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63% of households living in "poverty" have cable TV or a satellite dish.

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63% of households living in "poverty" have cable TV or a satellite dish.

Old 12-08-05, 10:13 AM
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63% of households living in "poverty" have cable TV or a satellite dish.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...120701891.html

The Inalienable Right to a Remote

By George F. Will

Thursday, December 8, 2005; Page A33

Feeling, evidently, flush with (other people's) cash, the Senate has concocted a novel way to spend $3 billion: create a new entitlement. The Senate has passed -- and so has the House, with differences -- an entitlement to digital television.

If this filigree on the welfare state becomes law, everyone who owns old analog television sets -- everyone from your Aunt Emma in her wee apartment to the millionaire in the neighborhood McMansion who has such sets in the maid's room and the guest house -- will get subsidies to pay for making those sets capable of receiving digital signals.

If you think America is suffering an entitlement glut, you may have just hurled the newspaper across the room. Pick it up and read on, because this story illustrates the timeless truth that no matter how deeply you distrust the government's judgment, you are too trusting. Here, as explained by James L. Gattuso of the Heritage Foundation, is the crisis du jour: The nation is making a slow transition from analog to digital television broadcasting.

Why is this a crisis? Because, although programming currently is broadcast in both modes, by April 2009 broadcasters must end analog transmissions and the government will have auctioned the analog frequencies for various telecommunications purposes. For the vast majority of Americans, April 2009 will mean . . . absolutely nothing. <b>Nationwide, 85 percent of all television households (and 63 percent of households below the poverty line) already have cable or satellite service.</b>

What will become of households that do not? Leaving aside such eccentric alternative pastimes as conversation and reading, the digitally deprived could pursue happiness by buying a new television set, all of which will be digital-capable by March 2007. Today a digital-capable set with a flat-screen display can be purchased from -- liberals, please pardon the mention of your Great Satan -- Wal-Mart for less than $460. But compassionate conservatism has a government response to the crisis.

Remember, although it is difficult to do so, that Republicans control Congress. And today's up-to-date conservatism does not stand idly by expecting people to actually pursue happiness on their own. Hence the new entitlement from Congress to help all Americans acquire converter boxes to put on top of old analog sets, making the sets able to receive digital programming. All Americans -- rich and poor; it is uncompassionate to discriminate on the basis of money when dispersing money -- will be equally entitled to the help.

The $990 million House version of this entitlement -- call it No Couch Potato Left Behind -- is (relatively) parsimonious: Consumers would get vouchers worth only $40 and would be restricted to a measly two vouchers per household. The Senate's more spacious entitlement would pay for most of the cost -- $50 to $60 -- of the converter boxes. But there is Republican rigor in this: Consumers would be required to pay $10. That is the conservatism in compassionate conservatism.

Now, the hardhearted will, in their cheeseparing small-mindedness, ask: Given that the transition to digital has been underway for almost a decade, why should those who have adjusted be compelled to pay money to those who have chosen not to adjust? And conservatives who have not yet attended compassion reeducation camps will ask: Why does the legislation make even homes with cable or digital services eligible for subsidies to pay for converter boxes for old analog sets -- which may be worth less than the government's cost for the boxes?

Gattuso says defenders of this entitlement argue that taxpayers will not be burdened by its costs because the government's sale of the analog frequencies will yield perhaps $10 billion. Think about that: Because the government may get $10 billion from one transaction, taxpayers are unburdened by government's giving away $3 billion with another transaction. Such denial that money is fungible fuels the welfare state's expansion.

What oil is to Saudi Arabia -- a defining abundance -- cognitive dissonance is to America. Americans are currently in a Founding Fathers literary festival. They are making bestsellers out of many biographies of the statesmen who formulated America's philosophy of individualism and self-reliance and who embodied that philosophy -- or thought they did -- in a constitutional architecture of limited government. Yet Americans have such an entitlement mentality, they seem to think that every pleasure -- e.g., digital television -- should be a collective right, meaning a federally funded entitlement. Clearly, Americans' civic religion of reverence for the Founders is, like most religions, more avowed than constraining.
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Old 12-08-05, 10:14 AM
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I love America, where even the poor people are fat.
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Old 12-08-05, 10:26 AM
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Yeah poor people, why don't you just shut the hell up!
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Old 12-08-05, 10:30 AM
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Our anarchist member loves to post these threads.
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Old 12-08-05, 10:34 AM
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.. and while they watch tv they eat their steak and lobster dinner they purchased with food stamps..

Actually this article surprises me because cable and satellite is really not very cheap at all.
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Old 12-08-05, 10:43 AM
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And after feasting of their steak & lobster dinner, they rush out to their chauffeur driven (of course) Rolls Royce for a evening drive.

