Reducing child poverty


Poverty is a terrible thing, and even more so when children are involved. To not be sure of where one’s own next meal is coming from or if one can pay the rent or take care of medical emergencies is bad enough but when one cannot provide those things for one’s children, it can be heartbreaking.

Children are not responsible for their economic state and so the state has a responsibility to make sure that at least that section of the population is taken care of. So the news that child poverty was cut in half in 2021 due to the enhanced child tax credit enacted during the pandemic is excellent news. It shows that government policy can do a lot ameliorate that problem.

The US child poverty rate fell by nearly half in 2021, largely thanks to enhanced child tax credits, new census data shows.

The child poverty rate fell to a low of 5.2% compared with 9.7% the year before.

Experts noted that increased child tax credits provided low-income families with much-needed resources during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Overall, US child poverty levels have been falling for decades. Child poverty has fallen by 59% since 1993 with rates declining in all 50 states, the New York Times reported.

The bad news is that that credit has expired, with efforts at renewal blocked by the usual suspects.

In March 2021, as part of the American Rescue Plan Act, child tax credits were enhanced for one year. Payments increased to $3,600 for children under six years old and $3,000 for each child between six and 17.

An extension of child tax credits failed to pass Congress, amid opposition from Republicans and the West Virginia Democratic senator Joe Manchin.

Child allowances were not included in the Democrat-led health, tax and climate bill that passed last month.

“We know how to fight poverty, and it’s not super complicated,” Elizabeth Lower-Basch, director of income and work supports at the Center for Law and Social Policy (Clasp), told CNN.

“It’s about giving people the resources they need to meet their and their families’ needs.”

If in November Democrats. can hold on to their majority in the House of Representatives and can add a couple of Senate seats so that they are no longer hostage to the big business interests of Republicans and Democratic senators Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, there is a chance of the enhanced credits being brought back.

Comments

  1. txpiper says

    We have cultivated the idea that the government has unlimited money. I believe the US dollar will eventually go the way of any abused currency and lose its value. When that happens, we will find out what real poverty looks like.

  2. ardipithecus says

    Seems like an awful lot of trouble to go to just to see what real poverty looks like. A holiday wandering around Somaliland and South Sudan is a lot simpler.

  3. sonofrojblake says

    @txpiper, 1.

    You sound like you’re positively eager to see it, like a lot of conservative c**ts I see writing this sort of thing on the internet. The very idea of other people’s misery really seems to give you people the horn.

  4. says

    We have cultivated the idea that the government has unlimited money.

    “We” who, exactly? I’ve never heard ANYONE say anything like that.

    I believe the US dollar will eventually go the way of any abused currency and lose its value.

    Libertarians like you have been spouting that lame apocalyptic bullshit since the 1970s — mostly just to scare people into buying gold. It’s never come true, and it shows no signs of coming true today either.

    When that happens, we will find out what real poverty looks like.

    Again, “we” who? There are BILLIONS of people who already know what real poverty looks like, and you just admitted you’re not one of them.

  5. billseymour says

    We have cultivated the idea that the government has unlimited money.

    Actually, it does, since it prints the money. Printing too much money too fast is unwise (because it can cause the kind of inflation that one sees in some third-world countries), but it’s not impossible.

  6. Deepak Shetty says

    Poverty is a terrible thing, and even more so when children are involved

    My path to abandoning religion began with the terrible things I saw every day , where poor , disabled , half-dead children beg you for a few paise every day in the streets , where you know whatever you give them , most likely wont goto them.

    I believe the US dollar will eventually go the way of any abused currency and lose its value.

    So if its a choice between feeding / educating poor children and the USD losing some value , you fear the latter ? Hell , if you could tax corporations based on their profits and eliminate the various tax loopholes they use to not pay their fair share ,- you wouldnt need anything more. But probably you will oppose that too.

