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Comment: Re:Not a problem (Score 1) 393

by reve_etrange (#48854467) Attached to: Is 'SimCity' Homelessness a Bug Or a Feature?

What I intended with Welfare is actually the mass of solutions that people are provided with when they "need" assistance.

Why the scare quotes? Do you simply not believe that ~17 million Americans live with food insecurity and ~50 million have annual incomes under $12,000?

This used to be just "Welfare", "Food Stamps", and "Medicaid"

Unlike SNAP (food stamps) and Medicaid, "Welfare" is not and has never been the name of a US aid program. Indeed, contrary to the commonly understood meaning of the term, there are no unconditional cash transfer programs in the US. Since existing programs are highly conditional / restricted lumping them together and implying they consist in UCTs seems misleading at best.

dozens of additional programs today

192 programs IIRC.

Comment: Re:Who cares? (Score 1) 393

by reve_etrange (#48812443) Attached to: Is 'SimCity' Homelessness a Bug Or a Feature?

That's only if you interpret the poverty line in terms of individual discretionary income as opposed to a standard of living.

Not even then. The federal poverty line for a single person is $11,670, not $20,000. The poverty line for a five-person household is $27,910.

I'll grant you that things like health care and auto insurance would still be a problem, but that's because they're still broken.

I wont dispute that our health care system is broken, but...$100,000 per year is easily enough for auto insurance and Brone or Silver level subsidized ACA plans. If the five 20-somethings in the example somehow managed to file together, a Bronze plan would cost them ~$250 / mo. This is out of a monthly income of $8333 and includes all five individuals. Actually, if they filed separately, the Bronze plan would be free (estimated cost of $0 for 1 adult making $20,000).

Now, Medicaid (Medi-Cal here) provides free coverage to an individual making 133% of the poverty line or below ($15,521 or $37,120 for five people). At this level, the main barrier to receiving healthcare are knowledge of the process, transit time/cost and the local availability of Medicaid doctors, as opposed to direct health care costs.

Auto insurance is a different story in most places. But in California, the CCLA program provides very low cost insurance to people making less than 250% of the poverty line. For one person in San Francisco County, the annual premium is ~$265.

Comment: Re:Who cares? (Score 1) 393

by reve_etrange (#48812185) Attached to: Is 'SimCity' Homelessness a Bug Or a Feature?

I grew up in Santa Cruz, and I've been to SF dozens of times. I lived there for about a year. I know many people who live there. It's you that's ignorant as to how people live in SF.

Wow, dozens. </eyeroll>

If you put five kids making minimum wage into a house, that's a household with income above $100,000, but everyone in that house is still in poverty.

No, they aren't. The poverty line for an individual is $11,670, and $27,910 total for a family/household of 5 people.

Comment: Re:Who cares? (Score 1) 393

by reve_etrange (#48812107) Attached to: Is 'SimCity' Homelessness a Bug Or a Feature?

So according to your definition, a single-income family with a spouse and 3 kids with an income of over $100,000 is still living in poverty. I don't think so.

Actually, they wouldn't be even then. The federal poverty line is $11,670 for an individual. Of course, there's actually a nonlinear dependence on the household size - the line for a household of 5 is $27,910. I guess (like most) the parent doesn't really understand poverty.

Comment: Re:Games versus reality (Score 1) 393

by reve_etrange (#48809461) Attached to: Is 'SimCity' Homelessness a Bug Or a Feature?

And I encounter someone who is mentally ill on the street, I'm not sure what you think I could do for them that the social workers and the police couldn't.

It's hard not to take this as a troll. The police are not generally inclined to help homeless people - although I see police harassing them almost every day. Social workers for the most part would help the homeless - but they're underpaid, understaffed and institutionally handicapped. Maybe you don't live in the United States?

I personally don't expect you to personally spend time / effort / money helping an individual homeless person in some way, but if you're unhappy with how local, state and federal governments are handling the problem at large, then the same recourse exists as for any other social problem.

Comment: Re:Which is stupider, the book or the game? (Score 1) 393

by reve_etrange (#48809421) Attached to: Is 'SimCity' Homelessness a Bug Or a Feature?

Here in Dallas it was tried over 10 years ago... million of dollars were spent to refurbish several old hotels and make them liveable, rooms were offered free of charge to homeless people to give them a place to get back on their feet, to give them a place to have a hot shower, give them a mailing address so they could look for work (you might find it hard to get work without an address), etc.

Can you provide a citation? I can't find any information at all about such a project.

Comment: Re:Not a problem (Score 4, Informative) 393

by reve_etrange (#48809399) Attached to: Is 'SimCity' Homelessness a Bug Or a Feature?

Like other countries we have people that camp on welfare because it's easier than working.

I do agree with the substance of your post, but what do you mean by welfare? The United States doesn't really have any unconditional cash transfer programs, which is what most people think of when they hear the term "welfare." TANF for example is restricted to families with children, has a lifetime limit of 60 months of benefits for any individual and recipients must have a job within 24 months of joining the program. After doing a bunch of research on our means-tested social programs, I just don't see how it would be possible for a single, able-bodied, working-age individual to satisfy all their needs using federal transfers alone.

I also don't think it's far to call social insurance programs "welfare." They're insurance policies operated by government, with mandatory premiums garnished from wages. You have to have paid the premiums to get the benefits.

Where the US differs greatly is that our programs are abused at the top as well.

Agree 100%, though I don't think the US is alone worldwide in this regard, even if it stands out among OECD members.

Comment: Re:Who cares? (Score 1) 393

by reve_etrange (#48809291) Attached to: Is 'SimCity' Homelessness a Bug Or a Feature?

Ever lived in San Francisco? Sounds pretty close to reality to me.

I can understand why someone who didn't grow up in the Bay and who hasn't spend much time outside of certain districts would have that impression.

About 25% of San Franciscan households have incomes above $100,000 and about 13% are poverty-level or below. For comparison, those numbers for Alameda County are ~17% and ~13%, respectively. Yeah, SF has more inequality, but not to the extremes sometimes imagined.

(Numbers from and US census data).

Long computations which yield zero are probably all for naught.