What Tea Partiers Really Want

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby netcrusher88 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:16 pm UTC

If it makes you uncomfortable... that's kind of the point. It is certainly not inaccurate.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby doogly » Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:29 pm UTC

netcrusher88 wrote:
Steroid wrote: To carry forth the metaphor, there's even more reason not to throw the life preserver if the person has jumped in, been pulled out, and jumped in again.
To disrobe that straw man, you're a horrible little piece of shit if you see someone push a person in and instead of throwing a life preserver tell them to learn to swim and build their own fucking boat.

Seriously Steroid, what was your response even addressing? People do not just leap into poverty of their own volition. Do you think that is what happens? That is blindingly stupid and stupidly blind.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Zamfir » Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:30 pm UTC

netcrusher88 wrote:If it makes you uncomfortable... that's kind of the point. It is certainly not inaccurate.

I mean uncomfortable as in, why is he telling me this? His biography suggests he is from a far more priviliged background than most, including me. He may have seen some years of poverty, but only as a personal choice not to pursue a more lucrative career. That's pretty different from poverty without much hope of improvement.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Cynical Idealist » Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:48 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:
netcrusher88 wrote:If it makes you uncomfortable... that's kind of the point. It is certainly not inaccurate.

I mean uncomfortable as in, why is he telling me this? His biography suggests he is from a far more priviliged background than most, including me. He may have seen some years of poverty, but only as a personal choice not to pursue a more lucrative career. That's pretty different from poverty without much hope of improvement.

You know, someone said pretty much the same thing in the comments. I'll reproduce Scalzi's response here, with minor editing (just putting it in bbcode):
John Scalzi wrote:
Mike Cane wrote:Next time at least *ask* someone who is or has been *poor*.

Well, let’s see, Mike, which of the things on the list would like me to admit happened to me? Or maybe you’d prefer something off the menu:

Should I point out to you that I’m the first one in my immediate family to graduate from high school, much less college?

Shall I describe to you the taste of Government-supplied peanut butter?

Will being able to describe the inside of a social workers office be sufficient for you?

Should I mention that for a long time I made more than every other member of my immediate family, combined? And get this — it wasn’t that much that I was making.

Maybe you’d like me to tell you about the time my mother had to send my sister and I away for a year to live with our aunt because she’d had a back injury and couldn’t work or afford to keep us with her.

Or perhaps you would like me to mention that one of the primary functions in my family is to serve as the emergency bank, for when the lights are about to go off or a tire goes flat or one damn thing or another is about to happen unless there’s money on the table right now.

At what point, Mike, will I have accrued enough poverty cred to suit you?

Don’t imagine that I don’t write from experience, Mike.

Your argument here is largely boils down to “you can’t have been poor because you’re not poor as I define it.” Well, see, Mike. There’s lots of different ways to be poor in America. In some of these ways, you have a car (especially if you live in California). In some of them, you might even have a home. We did, for a while, when I was young. We had a nice big house and we looked pretty prosperous and then one day my stepfather’s business went into the tank and suddenly people were leaving charity boxes of food on our front step. We did eventually lose the house, though. That should make you happy.

As for the landlord not being on the list at all: As you can tell by the number of people chiming in, the original list is by no means exhaustive.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Malice » Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:53 pm UTC

Steroid wrote:
Malice wrote:No, incompetent is not a choice; that's why it's so important not to be inconsiderate. Who, suffering mental and physical illness, would be turned away for help by private help organizations in the absence of a bureaucracy? And inconsiderate is a choice.

I didn't say inconsiderate wasn't a choice. I said your whole "be nice, be self-sufficient, or be dead, choose 2" thing is bullshit, because you can be non-self-sufficient and nice and still wind up dead in a society with no social safety nets.

Government charity is not significantly different from private charity; it's simply a larger organization with greater accountability to the public, who have proven time and again that, on the whole, they like it well enough not to vote for its deconstruction. If your argument is that government assistance is impersonal, why not argue for face-to-face interviews before giving support? Why argue for the dissolution of the entire thing?


Because it doesn't work. Can government say to an anarchist or a libertarian like me, "No, since you're working toward the abolition of everything we stand for, we're not going to help you"?


I am grateful to live in a country whose government is "secure" enough (in an emotional sense) to allow freedoms and financial assistance even to people who would destroy it. Are you seriously suggesting that the government (or any charitable organization) should be able to discriminate based on people's political beliefs?

Can government charity say to an unrepentant drunkard, "No, we're not going to just give you food stamps and send you on your way to trade them for black market liquor"?


With the proper design, yes. Systems can be put in place to verify that the right person is spending their food stamps (for example, requiring that merchants check IDs before validating purchases), or to make getting clean a condition of assistance. These are modifications that could improve the system, not reasons to disband it entirely.

Can government charity say, "You've been on and off welfare a dozen times; no more"?


While I disagree with the need for this, certainly governments have done it before.

Even if they did, would not that drunkard, that anarchist, and that welfare king band together and vote out the people who say that and vote in people who will write them a blank check?


Do you believe that drunkards, anarchists, and welfare kings make up a significant or politically active segment of the population?

And to a libertarian, the difference between government charity and private charity is the most significant of all: only one takes money by force. Only one pushes me into the water, while the other just refuses to throw me the life preserver.


To extend your analogy, it's not force if you have the ability to find a new, less pushy boat.

And to reject your analogy, government did not push you into poverty via your taxes. You're complaining that in order to save people who fell out of the vote, we have to throw the life preserver of one of the guys who is still in the boat. And he's only got 4 of them left--what happens if all 4 are stolen by sharks? Everyone will be screwed because eventually those life preservers would have trickled down into the hands of other people on the boat.

The more apt analogy is, government charity is the captain of the boat going, "Help that guy who fell overboard or find a new boat," while private charity stands around going, "We've saved our limit of overboards this year. And anyway, he doesn't seem like a nice person. For example, that third "glub" was just rude."

Is this state of affairs something which should be encouraged, or something which should be rectified? If as a nation we have the power to make economic losses less devastating, why shouldn't we do so? Wouldn't it be better to live in a world where a community of nice people could, in fact, survive and thrive?


Encouraged. Look, it's a simple question of whether you prefer justice or prosperity. A pragmatic libertarian prefers justice because he believes over the long run it will lead to prosperity--your world where nice people thrive. An idealistic libertarian prefers justice because it makes reality fall more in line with theory. But you prefer prosperity--why?


Because I believe that over the short run, prosperity will lead to pros--no, wait, you're already there. The instantaneous run, then.

I have nothing against justice. What I like is the idea of the safety net--which says, "If you fuck up, for reasons of your own or not, you will fall--but you won't fall so far as to kill you." Justice is a matter of meting out fair consequences for actions and circumstances, but those consequences don't have to be permanent or severe in order to be fair. I am perfectly fine with your level of "economic competence" determining your quality of life; I am not fine with it determining, on the low end, that you will die, or live a life of unending suffering.

Oh Lord. Now bigotry against bigots is equivalent to bigotry against minorities. Next you'll be telling me affirmative action is just as bad as lynching. The person who says "you'll go to hell for being gay" is not just as harmful as the person who says "you're not a nice person for saying that". Christ.


Please defend your position. That difference in harmfulness is not self-evident. In particular, please explain why the actions taken by minorities against bigotry will not be taken by bigots against meta-bigotry.

Case in point: observe netcrusher88's post above. Explain how talking down and insulting me on the basis of my opinion is not as harmful as doing so on the basis of my sexuality. Explain why I should not follow his advice and withdraw from a forum of reason to a forum of bigotry. Explain how this position aids your cause regarding bigotry against minorities.


I'm not defending netcrusher's post. But, when reading it, did you contemplate suicide? Did you have somewhere in your life to turn where netcrusher's opinions were not held to be valid? Did your actions, even as characterized by netcrusher, prevent you from gaining housing, employment, or a romantic partner? Has your religious advisor lately told you or others about how God believes those who do not behave on the internet as netcrusher would wish are doomed to eternal suffering and should be shunned and derided?

Any insult or rudeness is generally harmful, in that it will hurt someone's feelings. An insult or rudeness specifically aimed at a minority also acts to reinforce society's larger treatment of that minority. If I call you a jerk, you are miffed. If I call John a fag, he is oppressed. That is the difference.

Why should you not follow his advice and withdraw from the forum? Because he doesn't own the forum and you have equal right to be here and speak your mind, as long as you do so in a reasonable fashion. I would suggest a modicum of self-examination--if I got such a harsh response, perhaps there was a problem with my post?--but if you decide that you acted in the way that you should, then you should continue to do so.

How does this position aid my cause regarding bigotry against minorities? By making it socially unacceptable. I don't need to end bigotry--I just want to end open dickishness by forcing bigotry to express itself behind closed doors, away from legal and public venues, where I and other minorities don't have to experience it. Part of how I do that is expressing to people the full harm of what their bigotry entails.

