September 13, 2013

The Attack at Home

A new bill threatens the food security of millions Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi

While the attention of the country has been riveted on President Obama’s proposals to launch missile strikes in Syria, hidden in the shadows, the House of Representatives has been busily preparing an attack of its own. This attack will not be directed against a foreign government accused of massacring innocent civilians with chemical weapons. Rather, it will be launched right here at home, and its targets are our fellow citizens, whose crime is simply being poor and dependent on federal assistance in order to eat and feed their families.

In the coming week, House Republicans will introduce a bill that delivers a major blow to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps. For 48 million Americans, 17 million of them children, food stamps serve as a fragile lifeline to food. SNAP benefits are far from adequate, since a family of four might receive at most about $668 in assistance per month, while many receive less. Recipients often run out of funds before the end of the month, and they usually have to restrict their purchases to processed foods—cheap and high in calories but lacking the vital nutrients provided by more costly fruits and vegetables.

Despite these shortcomings, SNAP still serves as a critical safety net that protects the vulnerable from an even deeper plunge into the pit of food insecurity, a situation in which they might have to skip meals, reduce their nutritional intake, or go for days without eating. The program has been found to be particularly effective in improving the health and learning abilities of children, who find it hard to concentrate at school with empty bellies. From an economic standpoint, food stamps have proven to be an asset rather than a liability. A study by the Department of Agriculture found that each $1 in SNAP benefits generates $1.84 in gross domestic product (GDP). An independent study says that "expanding food stamps is the most effective way to prime the economy's pump."

The people who depend on SNAP are by no means exploiters of the country's largesse: almost 90 percent live in either poverty or extreme poverty. The program thus provides a helping hand to those who, without these benefits, would have no way to feed their families. However, this hand may soon be withdrawn. This coming week, the Republican majority in the House will introduce a bill that slashes spending on SNAP by $40 billion over the next ten years. To get an idea of what this means, consider that in June the Senate approved a bill to reduce spending on SNAP by $4 billion over the next decade. Earlier this year the House had debated a bill that would have cut SNAP spending by $20.5 billion over the next decade—a figure over five times that proposed in the Senate. After prolonged debate, in July House conservatives decided to put off a new proposal until the end of the summer.

Now they have drafted a bill, and it’s one that would double the cuts to SNAP from $20.5 billion to $40 billion. The bill also lays down more stringent requirements for obtaining food stamps and more flexible conditions for states to deny nutritional assistance to those who apply. This double whammy is bound to hit millions of struggling people with the force of a shock-and-awe bombing campaign. 

What consequences will this draconian measure bring about, should it prevail? The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities offers a detailed analysis of the likely impacts of the cuts, the main features of which I’ll summarize:

It would deny SNAP to between 4 and 6 million low-income people, as well as many low-income children, seniors, and families that work for low wages. These would include 2 to 4 million poor, unemployed, childless adults who live in areas of high unemployment, and 1.8 million people who have gross incomes or assets modestly above the federal SNAP limits, but disposable income below the poverty line. Two hundred and ten thousand children in these families would also lose free school meals. The bill authorizes states to cut off an entire family’s food assistance benefits, including their children’s—and for an unlimited time—if the parents don't find a job or job training slot. However, the bill apparently provides no measures to create jobs, no work or workfare programs, and no additional funds for work or training slots.

While the bill’s proponents insist that recipients of SNAP must get off their butts and find a job, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities points out that this “rhetoric about the importance of work also overlooks the fact that most SNAP recipients who can work do so. More than 80 percent of SNAP households with at least one working-age, non-disabled adult worked in the year before or after receiving SNAP.”

