Rational Politics.

EXC
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Rational Politics.

 

I've come to the conclusion that the current atheist movement is full of so many socialists, neo-Marxists with far left wing political ideals, that there is no way the movement could be considered ‘rational’. It operates just like religions, based on how one wishes the universe operates not on how it actually works. Devotion to dogma is more important than facts. I don't want to have anything to do with this because it's pretty much the same kind of irrational dogma as religion.
 
I understand the thinking that if government could eliminate poverty and human need that people would need to turn to religion as their only hope. But this is a false idea first that governments could ever do this without going bankrupt. The key to eliminating religion is not making people dependent on government through a welfare state but enabling every citizen to become self-sufficient through an effective education/rehabilitation system.
 
If there is not a general consensus among rational thinking people in this self-sufficiency principle, I see no point in having anything to do with the so-called rational atheism movement. I think this web site is just going to turn into a haven for irrational neo-Marxist dogma, just as irrational as any right wing religious group. Ignoring how economics and human nature actually work. It’s just changing one form of irrationality for another. It’s just replacing a celestial sugar-daddy (God) for an earthly one (Government). How about no sugar-daddies?
 
In many ways socialist political values are similar to irrational Theism:
 
1. Based on wish thinking. The thinking/decision and opinion making is based upon how one wishes the world works, not on how it actually works. Theists and socialists both wish there could be an all-powerful entity with unlimited resouces that could eliminate all problems just by asking it to do so. The only way humans can eliminate problems is with effective education and hard work. Government, the rich and corporations can not be or sugar daddy.
 
2. Devotion to a dogma and practices that have been proven not to work. Prayer never works for the Theist. Yet they persist. Why it makes them feel good. They feel like they are doing something to help the situation when they are actually doing nothing. They convince themselves that they care as some kind of drug to feel good about themselves.
 
Socialist liberals do the same thing. They use other people's money to give to benefit someone, they believe they've helped when they've done nothing but make the problem worse. But feeling that they care is they way they make themselves feel good. You point out to socialist the failures of the system. They will ignore the facts. Devotion to the dogma of wealth redistribution/welfare can solve all problems is of supreme value.
 
3. Demonization of anyone that disagrees with them. Anyone that does not agree with them is labeled as uncaring and cold-hearted. They do this to avoid defending the rationality of their position. The fact is that socialist values are so irrational and destructive that many people are driven towards right wing Christian fundamentalism.
 
These should be the political goals of every rational thinking person:
 
1. The main political goal of every rational person should be to have an effective education system that enables every person to become self-sufficient. This includes worker retraining and effective rehabilitation of criminals. Technology and scientific principles must be applied to effectively and efficiently educated and retrain people. Publicly education must be centered first and foremost on enabling people to become self-sufficient. Students can’t be allowed to study whatever they want if it does not enable them to be self-sufficient. Schools and teachers that do not train people to be self-sufficient should be cut off from public financing. Education is the only effective tool to eliminate poverty and human over-population.
 
2. Welfare can only be a temporary solution while citizens are being educated or rehabilitated. Society needs to make a social contract with its citizens. When one is in a difficult spot, a social worker should evaluate their situation then come up with a plan of action to put the individual/family on a path to self-sufficiency. The help cannot be interminable and only citizens that cooperate with the rehabilitation program can receive benefits.
 
Socialist seem to be content with a failed education/rehabilitation system. They seem to believe it is impossible to educate a large portion at a level to make them self-sufficient so we then need to pay even more for welfare. How about not accepting failure as an option? Then they want people and businesses with some money to give even more to governments that are failing to properly educate our poor dependent citizens in the first place. This cycle of government failure must not be tolerated.
 
3. Government mandates for private businesses should be avoided. If businesses are forced to pay high wages and provide services that don't make economic sense, they overall effect will be negative. If businesses are forced by mandate to do these things, they will either pass the costs on to consumer in the form of higher prices or they will go out of business. Either way the poor will be the ones most hurt by these mandates. Government regulation of businesses should be aimed only at preventing fraud and environmental destruction. Businesses will not pay high wages for large numbers of unskilled workers. They will either go out of business or use automation to eliminate jobs.
 
4. Income and sales taxes should be eliminated or kept very low. Society should move toward being a pay as you go system where self-sufficient people pay for the government services they use. Income tax discourages hard work and investment. If the rich are heavily taxed, they will simply stop investing in job creating enterprises and take their money to places where they can avoid the tax man.
 
5. Protection of the environment is a high priority. Human activates that pollute the environment or use a large amount of natural recourses should be eliminated or heavily taxed. This will encourage the development of technologies that have a low impact on the environment.
 
6. Leveling the playing field for all citizens. The way to make the economy fairer for the poor is to eliminate corporate welfare. The exploitation of the environment and natural recourses should not be a protected means of generating wealth. Wealth should be generated though work, investment, and entrepreneurship that solves real problems and meets the real needs of society.