And while generational poverty is difficult to break out of, why shouldn't ancestry be a factor in economic status? Again, just like in war, everything counts. If ancestry isn't supposed to be a factor and hard work isn't and brains aren't, then what should determine economic status? Nothing? Everyone eats the same, lives in the same house, has the same toys?


Hard work, brains, and starting resources (read: ancestry) are all determinants of economic status. The question isn't whether or not everyone should have the same outcome regardless of inputs, but whether everyone should have the same minimum outcome regardless of inputs.

--

Edit to address a later post:

Steroid wrote:
Czhorat wrote:The above is simply not true. The welfare reform of the early 1990s did create a requirement to work in exchange for continued benefits, and it is possible for government benefits to be cut off for various causes. As to your contention about government charity takes "by force", this is a silly argument that deligitimizes ALL of government.

Sure welfare reform happened, but there's still a system that can be gamed. Private charity has the advantage of being able to use common sense to figure out who really needs it and who's just mooching.


Is your argument that welfare fraud wastes so much money that the program is worthless? Or is your argument that if even one person gets one dollar they weren't entitled to, all is lost?

And the force argument doesn't deligitimize all of government, it leaves the use of force against force. And that's the libertarian position: have the government take care of murder, rape, arson, assault, theft, and property damage, and leave everything else alone.


So, just 90% of government. You've left the army, the police, the fire department, and some of the court system. In your libertarian utopia, gone are the public school systems, the backbone of the economy; without oversight, corporations tank what's left of the economy so that the richest 1% can inflate their stock prices, sell out, and move to a different country (or maybe just start their own one behind gates); gone are the social safety nets for the poor, the sick, and the elderly, who utterly overwhelm private charities (no longer funded, because all the rich people left); people segregate themselves and grow hateful and commit more murders and rapes and arsons, which are duly processed by the police and the fire department, whose mandate grows until it meets the shrinking economy and passes by it into bankruptcy; at which point what is left of the government defaults and collapses, anarchy takes complete hold, and we descend into a second Dark Age.

Maybe that's hyperbolic. Maybe corporations won't do whatever is most profitable. Maybe people won't be dicks. Maybe the wealthy will band together and give their money away voluntarily, patriotically. Maybe you'll just live your entire life from age 6 to death, working 60 hours a week in unsafe factories in exchange for McBucks that you spend at the company store on substandard goods. Have fun with that.

netcrusher88 wrote:Meta-bigotry. That's a good one, I'll have to remember it next time I feel like being a white supremacist. Tell me, are you really incapable of telling the difference between the Civil Rights Act and the Ku Klux Klan?


Of course I am capable. The CRA was government interference in human liberty, wheras the KKK is a private organization.

That's a joke. The KKK does engage in violence, and is therefore wrong.


Your serious distinction leads inexorably back to the idea that your joke is not a joke, since you claim that anything not involving property or physical rights (like the CRA) is enforced with the despicable threat of government violence. When the army forcibly desegregated the schools, was this an inappropriate use of government power?

See, I don't know what it's like to be homosexual, but you don't know what it's like to be heterosexual. You can be fired in 20 states? How many can I be fired in if I say the word fag? Or sent to re-education, oops, I mean sensitivity training. How many universities will shun me if I happen to think that maybe heterosexuality as a concept has some advantages?


Don't be an asshat. I can be fired in 20 states for having a boyfriend. You can be fired for using a slur. Is my relationship and your speech equally harmful?

Christianity is not an inferior religion.


When was the last time Buddhists started a war or oppressed a minority?

Heterosexuality is not an inferior orientation.


Arguably it is; us bisexuals have the best of all possible worlds. But don't worry--you won't go to hell for it and I'm not firing you over it, or telling you you can't sully my marriage with yours.

Conservatism is not an inferior political position.


It is when the things it wishes to conserve are, in and of themselves, harmful, wrong, or misguided.

And even though only half of those apply to me, I'll be damned if I'm going to stand for discrimination on the ones that do, and I'll be double damned if I'm going to discriminate against the others just to keep in good with self-righteous folks like you.


I notice that that list did not include "Racism is not an inferior social belief." How come?
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Steroid » Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:07 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:
Steroid wrote: My right to swing my fist may end at your nose, but not one nanometer before.

Steroid, you seriously need to work on your metaphores. Where in the world is it acceptable behaviour to almost-hit people in the nose?

I am serious: you talk about letting people drown, almost hitting people in the face, treating economic affairs as no-rules warfare, all as if they are natural things to do. I am sure you don't literally mean those metaphores, but they paint a pretty nasty picture anyway. They defintiely don't help to convince me of your views.


They're nasty because politics, IMO, is all about force and death and nasty things. Limit that, and I'll use better metaphors.

Jplus wrote:
Steroid wrote:See, I don't know what it's like to be homosexual, but you don't know what it's like to be heterosexual. You can be fired in 20 states? How many can I be fired in if I say the word fag? Or sent to re-education, oops, I mean sensitivity training.

You don't seem to distinguish very well between innate properties and chosen behaviour. Surely being gay is something very different from calling somebody a fag?


Yes, but it's not being gay, the innate property, I'm comparing. It's acting against me, which is a chosen behavior. If a homosexual comes up to me and says, "You're straight, so you're a bigot. Don't talk to me," what's my recourse? Or what if it's more subtle, such as a group of homosexuals excluding me and making jokes at my expense?

Steroid wrote:The word church, in lowercase, can refer to any building of religious worship. It can refer to a synagogue, mosque, temple, etc. And I'm the one who's Christian-normative? Well, perhaps I am. But it's a function of the golden rule: they have the gold; they make the rules. Heterosexual Christians have done a lot for mankind. Historical fact, can't just ignore it.

For this one, allow me to puke for a moment.


What's emetic about that? And again, suppose I had that reaction during Women's History Month? This double standard that can't stand anything in favor of a (heterosexual, white, Christian, male, conservative) is the oikophobia I'm talking about.

netcrusher88 wrote:
Steroid wrote:How many can I be fired in if I say the word fag? Or sent to re-education, oops, I mean sensitivity training.

Same ones you can be fired in for saying nigger, I suppose, only that's a lot more likely. Or for sexual harassment. And I'm sorry if you're so fucking offended by workplaces considering it unacceptable for employees to use discriminatory language.

I'm not offended by workplaces doing so. I'm offended by the government mandating it. I'm offended with everyone I meet assuming without thinking or reason that it's the only way to run a workplace.

Yeah, it really sucks that businesses must make a token effort to inform interviewees and employees of their rights. Quit whining.


Yeah, it really sucks that gays can't get a job. Quit whining.

Hear how that sounds? Because if you're saying they're not the same thing, then you're saying you're better than me. And you are not better than me.

No, but neither has a business ever been investigated for not having enough minority individuals. You're full of shit. A disparity in representation among employees may be used as evidence in an accusation of unfair hiring practices (regardless of the group or minority status of the individual(s) making the accusation) but it is not on its own probable cause.

OK, I phrased my question wrong. Has any business ever been interfered with by the government for hiring practices. Something that should be at the absolute discretion of the property owner has been turned into a public service.

How about just engendering your attitude of being a victim on the one hand, but feeling free to insult those who disagree with you without fear of retribution on the other?

Alright let's get this fucking straight. I am insulting you because of your positions. Because you refuse to understand or own the implications of them, or don't care about them. I do the same thing to LaRouchies, Tony Perkins, and birthers.

That is NOT the same fucking thing as insulting someone based on the color of their skin, their sex, their gender, or their orientation.

Just as I said, you can feel free to swear, compare me to other groups you hate, and argue without reason because I happen to be adopting an unorthodox position. I ask again, why do you think this will do anything other than make me abandon reason and be prejudiced against you?

There are multiple dimensions to one's political positions. Fundamentalist, or as Dark567 put it, deontological libertarianism is inherently indifferent to civil rights. There is an argument to be made that indifference is a form of moderateness on the subject towards which it is held. Certainly the fundie libertarian position towards civil rights (or lack thereof) is not unlike what that particular passage of Dr. King's letter referred to.

What is a civil right? How does it reconcile with normal rights--those against personal injury or property damage provided you do no injury or damage to any other? The fact is that it doesn't. Either my property is mine or it's someone else's. Either I'm a free man or I'm a slave. I don't conscience slavers, and because of that I call civil rights out as a cover for them.

So where does your right to discriminate end? My paycheck? An emergency room? Driver's licensing?

If you're working for me, your paycheck is what I, or a signed contract, say it is. Whoever owns the emergency room can decide which of us to devote the resources to. But you'll be happy to know that I don't believe in discrimination regarding driver's licenses, since I don't think the government should be in the licensing business in the first place.

Your right to discriminate does not override my right to not be discriminated against.

Why not? It's clearly an either-or situation. One will happen or the other. Why do you get priority? Because it reads better in the newspapers and the history books? Because there's a general right of inaction over action? Because you say so?

