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 How Inequality and mass poverty will always exist.

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PostSubject: How Inequality and mass poverty will always exist.   Sun Dec 28, 2008 1:39 pm

In every generation we are told that poverty in the future someday will become a thing of the past thus the myth of a great future is constructed and perpetuated throughout all the masses where everyone naively accepts such a pronouncement as truth.

What if I told everyone here on this site that poverty will never be destroyed? Why?

It is quite simple. Society only exists on the enslavement and bondage of others since without it society cannot exist.

Let me repeat myself: Society cannot function or exist without human inequality, disparity, and suffering by that of segregation along with classism. ( Class stratification.)

In reality society survives on inequality, disparity, human suffering, and segregation of people through social prejudice.

If we destroy poverty who will then serve those who naively believe that they are entitled and privileged to some higher social purpose over others? Noone would. Therefore it has come to my attention that poverty will never be destroyed.


Thoughts?


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PostSubject: Re: How Inequality and mass poverty will always exist.   Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:47 pm

Well it depends on your definition of poverty. In part you're correct and in part you're incorrect.

Truly, people are not inherently equal. Some people are considerably more talented and intelligent and others, and therefor they will do better than people who are only skilled enough to function in the labour class. The entire sum of human intelligence will not increase so as to make that less true, and we will always need a labour class.

So yes, there will always be economic disparity. However, that has nothing to do with social prejudice or class warfare. It's proportionate returns for level of skill, hard work and luck. The assertion that bondage has anything to do with it is based on nothing. As well the disparity does not necessarily have to cause suffering. Some impoverished people are perfectly happy.

In a sense poverty gets destroyed every few decades or so. The sort of luxuries people in poverty enjoy today are things the impoverished couldn't have dreamed of 30, 50 or 100 years ago. The quality of life considered impoverished in times past no longer exist in this country. So while economic disparity never will and never should disappear because that's the most ethical way for a society to conduct itself, various forms of poverty will disappear.
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PostSubject: Re: How Inequality and mass poverty will always exist.   Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:02 am

Lucretia wrote:
...people are not inherently equal.
People are equal and not equal.

The Fool wrote:
Society cannot function or exist without human inequality, disparity, and suffering by that of segregation.
I'm thinking about non-intervention as a way out of this...

"Non-intervention is the norm in international relations that one state cannot interfere in the internal politics of another state, based upon the principles of state sovereignty and self-determination."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-intervention

This wiki-ism is an obfuscation of the bruthal reality; but it is a lead.

Islam got part of it right, 'submit to none,' but the other half, 'submit none' was not developed there. One tends to go off on one line or another; but they have to go together. ...
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PostSubject: Re: How Inequality and mass poverty will always exist.   Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:41 pm

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Lucretia Says: Well it depends on your definition of poverty. In part you're correct and in part you're incorrect.

I believe poverty doesn't just manifest itself materially but also manifests itself socially.

Ever heard of the term social poverty?

Social poverty revolves around social alienation, isolation, and disenfranchisement of an individual.

You like a great deal of economists assume that inequality can be destroyed materially but ignore the social implications of it completely since human beings exist not just materially but socially as well.

You could give a person all materialistc resources to their disposal but if their class or existential chain of existence socially is considered low and abominable they will still have the social inequality of alienation, isolation, and disenfranchisment hanging over their heads even amongst material abundance.

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Truly, people are not inherently equal.

Yes.


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Some people are considerably more talented and intelligent and others, and therefor they will do better than people who are only skilled enough to function in the labour class. The entire sum of human intelligence will not increase so as to make that less true, and we will always need a labour class.

A servant class born to scorn, ridicule, and labor wage enslavement followed with a very low income that ties them down amongst the high expenses of current standards of living.

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So yes, there will always be economic disparity. However, that has nothing to do with social prejudice or class warfare.

It has everything to do with it.

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It's proportionate returns for level of skill, hard work and luck. The assertion that bondage has anything to do with it is based on nothing.

Actually I'm basing it on human psychology where social transactions revolve around a sort of master slave relationship.


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As well the disparity does not necessarily have to cause suffering.

Explain that because usually when I observe such things that is all I can see.

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Some impoverished people are perfectly happy.

Really?

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In a sense poverty gets destroyed every few decades or so.

Not really. It just evolves into different types as a society evolves.

When standards of living evolve so does the labor class and poverty evolve with it.


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The sort of luxuries people in poverty enjoy today are things the impoverished couldn't have dreamed of 30, 50 or 100 years ago.

Perhaps but that still doesn't change it's definition. You are merely talking about materialistc disparities but you forget that poverty has a social manifestation too.


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PostSubject: Re: How Inequality and mass poverty will always exist.   Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:57 pm

Social poverty explained:


