Low income debate

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Re: Low income debate

Postby iconoplastyfervor » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:29 am

Well said Trilobyte.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby graidawg » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:46 am

LIT tickets carry no sort of onus with them, nobody is required to volunteer at BM, some volunteer to get low (or free) tickets, some for fun (which it is).
Now while i have absolutely no problem with LIT ticket purchasers nor even their availability I do feel that people like the op who are a vital part of the camp should indeed have an alternative and use it. After all if you are planning to come again before you have even left then relying on BMorg to provide you with a reduced price ticket a) means that you aren't really taking your camp seriously (or aren't as vital as you think) and b) preventing some other person getting a LIT.
So while i have no issue with people getting reduced price entry i do think that if they Really want to come back the next year they should, at the very least try and get a reduced price ticket by volunteering or participating in something that gives a much greater chance of getting a reduced price ticket.

oh as to the holiday in britain its 20 days + bank holidays (total of 28) but as self employed person i get none, nor do i get sick leave (except government statutory sick pay og £71/week) so yes in the sense it was described Bm is a luxory holiday for me, 3 or more weeks unpaid, which i start saving for from the moment i get back (unemployment allowing) as my earning where roughly 15k last year (roughly 10% over minimum wage) its a chore and means i have to do with out a hell of a lot of luxuries, but it does not cross my mind to apply for a LIT as, well for me the ticket is really the least of my costs. also i have friends that pay for it and let me pay them back when i have the money
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Re: Low income debate

Postby iconoplastyfervor » Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:02 pm

Dr. Pyro wrote:
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.


I am a Libertarian, and as such I respect the right of a private corporation, BM LLC, to make policy as it sees fit. This is not a government issue. Ticket holders don't get to vote on policy. BMORG makes profits. It can distribute them as it sees fit to further its goals. If some of its goals are kindness and beneficence, then why is that a problem? As a recipient, it's hard for me to claim any objectivity and defend the program without sounding self-serving. But I like to think I give it back 10 fold, or at least I'm gonna try out of respect and appreciation. As pointed out above by Trilo in hard numbers, it does not actually affect the cost of a full-price ticket by much, if anything. There is a lot of effort wasted on this discussion.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby graidawg » Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:02 pm

how is it wasted? i am pretty sure my income is in the low income bracket, and as much as i do for my camp i make no effort for a low income ticket. now i agree with with the LIT programme But relying on it is in my opinion a bit stupid. save money, that extra $10 a week, or volunteering for something that may get a low price ticket or negotiating something with your camp that saves you $190 you can spend on a ticket instead, just makes sense.
As has been said LIT can create a culture of dependancy, all of you that ask more than once, why not think what you can do to get that extra cash from somewhere else than BMorg, after all they may stop LIT or not give you a ticket, then what are you gonna do?
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Re: Low income debate

Postby trilobyte » Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:06 pm

I think he means wasting your time arguing a point on a discussion that will not have any impact on policy whatsoever.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby graidawg » Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:12 pm

trilobyte wrote:I think he means wasting your time arguing a point on a discussion that will not have any impact on policy whatsoever.


well that makes eplaya pretty much redundant then doesn't it. or in fact 99% of forums.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby trilobyte » Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:17 pm

Only to the people who spend their time bitching about stuff, yeah.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby iconoplastyfervor » Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:23 pm

graidawg wrote:how is it wasted? i am pretty sure my income is in the low income bracket, and as much as i do for my camp i make no effort for a low income ticket. now i agree with with the LIT programme But relying on it is in my opinion a bit stupid. save money, that extra $10 a week, or volunteering for something that may get a low price ticket or negotiating something with your camp that saves you $190 you can spend on a ticket instead, just makes sense.
As has been said LIT can create a culture of dependancy, all of you that ask more than once, why not think what you can do to get that extra cash from somewhere else than BMorg, after all they may stop LIT or not give you a ticket, then what are you gonna do?


And offering LIT can be also said to create a culture of kindness and giving without expecting anything in return. I read somewhere that that was important at some event in the desert, but they're probably just a bunch of hippies.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby graidawg » Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:25 pm

iconoplastyfervor wrote:
graidawg wrote:how is it wasted? i am pretty sure my income is in the low income bracket, and as much as i do for my camp i make no effort for a low income ticket. now i agree with with the LIT programme But relying on it is in my opinion a bit stupid. save money, that extra $10 a week, or volunteering for something that may get a low price ticket or negotiating something with your camp that saves you $190 you can spend on a ticket instead, just makes sense.
As has been said LIT can create a culture of dependancy, all of you that ask more than once, why not think what you can do to get that extra cash from somewhere else than BMorg, after all they may stop LIT or not give you a ticket, then what are you gonna do?