Families do not turn to the government for assistance in meeting their basic food needs because they are lazy and want handouts from officials with bleeding hearts. The reason is simply that they can't afford adequate food, and they can't afford it because jobs are scarce, incomes stagnant or declining in real purchasing power, and too many jobs pay wages that are minimal or as close to the minimum as employers can get away with. For this reason poverty in this country remains at unconscionable levels, with the gap between the super-rich and everyone else growing wider

When President Obama turned to Congress to marshal support for rocket attacks against the Assad regime in Syria, conservatives in the House voiced doubts and objections, maintaining that such an attack would not advance our interests. Few objected that we don’t have the funds to support another war. If they had felt we had some stake in the conflict, they would have certainly found the funds. When it’s a matter of war, somehow funds always manage to materialize.

When, however, it comes to helping the poor and needy, they suddenly find themselves crashing into a wall of fiscal constraints that force them to allow a substantial segment of our population to slip down the slope of poverty. Instead of bringing forth hearts of compassion to renew—even expand—the programs that provide for people’s needs, our elected officials harden their hearts and close their hands.

It is often said that a budget is a moral document. How our representatives spend our taxes reveals in stark black and white our nation's values and concerns. And how we respond to their decisions reveals, too, our own souls, our own deepest values. These responses show where we stand in relation to our neighbors and to those across the country who share our humanity, who look to us for a ladder up from the pains of poverty, illness, and hunger. When a proposed bill puts lives at risk and endangers the future of millions—including millions of children—it must be flatly rejected on the most compelling moral grounds.


Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi is a Theravada Buddhist monk originally from New York City. He is the former editor of the Buddhist Publication Society in Kandy, Sri Lanka, and has many important publications to his credit, the most recent being his full translation of the Anguttara Nikaya (Wisdom Publications, 2012). In 2008, he founded Buddhist Global Relief, a nonprofit sponsoring hunger relief and education in countries suffering from chronic poverty and malnutrition.


Images courtesy of Flickr/NCReedplayer, Flickr/Conway L.


Further Reading

A Moral Politics: Nourishing change in US food policy

Into the Fire: Food in the Age of Climate Change

Preserving the Fecundity of the Earth: Climate change poses the single greatest threat to the world’s food supply. But we can stop it.

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planckbrandt's picture

The logical answer is to go to the Dharma. All else will be replaced with real wisdom. The half truths we've been fed in the logics of this age will fade away. They are all violations of natural law.

buddhaddy's picture

I disagree. I believe that the humans feeding us these half-truths are just being their current selves, and can we truly escape from nature? Nature is the universe. We, in our illusions, are within it. So all acts of humans are within nature are they not? so how can they be violations of Nature?

noelleimparato's picture

The deceptions Barack Obama inflicts on his supporters never stop. The reason is that, regardless of his pretenses to be a Democrat, Obama is really "owned" by Wall Street. His ties and allegiances to Wall Street [especially JP. Morgan, Goldman Sax, and Robert Rubin] are clearly laid out in this article: http://www.gregpalast.com/larry-summers-goldman-sacked/

planckbrandt's picture

The Constitution of this country needs reforming to remove money from politics. Any current president will be replaced by a new one owned by the same donor class. There is no escaping it. It is the ultimate Wheel of Samsara. We know what we have to do to fix it. We have to organize ourselves and join up with others motivated by Dharma to change this constitution. Otherwise, we all have to live and go down together with the destruction that comes from this kind of corruption. History is clear about where this kind of situation leads. It is time for Dharma practitioners to get off the cushion. Or, forever face the certain outcomes of this karma.

buddhaddy's picture

The constitution doesn't cause money and politics to meld. self-seeking humans do. There have been constitutions, charters, rules, on and on, throughout history. self-seeking individuals find those in government who can be bought, and buy them. whether it's a constitutional republic, democracy, national socialist, communism, totalitarian, you name it. it's not really complicated. I realize it's easier to show statistics, and studies, and endless more complex discussion. but as buddhist, we are taught to observe what we see in human behavior, not what some writing says is the truth, are we not?