What is force? A society which idolizes discrimination and thus gives rise to a market which selects for discrimination and effectively drives out minority-friendly businesses (and that's not hypothetical) - is that not force leveled against the target minority or minorities? You do accept the concept that no man is an island, right? That groups of people at large can act as an entity and have real effects on other people? I mean I know that messes with a lot of common libertarian positions ("it's nobody's fault but your own that you're broke because your employer fired you for being gay and you can't handle a job search because you're dealing with unrelated PTSD that was aggravated by that"), but it is the fundamental concept of how humans work.


Every man is an island. This has to be so. Otherwise, I can come up with any ridiculous excuse for a grievance. You're gay, so my daughter has fewer potential men to marry, and she's depressed over it, write me a check in compensation. Your business is open in the daytime, which offends my religion that worships the night god, so shut your doors. You scare a butterfly, it flaps its wings, a typhoon occurs halfway around the world, accept your responsibility as the cause of a disaster. What's the black line, what's the absolute, objective, intuitive standard that separates those from your example? My standard has one: don't touch the body, don't touch the property. That's what force is.

To disrobe that straw man, you're a horrible little piece of shit if you see someone push a person in and instead of throwing a life preserver tell them to learn to swim and build their own fucking boat.

Why? What gives him the right to my life preserver? Need? I need a new car to get to work, buy me one or you're a horrible little piece of excrement.

Jahoclave wrote:
Steroid wrote:Jaho: never said that the church was the only private charity. Why did you assume I meant it as such?

I'm going to go ahead and go with the, "because that's the words you used," argument here. You know, because you explicitly argued for religious charity. Private charity is different, but it's still conditional and thus not wholely effective and runs a much greater risk of discrimination.


"Religious charity is an alternative to government charity" is not semantically equivalent to "religious charity is the sole alternative to government charity." Is this poor logic, or an automatic aversion to a statement about an organized religion that wasn't pejorative? And I guess I'm more worried about the greater risk of indiscriminate charity than about discrimination in charity.

Contradict yourself have you. If ancestry is a factor then you can't claim economic competence as the reason for being poor. Also, Gault was a genocidal asshat and you can shove your social darwinism up your ass. The point is that people in poverty are not often privileged with even the opprotunity to get themselves out of poverty. It's not as easy as you would think to get and maintain a meaningful, paying job that can support a family or even oneself. When you can't even afford a car to get to work that limits your options. The point is, you need to stop claiming people are poor because it's their own damn fault, because, in a lot of cases, it quite isn't.

It's not a contradiction, because economic competence, the way I'm using the term, comprises ancestry. Again, EVERYTHING counts. Where you're born and to whom, your height, your age, your brains, your propensity for hard work, your health, everything. If you want it otherwise, if you want to defy the capricious god of economics, what are your standards? Which are in and which are out, and why?

Economic status is a misnomer in the way you're using it anyways. Economic status is a label, not an inherent condition of personhood. Hard work and brains matter, but so does actually having the opprotunity to use them to better yourself, which is often something that is denied.


How is that opportunity denied to a person if you stop others from using force against them? Because I refuse to be a customer, employer, or educator? Doesn't forcing me to be so deny *my* opportunity? And how is it any different if I refuse to aid someone versus if I didn't exist in the first place?

Seems to me that you just have the opinion that there is a culture of rampant welfare abuse where nearly everybody who is poor is gaming the system. Unless you're going to actually document that, I'm going to call bullshit on what is for the most part just a conservative sterotype talking point (much in the same way that they abuse muslims are ebil rhetoric).

Wrong. There's a culture of rampant welfare abuse where nearly everybody regardless of wealth is gaming the system. Because every dollar taken through force, be it highway robbery or government handouts, is welfare abused and system gamed.

Privilege called. It'd like you to shut up until you are ready to acknowledge your own.

If I acknowledge it, are you going to agree to it? Or are you saying I should acknowledge and then apologize and then pay for it? Sorry, I have a thing against writing blank checks. I don't write them to Nigerian princes, and I don't write them to sympathetic minorities for the same reason.

doogly wrote:Seriously Steroid, what was your response even addressing? People do not just leap into poverty of their own volition. Do you think that is what happens? That is blindingly stupid and stupidly blind.

No, I don't think they jump in of their own volition, I don't think they have enough volition to realize what they're getting into. If you want the metaphor again, they're running around the pier with their hands over their eyes. They have no concept of what it requires to advance economically.

Seriously, show me the person who gets up in the morning and busts ass till they go to bed at night, educating themselves where deficient, not wasting time on entertainments they can't afford, not doing drugs, not sleeping around, not throwing away money. . . and who is still poor.

"But what about people who have disabilities?!"

Your legs don't work? Learn to type. You're quadriplegic? Learn to work a hands-free phone and start cold-calling. You're blind? Learn Braille. Deaf? Hook up with the guy whose legs don't work and learn to type. Mentally handicapped? Simple concept: shovel goes in, dirt comes out.

I'm sorry, maybe it's just me, and maybe this is my Great White Male Privilege talking, but I can't empathize with the mentality that my life isn't my own, that my status isn't my responsibility, and that anyone can break me with their economic choices. And one more maybe: maybe more people should have that attitude.

Malice wrote:I am grateful to live in a country whose government is "secure" enough (in an emotional sense) to allow freedoms and financial assistance even to people who would destroy it. Are you seriously suggesting that the government (or any charitable organization) should be able to discriminate based on people's political beliefs?

Are you saying they shouldn't? Are you saying that a black man running a soup kitchen, facing a white man holding out a plate and saying, "That's right, Boy, serve me food and don't be uppity about it," should still get the same meal as everyone who knows that begging is a last resort, not to be engaged in proudly? Is that your serious suggestion?

Can government charity say to an unrepentant drunkard, "No, we're not going to just give you food stamps and send you on your way to trade them for black market liquor"?


With the proper design, yes. Systems can be put in place to verify that the right person is spending their food stamps (for example, requiring that merchants check IDs before validating purchases), or to make getting clean a condition of assistance. These are modifications that could improve the system, not reasons to disband it entirely.

You can stop a black market without unconscionable impositions on freedom? You can afford to tell the truly clean from those who are able to stay sober just long enough to fake it? You can do all this without breaking the backs of the taxpayers? Good luck. All things being equal, I'd rather not participate--please send me my refund check.

Do you believe that drunkards, anarchists, and welfare kings make up a significant or politically active segment of the population?

Combined with their sympathizers and with everyone who thinks that someday they might want the handout? Sure, it's called the Democratic Party.

The more apt analogy is, government charity is the captain of the boat going, "Help that guy who fell overboard or find a new boat," while private charity stands around going, "We've saved our limit of overboards this year. And anyway, he doesn't seem like a nice person. For example, that third "glub" was just rude."


Maybe you view government as your captain; I have this crazy idea that governments are instituted among men to secure their unalienable rights, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. I read that somewhere.

I have nothing against justice. What I like is the idea of the safety net--which says, "If you fuck up, for reasons of your own or not, you will fall--but you won't fall so far as to kill you." Justice is a matter of meting out fair consequences for actions and circumstances, but those consequences don't have to be permanent or severe in order to be fair. I am perfectly fine with your level of "economic competence" determining your quality of life; I am not fine with it determining, on the low end, that you will die, or live a life of unending suffering.


But why do I have to be a part of it? What if I want to risk it all, even to my death or unending suffering? Why do you, or a government, get to determine the standards of my life? Because government force is easier than private reason?

And the funny thing is, I do agree with you about that safety net, I just think that the way to get there is not to take from the haves and give to the haves-not, but to ramp up production through the free markets so much that we get robot-run farms and homes that cost $1000 to build and a cure-all medicine.

I'm not defending netcrusher's post. But, when reading it, did you contemplate suicide?


Yes.

Can you prove otherwise? See, that's the problem with that sort of standard: there's no way to objectively measure the damage done by words and thoughts. You can see what sticks and stones do; you can't see what words do. So either we ban them all, or allow them all, or play king-of-the-mountain so that whoever has the power at the moment gets to draw the line arbitrarily.

Any insult or rudeness is generally harmful, in that it will hurt someone's feelings. An insult or rudeness specifically aimed at a minority also acts to reinforce society's larger treatment of that minority. If I call you a jerk, you are miffed. If I call John a fag, he is oppressed. That is the difference.


That's it, pure numbers? Then I can freely insult women, since they're the majority, right?

See, it's the opposite for me. Rag on me for my group memberships, but not my choices. As an Italian, I don't care if someone calls me a dago. As an atheist, I don't care if someone tells me I'm going to hell. As a straight man, I don't care if someone calls me a breeder. But as a libertarian, I get offended when someone calls me a bigot, or ignorant, or not an adult. And there's no smaller minority than 1.

Why should you not follow his advice and withdraw from the forum? Because he doesn't own the forum and you have equal right to be here and speak your mind, as long as you do so in a reasonable fashion. I would suggest a modicum of self-examination--if I got such a harsh response, perhaps there was a problem with my post?--but if you decide that you acted in the way that you should, then you should continue to do so.