And offering LIT can be also said to create a culture of kindness and giving without expecting anything in return. I read somewhere that that was important at some event in the desert for example.


gifting is a choice. if you make me do it its a tax.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby iconoplastyfervor » Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:37 pm

No one is making you buy a ticket.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby trilobyte » Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:37 pm

I think graidawg is determined to waste his time. I'm curious though, grai, do you spend equal or greater amounts of time complaining about all the other companies you do business with who "tax" you with their giving? Even your local grocery store gives to charity, and I'd wager that the companies that make your favorite beers and boozes give back in some way without getting your seal of approval.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby FIGJAM » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:12 pm

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Re: Low income debate

Postby BBadger » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:17 pm

trilobyte wrote:I think graidawg is determined to waste his time. I'm curious though, grai, do you spend equal or greater amounts of time complaining about all the other companies you do business with who "tax" you with their giving? Even your local grocery store gives to charity, and I'd wager that the companies that make your favorite beers and boozes give back in some way without getting your seal of approval.


I think trilobyte is determined to waste his time. I'm curious though, trilo, do you spend equal or greater amounts of time complaining about other people complaining about all the other companies they do business with who "tax" you with their giving?

Graidawg is only "wasting his time" to the same level that people waste their time on anything on this forum -- including your above replies to his. The difference this time around is that now it's something you don't agree with and so it seems like some great affront that you must respond to -- just as graidawg''s complaint concerning the tax.

I think it's perfectly valid to complain about any tax you don't agree with, especially one that is levied under the guise of someone else's act of "charity." Charity is something given willingly. Whatever charity-induced costs a company passes on to their customers is not "charity" for you -- it's a tax no matter how much "feel good" bullshit they try to pass off to you as justification.

I see this LIT program in the same light as the whole "take the most expensive ticket you can afford" system the BMOrg used to implement in their ticket sales. Oh sure, maybe that act of charity (a real one, because there's a choice) would help some needy burner, but then, maybe not. The funds could possibly be better spent bringing more stuff to the burn for the playa, or the camp, or friends, or hell, even for someone else's ticket. The main difference there was that at least there was a choice in the matter. So why not make this LIT funding a choice for the ticket buyers?

And of course will come the tired, old cliche response: "oh well, why don't you just not attend if it offends you so much!" Well gee, I don't like many of the taxes that are placed on food either, but I end up having to buy it anyway. "But you need food; you don't need to attend Burning Man!" Well if we're going to talk about need, neither do the LIT people on a tax-subsidized ticket. That's really what it comes down to: don't tax me for something that is not essential.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby graidawg » Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:37 am

this thread does seem to have hit a personal level.
once somebody has a ticket, it doesn't really matter how they got it.

i don't think it is really complaining, it's commenting but yes, i'm british so we make complaining into a national sport Especially when its going to have no effect. several people i know wouldnt have gone last year without LIT and genuinely it did make a difference for them.

anyway i've said my piece and i'm done with this thread
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Re: Low income debate

Postby pink » Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:22 am

Marscrumbs wrote: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


Um, me. And I paid for a holiday ticket. So not only did I voluntarily pay more than you for a ticket, I will happily serve you coffee, at least on the Monday 11pm-3am shift, and also give you free advice and abuse. :coffee:
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Re: Low income debate

Postby Marscrumbs » Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:27 am

pink wrote:
Marscrumbs wrote:So who's going to pay for a 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


Um, me. And I paid for a holiday ticket. So not only did I voluntarily pay more than you for a ticket, I will happily serve you coffee, at least on the Monday 11pm-3am shift, and also give you free advice and abuse. :coffee:


You sound like a veteran from "it was much better when" days. I salute you.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby pink » Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:37 am

Nah, I'm class of 2005.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby MegsLegs » Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:25 am

The idea that the low income program is a tax, I assume is suggesting ticket prices would be lower without it. Threads on the ticket price have hammered upon us that the business can set their ticket price at whatever the market demands. It's just as not up to us where they spend their money. And it's not up to them where you spend yours- on a ticket or not, in agreement with the terms upon which it's offered (or not). The money can stay in your pocket and you can go to a party that cares less about poor people- total freedom from this tax.

The $190 price is 20 dollars cheaper than my first tier ticket was only a few years ago. The tickets go to people on a case by case basis by people who fill out an application and are willing to show proof of their financial situation and provide the reviewer something fun to read while speaking to character. Seems a lot more reasonable than having them go to the fastest ping when tickets go on sale.

I think every person (big L Libertarians included) who returns to Burning Man year after year believes at least somewhat in the 10 principles, impractical as many of them may be in the default world. Supporting real time efforts to speak to those principles should be a no-brainer, an extension of on-playa participation. The Low Income program is a choice on the part of event leadership to embody the values upon which the whole thing is based.

