Low income debate

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Re: Low income tickets and early entrance

Postby Rice » Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:14 pm

BBadger wrote:
graidawg wrote:so lets sum up cost = food/water + getting there and ticket as a minimum or $105 + (unknown) + L.I.T.

many people have posted in other threads as total cost <$1000 so I think an increase of 20% would make a massive difference,


I don't know about "massive." The *average* price of tickets went up by about 20%, which means roughly a $60 increase ($326 -> $380). If $60 is breaking the bank, BM should not be on the radar at all.

My main problem with the LIT program is that BM is inherently a luxury vacation, not something like a required pilgrimage to a holy city, or buying food to live. Luxuries are something that should be personally saved for and earned -- perhaps gifted, but not as funded through essentially a tax. If people want to donate to a LIT program, by all means let them, but using a social program with required contribution for the purpose of providing a vacation to others doesn't fly with me.

Another thing about the LIT program is that I really don't believe it's filling any niche. I've brought this up before: if the price difference between going and not going is the ticket price difference between a regular and LIT, you are living in such a hand-to-mouth state that you shouldn't be going anyway. If your financial situation is such that the program would make a significant difference -- but not a deal-maker -- then you should just save over two years. It's just how it goes. These are fundamentals.

A person certainly should not be allowed to utilize a LIT more than once. That person is effectively stealing tickets from those people who have at least never gone before, even if the financial need requirement is rather dubious. If you want to hop on the ride again, save up for a ticket yourself freeloader.

A retort that nearly always follows is that "I'm a poor <something> and don't have the means to afford a ticket to go to BM. I NEED THE LIT!" No you don't. There is no *need*. Going to BM is a luxury -- by definition something you don't need. If that makes BM sound elitist, then so be it. Not everyone is entitled to be a space tourist either, nor should we be taxed to make that possible.

If Burning Man is that important to you, DO NOT rely on getting a cheap ticket from BMorg do something to earn one


One problem with that is that under the current regime, for good reason, earning a discount on a ticket usually requires time put in before the event, or having put in time multiple over events so that you're determined to not be a flake. It makes sense, because signing on random "volunteers" will attract all kind of people who will just get their discounted ticket and disappear into the city with no recourse against them.

LIT once = sounds valid
Donating to LIT fund = maybe

Demonstrating a sense of responsibility and reliability as a ORG volunteer, before getting staff priced ticket = absolutely
Flaking = Kick in private area and loss of access to ORG volunteer position (yes)
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Re: Low income tickets and early entrance

Postby graidawg » Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:39 pm

i think calling BM a luxury vacation is completely inaccurate. a luxury vacation usually involves limitless showers.

for us foreign travelers its certainly pricey, thats because of the flight cost as i said before i know of at least one person that does it for less than $1000 has all the comforts he wants. lets not make Bm elitist
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Re: Low income tickets and early entrance

Postby VultureChow » Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:54 pm

graidawg wrote:i think calling BM a luxury vacation is completely inaccurate. a luxury vacation usually involves limitless showers.

for us foreign travelers its certainly pricey, thats because of the flight cost as i said before i know of at least one person that does it for less than $1000 has all the comforts he wants. lets not make Bm elitist



I think many here in the US consider any vacation a luxury.

A little aside, I usually spend a few days at a condo in the Caribbean once a year. It's the very definition of a relaxing vacation. Returning from the playa after an epic 36 hour air journey that involved canceled flights, thunderstorms and a hotel voucher for 3 hours of sleep, I went into the office right from the airport. Our receptionist took one look at me and remarked how happy and relaxed I seemed. The dust must have rejuvenatory properties.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby trilobyte » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:04 pm

I don't think that whether or not showers are included is what separates a luxury vacation. It's luxury in the same sense as any other adventure travel would be (going to Antarctica, climbing Everist, that race in Dakkar, etc). The conditions may be extreme, but it's still not for the faint of heart or wallet. Even on the skimpiest budget, Burning Man is a ridiculous and wonderful luxury among people who are really poor.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby VultureChow » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:15 pm