I think you missed the spirit of the question. I feel that he's not arguing reasonably, because of his dismissive language. Why should I play fair when others don't? (I could flame him for his homosexuality, but that would just be adding the step of a ban instead of a withdrawal)

How does this position aid my cause regarding bigotry against minorities? By making it socially unacceptable. I don't need to end bigotry--I just want to end open dickishness by forcing bigotry to express itself behind closed doors, away from legal and public venues, where I and other minorities don't have to experience it. Part of how I do that is expressing to people the full harm of what their bigotry entails.

And have you achieved that, or are the Tea Parties organizing dangerously against your position? Does your cost-benefit analysis tell you that insults and shame will cow more people into agreeing with you than will harden those who don't agree? And that if so, the opposition won't use those tactics?

Hard work, brains, and starting resources (read: ancestry) are all determinants of economic status. The question isn't whether or not everyone should have the same outcome regardless of inputs, but whether everyone should have the same minimum outcome regardless of inputs.


I could see your point if the minimum were a brick of ramen noodles and a lean-to. And yet the minimum keeps moving. First it's food. Then it's shelter. Then health care. Education. Transportation. Information. What's left for me to determine a better outcome than someone I'm better than economically? Jewelry?

Is your argument that welfare fraud wastes so much money that the program is worthless? Or is your argument that if even one person gets one dollar they weren't entitled to, all is lost?


Closer to the latter. But more a case of, why don't you get equally mad when a person loses one dollar they are entitled to. I understand that you have the idea of the minimum, but can you understand that I don't?

So, just 90% of government. You've left the army, the police, the fire department, and some of the court system. In your libertarian utopia, gone are the public school systems, the backbone of the economy; without oversight, corporations tank what's left of the economy so that the richest 1% can inflate their stock prices, sell out, and move to a different country (or maybe just start their own one behind gates); gone are the social safety nets for the poor, the sick, and the elderly, who utterly overwhelm private charities (no longer funded, because all the rich people left); people segregate themselves and grow hateful and commit more murders and rapes and arsons, which are duly processed by the police and the fire department, whose mandate grows until it meets the shrinking economy and passes by it into bankruptcy; at which point what is left of the government defaults and collapses, anarchy takes complete hold, and we descend into a second Dark Age.


Statist redistribution of wealth is indeed a powerful drug, and the detox is going to be hard. The only question is whether it's going to come voluntarily and orderly, or by chance through a major disaster like an airborne disease or a nuclear war or an asteroid strike. The good news is that however the second Dark Age comes, the second Renaissance is sure to follow once the weak die off. Some may look forward to the process, but I don't. I'd much rather we never started on the drug to gain a temporary economic high in the first place.

Your serious distinction leads inexorably back to the idea that your joke is not a joke, since you claim that anything not involving property or physical rights (like the CRA) is enforced with the despicable threat of government violence. When the army forcibly desegregated the schools, was this an inappropriate use of government power?


Except the CRA did involve property rights, since it junked the Jim Crow laws that held down minorities. Yes, it went too far, and desegregation of the public schools was a problem, but then again public schools in general are a problem. Keep it all private, and let each one integrate or segregate as they see fit, and everyone gets what they want.

When was the last time Buddhists started a war or oppressed a minority?


Right about the same time they engineered an industrial revolution.

Heterosexuality is not an inferior orientation.


Arguably it is; us bisexuals have the best of all possible worlds. But don't worry--you won't go to hell for it and I'm not firing you over it, or telling you you can't sully my marriage with yours.

So, you're arguing that heterosexuality is inferior, because bad things--by your standard of bad--are done in its name. And then you expect me not to feel offended or oppressed.

It is when the things it wishes to conserve are, in and of themselves, harmful, wrong, or misguided.


And progressivism doesn't want to progress into anything that's harmful, wrong, or misguided?

I notice that that list did not include "Racism is not an inferior social belief." How come?


Because it isn't part of the litany of familiarity I was giving to illustrate oikophobia. No one is irrationally discriminatory against racists. They are when they ascribe racism to whites, or sexism to males, etc.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby bigglesworth » Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:32 am UTC

Steroid wrote:I'm sorry, maybe it's just me, and maybe this is my Great White Male Privilege talking, but I can't empathize with the mentality that my life isn't my own, that my status isn't my responsibility, and that anyone can break me with their economic choices.
In my opinion it most likely is. If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:33 am UTC

Since when is netcrusher gay?

Anyway, just a couple of things:

Steroid wrote:See, I don't know what it's like to be homosexual, but you don't know what it's like to be heterosexual. You can be fired in 20 states? How many can I be fired in if I say the word fag? Or sent to re-education, oops, I mean sensitivity training. How many universities will shun me if I happen to think that maybe heterosexuality as a concept has some advantages?

You're conflating heterosexuality with heterosexism. If you use the word "fag," you'll be reprimanded not for being straight, but for being an asshole; none of the straight people I know have had this problem because they don't throw around slurs in the workplace. Likewise, the college thing: most of my classmates are straight, and they didn't have any problems with admissions because their sexual orientation somehow did not necessitate writing "het power eleventy-one!" on their essays.

And the re-education thing is just a bogeyman. The government sure as fuck doesn't do it, and if any private organization has held it as a condition of their relationship with you, you can hardly turn around and say that they shouldn't be able to.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Steroid » Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:02 am UTC

bigglesworth wrote:
Steroid wrote:I'm sorry, maybe it's just me, and maybe this is my Great White Male Privilege talking, but I can't empathize with the mentality that my life isn't my own, that my status isn't my responsibility, and that anyone can break me with their economic choices.
In my opinion it most likely is. If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?


Don't want to be. Don't want to bust ass all day. Any choice of economic reality is allowable, so long as it's not spending more than you earn.

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:You're conflating heterosexuality with heterosexism. If you use the word "fag," you'll be reprimanded not for being straight, but for being an asshole; none of the straight people I know have had this problem because they don't throw around slurs in the workplace. Likewise, the college thing: most of my classmates are straight, and they didn't have any problems with admissions because their sexual orientation somehow did not necessitate writing "het power eleventy-one!" on their essays.


But if a homosexual uses the word "breeder" in the workplace, they won't be called an asshole and reprimanded. And if he writes "gay pride" on his essays, he still won't have problems with admissions. That's the double standard, and I resent being on the bottom of it.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Belial » Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:05 am UTC

Steroid wrote:That's the double standard, and I resent being on the bottom of it.


Yeeeah, it's fucking rough being the dominant social power.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:25 am UTC

Steroid wrote:But if a homosexual uses the word "breeder" in the workplace, they won't be called an asshole and reprimanded.

"Breeder" isn't as obviously hateful as "fag" (that is, not as many straight people would recognize "breeder" as a slur as gay people would recognize "fag"), but given that anyone complained, yes, I'm fairly certain that they would be reprimanded.

Steroid wrote:And if he writes "gay pride" on his essays, he still won't have problems with admissions. That's the double standard, and I resent being on the bottom of it.

First of all, "gay pride" isn't directly analogous to "straight power"; having pride and seeking power are rather different beasts.

That being said, gay pride is a reaction to social pressure to see our romantic lives as shameful. People don't face that pressure on account of being straight. Thus, "gay pride" and "straight pride" denote different sorts of pride (much like "You should be proud of yourself" and "Pride goeth before destruction" denote different sorts of pride).
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Belial » Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:30 am UTC

TGB, by asserting that substituting a majority identifier for a minority one and keeping everything else the same doesn't create an equivalent situation, you're discriminating against people who don't understand context.

How dare you.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Xeio » Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:34 am UTC

Steroid wrote:Your legs don't work? Learn to type. You're quadriplegic? Learn to work a hands-free phone and start cold-calling. You're blind? Learn Braille. Deaf? Hook up with the guy whose legs don't work and learn to type. Mentally handicapped? Simple concept: shovel goes in, dirt comes out.
Steroid wrote:Mentally handicapped? Simple concept: shovel goes in, dirt comes out.
Steroid wrote:shovel goes in, dirt comes out.
:shock:

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby doogly » Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:48 am UTC

So, where do property rights come from? Do you like, inherit those? How'd that chain get started? Theft and force? I'm kinda curious.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby mmmcannibalism » Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:50 am UTC

doogly wrote:So, where do property rights come from? Do you like, inherit those? How'd that chain get started? Theft and force? I'm kinda curious.


The application of work to make use of property.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:01 am UTC

That doesn't seem like a historically accurate standard; most land isn't owned by the people who work on it.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Malice » Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:19 am UTC

Steroid wrote:
Jplus wrote:
Steroid wrote:See, I don't know what it's like to be homosexual, but you don't know what it's like to be heterosexual. You can be fired in 20 states? How many can I be fired in if I say the word fag? Or sent to re-education, oops, I mean sensitivity training.

You don't seem to distinguish very well between innate properties and chosen behaviour. Surely being gay is something very different from calling somebody a fag?


Yes, but it's not being gay, the innate property, I'm comparing. It's acting against me, which is a chosen behavior. If a homosexual comes up to me and says, "You're straight, so you're a bigot. Don't talk to me," what's my recourse? Or what if it's more subtle, such as a group of homosexuals excluding me and making jokes at my expense?