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In this paper I try to sketch an account of social poverty as a shared normative (or soft)constraint on human action, and to explain some of the mechanisms and concrete effectsof this kind of constraint in specific empirical contexts. The argument is developed asfollows. I begin by summarizing and then using social capital theory to characterize myaccount of social poverty more fully. Here I distinguish between what I call horizontalsocial capital (networks of social trust and connections that are accessible and appropriable within a specific socio-economic or cultural stratum) and vertical socialcapital (networks of social trust and connections that are accessible and appropriablebetween and among socio-economic and cultural strata). Put simply, I maintain thatsocial poverty is an absence or scarcity of vertical social capital. I then go on to describea few of the many sites of social poverty in the contemporary world. Here I focus on the middle and upper class fortified enclaves of Sao Paulo, Brazil, the African-Americancommunity of urban Baltimore, Maryland (US), and the Roma groups of Central Europe.In closing I reflect briefly on how the problem of social poverty has been addressed in the US context, and suggest that combating social poverty requires both a human development or —capabilities“ approach towards individuals and a redistribution approachtowards social capital.
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3IntroductionWith the exception of the desperate situation in Sub-Saharan Africa, the contemporary world is, or so it would appear, dramatically less economicallyimpoverished than it was fifty years ago. Of course the rich have gotten richer muchfaster than the poor have become less poor. But extreme economic poverty seems to be inglobal decline. Indeed, some recent estimates suggest that the number of people living inabject poverty has been almost halved in the last fifty years (Bhalla 2002). Analyzed bygeographic region, the past five decades have seen the number of people living ineconomic poverty in South Asia reduced from 208 million to 105 million. In East Asiathe numbers are even more striking, as the 830 million people who lived in economicpoverty in 1950 had been reduced to approximately 114 million by the year 2000.1And in the —New Europe“ of Hungary, Slovenia, and the Slovak and Czech Republics, the Millennium Development Goal of eliminating extreme poverty and hunger by halving,between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than one dollar a day has already been realized.2Yet to be sure, such numbers can and often do deceive. Establishing objective criteria for and measuring economic poverty–and wealth, for that matter–are at bestimprecise undertakings. As is widely known, absolute poverty criteria, such as the World Bank‘s indicators of 1 or 2 USD per day, are often far too general to tell the complexstories of relative poverty in countries with fairly high or extremely low living standards.To glimpse this problem we need here only to recall the joke about the statistician who 1These data also excerpted from Bhalla (2002), and are used here provocatively as a way to motivate thediscussion of social poverty that is to follow.2According to the Millennium Development Goals Report, the number of people presently living on 1 USDper day in these four countries is below one percent of the total population (Blaho et. al 2004: 10).
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4drowned in the river that averaged a depth of 6 inches (about 15 centimeters). Askinghow poor a person is is not unlike asking how old a person is. Disembedded from theirsociohistorical and cultural contexts, concepts such as —poor“ or —old“ are little more thanempty abstractions.That is emphatically not to say, however, that poverty does not exist, or that it ismerely a —subjective“ phenomenon. Rather, it is to claim that poverty is also a distinctlysocial fact. With the phrase —social fact“ I mean a shared normative or soft constraint onhuman capacities for action.3Most generally, what I want to do in this paper is draw onrecent work in social theory to show how a certain type of poverty–what I want to callsocial poverty–is best explained in terms of such a normative constraint or set ofconstraints. Specifically, I shall begin by summarizing and then using social capitaltheory to characterize my conception of social poverty more fully (section I). I will thengo on to describe a few of the many locations of social poverty in the contemporaryworld (section II). In closing I shall reflect briefly on how the problem of social povertyhas been addressed in the US context, and suggest that combating social poverty requiresboth a human development or —capabilities“ approach towards individuals and a redistribution approach to societal stores of social capital (section III). The overarchingargument of this paper is thus that, along with individual capabilities, the distribution ofsocial capital in a given society is crucial not only to what human beings can do(—freedom“) and but also to the fairness of the world in which they live (—justice“).3For an extended discussion of what makes a fact social, see Lewandowski (2002).
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5I. Social Capital and Social Poverty Social scientists typically use the notion of —social capital“ to conceptualize and measure the economic potential of market-based societies and the normative health ofdemocracies. Generally speaking, the concept of social capital refers to the networks ofsocial trust and social connections that serve to enable individual and collective actions ina given social structure or society. Unlike economic capital, which is value stored inphysical objects, or human capital, which is value stored in individual human subjects,social capital is value accumulated or stored in the relations between and among human beings.4Despite their diverse theoretical origins and empirical applications, it is possibleto identify three prevalent strains in contemporary work in social capital theory.5First,there is an economic or rational strain of social capital, found most notably in the rationalchoice theory of Gary Becker and James Coleman, and central to policy-oriented theoriesof growth and economic development such as those pursued at the World Bank.6Second,there is a critical or Marxist strain of social capital theory, exemplified by the work ofPierre Bourdieu, in which theories of social groups, power, and class conflict are applied in the empirical study of cultural practices.7Third, there is a political or democratic strainof social capital, developed most prominently by Robert Putnam, which is one of the 4These distinctions are admittedly crude, but more or less standard in the literature on social capital theory. 5For a fine-grained conceptual history of the origins of social capital theory, see Farr (2004). And for amore explicitly sociological account of social capital, see Portes (1998) and, especially, Lin (2001).Elsewhere I have sought to analyze in greater detail the core features and action-theoretical presuppositionsof each of these strains (Lewandowski, 2007).6Perhaps the best single volume collection devoted to elaborating the rational strain in contemporary socialcapital theory is edited by Dasgupta and Serageldin (2000).7The defining texts in the Marxist strain of social capital theory remain Bourdieu‘s own studies of taste (1984) and higher education in France (1988).
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PostSubject: Re: How Inequality and mass poverty will always exist.   Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:00 pm