 

[FORMATTING CORRECTED BY SAPIENT]

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


Sapient
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EXC wrote:How about no

EXC wrote:

How about no sugar-daddies?
  I'm a fan.  Except I think it violates your first tenet... 

 

Quote:
 1. Based on wish thinking.

- Brian Sapient


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Makes the extremely

Makes the extremely irrational assumption that everyone will be able to be succesful. Also a horrible idea to not regulate business - that would eliminate the middle class and go back to a few very rich and huge numbers of poor working in unsafe conditions. Big difference is that there is no god, but the government can certainly make things better. Look how much better things are in Western Europe than in the US and the policies there are certainly more socialistic.

 

The rich are still going to try to make more money even though they won't make as much paying more income tax (I would eliminate sales tax as it is a very regressive tax. ) I would also instantly confiscate via the government any business that tried moving overseas without compensating the owner. Any US owned business that manufactured overseas would pay a 500% tariff. I agree on pollution and we do need more public funding of education (and to fix the education system to actually teach critical thinking and science instead of focusing so much on rote memorization. )

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"Objectivism" is just a

"Objectivism" is just a name, EXC. It doesn't actually endow its political outgrowths any claim on rationality. Argue away, but I'm getting very bored with people trying to homogenize each other with whatever bludgeons they think are the natural ideological consequence of atheism. We have each, in fact, arrived at this position through many different routes.

 


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Many fans tend to know that

 

Many fans tend to know that I address issues in such a manner to induce assumptions about where I stand, when those assumptions are false, so that I may pounce on such a position later.  At times I don't address the assumption, I merely pick apart a small piece of it as I did in my first post in this thread.  Some people have told me that this method of mine drives people away, lowering our effectiveness because it is human nature to make those assumptions.  My common response is that I don't care, I'd rather be a small group of great thinkers than a large group of so-so ones.  I feel as if a few of those assumptions have been made by you (EXC) in the last few weeks on this board in regards to politics particularly.  It is because I've generally liked reading your posts and that some supporters think I should be more lenient with logical traps I create on those that we should be aligned with that I've decided to come back to this post and address some issues, as an open book.  I would note however that the proper means of ascertaining accurate answers is not to assert a position, but to ask the right questions and I feel you've done the former in this case.  I recognize of course that you're not specifically talking about me, however you're talking about this site, the members, atheists in general, all the while seemingly excluding yourself from that pool. 


EXC wrote:

I've come to the conclusion that the current atheist movement is full of so many socialists, neo-Marxists with far left wing political ideals, that there is no way the movement could be considered ‘rational’.

I dislike the idea that the political ideals of are incorporated into the religious and philosophical ideals as you seem to be doing here.  You know CapnOAwesome on youtube is a Republican and was supportive of Ron Paul this year?  Do you know that Kelly, Rook, Mike, and myself (the original 4 hosts of RRS and the founding members) are all libertarian? 

 

Quote:
It operates just like religions, based on how one wishes the universe operates not on how it actually works.

 

Your arguments follow the same fate, if not more so.  Transforming our government towards libertarian ideals would crumble large portions of our infrastructure.  Such change would take an excessive amount of time, that all 4 "leaders" of RRS support, condone, and endorse.  Your post seems to avoid our actual views here.  In fact many of the people who would vote democrat in the last few elections, and will be doing so in the upcoming one support those libertarian ideals as well. 

     

Quote:
Devotion to dogma is more important than facts. I don't want to have anything to do with this because it's pretty much the same kind of irrational dogma as religion.

 

I don't want anything to do with those who would make broad sweeping generalizations about the atheist community, or any "movement" within it, especially if those views are mostly assumptions, and exclude ones own position.  If you notice the anti-McCain thread I started had nothing pro-Obama in it or listed by a "leader" of RRS.  The views of the community are mixed, of which you (up til now) are a part of.  You are however free to leave.

     

Quote:
The key to eliminating religion is not making people dependent on government through a welfare state but enabling every citizen to become self-sufficient through an effective education/rehabilitation system.

 

That's one of many keys.  There are others, the battle against religion will be fought on many fronts at once.  Including making anti-McCain threads and seeing how many people will assume that equals pro-Obama.  It's ironic how much of your own argument could be turned back towards you.

     

Quote:
If there is not a general consensus among rational thinking people in this self-sufficiency principle, I see no point in having anything to do with the so-called rational atheism movement.

 

As far as I'm concerned you are the first person to just have made the two go hand in hand.  In fact if you notice the only politics forum on our site is:

  Libertarian Corner and other Politics

Discuss politics, ANY politics! RRS has no political affiliation, but we do lean Libertarian.

   

Furthermore if you are looking for a general consensus amongst the "rational thinking people" being referred to as atheists, it is you who is the wishful thinker, it is you who is not adhering to the facts.  Have you heard the saying that uniting atheists is like herding cats?  With 10 years of experience in attempts to unite atheists there isn't a single issue that I can think of that we all agree on.  In fact, that is why this site was formed.  Atheists can't even agree on how to address religion or religious people.  This site was founded to unite one type of atheist, the atheist that doesn't mind blasphemy, confronting religion, participating in public displays of non-belief, and engaging in what would be considered a more strident form of non-belief. 

