Sunday, November 10, 2013

Bloomberg, Champion of the Poor -

A response to Bloomberg, Champion of the Poor -
...but pushing the same ideas as always, that the poor are poor because they behave in flawed ways. Poverty is not necessarily an outgrowth of bad behavior, but is a result of how society directs its resources. It is not surprising that the program is generally worthless, since it is simply a better marketed, upscale version of welfare reform.

Reducing inequality, thereby improving the welfare of most American, especially the poor, requires increases taxes on the wealthy, and actually to very high levels. That combined with programs like these will raise the quality of life for all Americans.

Hiring Help...

I used to think my time had value, but it is worthless as is most people's time, simply trading one non-economic activity for another. Most people are not trading drudgery for productive endeavors.  My spouse and I do outsource some items, mainly services and expertise: 
Services - The wash actually is done more cheaply by the services, and that also has the benefit of relieving us of the drudgery. Outsourcing housecleaning is for our piece of mind and relaxation, since we do not exchange housework and cleaning for economic activities, but like most people, exchange it for leisure. The only concern is the piddling amounts of money service workers are paid, and the typical economic argument would be that they get what they are worth; outsourcing activities can often be unfair and degrading.
Expertise/skill - We hire for construction and home-modelling activities, and although obvious, medical care. 
On the other hand, I was certified as a personal trainer decades ago, and do not need help with physical training. I work in technology, so all manner of technology activities are easy for me, and also why I am sometimes the go-to person for friends' tech problems. Also, technology has often usurped the need for some kinds of expertise, because it is now easy to lookup or arrange things for oneself.  Besides, although economically worthwhile, the expertise provides feeling of self-esteem and worth, and intangible.  As for the benefits of DIY and keeping the tasks, a study last year showed a positive correlation between time spent on chores and couple sexual activity.

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