  7. says

    @5: Also, there doesn’t have to be unlimited or infinite money; there just has to be continuous economic activity keeping the same finite amount of money in circulation: people pay taxes on income and purchases, government spends that tax revenue on aid to the poor and other standard government services, money thus spent goes into people’s pockets (both civil servants and aid recipients), the people spend that money (in addition to money earned in private business) buying what they need, all that income and purchases are taxed, government spends the tax money on aid and other government services…round and round forever, or at least until some catastrophic event breaks the wheel.

  8. txpiper says

    “terrible things I saw every day , where poor , disabled , half-dead children beg”
    .
    Where did you see these things?

  9. Deepak Shetty says

    @txpiper
    Mumbai/India. Every traffic signal in a big city will have plenty of poor people asking for money.

  10. billseymour says

    Raging Bee @7:  yes, but that’s a different issue.  I was just making the (admittedly pedantic) point that the government does have, in principle if not in practice, an unlimited amount of money since it’s a money source, not a money sink.

    And I agree totally with your point.  If you give tax breaks, for example, or even outright grants, to lower income folks, they’ll spend it and keep the money circulating.  If you give tax breaks to folks who are already wealthy, they won’t spend it; they’ll just have it and feel proud.  Adam Smith had that figured out in The Wealth of Nations, so it’s really old news. 😎

  11. txpiper says

    India’s national debt is about $1,000,000,000,000, about 45% of their GDP. The United States debt will soon be over $31,000,000,000,000, about 124% of our GDP. India is arguably much more solvent than the US. Why doesn’t the Indian government just buy food for all those poor people?

  12. billseymour says

    Why doesn’t the Indian government just buy food for all those poor people?

    Maybe because it’s a Hindu nationalist government…kind of like what the U.S. could become if we ever get a Christian nationalist government.

  13. consciousness razor says

    txpiper, #11:

    The United States debt will soon be over $31,000,000,000,000, about 124% of our GDP.

    According to this Treasury.gov page (which you should try to read for comprehension, as that’s much better than fear-mongering crap like the fucking “debt clock”), roughly $6,700,000,000,000 of that (21.6%) is intragovernmental — that is, held by some other part of the US government, not an outside entity.

    The other $24,300,000,000,000 is in the form of very scary stuff* like bonds and t-bills and so forth, held by “individuals, corporations, state or local governments, Federal Reserve Banks, foreign investors, foreign governments, and other entities outside the United States Government.”

    If you’re terrified of the word “foreign,” as conservatives are, then you’ll be happy to learn (see here) that only about $7,420,000,000,000 of that $24,300,000,000,000 (30.5%**) is held by foreign governments.

    The other $16,880,000,000,000 (69.5%***) is not. Of course, many US citizens and corporations hold some of it in one form or another. But indeed, foreign governments can have an interest-bearing account with the Treasury, like you or I can, even wretched hives of scum and villainy like the United Kingdom. And it just doesn’t matter.

    *Stuff that is actually very scary not included … such as clowns. Trillions upon trillions of clowns. Those are not included.
    **Or you could say it’s 23.9% of the total, if we’re including what’s already held by our own government, assuming there’s any coherent reason to care about such things.
    ***A full 60.9% of your biggest and scariest number, if we’re going to be extra-dumb about it and include money that one part of the government “owes” some other part of itself, as if anybody gives a shit about things like that.

    India is arguably much more solvent than the US.

    You yourself have shown time and again that absolutely anything is arguable, as long as you’re stupid (or dishonest) enough to make the argument.

    Why doesn’t the Indian government just buy food for all those poor people?

    It could. Why doesn’t ours?

    Anyway, it’s good to know that you have no fucking clue what the national debt is.

  14. txpiper says

    The fear-mongering debt clock is showing $30.891 trillion. If that is wrong, what is the correct number?

    Selling treasury instruments is not harmless. It just means that investors own you. The US is like someone who borrowed a couple of million dollars and bought nice stuff. The neighbors see the stuff and think that they are rich, but they are just in debt. You will have to learn the hard way.

  15. says

    Gee, if all that national debt is so scary, maybe we should raise taxes to pay it down a bit faster.

    Which brings us to the next question: how did we rack up so much debt in the first place? Under which party did it happen?

