John Hoffmire: How the rich view the poor


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  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Jan. 3, 2014 12:22 p.m.

    To "Nosea" stop twisting my words. I did nto say anything that you imply. I have stated that the scriptures and modern Prophets have spoken out against socialism, communism, and other similar communal philosophies.

    I have also stated that I have not seen anything in the scriptures that condemns capitalism as taught by Adam Smith in "The Theory of Moral Sentiments" and "The Wealth of Nations". Since you missed the reference to "The Theory of Moral Sentiments", let me tell you what it is about. It is the idea that once you become rich, you should use your wealth to help the poor, and provide jobs to those seeking to better their lives. How is that a contradiction to the scripture in Jacob 2:19?

  • Nosea Forest Grove, OR
    Jan. 3, 2014 11:49 a.m.


    So you are saying Capitalism is on par with Consecration then, effectively that the Savior does indeed implicitly endorses Capitalism just as was stated was your premise (which you denied at first), and then the corollary must true also, that the Lord values "The Wealth of Nations" equally with scripture -- Adam Smith must be as inspired as Joseph Smith?

    I am confused by your position then, why are you defending Capitalism so vehemently if in fact the Lord does not endorse Capitalism, as you stated? Which is it, you can't take both positions, you can't have both Capitalism and Consecration; either the Lord is for Capitalism and against Consecration, or He is against Consecration and for Capitalism. "How long will you halt between two opinions?" 1 Kings 18:21. It looks like the contest has already begun.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Jan. 3, 2014 10:38 a.m.

    To "dimelo" when did I ever say that the Savior implicitly endorses Capitalism.

    I have only stated that the Prophets and the scriptures state that socialism, communism, and other communial philosophies are wrong and are against God's plan.

    I have not seen any scriptures that condemn capitalism as taught by Adam Smith in "The Theory of Moral Sentiments" and "The Wealth of Nations". In fact, if you use that as the baseline for capitalism, it follows the gospel quite well. What Adam Smith teaches in his books can probably be best summarized in Jacob 2:19 "And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good, to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted."

    Capitalism was given a bad image by those who want to destroy it. The fact is that capitalism, to be success ful must include volunteer charity work, as taught in the BOM and by Adam Smith.

    The point still remains that Socialism, Communism, and all other similar communal philosophies are against God's plan.

  • dimelo PEYTON, CO
    Jan. 3, 2014 9:39 a.m.


    Let's just say I have read all of the Journal of Discourses, minus four volumes, and would surmise I could vouch for Brigham Young's thoughts on these matters far better than you; I never said BY endorsed socialism, as you imply. What I say is that BY despised both Socialism and Capitalism (from his mission to Briton in 1840, with the height of Capitalism in the industrial revolution -- read his letters back to JS for more insight), and that is why he actually did so much in trying to move the members of the church to that ultimate unity of the faith, Consecration -- note the United Orders in the territories.

    Your premise is that the Savior implicitly endorses Capitalism. I am saying, no, that the Savior only endorses Consecration, and in fact condemns the tenets of Capitalism throughout scripture everywhere – and despises Socialism also for the same reason, that they both lead to great disparity in wealth (D&C 49:20). Now, let’s say you and I have an Elijah-like contest here, and request that the Lord judge between you and me -- and we will see who was right in the end. Sound fair?

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Jan. 3, 2014 7:47 a.m.

    To "dimelo" so you want a quote from Brigham Young. Here you go. This is what Brigham Young thought of Socialism.

    "We heard Brother Taylor's exposition of what is called Socialism this morning. What can they do? Live on each other and beg. It is a poor, unwise and very imbecile people who cannot take care of themselves." (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 14, p. 21)

    You quote, however, is not verifiable. Where did that come from?

    If you want further proof that socialism is against God's plan, here are some scriptures:

    1 Timothy 5:8 "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." Collectivist philosophies remove the need to provide for your own family, the state will do it for you.

    D&C 134:2 "We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life." Socialism and communism cannot exist with individuals acting with freedom of conscience and control of their own property.

  • dimelo PEYTON, CO
    Jan. 2, 2014 4:55 p.m.

    Notice how Redshirt does not reference Brigham Young in his selective search of prophets:

    "The ways of the world, including capitalism, tend to sink the masses into poverty and degradation while exalting a few to unfathomable wealth."

