Social Question

josie's avatar

Shouldn't we cut the clueless loose?

Asked by josie (22947 points ) March 24th, 2010

The government takes a chunk of my production, by force, to fund “social programs”. Some of this goes toward helping the helpless. While I would rather that charity to the helpless be voluntary, I can tolerate my tax bite giving relief to the sick, the disabled, the elderly etc. However, I do not understand forcing productive members of society to support the clueless. Public education gives everybody at least a basic chance of learning the ropes, and certainly since the last half of the 20th century there has been no shortage of access to information. In our time, it is entirely likely that people are clueless because of their own inattention to their personal existence. Why should that be my problem?

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49 Answers

ninjacolin's avatar

is it even possible for inattention, cluelessness, or ignorance to be the fault of the victim?

janbb's avatar

How are you defining the clueless?

jaytkay's avatar

Simply shutting off their TV would cure some.

zophu's avatar

I think you’re on to something. Okay. Let’s get some camps going, where we can . . . concentrate these “clueless” you’re talking about. We’ll still support them, but we’ll force them to work it off in basic labor. And, if the population of these “clueless” were to dwindle a little bit, who would it hurt huh? They should have done better on the SAT.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

I think its more about who gets to decide who is clueless.

the100thmonkey's avatar

When I am king, you will be first against the wall…

zophu's avatar

The weak members of society are the responsibility of society, no matter what their hangups. It’s either kill them, expel them, or help them. Which do you think is most rational?

faye's avatar

@Captain_Fantasy We all know or hear of people that I wonder, ‘how they make it to supper!’ It’s like everyone who buys the EZ cracker!

tinyfaery's avatar

Public education gives you shit.

thriftymaid's avatar

No. Anyone can find themselves in a position of needing help. A society such as the American one has a duty to assist. Does that generosity get abused, you bet it does. Every administration promises to crack down on the abuse. Your post indicates you somehow think the screening process for recipients for help should include quite a biography to determine their cluelessness. I disagree.

Dog's avatar

Please define what you mean by “clueless”

In order to understand and respond we need more information.

(After all- my definition of “clueless” extends all the way to some members of Congress)

zophu's avatar

Blaming miscreants for problems in society is like blaming water running from an open tap for flooding the basement. Technically, yes, the water causes the flooding; but are you going to start pumping out the water before turning off the tap?

There’s no point in blaming the sick for doing what sick people do. It’s society as a whole’s fault for producing them, and continuing to produce them.

josie's avatar

@zophu What are talking about?

Cruiser's avatar

@josie Just give them a sign…

<by Bill Engvall>

I just hate stupid people.
They should have to wear signs that just say I’m stupid.
That way you wouldn’t rely on them, would you?
You wouldn’t ask them anything. It would be like, “Excuse me…oops,
Never mind”
“I didn’t see your sign.”

Why can’t they get the picture? Why don’t they understand?
We’re not dealing with the planet of apes, we’re talking about the
modern man.
So you people with them itsy bitsy teensie weensie tiny minds…
Here’s your sign. Here’s your sign.

ratboy's avatar

Let’s get our priorities straight. First we ought to pull the plug on Granny, what’s she produced lately? Fuck the idiot who claimed “no man is an island.”

josie's avatar

@ratboy No problem helping out Granny.

SuperMouse's avatar

I would really like a description of what clueless looks like in your mind.

In the end a society should be judged on how the treat the least of its own. Using my own definition, I would count your “clueless” among those people. That being said, there is really nothing we can do about those who willingly remain ignorant.

AstroChuck's avatar

What the fuck is wrong with people? Christ, let’s just fend for ourselves from this point on and to hell with everyone else.

josie's avatar

@SuperMouse So, if there is nothing we can do about those who choose ignorance, why do we imagine that we can or should. Cut them loose.

SuperMouse's avatar

@josie, now in addition to clarifying what you mean by clueless, could I also get a definition of what you mean by “cutting them loose”? Are you saying that we as a society carry these clueless folks? If you are saying that, what does it look like?

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

If we cut them loose, chances are greater that they will resort to crime which does affect us.
We’re already cutting them loose where I live and it’s a big problem.

janbb's avatar

Define your terms, define your terms!

