Low income debate

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Re: Low income debate

Postby MisterSaunders » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:03 am

May I reactivate this dormant but clearly contentious thread? No need to thank me, the act of doing so is reward enough....

Let's assume for a minute that I run a large social experiment in the desert, in a style people find at best opaque and at worst infuriating (more assumptions and ambiguity incoming, so if your sense of certainty and being "right" is important to you, you might want to skip this.....)

Let's assume that what *I* find interesting about my social experiment is not so much the 95% of people who treat it as a "luxury vacation" (let's let that number be on the high end....), but the 5% of people who go off and do something interesting with "it". And let's even say that it's not an either/or thing. Let's consider that you can treat it as a "luxury vacation" and then, at a later date, do something interesting with "it".

Let's then assume that in my mind, a low income ticket plan increases the odds that that 5% becomes 6%, or that the mix of ideas within that 5% is enlarged and enriched by the financially un-enriched. Obviously, there may be other, better ways of increasing diversity at my large social experiment, but I never said I was "good" at this. It just happens to be my large social experiment and you're all kinda stuck with me. Good luck with that.

Let's even decide that I'm essentially doing this low ticket thing as a gesture, to deflect criticism that my social experiment is "elitist" -- I'm fine with you thinking that, because what interests me is this 5% of possibility, and I will do what I can to protect and incubate that, even if my actions -- my policies on photography, say -- often seem ham-fisted and only partially effective, or are clumsy attempts at "good PR".

Now, along comes someone who says, "hey, I object to paying for someone else's luxury vacation, this low income program is a tax and it should be optional."

My response, "Oh, gee... I see where you're coming from, by you fundamentally misunderstand the purpose of my large social experiment. You may treat it as a vacation and indeed, many, many people do. But the fact that you're able to enjoy it as a luxury vacation is at best a side effect of what, in my mind, I'm doing here. A somewhat unintended consequence. I don't see it as a vacation tax, I see it as a subsidy on possibility. In fact, you're engaging in a symbiotic ecosystem here. Your 'vacationing' mentality subsidizes the infrastructure of the event. The contributions of the 5% -- which I happen to believe these low-income participants factor into -- subsidizes the very existence, culture and direction of the event. Those people who treat this experiment as a canvas for ideas are, in fact, significantly intellectually subsidizing the vacationers by the creating the experiential vacation you've previously enjoyed or are planning on having. I'm not saying you can't be in both camps. Not saying that my notions of self-reliance are not somewhat flawed. Just saying that this.....camping trip in the desert is the experience it is because various groups and individuals subsidize and shore it up in different ways."

Now I don't really know what kind of horse-shit mumbo-jumbo is going on in the heads of the BMorg, but I did check and the low-income application did specify participants, not vacationers. Sure, some will treat it as a vacation, but inarguably, some will treat it as a catalyst for something. I imagine that that's the goal, and an investment that our imperfect organizers consider worth making. With your money. Just like they piss away a bunch of your money on art, some of which may strike you as lame, vaguely articulating ideas you may not agree with.

If at Burning Man art = people = art = people, then I'm fine with viewing it as an art subsidy that's as hit and miss as anything else out there.

If that doesn't work for some folks, please continue planning your radically self-reliant luxury vacation that's -- shhhhhhh! -- experientially subsidized by the intellectual capital of others.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby VultureChow » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:12 am

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Re: Low income debate

Postby Dragger » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:07 am

Well stated, BBadger

And as you probably know: there are already hundreds of organic ticket subsidy programs already functioning on the Playa--so, maybe these could be encouraged and then phase out the official LIT program. In our camp, we give tickets and travel assistance to those who have shown they have the heart to contribute to our camp mission. Being a locally (our camp) created and controlled subsidy program, we know the people and can elect to continue to subsidize a person, bring on others, or not--based mostly on their attitude, heart, spirit and contribution.

So, it is not really charity . . . I participate in this subsidy program to enhance my own burn--to get more burn for ME. The recipients really appreciate a more cost effective burn, so they are happy too. So, being an Ayn Rand capitalist, I am happy to provide for those who want the subsidy to attend and work (heart and muscle) for our camp.