    BY said this in indicting the Capitalism he saw in full bloom in Industrial-revolutionary England, and it ravished England just as it now the US. So Capitalism essentially is no different than Communism, as both tend to the same huge and growing wealth/income gap and they both end the same -- a complete failure. The only economy endorsed by divinity is Consecration; but don't tell Redshirt that -- he seems to be convinced it is Capitalism! He will certainly find out the hard way just how wrong he has been -- like JS taught, and it will come in an instant of time. I am waiting for that day to come.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Jan. 2, 2014 10:50 a.m.

    To "Open Minded Mormon" it is quite clear that I am right. I have quoted the prophets and they are quite clear that your belief that collectivism is the same as the United Order is wrong.

    If you smoked, and I pointed out that the D&C states that smoking was wrong, would you debate me that smoking is really ok?

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Jan. 2, 2014 10:09 a.m.

    USS Enterprise, UT

    You go your way Red, I'll go mine.

    What do you say we see who gets it right?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 8:42 a.m.

    To "Open Minded Mormon: about as many times as I have to bring up quotes from the Prophets and scriptures that state that forced collectivism s wrong. That means that if you are pushing for government to force people to share, it is NOT God's plan.

    Lets just look at some of the better quotes:

    Heber J. Grant said "Communism and all other similar isms bear no relationship whatever to the United Order. They are merely the clumsy counterfeits which Satan always devises of the gospel plan… Latter-day Saints cannot be true to their faith and lend aid, encouragement, or sympathy to any of these false philosophies. They will prove snares to their feet."

    David O. McKay said that church members "are free to participate in non-church meetings that are held to warn people of the threat of Communism or any other theory or principle that will deprive us of our free agency or individual liberties vouchsafed by the Constitution of the United States."

    Howard W. Hunter stated that he agreed with Marion G. Romney's talk where he stated "brethren, socialism is not the United Order."

    Do you know something that the Prophets don't?

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Jan. 2, 2014 8:26 a.m.

    USS Enterprise, UT
    To "pragmatistferlife" if marxism works, then tell us where it has worked? What nation has practiced marxism and has been able to attain the same standard of living as we have in the US?


    The City of Enoch, Red.

    How many times do we need to repeat this?, how many times...

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 7:34 a.m.

    To "pragmatistferlife" if marxism works, then tell us where it has worked? What nation has practiced marxism and has been able to attain the same standard of living as we have in the US?

    To "Mark Terran" yes, capitalism in the US has become polluted. The pollution comes from the Progressives/liberals that desire to have the government manage the economy. The only way that they can attain their goals is to use corrupt people for their own purposes.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Jan. 1, 2014 5:31 p.m.

    The degrading comments by Joseph Smith's neighbors in the Hurlbert affidavits sound a lot like some of the comments made in this forum. The Smiths were very poor farmers and more successful people in their area looked upon them with contempt. It was a frustrating experience for the whole family but it made Joseph more empathetic to others who were poor. I'm surprised at how little empathy some people have who have commented here.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 8:14 a.m.

    Excellent comments on here. I was expecting the same old right wing drivel that the poor are lazy and just want to stay home and collect a welfare check rather than work. I have heard different figures on CEO compensation, that it has risen as much as four hundred to eight hundred percent. Compare that to middle class and lower income wages which have stayed about the same or barely kept up with inflation. Many of the wealthy are pro athletes, and in the entertainment industry. Nothing against wealth just comparing it what we pay teachers, police officers and others whose employment can make a positive impact on our society. I drive a UTA bus. I deal with people who can't afford bus fare and ride bicycles in the snow and cold. My observation is that extreme poverty can be attributed to disabilities, mental and physical, addictions to drug and alcohol and dysfunctional families. Poverty is generational. The scriptures make it clear that if we are not charitable we are not fit for the kingdom of heaven.

  • the old switcharoo mesa, AZ
    Jan. 1, 2014 2:57 a.m.

    4 Nephi 3 And they had all things common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift.

    A heavenly GIFT. Nobody has earned any of this. If you take more than you need and watch others do without be prepared to answer for it. Who prepared the Earth and it's riches and for what cause? For the comfort of a few or all? show me the rich man that has toiled with is OWN hands for that wealth.

    The man made laws that give an inheritance of vast wealth to some at birth, while many are born with nothing but air is not a godly construct, but one of the devil. That system of laws cannot be viewed as the ideal, but a condition to be overcome.

