Re A challenge To All Extropians

Brian D Williams (
Mon, 18 May 1998 08:11:56 -0700 (PDT)

From: ChuckKuecker <>

>I think that there's a different level of poverty that is growing
>in our society. Spiritual or mental poverty appears to be on the
>rise. The worst cases I have heard of are in the CHA's high rise
>slums in Chicago. These places tend to collect the most
>impoverished people the world has ever seen. They have heat,
>electricity, plumbing, TVs, phones, mail service, public
>education, elevators (when they work), cars, public
>transportation, free medical clinics, and welfare payments.

I have to disagree with this, almost any rural poor area is much
worse off than CHA residents. Besides heat, electricity, plumbing,
color T.V's, phones, mail, public education, elevators (more on
that in a moment) cars, public transportation, free medical
clinics, and welfare payments, these building have a very high per
capita on "luxury" items like VCR's, cell phones, microwave ovens
etc. All of which you won't find among rural poor.

The elevators, the number one reason (two and three as well)
elevators are broke in CHA buildings is because of the RESIDENTS,
the kids get in the shafts and rig them to ride up and down like
amusement park rides, the gangs get in and sabotage them so people
have to take the stairs and are easier to rob.

My former roommate was a CFD paramedic and used to take a bag of
our rock climbing gear with him on every shift, he ended up
rescuing two to three kids a week from these shafts.

Another friend was the elevator repair man for one of these
complexes, he used to take polaroids of the destruction every time
he serviced the elevators, then a second picture of the repaired
mechanism. He said it was not unusual to be fixing the same
elevators every day. The city took my friends company to court a
few years ago trying to charge them with fraud and improper
maintenance. My buddy's thousands of photos and meticulous record
keeping saved the day.

>I don't believe this rise in 'poverty' has anything to do with
>wealth and its' distribution. I think it has everything to do with
>the way our government has handled traditional poverty. The 'war
>on some drugs' is a prime candidate for blame here, as is the
>welfare system.

I partly agree that the welfare system is to blame as are various
Govt programs, even though well intentioned. The real blame goes to
a complete lack of personal responsibility.

Member, Extropy Institute
Current reading: "The Reasonable Woman" by Wendy McElroy