Re: Volunteering, I also volunteered my ass off at gate without even knowing that ticket rewards were part of the incentive process. Why? because I love it, the people I'm working with and being the first person you meet without having to hug you (and thank you greeters for that service too!) So yes, most of the coffee slingers, and admin supports at media mecca, and ice block haulers are volunteering because it's fun to participate, with the ticket (if even a factor) coming second.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby iconoplastyfervor » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:45 pm

BBadger wrote:
trilobyte wrote:I think graidawg is determined to waste his time. I'm curious though, grai, do you spend equal or greater amounts of time complaining about all the other companies you do business with who "tax" you with their giving? Even your local grocery store gives to charity, and I'd wager that the companies that make your favorite beers and boozes give back in some way without getting your seal of approval.


I think trilobyte is determined to waste his time. I'm curious though, trilo, do you spend equal or greater amounts of time complaining about other people complaining about all the other companies they do business with who "tax" you with their giving?

Graidawg is only "wasting his time" to the same level that people waste their time on anything on this forum -- including your above replies to his. The difference this time around is that now it's something you don't agree with and so it seems like some great affront that you must respond to -- just as graidawg''s complaint concerning the tax.

I think it's perfectly valid to complain about any tax you don't agree with, especially one that is levied under the guise of someone else's act of "charity." Charity is something given willingly. Whatever charity-induced costs a company passes on to their customers is not "charity" for you -- it's a tax no matter how much "feel good" bullshit they try to pass off to you as justification.

I see this LIT program in the same light as the whole "take the most expensive ticket you can afford" system the BMOrg used to implement in their ticket sales. Oh sure, maybe that act of charity (a real one, because there's a choice) would help some needy burner, but then, maybe not. The funds could possibly be better spent bringing more stuff to the burn for the playa, or the camp, or friends, or hell, even for someone else's ticket. The main difference there was that at least there was a choice in the matter. So why not make this LIT funding a choice for the ticket buyers?

And of course will come the tired, old cliche response: "oh well, why don't you just not attend if it offends you so much!" Well gee, I don't like many of the taxes that are placed on food either, but I end up having to buy it anyway. "But you need food; you don't need to attend Burning Man!" Well if we're going to talk about need, neither do the LIT people on a tax-subsidized ticket. That's really what it comes down to: don't tax me for something that is not essential.


I think what Trilobyte also hinted to was that the comments here are paying disproportionate attention to this matter when there are so many other things that BMORG spends money on that could also be (pointlessly) debated. Like county fees, for instance. How much of your ticket price goes to fund, directly or indirectly, law enforcement? Most attendees (including especially Libertarians) wouldn't want any of their friends or fellow burners to be arrested on drug charges as long as they were behaving and no danger to themselves or others. Yet every burner that buys a ticket pays a little to THE MAN to enforce what probably 90% of burners consider to be unjust laws. Sure, there are other public services that they perform to their credit. But their presence is definitely a mixed, controversial bag that affects some burners in a very negative way. I haven't looked, but I'm sure there is some attention paid to this on here. But why isn't that a more inflammatory issue than the LIT program? There are probably other subjects that could arouse people's ire (like my initial comment did) if someone said "Just got my BMORG grant to do X". Someone is bound to take umbrage at that and start a shit show of spurious comments questioning why they have to pay for someone's art show or whatever.

The fact is that administration of an event of this size involves decisions and processes that the commentators here aren't involved with. There are reasons, and BMORG has good ones. The idea of this as a tax is silly. As mentioned, effect is negligible on ticket price. You could just as well say that there was a lamp tax, a cop tax, a gate tax, a porta-potty tax, on and on. Each one of these budgetary items could be said to be an aspect of relying on the system involuntarily. If a camp has it's own porta potties, would you then make an argument that porta potties are a BMORG luxury tax, that people should be self reliant and bring their own? That all of the people that brought their own were paying for toilets that they didn't use and were therefor subsidizing BMORG supplied toilets for the rest of the parasitical burners? Same argument could be made for non-essentials like lamps. When you reduce it down logically, there is no need to talk about this at all:
1) No dramatic effect on ticket price, $190 still covers the basics and attendance of 4,000 more doesn't mean higher infrastructure costs.
2) It's not a tax, so stop calling it that. It's an administrative decision to allow people who can legitimately prove that their income is very limited to pay less to get in. BMORG probably just isn't making a profit off of LITs. Is that your business? Nope. Are you a shareholder with dividends that would be affected by reduced profits? Nope.
3) There are plenty of monies spent that go unnoticed that would inflame people if scrutinized. If a cop got on here and said "I just busted 10 burners for smoking a joint. It was AWESOME!!! Hooray for law enforcement. Aren't you guys happy for me?" do you think there would be some angry replies and debates about how much of the ticket price goes to fund law enforcement? You bet.
4) All applicants are screened, making abuse highly unlikely. If it did happen in the past, there is a probably a better system in place now to prevent it. BMORG doesn't want LIT holders to be saving money on a ticket to spend it on hookers and blow any more than any of you do. Obviously, they feel very responsible about making sure LITs are going to those worthy.

