Stijn van der Kasteel (mahnmut) wrote in talk_politics,
Stijn van der Kasteel

The trouble with hobos

Here's a hypothetical situation (taken from the NationStates game, where you're the benevolent - or malevolent - ruler of your own state). I think the options are pretty stratified, and would help us get an idea of some of your social stances.

The Issue

After several complaints of the tripping hazards presented by sleeping bags on the doorsteps of public buildings, the citizens of [Insert Country Name] have brought the problem of homelessness to your attention.

The Debate

   1. "To be honest, I'd just like a place to stay," says a scruffy man called Stinky Auld Ron who's been living under your desk. "Somewhere I don't have some landlord breathing down my neck all the time. If the government could see fit to build some kind of free hostel where people could go if they've fallen on hard times, well, that'd be just great."

   2. "You can't possibly think that's a good permanent solution!" cries Betty Falopian, co-ordinator of the local soup kitchen. "What these people need is help to get their lives back on track. Yes, they have the right to a place to live, but they also need an honest job to pay for it. They need to be encouraged to work to become integrated into society again! Force our major businesses to create some basic jobs for these poor souls, and soon they will become pillars of the community!"

   3. "And who do you suppose pays for all this?" snaps Charlie Longbottom, one of your advisors. "Your loyal taxpayers, that's who! People who actually work for the things they have! And let's face it: these vagrants bring it on themselves - frittering their money away on rubbish and rollicking in unemployment while the rest of the world slaves away to make ends meet. They're worthless scum and they gave up their 'rights' a long time ago. I say we leave them to their misery until they become a nuisance, then have them dealt with like any other criminal."

   4. "As far as I can see, homeless people are already a nuisance," says Melbourne Mistletoe, a proud citizen. "They're mostly thieves and drug addicts, they make the streets a dangerous place for our children, they make honest people feel guilty for turfing them off their doorsteps and, frankly, they smell bad. They're vermin, plain and simple, and as such I suggest they be destroyed before the infestation gets even more out of hand."

Poll #1531574 Trouble with hobos
This poll is closed.

You're the ruler of Insert Country Name. Adopt one of the above positions.

Ron the stinker
Betty the pinko hippie
Charlie the right(eous)
Mel the proud citizen

I know, I know. These are too extreme and non-nuanced. There are all kinds of nuances, right? But let's see which of the four is the closest to your own stance on the issue. Which is why I didn't put a fifth option named "Other" in the poll.
Tags: hypothesis, poll, welfare
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