  16. says

    The US is like someone who borrowed a couple of million dollars and bought nice stuff.

    That’s not the US, that’s the irresponsible failed “businessman” your party put in charge of the US. You do remember he’s called himself the “king of debt,” right?

  17. lochaber says

    txpiper, you are a caricature.

    You are a stereotypical, absurd, collection of right-wing talking points.

    Seriously, this is 80’s cartoon villain bullshit -- “if we don’t have a bunch of poor and starving kids in our country, things will get even worse”

    Somehow we have endless funds to pour into bloated military planes and non-functional aircraft carriers, and give Amazon and GE tax cuts, but a school lunch program is going to bankrupt us? fuck off with that bullshit

  18. consciousness razor says

    The fear-mongering debt clock is showing $30.891 trillion. If that is wrong, what is the correct number?

    Can you read? I’m not sure that you can. As I said:
    — Roughly $6.7T is held by the government itself.
    — A large chunk of the roughly $16.88T is held by US citizens, US corporations, state or local governments in the US, and US Federal Reserve Banks.
    — That is around $23.58T (give or take) out of your $31T figure, or 76.1% of it. So why the hell are you talking about $31T again?

    So:
    — We will not be in “real poverty” because our government which prints its own money owes some of that in treasury securities which it uses for its own funds (or what it owes to itself, as it were). That’s a big chunk of this “national debt” you’re so worried about. But the real worry I think is that you don’t want the government to function at all. Whenever it does, that’s a “problem.”
    — We will not be in “real poverty” because US citizens purchased a bond (or whatever) and collected interest on it. Is that how you think this works? When you see the interest you got on your saving account in the monthly/quarterly statement from the bank, do you get upset that your account has more money in it and think to yourself that this leads to poverty?

    You are just plain confused, if you honestly believe the nonsense that this kind of thing leads to “real poverty.” And if you just don’t know what you’re talking about but blather on anyway, I consider that sort of propaganda just as dishonest as not being confused and straight-up lying about it to people here.

    You would have a reason to complain that banks and other financial institutions often exploit us with the system they created for themselves, impoverishing many people by charging very high rates on private debt like loans and credit cards (not to mention all their fees, etc.) while offering very low rates on deposits. Nationalize the banks, then. I’m here for it.

    But I don’t think you actually want to change anything (for the better) about all the capitalists who are bleeding us dry. No, you think it’s a good idea to make our shitty government even worse and less functional, enough so that it won’t be able to do anything effective about that.

  19. John Morales says

    Gotta remember txpiper is a fatalist.

    (“The poor you will always have with you” (Matthew 26:11))

  20. txpiper says

    The fear-mongering debt clock is showing $30.891 trillion
    Can you read? I’m not sure that you can.”
    .
    Your Treasury.gov link shows $30.885. I was wondering why one number is fear-mongering and the other isn’t.

    This is about human folly and immorality, not politics. Believe whatever you like, but there will be a reckoning, and it will be very cruel.

  21. lochaber says

    feeding starving kids is “immoral”, that’s a hell of a take there

    I’m going to be standing on the side for reducing suffering, especially for those who don’t have the power to stand for themselves.

    go ahead and bring your “cruel reckoning”

  22. Holms says

    #20 tx
    Reading your comment tx, it’s as if the only thing cr said was to quibble over 30,891,000,000,000 or 30,885,000,000,000. You disappeared all other points he made.

  23. tuatara says

    Hang on txpiper. You recently openly admitted that morality is irrelevant. Yet here you are spouting this nonsense.

    This is about human folly and immorality, not politics.

    If morality is not a factor for your imaginary friend why should immorality be so? Huh?

    Believe whatever you like, but there will be a reckoning, and it will be …

    …in your case quite funny (when your imaginary friend turns out to be just that).

    Oooh, I am so scared of your imaginary friend. I am shaking in my imaginary boots.
     
    Meanwhile, you think suffering is your gods way of showing people how much he loves them.

    And what of those starving brown children (many of which may never, in their short lives, even learn the existence of your imaginary friend) who your loving god will send off for eternal torture because of his own failings?