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hallmarks of contemporary neo-Tocquevillean political science and democratic theoriesof associations.8The rational strain in contemporary social capital theory is predicated upon whatGary Becker calls —the rationality assumption“(1990: 41) of methodologicalindividualism. This assumption takes for granted that human beings‘ actions are governed by a —utility function“ (Becker 1978) that serves to minimize transaction costs and maximize the outcomes of their future-oriented behaviors as they pursue the realizationof their self-interests.9Using this economic approach to human behavior, social capital isunderstood as the strategic connections between and among individuals that have functional utility. Here social capital is merely one of many resources, including physicaland human capital, needed to make possible the efficient realization of individual and mutually coordinated ends that make market-based economies work.The Marxist strain in social capital theory is exemplified in the empirical culturalsociology of Pierre Bourdieu. In his extensive studies of education and consumption inFrance, Bourdieu conceives of social capital as a socioculturally shared marker or—credit“ of group identification and difference.10Such a credit, according to Bourdieu, isdetermined by pre-reflective, stratifying networks and norms of consumption that, forexample, predispose some actors to —choose“ to drink beer instead of wine, or to —join“8The democratic strain in social capital theory, which has its origins in Alexis de Tocqueville, is examinedin a comparative perspective in Edwards, Foley, and Diani (2001), and developed most fully by Putnam(1993; 1995; 2000).9Similarly, James Coleman‘s influential rational choice sociology of action begins with universal assumptions about human beings as radically individualistic utility-maximizing reasoners. In hisFoundations of Social Theory, Coleman subsumes all human action under —a single purpose–to increasethe actor‘s realization of interests“ (1990: 32). 10Bourdieu‘s attempt to define his use of the term social capital appears throughout his work, but is mostconcisely formulated in his essay on the forms of capital, where he says that —social capital is the aggregate of the actual or potential resources which are linked to possession of a durable network of more or lessinstitutionalized relationships of mutual acquaintance and recognition–or in other words, to membershipin a group–which provides each of its members with the backing of the collectivity-owned capital, a—credential“ which entitles them to credit, in the various senses of the word“ (Bourdieu 1986: 248-249).
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7rugby clubs rather than bird-watching societies.11For Bourdieu, social capital facilitatesintra-group identification, trust and normativity–that is, mutual recognition, solidarity,and obligations among individual group members. Yet it equally promotes inter-groupdistrust and struggles–that is, antagonisms and conflicts between and among groupswhose networks of trust and social norms are characteristically dependent upon the suspicion, mis-recognition or exclusion of others‘ networks and norms.The democratic strain in social capital theory runs largely counter to the rationaland Marxist strains. Where the rational strain focuses exclusively on the utility-maximizing potential of social capital, and where the Marxist strain sees social capital asa predispositional marker of class identification and conflict, the democratic strain incontemporary social capital argues for a causal link between civil associations and thepractical realization of the political ideals of democracy. Indeed, the democratic strain incurrent social capital theory typically conceives of social capital as the communalinventory of generalized trust and social connections which facilitate the kinds of actionand ways of life that, to borrow Robert Putnam‘s phrase, —make democracy work.“ ForPutnam, social capital, despite its potential —dark side“ in the form of closed networksand clientism, is on balance a productive resource that enables the democratic resolutionof collective action problems, —greases the wheels that allow communities to advance smoothly,“ and develops and maintains —character traits that are good for the rest ofsociety“ (2000: 288).While each of these strains has its relative explanatory strengths, here I want toemphasize one of their shared weaknesses–a weakness that also makes explicit the usefulness of social capital theorizing for my account of social poverty. Specifically, all11In this context, see again Bourdieu (1984).
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8three strains in social capital theory fail to distinguish adequately between what I argueare in fact empirically different types of social capital. I want to call these —horizontalsocial capital“ and —vertical social capital.“• Horizontal social capital is resources (networks of social trust and socialconnections) that are accessible and appropriable within a specific socio-economicor cultural stratum.• By contrast, vertical social capital is resources (networks of social trust and socialconnections) that are accessible and appropriable between and among socio-economic and cultural strata.Put simply, social poverty is on my account an absence or dearth of vertical capital. It isa lack or scarcity of the kinds of social trust and connections that link individuals and enable freedom of movement up and down the socioeconomic and cultural ladder.To be sure, with his metaphors of —bridging (or inclusive)“ and —bonding (orexclusive)“ social capital, Putnam (2000:22-24) approximates, in some respects, the empirical distinction I want to identify here. But Putnam‘s heavy reliance on such vaguemetaphors and their putative macro-level democratic functions is sociologically naïve.Here we must take seriously Bourdieu‘s emphasis on the cultural and socio-economicspecificity of social capital. What Putnam underestimates in his analysis is precisely the Bourdieuean insight that most —bridging“ and —bonding“ forms of social capital establishrelations to —others“ and associations within the same horizon or socio-economic orcultural stratum. The —bridging“ functions of social capital characteristically lead individuals to —bond“ with and —trust“ others more or less like themselves. Likewise, the
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9—bonding“ functions of social capital create internal —bridges“ within socio-economic andcultural strata. Conceptualizing social poverty within a framework that more clearlydistinguishes between horizontal and vertical social capital allows us, as we shall seebelow, to explain some of the many complexities of the social fact of poverty in a novelway. It sheds light on how and why, for example, individuals (and social groups) can be —rich“ in horizontal social capital–living, for instance, in close-knit or ethnicallyhomogenous communities–and yet quite —poor“ in vertical social capital. It also allowsus to begin to see that while social poverty–a scarcity of vertical social capital–is oftenhighly correlated with relative economic poverty, it need not be. There is no necessaryconnection between these two poverty types. Indeed, what is most striking about socialpoverty is that, unlike social exclusion, it exists in a wide variety of socio-economic,cultural, and geographic locations.II. Places of Social Poverty Sao Paulo, Brazil, is one of the most economically polarized cities in the world. Itis also a city of walls, both physical and sociological. As the physical proximity betweenrich and poor has shrunk in urban Sao Paulo, upper and middle class —fortified enclaves“ have begun to grow rapidly.12In Sao Paulo, —apartment buildings and houses which used to be connected to the street by gardens are now everywhere separated by high fences and walls, and guarded by electronic devices and armed security men“ (Caldeira 1996: 308).12I borrow the phrases —city of walls“ and —fortified enclaves“ from Teresa Caldeira, who has documentedthe production of fortified enclaves as a new alternative for the urban life of the middle and upper classes ofSao Paulo (Caldeira 1996; 2001). A similar phenomenon can be seen in the emergence of —gatedcommunities“ among the middle and upper classes in the US.
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10Such enclaves are designed not only to consolidate services and provide security forresidents who live in an exaggerated fear of crime. They also explicitly aim to preservesocial homogeneity and restricted economies of horizontal social capital by enablingcertain residents of Sao Paulo to cultivate social connections and trust networksexclusively within their own narrow socio-economic and cultural stratum.But in physically and symbolically insulating the upper and middle classes of SaoPaulo, these exclusive enclaves make impossible the production and circulation ofvertical social capital. As a result, the walled city of Sao Paulo is the rather unexpected site of social poverty among the economically privileged. For those who choose to live infortified enclaves have not successfully insured themselves against social poverty. On thecontrary, in using their economic resources to steel themselves against socialheterogeneity and the experience of everyday cultural pluralism and social difference, theinhabitants of fortified enclaves have effectively impoverished themselves–and thosewho —serve“ them–of vertical social capital. Indeed, Teresa Caldeira (1996; 2001) showsin her work how even within these fortified enclaves, the possibility of producing verticalsocial capital is undermined by the design and use of the buildings themselves, whichhave separate elevators and entrances labeled —social“ (for residents) and —service“ (forcleaning, delivery, courier and other domestic personnel).Baltimore, Maryland, like many US cities, is home to a large African-American population. Indeed, according to the US Census Bureau, over 64% of Baltimore‘s600,000 plus inhabitants identify themselves as black or African-American. While the city‘s income poverty rate is almost three times higher than the Maryland state average,Baltimore is also home to a relatively large black middle-class. In fact, roughly 30% of
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PostSubject: Re: How Inequality and mass poverty will always exist.   Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:01 pm