I think vacation philosophy is vastly different in the US vs Europe. Most European countries have a legal minimum of paid vacation days. As such, a much larger percentage of the population actually take vacations. If every full time worker here was given two weeks of paid vacation, a moderate trip would be something normal, not a luxury.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby International Incident » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:15 pm

VultureChow wrote:I think vacation philosophy is vastly different in the US vs Europe. Most European countries have a legal minimum of paid vacation days. As such, a much larger percentage of the population actually take vacations. If every full time worker here was given two weeks of paid vacation, a moderate trip would be something normal, not a luxury.


Actually the rest of the "first" world has pretty much better vacation time allowances than the USA. That's cause we like unions n'stuff!

yep, I'm a smug Aussie with a legally mandated 20 paid vacation days per year
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Re: Low income debate

Postby CornMan » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:05 pm

One of the many positive things about the low income ticket program is that it at least partially insulates Burning Man from being considered merely an elite vacation destination.

Some people who get low income tickets might possibly be able to scrape by and buy a regular priced ticket, but that would preclude them from contributing to camp infrastructure/supplies that allow the camp to be interactive with the BRC public. If low income recipients are only to crush aluminum cans or clean the floor of center camp, they might possibly feel relegated as service workers instead of being considered socially worthy of contributing to the fun and magic of Burning Man and thus maybe should be required to wear specially colored hats and aprons denoting their low income status?

I personally have no problem with a low income recipient tending a camp's bar that is open to the BRC public or someone who has more time than money and thus spends countless hours sifting through the craigslist ads and drives all over their regional locality in order to procure the camp's stuff at the best possible price so the camp can make the best possible interactive opportunities for the BRC public.

Also, the sentiment that the opportunity to the low income program should be available on a one time basis suggests that a person's chronic low income situation is an indicator of deficiency of character. Take into account recently credentialed teachers that must work a sporadic schedule for very low pay while paying student loans because the bottom fell out of the hiring of teachers while the person was halfway through the university/internship process. The districts have not hired any more teachers (none) this year than they did last. Should these people abandon their dreams of a teaching career due to the recent jobless recoveries and go back to construction jobs that no longer exist either?
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Re: Low income debate

Postby maryanimal » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:43 pm

Zeke Chaparral wrote:One of the many positive things about the low income ticket program is that it at least partially insulates Burning Man from being considered merely an elite vacation destination.

Some people who get low income tickets might possibly be able to scrape by and buy a regular priced ticket, but that would preclude them from contributing to camp infrastructure/supplies that allow the camp to be interactive with the BRC public. If low income recipients are only to crush aluminum cans or clean the floor of center camp, they might possibly feel relegated as service workers instead of being considered socially worthy of contributing to the fun and magic of Burning Man and thus maybe should be required to wear specially colored hats and aprons denoting their low income status?

I personally have no problem with a low income recipient tending a camp's bar that is open to the BRC public or someone who has more time than money and thus spends countless hours sifting through the craigslist ads and drives all over their regional locality in order to procure the camp's stuff at the best possible price so the camp can make the best possible interactive opportunities for the BRC public.

Also, the sentiment that the opportunity to the low income program should be available on a one time basis suggests that a person's chronic low income situation is an indicator of deficiency of character. Take into account recently credentialed teachers that must work a sporadic schedule for very low pay while paying student loans because the bottom fell out of the hiring of teachers while the person was halfway through the university/internship process. The districts have not hired any more teachers (none) this year than they did last. Should these people abandon their dreams of a teaching career due to the recent jobless recoveries and go back to construction jobs that no longer exist either?


Well said Zeke.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:31 pm

International Incident wrote:
VultureChow wrote:I think vacation philosophy is vastly different in the US vs Europe. Most European countries have a legal minimum of paid vacation days. As such, a much larger percentage of the population actually take vacations. If every full time worker here was given two weeks of paid vacation, a moderate trip would be something normal, not a luxury.