And, yeah, as a separate issue, our camp adds a lot of heart and value to the Burn for those who visit our camp--that is our mission of giving to make Burning Man what it is. ;)
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Re: Low income debate

Postby druscilla » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:15 am

Awaiting a response on my application.

I live paycheck to paycheck. I currently participate with our regional group. If I don't get the LIT I'm not sure I'll be able to go, so I'm really glad they have this program. I can't wait to experience the burn and everything it encompasses.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby BurnerBunny » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:08 pm

experiential - adjective - relating to or resulting from experience; "a personal, experiential reality"
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Re: Low income debate

Postby PlayaPatrol » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:00 pm

I got a Low Income Ticket and volunteered many hours last year. I and plenty of others spent lots of time fixing people's garbage bikes that broke on their owners because their owners were too cheap to buy quality bikes or too incompetent and forgetful to bring parts and tools to fix them. So they got to save about $100 per bike in parts and labor and subsidized each worker a few bucks. I also volunteer greeted and got people in the event quicker so they could enjoy it rather then sitting in line. And I gave them valuable info like how to avoid getting a $300 ticket. That was worth a few bucks. And I volunteered giving massages. That was worth some subsidizing. And I volunteered building and tearing down my camp (one of the most heavily visited on the Playa) which THOUSANDS of you enjoyed eating and drinking and looking at.
Yea, you got your money's worth in subsidizing the low income folks. Now shut up you cheap ungrateful bastards.
Last edited by PlayaPatrol on Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby BBadger » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:09 pm

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Re: Low income debate

Postby lemur » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:33 pm

you just violated Part 7 subsection e ..... and section 8 of the terms of use.

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im reporting that baby post to the proper authorities


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Re: Low income debate

Postby BBadger » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:40 pm

Dammit, I thought I had my bases covered when I cropped out the attribution to Reuters!
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Re: Low income debate

Postby Savannah » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:04 pm

All right, Beautifulz . . .

Feel free to keep arguing.

I deleted some name-calling, cha cha cha.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby BBadger » Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:25 am

Now with all that garbage cleared out:

The point, for those who missed it, is not the exclusion of the less financially well-off (the "financially unenriched"), nor some kind of means to make up for the LIT as was mentioned way earlier in the thread and dismissed. Rather that, fundamentally, luxuries should not be subsidized. It's more about the principle of this concept, rather than the cost.

Nothing excludes the less financially well-off from attending the event: you just save your money over time like we all do for what we can't afford at the moment. Apply that to any luxury in your life: chocolate, booze, vacations, hookers, whatever. Should those luxuries be subsidized too? I don't think so. Nor is this about repayment or getting one's money's worth from peoples' attendance. This is not a present-exchange, nor should we see that 5% or whatever as some sort of payment for services. It's not about that.

I also don't believe that the elimination of the LIT affects the "social experiment" that is Burning Man in any meaningful way. The LIT doesn't really encourage the attendance of more diverse demographics, because people -- in any financial situation that can contemplate going to BM -- can save money over time to attend, LIT or not. In that respect, we are all equal. Burning Man is not going anywhere, and if you don't attend this specific year, there is always another year to attend. Even then, assuming that a person's attendance is critically dependent on the ticket price, eliminating LIT program would only reduce attendance to about once every 1.5 years as compared to baseline. That is not significant, and only the ticket cost. So what of real value does the LIT even bring to the table? Nothing. Be a responsible saver, and you'll be going to TTitD just as others do.

And for all those who do want to fund an LIT program: make the LIT program a donation-operated program. Then it's actual charity -- something willingly given -- not a tax. You can sponsor the LIT program, and it would then actually be about gifting not taxing/subsidizing.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby ygmir » Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:30 am

BBadger wrote:Now with all that garbage cleared out:

The point, for those who missed it, is not the exclusion of the less financially well-off (the "financially unenriched"), nor some kind of means to make up for the LIT as was mentioned way earlier in the thread and dismissed. Rather that, fundamentally, luxuries should not be subsidized. It's more about the principle of this concept, rather than the cost.