Last edited by classicman2; 12-08-05 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 12-08-05, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by General Zod
Actually this article surprises me because cable and satellite is really not very cheap at all.
In my mother's apartment building, a Federally subsidized retirement community, cable is provided free of charge.
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Old 12-08-05, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by General Zod
.. and while they watch tv they eat their steak and lobster dinner they purchased with food stamps..

Actually this article surprises me because cable and satellite is really not very cheap at all.
Let's not get carried away. I saw someone get turned down buying the wrong kind of cheese with food stamps the other day.

On-topic... It does bother me that 63% of poverty households would have something like cable or sattellite tv, given the price point on those items. I guess it depends on how long they are allowed to stay on welfare. The new laws in Washington (state) are for 5 years I think. If someone got cable in their 2nd-5th year and still made their goals to be independent by year 5, I wouldn't have a problem with it.

We also have to consider families now in poverty due to medical conditions or single parents raising multiple children.

And now that we're gotten THOSE out of the way... yeah, you know there are some lazy freeloaders out there with a fat satellite dish that we're all paying for. We need more accountability.
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Old 12-08-05, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
Our anarchist member loves to post these threads.
What's funny is that he picked the only 9 words, in parenthesis no less, totally unrelated to the rest of the article to make his "point".
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Old 12-08-05, 10:49 AM
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In my mother's apartment building, a Federally subsidized retirement community, cable is provided free of charge.
Excellent. Let's raise taxes so that the people who decided that cable is a necessity can have more of our money to spend.
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Old 12-08-05, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Thor Simpson
It does bother me that 63% of poverty households would have something like cable or sattellite tv, given the price point on those items. I guess it depends on how long they are allowed to stay on welfare.
Does living below the poverty level automatically mean being on 'welfare'? Somehow, I don't think it does.

Last edited by wendersfan; 12-08-05 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 12-08-05, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
Dopes living below the poverty level automatically mean being on 'welfare'? Somehow, I don't think it does.
True true... I stand corrected.
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Old 12-08-05, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by bhk
Excellent. Let's raise taxes so that the people who decided that cable is a necessity can have more of our money to spend.

I would argue that your culture has decided a long time ago that cable is a necessity.
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Old 12-08-05, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
Dopes living below the poverty level automatically mean being on 'welfare'? Somehow, I don't think it does.
It does to charter members of the Neanderthal Wing of the Republican Party.
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Old 12-08-05, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by bhk
Excellent. Let's raise taxes so that the people who decided that cable is a necessity can have more of our money to spend.
It actually probably works out to be a better deal for everyone involved. Probably just about everyone who lives there would get cable anyway (most of the residents are fairly well off), so the building just charges a little more for rent, the cable company gets a deal "in bulk" and there's never the hassle of turning the service on or off when people <strike>die</strike> move out. Also, the building gets a HUGE amount of money from private charities - the building is named after the man who owns Limited Brands and who is probably the wealthiest person in central Ohio. Also, it's only 'basic' cable. In other words, I wouldn't concern yourself with how much of your taxes are going to feed my mom's Discovery Channel addiction.
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Old 12-08-05, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by General Zod
Actually this article surprises me because cable and satellite is really not very cheap at all.
What makes you think they're all paying for it?
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Old 12-08-05, 11:04 AM
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It is best to keep them sedated.

I had an old woman who rented from me. She would call about 4 times a week to tell me what the neighbor was doing, etc. It started when she decided to get rid of cable. I decided to provide her with basic cable, and the calls quit. Keep them sedated, I say.
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Old 12-08-05, 11:29 AM
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I'd be interested in the cellphone ownership figure of welfare people who have a land line too.
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Old 12-08-05, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by X
I'd be interested in the cellphone ownership figure of welfare people who have a land line too.
If you break it down by age, I would guess that the under 40 crowd has more cell phones than land lines.
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Old 12-08-05, 12:02 PM
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I'd be much more interested in finding out why some of our members failed to understand the definition of society & all of its implications in school. Obviously many of them either missed that training or it didn't take.
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Old 12-08-05, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
I'd be much more interested in finding out why some of our members failed to understand the definition of society & all of its implications in school. Obviously many of them either missed that training or it didn't take.
If you're talking about taxes and welfare, maybe some people have a different opinion as to what should be given to people who, for whatever reason, rely on other people's money to live.

Some people may see being given enough money to afford too many luxuries, ones that they themselves may not have due to their cost, as being a demotivator for people to work to better their lot in life.
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Old 12-08-05, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by X
If you're talking about taxes and welfare, maybe some people have a different opinion as to what should be given to people who, for whatever reason, rely on other people' money to live.
That and the fact that the laws have changed since many people were in school.
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Old 12-08-05, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
If you break it down by age, I would guess that the under 40 crowd has more cell phones than land lines.
I'm not poverty-stricken (just above the cutoff line, baby!), but I'm 25 and most of the people I know who are my age only have cells.
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Old 12-08-05, 12:34 PM
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This of course doesn't mean they pay their bill.
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Old 12-08-05, 12:46 PM
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