What Socialists Mean by Poverty

July 2024 Forums General discussion What Socialists Mean by Poverty

Viewing 9 posts - 16 through 24 (of 24 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #131394
    Bijou Drains
    Participant
    Bob Andrews wrote:
    My roots lie in the lumpen-proletariat and I spent christmas and the New Year in Bodrum. On a State pension. So I don't consider myself poor. Try the Tressell definition on workers today and they will look at you as if you were barmy.The only time my old dad went overseas was when they sent him to war.Bodrum was heaving with Geordies. A strange people. Their sole interest, apart from drinking, was starting punch-ups with  the locals after deliberately misinterpreting something said or done as an insult or a challenge to a fight.Totally upset my holiday.

    one area of poverty that relates to your old man is the absence of contraception. If he’d had access to that facility, his life and this forum, would have been spared the blight that is Bob Andrews.Also the only fact that you expect people to believe that you can manage a fortnight in Bodrum on £130 a week shows how full of the brown stuff you are.Pleased, however that the good people of Tyneside managed to upset your holiday, a bit disappointing that you didn’t get your comeuppance, still there’s always next year 

    #131397
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    ALB wrote:
    Agreed that what constitutes "the bare necessaries of existence" is socially-determined and in Britain will be higher now that it was over a hundred years ago in Tressell's time but I don't think we could get away with saying that a worker living in a centrally-heated house with two or three rooms, hot and cold running water, freezer, television, computer, mobile phone, three meals a day, etc is only getting the "bare necessaries of existence". Such a worker is only "poor" in the sense of being excluded from ownership of means of production and therefore forced by economic necessity to sell their mental and physical energies for a wage or salary in order to live. Also, of course, in some parts of the world, there are people not getting enough to stay alive properly. Few people in Britain are in that position.

    Perhaps the first paragraph in the OP is appropriate: How many workers are able to obtain – if needed – all the benefits of civilisation?

    #131398
    ALB
    Keymaster

    None. So all workers are poor on Owen's first definition of poverty. But how many workers in Britain are poor on his second definition of poverty as lacking or only just getting the "bare necessaries of existence" (what might be better called "destitution")?What this discussion shows is the importance, as always, of defining terms, otherwise you are going to end up talking at cross purposes.

    #131399
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Luke Schaffer and Kathryn Edin’s "$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing In America"  found that “1.65 million households with about 3.55 million children were surviving on $2 or less in cash income per person per day in a given month” in 2011. Jason DeParle and Robert Gebeloff showed that across the country food stamps are the only income of many poor families.It is all summed up by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, Professor Philip Alstonhttp://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=22533&LangID=E

    Quote:
    I have seen and heard a lot over the past two weeks.  I met with many people barely surviving on Skid Row in Los Angeles, I witnessed a San Francisco police officer telling a group of homeless people to move on but having no answer when asked where they could move to, I heard how thousands of poor people get minor infraction notices which seem to be intentionally designed to quickly explode into unpayable debt, incarceration, and the replenishment of municipal coffers, I saw sewage filled yards in states where governments don’t consider sanitation facilities to be their responsibility, I saw people who had lost all of their teeth because adult dental care is not covered by the vast majority of programs available to the very poor, I heard about soaring death rates and family and community destruction wrought by prescription and other drug addiction, and I met with people in the South of Puerto Rico living next to a mountain of completely unprotected coal ash which rains down upon them bringing illness, disability and death…Who then are the poor? Racist stereotypes are usually not far beneath the surface.  The poor are overwhelmingly assumed to be people of color, whether African Americans or Hispanic ‘immigrants’.  The reality is that there are 8 million more poor Whites than there are Blacks.  Similarly, large numbers of welfare recipients are assumed to be living high on the hog.  Some politicians and political appointees with whom I spoke were completely sold on the narrative of such scammers sitting on comfortable sofas, watching color TVs, while surfing on their smart phones, all paid for by welfare.  I wonder how many of these politicians have ever visited poor areas, let alone spoken to those who dwell there. There are anecdotes aplenty, but evidence is nowhere to be seen.  In every society, there are those who abuse the system, as much in the upper income levels, as in the lower.  But the poor people I met from among the 40 million living in poverty were overwhelmingly either persons who had been born into poverty, or those who had been thrust there by circumstances largely beyond their control such as physical or mental disabilities, divorce, family breakdown, illness, old age, unlivable wages, or discrimination in the job market.
    #131400
    rodshaw
    Participant

    Far from considering themselves to live in any kind of poverty, a very large proportion of what we socialists term 'workers', probably a majority, would think themselves somewhere in the 'middle class' bracket and consider themselves to have done ok out of the system. Not necessarily in a smug way, but they certainly see no need for any kind of major social change. I think this is the greatest stumbling block we face to a majority gaining socialist consciousness.