I think you are confused. "You're straight, so you're a bigot" is not something people say. The behavior you began by discussing is when somebody comes up to you and says, "You're being a bigot, so fuck off, asshole." You were equating bigotry against gays with bigotry against bigots, not bigotry against straights. I'm not going to suggest that bigotry against straights doesn't exist, because everything exists somewhere, and there are a probably a few hardcore gay joints where people might jeer at you and call you a breeder if you wandered in like a lost little lamb looking for hot lesbian chicks. But the problem of bigotry against straights is so minor as to be completely beside the point. It's not systemic, it's not enforced by the law, and by and large it is not socially enforced either.

Obviously dickishness is dickishness and homosexuals shouldn't exclude you, call you names, or make jokes at your expense. But you're still not going to get me to believe it's in any way equivalent to straights excluding gays, calling them names, and making jokes at their expense--not until, for example, you actually have to go to special parts of the city or special cities in order to find a place where nobody will do that to you.

Steroid wrote:
netcrusher88 wrote:
Steroid wrote:How many can I be fired in if I say the word fag? Or sent to re-education, oops, I mean sensitivity training.

Same ones you can be fired in for saying nigger, I suppose, only that's a lot more likely. Or for sexual harassment. And I'm sorry if you're so fucking offended by workplaces considering it unacceptable for employees to use discriminatory language.

I'm not offended by workplaces doing so. I'm offended by the government mandating it. I'm offended with everyone I meet assuming without thinking or reason that it's the only way to run a workplace.


It's not the only way to run a workplace. In fact, they tried it your way for a very long time. The result was diners where black people couldn't sit and eat lunch. Conclusion? Government mandates.

Steroid wrote:
Yeah, it really sucks that businesses must make a token effort to inform interviewees and employees of their rights. Quit whining.


Yeah, it really sucks that gays can't get a job. Quit whining.

Hear how that sounds? Because if you're saying they're not the same thing, then you're saying you're better than me. And you are not better than me.


I've bolded the actual part that makes it "not the same thing". He's not saying he's better than you. He's saying not being able to get a job and put food on the table for your family is not equivalent to having to put up some posters in your place of business.

Steroid wrote:
There are multiple dimensions to one's political positions. Fundamentalist, or as Dark567 put it, deontological libertarianism is inherently indifferent to civil rights. There is an argument to be made that indifference is a form of moderateness on the subject towards which it is held. Certainly the fundie libertarian position towards civil rights (or lack thereof) is not unlike what that particular passage of Dr. King's letter referred to.

What is a civil right? How does it reconcile with normal rights--those against personal injury or property damage provided you do no injury or damage to any other? The fact is that it doesn't. Either my property is mine or it's someone else's. Either I'm a free man or I'm a slave. I don't conscience slavers, and because of that I call civil rights out as a cover for them.


Civil rights are what keep your fellow men from banding together and fucking you over. A black man in a society that only recognizes property rights is not free to have a job if nobody in that society will hire him because of his race. He is not free to enjoy any restaurant he likes if none of the restaurants will let him in. Property rights alone are not sufficient to prevent that situation. We know because we tried it for about a hundred fucking years. Do you have an alternate solution to government mandating against discrimination? Or do you just prefer a world in which, say, Italians, can't live a normal life among other people?

Steroid wrote:
Your right to discriminate does not override my right to not be discriminated against.

Why not? It's clearly an either-or situation. One will happen or the other. Why do you get priority? Because it reads better in the newspapers and the history books? Because there's a general right of inaction over action? Because you say so?


What happened to "my right to move my fist ends at your nose"? Your right to discriminate ends at the point where it hurts somebody else--so, immediately.

Steroid wrote:
To disrobe that straw man, you're a horrible little piece of shit if you see someone push a person in and instead of throwing a life preserver tell them to learn to swim and build their own fucking boat.

Why? What gives him the right to my life preserver? Need? I need a new car to get to work, buy me one or you're a horrible little piece of excrement.


Now you're back to not understanding what "minimum" means. Suggesting that somebody deserves to not starve to death is not the same as suggesting that somebody deserves to have anything his little heart desires.

Steroid wrote:
Malice wrote:I am grateful to live in a country whose government is "secure" enough (in an emotional sense) to allow freedoms and financial assistance even to people who would destroy it. Are you seriously suggesting that the government (or any charitable organization) should be able to discriminate based on people's political beliefs?

Are you saying they shouldn't? Are you saying that a black man running a soup kitchen, facing a white man holding out a plate and saying, "That's right, Boy, serve me food and don't be uppity about it," should still get the same meal as everyone who knows that begging is a last resort, not to be engaged in proudly? Is that your serious suggestion?


No, that's not my suggestion. You didn't mention behavior, you mentioned beliefs. A poor racist should get the same meal as a poor non-racist. That is a separate question from whether a poor asshole should get the same meal as a poor person asking politely.

Steroid wrote:
Malice wrote:
Steroid wrote:Can government charity say to an unrepentant drunkard, "No, we're not going to just give you food stamps and send you on your way to trade them for black market liquor"?


With the proper design, yes. Systems can be put in place to verify that the right person is spending their food stamps (for example, requiring that merchants check IDs before validating purchases), or to make getting clean a condition of assistance. These are modifications that could improve the system, not reasons to disband it entirely.

You can stop a black market without unconscionable impositions on freedom? You can afford to tell the truly clean from those who are able to stay sober just long enough to fake it? You can do all this without breaking the backs of the taxpayers? Good luck. All things being equal, I'd rather not participate--please send me my refund check.


I believe we could do all of those things, if we actually cared to. I think the battleground politically is usually between people who would gut or abolish the program and people who would keep it, rather than people of both sides who would reform it.

As for not participating--feel free to leave the country. Every day that you stay here is a willing choice to buy into the system.

Steroid wrote:
Malice wrote:Do you believe that drunkards, anarchists, and welfare kings make up a significant or politically active segment of the population?

Combined with their sympathizers and with everyone who thinks that someday they might want the handout? Sure, it's called the Democratic Party.


Try again. Red States in general receive more government money than they pay. Blue States in general pay more government money than they receive.

Steroid wrote:
Malice wrote:The more apt analogy is, government charity is the captain of the boat going, "Help that guy who fell overboard or find a new boat," while private charity stands around going, "We've saved our limit of overboards this year. And anyway, he doesn't seem like a nice person. For example, that third "glub" was just rude."


Maybe you view government as your captain; I have this crazy idea that governments are instituted among men to secure their unalienable rights, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. I read that somewhere.


Oh for fuck's sake. I assumed you understood that analogies were analogous. Here, let's try it again:

The more apt analogy is, government charity is the elected captain of the boat going, "Help that guy who fell overboard or find a new boat," while private charity stands around going, "We've saved our limit of overboards this year. And anyway, he doesn't seem like a nice person. For example, that third "glub" was just rude."

Would you care to respond to the actual point there?

Steroid wrote:
Malice wrote:I have nothing against justice. What I like is the idea of the safety net--which says, "If you fuck up, for reasons of your own or not, you will fall--but you won't fall so far as to kill you." Justice is a matter of meting out fair consequences for actions and circumstances, but those consequences don't have to be permanent or severe in order to be fair. I am perfectly fine with your level of "economic competence" determining your quality of life; I am not fine with it determining, on the low end, that you will die, or live a life of unending suffering.


But why do I have to be a part of it? What if I want to risk it all, even to my death or unending suffering? Why do you, or a government, get to determine the standards of my life? Because government force is easier than private reason?


I never said that minimum had to be enforced. You are absolutely free to decline all government handouts and hope for the best.

Steroid wrote:And the funny thing is, I do agree with you about that safety net, I just think that the way to get there is not to take from the haves and give to the haves-not, but to ramp up production through the free markets so much that we get robot-run farms and homes that cost $1000 to build and a cure-all medicine.


And what do we do in the meantime? Do we let people starve to death? Or do we help them get back on their feet so they can build our robots?

Steroid wrote:
Malice wrote:I'm not defending netcrusher's post. But, when reading it, did you contemplate suicide?


Yes.

Can you prove otherwise? See, that's the problem with that sort of standard: there's no way to objectively measure the damage done by words and thoughts. You can see what sticks and stones do; you can't see what words do. So either we ban them all, or allow them all, or play king-of-the-mountain so that whoever has the power at the moment gets to draw the line arbitrarily.


My apologies. When reading his post, did you commit suicide? Is there a history of people being statistically likely to commit suicide after reading netcrusher's posts? There's some verification for you.

Steroid wrote:
Malice wrote:Any insult or rudeness is generally harmful, in that it will hurt someone's feelings. An insult or rudeness specifically aimed at a minority also acts to reinforce society's larger treatment of that minority. If I call you a jerk, you are miffed. If I call John a fag, he is oppressed. That is the difference.


That's it, pure numbers? Then I can freely insult women, since they're the majority, right?

