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Re: Social Contract

On Fri, Apr 28, 2006 at 09:00:48PM -0700, Steve Lamb wrote:
> Andrew Sackville-West wrote:
> > how exactly is my employee, who lost his job when his company
> > outsourced his job to the far east, being irresponsible? He was a
> > model employee, good time in, liked by all etc. Had two kids and a
> > wife. Now he's shlepping burgers for me and gets EIC. How exactly is
> > he irresponsible? Hmm? Please don't make such broad generalizations,
> > they are inflammatory and inappropriate.
>     When you answer how it is responsible that he gets income redistributed
> I'll pay attention to your feedback.  Until then all I know is that EIC is
> pretty much a signpost on the sign to hell in this country.

Nice way to avoid the point. 

You said, and I quote:

> > The short, short form is that EICs are issued for people being 
> > irresponsible (like, having kids while well below the poverty level),

My point was that lots of people end up qualifying for EIC's due to a
variety of factors outside their control. That is not being
irresponsible. That is being unlucky. I make no comment on the
appropriateness of EIC's or what they mean in the long term. I am only
pointing out how you have classified an entire group of people in one
sweeping generalization that has little or no bearing in reality. I
won't dispute that many people who qualify for EIC's don't somehow
"Deserve" them. But for you to characterise all those people as
"irresponsible" is disingenuous and wrong. If I was the hypothetical
person in my example I'd be down-right offended at your statement. 

EIC's are issued for people who fall below a certain income
level and meet other criteria. How they got in that situation is
completely outside the question and has no bearing on whether they 
are "responsible" people or not. 

So lets try an experiment. Lets give you a good job with decent
income, benefits etc. Lets assume you have 2.5 dependents. Lets assume
you live in a reasonably priced house and are reasonably responsible
with you money. YOu don't spend more than you make (except the
occaisional vacation :). You save a decent amount of your
paycheck. YOu've built up a nice little nest egg. Things are good. 

Now outsource your job. Outsource your industry. YOu've got no
income. so you start looking for work and you start living off your
savings. That's what its there for. Now, tinme passes, you can't get a
job in your field, your whole field is basically gone, at least in
your region. .... more time passes... you've worked your ass off
looking for a job, our wife has taken part-time work to help with the
bleeding, you end up taking a low wage job just to help contorl the
bleeding, but your bleeding. You WILL lose your house, you HAVE lost
your savings, you WILL have to draw out your retirement funds and pay
the penalty to keep from losing your house for a while. But, luckily,
you now qualify for EIC's and get a little money back on your taxes. 

Where in this scenario are you being irresponsible? You did everything
right up to the point your got shafted and continued to do things
right. It's not your fault you have two kids you can't afford. It's not
your fault you're going to lose your house. Yet you would call
yourself irresponsible?

Nothing I said in my original response addressed anything except that
I felt it was inappropriate of you to characterise all EIC recipients as


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