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Food banks

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by MikeTimbers, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. Irish_Tom


    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 12,101

    Are you suggesting that because the poorest in this country aren't as poor as those in the worst parts of the world, we should just accept it?

    Personally, I think it's shameful that one of the wealthiest countries in the world has to rely on food banks to feed some of its citizens.
  2. Caracus2k


    Joined: Jan 27, 2009

    Posts: 4,583

    I think that there will always necessarily be relative poverty.

    And you would need to provide more information as the the reasons why food banks are being utilised.

    To what degree is it an absolute necessity imposed on the users and to what degree is it the consequence of poor feckless decision making?

    Because there's plenty of the later to go around and throwing money at these sort of people. Won't alone solve the underlying issues.
  3. jsmoke


    Joined: Jun 17, 2012

    Posts: 7,190

    Depends on how wealth is measured, is it not largely the 1% who contribute to these numbers.
  4. Irish_Tom


    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 12,101

    Ok, so in your view, what’s an acceptable baseline for relative poverty in a developed western country?

    Is what we have currently ok or could it be improved?

    Some of that feckless decision making is coming from government, like the shambolic rollout of Universal Credit. In those instances I’d say it’s even more shameful.

    I’m not denying there are individuals who repeatedly make poor life choices (some you may even describe as lost causes), and I agree that simply throwing them spending money is unlikely to change their behaviour.

    However, the only way we will solve the underlying issues is through support and education, which does require spending. It may not fix things in the short term, but inaction will only resign the next generation to the same fate.

    True, but the 1% have it within their power to affect significant change if they’re inclined to do so.
  5. Caracus2k


    Joined: Jan 27, 2009

    Posts: 4,583

    I'm not in favour of setting a defined 'human right' level of provision of food, housing and services.

    The temptation would always to be to set the level at a point where a considerable amount of people would decide that seeking any significant amount of (likely low paid) work wasn't worth it as they can rely on their 'right' to be fed, clothed, accomdated etc at someone else expense.

    Any one with even a basic level of foresight could see that this would cause the collapse of the whole system as a diminishing pool of workers and tax payers have to pick up the slack of a growing welfare class.

    Life can be tough and people need incentives to do what are often unpleasant, boring and repetitive tasks.

    So as tempting as it is to suggesting welfare as being a universal catch all to carry people through there lives I would prefer it return to a more of a safety net approach for thoose able to work to catch them on the way down not to provide subsistence for intergenerational welfarism.

    I think there's far too much emphasis on 'top down' solutions to societies problems. I. E welfare to deal with issues where the welfare provision may actually long term be exacerbating the issue.

    In the short term I would like to see more emphasis placed on responsibility. For example if you have demonstrated an inability to manage your (state provided) finaces then your housing benefit component gets paid straight to the housing provider.

    Universal credit is just an egregious example of how poor goverment is at spending other people's money. The cure isnt to change the system but rather elimate the root cause of the problem

    I disagree. . our education system may not be ideal but children in this country (and their parents) have access to learning resources that most of the rest of the world could hardly imagine.

    You have to change the culture before you can educate and support people away from absolute poverty.

    Unfortunately we are increasingly embrassing an entitlement culture.

    The recent history of the western nations is full of immigrant communities that have come from quite extreme poverty but who have within a generation or two often passed the 'natives' when it comes to attainment.

    Examples include South Koreans (the country was a very poor war torn mess in the 50's), certain Indians and Jews.

    We would do well to observe some of the common cultural themes like ensuring a high percentage of children remain with two parents (of which at the least one retains gainful employment), ensuring children make good use of the education offered to them and a culture that is heavily adverse to criminality.
  6. Caracus2k


    Joined: Jan 27, 2009

    Posts: 4,583

    From the rather left leaning Vox. ..

    No **** sherlock giving people no strings attached free money makes them feel a bit better (even if only in the short term) ...

    But giving people access to funds to access a guaranteed basic standard of living at best doesn't do anything to improve their chances of becoming productive members of society (and I suspect longer term would actually achieve quite the opposite)
  7. 200sols

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 14, 2018

    Posts: 2,036

    Location: Hampshire

    I thought the idea behind UBI was for the future, when there are very few low skilled jobs available UBI will be a necessity or society will not function.
  8. Caracus2k


    Joined: Jan 27, 2009

    Posts: 4,583

    Ubi doesn't 'function' so its a non starter.

    People have been predicting the end of work for yonks but strangely new jobs keep popping up.

    If robots get to the stage where they can trully replace humans in all aspects of work I suspect it won't just be gainful employment that the remaining 'biologicals' will have issues with as I suspect robots will increasingly surplant the former universally.
  9. sigma

    Perma Banned

    Joined: Nov 13, 2006

    Posts: 16,577

    Ever wondered why they're called banks? Gotta be something to do with dirty money. Free food and dirty money.
  10. Irish_Tom


    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 12,101

    And what happens to those who fall through the safety net for whatever reason?