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11all firms in Baltimore are minority owned, nearly 70% of the city‘s residents havecompleted their high school education, and the city‘s unemployment rate for 2005 hovered around 7%.13Of course such numbers do not provide a complete picture of the street-level situation in Baltimore. But they do suggest that, popular ethnoracialstereotypes aside, urban Baltimore is not simply a jobless or socially disorganized ghetto.14In fact, the city is the site of an observable supply of social capital.15Yet socialcapital in urban Baltimore is horizontal–it is —black social capital.“ For in ethnoraciallydivided cities such as one finds in the US, trust networks and social connections are profoundly colored and determined by ethnoracial identity. In this way urban socialcapital in the US typically links people horizontally to those more or less like themselves,but not vertically to those ethnoracial others who occupy different socioeconomic and cultural spaces. What this means, for example, in the case of African-American attemptsto reform Baltimore‘s public schools, is that while black social capital fosters collective action against white oppression, such capital is vertically impoverished. Indeed, the horizontal character of black social capital in urban Baltimore has severely weakened the ability of African-American leaders to connect effectively and form coalitions with theirLatino neighbors, suburban counterparts, and white corporate elites in the ways needed toreform that city‘s schools.1613US Census Bureau (2006).14For a relevant discussion of institutional and jobless ghettos in the US, see William Julius Wilson (1996). 15As Marion Orr (1999) has documented in his study of education reform in Baltimore.16Again, see Orr (1999).
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12Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans are home to nearly 70% of Europe‘s8 million or so Roma.17Unlike those who live in the fortified enclaves of Sao Paulo orinner-city Baltimore, almost all of the Roma living in these countries dwell in abjecteconomic poverty and persistent social exclusion. It would not be much of anexaggeration to say that the Roma are the wretched of the —New Europe.“ In fact,according to the Millennium Development Goals Report: Survey evidence for Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic confirms that povertyrates for Roma far exceed those of the overall population. In Hungary, the Roma are approximately eight times more likely to suffer long-term unemployment than the generalpopulation. Unemployment among the Roma substantially exceeds average non-Romaunemployment rates. In Slovakia, while Roma comprise 5% of those unemployed for upto six months, they represent as much as 52% of those unemployed for more than fouryears“ (Blaho et. al 2004: 17).The report goes on to argue that —Roma ethnicity in these countries brings the risk ofpermanent labor market exclusion“ and that Roma are consequently —among the poorestof the poor in Central and Eastern Europe“(Blaho et. al 2004: 17).Recent policy-level discussions of the plight of the Roma have increasinglysuggested economic solutions to the problem of social exclusion. In fact, in the face ofthe repeated failure of legal guarantees of minority rights to achieve Roma socialinclusion in the —New Europe,“ the Millennium Development Goals Report claims thatinsofar as the roots of Roma exclusion are —socio-economic and poverty-related…thesocial inclusion of the Roma can only be achieved through the creation of development17Regional data taken from the United Nations Development Report, Roma: Human DevelopmentChallenges and Opportunities (2002). This report further breaks down Roma population estimates bycountry within Central and Eastern Europe. Romania is home to the largest Roma population, estimated at1,800,000-2,800,000 people, followed by Bulgaria (700,000-800,000), Hungary (550,000-600,000),Slovakia (480,000-520,000), the Czech Republic (250,000-300,000), and Poland (50,000-60,000). Theexact size of the Roma population in Europe is of course unknown.
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13opportunities“ (Blaho et. al 2004: 20). The argument, at least from the perspective ofeconomic development theory, is that market inclusion will foster social inclusion.From the perspective of social capital theory I have been developing here,however, the problems of the Roma appear in a related but more nuanced light. To besure, the Roma are persistent victims of institutional and everyday ethnoracial prejudicesthroughout Central and Eastern Europe; they suffer tremendously from extreme economicpoverty and intergenerational social exclusion; and they constitute a profoundly de-skilled workforce in a European labor market that demands semi- and highly skilled workers.Yet their problems are also subtler, and cannot be resolved simply throughdevelopment opportunities designed to increase skills, education levels, and training among them. For it is not merely the case that Roma lack human capital. They also sufferfrom a shortage of both vertical and horizontal social capital.To see the paucity of both kinds of social capital among the Roma one needs lookno farther than the recent Avoiding the Dependency Trap (2002), a summary of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and International Labour Organization(ILO) survey of Roma in Central and Eastern Europe.18When asked, —On whom canRoma in your country rely for support?“, only a regional average of 31% of the Romarespondents in the UNDP/ILO regional survey said that —neighbors and friends from the majority“ could be trusted. The regional average for trust in —the government itself“ waseven lower (at 24%), while trust in —foreign donors/institutions“ and —non-Roma ”humanrights‘ NGOs“ was lower still (both at 16%). These responses confirm the scarcity of18This regional human development summary surveys, among other things, trust in support networks and institutions among Roma in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia.
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14vertical social capital one would expect among socially excluded groups such as theRoma.Rather more surprising, however, is the low level of horizontal social capitalapparent among the Roma surveyed. When asked about whom within their communityRoma could rely on for support, the regional averages were also low. In fact, only 45%said that —Roma friends and neighbors“ could be trusted, 21% said that —Roma parties“could be trusted, 17% said that —Roma NGOs“ could be trusted, and a mere 13% of those questioned thought that —well-off or rich Roma individuals“ could be relied upon forsupport.What these responses suggest is that while the Roma live in social poverty, theyalso suffer from debilitating intra-group stratification and distrust.19Put simply, the Romahave an acute collective action problem even within their own communities. In this regardthe problem of social solidarity and acting collectively in Roma communities isqualitatively unlike what one sees in other social poverty locations such as Sao Paulo orBaltimore. Indeed, whereas in those places the presence of horizontal social capitalfacilitates–for better and worse–a measure of intra-group collective action and cohesion, the Roma of Central and Eastern Europe are paralyzed by a two-fold scarcity ofvertical and horizontal social capital.III. Eradicating Social Poverty?Whether it appears in Sao Paulo, Baltimore, or the —New Europe,“ social povertyhas obvious deleterious effects on the social, economic, and democratic potential of19Or what in Avoiding the Dependency Trap is described as —internal cleavages within Roma communities“(2002: 6).
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PostSubject: Re: How Inequality and mass poverty will always exist.   Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:02 pm