    You are one very sick and amoral puppy.
     
    Your god could fix all that ails the world on a whim (and I don’t mean by destroying everything because that is what cowards do) but he doesn’t because he either doesn’t actually care or doesn’t actually exist. Either way he is completely useless, and you are completely fooled by believing he is anything else.

  24. tuatara says

    The USA is wealthy enough to eliminate poverty within it’s borders almost overnight, but like many nations, will not because ” oooh look an F35! Oh look, they have an F25 too! Shit!”
    Poor people do not create dept. Wealthy people who hoard their money create debt.
    Poor people do not create poverty. Wealthy people who hoard their money create poverty.
    The poor in the USA have not bankrupted it. The wealthy have done so.
    The USA could provide world-class healthcare for all it’s citizens. It could easily build the best education system ever, eliminate homelessness, and even bring true equality. It could easily do all these things concurrently.
    But it won’t because of people like txpiper who would have it become a plutocratic christofascist state.
     
    The American revolution may have spelled the end of the aristocracy in the USA but the plutocracy continued apace.

    The USA is far from alone in failing its citizens.

  25. says

    This is about human folly and immorality…

    No, it’s about REPUBLICAN folly and immorality. Not all humans are as blatantly stupid and dishonest as you lot.

  26. Deepak Shetty says

    @txpiper

    India is arguably much more solvent than the US.

    Somehow this debt thing only comes up when Democrats are in power -- where were you when the the Republicans passed the tax laws that is going to explode this debt? But anyway , you need to answer a simple question Is India more or less solvent than the US . if less(and it is , you know it too , hence you had to add arguably) than how does it square with your data above ?

    Why doesn’t the Indian government just buy food for all those poor people?

    Atleast two reasons. The people who want to use the government to pass policies that genuinely help the poor (and by extension fund this by making sure that corporations and the rich pay their fair share) are either uninterested in politics OR the rich and powerful conspire to ensure that they will lose elections -- Ultimately democracies need a good majority of such people and thats not possible currently in India or the US. India as such doesnt have good Infrastructure -- Even if the food is there , it cant reach the people in need. The current Indian Government (like every other right wing Government) is more interested in ensuring that he rich get richer and is using religion to ensure their majority and divide the people further , which is also an ends for the true believers of that party. but previous Governments were hardly better.

  27. txpiper says

    “….Walmart, Target and other major U.S. retailers are literally canceling billions of dollars in orders ahead of the coming holiday season. I have never heard of such a thing happening before, and under normal conditions it wouldn’t make any sense at all. The holiday season is typically the busiest time of the year for retailers, and at this time in 2021 there was actually a great deal of concern that there wouldn’t be enough inventory due to global supply chain problems. But now everything has changed. All of a sudden major retailers are feverishly canceling orders, and this would only make sense if a severe economic downturn was imminent.”
    https://www.zerohedge.com/personal-finance/why-are-walmart-and-other-major-us-retailers-canceling-billions-dollars-orders

  28. John Morales says

    txpiper, you really don’t get it, do you?

    Yes, recession is in the horizon.

    Thing is, rich countries and rich people have to cut back on luxuries and indulgences, poor countries and poor people already at the edge don’t have that buffer.

    Basically, there are different levels of poverty, and different impacts thereby.

    In particular, the USA could easily afford these anti-poverty initiatives (because a rich country can ameliorate the circumstances of its poor people, should it choose to) whereas other countries are not in that happy position.

  29. txpiper says

    “there are different levels of poverty”
    .
    There are different kinds of poor people, too.
    =
    “the USA could easily afford these anti-poverty initiatives (because a rich country can ameliorate the circumstances of its poor people, should it choose to)”
    .
    Lots of people believe that there is endless money available, and someone is just being stingy.

  30. John Morales says

    It doesn’t take endless money to significantly impact the rate of child poverty.

    I quote from the OP: “The US child poverty rate fell by nearly half in 2021, largely thanks to enhanced child tax credits, new census data shows.”