    Note that I haven’t suggested welfare as the solution, and I agree with you that intergenerational welfarism isn’t a goal that anyone should be aiming for.

    I also agree with you that there should be an emphasis on responsibility, but I think that we need some of those top-down solutions to educate people about that responsibility, in order to change the culture as you mention later.

    However, I'm still not clear on what you'd deem an acceptable outcome for someone who fails to meet that responsibility.

    Apologies if I wasn't clear. When I said 'support and education' I didn't mean schooling — I actually meant changing the culture through support and education, I appreciate I should be have been more specific.

    To my mind, that cultural shift isn't going to be achieved by stripping away the little that these people currently have and expecting them to simply dig themselves out of the hole.

    I think we would both like to achieve the same objectives, we're just approaching the solution from opposite ends of the spectrum.

    I agree that we need to change the culture, and not just at the bottom of society.

    Bear in mind this is just the preliminary results from the first year of a two-year study.

    One of the proposed benefits of UBI is that it allows people to pursue training or otherwise improve their education in order to become more appealing to potential employers. Expecting this to happen instantly is unrealistic, especially when Finland has an unemployment rate of over 8%, which suggests challenging employment conditions anyway.

    It should be noted that as well as feeling happier, these early results also showed improved health outcomes, something which has been replicated by other UBI trials. The final results next year should be quite interesting, along with the trial being conducted in the Netherlands and the 12-year trial being conducted in Kenya.

    As @200sols says, if automation really does replace jobs on the scale that it's predicted to, UBI or something like it is probably going to be necessary.
  11. DarkHorizon472


    Joined: May 16, 2007

    Posts: 2,784

    The way to look at food banks is for many people if they lost their jobs and didn’t get another for several months they would be using food banks. While not as bad as in the US many people in the UK live pay cheque to pay cheque. This brutal reality trumps any moralising about the undeserving poor which most of the population are a lot closer to than then convince themselves.
  12. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 62,754

    Because it isn't true, not untrue either but the reasons are far more complex and as above we haven't had extreme austerity, not even close, austerity measures have been applied - the biggest impact of that is things like the loss of services such as libraries and mental health, etc. rather than things that have resulted in a massive rise in the use of foodbanks.

    Not saying quite a bit of blame can't be put at the foot of the Tories and/or super rich but that is only one part of the story and not to the degree of significance as some lay it on.
  13. Eurofighter

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Mar 20, 2014

    Posts: 1,277

    I blame austerity and the Conservative government. There were hardly any food banks before.

    Pretty sure people need them. Minimum wage is a joke. It's basically slavery. All your money goes on surviving, mostly thanks to high housing costs. I had to do it, I am making more money now.
  14. DarkHorizon472


    Joined: May 16, 2007

    Posts: 2,784

    While I appreciate the point you are making austerity means several years of public sector pay freezes, benefit cuts / freezes, the removal of vital support services to the poorest/ most vulnerable, the housing crisis, removal of workers rights etc.

    It is a long list due to the choices of successive UK governments over a long period of time and food banks are an appalling indicator of this.
  15. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 62,754

    I would definitely say this is one of the biggest issues and a good part of why, albeit a bit more complex and not necessarily always a direct effect, things like foodbanks are seeing an increase in usage.

    I'm seeing a lot of people really struggle or it is the final push off the cliff due to the increase in rent and house prices - especially around where I live which has seen an even bigger increase than the national average due to things like redevelopment of the area.
  16. Suicidal Ferret


    Joined: Apr 6, 2011

    Posts: 368

    I think not being able to buy the food you need for you and your family represents poverty regardless of which country it's happening in.

    It's all relative. If food cost the same as is say Mozambique let's say, UK peeps would have no problems. It doesn't.

    High housing costs? Interests rates are a fraction of what they used to be. Never been easier. If you make sacrifices, get rid of the latest phone, no need for a brand new car lease, etc

    Some of you don't know how lucky you are
  17. Brazo

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Apr 22, 2016

    Posts: 2,433

    I couldn’t agree more totally changed my opinion of them.

    I’m sure there are some that abuse them but you get that with anything in life. It is a sad reflection of society that we need them.
  18. chrcoluk


    Joined: Feb 27, 2015

    Posts: 3,512

    My own definition of poverty if that you cannot afford comfortably both shelter and food at the same time, then you in poverty. I dont mean living on pot noodles, I mean proper balanced nourished meals.
  19. JunglistE


    Joined: Jun 11, 2015

    Posts: 3,851

    Location: Bristol

    I work at a school that has a lot of families who are struggling and we make food hampers for them to take home. You'd be surprised at how many people are struggling but are too proud to ask for help.
  20. Sasahara


    Joined: Feb 12, 2009

    Posts: 3,725

    We are at the lower end of the first world wealth table, we just need people to admit it.