programs run more efficiently, to give people job training so that they know how to be independent, but without government welfare programs, the divide between the haves and the have nots would only widen.

It's nice to say that if the government didn't regulate social services that we would all be more generous, but I don't think the majority of us would.

Salt H2O said...

I agree- no more bank bail outs and if GM needs a bail out, the country should let them fail. The taxpayers can not bear the burden of corporate stupidity.

This is another area where I think we all want the same thing, but it's the execution in which we disagree.

On April 15th I don't have any feelings of charity- I feel like I'm getting robbed. I don't think of the social programs that have helped others- I think of my niece who is 19, has two kids, works the system and spent her $10,000 tax return on a Wii and designer clothes, and still begs her mom for money.

If I had more would I give more? Absolutly. The rich do FAR more for the poor than the middle class, because they have more to give. I want to give to programs that I KNOW work. When I hear about the church giving away thousands of red wheelchairs to underprivagled children, it inspires me to give more. When I read stories of those benefited from the perpetual education fund, I want to donate.

It was Satan's plan to MAKE people do the right thing. It was Satan's plan to force us all to get to heaven. Our Saviors plan was that of agency.

When someone takes money out of my wallet and gives it to my neighbor-(not to mention the 25% cut they get in handling fees)who's plan is it?

Mormon Matters Trackback said...

Taxes = Satan?