 

The only thing one atheist must have in common with another is a lack of belief in a god, and often times they won't even agree with how to classify that lack of belief.  Some say the know for sure god doesn't exist, some say the question is unanswerable, some say they are simply without belief, and on and on.

   

Quote:
I think this web site is just going to turn into a haven for irrational neo-Marxist dogma, just as irrational as any right wing religious group.

Likely not considering the leanings of it's owners/leaders/founders aren't interested in such a position.  Furthermore Matt Shizzle and D-Cubed and the very small handful of others who have been arguing this with you (less than 10 people) are no more a part of this community than you are.  Should you choose to stay you have the ability to impact that direction or course, but arguments such as the ones you are making here are less likely to sway than you may think.  We have over 10,000 registered members and less than 10 are currently having this argument with you, how many people exactly do you think makes up the community?  And do you really need all 10,000 of them to agree on politics in order to strike vigorously at religion?  If so, this isn't the place for you, and I wish you well.

 
Quote:

1. Based on wish thinking. The thinking/decision and opinion making is based upon how one wishes the world works, not on how it actually works. Theists and socialists both wish there could be an all-powerful entity with unlimited resouces that could eliminate all problems just by asking it to do so. The only way humans can eliminate problems is with effective education and hard work. Government, the rich and corporations can not be or sugar daddy.

 

And libertarians wish that by keeping all the money in the peoples hands and simply spending money on education (and they don't even agree on education) that people will rise up and accomplish more.  They also wish/hope that those who are unable to accomplish more are not a drag on resources ignoring that they will be.  I could go on and on, there is plenty of wishful thinking in all camps.  Some of us refer to it as optimism, I believe the Obama crowd calls it "hope."  And I'm speaking as a libertarian who sees the problems within, just as I can speak on the problems I've seen with democrats when I've pushed the vote democrat button.

   

Quote:

2. Devotion to a dogma and practices that have been proven not to work. Prayer never works for the Theist. Yet they persist. Why it makes them feel good. They feel like they are doing something to help the situation when they are actually doing nothing. They convince themselves that they care as some kind of drug to feel good about themselves.

 

And libertarians just don't care, right?  We've had discussions at length with our most staunch libertarian co-host Mike who has essentially illustrated that position for us.  Let the weak be weak, they deserve it for not being stronger, and don't deserve bail outs unless individuals want to help.  Many of us can see the advantages to such a system, we understand how it would work, the question is can you see the disadvantages or would you prefer to dogmatically adhere to such principles wishfully thinking that it'll all work out for the better?  (here, have a mirror, those are your arguments staring you in the face)

   
Quote:

Socialist liberals do the same thing. They use other people's money to give to benefit someone, they believe they've helped when they've done nothing but make the problem worse. But feeling that they care is they way they make themselves feel good. You point out to socialist the failures of the system. They will ignore the facts.

 

No, I wont.  I agree oftentimes handouts make the problem worse.  Now will you change your argument?  Or adhere dogmatically to it?  Or maybe I'll be lucky enough to not be deemed a scary religious socialist.

     
Quote:

3. Demonization of anyone that disagrees with them. Anyone that does not agree with them is labeled as uncaring and cold-hearted. They do this to avoid defending the rationality of their position. The fact is that socialist values are so irrational and destructive that many people are driven towards right wing Christian fundamentalism.

 

Ok so socialists that don't agree with libertarian principles demonize the libs.  Yet you calling socialist values irrational, destructive, and leading towards right wing Christian fundamentalism is what?  Shall I grab the mirror for you again?

 
Quote:
These should be the political goals of every rational thinking person:  

1. The main political goal of every rational person should be to have an effective education system that enables every person to become self-sufficient. This includes worker retraining and effective rehabilitation of criminals. Technology and scientific principles must be applied to effectively and efficiently educated and retrain people. Publicly education must be centered first and foremost on enabling people to become self-sufficient. Students can’t be allowed to study whatever they want if it does not enable them to be self-sufficient. Schools and teachers that do not train people to be self-sufficient should be cut off from public financing. Education is the only effective tool to eliminate poverty and human over-population.

 

2. Welfare can only be a temporary solution while citizens are being educated or rehabilitated. Society needs to make a social contract with its citizens. When one is in a difficult spot, a social worker should evaluate their situation then come up with a plan of action to put the individual/family on a path to self-sufficiency. The help cannot be interminable and only citizens that cooperate with the rehabilitation program can receive benefits.

 

Socialist seem to be content with a failed education/rehabilitation system. They seem to believe it is impossible to educate a large portion at a level to make them self-sufficient so we then need to pay even more for welfare. How about not accepting failure as an option? Then they want people and businesses with some money to give even more to governments that are failing to properly educate our poor dependent citizens in the first place. This cycle of government failure must not be tolerated.