Nothing excludes the less financially well-off from attending the event: you just save your money over time like we all do for what we can't afford at the moment. Apply that to any luxury in your life: chocolate, booze, vacations, hookers, whatever. Should those luxuries be subsidized too? I don't think so. Nor is this about repayment or getting one's money's worth from peoples' attendance. This is not a present-exchange, nor should we see that 5% or whatever as some sort of payment for services. It's not about that.

I also don't believe that the elimination of the LIT affects the "social experiment" that is Burning Man in any meaningful way. The LIT doesn't really encourage the attendance of more diverse demographics, because people -- in any financial situation that can contemplate going to BM -- can save money over time to attend, LIT or not. In that respect, we are all equal. Burning Man is not going anywhere, and if you don't attend this specific year, there is always another year to attend. Even then, assuming that a person's attendance is critically dependent on the ticket price, eliminating LIT program would only reduce attendance to about once every 1.5 years as compared to baseline. That is not significant, and only the ticket cost. So what of real value does the LIT even bring to the table? Nothing. Be a responsible saver, and you'll be going to TTitD just as others do.

And for all those who do want to fund an LIT program: make the LIT program a donation-operated program. Then it's actual charity -- something willingly given -- not a tax. You can sponsor the LIT program, and it would then actually be about gifting not taxing/subsidizing.



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Re: Low income debate

Postby laffingblonde » Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:36 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?


Thank you.

Got a low income this year after not applying last year and buying one from STEP in July. Burning Man isn't necessarily a luxury. For some people it's the one thing they do all year. If you're broke your life isn't a lot of fun. it isn't because you want a dead end job with low pay and no benefits. It isn't because you want to be unemployed. If you're at that point you aren't thinking about the burn. Blowing off the steam of 51 other weeks once a year makes life bearable. It is a pilgrimage home. That's why I hitched there 3,000 miles once and traveled with 2 strangers and a toddler in a horribly overloaded subaru I found online last year for $150 round trip earned digging holes in miserable heat at $10 an hour for a job that paid $30 a decade ago.

If it's just a party you go to once a year please stay home. Spend your money on something better like a new tv or whatever it is consumers want these days. Lobby some of those guys trying to kill unions. If you can afford to go to the burn you can afford to help someone else create the experience. If that $38 is such a big deal then you probably can't afford to go either. And you folks that have nothing better to do than troll on here all day please share the secret to financial success with the rest of us.

Here's what we did yesterday to prepare for building part of the core that will burn away before you thursday eve. I didn't know any of them. I rode a broken bike 15 blocks after searching for work all morning to meet some burners and invest time (the only currency that really matters dear paper collectors) to be part of something bigger and a lot more beautiful than my miserable existence.

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Hauled two of these into piles to prepare for the coming build.

This is a stupid argument. Let's fix the system, value each other equally and allow everyone equitable employment. If you were born better looking, smarter or to a better family then you owe everything you have to the society around you that allowed you not be murdered by either bandits or the elements as a small child. Helping 4,000 people, who are screened, attend that care enough to answer 20+ questions, provide documentation and figure out everything else in their life to be there is what the event is *bleeping* about. Community. Togetherness. Not you saving enough increasingly worthless 'merican greenbacks to buy some extra microbrews.

I don't enjoy applying to jobs endlessly and repeatedly being told that I'm not good enough. It's actually rather distressing. Maybe I should just save the time and effort and decrease the surplus population. Oh no wait, eff off. I'll keep managing my way from day to day and eventually I'll find myself on a dusty road in Nevada.

We're not here to freeload. We don't subsist on welfare. We're people who have had bad breaks, got squeezed out in the recession, hate money and the stupid ant society surrounding us or a million other reasons. We come to create and be part of something that once involved showing up.

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Re: Low income tickets and early entrance

Postby PlayaPatrol » Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:54 am

junglesmacks wrote:Nice to know that you could have afforded a full price DD ticket were it offered yet went ahead and cheated the system to save a buck. Nice work.