    I believe, and prophets have taught, that the system in which men gain wealth above others is only holding us all back from blessings we can not imagine. In our myopia we miss the true great prosperity.

  • Mark Terran Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 11:16 p.m.


    Your ability to rationalize that poverty and its titanic stresses do not really exist in this country, that the problem instead merely is one of ingratitude, is astonishing.

    I am confident that it was in part just this sort of callousness that led Jesus to observe that "it will be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God."


    The doctrines of "capitalism" and "free market" have become perverted in this country and have been replaced by a new, false doctrine:

    "But every man fares in this life according to the management of the creature; therefore every man prospers according to his genius; and every man conquers according to his strength; and whatsoever a man does is NO CRIME."

    "No crime," meaning no moral crime -- or, "anything goes," so long as you can manage to stay out of jail. It is a doctrine of utter self-centeredness.

    John Adams observed that "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

    Really the same principle holds true of "capitalism" and "free market."

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 2:01 p.m.

    Re: "Simply put - do you trust other people? The results are the lowest since . . . 1972. What is your explanation for this?"

    One word -- leftists.

    Notwithstanding the irrefutable fact that American rich and poor are nearly indistinguishable, marxist/leftist radicals continue to disingenuously whisper that the poor MUST hate the rich, because -- look at those greedy, motherless oppressors -- they have more in their 401k. Or their house or TV is bigger. Or their car is shinier and has bigger wheels.

    NONE of that actually matters. That's where Marx missed the boat. Capital doesn't matter, so long as there is political equality.

    It's existentially leftist to sow hate and discontent based on possession of STUFF that has no real value. Real Americans, rich and poor, share values, faith, ethics, respect for law, love of God, Nation, and family -- ALL the important things.

    And that makes leftists mad. They need eternal foment and revolution in order to exist.

    And so, they bleat incessantly about some growing chasm between Americans. Hoping to create it.

    Don't let them. Be grateful and thank God for what we have and what we share!

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Dec. 31, 2013 1:41 p.m.

    " I hate to tell you this, but marxism doesn't work"

    At least we've confirmed one thing today, RedShirt knows absolutely nothing about Marxisim.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 12:55 p.m.

    To "marxist" I hate to tell you this, but marxism doesn't work. Yes everybody earns the same, everybody has a house, people have some food, but everybody is equally poor.

    Why would you want to live in a nation where everybody is poor, and it does not matter if you contribute or not? Typically when marxism or other collectivist systems are tried, it requires that the government threaten with death those that will not work.

    Time and time again, it has been proven that if you let capitalism work, it does a much better job of lifting the poor out of poverty than collectivism ever will.

    To "Nosea" prove it. If you look at the graphs of income distribution, the US has quite a flat distribution, which means that income inequality is small.

  • Nosea Forest Grove, OR
    Dec. 31, 2013 12:41 p.m.


    Wealth inequality in the US is unprecedentedly bad (worse than any other OECD nation), whether you measure it in absolute terms or an index -- so what is your point? Are you trying to say wealth inequality does not exist in the US, or it is not getting worse? Or that it somehow does not matter? You are against measured data and their real-life results then.

    Or are you going to argue, as does procuradorfiscal, that "all is well in Zion, yea, Zion prospereth" (what wealth gap?) when clearly things have gone far awry as denoted by numerous measures of social well-being? If you cannot discern just how unjust economic conditions have gotten in the US right now, way worse than any we have seen before, then it is pointless to carry on a conversation here. Pleas go live in your narrow world view, but at least acknowledged that a great many are suffering because of your views -- and, in fact, all is not well Zion.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 12:08 p.m.

    I think that this study was designed to make the wealthy look bad. We see the results of rich talking to poor, poor to rich, poor to poor, but not rich to rich. They were also talking about the problems in their lives. Could it be that the rich were less attentive because they did not have common experiences? How many rich have to worry if there is food and money enough for their next meal. Without common experiences, it is hard to empathize.

    To "Nosea" the GINI coefficient is a poor measure of income inequality. Even the Wikipedia entry for the GINI coefficient shows how a realitively equal income distribution can be equal to an income distribution that has greater inequality. To best understand income distribution you have to actually look at the distribution of income, not just a coefficient.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 12:04 p.m.

    @Thid Barker
    "#5: Pay an honest tithing to your church. "

    That doesn't help anyone escape poverty. The reason I don't have student loans today is in large part because I stopped paying tithing and paid off my debts instead (a 9,000 dollar difference these past 4 years).