Conclusion: Complaints in this department are a waste of time and energy. Mine included, but I dislike the disingenuous debate tactics employed here and will step up to say something as a hopefully worthy (and hopefully temporary) participant in the program. Yes, if I could afford a full-priced ticket, I would also be happy to volunteer just as much. I'm into the spirit of Burning Man, not the budget.

This whole debate started a long time ago on Eplaya from what I've seen, but reemerged suddenly after my comment saying that I had received an LIT. Immediately people jumped on it as an excuse to cry foul and dredge up silly gripes. My comment wasn't intended to be braggadocio, though I could see how it might be taken that way if you were stewing on LIT resentment as some obviously were. It was intended to connect with burners on here who might be interested in knowing that the process of approving applicants had begun quicker than anticipated, who might share in the joy of a fellow burner being able to go. Sharing ticket release info is not unheard of on here, and seems to be anticipated by many on Eplaya. Instead I get jumped on by malcontents making untrue accusations and opening up a can of fetid worms for no logical reason. People are probably intimidated by these comments, and might not share their joy at receiving one now. That is sad.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby iconoplastyfervor » Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:35 pm

...and
5) If the LIT program were to be discontinued, do you think the ticket price would go down by $14 or the equivalent of 4% of next year's ticket price? No fucking way. You will always pay the market value for the ticket, not the market value plus the cost of the LIT program. >>> LIT HAS NO EFFECT ON WHAT YOU PAY
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Re: Low income debate

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:13 pm

There's a small voice telling me to keep out of this but I'm going to say that I disagree with the idea that charity stops at its recipient and becomes sort of inert or something. In a broad way, anything that allows people to participate because they have circumstances which prevent them from doing so, goes on past those and re-enters the community (ding) becoming all sorts of unknown and unknowable things.

That's it.

Trilo--is there some add on you could add on to this board to make it possible to make entire annoying threads disappear?
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Re: Low income debate

Postby trilobyte » Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:00 pm

I can't help but notice, Bbadger, that neither you, graidawg, nor others have said anything about the time you spend complaining about every other company. That speaks volumes.

I don't consider my time wasted, I'm responding to comments as I skim and peruse the boards looking for peoples' legitimate questions and concerns. Sure, if you want to get really anal-retentive about it I suppose any time spent responding to whiney armchair producers is kind of a waste, but I think helping people gain perspective that may help them get more out of the event, or help them improve the quality of their participation… is worthwhile.

Burning Man currently devotes less than 5% of your ticket costs to help support their choice to run a low income ticket program. For the sake of argument, let's push the number way the fuck up, let's say upwards of 20% of the ticket price goes towards things like low income tickets, art grants, and feeding BMP efforts. All are charitable things for which you and all us other participants have no say whatsoever, and which you may or may not agree with. Or maybe you think someone should get twice as much, half as much, or some other silly quibble.

It's not quite the grocery argument, because while you could bitch bitch bitch about how your grocer and food manufacturers spend their money, you need their food to survive. You'll live if you choose not to participate in Burning Man. No matter how much you might feel you'll die if you don't go, you really will live. Just like the LIT argument goes, Burning Man is something of a luxury vacation. If you really feel the way they choose to manage the event is a travesty, don't support it - spend your money elsewhere. By virtue of your making the decision to purchase a ticket nonetheless, you're telling us all that it's not really that big a deal to you after all.

Sorry, Fishy, the ability to ignore or mute a thread would be nice, but it's not something we can currently do.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby graidawg » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:23 am

ok i know i said i was done with this, but it's like a sore tooth, so i am going to make a further comment. or two.

first, yes i do complain about other businesses, i tell people not to shop at ASDA, now owned by walmart because of their appalling treatment of their staff and the low wages. i point out that asda in britain actually started as way of ASsociated DAiry farmers getting a fair price for their product. I point out to my friends that my local supermarket is actually more expensive for basics and luxuries than the corner store across the road. Which is quite ridiculous because surely.. anyway so yes i do actively complain about things that i consider unfair.

second i am in no way saying LIT is unfair, several people i know would not have been able to go without it, and BM, well the camp i stay with would be poorer for their absence. Now i am sure people that buy LIT have the same mix of participants and spectators as the rest of the demographic of BRC.

third, its my time if i want to waste it arguing about something that is really really unimportant to me I can, and the argument of if you dont like it dont go is ridiculous. i can argue about something and even not like part of it and still want to go. I dont like the small chairs at the cinema and complain about them, but i still go.