Actually the rest of the "first" world has pretty much better vacation time allowances than the USA. That's cause we like unions n'stuff!

yep, I'm a smug Aussie with a legally mandated 20 paid vacation days per year

I get six hours annual leave for every 80 worked. Sometime soon I'll go up to 8 for every 80. And I get to be called "pointy-headed"!
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Re: Low income debate

Postby ygmir » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:37 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:
International Incident wrote:
VultureChow wrote:I think vacation philosophy is vastly different in the US vs Europe. Most European countries have a legal minimum of paid vacation days. As such, a much larger percentage of the population actually take vacations. If every full time worker here was given two weeks of paid vacation, a moderate trip would be something normal, not a luxury.


Actually the rest of the "first" world has pretty much better vacation time allowances than the USA. That's cause we like unions n'stuff!

yep, I'm a smug Aussie with a legally mandated 20 paid vacation days per year

I get six hours annual leave for every 80 worked. Sometime soon I'll go up to 8 for every 80. And I get to be called "pointy-headed"!

mandated paid time off, is great.....damn tough on a small business, and you know it drives up the cost of doing business, so, drives up the cost of goods.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:41 pm

There could be support from the government for small business. And owner/operator/sole employee? No one's gonna force that one. There are ways of making it work if we just put it on the table and open it up for discussion.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby trilobyte » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:57 pm

Very well said, Zeke. I'll also add that while I do think that Burning Man is a luxury, I don't have a problem with either there being a low income program or how it's administered.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby lucky420 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:44 pm

Exactly trilo. Just as with other issues in regards to the Bmorg. None of my business really and the LITs do not affect my burn one way or the other. I just don't feel like I should be judging on wether or not the LIT program should exist or any rules as to who qualifies or not.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby BBadger » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:09 pm

graidawg wrote:i think calling BM a luxury vacation is completely inaccurate. a luxury vacation usually involves limitless showers.

for us foreign travelers its certainly pricey, thats because of the flight cost as i said before i know of at least one person that does it for less than $1000 has all the comforts he wants. lets not make Bm elitist


Luxury was not intended to mean living with luxuries or in opulence, but rather luxuries as an unnecessary expense for enjoyment. This is really coming down to the fundamental nature of what going to Burning Man is: a vacation in the desert you pay for as a luxury. So just as I'm not thrilled with the prospect of paying for someone's trip on a Carnival Cruise, I'm not thrill with being forcibly taxed to pay for someone else's ticket to attend Burning Man. Make the program donation-based if people want to fund such a program.

Zeke Chaparral wrote:One of the many positive things about the low income ticket program is that it at least partially insulates Burning Man from being considered merely an elite vacation destination.


It insulates just as much as that "BRC LLC will donate 3% of the price of each [$650 presale] ticket ($20) ... to the Human Fund 'Burning Man Project', a new nonprofit dedicated to spreading Burning Man culture around the world" insulates the presale ticket sale from being considered merely an "elitist" purchase.

Some people who get low income tickets might possibly be able to scrape by and buy a regular priced ticket, but that would preclude them from contributing to camp infrastructure/supplies that allow the camp to be interactive with the BRC public.


If they're still able to contribute to camp infrastructure/supplies, why are they considered low-income?

This view of the LIT program makes the program, in effect, a camp subsidy.

If low income recipients are only to crush aluminum cans or clean the floor of center camp, they might possibly feel relegated as service workers instead of being considered socially worthy of contributing to the fun and magic of Burning Man and thus maybe should be required to wear specially colored hats and aprons denoting their low income status?


Hey I don't think playa indentured servitude is the right way to go about it either. I'd rather see people, instead, save up their cash if they want to go on this vacation in the desert.