 

3. Government mandates for private businesses should be avoided. If businesses are forced to pay high wages and provide services that don't make economic sense, they overall effect will be negative. If businesses are forced by mandate to do these things, they will either pass the costs on to consumer in the form of higher prices or they will go out of business. Either way the poor will be the ones most hurt by these mandates. Government regulation of businesses should be aimed only at preventing fraud and environmental destruction. Businesses will not pay high wages for large numbers of unskilled workers. They will either go out of business or use automation to eliminate jobs.

 

4. Income and sales taxes should be eliminated or kept very low. Society should move toward being a pay as you go system where self-sufficient people pay for the government services they use. Income tax discourages hard work and investment. If the rich are heavily taxed, they will simply stop investing in job creating enterprises and take their money to places where they can avoid the tax man.

 

5. Protection of the environment is a high priority. Human activates that pollute the environment or use a large amount of natural recourses should be eliminated or heavily taxed. This will encourage the development of technologies that have a low impact on the environment.

 

6. Leveling the playing field for all citizens. The way to make the economy fairer for the poor is to eliminate corporate welfare. The exploitation of the environment and natural recourses should not be a protected means of generating wealth. Wealth should be generated though work, investment, and entrepreneurship that solves real problems and meets the real needs of society.

I double dog dare you to start a website in which you manage to get all atheists to agree on all of those ideals exactly as stated so that you can "see a point in having anything something to do with the so-called rational atheism movement."

  Feel free to link me.

 

- Brian Sapient


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I do like it when people

I do like it when people whose politics are very different to mine sum up these differences  in the first few sentences of a  long essay. I then don't really have to bother spending too much time on the rest.

Its very simply

HUMAN BEINGS ARE NOT AND CANNOT EVER BE INDEPENDENT/SELF SUFFICIENT

 

Thats not to say personal iniative or improvement shouldnt be encouraged but this appalling 'Cult of The Individual' is to put it plainly stupid at best downright evil at worst

 

 


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MattShizzle wrote:Makes the

MattShizzle wrote:

Makes the extremely irrational assumption that everyone will be able to be succesful.

I don't think that he did. If he thinks anything along the lines of how I do, then he accepts that some people won't be successful. It is not the governments job to make everyone successful. I think we should allow failure and allow bad consequences to happen when people make poor decisions.

MattShizzle wrote:

Look how much better things are in Western Europe than in the US.

I do NOT want European socialism exported to the US. I think that things are better here (economically speaking). If anything I would want lower taxes and lower government spending.

MattShizzle wrote:

I would also instantly confiscate via the government any business that tried moving overseas without compensating the owner.

*Shiver* That one gave me the chills. You really want the government to prevent businesses from shopping around and moving some divisions overseas? I am glad that low skill jobs are leaving our country. I would rather work in the service sector than work in a factory. If a business wants to move a factory overseas then let them. Let American's work skilled jobs and let people in third world countries make shoes all day. I doubt you want to work making shoes or plastic toys all day.

MattShizzle wrote:

Any US owned business that manufactured overseas would pay a 500% tariff.

That would drive the price of manufactured goods through the roof. Our workers cost too much and a 500% tariff would stop us from saving money elsewhere. How is artificially raising prices supposed to help us? And here I was thinking that raising prices only hurt the poor....

MattShizzle wrote:

we do need more public funding of education

I don't think funding is the problem. Some school districts with high funding per student are much worse than other poorer districts. I think we waste too much money on administrators, sports (my old high school recently built a two million dollar football field) and a bloated state bureaucracy. Schools should be well funded, but wasting the funds gives us a bad educational system. Also the teachers' union does everything in its power to keep incompetent teachers from being fired.

 

I hope this isn't derailing the thread or coming off as me being too angry. No offense MattShizzle, but it seems that we happen to have opposing views on economics.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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mrjonno wrote:HUMAN BEINGS

mrjonno wrote:

HUMAN BEINGS ARE NOT AND CANNOT EVER BE INDEPENDENT/SELF SUFFICIENT

 

I thought that by self sufficient he meant you didn't need the government to help you. Of course you will interact with and rely on other people. One of us has definitely misread what he wrote.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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EXC wrote:I've come to the

EXC wrote:

I've come to the conclusion that the current atheist movement is full of so many socialists, neo-Marxists with far left wing political ideals

I have to disagree. I have met atheists of all political leanings. One of my roommates thought that I was very far right wing until I explained to him what libertarianism is. Some of us will be left wing, others right, others populist, others centrist and others libertarian. I think most of the atheists that I have met are leftists, but that is because I keep meeting them at my university. Even if atheists as a whole lean left, you can non-leftist atheists. I know that I am.