buddhaddy's picture

Now we're blaming our karma on government? what ever happened to personal responsibility? How exactly do you remove money from politics? it sounds wonderful. But how do you do it? I agree with you about the union money supporting Obama, but the reason he is no longer your angel is because he is a politician. You will never remove them from money. You can help by starting a system of one term limits for congress and other offices, but all solutions can only be partially successful, because we all want money. many of you say that you don't, but let's see how long you feel that way when the food stops coming in, however it is coming in currently. I'm a little nauseated by all the people who want to demonize money, when none of us would have food or shelter without it. Money is not the problem. business itself is not the problem. The problem is people. the world has almost 6 billion people, all with different goals, and levels of ethics. that's why the buddha said "change yourself first".

Tharpa Pema's picture

I notice how often we human beings assume 1) poor people in general aren't willing to make an effort and/or 2) rich people in general aren't willing to share. I don't believe either of these statements.

I think people who identify as poor and people who identify as rich have far more similarities than differences. Most notably, we share a common belief that, no matter what we have, it is never "enough." We share the delusion that the cause of our not having enough is somebody else's greed. We differ only in who we think the greedy party is. How absurd!

Buddhism teaches that grasping is a human failing common to all sentient beings. Were "rich" people to let go of grasping, they would give more and be happier. Were "poor" people to let go of grasping, they would demand less and be happier.

We can stop demonizing "the poor" and "the rich." We can validate the suffering of all sentient beings--whether that suffering is real material deprivation or the delusional pain experienced by ego. We all know what these two forms of suffering feel like. I say let our common experience unite us rather than divide us.

buddhaddy's picture

Thank you for This.

planckbrandt's picture

Interest charged on money creates this never ending chase for more. That is why the Prophet outlawed usury. The Buddha did not speak out on usury, but the Vedas did. And, so did the Hammurabi and the Torah (but not in the case of foreigners, double standard there). There is a reason human beings behave the way they do. Causes and conditions after all give rise to human behaviors. Usury and other Roman notions of property law are the cause of these behaviors. They are by no means natural. They are a creation of conditions. We can change those conditions by educating ourselves about causes. Fortunately, there are Dharma inspired authors who are doing so. Charles Eisenstein in Sacred Economics has done it. Lewis Hyde in The Gift has done it too. We can start there to prepare our minds for new insight. The time is now. We are approaching a Weimar Republic moment here in the US if we don't do something to stop this karma.

buddhaddy's picture

Causes and conditions? I think not. a chosen response, when confronted with causes and conditions, is what constitutes human behavior. We are all confronted with "causes and conditions". we all make different choices when those things happen to us.

wilnerj's picture

Without interest, where then is the incentive to save?
How then will people retire? How will parents save for their children's education whether for college or vocational schools?

buddhaddy's picture

I'm not sure that is a given. I worked my way through college. My parents were poor. I had to provide for them, not the other way around. Which has the better value? to your karma? to your life-learning? a college education you work harder for? or one that you work less for? What is the point of a life with no struggle? Does not what you overcome make you better? if not, then what does? get rid of Tenure, and let the professors get back to teaching instead of political statements. Get rid of easy credit that you don't have to pay back if your life gets a little tough. then college might be a little more affordable.

lookingout72's picture

Amen! usury was illegal for a reason. The real cause of economic instability is usury.

buddhaddy's picture

So well said.

lookingout72's picture

I agree. Many "rich" people started out poor and they worked hard to become "rich." Should they demonized for becoming rich? The Buddha himself said that becoming rich is fine as long as you share your wealth and are mindful of money's limitations. If a rich person is selfish, then the selfish rich person will pay that negative karma in this life or the next. So, eventually, even the selfish rich person suffers.

buddhaddy's picture

so refreshing to see some buddhist, (rather than political) perspectives on this.

lookingout72's picture

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." I think it is better to teach people to be independent rather than keeping them reliant on others. I think this is consistent with Buddhist principles. As we learned with other socialist countries in the past, the welfare eventually runs out because governments are not disciplined enough to manage money wisely. We the people should share amongst ourselves and the rich should help the poor, not just by giving them free handouts, but by helping them get a better education so as to expand their earning capacity. However, I feel the people should deal with each other directly rather than going through the government. Governments eventually waste the funds in redundant bureaucracy and the system eventually implodes. That being said, there are people not capable of helping themselves due to physical handicaps. We should do as much as we can to help those not able to help themselves.