Nice to know you spend 12 hours a day bravely trolling and attacking people that you'll never meet. Mostly. Can you pull the plug on yourself already?
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Re: Low income tickets and early entrance

Postby ygmir » Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:37 am

PlayaPatrol wrote:
junglesmacks wrote:Nice to know that you could have afforded a full price DD ticket were it offered yet went ahead and cheated the system to save a buck. Nice work.

Nice to know you spend 12 hours a day bravely trolling and attacking people that you'll never meet. Mostly. Can you pull the plug on yourself already?


you think JS' reply wrong? Scammers should not be "called out"?
just turn your head while people "game" a system, meant for those truly needy?
are you one of those "I'll take all I can get, any way I can get it, screw rules or concepts"?
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Re: Low income debate

Postby PlayaPatrol » Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:35 am

BBadger, do you have carpal tunnel from your hundreds of hours of over the top long winded multi page long rehashed posts?
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Re: Low income debate

Postby PlayaPatrol » Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:38 am

Ygmir, I'm sorry you have no life outside of posting to eplaya 24 hours per day for 10 straight years. You should try to make friends in real life.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Aug 01, 2013 6:41 am

PlayaPatrol wrote:Ygmir, I'm sorry you have no life outside of posting to eplaya 24 hours per day for 10 straight years. You should try to make friends in real life.


That has got to be one of the funniest things I've ever read!!! :lol:
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Re: Low income debate

Postby delle » Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:12 am

OMG. no kidding

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Re: Low income debate

Postby ygmir » Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:08 am

PlayaPatrol wrote:Ygmir, I'm sorry you have no life outside of posting to eplaya 24 hours per day for 10 straight years. You should try to make friends in real life.



oh hun.......thanks for your concern. I just live my isolated little life here in my aunts basement, chirping on the interwebs, eating oreo's and hoping I grow out of my baby fat and get taller. I hope, to have friends some day. But for now, my lonely life and entertainment emanating therein is confined to hoping cool cats like you, will pay attention to me, and show me how to game and cheat things, to get "ahead".
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Re: Low income debate

Postby aserendipity » Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:11 am

What a silly !
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Re: Low income debate

Postby jkisha » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:19 am

PlayaPatrol wrote:I got a Low Income Ticket and volunteered many hours last year. I and plenty of others spent lots of time fixing people's garbage bikes that broke on their owners because their owners were too cheap to buy quality bikes or too incompetent and forgetful to bring parts and tools to fix them. So they got to save about $100 per bike in parts and labor and subsidized each worker a few bucks. I also volunteer greeted and got people in the event quicker so they could enjoy it rather then sitting in line. And I gave them valuable info like how to avoid getting a $300 ticket. That was worth a few bucks. And I volunteered giving massages. That was worth some subsidizing. And I volunteered building and tearing down my camp (one of the most heavily visited on the Playa) which THOUSANDS of you enjoyed eating and drinking and looking at.
Yea, you got your money's worth in subsidizing the low income folks. Now shut up you cheap ungrateful bastards.

With all that volunteering I'm surprised you didn't earn a free ticket.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:46 am

jkisha wrote:
PlayaPatrol wrote:I got a Low Income Ticket and volunteered many hours last year. I and plenty of others spent lots of time fixing people's garbage bikes that broke on their owners because their owners were too cheap to buy quality bikes or too incompetent and forgetful to bring parts and tools to fix them. So they got to save about $100 per bike in parts and labor and subsidized each worker a few bucks. I also volunteer greeted and got people in the event quicker so they could enjoy it rather then sitting in line. And I gave them valuable info like how to avoid getting a $300 ticket. That was worth a few bucks. And I volunteered giving massages. That was worth some subsidizing. And I volunteered building and tearing down my camp (one of the most heavily visited on the Playa) which THOUSANDS of you enjoyed eating and drinking and looking at.
Yea, you got your money's worth in subsidizing the low income folks. Now shut up you cheap ungrateful bastards.

With all that volunteering I'm surprised you didn't earn a free ticket.