As for the neomarxism comment I just don't get that. You might be able to find a few people on this site that really are neomarxists, but then you could find a few who are neoliberals just as easily. I think of myself as neoliberal in the economic policies that I support. Perhaps instead of generalizing about this whole community you could only argue against the few members who are neomarxists. Just my opinion here: you could start a thread about the merits of economic deregulation and why you think we should dismantle the welfare state. Then you could argue against only those who are actually against your economic policies, rather than hitting us all with your broad brush of neomarxism and far left politics.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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Jormungander wrote:mrjonno

Jormungander wrote:

mrjonno wrote:

HUMAN BEINGS ARE NOT AND CANNOT EVER BE INDEPENDENT/SELF SUFFICIENT

 

I thought that by self sufficient he meant you didn't need the government to help you. Of course you will interact with and rely on other people. One of us has definitely misread what he wrote.

 

When Americans use the word government they use it in a way that just about everyone else uses the word society. Order ,laws some of which I might not even like are required to have any sort of quality of life.

No government/society = no private property for a start. The only reason you own your car/house/computer isnt not the  fact you worked for it but far more fundmanetally its because we have laws that recognise your transcation in buying it

 

As for atheists being lefties its pretty hard to support laws that are preducial against gay people or some of the more controverisal parts of science/medicine if you don't believe in sky daddies. Often that automatically isolates you from a lot of people on the right (not all but many) which makes you a leftie at least in their eyes

 

 


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Socialist countries tend to

Socialist countries tend to be the least religious.  It may have to do with socialist countries having the highest standard of living.  Religion breeds in desperation, that's why you have missionaries cooing all over natural disasters, school shootings, where ever there is pain, misery, poverty, hopelessness, etc.  Since socialist countries provide the basic needs for all citizens there is less of the above.

The system which EXC proposes has already been tried and has met with disasterous results.  During the Industrial Revolution the gap between the wealthy and poor led to economic ruin since so much wealth was concentrated in the hands of the few.  As a result the best social networks, churches and unions competed for public attention.  Thanks to the plutocracy that naturally arises with economic inequality the corporate interests fought against the unions, often bringing out the National Guard to slaughter strikers.  It wasn't until the socialist New Deal policies of Roosevelt did the Middle Class get established and economic prosperity arose for all classes.  The best thing to remove the Middle Class, what the neo-liberal bent of the Republican party has been doing since Reagan, is to remove regulations (S&L, Bear Stearns, Enron, etc), bust unions, cut social spending, cut taxes on corporations and the wealthy, and then we'll have a nation where corporate interests and religious nationalism are the law of the land.

In modern times corporatism has had it's play in Pinochet's Chile, and most recently American occupied Iraq.  Previous incarnations were removed in the 40s, the exception being Spain.  After Spain's transition to socialism the Church lost much of its political power.

Iraq, hasn't exactly become a secular land after the socialist government was toppled, quite the opposite.  Organized religion has come in to fill the power vacuum.  The same thing happened in the South after the Civil War.  With the government system having fallen apart the robber barons and organized religion gained more power.  Contrary to the claims of lack of regulation the freed slaves became poor sharecroppers thanks to the lax enforcement of civil liberties and the North's reluctance to prohibit Jim Crow laws.

No matter how many catch phrases one mentions a failed economic/social system will still be a failed system.  Countries like Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, etc. have been complete successes while any implementation of a neo-con theme park has met with severe failure. 


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We need to stop shipping

We need to stop shipping jobs overseas just because business doesn't want to pay a fair wage. One idea I loved was the idea of a "maximum wage" - where the owner of a business could not make more (or in a corporation the profits couldn't be more) than (for example) 50 times in a year what the lowest paid employee made (adjusted if there were part time workers. ) That way we couldn't have these rich scum making huge profits while paying subsistence wages or below - if the profit was more than that they could either pay their employees more or have anything over the ammount go to the government.

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MattShizzle wrote:We need to

MattShizzle wrote:

We need to stop shipping jobs overseas just because business doesn't want to pay a fair wage. One idea I loved was the idea of a "maximum wage" - where the owner of a business could not make more (or in a corporation the profits couldn't be more) than (for example) 50 times in a year what the lowest paid employee made (adjusted if there were part time workers. ) That way we couldn't have these rich scum making huge profits while paying subsistence wages or below - if the profit was more than that they could either pay their employees more or have anything over the ammount go to the government.

Probably the best thing to do to prevent this would be to return to higher tariffs.  If a car is built in China and sent to America they have to pay a 2% tariff.  However, if an American car is shipped to China we have to pay a 20% tariff.  Such inequalities encourage jobs to leave.  Tariffs are meant to protect jobs, technology, and wealth in a nation's borders.  Before the 2nd World War the majority of taxes were consumption taxes, i.e. tariffs.  Labor wasn't taxed.  It seems odd that we are taxed on our labor but it makes little difference on how much we consume (exception being sales taxes).  So the more you work the more you get taxed but if you don't work and spend you pay less than the person who works.  Add it further to dividends.  When I make money selling a stock I pay a 15% tax, but if I were to work for the same amount I'd be taxed 35%.  It's a tax cut for the rich since they are so wealthy they don't need to work and earn their revenue from dividends.  Those who choose to work get a social security cut off at $90,000 a year.