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 11:08 a.m.

    Remarks on this blog reflect how critical the absence of Marx is. Marx explains in no uncertain terms in "Capital" how capitalism is an engine of inequality. There are three schools of economic thought: neoclassical, Keynesian, and Marxist. The conservatives here borrow almost exclusively from the neoclassical. To them, moreover, Keynesian is suspect, and Marxist is unknown, even though they think they know something about it. Economics will not be relevant until Marx is let in.

  • Nosea Forest Grove, OR
    Dec. 31, 2013 9:47 a.m.


    So every fact from every academic study that does not align with your world view is easily passed off as "liberal" propaganda, and the converse must be true then, that releases from right-wing think tanks set up to influence public discourse and public policy via vast amounts of wealth from the plutocracy only base their opinions on absolute truth alone, correct? And we know how you form your opinions now.

    I am curious then. How do you explain a non-liberal organization like the CIA ranking of US per Gini coefficient, standard measure of wealth inequality, as the 41st worst nation out of 136 nations for wealth inequality, and the nations ranked worse than the US are notorious third-world nations? Or is the CIA going to be labelled as liberal too? Oh, but I forgot -- right-wing mouth pieces have an answer for everything, right? So, please explain, why exactly is there worse childhood poverty in the US than in any other OECD nation? How exactly does that fit into your "the poor are doing great," "all is well in Zion" world-view?"

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Dec. 31, 2013 9:06 a.m.

    @highschoolfan, generally people don't fault the rich who have succeeded via their own personal labors. It is those who exploite the labor of others, those who hog the earth's natural resources for themselves, and those who use superstition and politics to subjugate populations to minipulation to be taken advantage of. This probably describes about eighty percent of America's super rich two percent, and about ninety nine percent of the big corporations.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 8:18 a.m.


    You say "in the things that matter", there has never been a smaller difference between rich and poor in America.

    According to recent polling, Americans trust each other at lower levels than ever recorded. The poll specifically avoided asking about trust in government, in the President, in large institutions, in corporations, in churches, etc.

    Simply put - do you trust other people? The results are the lowest since the same poll has been taken, in 1972.

    What is your explanation for this?

    Or is this something that - by your definition - doesn't matter?

    Some of the experts cited to explain these polls explain this is a predictable result of rising inequalities, and if you think about, it makes sense. Rich people don't trust the poor, and I can assure you, the poor have very, very little trust in the rich. Everyone in between is anxious about their place on the economic ladder, and looking for reasons why things are the way they are.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Dec. 31, 2013 8:15 a.m.

    Thank you Mark Terran for your insightful comments, especially; " It isn't so much his poverty, per se, that they find so contemptible. Rather, it is what they wrongly suppose, in their vicious, unrighteous judgment of that individual, are the REASONS for his poverty: lack of ambition, idleness, and an otherwise reprehensible character."

    This is what I find so offensive on this thread. So many make this judgment and then scratch around to justify it by any means available. Surely someone who owns a cell phone can't be poor by circumstance they must be poor by choice.

    Yes a starving family in Africa could live like a kings if they had $20,000 a year. However a mother who works 40 hours a week at McDonalds in Kennedy airport and lives in Queens needs a cell phone to manager her kids and still doesn't have enough money for housing and food.

    It's the whole I did it on my own spoken from the bubble of their own restricted experience that offends me.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 7:42 a.m.

    Re: "Wilkinson has found that economic inequalities result in greater health problems, overall . . . ."
    Re: ". . . there is a huge gap between life expectancy of the bottom 20% and the top 20% in the US."

    I can't believe liberals are still citing that thoroughly discredited, UN-funded Wilkinson/Ortiz/Cummins "study." Look, if you take the anomalous bottom 1% -- those whose incomes and life expectancy are dictated almost entirely by unwise life choices involving substance abuse and gang violence -- you must expect, and will find, significant differences, when compared to life expectancy in ANY other cohort. But, when you then run a series of regressions to figure out how far up the economic spectrum you can carry that anomaly, and still force a significant difference, you're not conducting research, you're propagandizing.

    What the numbers actually show is a remarkably homogeneous life expectancy down to a break point somewhere well below 90%.

    Liberal sophistry notwithstanding, my statement stands, at NO time or place in human history have differences in real lifestyle between rich and poor been less pronounced than in modern America.