See, it's the opposite for me. Rag on me for my group memberships, but not my choices. As an Italian, I don't care if someone calls me a dago. As an atheist, I don't care if someone tells me I'm going to hell. As a straight man, I don't care if someone calls me a breeder. But as a libertarian, I get offended when someone calls me a bigot, or ignorant, or not an adult. And there's no smaller minority than 1.


"A minority is a sociological group that does not constitute a politically dominant voting majority of the total population of a given society. A sociological minority is not necessarily a numerical minority — it may include any group that is subnormal with respect to a dominant group in terms of social status, education, employment, wealth and political power."

Also, you can get offended when somebody calls you ignorant, or bigoted, or childish; but if you are actually acting that way, nobody is going to care.

Steroid wrote:
Malice wrote:Why should you not follow his advice and withdraw from the forum? Because he doesn't own the forum and you have equal right to be here and speak your mind, as long as you do so in a reasonable fashion. I would suggest a modicum of self-examination--if I got such a harsh response, perhaps there was a problem with my post?--but if you decide that you acted in the way that you should, then you should continue to do so.


I think you missed the spirit of the question. I feel that he's not arguing reasonably, because of his dismissive language. Why should I play fair when others don't? (I could flame him for his homosexuality, but that would just be adding the step of a ban instead of a withdrawal)


I'm not defending his language. I have spent quite a while trying to actually engage with you, rather than simply dismissing you as selfish and privileged. I think we should all be civil with one another. I'm merely saying that what he said to you, while rude, is not as harmful in the long run as you would be if you flamed him for his (presumed) homosexuality.

Steroid wrote:
Malice wrote:How does this position aid my cause regarding bigotry against minorities? By making it socially unacceptable. I don't need to end bigotry--I just want to end open dickishness by forcing bigotry to express itself behind closed doors, away from legal and public venues, where I and other minorities don't have to experience it. Part of how I do that is expressing to people the full harm of what their bigotry entails.

And have you achieved that, or are the Tea Parties organizing dangerously against your position? Does your cost-benefit analysis tell you that insults and shame will cow more people into agreeing with you than will harden those who don't agree? And that if so, the opposition won't use those tactics?


I believe the tide is turning, yes. I don't know if being harsh to people is causing or hurting this progressive movement towards the social non-acceptance of discrimination; but I do see that movement happening, yes. The Tea Party is a bunch of people angry that they've lost, in the context of this discussion.

The opposition has always used those tactics. Also violence and discrimination.

Steroid wrote:
Malice wrote:Hard work, brains, and starting resources (read: ancestry) are all determinants of economic status. The question isn't whether or not everyone should have the same outcome regardless of inputs, but whether everyone should have the same minimum outcome regardless of inputs.


I could see your point if the minimum were a brick of ramen noodles and a lean-to. And yet the minimum keeps moving. First it's food. Then it's shelter. Then health care. Education. Transportation. Information. What's left for me to determine a better outcome than someone I'm better than economically? Jewelry?


If you're better off economically, you can have better food, better shelter, better health care, better education, better transportation, better information, and yes, you can even buy things that are luxuries, like consumer electronics, or vacations. Have you tried living on welfare? From what I understand, it sucks. I'm essentially living on a minimum wage income right now, and it sucks; it's not where I want to be, not how I want to live. That gives me something to work towards.

Steroid wrote:
Is your argument that welfare fraud wastes so much money that the program is worthless? Or is your argument that if even one person gets one dollar they weren't entitled to, all is lost?


Closer to the latter. But more a case of, why don't you get equally mad when a person loses one dollar they are entitled to. I understand that you have the idea of the minimum, but can you understand that I don't?


I understand that you don't. I just consider it to be a ridiculously selfish and short-sighted position to take. I also don't really understand the difference in your head between "I care about people and want to help them; therefore I will give 100 dollars this year to a charity, who will give 100 dollars to Bob, who will buy food and not die" and "I care about people and want to help them; therefore I will give 100 dollars this year in taxes to the government, who will give 100 dollars to Bob, who will buy food and not die." I get that there's something mixed up in there with your whole "I find the very existence of government to be unreasonable", but if you actually cared about whether Bob lived or died, it wouldn't matter to you who was giving him your 100 dollars or whether your acceptance of that charity was active or tacit.

Steroid wrote:
Malice wrote:So, just 90% of government. You've left the army, the police, the fire department, and some of the court system. In your libertarian utopia, gone are the public school systems, the backbone of the economy; without oversight, corporations tank what's left of the economy so that the richest 1% can inflate their stock prices, sell out, and move to a different country (or maybe just start their own one behind gates); gone are the social safety nets for the poor, the sick, and the elderly, who utterly overwhelm private charities (no longer funded, because all the rich people left); people segregate themselves and grow hateful and commit more murders and rapes and arsons, which are duly processed by the police and the fire department, whose mandate grows until it meets the shrinking economy and passes by it into bankruptcy; at which point what is left of the government defaults and collapses, anarchy takes complete hold, and we descend into a second Dark Age.


Statist redistribution of wealth is indeed a powerful drug, and the detox is going to be hard. The only question is whether it's going to come voluntarily and orderly, or by chance through a major disaster like an airborne disease or a nuclear war or an asteroid strike. The good news is that however the second Dark Age comes, the second Renaissance is sure to follow once the weak die off. Some may look forward to the process, but I don't. I'd much rather we never started on the drug to gain a temporary economic high in the first place.


-Is it your contention that, simultaneously:
A) government handouts are an economic waste and without them, we could be jump-starting our economy towards robots and panaceas
B) government handouts help the economy and without them, the economy would take a huge hit and many of us would die

Because you have argued both in the same post. Which is it?

Steroid wrote:
Malice wrote:Your serious distinction leads inexorably back to the idea that your joke is not a joke, since you claim that anything not involving property or physical rights (like the CRA) is enforced with the despicable threat of government violence. When the army forcibly desegregated the schools, was this an inappropriate use of government power?


Except the CRA did involve property rights, since it junked the Jim Crow laws that held down minorities. Yes, it went too far, and desegregation of the public schools was a problem, but then again public schools in general are a problem. Keep it all private, and let each one integrate or segregate as they see fit, and everyone gets what they want.


If I want to live in Hoboken, and all the schools are private, and all the schools are segregated, and I want to go to an integrated school, what then?

I mean, we tried this. Like I said, we tried letting the market handle things for a goddamn century. The market systematically prevented blacks from doing what they wanted to do. You can't seriously argue with me that this time it'll work.

Steroid wrote:
Malice wrote:
Steroid wrote:Heterosexuality is not an inferior orientation.


Arguably it is; us bisexuals have the best of all possible worlds. But don't worry--you won't go to hell for it and I'm not firing you over it, or telling you you can't sully my marriage with yours.

So, you're arguing that heterosexuality is inferior, because bad things--by your standard of bad--are done in its name. And then you expect me not to feel offended or oppressed.


You mistake me. I argue that heterosexuality is inferior. My argument is that recognizing its logistical inferiority does not mean I have to do bad things to heterosexuals. In other words, I can hold an opinion, even an offensive opinion, without being a dick about it, or enforcing my beliefs on others.

--

*deep breath* Long post is long.

Oh, and thanks, Belial, for that definition of a social minority, which I got from that one post you made way back.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Belial » Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:25 am UTC

Malice wrote:Oh, and thanks, Belial, for that definition of a social minority, which I got from that one post you made way back.


Don't thank me, thank wikipedia.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Malice » Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:45 am UTC

Thanks Wikipedia!
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Jahoclave » Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:04 am UTC

Xeio wrote:
Steroid wrote:Your legs don't work? Learn to type. You're quadriplegic? Learn to work a hands-free phone and start cold-calling. You're blind? Learn Braille. Deaf? Hook up with the guy whose legs don't work and learn to type. Mentally handicapped? Simple concept: shovel goes in, dirt comes out.
Steroid wrote:Mentally handicapped? Simple concept: shovel goes in, dirt comes out.
Steroid wrote:shovel goes in, dirt comes out.
:shock:

What about this one "Dumbass goes in, somebody who thinks Ayn Rand was right comes out"?

And the funny thing is, I do agree with you about that safety net, I just think that the way to get there is not to take from the haves and give to the haves-not, but to ramp up production through the free markets so much that we get robot-run farms and homes that cost $1000 to build and a cure-all medicine.

So, we're going to ramp up the free markets how exactly? Are we going to force the haves to liquidate their assets to turn them into capital for these potentially profitable robot-run farms that will then eliminate unskilled labor which further deprives those at the bottom of the economic chain from the ability to use their labor to boost themselves up the socio-economic ladder and help their children into such privilege as a college education. Yeah, thought that move through did ya? Here's a hint, the haves benefit the most from the society that all are contributing to. They benefit the most from government protection and from the labor of the rest of society. So, yeah, I'm going to go ahead and state that they owe the most to the running and maintenance of that society. Your problem is that you're assuming everybody benefits the same from the social contract. They don't.

By the way, by your logic, because the white European imperialists enslaved your ancestors and subsequently your being a poor ass smuck because society has discriminated against you and your ancestors thus denying your ability to improve your lot is your own damn fault.