Just to summarize my main point, as Buddhist we should to share with those in need, but we should do it in two ways:
1. Share in a way that will give the needy independence. (independence is the greatest gift!)
2. Share as privately as we can without government intrusion. (Bikkhu Bhodi's Buddhist global relief being a great example of private donation with little government intrusion).

Just my opinion :)

planckbrandt's picture

The limitation here is that the fishing holes have been given over to a very few who will charge half the catch for rent! It is great for people to know how to fish, but if land and resources can be monopolized and restricted, then we are still in a place of scarcity and exploitation. And, what we have learned in the past about governments is based on constraints imposed by European practices of money creation. That is by no means a universal truth. It is a creation. There are alternatives that do not have scarcity encoded into their DNA.

buddhaddy's picture

What makes the people you would have run that wonderful government any different from the ones who own the fishing holes? Look around you. government is loaded with the same kind of people. they just aren't using their own money. And they are just as drunk with their power as some of the rich are. The radicals of the 60's had the right ideas. then they became the "man". and now they're just as corrupted as those they hated.

lookingout72's picture

I agree with you wholeheartedly. As long as our minds are filled with greed, any form of government will be unsustainable.

buddhaddy's picture

Some here say i'm against government, or I'm against taxes. I'm not against either. Even Jesus said "render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar's". I just want full transparency and no more tax "games". so Here's some of how I think government should be shaped.We should consider is removing all hidden taxes and all deductions, replacing all of that with one simple (and very visible) flat tax for all citizens and businesses for any form of income into their household or business, including, (as silly as it sounds), any welfare, etc. And with the percentage tied to something like the gross national product. They raise or lower the percentage, nothing else. No Profit/loss deductions for business, no mortgage deductions, simply any money or income into the household or business. If the nation needs more money or the coffers are flush, the legislature can, VERY VISIBLY raise it, or lower it. (f it's visible, there is more of a chance that it would be lowered at some times). No more "behavior modification" taxes. The federal government uses what it needs, and the rest goes back to the taxpayers. The states know their populations and needs much better than any giant federal government, so let them manage their own region. Roads and bridges to be maintained by the states. If they participate poorly, People can "vote with their feet". The federal government doesn't give welfare, healthcare, disability, etc. The states would. And feds could manage the atmospheric environment, and any INTERSTATE waters, but get rid of the complex regulations. simplify: just say "no more of this much of this chemical will be released into the environment", or this will be the penalty", for cars, factories, houses, everything. Let the states regulate business themselves. even interstate would be state-to-state agreements. Let the feds manage military, postal service, environment. Stop laws and regulations for anything but an action preventing another's "Life, Liberty, or PURSUIT of happiness. All drugs Legal. All non-automatic weapons with non-exploding projectiles legal. If you commit a single crime with a gun, Life in prison, no parole. give drugs to a child, same penalty. Limiting house and senate terms to one at a time, will remove much graft and corruption. remove all federal business regulations and stop federal insuring of any private company, loans, or anything else. All welfare, education, and any other funds not directly needed to run the federal government itself should be sent to the states equally, according to their population, with no mandates attached. These are some of my view of how we should be free. I know many want a controlling, parental government to protect us from ourselves. I just think we need to be responsible for ourselves. Anything less makes us slaves and/or children. If you don't trust the states to take care of those in need, then why should you trust a federal government to do any more?

zumacraig's picture

You have stuff to give (according to your special rules) because many others are oppressed, not because of your hard work. You think the needy are dependent on government or your handouts? And all this talk of independence. Have you read anything about buddhism? Think about the nonsense you wrote above.