    Liberals hate it, but there it is.

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 5:37 a.m.

    What do you want the wealthy to do, stop making money, give it all away or what? Take the Utah wealthy like the Larry H Miller family or the Garff family or the Huntsman's or the others, they all own businesses that employ hundreds if not thousands of people and most those people make a good living.
    As for the homeless, many are that way because they want to be. As for the safety net, that is what it should be a safety net to help us through temporary bumps in life. It was never meant to be a lifetime solution except for those who truly cannot take care of themselves.
    As for the countries listed, they are all the size of different states of this country. Check out other countries are size where the comparison would be more valid.

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 3:16 a.m.

    I am so tired of hearing about how generous rich people are, by donating to charity. I'm sure that helps them sleep better at night, but in reality it doesn't do much for the people on the ground. If you want to REALLY make a difference in people's lives, and you want to be sure that it goes to people who earn it, pay your employees a living wage!

  • Mark Terran Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 1:44 a.m.

    As one who has experienced being poor in the midst of wealth, I can attest that while some affluent are good people with good hearts, there also are some who do genuinely despise the poor because of their poverty.

    Oh they'd deny it all day if confronted, citing donations to foundations and to the fast offering fund and their willingness to sign up for the stake cannery assignment.

    But when it comes to an actual, live person with whom they are acquainted -- such as at church -- they very much do despise that individual, and here's how. It isn't so much his poverty, per se, that they find so contemptible. Rather, it is what they wrongly suppose, in their vicious, unrighteous judgment of that individual, are the REASONS for his poverty: lack of ambition, idleness, and an otherwise reprehensible character.

    Thus they do despise the poor because of their poverty -- on that basis.

    Because their financial success has convinced them that their ability to perceive and analyze are infallible, they fail to consider the uniqueness of a person's life experience -- the horrors and consequences of which, chances are, they would never begin to comprehend, nor fathom.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 12:07 a.m.

    I recommend the documentary "The One Percent." It is an insider's view of the super-wealthy by one of them - one of the Johnson's in Johnson & Johnson. It puts some flesh on what is often dry theory, at least to some. Watch it!

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 10:27 p.m.

    To procuradorfiscal: Here is a list of childhood poverty rates among major developed countries:
    USA 22%
    Britain 19%
    Canada 15%
    Australia 12%
    Japan 12%
    Germany 10%
    France 8%
    Netherlands 7%
    Denmark 5%
    Finland 4%
    Norway 4%
    Sweden 2%

    I think your thesis is incorrect.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 9:38 p.m.

    Why bother, procura? T'would be a waste of time and energy.

    We could have God himself come down and tell you the truth and you'd ignore it because it wouldn't match with your preconceived beliefs. You just need to hope that your luck never runs out, because it is largely pure luck that separates you and me from those lazy welfare leaches conservatives love to despise.

    One serious illness. One disabling accident for you or one of your family. One lost job. One fire. One (insert any of a thousand things that can happen to anyone here) and you would be applying for food stamps and disability benefits.

    Be careful what you wish for others because those wishes could boomerang back at you or someone you love.

  • Nosea Forest Grove, OR
    Dec. 30, 2013 8:10 p.m.


    Go do a little research for a change (it is obvious you are ill-informed on matters you seem most vocal about) and you will that the US ranks near the bottom of OECD, 34 of the wealthiest countries, for life expectancy (and research a little more and you will see that there is a huge gap between life expectancy of the bottom 20% and the top 20% in the US). You will also find huge disparities in education between the the wealthy and poor in the US, and hence mobility is also near the bottom for the US out of all OECD nations. In fact, US has the widest wealth and income gap of any of these nations, one of the largest homeless populations, greater number of children in poverty, a quarter of the world's prisoners even though we are only 5% of total population -- the list of failures due to the wealth gap in the US goes on and on. The greater question is, why in the world do you believe the poor have it as well as the rich in the US? It baffles me where you are coming from.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 5:12 p.m.


    You're a bright guy. You understand complex issues.

    There is a great deal of research by an epidemiologist named Richard Wilkinson in trying to explain why some countries suffer more health problems than others. Wilkinson has found that economic inequalities result in greater health problems, overall, and that research holds up over many nations with a variety of economic conditions.

