[thechat] The Pianist

Sabrina Dent, Apperception sabrina.dent at appercept.co.uk
Mon Oct 20 01:02:45 CDT 2003

> I believe people are responsible for themselves.

I believe people are responsible for each other.

> Government should only help those who cannot help themselves.

"Cannot" however, is a very debatable thing. We're dealing with issues
of cyclical poverty, impovrished education, unaffordable housing, poor
birth control information, rocketing teen pregnancy, and childcare costs
that are unmeetable by even working, middle-class families. 

In my neighbourhood, childcare costs would run over £600 per month. Were
I single parent trying to meet that as well as appropriate housing on a
single income, I flatly could not. I would be on benefit, and in counsel
housing IF I could get it. If I combine the incomes of myself and the
most likely availible paternity donor, it becomes just about do-able --
but only with Child Allowance and the Working Families Tax Credit. There
would be no savings, and we'd be one paycheque away from public benefit.

Welcome to the working class.

> If government gives money away, then everybody will queue up
> to get a handout.  There is no discernment as to who gets it.

That's a load of rubbish. There's a huge amount of discerment. If there
was truly no discerment, you and I would be lining up. Benefit in the UK
is means-tested, with the exceptions of Child Allowance and the Working
Families Tax Credit. While there is benefit fraud, I'd rather help some
people twice than cut benefits and slit the throats of families with
children, the disabled, and the elderly. You want to know what the
effects of that are, go to the US. The wealthiest nation on earth treats
it's poorest citizens with APPALLING neglect. First world poverty is a
shameful, shameful thing.

> Just because Joe is out of work and doesn't feel like taking a
> difficult job, does not mean I should pay his rent and groceries.
> And telly.  And beer.

What if Joe can't find work? Because under current goverment
regulations, if Joe wants to go to college for some qualifications to
help him find employment, he loses his benefits. Bit of a catch-22,

I have a lot of respect for the fact that the UK benefit system doesn't
tell people how, where, and on what they can spend the money they're
allotted. If you want to enable people's independence, treating adults
like adults is an excellent place to start. And if I want to skip
breakfast every day for a week and kick back at the weekend with four
tins of lager, that's a choice I get to make as an adult. You don't get
to tell me I don't deserve a beer. It's none of your business.

(And don't head for "It is my business, I paid for that beer!" I paid
for your vasectomy on the NHS, but that doesn't make your penis my

> Stop "re-distributing" wealth, I say.  That is not the job of

No, by all means, lets continue to enable tax havens for the wealthy and
continue to spend 31P per child on school dinners -- the main meal of
the day for many children, especially those from lower class families.
Let's not take care of our population; let's just focus on better roads
and... erm, what would you like the goverment to be doing, exactly?

>This does not make me so conservative.

>From my screaming liberal left wing perspective, it actually does.

Sabrina Dent

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