I'm just astounded why any libertarians would come to a buddhist site.

buddhaddy's picture

I had nothing to give, until I earned it. And then I willingly gave it away, when I could. you cannot understand that. That leads me to believe that you have not had to work hard for your daily food yet. That explains a lot. But don't despair. our government believes as you do, and so soon you will be forced to scrabble for simple daily needs. then learning will occur. I'm not surprised that you are astounded. I have been immersed in buddhism for 40 years. Yourself?

planckbrandt's picture

There is disinformation everywhere concerning economic thought. The corruption began in 1700s when land owners and bankers started sponsoring writers like Adam Smith. We have hundreds of years of disinformation to dispel from our minds through meditation practice. I trust that it will happen as more and more of us shed preconceived ideas learned before we knew about the Dharma. Eventually, we will see things for the falsehoods, lie, or at best half-truths that they are.

buddhaddy's picture

Of course, during that time, they didn't use corrupt government officials to further their own gains. Of course not. for some unfathomable reason, when one gets elected into office, he or she suddenly becomes enlightened, huh?

lookingout72's picture

No matter what form of government you put in place (socialist, libertarian, capitalist, etc.) as long as there is greed in people's minds, the system will eventually implode. This is why both socialism and capitalism have both failed. Although, I think socialism has been more of a failure. If Socialism were such a paradise, then we wouldn't have seen people fleeing socialist countries (Cuba, Soviet Union, North Korea, etc.). When the laity give privately to monks, they do so happily on their own, not because the government has forced them to do so. This is the way it should be. We should share without government force, otherwise it is not really sharing.

zumacraig's picture

Everything you say here about socialism is wrong. Your arguments have been refuted time and again. Understand what you're talking about before you make such stupid remarks. The so-called socialist countries of today are actually state-run capitalist. Real socialism has nothing to do with this.

I do agree about sharing and greed. Greed is not a given nor is generosity. The collective mind could be radicalized to a point where our main focus in life is sharing rather than greed. Unfortunately, the capitalist system reifies greed. So to end greed, we must dismantle the systems that create and perpetuate it.

planckbrandt's picture

Yes, and fortunately, writers influenced by Dharma like Charles Eisenstein show that to be the interest-bearing debt system. Hopefully, we can all wise up enough to dismantle this system and replace it before a hyper-inflation and social catastrophe happens here like happened in Germany or other places. It is good to see this discussion on Tricycle. Practitioners need to own this discussion about dismantling systems that cause conditions that cause behaviors like greed. The Buddha didn't go far enough back to source about greed. He perhaps trusted that truth would be revealed through contact with meditation and the true light. Others like Prophet Mohammad did address it head on. Vedas also condemned usury, although use of gold at interest as money proliferated throughout the Indus and Himalayan civilizations, causing the social stratification and hardships we know. We need to take it back now to root cause in our generation. The time is now. No more need for myths. If Dharma practitioners in the USA with our access to education, information, ideas as never before can't do it, nobody can!

lookingout72's picture

Agreed!! Now your talking!

buddhaddy's picture

How, specifically, have his arguments been "refuted time and time again". so when and where has socialism actually worked? if Socialism has not been implemented to a degree that you recognize it, then you must be talking about the "idea" of socialism. And that is an empty argument. I can say that giving everyone a pretty flower would solve all suffering, because when i have given flowers to someone, it has caused a smile. so if i extrapolate that out to society, it will work, correct? If you refute every mention of marxism and socialism as "government-run capitalism", you must then show where marxism or socialism has been tried and worked. otherwise, you are simply talking about theory and utopia.

zumacraig's picture

Go read man! These are old arguments that any undergrad philosphy student could discuss.