I could see your point if the minimum were a brick of ramen noodles and a lean-to. And yet the minimum keeps moving. First it's food. Then it's shelter. Then health care. Education. Transportation. Information. What's left for me to determine a better outcome than someone I'm better than economically? Jewelry?

If all you're providing is a brick of ramen and a lean to you're essentially creating exactly what you don't like: a group of people who are always going to depend on welfare for their existence. The minimum keeps moving because the minimum for what it takes to have the opportunity to pull oneself up by their own bootstraps as it were keeps increasing. You didn't need a phone way the hell back in the day because it wasn't required for communications to get employment. Now it is is. Increasingly the ability to have basic computer skills is a requirement and thus in order to gain employ you're going to have to acquire those.

The point is, before you can pull yourself up by your own bootstraps you've got to have boots with straps.

Statist redistribution of wealth is indeed a powerful drug, and the detox is going to be hard. The only question is whether it's going to come voluntarily and orderly, or by chance through a major disaster like an airborne disease or a nuclear war or an asteroid strike. The good news is that however the second Dark Age comes, the second Renaissance is sure to follow once the weak die off. Some may look forward to the process, but I don't. I'd much rather we never started on the drug to gain a temporary economic high in the first place.

Congratulations on advocating genocide. I appreciate your sentiment, but when you're advocating childish logic--i.e. the self-oriented selfish logic you're advocating--people aren't going to take you all that seriously. Your analogy is pretty much shit considering its historical inaccuracy anyways. It's not like the Arab world happened to have protected the knowledge which was then rediscovered as a wealthy urban class that depended on trade and skills closer resembling an educated populace emerged and as a feudal system dependent on largely uneducated and unskilled labor mixed with consistent destructive violence waned or anything like that. The weak dying off had nothing to do with the stronger surviving, but rather the emergence of a new economic system.

As for redistribution of wealth by the state, I'm sorry, but when the wealthy stop benefiting disproportionately by state protection I might give a shit about your poorly constructed argument.

Except the CRA did involve property rights, since it junked the Jim Crow laws that held down minorities. Yes, it went too far, and desegregation of the public schools was a problem, but then again public schools in general are a problem. Keep it all private, and let each one integrate or segregate as they see fit, and everyone gets what they want.

Seriously, can you not get it through your head that there are reasons that the poor are poor and it's not because they deserve it, but rather that they and their ancestry have been systematically discriminated against? You keep bringing up example after example of exactly that and it goes right over your head. Cognitive dissonance, you can has.

The private market fails major ass to do education. Want to guess when the majority of the population started to be educated and all those wonderful things requiring science and such started to really take off? I'll give you a hint, roughly the same time that government funded public education really took hold.

There's a reason you get so much hostility: your arguments are poor, your research is spotty, and on top of that you're pretty much calling for a genocide of most of the population of the planet. See why people might think you're a bit of an ass?

Oh, and for the rest of the forum who might be playing along. I'm going to go ahead and inform you of my BINGO on the Privileged White Male Arguments Bingo Sheet.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby 22/7 » Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:20 am UTC

I'm glad I took the time to read through (most of) that. The article touched on something I've noticed more and more the older I get, and Steroid touched on a very specific aspect of it that I hadn't been able to place before. First, the idea of karma being some kind of ruling theory, which is really nice to believe because it means you're in control of your life, and let's face it, lots of people aren't. It's a really convenient scape goat and aligns nicely with the Christian (as well as many other religions, actually) idea that God does good things for people who are good and bad things to people who are bad. I mean, if that's how things work, then you don't have to have any empathy for anyone at all because their situation is their own fault. So a safety net like welfare or lower taxes for people who make less money wouldn't be fair to everyone else because it's their own fault they're poor. Kind of an extension of the karmic rule that Steroid brought up is another common reasoning, that because a system is bound to be gamed by someone, that it shouldn't exist. I see this logic applied to social issues ranging from welfare to abortion to drug use. Because someone might live off of welfare and not work, no one should get welfare. Because someone will use abortions as a way to divorce sex and the "consequences" of sex (i.e., having a baby) or people might have more sex out of wedlock, or whatever, no one should be able to get an abortion. Because someone will abuse drugs, no one should be able to use them. Of course, these arguments are incredibly simplified, as they have to be to make any sense. Anyone who has been on welfare or has known someone who had to go on welfare knows that it's not a life of luxury, but it goes back to the karmic idea. If someone can game the system, then that's not fair to the people who aren't gaming the system, so the system shouldn't exist.

I guess this is kind of an epiphany for me. I have a kind of governing principle that you don't keep people from doing something simply because someone will abuse the system, because someone will always abuse the system. But when you look at through the karmic lens, the logic belies a fear that I haven't seen before, a fear of the world being outside of your own control.

Sorry if that's rambling and poorly formed, Creature Comforts is on and I'm having a lot of trouble focusing.
Totally not a hypothetical...

Steroid wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
Don't want to be.
I want to be!

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Jahoclave » Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:27 am UTC

22/7 wrote:
Sorry if that's rambling and poorly formed, Creature Comforts is on and I'm having a lot of trouble focusing.

No, it makes sense and actually extends to the sort of fear that the godless secular commies are taking over and kicking out the Jesus. Just combines it all together. I just don't like the way he's using karma because it's not exactly the right term, especially in America which should be relegated closer to interpretations of Christian ideology.

Basically --> The social safety net is predicated and justified by a world that runs counter to their perception of reality based on the idea of a world mediated by God (which is hilarious given that Christianity first developed as--if I am allowed a little anachronism--a pseudo-socialist ideology, albeit one that was predicated on the idea that the wealthy were fucking up God's equality and taking more than their fair share).

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby 22/7 » Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:59 am UTC

I'm comfortable with his usage of karma, at least in the sense that he describes. I have to admit I'm not particularly familiar with the Hindu canon concerning karma, but at least in the more Americanized/popular/colloquial sense, I think the "I do good, I get good. I do bad, I get bad" is close enough for government work.
Totally not a hypothetical...

Steroid wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
Don't want to be.
I want to be!

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Jahoclave » Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:13 am UTC

22/7 wrote:I'm comfortable with his usage of karma, at least in the sense that he describes. I have to admit I'm not particularly familiar with the Hindu canon concerning karma, but at least in the more Americanized/popular/colloquial sense, I think the "I do good, I get good. I do bad, I get bad" is close enough for government work.

Well, I think my problem with the way he uses it is that he takes it out of the larger context of where the idea is coming from and how its then applied to their political views. Then again, it might just be that he simplifies things down too much for my liking, which is probably more my objection. That and I don't think he brings in the religious aspect nearly as much as he should.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Dark567 » Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:23 am UTC

Basically I see his claim is that Tea Partiers believe in "To each according to their effort". I don't really think they believe this, it is certainly not currently true, and if it was possible to make it the case, would be a terrible way to distribute resources.

As far as the religious aspect(I am assuming most Tea Partiers are Christian) isn't there something about threading a camel through the eye of a needle is easier than a richer man getting into heaven? That kinda shoots down karma as an excuse(or is this one of those passages they don't actually believe).
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Jahoclave » Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:30 am UTC

Dark567 wrote:Basically I see his claim is that Tea Partiers believe in "To each according to their effort". I don't really think they believe this, it is certainly not currently true, and if it was possible to make it the case, would be a terrible way to distribute resources.

As far as the religious aspect(I am assuming most Tea Partiers are Christian) isn't there something about threading a camel through the eye of a needle is easier than a richer man getting into heaven? That kinda shoots down karma as an excuse(or is this one of those passages they don't actually believe).

Like I said, certain ideologies. Like I also pointed out, Christianity actually started out as a working class pseudo-socialist anti-elite ideology. I.E. they were marketing themselves to the under-privileged workers of mostly Jewish persuasion during Roman occupation. So you'll find a lot of that in the texts actually.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby mmmcannibalism » Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:32 am UTC

Basically I see his claim is that Tea Partiers believe in "To each according to their effort". I don't really think they believe this, it is certainly not currently true, and if it was possible to make it the case, would be a terrible way to distribute resources.


Just curious, what makes you think that it is terrible way to distribute resources?(with an assumption of super idealism)
As far as the religious aspect(I am assuming most Tea Partiers are Christian) isn't there something about threading a camel through the eye of a needle is easier than a richer man getting into heaven? That kinda shoots down karma as an excuse(or is this one of those passages they don't actually believe).


Blind guess, religion is not concerned with consistency.

To some extent it depends on what part of the tea party; for instance, the libertarian(both the we think freer markets are more utilitarian and the objectivist) pieces have no problem with the idea of material wealth so its a completely unrelated argument.