so i'm sorry if you think my suggesting that doing something like volunteering, which pretty much everyone is aware can get you a reduced price ticket, to ensure you get a ticket you can afford is a bit unfair or in someway reduces the value of volunteeringor LIT. Or even any of my comments reduce your pleasure at getting a LIT or will in some way stop people posting and sharing, I am very pleased you got one honestly whoever you are, I will enjoy meeting you and sharing a drink or a hug or just, well anything.

as to comparing LIT costs to the cost of the potties/LEO or lamps that is pretty silly because those things are required (well maybe not the lamps) and as such are costs removing the LIT programme, while making BM a bit more elitist would not effect the event.


the grocery argument - yea if i dont like the grocers policy I shop elsewhere, that i can do one grocer is pretty much like another, but no event is quite like BM.

my buying a ticket does not mean i cannot comment, complain or waste my time however i want and still go. its part of your first ammendment the whole freedom of speech thing. one of the things i love about BM is when i am there i genuinely do not know if you own a bank, are royalty or some kind of star or are the guy whose cup i drop my pocket change into.

I will agree though calling LIT a tax is a bit unfair, as trilo pointed out its not as if those tickets realy cost me or BMorg anything.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby BBadger » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:03 am

MegsLegs wrote:The idea that the low income program is a tax, I assume is suggesting ticket prices would be lower without it. Threads on the ticket price have hammered upon us that the business can set their ticket price at whatever the market demands. It's just as not up to us where they spend their money. And it's not up to them where you spend yours- on a ticket or not, in agreement with the terms upon which it's offered (or not). The money can stay in your pocket and you can go to a party that cares less about poor people- total freedom from this tax.


That's an interesting point about the ticket price being lower without it. In years past (< 2012) the LIT didn't matter because the tickets never sold out. The BMOrg could give away LIT/scholarship tickets because they were essentially extras. Now the LIT is a valuable program for obtaining a ticket at all, and have a real effect on demand and cost. Even the presale tickets last year were supposed to help offset the cost of the extra LIT tickets.

(There is a slight hole in this argument because maybe people would've just bought full-price tickets if there was no LIT program? The price differences at the time may have changed that though).

Regardless, I'll still call it a tax, just as I will call state income tax a tax even if I can move to some state where I wouldn't have to pay. Sure, I have a choice, but in the end there's one Burning Man, and yes, I'll still complain about the tax I don't agree with, like any other.

The $190 price is 20 dollars cheaper than my first tier ticket was only a few years ago. The tickets go to people on a case by case basis by people who fill out an application and are willing to show proof of their financial situation and provide the reviewer something fun to read while speaking to character. Seems a lot more reasonable than having them go to the fastest ping when tickets go on sale.


Comparing prices between now and a few years ago is really irrelevant. Hell, some years before that the presale tickets were at tier-2 prices too. Now they're nearly twice the price of the main sale price. Time change, and prices go up. This isn't even about the price, but mostly the principle of it all (discussed later).

Also, the LIT application (even the old way) and the former general sale are two different things. I do agree that the tiers were a big joke as far as a mechanism to provide cheaper tickets to people, and that the proof-of-income is better than before, but again, it's the principle of paying for someone else's vacation when it should just be saved up for.

I think every person (big L Libertarians included) who returns to Burning Man year after year believes at least somewhat in the 10 principles, impractical as many of them may be in the default world. Supporting real time efforts to speak to those principles should be a no-brainer, an extension of on-playa participation. The Low Income program is a choice on the part of event leadership to embody the values upon which the whole thing is based.


Yeah, and I believe in that "self-reliance" principle quite a bit. Saving your money for your trip is the first level of self-reliance. In that same vein, "participation" includes participating in the process of making the burn happen -- including all the work that is involved with funding, traveling, etc. People don't like turnkey camps because of the lack of participation in the Burning Man process; likewise, I don't like having the trip subsidized.

I also don't see the LIT program as an extension of the principles -- and I'm not sure if that was ever its intent.

What I see the LIT program as is a means to deflect the view that BM is an elitist festival that has lost its "roots" of the poor grass-roots folk attending TTITD. It's a symbolic gesture essentially saying that "you can still come, even though we charge for tickets now." We see that kind of thing in the renewable power program -- to deflect criticism of pollution the event causes -- and also that "Burning Man Project" that 3% of the $650 presale tickets goes to (the same amount that goes to the LIT from each ticket).

These are nice gestures, but their value ends up being mostly symbolic. The renewable power sources will never make up for the amount of pollution produced for the festival each year. Likewise that ho-hum, feel-good 3% for the presale tickets (disproportionately small compared to increased cost of the tickets) is being allocated to some new self-made charity with ambiguous goals; the extra cost was also not earmarked for the LIT program like in 2012 (where does it come from then?).