    It most definitely is ideology rather than economics that generally precludes the state caring for its people. You can see it in the USA, where the category of the working poor is a big part of the demographics. Where waiters have to rely on tips. That sort of thing.

    (It’s a shortage of will, not of money)

  31. says

    No, dimwit, no one is saying there’s “endless” money available; we’re just saying there’s ENOUGH resources available to afford meaningful anti-poverty initiatives. But that’s not happening because, yes, some people really are being stingy, while others are being corrupt and wasteful.

  32. tuatara says

    txpiper @30

    There are different kinds of poor people, too.

    I take this as aluding to the typical bullshit view that the poor are so because of their own choices, that it is their own fault in some way that makes them poor?
     
    It is true that there is not an endless supply of money but all those post GFC bank bailouts reveal that if they want to governments can actually afford to give money away to scumbags who really don’t deserve it. I remember some bank bosses paid themselves handsome bonuses not long after they sunk their own banks by feasting on toxic debts.
    I am sure that given the chance the sharks on Wall St will have another crack at making lots of money materialise out of the pockets of those who have the least.
    Much like the voodoo economics al la ronald the ray gun that lets the uber rich suck all the money out of the economy leaving the poor and working class to foot the tax bill. It is that trickle-down bullshit when the flow of money is actually up never down.
     
    What is very telling is how, on the odd occasion that your government allows a small amount to actually trickle down, all the worms like you emerge complainimg of a fucking commie flood!
     
    There is enough to go around though mate. You just have to distribute it more equitably. And no, people don’t have to “earn” food and shelter, education and protection. If you think that they do need to earn the right to these things…well, it would reveal a lack of morals in you.
     
    Showing people kindness, offering them food and shelter, teaching them to read and write, giving them healthcare (you know, treating people the way you would like to be treated if you were in their shoes) can all go a long way toward them making other choices to improve their lives.
     
    People are not being stingy (except people like you as evidenced by your commemts).
    Not stingy, txpiper. Greedy.

  33. Holms says

    Yes, unfortunately the governments of many nations are going back to ‘business as usual’ thinking and dropping their brief emphasis on social safety net spending.

  34. tuatara says

    It is easy to be poor, and it is going to get easier.

    So you agree that it is likely to become more difficult to not be poor through no fault of those who find themselves in that position. You do know that is what you are implying, don’t you?
     
    And you approve of this because…….?
    Come on. Give us your fine reasoning. Some bible quotes perhaps?
     
    I wanna see the bible quotes because I need a bit of a laugh right now. My life partner is currently having investigations for suspected early stage chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Luckily we live in Australia where we actually like to look after each other with free hospital care and a subsidised therapeutic drug supply (all taxpayer funded of course, but what is possibly wrong with that?)

  35. says

    It is easy to be poor, and it is going to get easier.

    Typical empty pointless excuse for a comment by our resident right-wing troll. God’s balls, what happened to all the PLAUSIBLE-SOUNDING right-wing trolls who used to show up here? Did they all get sent to FEMA re-education camps or something?

    Luckily we live in Australia where we actually like to look after each other with free hospital care and a subsidised therapeutic drug supply…

    I’m waiting for some supply-side twit to explain in detail how your country helping its people care for each other without sinking into poverty is inevitably gonna reduce the entire West to the worst poverty ever any day now…

  36. txpiper says

    “suspected early stage chronic lymphocytic leukemia”
    .
    I hope it is not that. But if it is, I hope it is treatable and beatable. The bright side of chronic conditions is that they are typically slow killers.
    =
    “we live in Australia where we actually like to look after each other with free hospital care”
    .
    Australia’s population is less than 8% of ours, and completely different demographics. That said (and there is a lot more that could be said), the US spent well over a trillion dollars in FY 2021 on just welfare and Medicaid.

  37. Holms says

    Australia’s GDP is 6.4% of yours. Given the population, this makes it smaller than yours even when adjusted for population. And we still manage to take care of the poor better than you lot, thanks to our centralised health care.