    The poor in the US are (arguably) better off than the poor in other nations. Not too many actually starve to death here. But we have a LOT of health issues. Wilkinson's research can predict the general degree of health problems we see, based on the dispersion of economic outcomes we have.

    How can this be? This makes no sense, does it?

    I don't know, but I suspect many of the poor resort to bad health habits, primarily from economic distress. These studies seem to validate some of my hunch.

    Bad day at your bad job? Have a pizza, you'll feel better.

    This is how we can have so much Type II Diabetes when the poor here are more affluent than in other nations.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 4:08 p.m.

    Re: ". . . only in your fantasy world is this line true . . . ."

    OK, here's your chance. When and where -- other than modern America -- have rich and poor lifestyles been separated by so little that matters?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 2:57 p.m.

    ‘John Hoffmire: How the rich view the poor’

    ...you know -- the "little people".

  • Lew Scannon Provo, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 2:41 p.m.

    From Catholic writer Elizabeth Stoker:

    "As Liam Murphy and Thomas Nagel point out in 'The Myth of Ownership: Taxes and Justice,' governments are distributional institutions. That is to say, governments are responsible for all distributions of all property and wealth, because without governments, there is zero enforcement of the laws that construct the state of 'ownership.' Ownership is not a relationship between people and objects, after all; your land has no idea you 'own' it. It’s a relationship between people — it’s only that other people behave differently toward land designated as 'yours' that causes it to be distinct from all other land, and it’s only that the government causes its courts and police to do the same that confirms that.

    "Thus everyone is 'dependent' upon the government to construct their allotment of wealth. The objects conservatives own are not distinct in this way. They depend upon the government to enforce a certain set of rules that govern relationships with other people and authorize particular forms of violence to protect their wealth."

    We can, of course, change the rules to make property ownership more fair and equitable.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 2:35 p.m.

    One thing is obvious. Thid Barker has no idea what it means to be poor in America.

    I've spent some time with the homeless. One thing I have learned is that the biggest difference between them and the rest of us is that they are simply unluckier than we are.

    Any society that structures itself so that almost all the wealth goes to the top and a large percentage of the population can't get enough to eat doesn't deserve to call itself a society.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 1:43 p.m.

    procura, only in your fantasy world is this line true: "There has never before been a time in world history in which the poor and rich of a nation are as indistinguishable as are American rich and poor."

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 10:47 a.m.

    wj, UT

    OK - You don't like the Titanic metaphor.

    How about "King of the Hill"?

    After scratching and clawing your way to the Top,
    You defend your position by pushing, shoving, kicking anyone else trying to reach the top also.

    And like money,
    No matter how much you have, it's never going to be enough.

    God gave us enough, (and to spare),
    and just like we do with our own children,
    it's a test is to see if we are will and able to figure out how to get along and to share.

  • fani wj, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 10:31 a.m.

    If you think you're "poor", there will be not enough money in the world to change that until you can change that mentality yourself. The victim mentality will never get you anywhere in life.

    @LDS Liberal "I'm reminded of the sinking of the Titanic.
    "In the ideal world,those who make it safely into the life-boats, turn and immediately start helping others into the safety of the life-boat too."

    A terrible example -helping someone into the lifeboat is a one time effort. If the guy you helped decides to jump into the water, would you help him again? Helping the poor is an ongoing effort because unless the person who receive the help make good use of your effort, you're not motivated to do it again and again and again and again indefinitely

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 10:27 a.m.

    Re: "The discussion over rising inequality in the U.S. has captured headlines . . . ."

    Not because it's true, mind you.

    There has never before been a time in world history in which the poor and rich of a nation are as indistinguishable as are American rich and poor.

    By every important measure, rich and poor Americans are the same. The difference between rich and poor Americans are who don't have access to decent housing, hot/cold running water, indoor plumbing, light, heat, and air conditioning is statistically insignificant.

    Rich and poor are just as likely to have access to health care, schooling, transportation, vacations, leisure activities, and sporting events.

    Rich and poor are equally likely to have sufficient, good quality clothing and food, starvation being limited to those cases in which a person refuses food, or a crime being committed against him/her.

    The fact is -- rich and poor from America's past would likely have a hard time identifying ANY modern American poor, and would call us ALL rich.

    Blather about a "rising inequality" is nothing more than a leftist scam to disingenuously spread hate and discontent.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Dec. 30, 2013 10:05 a.m.