And the LIT program? As stated before, there were always extra tickets available up until 2012. So those LIT/scholarship tickets were essentially free to give away. No skin off the BMOrg back. When did actual income verification come above? In 2012, when those tickets were valuable enough to apply for tickets twice. It's a different regime now; no longer just some throw-away gesture.

Re: Volunteering, I also volunteered my ass off at gate without even knowing that ticket rewards were part of the incentive process. Why? because I love it, the people I'm working with and being the first person you meet without having to hug you (and thank you greeters for that service too!) So yes, most of the coffee slingers, and admin supports at media mecca, and ice block haulers are volunteering because it's fun to participate, with the ticket (if even a factor) coming second.


Good! Because that's that volunteering is supposed to be: where you're doing it because you want to, not because of some compensation. It's not really "volunteering" if you're expecting compensation.

Likewise, I don't consider "charity" as "charity" if you have not choice in the matter aside from abandoning the trip. It's certainly not "gifting" because a gift is given freely, not taken.

I call it a tax. Sure, I don't *need* to buy that ticket, just as I don't need to live in this state to pay these income taxes, but this is still the only Burning Man, and I still take issue with the LIT funding -- and will voice that opinion.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby BBadger » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:32 am

iconoplastyfervor wrote:I think what Trilobyte also hinted to was that the comments here are paying disproportionate attention to this matter when there are so many other things that BMORG spends money on that could also be (pointlessly) debated.


This thread is about the low-income program. Not law-enforcement, or permit costs, or whatever else. We can expect that this thread will devote "disproportionate" attention to the LIT program because that's what the subject is about. I don't think "disproportionate" amounts of attention is spent on guns in the gun thread because that's the subject of the thread.

Also, if this subject is so damn "pointless" in your mind, you might want to devote less words of your own on the subject.

Like county fees, for instance. ...


Whatever costs attributed to infrastructure, law-enforcement, etc. would fall under -- to borrow a term from the federal budget -- "mandatory spending" category rather than what would be considered "discretionary spending." No, I don't consider the LIT program a "mandatory" program by any means.

Yeah, I acknowledge that the art grants, etc. are also "discretionary spending" that come with the ticket bill. However, a great deal of my beef with the LIT program is now I'm paying for other peoples' attendance, rather than something going to the festival itself. Anyone can attend if they just save their money for their trip -- just as so many do already.

The fact is that administration of an event of this size involves decisions and processes that the commentators here aren't involved with. There are reasons, and BMORG has good ones. The idea of this as a tax is silly. As mentioned, effect is negligible on ticket price.


I'm calling a spade a spade. Yes it is a tax. It's a cross-the-board charge attached to some product or service to fund something else. The meaning is there. The term is supposed to draw up negative connotations, just as "donation" would be positive.

And negligible? This is not so much about the monetary costs, but rather the principle of it: I want a choice in whether I'm funding someone else's vacation. I think if you want to go, you should save your money. It's a self-reliance type thing.

trilobyte wrote:I can't help but notice, Bbadger, that neither you, graidawg, nor others have said anything about the time you spend complaining about every other company. That speaks volumes.


Speaks volumes about what? This thread isn't about other companies/events. To drag that into the debate would be a huge distraction, and quite frankly it has no bearing on the subject on hand except perhaps as part of some sort of ad hominem.

I don't consider my time wasted, I'm responding to comments as I skim and peruse the boards looking for peoples' legitimate questions and concerns. Sure, if you want to get really anal-retentive about it I suppose any time spent responding to whiney armchair producers is kind of a waste, but I think helping people gain perspective that may help them get more out of the event, or help them improve the quality of their participation… is worthwhile.


Then you ought to understand that I don't believe I'm wasting my time with this subject either, at least in the sense of what this thread is about. Like you, I'm trying to "help" people gain perspective too -- even if you may not agree with it. If you want to counter the arguments, go ahead, but don't pretend that your participation is any loftier in purpose.

Burning Man currently devotes less than 5% of your ticket costs to help support their choice to run a low income ticket program. For the sake of argument, let's push the number way the fuck up, let's say upwards of 20% of the ticket price goes towards things like low income tickets, art grants, and feeding BMP efforts. All are charitable things for which you and all us other participants have no say whatsoever, and which you may or may not agree with. Or maybe you think someone should get twice as much, half as much, or some other silly quibble.


I say this with all the respect you're due, but:

What kind of illusions are you harboring about this debate here? I don't see you wandering into the politics thread and proclaiming: "NONE OF YOUR DEBATES MATTER! WHY DO YOU BOTHER?!! THEY WON'T CHANGE THE VOTE!!!"

