Re: Sorry if you were offended, here is the point reworded
From: Lyle Scheer (
Date: Mon, 25 Jan 2010 10:29:27 -0800 (PST)
Melanie's message again show's the reverse of the point I've been trying
to make.  It's an unfortunate mis-representation of what I'm attempting
to discuss here.

On 1/23/10 12:41 PM, melanie griffin wrote:
> poor people are also disproportionately represented in the
> prisons, but nobody would say that they are less moral than rich people.

True, but this is again a reversal... one might want to ask the
question, "for what reasons do poor people end up in prison more
often."  Endeavoring to ask those questions might find new methods to
reduce the number of poor people in prison... make things better.

I agree that minimizing this to "poor people are less moral than rich
people," doesn't help anything.

> It's probably more accurate and helpful to name the behaviors that make
> someone unable to function in community, and inaccurate to say that poor
> people have more of those behaviors.

I don't know if I agree with the second half of your sentence.  I think
that question is still open.  The whole statement that lead up to this
thread involved someone's assertion of the opposite based upon
experience.  In the field of science, it is usually observation of
something that raises a question that science tries to quantify and
validate or invalidate.  Once that is done, a theory can be created and
then experimentally validated or invalidated.  This usually leads to new
discoveries and improvements in how we live.

I find it somewhat unfortunate that the whole question appears to raise
up a number of very emotional reactions containing mis-representations
that seem to have served to shut down the conversation completely.  I
think that is a dis-service to the conversation and our overall
understanding of ourselves.

> The original point, that those who are poor do not
> have whatever it takes to survive in community

That was not the point I was trying to make.  I'm sorry you read it that

> Finally, i think the real issue is that people who are
> poor or even middle class can't afford to live in many communities,
> including many cohousing communities, and that's just a fact. It's not
> because they have character flaws or mental or physical disabilities.

You might also say that those who are poor may well be spending more of
their time trying to survive and thus don't have time to create
community.  What can a developing community do about that?

You might also say that those who are poor are less likely to be highly
educated (NO... I am NOT saying that poor people are dumb), and how do
you bring the concept and the message of co-housing differently to a
low-income co-housing group?

I find these questions much more interesting, but if people keep boiling
them down to, "he said poor people are dumb.... what an elitist... I'm
not going to converse with him," you lose the chance to actually start
distinguishing things that might need be done differently to make
low-income co-housing more of a reality.  I'm pretty much done with this
thread, but the previous sentence is a good summary of how I felt about
what I read initially that made me speak up and attempt to clarify and

- Lyle

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