I personally have no problem with a low income recipient tending a camp's bar that is open to the BRC public or someone who has more time than money and thus spends countless hours sifting through the craigslist ads and drives all over their regional locality in order to procure the camp's stuff at the best possible price so the camp can make the best possible interactive opportunities for the BRC public.


Great, let the camps sort that out with their own members.

Also, the sentiment that the opportunity to the low income program should be available on a one time basis suggests that a person's chronic low income situation is an indicator of deficiency of character.


No, this is not about deficiency of character for having a low income. Rather, it is that the LIT program should really be used as a means to give new people, without means, the opportunity to visit BM when they otherwise couldn't. The LIT program should not be used as a means to repeatedly bankroll BM vacations for people. If you've got time and resources to repeatedly attend BM under the LIT program, your financial priorities are screwed up, and yes, I'll call that a deficiency of character too.

Take into account recently credentialed teachers that must work a sporadic schedule for very low pay while paying student loans because the bottom fell out of the hiring of teachers while the person was halfway through the university/internship process. The districts have not hired any more teachers (none) this year than they did last. Should these people abandon their dreams of a teaching career due to the recent jobless recoveries and go back to construction jobs that no longer exist either?


If this poor, starving teacher is somehow finding the means to go to Burning Man multiple years on a LIT, that teacher should spend a little more time finding a job and be less concerned with going to Burning Man, especially on someone else's dole.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby CornMan » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:40 pm

In addition to all that, Burning Man prides itself as being an art festival put on by participants rather than solely a gallery of commissioned art pieces. The average pop artist is generally not a person of economic means. To shut out the very people this festival is celebrating would a bit off kilter. Anyway, various other festivals already exist in which people who have an egocentric or ideological conflict with subsidizing the less advantaged would feel comfortably vindicated in not having to help subsidize those people.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby moonrise » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:00 pm

They used to let low income/poor people in for free. Bring that back.

FYI, Some of those same low income/poor people now give much more back to the burn than your average Burner.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby BBadger » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:18 am

Zeke Chaparral wrote:In addition to all that, Burning Man prides itself as being an art festival put on by participants rather than solely a gallery of commissioned art pieces. The average pop artist is generally not a person of economic means. To shut out the very people this festival is celebrating would a bit off kilter. Anyway, various other festivals already exist in which people who have an egocentric or ideological conflict with subsidizing the less advantaged would feel comfortably vindicated in not having to help subsidize those people.


You're confusing attendance with participation. They are not equivalent. The LIT is solely about providing for attendance.

Participation doesn't simply happen because you attend Burning Man. Nor is it limited to the playa. It includes finding the means to make an experience like BM happen. Participation is about what you bring to the playa, and how -- not about simply letting you in and magic happens.

Even if Burning Man were all about just attending: nothing precludes a person from attending the event at virtually any income level that one could even consider attending in the first place. One would simply use the tried and true method of saving your money over time to attend. You know, what people traditionally do to buy what they want?

This is, after all, a vacation. We're not subsidizing healthcare, or food, or even maybe an industry. Nothing vital. No, this is really something that is an unnecessary extravagance -- something that should be earned.

The problem with all subsidization is that it often keeps people dependent. In this particular case, for example, we have people who repeatedly attend BM on the LIT program rather than saving up to fund their own vacation. This is different than having the scholarship-merged-with-LIT program for helping those who would actually not consider saving or going because of economic need -- the people on the fence where the tipping might be effectual. That was the program's real intention in my mind -- something I might abide. However, what about those who have already attended? Why are they taking up a spot rather than doing their own legwork to make their second or third vacation happen? No, that's someone dependent on a subsidy.

Rather than make this LIT a forced tax, I say let people gift donations if they want to fund the LIT program. Burners can then decide for themselves about this program. If this form of freedom-of-choice kills the program off, well maybe ticket subsidization really isn't what this festival is about. I don't think it ever was, as attending was never supposed to be easy -- and again, it's a vacation. Save your dough to attend.

moonrise wrote:They used to let low income/poor people in for free. Bring that back.