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15human existence. In uncoupling certain segments of society from the larger collective,social poverty transforms specific socio-economic and cultural groups into isolated socialminorities. In disabling linkages and movement up and down the socio-economic ladderit promotes–or exacerbates–unsustainable development polarization and antagonisticclass divisions. And in undermining the experience of cultural pluralism and socialdifference, it threatens to deprive democratic societies of precisely the kinds of day-to-day interactions and forms of reflexive social cooperation upon which they depend. Sucheffects have, needless to say, devastating consequences for societies in which human freedom and social justice must be normatively anchored in mutual recognition and collective self-determination.How best, then, to eradicate social poverty? The question does not admit of anyeasy answers. And as the discussion of social poverty sites in the previous sectionillustrates, the mechanisms that produce social poverty are multi-faceted. But given the debilitating consequences of social poverty for human freedom and social justice, somespeculation on possible remedies is not unwarranted. Employment and development are some of the most effective ways to eliminate economic poverty; perhaps these marketremedies will also provide some relief to those who live in social poverty. Though there is certainly no guarantee that the invisible hand of market economies will promote the long-term growth of vertical social capital. In a related way, pursuing a —capabilities“ approach to the problem of social poverty–an approach in which the state helps toensure not the well-being of individuals but the capabilities individuals need to securetheir own welfare and realize their own goals and lifestyles–will almost certainlyincrease levels of social inclusion, decrease economic disparities, and foster the
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16expansion of individual freedoms. For human capability is indeed, as Sen rightlyobserves, —a kind of freedom: [it is] the substantive freedom to achieve alternative functioning combinations (or, less formally put, the freedom to achieve variouslifestyles)“ (Sen 1999: 75).But as the cases of the fortified enclaves of Sao Paulo and black social capital inBaltimore demonstrate, social poverty is not reducible to or even necessarily caused byeconomic poverty or the simple deprivation of human capabilities needed —to achievevarious lifestyles.“ On the contrary, sometimes the exercising of certain capabilitiesactually undercuts the cultivation of vertical social capital. Consequently, what must beemphasized here is that, along with an increase in individual capabilities, the diversification and distribution of vertical social capital is instrumental to eliminatingsocial poverty. Thus solutions that integrate a capabilities approach towards individualswith what one might call a —distribution approach“ toward vertical social capital holdmore promise.What might a distribution approach towards societal stores of vertical socialcapital look like? The answer is ultimately an empirical one. Most generally, however,such an approach has two core elements that must work together, in a pincer-like fashion.First, from the ground up, as it were, certain associational forms must be self-consciouslycreated to conjoin individuals and groups from different socio-economic and culturalstrata. Such —mediating groups“–which include, for example, cross-cultural coalitionsand interfaith alliances–can be an effective way for civil society to generate stores ofvertical social capital.20Moreover, these types of groups–groups Nancy Fraser hasusefully characterized in Habermasian terms as —weak publics“ (1997)–are also often in20For a consideration of the special characteristics of such groups, see Streich (2002).
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17a unique position to deploy their vertical social capital to raise public awareness and toinfluence law-making bodies and governing institutions.But even such groups, which, it must be noted, are historically and sociologicallyquite exceptional, require the top-down, institutional power of the democratic state to bepolitically effective. This top-down institutional force is thus the second central feature toa social capital distribution approach to eradicating social poverty. To see the importance of this kind of top-down pressure we need only to reflect briefly on the US Civil RightsMovement–a movement that at first glance appears to be a paradigmatic example of the bottom-up power of mediating groups to contribute to social transformation. Admittedly,and in stark contrast to black (horizontal) social capital in urban Baltimore, here it wasindisputably the work of mediating groups that made the social poverty enforced by the —separate but equal“ legalized apartheid in America a matter of public dialog and debate.Yet it is important not to reify or overdraw the grass roots power of weak publicsto combat social poverty on their own; their critical force is a necessary but neversufficient condition for alleviating social poverty. It was, after all, the institutionalmechanisms of the state (legislative, judicial, and ultimately, executive military force)that were also needed to foster the societal development of vertical social capital inAmerica‘s ethnoracially stratified schools, neighborhoods, and places of work.2121The historical facts of desegration in the US are well-known, but a central event in that process bearsrepeating here. In 1957, Little Rock Central High School (Arkansas) was to begin the school yeardesegregated. On the eve of the first day of classes, Arkansas Governor Faubus ordered the state NationalGuard to patrol the school the next day. This state militia obstructed nine black students from entering theschool. Two weeks later, a federal injunction against Governor Faubus was granted, and the group of ninestudents returned to Central High School. Yet this time a mob of 1,000 white townspeople prevented themfrom remaining at school. In the weeks that followed, President Eisenhower ordered 1,000 heavily armed paratroopers and 10,000 National Guardsmen to Little Rock, thereby using federal force to enableAfrican-American students to enter the school unmolested.