Pandora's avatar

I don’t know about creating camps but its not a bad idea that if you have someone living on welfare that they have to take some sort of class to learn a skill of some sort to continue earning the welfare. They use to have programs like that in New York City but they stopped it. Like you can learn to be a bank teller or a cashier, or take secretarial courses to name a few. Sometimes people are great in math but suck in social studies. Do you really need social studies and science to become a teller. NO! Give them a certificate for that skill so others know they are trained and qualified and hirable.
One of the problems today is that so much extra crap that isn’t necessary is being forced on students today. Let them decide by 16. If they have no plans to go to college then teach them a skill and drop the rest.

escapedone7's avatar

I considered your proposal. However I don’t think it would be fair to you. I won’t cut you loose. I believe you need my help. Why would I abandon you like that?

josie's avatar

@SuperMouse We are not a society. Society is a word to describe individuals who choose to live in each other’s company and trade their industry, because it is in their selfish interest to do so. Although there are fewer and fewer undeveloped areas on earth, anyone who chooses to can go and live in isolation. There is a distinct economic disadvantage to that, plus it would be lonely, but any human could do it if they chose to. And anyway, read the question-I am not talking about how we might treat other people on our own terms. I am talking about how tax money, taken by force, is used. For those who want a description of clueless, here is an INCOMPLETE list of some of the characteristics: Had access to school, chose not to learn to read, write or speak. Gets up, gets high, goes to sleep, wakes up, gets high again etc. Gets pregnant without support, impregnates without responsibility, Wonders why life sucks when it clearly does not if it is pursued with a purpose. Blames you and me, parents etc. for themselves. And after all of that, wonders why things just are not working out i.e. clueless. I could go on forever, but I don’t want to.

JessicaisinLove's avatar

Perhaps, all things considered in their life…...it’s the best they can do.

josie's avatar

@JessicaisinLove Perhaps you are correct, but that isn’t the question.

bobloblaw's avatar

You’ve kind of asked, really, two questions here: 1) whether you should be “forced” to pay taxes to fund social programs, etc and 2) whether the “clueless” are even worth helping.

To address your first question, you aren’t being forced. You agreed to this. You agreed to being taxed based on the concept of “tacit consent.” You signed the social contract by living here and experiencing the benefits of conferred by the government (e.g. national defense, roads, courts, etc). You’ve also got representation in the legislature. Granted, the system isn’t perfect. The person in office isn’t always who you want. The policies that you like, or don’t like, aren’t always represented. However, this is a representative government. Ideally, it reflects the desires of the majority w/out infringing upon the rights of the minority. The system isn’t perfect, but there are avenues in the political process that give you that voice and to make that change that you desire. As a friend once told me, Democracy sucks, but it’s the best thing we got right now.

It sounds like by “clueless,” you mean the “poor.” You’re assuming that the poor are poor b/c they just can’t grasp the notion of the American Dream. Here’s the problem: the American Dream is not as simple as you think it is. No one’s socioeconomic standing is determined by only whether they can just work hard. Much of anyone’s success in the United States is not solely the result of each person’s hard work, but also dependent upon the hard work of their forebears. In essence, your “production” and success stands on the shoulders of those who came before you. Those that came before you owe their success to those that came before them, etc. Don’t get me wrong: hard work is important, but there are many, many factors outside of hard work that control how far can you go. Again, not all of the factors are determinative, but they are relevant.

My addendum to your question is thus: given this context, should the government help these people? I would say, yes, but only if the government plays a role in improving that person’s skill set so that they can become a good productive member of society. That is to say, I would argue that the American Government, at the very least, has an interest in promoting its citizen’s ability to achieve that lofty American Dream.

WestRiverrat's avatar

I think if you are able to work, and are offered work, you should work.

If you don’t think the work is dignified enough, too bad. Go to night school and educate yourself enough to get a different job.

faye's avatar

Different question! but you are right.

lillycoyote's avatar

I say we cut loose the greedy, the selfish and the morally and ethically challenged. I’m sick to death of the rest of us having to pay for and clean up their messes.

phillis's avatar

Which is better…..to be clueless, or arrogant?

Fernspider's avatar

@bobloblaw – fantastic answer. Thank you.

SeventhSense's avatar

You attempt to simplify a complex issue for purely self centered reasons having to do with your own inconvenience and in essence create a reflection of the same self centeredness you decry.

bobloblaw's avatar

@Rachienz I do it for the luuuurve.