Such banal, stupid discussion above about dharma and what the buddha said. Y'all have no idea what you are talking about.

buddhaddy's picture

Again, please explain. "go read, man"? that is your response? so you really don't have any idea what you are saying? you just take what some blog tells you and repeat it? Explain your statements or they are empty of meaning.

planckbrandt's picture

It would be wise to forget false notions from this world and focus on Dharma teachings of fairness and justice. There is no truth in any notions invented in Western universities over the last 300 years. Especially about economics. Our minds have been poisoned with disinformation and misdirection. The universities out of which emerged this thought were corrupted by Merchant Banker donors then as much as they are here now. And, they paid to promote Marx as much as Adam Smith. Marxist ideas provide a useful foil to market ideologies. But, Marx does not dig deep enough into root causes. Which is why he was safe to teach at universities. Other critics who did go deeper, like George or Gesell or Major Douglas, we heard nothing about in our econ 101 classes. Fortunately, Dharma inspired writers are now making this available to us seekers. This is what mediation is for. To calm the mind to begin to see things clearly. There is no reason to identify with or defend any of these -isms. They are all false.

buddhaddy's picture

And as to universities; take away the tenure, and watch the dialogue change.

zumacraig's picture

The dharma is made up too. It's no timeless, transcendent truth.

buddhaddy's picture

Spoken like a true Buddhist :)

buddhaddy's picture

Very well said. Ism's are illusion. what each individual human does each moment is what the world is made from. (Keeping in mind that each moment is illusion to some degree for most of us.) Only through mindfulness, and promoting mindfulness in others, will beneficial change occur, to what ever degree it can. But since change is constant and inevitable, that work will never be finished, and that is probably a good thing.

Rob_'s picture

Yes, everything will implode so let's not talk about it. Let's not try to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of forms of government. Or better yet, let's just say it's all an illusion. That's always a good statement I've seen tossed around when someone has nothing intelligent to say.

The socialist regimes you mention as failures are probably more of a failure due to their totalitarian regimes. There are a host of European countries that have implemented aspects of socialism to varying degrees. I haven't heard of any great fleeing from these countries.

This constant mention of government "intrusion", or "force". These are emotionally laden terms without any real value. Buddhism itself most likely wouldn't be around if it wasn't for government support throughout the centuries. I'm not one to believe that "government is the answer", but it has so much effect on all our lives. Some things it can do well and are beneficial, and I doubt there is much complaining. But for some people, any type of government assistance or safety net is defined as "intrusion" or "force". That's just gobbledygook.

buddhaddy's picture

you said "The socialist regimes you mention as failures are probably more of a failure due to their totalitarian regimes.". Very true. that's what they always seem to default to. does that not say all that needs to be said?

Rob_'s picture

There are many European nations with socialist policies. They haven't defaulted to totalitarian regimes. In reality the failed communist nations mentioned started as totalitarian regimes. More nuanced discussion. Not one of your strong suits.

buddhaddy's picture

Yes, everything will implode. does the dharma not teach us that there is constant depend arising and decline? all of what we are going through right now in the good ol' USA was began in the 1770's all of this is a natural consequence. capitalism brought great wealth; politicians found they could tell people what they wanted to hear, and gain votes. in the next cycle, they had to do more of the same to gain more votes; eventually you create a class of "what can the government do for me?". The money runs out; it starts over in some new form; The cycle takes another form, and begins again. There is nothing sinister about it. Just aggregate of the consequences of human nature in all it's individual forms. While I may believe that freedom is the best, humans will never totally pursue it. Most of us don't even know what it really means. Celebrate the cycle. Celebrate the order and the Chaos. If you want to give it meaning, then do what you can for your fellow humans in need. Don't ask a government to do it. that's lazy, and will never work.

buddhaddy's picture

does there have to be a great "fleeing" for the socialism to have failed? In that case, our system must be successful, because you don't see a great "fleeing" from the good ol' USA. Although you are seeing a great fleeing of productive people from such states as California and New York, leaving those behind who are less productive. And their debt shows the result. And, by the way, there are some fleeings from some of those European countries. check the actual information, not some blog.

planckbrandt's picture

Just wait. There are more Americans living abroad now than ever before. http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2008/07/28/a-growing-trend-of-leavin...