FYI, Some of those same low income/poor people now give much more back to the burn than your average Burner.


Maybe they do, maybe they don't. That statement is no doubt true for all income groups. I believe that rates of participation (and other things like stupidity) is income-agnostic. Therefore income-diversity really carries no purpose or value other than income-diversity.

By any means, the LIT program was not created to attract a demographic that has greater participation.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby iconoplastyfervor » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:34 pm

There sure are a lot of republicans on here.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby ygmir » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:47 pm

iconoplastyfervor wrote:There sure are a lot of republicans on here.


probably more "pragmatists" ie: I've lived life, learned I need to pay my own way, don't mind working for it, or working extra.

not that some folks don't need/deserve help. But, I've seen so many, come in on LI tickets, and spend what would have been the difference on booze,hookers and blow.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby Roark » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:32 pm

The whole discussion mystifies me. If I like something, I will pay whatever (realistic) sum is needed to play. As long as I can stomach it, I dont care what the amount is. If the organization wants to put low-cost (or free) tickets out there... Fine. It doesnt affect ME and I dont really think I have a say in the matter except to vote with my feet if I dont like it.

I dont see this as a group decision. Or even open for real discussion. Sorta like the price of waffles at WalMart - you either buy them, or you dont. But you dont complain to the cashier, and you dont get a vote at Corporate. Dont like it? Ten do it better somewhere else! If it really rocks, I will spend my money on YOUR waffles instead of theirs.

Or maybe I am just wierd that way? :mrgreen:
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Re: Low income debate

Postby pink » Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:20 pm

I think I'm weird that way too.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby BBadger » Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:21 pm

Or just apathetic?
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Re: Low income debate

Postby Sunbeam56 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:22 pm

I'm a Birgin... that's the disclaimer.
From what I have read, Burning Mad began as an experience. The general concept was anyone could play. The LIT program is designed to allow a (limited) number of pobres to participate. I like that.
I am an elitist. I think its okay for me to bring ice to the desert if I can afford it.
But because this is a social experiment, made grand, it makes a lot of sense to extend that experience to people who can not necessarily afford it.

Its about the experiment.
Not about the wallet.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby jkisha » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:25 pm

Sort of like subsidized low income housing in upscale neighborhoods.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby Dr. Pyro » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:42 pm

iconoplastyfervor wrote:There sure are a lot of republicans on here.


Those of us who happen to have some viewpoints to the right of you would rather be called (as we consider ourselves) Libertarian. Damn name callers.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby moonrise » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:10 pm

I know of a town that became *elitist* and boring.

Ten years later the townspeople determined this is due to the fact that the mental hospital, located 2 hours away, had stopped bussing in their discharged no income (non-violent types) to this town. :|

Aldous Huxley and many other burny type people lived in this same town.

How about some NITs? In addition to keeping the LITs. :wink:
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Re: Low income debate

Postby maryanimal » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:42 pm

BBadger wrote:
Zeke Chaparral wrote:In addition to all that, Burning Man prides itself as being an art festival put on by participants rather than solely a gallery of commissioned art pieces. The average pop artist is generally not a person of economic means. To shut out the very people this festival is celebrating would a bit off kilter. Anyway, various other festivals already exist in which people who have an egocentric or ideological conflict with subsidizing the less advantaged would feel comfortably vindicated in not having to help subsidize those people.


You're confusing attendance with participation. They are not equivalent. The LIT is solely about providing for [i]attendance.


Not true! I know that a lot of LIT purchasers volunteer, and participate.

Participation doesn't simply happen because you attend Burning Man. Nor is it limited to the playa. It includes finding the means to make an experience like BM happen. Participation is about what you bring to the playa, and how -- not about simply letting you in and magic happens.



Even if Burning Man were all about just attending: nothing precludes a person from attending the event at virtually any income level that one could even consider attending in the first place. One would simply use the tried and true method of saving your money over time to attend. You know, what people traditionally do to buy what they want?