HERE'S A BIG HINT: This isn't a debate about whether these opinions are going to change the world. It's a damn forum thread where I've outlined why I think the LIT is an ineffectual program, and a waste of funding that I feel we're being taxed for. Maybe the ideas will spread, who knows, but this isn't some sort of petition, or goofy "open letter" or whatever.

I'm voicing my opinion here. If you want to join in, by all means do, like others above have (Zeke, MegsLegs to name two). If you think the LIT program is an essential part of bringing important people to the burn, go on and say it. If you think my views of this organization-level charity are out-of-line, cut me down and explain why.

But don't come here with these lame "You have no say in the matter anyway; it's not going to change anything!!"-type platitudes. I'm not that obtuse; 99% of everything on this forum is a "waste of time" in that sense. Close the majority of the forum if that's the criterion for discussion.

It's not quite the grocery argument, because while you could bitch bitch bitch about how your grocer and food manufacturers spend their money, you need their food to survive. You'll live if you choose not to participate in Burning Man. No matter how much you might feel you'll die if you don't go, you really will live. Just like the LIT argument goes, Burning Man is something of a luxury vacation. If you really feel the way they choose to manage the event is a travesty, don't support it - spend your money elsewhere. By virtue of your making the decision to purchase a ticket nonetheless, you're telling us all that it's not really that big a deal to you after all.


That reminds me of other boycott responses: "Don't like how something in America is run?! TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT!"

Just because something isn't elevated to boycott-level status doesn't mean it isn't important enough to bring up as an issue, or call for it to be changed. Hell, even if it plants a seed in someone's mind that may be valuable. Regardless, there's nothing wrong with putting these thoughts out.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby graidawg » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:53 am

I need to practice my debating skills and to stop "wasting my time" on eplaya.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby Simon of the Playa » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:53 am

I'm calling a spade a spade.



racist...
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Re: Low income debate

Postby iconoplastyfervor » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:18 am

BBadger wrote:
iconoplastyfervor wrote:I think what Trilobyte also hinted to was that the comments here are paying disproportionate attention to this matter when there are so many other things that BMORG spends money on that could also be (pointlessly) debated.


This thread is about the low-income program. Not law-enforcement, or permit costs, or whatever else. We can expect that this thread will devote "disproportionate" attention to the LIT program because that's what the subject is about. I don't think "disproportionate" amounts of attention is spent on guns in the gun thread because that's the subject of the thread.

Also, if this subject is so damn "pointless" in your mind, you might want to devote less words of your own on the subject.

Like county fees, for instance. ...


Whatever costs attributed to infrastructure, law-enforcement, etc. would fall under -- to borrow a term from the federal budget -- "mandatory spending" category rather than what would be considered "discretionary spending." No, I don't consider the LIT program a "mandatory" program by any means.

Yeah, I acknowledge that the art grants, etc. are also "discretionary spending" that come with the ticket bill. However, a great deal of my beef with the LIT program is now I'm paying for other peoples' attendance, rather than something going to the festival itself. Anyone can attend if they just save their money for their trip -- just as so many do already.

The fact is that administration of an event of this size involves decisions and processes that the commentators here aren't involved with. There are reasons, and BMORG has good ones. The idea of this as a tax is silly. As mentioned, effect is negligible on ticket price.


I'm calling a spade a spade. Yes it is a tax. It's a cross-the-board charge attached to some product or service to fund something else. The meaning is there. The term is supposed to draw up negative connotations, just as "donation" would be positive.

And negligible? This is not so much about the monetary costs, but rather the principle of it: I want a choice in whether I'm funding someone else's vacation. I think if you want to go, you should save your money. It's a self-reliance type thing.

trilobyte wrote:I can't help but notice, Bbadger, that neither you, graidawg, nor others have said anything about the time you spend complaining about every other company. That speaks volumes.


Speaks volumes about what? This thread isn't about other companies/events. To drag that into the debate would be a huge distraction, and quite frankly it has no bearing on the subject on hand except perhaps as part of some sort of ad hominem.

I don't consider my time wasted, I'm responding to comments as I skim and peruse the boards looking for peoples' legitimate questions and concerns. Sure, if you want to get really anal-retentive about it I suppose any time spent responding to whiney armchair producers is kind of a waste, but I think helping people gain perspective that may help them get more out of the event, or help them improve the quality of their participation… is worthwhile.


Then you ought to understand that I don't believe I'm wasting my time with this subject either, at least in the sense of what this thread is about. Like you, I'm trying to "help" people gain perspective too -- even if you may not agree with it. If you want to counter the arguments, go ahead, but don't pretend that your participation is any loftier in purpose.

Burning Man currently devotes less than 5% of your ticket costs to help support their choice to run a low income ticket program. For the sake of argument, let's push the number way the fuck up, let's say upwards of 20% of the ticket price goes towards things like low income tickets, art grants, and feeding BMP efforts. All are charitable things for which you and all us other participants have no say whatsoever, and which you may or may not agree with. Or maybe you think someone should get twice as much, half as much, or some other silly quibble.