Pandora's avatar

@bobloblaw I agree with you, only I may be wrong but I assume by clueless, I think he meant lazy. There are people who live off of welfare because they are clueless in how to go about being self supportive. Mom and dad gave them everything in life and finally are cut off because they are old enough to be on their own. They want to be able to have a good time and not have to work for a living. So they are lazy and clueless to reality.
When I lived in Delaware there was this woman who drove up to cash her welfare check. She was late coming to the bank and we had already closed the registers. She was upset and said she really needed to cash her welfare check because she needed to feed her children. She was driving a new BMW, while wearing a mink coat, and looked like she just came from a salon where she had her nails and hair done.
If her children where really starving, she could’ve sold any one of those things or decide not to spend 100 dollars on her hair and nails. I strongly object to supporting people who only know how to manipulate the system. No problem supporting those really in need.

bobloblaw's avatar

@Pandora So the minority of abusers is enough to throw out the entire program?

The problem with the Welfare Queen example is just that: it’s the exception to the rule. Most people are honestly living off of Welfare. They get by on very little and work very hard to get what they have. That said, the system isn’t perfect. True, the lazy are capable of taking advantage of the system. In any situation where there is a set number of rules, there are going to be those that abuse the system. Look at our court system. Replete with examples of lawyers gaming rules of procedure to get cases thrown out. Cases that have legitimate grounds to be heard. Great injustices occur. Should we just throw out the entire court system? or should we try to fix it? I say we fix it. I say we improve it. I say we can minimize the free rider problem.

Pandora's avatar

@bobloblaw No, I wasn’t suggesting throwing it all out. Like I said. To keep people from manipulating the system it should be quid pro quo. They should have to do something to contibute for getting the welfare. Take a class and get certified in something or babysit other children (of course only if you check out ok) of people who can work but can’t afford babysitting. I think these things will go a long way to preventing people from abusing the system. Of course this should not apply to people who really cannot work because of limitations or people who are already working but need some assistance to get by.
btw, I like the title you gave her. The Welfare Queen. That was rich. LOL

bobloblaw's avatar

@Pandora I didn’t make up the term. Reader’s Digest and Look magazine started using it in the ‘60s. Reagan made it popular.

Pandora's avatar

@bobloblaw Ah, glad you gave credit where it belonged.
Going to bed. Have a good night.

Fernspider's avatar

Sounds like a drug dealer who happens to be on welfare!

ucme's avatar

That would decimate the numbers here on fluther.It’s a fair argument I suppose.Although free speech & all that.

Cruiser's avatar

@phillis I’ll take the arrogant any day of the week! At least the SOB is aware of something enough to be arrogant which to me means they have skin in the game and are contributing in someway to the cause of life in society even if it is in a grating way. Which is also why pies and spatulas are so popular with me…got to be ready to retaliate.

phillis's avatar

We are under STK orders! Put down the spatula, and back away slowly!!

My mistake. I thought arrogance was an inflated ego that campaigns ad nauseum under the delusion that one is somehow entitled to more than other people, even as they do a big bunch of nothing to earn it. That’s what egocentrics do, isn’t it? I think it’s in the job description.

Arrogance does not equal intelliegence, or even common sense (though I freely admit those fools do fuck up and get something right in spite of themselves). My point was that, in this case, arrogance is the flipside of the same coin as cluelessness. They are polar opposites along the same continuum of extreme states of being. They create precisely the same degree of problems.

Clueless people annoy the hell out of everybody, yet everybody takes thier inevitable turn on the clueless merry-go-round, despite thier best efforts. They don’t need to be crucified for it. I hope my faith isn’t ill-placed when I say that this author was venting, more than offering this as a viable solution. Be that as it may, it’s still a deplorable frame of mind that deserves to be soundly defeated.

Cruiser's avatar

@phillis <<Re-holsters his spatula>>

Brian1946's avatar

Going by one of my definitions of clueless, I think ‘Judge’ Lemkau should be cut loose from the bench.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Brian1946
I don’t know the history of that judge but I would never want to be a judge in family court. People say all manner of hurtful, despicable and smearing things to separate children from their ex spouses dragging them through the mud and it’s very difficult for one to have discernment. It’s only very recently that fathers have been starting to get the respect they deserve in visitation and custody. Historically mothers were invariably awarded custody. That is an horrific tragedy though. I feel for that mother.

zenele's avatar

<<< Feeling clueless lately. Don’t shoot.

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