    Some very compelling and insightful quotes from the BOM on how to live in a social community of human love equal respect and care. How is it that none of this is exhibited in the hearts or politics of Utah, the center of Mormonism. There must be more to it than that the poor have poor ways and the rich are greedy self-righteous sociopaths.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Dec. 30, 2013 9:21 a.m.

    I know many rich, who at a personal level, are very compassionate and charitable people. But there in lies the problem in that we don't treat the problems at individual levels. It is one things to say we cant afford to endless support over 1 million people disenfranchised from the work force. On the other hand, if you look at these same million but at a one on one level, sentiments change dramatically.

    Again, anytime you tribe to clump people together into nice little neat piles, you have a distorted view of the world. Whether it be poor and rich, republican or democrat, liberal or conservative, or even christian and non christian - these types of discussions don't paint accurate pictures.

    Thats just my opinion... I could be wrong....

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 9:19 a.m.

    Just ask Sen. Osmond. His new education bills provides an excellent into how the rich view the poor.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Dec. 30, 2013 9:15 a.m.

    The best choices you can make NOT to be poor.

    #1: Get married and stay married, and don't have children out of wedlock. The largest demographic of people living in poverty in America are single mothers. Live the law of chastity.

    #2: Obtain some marketable jobs skills. The higher paying vocations are technical jobs, not fast food service. Get all the education and improve your marketable jobs skills all you can whenever you can.

    #3: Stay off drugs and alcohol. Live the word of wisdom!

    #4: Get a job and keep it. Contribute to your employer's productivity and you will become valuable to him/her and will be paid in direct proportion to your contributions.

    #5: Pay an honest tithing to your church.

    #6: Stay out of debt. People who don't understand interest, pays it! Those who do, earns it!

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 9:02 a.m.

    I'm reminded of the sinking of the Titanic.

    In the ideal world,
    those who make it safely into the life-boats, turn and immediately start helping others into the safety of the life-boat too.

    In the Telestial world in which we now live,
    The rich have made it into the safety of the life-boats,
    and then charge rent or a life-time of indebted servatude for other to have the luck or good pleasure to merely hold onto the side of "THEIR" life-boat to survive.

    God has gave us the lifeboats,
    There is room enough and to spare - as he promised -,
    it is the greed of the 1% that is stiffling the 99% of the rest of us.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 9:02 a.m.

    One size does not fit all.

    That said, too many rich people worry about their investments, the stock market, the effect of daily government actions, etc. They worry about their MONEY more than they worry about others or their opportunity to help the less fortunate.

    Conversely, poor people tend to whine and complain that they need more and want it handed out to them routinely without any effort on their part.

    The resistance expressed to living a united order type of situation always revolves around person's fear of "I don't want to be poor." When properly implemented, the society gradually becomes rich "and there was no poor among them."

    What gets us in trouble in when we determine we don't have as much as someone else (greed, envy and jealousy) instead of if we have enough for our needs. Just because the neighbor has a boat, an SUV, skidoos and snowmobiles doesn't mean we necessarily need them. The same is true of the size of our house, the big screen TV, where we buy clothes, jewelry, exotic vacations, etc. Gratitude for one's blessings is missing from such an equation.

    Neither group is particularly happy.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 9:02 a.m.

    @Thid Barker
    The US has one of the lowest rates of mobility (i.e. people shifting from the bottom 20% income bracket as a kid to the top 20% as an adult) in the industrialized world.

    The best country to be poor would be one like Germany or Sweden that has a much stronger safety net.

  • DmF-WA Seattle, WA
    Dec. 30, 2013 9:01 a.m.

    As I see it, the greatest obstacle to reducing poverty, is that for the most part, charitable contributions to the poor only sustain them in their poverty. Whether it's forced charity through taxation, or some form of philanthropy, it is insufficient.

    When those that give understand that the solution to poverty is to help people help themselves, and those who receive earn what they are given, then there is a chance to reduce poverty.

    No one has a right to the labors of another. Willing sacrifice by those who have, and willingness to work by those who have not can lead to a society of equals.

    Humility, understanding and compassion, with a clear sense of the objectives can make the difference. These are required of both rich and poor.

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 8:57 a.m.

    The wealthy think that anyone who is poor is poor because they are lazy. They can't wrap their minds around the fact that two people can work equally hard their entire lives and one can succeed and the other may not, that's a completely foreign concept to them. Not everyone can be rich.