  38. Tethys says

    I’m not surprised that txpiper is claiming nonsense about Medicaid, and apparently thinks people having health insurance is a waste of taxes. Over a trillion? Maybe we could eliminate private insurers and stop paying inflated costs that are triple any other country?

    Greedy corporations are the entire problem in America.

    Medicaid expenditures do not include administrative costs, accounting adjustments, or the U.S. Territories. Total Medicaid spending including these additional items was $748 billion in FY 2021.

    Significantly less than over a trillion.

  39. txpiper says

    “claiming nonsense about Medicaid…Significantly less than over a trillion”
    .
    What I claimed was:

    “the US spent well over a trillion dollars in FY 2021 on just welfare and Medicaid”

    Well over a trillion dollars is very conservative. 13 welfare programs combined totaled $535 billion, and just the federal portion of Medicaid was $521 billion, for a total of $1,056,000,000,000. The $748 billion figure you quote for Medicaid is both federal (70%) and state (30%) expenditures and administrative costs.

  40. Holms says

    #47 tx
    Care to address the point that Australia (and surely other nations) manages to provides better health to its population despite having less money relative to its population than USA?

  41. txpiper says

    “Care to address the point that Australia…provides better health to its population despite having less money”
    .
    Whatever the system, the receipts/premiums have to exceed the expenditures/claims to be and stay solvent. Apparently, Australia has demographics that make that possible.

  42. John Morales says

    Whatever the system, the receipts/premiums have to exceed the expenditures/claims to be and stay solvent.

    You evince USA-type thinking, thinking health should be provided on a profit basis, like prisons. Thinking that government should be run like a business enterprise. That the pot should not be shared equitably.

    The concept at hand should be sustainability and pragmatism, not profit margins.
    Alas, too socialistic, this concept of the resources of the state benefiting everyone instead of just the few.

    Thing is, the USA wouldn’t have the proper degree of inequity if it followed that approach, so that the tiny minority wouldn’t hoard the vast bulk of the wealth.

    Priorities, as I’ve noted above. Much more important to have good corporate welfare and the other stuff (gotta spread that pork!) than to attend to the population’s health.

    (Fuck the peons, right?)

  43. John Morales says

    I mean, the benefits to a country of reducing child poverty rates won’t come to be fruition for half a generation or so, right? But it’s gonna cost here and now.

    Thus, much better to have tax cuts to benefit the extremely wealthy now to be elected than to keep the tax rate the same and spend for better outcomes later, for example.

    Principles are for those who can afford them, but many who can afford them still choose not to spend on them — a business decision: the receipts/premiums have to exceed the expenditures/claims [in the near term] to be and stay solvent [i.e. elected politician].

    (Sure helps that half the eligible voters don’t bother to vote)

  44. John Morales says

    Futile, txpiper. We see through your pretense and illusion.

    See, don’t need endless money. Just need to spend it better.

    (And generate it better. A cohort of adults who would otherwise have been poor and therefore generally had poorer outcomes now become productive members of society. It’s a sort of virtuous cycle the nordic countries best exemplify, such as Norway)

  45. John Morales says

    For you, txpiper, the Babblical allusion:

    6While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper,a 7a woman came to Him with an alabaster jar of expensive perfume, which she poured on His head as He reclined at the table.

    8When the disciples saw this, they were indignant and asked, “Why this waste? 9This perfume could have been sold at a high price, and the money given to the poor.”

    10Aware of this, Jesus asked, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful deed to Me. 11The poor you will always have with you,b but you will not always have Me. 12By pouring this perfume on Me, she has prepared My body for burial. 13Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached in all the world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”

    (Fuck the poor is built-in into your morality! Because of authority-figures saying so)

  46. Silentbob says

    @ ^

    Troll.

    Matthew 19:21-24

    Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
    But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
    Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
    And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

    (For the casual reader, I’m not defending Christianity, but highlighting Morales’ trolling and utter disingenuousness -- I absolutely guarantee this quote is no news to him whatsoever. He doesn’t come here for a conversation, or and exchange of ideas, of anything so high minded as seeking truth. He comes here to dupe suckers into endless pointless disingenuous arguments, because he gets his jollies out of manipulation. Textbook troll in other words.)