Rob_'s picture

So you first question this notion of "fleeing" as being a way to identify failure. Yet than you use it as an indication of failure. Sorry, you can't have it both ways.

You have this snarky remark you've used a couple times. Something about checking real information, get out of the blogs. How about you check some real information and maybe even present some. Is Europe having problems? Sure, some to a greater degree, some lesser. The U.S. had a great depression back in the 30's, and currently has had economic problems the past few years. What exactly is your point? If you think socialism is a failure, than point it out. But all you have are snarky suggestions without any meat to it.

You could start by reading up on health care. The U.S. comparison to many other first world countries isn't very good. And that goes along with the fact that we spend much more money for comparable health care in the U.S. And yes, this would be comparing against more socialist style health care systems.

This is not an either or situation. It's doesn't have to be all capitalism/privatization or all socialism. Government can provide some services efficiently to benefit it's citizens. But when there are people who can only express antagonism towards the government and present no alternatives, except "keep the government out of my life" ... well, you just don't have much of anything to offer anyone.

buddhaddy's picture

you're right about healthcare. I work in healthcare, and have worked in the field for 40 years. Do you want to know why our system looks worse than world wide? because we give people all the food they want, but don't make them work for it. Look mindfully at the actual health statistics. Obesity, diabetes, heart disease is our problem, not who has health insurance. if you weigh 400 lbs, and you have trouble walking, what does our system do? medicare or medicaid will pay to give you a scooter, so you don't even have to push a wheelchair. There are power wheels that can be adjusted to give you just enough assist so that you can push yourself, but need to work at it. Does medicaid pay for those? n no, but they'll pay for that scooter so you can get even more obese. I see patients who are obese, and say they can't help but eat all the time, that it's an addiction. No one gives them any hard choices, just pills and treats the result of their lack of discipline. when they have free health insurance, their behavior becomes even worse, because they can get pills they think will make them feel better. And I still see every day where people come here for healthcare when the european system fails them. of course it's only the ones who can afford to. Why is that? Look at what Spain had to do with their healthcare system recently. Why, because the socialist healthcare wasn't working. Specific enough for you? Until we let people be responsible for their own choices, no system will work. As I've said many times on this blog, "change yourself, and help others individually where you can, but remember. "give a fish to a child and he will eat for a day. Teach the child to fish, and he will eat for a lifetime".

Rob_'s picture

And it comes as no surprise. Here we are once again, it's the poor, lazy fatties. This is the one cause for all the complaints you've posted. Must be comfortable too so easily discern the world in such a fashion. Good luck to you.

buddhaddy's picture

Instead of platitudes like "poor lazy fatties", simply explain how I'm wrong. i used to be one of those poor lazy fatties. I made a choice to change that. a few people in this discussion only cal names, or denigrate, but don't actually give information to the contrary. that is empty of meaning. good luck to you. I don't use luck any more. I use sweat. spit in one hand, and wish in the other, and see which one fills up first.

Rob_'s picture

Those are your platitudes. Your one simple cause for so many things wrong with America are poor, lazy, fat people. And don't go on about how a few people call names and don't give information. You've leveled all sorts of personal attacks against people on these blogs. I've pointed out numerous fallacies that you present, and you have no response ... except more slogans.

buddhaddy's picture

Here's your last response "And it comes as no surprise. Here we are once again, it's the poor, lazy fatties. This is the one cause for all the complaints you've posted. Must be comfortable too so easily discern the world in such a fashion. Good luck to you."
Do you see your argument in here? It's just a statement you make about me.

Rob_'s picture

Because you've stated it on so many posts. You even brought poor, lazy, fat people into a gun "argument". You know you've said it ad nauseam. What is it I have to argue? That you won't admit to it?