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18Conclusion In this paper I have sought to use contemporary social capital theory to sketch a provisional conception of social poverty. Specifically, I distinguished between two typesof social capital–horizontal social capital and vertical social capital–and then went onto argue that social poverty is best understood as an absence or shortage of the latterrather than mere social exclusion. Focusing on Sao Paulo, Brazil, Baltimore, Maryland, and Central and Eastern Europe, I next sought to illustrate the variety of locations andexplain some of the complex forms in which social poverty can appear at all levels of the economic ladder. In closing I turned, albeit briefly, to the US Civil Rights Movement tohighlight how the problem of social poverty has been addressed in America. Here Isuggested that one lesson to be learned from the US Civil Rights Movement is that a pincer-like approach to alleviating the problem of social poverty is crucial: both the bottom-up power of mediating groups and the institutional power of the democratic state are needed. On the one hand, it is the task of mediating groups or weak publics to self-consciously create vertical social capital where it does not exist, and to use this resource to influence legislation and policy when appropriate. On the other hand, democraticinstitutions must consistently exercise the political will needed to ensure that stocks ofsocial capital are vertically accessible between and among various strata of society. Ofcourse this is no recipe for the total eradication of social poverty. But it nonethelessmight suggest some historical precedents for a general strategy to combat emerging socialpoverty in a persistently stratified world.
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19References2002: Avoiding the Dependency Trap. United Nations Development Programme.http://roma.undp.sk/DOWNLOADS/Summary%20publication.pdf. Becker, G. (1978). The Economic Approach to Human Behavior. Chicago: University ofChicago Press.___. (1990). Interview with Richard Swedberg in Economics and Sociology: Redefining Their Boundaries: Conversations with Economists and Sociologists. Princeton: PrincetonUniversity Press.Bhalla, Surjit. (2002). Imagine There‘s No Country: Poverty, Inequality and Growth in the Era of Globalization. Institute for International Economics.Blaho, A., Slay, B., Smirl, L., Milcher, S., Ivanov, A., & Hanspach, D. (2004).Millennium Development Goals: Reducing Poverty and Social Exclusion. United NationsDevelopment Programme.Bourdieu, P. (1984). Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste, Trans.Richard Nice. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.___. (1986). The Forms of Capital in Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education. New York: Greenwood Press.___. (1988). Homo Academicus, Trans. Peter Collier. Stanford: Stanford UniversityPress.Caldeira, T. (1996). —Fortified Enclaves: The New Urban Segregation,“ Public Culture 8: 303-328.___. (2001). City of Walls: Crime, Segregation, and Citizenship in Sao Paulo. Berkeley:University of California Press.Coleman, J. (1990). Foundations of Social Theory. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard UniversityPress.Dasgupta, P. & Serageldin, I. (eds) (2000). Social Capital: A Multifaceted Perspective, Washington, DC: The World Bank.Edwards, B., Foley, M., & Diani, M. (eds) (2001). Beyond Tocqueville: Civil Society and the Social Capital Debate in Comparative Perspective. London: University Press of New England.Farr, J. (2004). —Social Capital: A Conceptual History,“ Political Theory, 32 (1): 6-33.Fraser, N. (1997). —Rethinking the Public Sphere: A Contribution to the Critique ofActually Existing Democracy,“ in Justice Interruptus: Critical Reflections on the—Postsocialist“ Condition, New York: Routledge.Lewandowski, J. (2002). —What Makes a Fact Social? On the Embeddedness of SocialAction,“ Existentia: An International Journal of Philosophy 12 (3-4): 281-293.___. (2007). —Capitalizing Sociability: Rethinking the Theory of Social Capital“ inAssessing Social Capital: Concepts, Policy and Practice, R. Edwards, J. Franklin, J.Holland, Eds. Cambridge Scholars Press.Lin, Nan. (2001). Social Capital: A Theory of Social Structure and Action. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Orr, M. (1999). Black Social Capital: The Politics of School Reform in Baltimore, 1986-1998. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas.Portes, A. (1998). —Social Capital: Its Origins and Applications in Modern Sociology,“Annual Review of Sociology 24: 1-24.
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20Putnam, R. (1993). —The Prosperous Community: Social Capital and Public Life,“ TheAmerican Prospect 13: 35-41.___. (1995). —Bowling Alone: America‘s Declining Social Capital,“ Journal ofDemocracy 6: 65-78.___. (2000). Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon and Schuster.2002: Roma: Human Development Challenges and Opportunities. United NationsDevelopment Report. http://roma.undp.sk/. Sen, A. (1999). Development as Freedom. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Streich, G. (2002). ‚Constructing Multiracial Democracy: To Deliberate or Not to Deliberate?,“ Constellations 9: 127-153.2006: US Census Bureau. http://www.census.gov/Wilson, W.J. (1996). When Work Disappears. New York: Knopf.
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PostSubject: Re: How Inequality and mass poverty will always exist.   Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:43 pm