Wow. All the rest of us, from Larry Harvey on down, are totally unworthy to be sharing a playa with this fellow. And I've been shown the error of my ways for believing that volunteering is not some sort of martyrdom contest.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby mdmf007 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:52 pm

PlayaPatrol wrote:I got a Low Income Ticket and volunteered many hours last year. I and plenty of others spent lots of time fixing people's garbage bikes that broke on their owners because their owners were too cheap to buy quality bikes or too incompetent and forgetful to bring parts and tools to fix them. So they got to save about $100 per bike in parts and labor and subsidized each worker a few bucks. I also volunteer greeted and got people in the event quicker so they could enjoy it rather then sitting in line. And I gave them valuable info like how to avoid getting a $300 ticket. That was worth a few bucks. And I volunteered giving massages. That was worth some subsidizing. And I volunteered building and tearing down my camp (one of the most heavily visited on the Playa) which THOUSANDS of you enjoyed eating and drinking and looking at.
Yea, you got your money's worth in subsidizing the low income folks. Now shut up you cheap ungrateful bastards.


You do realize that there are people that volunteer hundreds of hours and STILL do nto get a free ticket. Others volunteer 24 hours and get a free ticket. Two things come to mind
1. You are at the point where you expect more for your effort.
2. You do not get what you think you deserve - you get what you negotiate, learn to negotiate better.

Sorry your doing good deeds for people and not feeling the love.
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Re: Low income debate

Postby oddmanout » Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:16 pm

Best Burn Ever 2013!!

Fellow burners, perhaps a narrow focus of this debate centers on malingering. In eplaya & playa-speak, this is a situation where "someone" has/might have/perhaps gotten by cheating what the rest of us have paid for with real sweat. This isn't the full meaning of malingering, for this discussion it cuts to the chase.

We must all beware of the cheater. However, it is rarely wise to cast too wide a net. By that is meant: Do you know the culprit? Or is this one of those "I heard about...", "a dark, shadowy figure-",an urban legend? What evidence do you have? Support your contention. You'll feel better about yourself.

Malingering itself produces the least enticing characters anywhere. It is common for the busy citizen to confuse bummy dressed folks for malingerer's. First impressions work their special magic. Civility will win out, however. Gentility can be an emperor's new clothes in spite of circumstances. And enplaya appearances are moot (as opposed to MOOP)

This information is offered in the hope that folks will find ways to make sure that their charitable giving is hands on and heart felt. Malingering is often based upon self-esteem issues. Wouldn't BM be the best place to demonstrate to the malingerer the value of participation, effort, and success? I'm not saying let them all in. My wish would be that a malingerer would find BM so depressing to their paradigm they would give it up and join in. Perhaps that shows what I know!

One of the saddest parts of "christian charity" is how businesses manipulate every aspect of social services and turn it to profit. Every public social service program in existence must generate income. When you pay a business to do your charity for you, why are you surprised when profit is the only tracable result. If you find me silly check out WIC enforcement. That's your grocer, Playing the system. Careful of throwing that first stone.

The malingerer argument comes down to this: Stick to specifics. Generalizations are, to quote Hemingway, irritatingly presumptuous. And further, you badass, radically empowered Burner, when you do actually find an actual malingerer, will you just stare, accuse, cajole, recriminate? Give it up: I know you will be kind. What better place for all of us to start?

I know a little of what I speak. Part of my spine was eaten by a disease I caught from a client when I was working in a homeless shelter. I have been disabled and recovering for 13 years. I can walk. My first burn was in 2010. I saved up and paid full price. I volunteered and pitched in and my crew has provided my ticket since based upon my participation. And I have the cushiest job enplaya!! I do nothing but sit around and send my service dog to the refrigerator for bonbons. I don't call that malingering at all.

A minor note: doesn't the ticket contract every participant to contribute 4 hours to the BMorg, outside of and along with other participation?

Special to those on a budget: There's a rumor folks who volunteer in the Center Camp Cafe get to split the tips, and the money is so good Bill Gates pulls shots every day during the event!
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Location: Tonasket, WA
Burning Since: 2010

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