Back in the founding of our nation Thomas Paine argued for such things as social security, a progressive income tax, a nationalized education system, etc.  But when you have a government where the only people running the nation are those who have wealth (Senators were appointed rather than voted in by the people), then the plutocracy tends to favor its own interests.  Not that different from the Democratic Greek states where only 10% of the population were permitted to vote and hold office.

Anyway, to get back on the subject we see the same thing in America.  With corporate interests and the wealthy not only having a lot of influence in politics but it takes a wealthy person to get elected (perhaps Bernie Sanders is the only non-millionaire in the Senate, McCain is worth over $100 million), it isn't surprising legislation is based to enrich themselves.  So what if some working people lose their middle class manufacturing jobs, they don't make enough to have a voice.  But the non-wealthy have larger numbers so all it takes is getting enough people to vote for their economic interests, and not on pointless issues like flag pins, to make a difference.


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Quote:The key to eliminating

Quote:
The key to eliminating religion is not making people dependent on government through a welfare state but enabling every citizen to become self-sufficient through an effective education/rehabilitation system.
Speaking of irrationality, anyone who has thoroughly studied sociology and evolutionary psychology ought to know that in every society, some government assistance is necessary.  Not only that, but anyone who has studied the economics of American history should be keenly aware of the fact that there has never been a time in America where there was true self-reliance in any sense of the word.  Furthermore, any student of world history ought to know that there has never in the history of mankind been a society in which the individuals were self reliant.  To a student of Game Theory and the evolution of cooperation, it ought to be self evident that the very definition of society directly necessitates some kind of public assistance.  Finally, to anyone who compares statistics between countries, it ought to be self evident that the best thing a government can do for ALL of its people is to institute a safety net system for all of its people.While we're on the subject, I wonder if anyone has actually quantified the term "welfare state," and having quantified it, has measured the predictions of that definition against reality.
Quote:
If there is not a general consensus among rational thinking people in this self-sufficiency principle, I see no point in having anything to do with the so-called rational atheism movement.
Um... I thought we were against dogma?  It's a false dichotomy to assume that there is only one correct way to run a country.  Different people have different goals, and the whole point of being a freethinker is to have the freedom to pursue independent paths when it is desirable.
Quote:
I think this web site is just going to turn into a haven for irrational neo-Marxist dogma, just as irrational as any right wing religious group.
Considering the fact that I am a core member and about as far from a Marxist as you can get, I think that's unlikely.
Quote:
It’s just replacing a celestial sugar-daddy (God) for an earthly one (Government). How about no sugar-daddies?
Yeah... anarchy is really rational... duh.  Aside from blatantly contradicting everything we know about human nature, there's nothing wrong with the idea, though.
Quote:
In many ways socialist political values are similar to irrational Theism:
Speaking of false dichotomies... who gave you the impression that any sort of government support is equivalent to socialism?  I am not a socialist by any stretch of the imagination, and I am in favor of universal health care and a strong welfare system.
Quote:
1. Based on wish thinking. The thinking/decision and opinion making is based upon how one wishes the world works, not on how it actually works. Theists and socialists both wish there could be an all-powerful entity with unlimited resouces that could eliminate all problems just by asking it to do so. The only way humans can eliminate problems is with effective education and hard work. Government, the rich and corporations can not be or sugar daddy.
 It just so happens that I can speak as an authority on how human nature (the world) works, and I form my political opinions based on this.  My support of integrated social support structures within a capitalist economy is based on a thorough understanding of human nature, a very comprehensive study of sociology, and thorough comparisons of actual data. 
Quote:
Socialist liberals do the same thing. They use other people's money to give to benefit someone, they believe they've helped when they've done nothing but make the problem worse. But feeling that they care is they way they make themselves feel good. You point out to socialist the failures of the system. They will ignore the facts. Devotion to the dogma of wealth redistribution/welfare can solve all problems is of supreme value.
Again, support for progressive (liberal isn't really the right term here) public support mechanisms in government is not the same as socialism.  Furthermore, as I have mentioned, the problem with your argument is that there has never been, in the history of the world, a government that didn't help its citizens.  What you advocate is impossible. 
Quote:
3. Demonization of anyone that disagrees with them. Anyone that does not agree with them is labeled as uncaring and cold-hearted. They do this to avoid defending the rationality of their position. The fact is that socialist values are so irrational and destructive that many people are driven towards right wing Christian fundamentalism.
 In this case, I'm not demonizing you.  I'm demonstrating that you're wrong.  There's a big difference. By the way, I seem to remember someone in this thread refusing to read books that I recommended because he had already decided that since they didn't agree with his conclusions, they were obviously biased and unscientific.  I wonder who that person was... 
Quote:
1. The main political goal of every rational person should be to have an effective education system that enables every person to become self-sufficient.
Complete self-sufficiency is impossible in a society.  That's because society is built on interdependence.  Seriously... try to wrap your brain around this idea.  Society IS interdependence.
Quote:
2. Welfare can only be a temporary solution while citizens are being educated or rehabilitated.
Some crises last longer than a person's life.  Some people become permanently injured.  Some people are incapable of supporting themselves because of illness, mental deficiency or just plain unlucky circumstance.  Sometimes there just aren't enough jobs to go around.  Do you honestly believe that there is some kind of magical system where every person in a society has a job, and everybody makes enough money to live, and prices magically regulate themselves so that everything is valued at exactly what it's worth?  I'd like to spend a few years living in your happy-land, but it's a figment of your imagination.
Quote:
3. Government mandates for private businesses should be avoided.
Right.  Let companies pay as little as they can for workers, but we can't have any government assistance if unrestrained competition drives workers to poverty.  Duh.
Quote:
4. Income and sales taxes should be eliminated or kept very low.
Right.  And roads will magically build themselves.  Hospitals will magically have enough money to treat your workers who are making $2 an hour and can't afford the $10,000 x-ray your unregulated market will create.  There will be tons of money in the homeless shelter business.  It's so lucrative, after all, to run a business that takes care of the people the government doesn't.  Right...
Quote:
5. Protection of the environment is a high priority. Human activates that pollute the environment or use a large amount of natural recourses should be eliminated or heavily taxed. This will encourage the development of technologies that have a low impact on the environment.
 First rational thing you've suggested.  Out of curiosity, are you aware of exactly how drastically that will alter our economy?  It's going to cause a lot of people to lose their jobs when their companies can't afford to do their environmentally harmful things anymore.  It'll be like magic watching all the other jobs magically appear in eco-friendly industries, without a drop of assistance from the government. 
Quote:
6. Leveling the playing field for all citizens. The way to make the economy fairer for the poor is to eliminate corporate welfare. The exploitation of the environment and natural recourses should not be a protected means of generating wealth. Wealth should be generated though work, investment, and entrepreneurship that solves real problems and meets the real needs of society.
 While it's noble of you to want a level playing field, it's baffling to me that you suggest doing so by leaving all the citizens to their own merits and deregulating businesses, yet heavily regulating businesses based on environmental impact.  Most critically thinking economists would suggest that you study economics a bit more before saying things like this.  