The materialistic difference is the only significant aspect of it. If you can enjoy a tolerable enough quality of life in any social class then you don't have a problem.
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PostSubject: Re: How Inequality and mass poverty will always exist.   Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:31 am

The Fool, I'm gonna read Explaining Social Poverty this evening, just a moment...
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PostSubject: Re: How Inequality and mass poverty will always exist.   Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:26 am

Lucretia wrote:
The materialistic difference is the only significant aspect of it. If you can enjoy a tolerable enough quality of life in any social class then you don't have a problem.

There are two different aspects of inequality. There is material or economic inequality and then there is social inequality.

If you only look at the materialistic aspect of inequality only you still would have social inequality.

( Economists have this silly notion of economical equilibrium where total equality sets in by material resources alone ignoring the social aspects of inequality.)

The whole ideal of ridding inequality through materialistic means alone is flawed. Even if everybody had an equal access to materialistic resources you would still have social inequality by means of class and rank stratification.

Inequality isn't purely material as it is also social.

And what exactly is a tolerable quality of life anyways? How can you generalize somthing like that?

Either way now that I think of it so long as social inequality exists economical or material inequality will exist along with it so your arguement is flawed anyways.


Last edited by The Fool on Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:35 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: How Inequality and mass poverty will always exist.   Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:30 am

More on social inequality:


Quote :
Social inequality is different from economic inequality but the two inequalities are linked. Economic inequality refers to disparities in the distribution of economic assets and income. While economic inequality is caused by the unequal distribution of wealth, social inequality exists because the lack of wealth in certain areas prohibits these people from obtaining the same housing, health care, etc. as the wealthy in societies where access to these social goods depends on wealth. “The degree of inequality in a given reward or asset depends, of course, on its dispersion or concentration across the individuals in the population” [4].


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_inequality


Although social inequality is linked to economical inequality social inequality can be purely cultural beyond materialism.
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PostSubject: Re: How Inequality and mass poverty will always exist.   Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:02 am

"Such enclaves are designed not only to consolidate services and provide security for residents who live in an exaggerated fear of crime...."
p.10




I don't think it is "exaggerated." The rich would not be safe without their compounds; not with so many 'uneducated' people still at large.

"To be sure, the Roma are persistent victims of institutional and everyday ethnoracial prejudices throughout Central and Eastern Europe...."
p.13




The biggest problem the Gypsies have is they are brown (social: vertical). Since Gypsies like to eat too they need to thieve from whoever they can (social: horizontal). Being brown they have not assimilated into Europe, hence they don't want to spend all day in offices and factories (economic); which seems to me to be their virtue.

"...from the ground up, as it were, certain associational forms must be self-consciously created to conjoin individuals and groups from different socio-economic and cultural strata."
p.16

"But even such groups, which, it must be noted, are historically and sociologicallyquite exceptional..."
p.17

"[From the top down] President Eisenhower ordered 1,000 heavily armed paratroopers and 10,000 National Guardsmen to Little Rock, thereby using federal force to enable African-American students to enter the school unmolested."
note 21




In plain terms, "cross-cultural coalitions and interfaith alliances" are "weak." (p.17) Violence is the only solution. That's what this article is saying, isn't it? Segregation seems to be dismissed without reason.
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PostSubject: Re: How Inequality and mass poverty will always exist.   Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:25 am

Quote :
In plain terms, "cross-cultural coalitions and interfaith alliances" are "weak." (p.17) Violence is the only solution. That's what this article is saying, isn't it? Segregation seems to be dismissed without reason.

What do you mean?
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PostSubject: Re: How Inequality and mass poverty will always exist.   Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:02 am

The Fool wrote:
What do you mean?
The article seems to imply that grass-roots movements are useless.
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PostSubject: Re: How Inequality and mass poverty will always exist.   Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:08 am

Ivan wrote:
The Fool wrote:
What do you mean?
The article seems to imply that grass-roots movements are useless.

For the most part.
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PostSubject: Re: How Inequality and mass poverty will always exist.   Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:07 am

Segregation would resolve the problems of vertical social inequality I'd think. If the under-class can just forget about the over-lords and do things their own way. This is easier said than done, Waco and many others being examples, but it might be a clue.
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PostSubject: Re: How Inequality and mass poverty will always exist.   Thu Jan 22, 2009 4:42 pm

The Fool wrote:
In every generation we are told that poverty in the future someday will become a thing of the past thus the myth of a great future is constructed and perpetuated throughout all the masses where everyone naively accepts such a pronouncement as truth.