Personally I think its a great shame, an actual debate on libertarian versus controlled market policy would do a lot for the american system; if the first part wasn't dominated by the jesus loves capitalism crowd.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Triangle_Man » Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:33 am UTC

To paraphrase it, one argument I've heard sometimes is that "A government bureaucracy can provide nothing that a charitable, socially conscious society cannot". As I read this thread, I find myself wondering if we should go about trying to create a socially conscious society first before arguing about specifics...
I really should be working right now, but somehow I don't have the energy.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Dark567 » Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:53 am UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:
Basically I see his claim is that Tea Partiers believe in "To each according to their effort". I don't really think they believe this, it is certainly not currently true, and if it was possible to make it the case, would be a terrible way to distribute resources.


Just curious, what makes you think that it is terrible way to distribute resources?(with an assumption of super idealism)
Because you would often be rewarding failure(unless are we making the super idealistic assumption that no one fails?). On another thread months ago I used the example of two programmers, each who wrote the same program, but in two different languages(if your computer savvy lets say C++ and assembler), one took 1 day to write the program, the other 3 months. Do we want to award the inefficient programmer? The same argument can be used for companies(or government agencies or whatever would exist in this weird socialist offshoot society). Would we want to give the company that has no one uses the services of, because they put in the same effort as the company that everyone uses the services of?

Even if it were easy to measure effort, society couldn't function that way. The amount of economic value a person or company adds has to be the major factor(but not necessarily the only factor!) in determining the amount of resources that a organization or person receives.

mmmcannibalism wrote:To some extent it depends on what part of the tea party; for instance, the libertarian(both the we think freer markets are more utilitarian and the objectivist) pieces have no problem with the idea of material wealth so its a completely unrelated argument.

Personally I think its a great shame, an actual debate on libertarian versus controlled market policy would do a lot for the american system; if the first part wasn't dominated by the jesus loves capitalism crowd.

Yeah, I was speaking about one (particularly vocal)section of the tea party. The free market vs. regulated market vs. centrally planned market debate happens, it just isn't as loud as the culture wars surrounding everything else. But this is true about anything, what real debates actually happen in the public sphere? Most of it is just a bunch of appeal to emotion without any fact checking or critical thinking involved.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby doogly » Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:05 am UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:
doogly wrote:So, where do property rights come from? Do you like, inherit those? How'd that chain get started? Theft and force? I'm kinda curious.


The application of work to make use of property.

That's how you get property? You've gotta be shitting me. I could totally do work and make use of the land across the street. They've just got some grass there. I can get some quality vegetables going. It gets to be my property now?
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby mmmcannibalism » Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:10 am UTC

doogly wrote:
mmmcannibalism wrote:
doogly wrote:So, where do property rights come from? Do you like, inherit those? How'd that chain get started? Theft and force? I'm kinda curious.


The application of work to make use of property.

That's how you get property? You've gotta be shitting me. I could totally do work and make use of the land across the street. They've just got some grass there. I can get some quality vegetables going. It gets to be my property now?


Property rights originate from the use of property; living on new discovered property is using that property, in your case the neighbors are using the property as living space. After that, the right to land can be bought or sold. Of course, this has problems with the fact that a good bit of land was at some point stolen.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Jahoclave » Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:14 am UTC

doogly wrote:
mmmcannibalism wrote:
doogly wrote:So, where do property rights come from? Do you like, inherit those? How'd that chain get started? Theft and force? I'm kinda curious.


The application of work to make use of property.

That's how you get property? You've gotta be shitting me. I could totally do work and make use of the land across the street. They've just got some grass there. I can get some quality vegetables going. It gets to be my property now?

Holy shit, I'm going to start cultiviating a shit-ton of plants that don't require a whole lot of work to maintain. I will effectively own this town! Speaking of which, I hope the people of this town really f'ing love strawberries and watermelon.


@Dark The ideal though, assumes equal starting positions for people. Therein lies the problem. Some people have less economic potential because they haven't been given access to the materials to realize their full economic potential or such lack of access hinders their ability.

I'd also like to divorce the idea of company == people. Companies are a contractual reified ideal, their failure is not the same thing as a person being dead.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby doogly » Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:18 am UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:
doogly wrote:
mmmcannibalism wrote:
doogly wrote:So, where do property rights come from? Do you like, inherit those? How'd that chain get started? Theft and force? I'm kinda curious.


The application of work to make use of property.

That's how you get property? You've gotta be shitting me. I could totally do work and make use of the land across the street. They've just got some grass there. I can get some quality vegetables going. It gets to be my property now?


Property rights originate from the use of property; living on new discovered property is using that property, in your case the neighbors are using the property as living space. After that, the right to land can be bought or sold. Of course, this has problems with the fact that a good bit of land was at some point stolen.

Oooooh, so it's finders, keepers! Great, libertarians are obnoxious seven year olds. I knew it.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Jahoclave » Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:21 am UTC

doogly wrote:
mmmcannibalism wrote:
doogly wrote:
mmmcannibalism wrote:
doogly wrote:So, where do property rights come from? Do you like, inherit those? How'd that chain get started? Theft and force? I'm kinda curious.


The application of work to make use of property.

That's how you get property? You've gotta be shitting me. I could totally do work and make use of the land across the street. They've just got some grass there. I can get some quality vegetables going. It gets to be my property now?


Property rights originate from the use of property; living on new discovered property is using that property, in your case the neighbors are using the property as living space. After that, the right to land can be bought or sold. Of course, this has problems with the fact that a good bit of land was at some point stolen.

Oooooh, so it's finders, keepers! Great, libertarians are obnoxious seven year olds. I knew it.

Oh, let's go with dibs.
Dibs on France.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby doogly » Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:30 am UTC

But the French have dibs already! I think we can only take the dibs away if we can all agree that the French aren't white anymore.
So, I'm down for that.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Dark567 » Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:32 am UTC

Jahoclave wrote:@Dark The ideal though, assumes equal starting positions for people. Therein lies the problem. Some people have less economic potential because they haven't been given access to the materials to realize their full economic potential or such lack of access hinders their ability.

I'd also like to divorce the idea of company == people. Companies are a contractual reified ideal, their failure is not the same thing as a person being dead.

I am confused by both points here:
Which ideal are you referring too? mmmcannibalism's ideal didn't really matter. I showed that even in the ideal world that system wouldn't work, in the unideal real world it certainly wouldn't work. Unless you were referring to the second part, but there was a reason why I said economic value was the major factor and not the only factor. I am perfectly fine with accepting "need" or other possible ideas as minor factors in the distribution of wealth.

Companies failures are not the same as people being dead, clearly. I don't see how that has any effect on my example of showing that the previous system was a terrible way to distribute resources?
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Jahoclave » Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:41 am UTC

Dark567 wrote:
Jahoclave wrote:@Dark The ideal though, assumes equal starting positions for people. Therein lies the problem. Some people have less economic potential because they haven't been given access to the materials to realize their full economic potential or such lack of access hinders their ability.

I'd also like to divorce the idea of company == people. Companies are a contractual reified ideal, their failure is not the same thing as a person being dead.

I am confused by both points here:
Which ideal are you referring too? mmmcannibalism's ideal didn't really matter. I showed that even in the ideal world that system wouldn't work, in the unideal real world it certainly wouldn't work. Unless you were referring to the second part, but there was a reason why I said economic value was the major factor and not the only factor. I am perfectly fine with accepting "need" or other possible ideas as minor factors in the distribution of wealth.

Companies failures are not the same as people being dead, clearly. I don't see how that has any effect on my example of showing that the previous system was a terrible way to distribute resources?


Maybe I misread what you were exactly stating. I would argue that need is a much greater than "minor" factor to consider, along with the idea that in our current system the reward for work is disproportionate. I.E. a CEO should have significantly less reward and investors should have near zero. Hence, why Capitalism can't sustain a labor-reward distribution as it has to reward investors who produce zero value and only contribute a means to produce value.

As for the second point, that wasn't just you I was referring to.

@Doogly: seems to me that the French are terrorists. Care for a fine wine in Paris?

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby doogly » Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:50 am UTC

Why, I'd be delighted! It's such a cute little craft they make.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Wed Dec 01, 2010 6:08 am UTC

doogly wrote:That's how you get property? You've gotta be shitting me. I could totally do work and make use of the land across the street. They've just got some grass there. I can get some quality vegetables going. It gets to be my property now?

If you keep at it long enough, apparently?

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Dark567 » Wed Dec 01, 2010 6:09 am UTC

Jahoclave wrote:Maybe I misread what you were exactly stating. I would argue that need is a much greater than "minor" factor to consider, along with the idea that in our current system the reward for work is disproportionate. I.E. a CEO should have significantly less reward and investors should have near zero. Hence, why Capitalism can't sustain a labor-reward distribution as it has to reward investors who produce zero value and only contribute a means to produce value.
When I say minor, I mean less than the major factor: producing economic value. Rewarding any behavior more than producing economic growth, will see that behavior become more prominent than increasing economic growth. If need becomes the major factor in which resources are distributed, more people will become needy, as that is what is being incentivised. In addition it will reduce the amount of economic growth, which will in turn reduce the amount of wealth that can go to the needy.

Your distinction between the laborers and investors producing value doesn't hold. Investors create valuable companies, which in turn create valuable products for their customers through there employees(which, get this get paid in valuable money).
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