  47. John Morales says

    Actually, O self-imagined scholar and not-silent Bob, I quoted the Berean Standard Bible Matthew 26:6-13. Part of my point of many versions of it.

    Since txpiper makes a point of being all about the scriptures.
    I can do that. Communication.
    “Shaka, When the Walls Fell” type of thing.

    He doesn’t come here for a conversation, or and exchange of ideas, of anything so high minded as seeking truth.

    Were you in any way familiar with my interactions with txpiper over the course of lo these many threads here, you would be aware that I fairly early on I made it quite clear that I was the Abyss. I very, very explicitly laid out my stance, the basis for my response, the process I would undertake.

    If you are aware of Mano’s recent postings, you would be aware he claims to pretty much read every comment. So he knows exactly what I’m doing, and he knows that I know that I have his tacit permission until or unless he cautions me.

    Now, so as not to disappoint, I note that whether or not Jesus is recorded as having claimed something in one passage does not invalidate what Jesus is recorded as having claimed something in some different passage, contradictory as the sentiments may be.

    And yes, I slyly mock the way txpiper has adopted the Babble as a moral guide, and therefore is predisposed to the perpetuation of poverty.

    However, you did give me the segue to note how Christians are, um, not well-known for selling what they have and giving it to the poor.

    I very much believe txpiper has not sold their possessions and given them to the poor; I know exactly zero Christians who do that.

    Anecdote — back in the day, when I lived in Adelaide in one of the poorer suburbs, there was a freebie “community newspaper” which was basically advertising and some fluff and press releases, and via my wife I got to see the local Catholic magazine one could buy from the church (translation: one was expected to buy).
    Comparing them was informative; the freebie basically advertised the cheapest of the cheap cars and rentals, the Catholic one basically advertised semi- and up-market cars and rentals.

    (A more affluent demographic, that is)

    So, Silentbob, how do you reckon Babblical types reconcile what you quoted with the Prosperity Gospel?

    (I mean, you did bring that up)

  48. tuatara says

    The Function of the Poor in a Christian World
     

    4. They create jobs for the professions who service the poor such as the police and prison officers, prostitutes, pawn shops, the army, etc. Now normally, you don’t want many of these, but, if you do, it is the poor who keeps them available and in business.

     

    6. They are the base-line of morality. This is remarkably important. They are proof that morality is absolute and thus must have come from God’s Word. The poor can be identified and punished as alleged or real deviants in order to uphold morality. When it comes to hard work, thrift, honesty, and monogamy, the normal True Christian may need examples and must therefore have people as examples of the lazy, spendthrift, dishonest, and promiscuous.

    The advantage here is that the poor lack the power to attempt change these perceptions – but that is because the perceptions are true.

    So you see the poor are god’s contribution to xian capitalistic socialism! (Or is it xian socialist capitalism? I never get that right).
    Either way, the poor serve an important xian service, so doing away with poverty is immoral (whatever morals are, ….because of course one need only believe in jesus to attain perfect morality….eh txpiper? Isn’t that what you said?)

  49. txpiper says

    The Apollo program lasted for 13 years and cost around $150 billion. Space has gotten very expensive since then. The Artemis, like the shuttle, uses old designs, updated I’m sure. Two solid rocket boosters, and four RS-25 engines (the shuttle had three) on the main rocket. The basic RL-10 motor that will push the command module to the moon (assuming that it will actually get there) was developed in the 1950’s.
    .
    ” “We found that the first four Artemis missions will each cost $4.1 billion per launch, a price tag that strikes us as unsustainable,” NASA Inspector General Paul Martin said during a meeting of the House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics.

    Artemis is the name of NASA’s lunar program. It represents a series of missions for which the agency is developing its Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion capsule, which would deliver astronauts to the moon. Boeing is the lead contractor building SLS, while Lockheed Martin is leading Orion development.