    #131401
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    We do not need a PhD to understand that poverty is wage slavery. ( that is the real definition ) Workers have been cheated by the capitalists based on the conception that they are members of the middle class and others are members of the working class, it is like saying that the middle class does not work. Sociologists have created a various type of social classes, this is a society divided into poor and rich peopleshttp://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/education/depth-articles/ownership/two-class-society

    #131402
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Marcos wrote:
    We do not need a PhD to understand that poverty is wage slavery. ( that is the real definition ) Workers have been cheated by the capitalists based on the conception that they are members of the middle class and others are members of the working class, it is like saying that the middle class does not work. Sociologists have created a various type of social classes, this is a society divided into poor and rich peopleshttp://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/education/depth-articles/ownership/two-class-society

    I agree1% owns 84% of the wealth. That means 99% owns 16% of the wealth. There are a lot more workers in poverty than some would have us believe.Or maybe I have my math wrong and my feeling of poverty is an illusion.

    #131403
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Vin wrote:
    Marcos wrote:
    We do not need a PhD to understand that poverty is wage slavery. ( that is the real definition ) Workers have been cheated by the capitalists based on the conception that they are members of the middle class and others are members of the working class, it is like saying that the middle class does not work. Sociologists have created a various type of social classes, this is a society divided into poor and rich peopleshttp://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/education/depth-articles/ownership/two-class-society

    I agree1% owns 84% of the wealth. That means 99% owns 16% of the wealth. There are a lot more workers in poverty than some would have us believe.Or maybe I have my math wrong and my feeling of poverty is an illusion.

    Your mathematical calculation is correct. At the present time with the world development and expansion of capitalism, there are more poor peoples and more workers than in prior epochs. Classes are defined according to their relationship with the means of productionsThe so-called post-capitalism is an idea spread by peoples who do not have a clue about the real basis of capitalism, and some capitalists lovers,  some peoples think that workers are only the peoples working in factories, that old definition of the industrial proletarian belongs to the past, we are all workers even if we are retired or unemployed. We are workers until we die, in the same way, that we must be socialist until we die, it is our theory, capitalism, and bourgeoise ideology is their theory and their system.We are being bombarded with the wrong social theory to keep us to tight to the carriage of capitalism and create more illusions and fetishism in our minds.Poverty is wage slavery period, we do not need a diploma from Oxford, Harvard, Sorbonne,   or Yale to understand.We have pamphlets, articles and public discussion who have explained that extensively. Let the innovators create distorted theory, we must stick to our socialist definitions

    #131404
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Vin wrote:
    Marcos wrote:
    We do not need a PhD to understand that poverty is wage slavery. ( that is the real definition ) Workers have been cheated by the capitalists based on the conception that they are members of the middle class and others are members of the working class, it is like saying that the middle class does not work. Sociologists have created a various type of social classes, this is a society divided into poor and rich peopleshttp://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/education/depth-articles/ownership/two-class-society

    I agree1% owns 84% of the wealth. That means 99% owns 16% of the wealth. There are a lot more workers in poverty than some would have us believe.Or maybe I have my math wrong and my feeling of poverty is an illusion.

    Even more, some presidents and state officials and small business peoples fall into the category of being members of the working class. The ex-president of Uruguay is driving an old VW and he is living in an old house https://www.gettyimages.ae/detail/news-photo/uruguayan-president-jose-mujica-stands-outside-his-house-in-news-photo/171808097#uruguayan-president-jose-mujica-stands-outside-his-house-in-on-june-picture-id171808097Can we imagine a president of the US living under this conditions? 

Viewing 9 posts - 16 through 24 (of 24 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.