I say this with all the respect you're due, but:

What kind of illusions are you harboring about this debate here? I don't see you wandering into the politics thread and proclaiming: "NONE OF YOUR DEBATES MATTER! WHY DO YOU BOTHER?!! THEY WON'T CHANGE THE VOTE!!!"

HERE'S A BIG HINT: This isn't a debate about whether these opinions are going to change the world. It's a damn forum thread where I've outlined why I think the LIT is an ineffectual program, and a waste of funding that I feel we're being taxed for. Maybe the ideas will spread, who knows, but this isn't some sort of petition, or goofy "open letter" or whatever.

I'm voicing my opinion here. If you want to join in, by all means do, like others above have (Zeke, MegsLegs to name two). If you think the LIT program is an essential part of bringing important people to the burn, go on and say it. If you think my views of this organization-level charity are out-of-line, cut me down and explain why.

But don't come here with these lame "You have no say in the matter anyway; it's not going to change anything!!"-type platitudes. I'm not that obtuse; 99% of everything on this forum is a "waste of time" in that sense. Close the majority of the forum if that's the criterion for discussion.

It's not quite the grocery argument, because while you could bitch bitch bitch about how your grocer and food manufacturers spend their money, you need their food to survive. You'll live if you choose not to participate in Burning Man. No matter how much you might feel you'll die if you don't go, you really will live. Just like the LIT argument goes, Burning Man is something of a luxury vacation. If you really feel the way they choose to manage the event is a travesty, don't support it - spend your money elsewhere. By virtue of your making the decision to purchase a ticket nonetheless, you're telling us all that it's not really that big a deal to you after all.


That reminds me of other boycott responses: "Don't like how something in America is run?! TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT!"

Just because something isn't elevated to boycott-level status doesn't mean it isn't important enough to bring up as an issue, or call for it to be changed. Hell, even if it plants a seed in someone's mind that may be valuable. Regardless, there's nothing wrong with putting these thoughts out.


Sorry man, none of your arguments make ANY sense and are full of holes. I was using law enforcement as an example (and Trilo was using other companies likewise), not as an invitation to debate that topic. Bringing THAT up is a distraction and disingenuous. Lamps are not essential, and they could be supplied by camps instead of BMORG. You don't need lamps to have Burning Man or meet BLM regs for sanitation. There are many things that are not essential that monies get spent on by BMORG. Prove me wrong.

It's not a tax when it doesn't cost you anything! You are ignoring that fundamental premise and continuing on with irrelevant points. Calling it a tax is a tactic some republicans might use (while ignoring potentially much bigger issues that they don't want to deal with) to create anger in those not paying attention. Not all republicans, mind you. Just sayin' it's been done, have references.

You have a right to express your opinion, but at this point it's more like someone shaking their fist at the sky and everyone around them being sick of telling them to calm down, that nothing's wrong. Come back to the party.

This thread has reached absurdity levels. Granted, there are many absurd things about Burning Man, but most of them are FUN. This is not. Enjoy Burning Man. Do you think you'll be stewing about this while you're there? I hope not! Pretend like you already are and use this site in a more positive sense - to make BM better by communicating in a positive manner with the participants. If this issue hangs you up so much, then complain to BMORG and see what you can do to change policy. If your reasoning is sound, then I hope they might listen and make wise decisions based on it. If they don't choose to act for whatever reason, then maybe it's time to let it go and go have fun again.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby trilobyte » Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:03 pm

Bbadger, so what you're saying is you don't have a problem with there being a Low Income Ticket program or how Burning Man chooses to dole them out. Based on your statement "In years past (< 2012) the LIT didn't matter because the tickets never sold out" it sounds like you're basically in a twist because of scarcity - there aren't enough for everybody and so now you're doing that thing where you suggest excluding a group that does not include yourself.

I agree though, volunteering and participation should be done for its own merits, not as a condition of earning a discount. That's probably why the old lIT and scholarship programs were merged into the current program (which has no work requirement).

I'm not coming down on you as having no say in the matter, I'm saying that none of us participating in this thread (myself included) have any say in the matter. Either in the quantity of tickets offered, the criteria used, the cost they're offered at, or even if there is a program. Sorry if I'm not taking an extreme enough position on the subject for you, but it just doesn't bother me. As I've said previously, while I'd probably make different choices if it were up to me, I'm completely okay with there being a program and the way they choose to run it.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:27 pm

Simon of the Playa wrote:
I'm calling a spade a spade.



racist...

I've always wondered about that.

(fuck I'm reading this thread again, and I'm commenting. Will I never elarsn?)
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