    In 2012, shortly after SLS was announced, NASA officials estimated that each mission would cost about $500 million — with the rocket targeting a 2017 debut. Today, the cost has ballooned eightfold, according to the NASA auditor.”
    https://www.cnbc.com/2022/03/01/nasa-auditor-warns-congress-artemis-missions-sls-rocket-billions-over-budget.html

  50. Silentbob says

    @ 61 John Morales

    Lol.

    https://www.dictionary.com/browse/metaphor

    Let’s face it mate, you’re flailing. You’ve almost become self-parody at this point.

    BTW

    The Authorized Version has been called “the most influential version of the most influential book in the world, in what is now its most influential language”, “the most important book in English religion and culture”, and “the most celebrated book in the English-speaking world”. David Crystal has estimated that it is responsible for 257 idioms in English; examples include feet of clay and reap the whirlwind. Furthermore, prominent atheist figures such as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins have praised the King James Version as being “a giant step in the maturing of English literature” and “a great work of literature”, respectively, with Dawkins then adding, “A native speaker of English who has never read a word of the King James Bible is verging on the barbarian”.

    But you do you. X-D

  51. John Morales says

    Let’s face it mate, you’re flailing.

    Well, you think I’m flailing.

    (Before, you thought I was trolling — and expressed amazement at my longevity at it)

    The Authorized Version has been called “the most influential version of the most influential book in the world, in what is now its most influential language”, “the most important book in English religion and culture”, and “the most celebrated book in the English-speaking world”.

    <chortle>

    I love how you miss the very point about the (lo!) so many translations in existence, and how some prefer one to another. And how none are the original.

    But you do you. X-D

    Heh.

    Am I supposed to be able to do otherwise, in your estimation?

    So, Silentbob, how do you reckon Babblical types reconcile what you quoted with the Prosperity Gospel?

  52. John Morales says

    [can’t resist]

    I flail some more to exercise your indignation.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible_translations_into_English

    I’ve made a hobby of quoting varying versions of it for some time now (and made it explicit that I was so doing), and — here’s the thing — they are all “the Bible”.
    The source material (“scriptures”) about which such as txpiper (at least ostensibly) base their worldview and morality and opposition to science’s findings.

    I here take the opportunity to highlight the obvious
    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible):

    The Bible (from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία, tà biblía, ‘the books’) is a collection of religious texts or scriptures sacred in Christianity, Judaism, Samaritanism, and many other religions. The Bible is an anthology—a compilation of texts of a variety of forms—originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek. These texts include instructions, stories, poetry, and prophecies, among other genres. The collection of materials that are accepted as part of the Bible by a particular religious tradition or community is called a biblical canon. Believers in the Bible generally consider it to be a product of divine inspiration, while understanding what that means and interpreting the text in various ways.

    So, I’ve quoted passages of that select corpus in various translations to the effect that (a) fuck the poor and (b) be capitalist.
    You’ve countered with an injunction to the effect that perfection requires selling one’s possessions and giving that to the poor.

    Shall we go on?

  53. John Morales says

    PS (I do me):

    He doesn’t come here for a conversation, or and exchange of ideas, of anything so high minded as seeking truth.

    Glad we are now exchanging ideas and having a conversation and seeking truth.

    And, since apparently those are good reasons for one to be here, surely you shan’t resile from interacting with me for those purposes, Silentbob.

  54. Holms says

    #49 tx
    Apparently, Australia has demographics that make that possible.

    You have no real explanation for how Australia manages this, so you decide there must be something in the demographic differences. Probably because anything else would require you to admit USA has spending priority problems.

    But fine, let’s go with it. What are the demographic differences which allow Australia to have better health with less money? How do said differences achieve this? See if you can explain this without making it about race.

    Or… is it a matter of race?

    ___

    #55, #56, #57 Bob and John
    Another point made by way of #55 is that it shows how incoherent the Bible is on virtually every point of morality. Compare and contrast the quotes made by both of you to see the Bible urging both extreme philanthropy, and pampering the Jesus at the expense of philanthropy elsewhere. Undermines the moral authority a tad.

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