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Yeah yeah..capitalism rah

Yeah yeah..capitalism rah rah rah.

If socialism is so irrational, explain to me why the quality of life in left leaning countries always outranks the US.

http://hdr.undp.org/en/statistics/

I seriously can't be bothered to explain to you why turning to the corporate market with every single problem simply doesn't work and how you are living in a fairy tale. Luckily it looks like Hamby is interested in pulling you head out of your ass.

 

 

 

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MattShizzle wrote:We need to

MattShizzle wrote:

We need to stop shipping jobs overseas just because business doesn't want to pay a fair wage. One idea I loved was the idea of a "maximum wage" - where the owner of a business could not make more (or in a corporation the profits couldn't be more) than (for example) 50 times in a year what the lowest paid employee made (adjusted if there were part time workers. ) That way we couldn't have these rich scum making huge profits while paying subsistence wages or below - if the profit was more than that they could either pay their employees more or have anything over the ammount go to the government.

The only reason this happens is because those countries don't enforce the same standards for their work environment that we do here. When Nike pays people $0.25 a day to make $140 sneakers, it's because they are saving on minimum wage, health benefits, workplace safety, scheduled breaks, etc.

Why is it wrong for a company to treat their workers like slaves here, but it's okay as long as it happens outside our borders? Shouldn't the government enforce the same quality of life and safety standards for workers overseas as at home?

"A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven." -- former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien


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Quote:Yeah yeah..capitalism

Quote:

Yeah yeah..capitalism rah rah rah.

If socialism is so irrational, explain to me why the quality of life in left leaning countries always outranks the US.

Both capitalism and socialism, if taken to their theoretical extremes, are stupid and untenable.  There must be personal incentive in the workplace, and that entails elements of capitalism.  There must be support structures from a centralized government, and that entails elements of socialism.

As an example, take Norway.  It's got the second highest HD ranking, and it is identified as a mixed economy, with both a free market system and substantial government controlled sectors.  Also notice that Norway's standard of living is particularly high because of its ratio of natural resources to population.  It is an incredibly resource rich country for its size.

Australia?  Mixed economy.  Canada?  Mixed.  I could go on, but the trend is obvious.  In countries where free market principles are allowed to operate within a controlled environment, and public health and welfare is controlled by the government, there are high standards of living.  As I mentioned earlier, I advocate a mixed government with both free market and socialist elements.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Sharing Hamby is always way

Sharing Hamby is always way helpful ....

I know little about the systems, but fair taxation is a major issue for me. How fucking RICH can one and a few allowed to be in a fair system ?  The wealth distribution in this USA, and world wide disturbs me very much .... and so I agree, in basic principal with that old slogan , "EAT THE RICH" .....     

 


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The last radical libertarian

The last radical libertarian I argued with was a KFC dishwasher who lived in a trailer. I wonder why such meager people, who could probably do with some help themselves, are so ready to sell us out to the wolves. If they had their way, "society" would consist of bearded mountain men casting suspicious glances at each other as they squat over buckets.