    Chance, Luck, the particular talents you have been blessed with (A person with a talent for business will be more successful than a person with a talent for the arts), the situation you just happen to be born into, and sure, even divine blessings or intervention can all have an impact on where someone ends up in life. I don't subscribe to the Ayn Rand philosophy that it's all 100% our own work that earns us success in this life. Sure that's a big part of it, but there is much more to it than that. Frankly I am sick of hearing from the far right that anyone who is poor is poor because they are lazy.

  • wwookie Payson, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 8:32 a.m.

    The story is seriously lacking a discussion of cause and effect.
    Could it be that those who naturally have better cognitive ability under stressful situations end up being more wealthy because of this ability?
    I find it more likely that those who have less compassion also end up more wealthy. Given two poor people, one who spends most of their time trying to build relationships for the purpose of financial gain would probably be more wealthy compared to one who spent a large share of their time trying to help others in need, whether it helped or harmed their chances of being wealthy.

    Also need to remember this is a study, and very likely that some of the rich people were more empathetic or suffered worse cognitive performance under stress when compared to the average poor person and vice versa.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 8:25 a.m.

    It is good to have a survey that confirms exactly the teachings of scriptures on this subject.

    When the Nephites first were established in America those who became more wealthy than others believed themselves more righteous, a doctrine roundly condemned by God through their teacher Jacob, when he instructed them in the temple.

    We are taught of the wealthy: Because they are rich they despise the poor. Exactly so.

    King Benjamin well characterized the reaction of the wealthy to the importunities of the poor in that they often say: this man has brought his poverty upon himself therefore I will not help him. Barker 3 perfectly demonstrates this view as do many others on these forums.

    The solution is to create jobs for others, if you have the means, in these awful economic times, providing opportunities for all to become wealthy, opportunities that are NOT always there for the taking. Instead of this many wealthy individuals seem intent on "joining house to house that there is no room", buying up cheap properties to flip them and turn them into far from cheap rentals, creating rental "Pottersvilles" throughout this and other states. Sociopaths? Maybe so.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Dec. 30, 2013 8:12 a.m.

    More welfare, is that what the poor want from the rich? You want more welfare, move to Greece! If you want opportunity to become wealthy by your hard work and being rewarded for your creativity, America is your best. Having said that, the "poor" in America are very rich by most standards of the world! So, if you choose to sit on your backside and whine, America is the best nation on earth in which to be poor!

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 8:11 a.m.

    Amen and Amen.

    BTW --
    The wealthy who came from poverty, maintained sympathy, empathy, compassionate and were more likely to be charitable than those who inherited everything.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Dec. 30, 2013 6:49 a.m.

    I've often wondered if there is a higher incidence of sociopathy among the successful and wealthy. Sociopaths lack empathy. Jonathon Turley wrote about it recently iin an article, "Selfish or Sociopath Does it Make a Difference?" In the article it states:

    "1) Sociopaths are charming. #2) Sociopaths are more spontaneous and intense than other people. #3) Sociopaths are incapable of feeling shame, guilt or remorse. #4) Sociopaths invent outrageous lies about their experiences. #5) Sociopaths seek to dominate others and “win” at all costs. #6) Sociopaths tend to be highly intelligent #7) Sociopaths are incapable of love #8) Sociopaths speak poetically. #9) Sociopaths never apologize. #10) Sociopaths are delusional and literally believe that what they say becomes truth."

    My spouse has worked in the corporate world for many years with many different people. It would be fair to say he has worked for and with people who exhibited some/many of these traits.

    Church can provide opportunites for people living in different circumstances to associate with each other. However, in places like UT where ward boundaries encompass very small areas this may be less common. Society has become more politically and economically segregated as well.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 5:12 a.m.

    I saw a study recently that examined the charitable giving of the wealthy. It found that while the wealthy give a great deal to their alma-maters and to cultural and arts organizations, they actually give very little to institutions like homeless shelters, food banks, etc. When most of us think of charity we're not thinking of Harvard Business School or the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, yet that is where the charity of the rich tends to go.

  • MercyNLovelie USA, CA
    Dec. 30, 2013 2:42 a.m.

    I really enjoyed this article. I expected it to be blatantly in favor of the wealthy (i.e., the wealthy are so misunderstood; they're more than generous, blah, blah, blah...); the kind of excuses I've heard most of my life. I feel more generous after reading this.