This is, after all, a vacation. We're not subsidizing healthcare, or food, or even maybe an industry. Nothing vital. No, this is really something that is an unnecessary extravagance -- something that should be earned.

Some folks have to save and plan all year to make it to the playa. They find the means, though may be different from the way others find the means, but if the Org. wants to do this so everyone has a chance to attend and participate in the place we call Black Rock City, well, I think it's good!


The problem with all subsidization is that it often keeps people dependent. In this particular case, for example, we have people who repeatedly attend BM on the LIT program rather than saving up to fund their own vacation. This is different than having the scholarship-merged-with-LIT program for helping those who would actually not consider saving or going because of economic need -- the people on the fence where the tipping might be effectual. That was the program's real intention in my mind -- something I might abide. However, what about those who have already attended? Why are they taking up a spot rather than doing their own legwork to make their second or third vacation happen? No, that's someone dependent on a subsidy.

Rather than make this LIT a forced tax, I say let people gift donations if they want to fund the LIT program. Burners can then decide for themselves about this program. If this form of freedom-of-choice kills the program off, well maybe ticket subsidization really isn't what this festival is about. I don't think it ever was, as attending was never supposed to be easy -- and again, it's a vacation. Save your dough to attend.

moonrise wrote:They used to let low income/poor people in for free. Bring that back.

FYI, Some of those same low income/poor people now give much more back to the burn than your average Burner.


Maybe they do, maybe they don't. That statement is no doubt true for all income groups. I believe that rates of participation (and other things like stupidity) is income-agnostic. Therefore income-diversity really carries no purpose or value other than income-diversity.

By any means, the LIT program was not created to attract a demographic that has greater participation.


IMHO, you're talking about a class of people who are below certain standards, according to some, and shouldn't be allowed the opportunity to enjoy the company of friends, extended family, outrageous art, fun and debauchery that others are allowed to.

Now, while I disagree with you BBadger, I respect your opinion! :)
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Re: Low income debate

Postby trilobyte » Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:59 am

I'm curious, of the people complaining about the low income program being some sort of forced tax, do you spend as much time complaining about all the other companies you do business with? Everything from oil companies, fast food joints, grocery stores, clothing manufacturers, and everywhere else have giving programs. They contribute to and support all kinds of groups, and in your eyes they're making you pay the price. O the motherfucking humanity! It must get tiring, that's a lot of grousing.

It's also worth pointing out that while the tickets are below cost, they are not free. And the full total of the $190 per ticket discount that Low Income Tickets amounts to ($760K total) doesn't actually come out of your pocket. I'm not speaking in any kind of official capacity or conveying any kind of info from the Burning Man ticket team, but just through logical analysis I'd hazard a guess that the chunk the LIT participant does pay covers the hard costs (ie per participant BLM and law enforcement fees, insurance, etc), and possibly some of the softer costs (portos, cost of operating the ranch, HQ, transportation, etc). Given that such a program doesn't actually require building extra infrastructure or significant cash outlay (it doesn't force the company to build extra lampposts to light the city or require an additional ice camp, and guessing at porta-potty servicing upwards of 4x per day it would take a lot more than 4K people to affect the cost of servicing), the financial burden to the other participants is probably not as high as the $13.82 a head you'd get if you divided the $760K by the 55K tickets sold at full price (or higher, in the case of presale). Even if it was, that's less than 4 percent of the ticket price. If that's the level of perceived waste that sets you off, I don't know how you have the time for it all.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby TomServo » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:13 am

I think many here in the US consider any vacation a luxury.


Well said VultureChow. I was appalled, to find out how much MORE European countries vacation time was..as compared to American's. Not that they get soo much, but that we get so little. And now, being with a Union, it seems worse! I guess we traded our time off for double pay.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby Marscrumbs » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:13 am

So who's going to pay for full price ticket for a week just to volunteer to make your Center Camp Coffee. Low Ticket people are an important source of serf labor for BM infrastructure
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