What if I told everyone here on this site that poverty will never be destroyed? Why?

It is quite simple. Society only exists on the enslavement and bondage of others since without it society cannot exist.

Let me repeat myself: Society cannot function or exist without human inequality, disparity, and suffering by that of segregation along with classism. ( Class stratification.)

In reality society survives on inequality, disparity, human suffering, and segregation of people through social prejudice.

If we destroy poverty who will then serve those who naively believe that they are entitled and privileged to some higher social purpose over others? Noone would. Therefore it has come to my attention that poverty will never be destroyed.


Thoughts?

A discussion that caused quite allot of debate in my international development lectures. I'd like to add a further question. If everyone gave up on the endless slog of destroying poverty, what would happen to society? Would it get worse, stay the same, lead to revolution and in fact get better? I truly don't know, I would be a little reluctant myself to find out in reality but that's me.
What I do know is that though we cannot end poverty for everyone, (relatively speaking) we can improve the way of life for individuals. That is enough for me
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PostSubject: Re: How Inequality and mass poverty will always exist.   Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:29 am

Quote :
A discussion that caused quite allot of debate in my international development lectures.

Usually between naive idealists and realists.

Quote :
If everyone gave up on the endless slog of destroying poverty, what would happen to society?

Everyone already has. Smile What happened to society? Capitalism.

Quote :
Would it get worse, stay the same, lead to revolution and in fact get better?

I'll go with stay the same.

Quote :
I truly don't know, I would be a little reluctant myself to find out in reality but that's me.
What I do know is that though we cannot end poverty for everyone,

Of course it will never end because as long as you have people who believe somehow that they are entitled to more than other persons you will always have inequality and poverty.

Quote :
(relatively speaking) we can improve the way of life for individuals. That is enough for me

How? Material resource initiatives?



As I told another person on this thread inequality is beyond merely being about material resources as it is also a social phenomena.

Material economical equilibrium when it comes to resources simply won't do in ridding the world of inequality. Evil or Very Mad

Anyways this post-modern society is so far from both material and social equality that I win this discussion nonetheless. Twisted Evil Laughing Razz

( In my perspective inequality has always existed and most likely it will exist forever well into the future too.)

( Human beings are so cruel to one another. It is what it is.)
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PostSubject: Re: How Inequality and mass poverty will always exist.   Mon Jan 26, 2009 2:51 pm

The Fool wrote:
Quote :
A discussion that caused quite allot of debate in my international development lectures.

Usually between naive idealists and realists.

Quote :
If everyone gave up on the endless slog of destroying poverty, what would happen to society?

Everyone already has. Smile What happened to society? Capitalism.

Quote :
Would it get worse, stay the same, lead to revolution and in fact get better?

I'll go with stay the same.

Quote :
I truly don't know, I would be a little reluctant myself to find out in reality but that's me.
What I do know is that though we cannot end poverty for everyone,

Of course it will never end because as long as you have people who believe somehow that they are entitled to more than other persons you will always have inequality and poverty.

Quote :
(relatively speaking) we can improve the way of life for individuals. That is enough for me

How? Material resource initiatives?



As I told another person on this thread inequality is beyond merely being about material resources as it is also a social phenomena.

Material economical equilibrium when it comes to resources simply won't do in ridding the world of inequality. Evil or Very Mad

Anyways this post-modern society is so far from both material and social equality that I win this discussion nonetheless. Twisted Evil Laughing Razz

( In my perspective inequality has always existed and most likely it will exist forever well into the future too.)

( Human beings are so cruel to one another. It is what it is.)
You cant win if you don't have an opponent. I have not disputed you that you are right about inequality and mass poverty. I'm just trying place the point of view that doing nothing about it could in fact break the system. Carl Marx said as much, and he seemed to be quite good at predicting in cirtain economic climates. My other point is that the way of life for people can be improved. Not made equal. Using Maslows hierarchy of needs we can see that people do not become happy instantly because they are the most well off. It can in many well documented cases lead to depression and suicide. So you are right in what you say about the impossibility of equality and the downfall of mass poverty but the despair you place with it is incorrect. As is the apparent oppinion that doing something positive will not improve a persons life.

Human beings are cruel? Depends on the human and who they are affecting at the time. You know this, cruelty would not exist if there was not compassion to counterballence it. It would simply be normal, and not debated at all.
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PostSubject: Re: How Inequality and mass poverty will always exist.   Sun Aug 25, 2013 4:14 am

2000 years ago JESUS spoke these words " the poor you have with you always " and 2 milleniums later we still have the poor and poverty and all the so called good intentions of numerous aids groups have not been able to erase poverty and this will continue until the inherited BAD in people and especially those in power is eradicated , until then all the so called good efforts by well minded but ill informed people will come to nothing all that will be acheived is the TEMORARY easement for a few but its only temporary never permament ubtil he returns who has the POWER to make it permament .
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PostSubject: Re: How Inequality and mass poverty will always exist.   Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:05 am




\!!
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PostSubject: Re: How Inequality and mass poverty will always exist.   Sun Sep 22, 2013 3:13 am

imp-pulse wrote:



\!!
.............................................................................There iare millions of people full of WORLY wisdom who think they are wise even among teachers Basketball ..good sunday linde
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PostSubject: Re: How Inequality and mass poverty will always exist.   Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:47 am

\!!



ditto, Brian.
but does it have to be that whirly?

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PostSubject: Re: How Inequality and mass poverty will always exist.   Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:52 pm

well a little bit of lifeoming into the forum all we need now is the doc i think) and the goddess with unbelivable powers ...he he he
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