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Quote:I know little about

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I know little about the systems, but fair taxation is a major issue for me. How fucking RICH can one and a few allowed to be in a fair system ?  The wealth distribution in this USA, and world wide disturbs me very much

It's definitely a multi-pronged problem.  On the one hand, free market incentive demands a good deal of profit potential.  On the other hand, profit tends to build on itself, so that you end up with CEOs making 1000 times the salary of an employee.  I don't know that it's even so much an issue of fair taxes as it is an issue of fair regulation.  If a company makes enough money that its CEO can make ten million dollars in a year, there's no reason for any employees to be making less than a living wage AND getting full benefits.  As an employer myself, I would definitely like to see a graded tax schedule, where the income of the business dictates the corporate tax rate.  That way, when the business is just starting up and not making much money, the tax burden would be light, and as profit increased, the added taxes would be manageable while still allowing increased take home money.

I'm just thinking aloud, really, but I guarantee that there's a way to do taxation so that it encourages employers to pay their workers better as a way to make more money themselves.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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If you ever look at

If you ever look at statistics, the income gap is way lower in more civilized countries like those in Western Europe. The only place you see it as high or higher than the US is in the 3rd world.

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


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Fair regulation and taxes,

Fair regulation and taxes, and why is this problem not corrected, and out of control? The super rich basically own the media , the propaganda machine and like it the way it is.


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EXC, tell me, what is the

EXC, tell me, what is the self-sufficiency? Is it an ability to pillage a trash bins, to eat stray cats, dogs and pigeons, and to rob people, in order to survive? If yes, then it might work.
If it's not exactly as you imagine, note, that there is a thing in the world called money. It makes people dependent on who gives it, for what, in what amount, how often, and so on. It is the only way how to stay alive for us. Maybe you should define where a natural interaction with society ends, and where a dependence begins.

Next, your statements are really quite broad, as people already noticed. What do you have against socialism? The negative connotation of marxism, engelism, socialism, communism and so on is based on the way how were these ideas realized. I personally view this negativity mainly as a personal power lust of Lenin, Stalin, and their countless henchmen in the Party. It was just another way of having a total power, not unlike A. Hitler. "There is more of what connects us with communism, than what divides us" he said.

My politic orientation test was left-wing libertarian, similarly like Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. But to be precise, I want both economies mixed, capitalism and socialism to work together. (similarly like in Sweden or Norway)  The socialistic principles are here to help the poor, while an allied, cooperating capitalistic principle will help these out of state's care to do business and maybe get rich. These who will get rich will be able to pay much greater taxes for state's social politics, and these who not, will be again clients of very hospitable social security system, so no harm will be done to them.
I want a food+water, housing, education and free healthcare as universal rights.  This is what I mean by a social security system, and to accomplish this is a primary purpose of any government. It may seem an ordinary thing, but no state in the world has it. Not even one.

This of course can't be built overnight, (in fact, it would need a great transformation of all aspects of our lives, which is, I think, inevitable anyway) but if such a system will exist, then it will be irrelevant what religion, philosophy, politic orientation, nationality, sexual orientation, or a complexion color we have, because none of this will be a threat to our well-being. And those, who exploits these differences and  conflicts, will lose power.

(OK I had read all posts in this thread and I rather agree)

Hambydammit wrote:
Both capitalism and socialism, if taken to their theoretical extremes, are stupid and untenable.  There must be personal incentive in the workplace, and that entails elements of capitalism.  There must be support structures from a centralized government, and that entails elements of socialism.
I think we had seen them both in practice. Socialistic extreme killed tenths of millions in gulags, prisons and concentration camps, and capitalistic exteme kills just as much if not more (because it's on large scale), it just takes place in poor, distant countries, which can't even launch a missile to strike back.
We can have top killers in the world of today displayed like this:
1) pollution (and catastrophes related with climate change)
2) hunger and diseases related to long-termed malnutrition (from poverty)
3) diseases (caused by almost non-existent healthcare because of poverty)
4) wars (related to hunger from poverty)
Or like this:
1) total commercialization, aka extreme, monopolized capitalism, encouraging a competitive, barbaric exploitation of the less powerful, worship of money and a wasteful mentality.
I hope that's eloquent enough.

I.A.G.A.Y.: yes, sharing! Share and save the world! Cooperation always gives more profit than a competition. The best thing which the rich can do with their money, is to pay for the good of humankind, (and rather earlier than later) so why shouldn't it be obligatory for them? Smiling

Btw, an economic profit (national income, outcome, production, and so on) isn't in fact a meaningful sign of a national welfare. It only shows, how much that particular nation can exploit an environment, or better said, ravage the nature. The only true way how to create a national welfare, is to invest into human capital. I mean, high quality healthcare, education, and other social benefits. There is not much of measurable profit from this, nor it has any quick effect, but only this has a sense. I think that a state is not more than an individual. If a state should be cared for, it is only because it cares for an individual afterwards. A state is an institution, a mechanism, while an individual is a living being and a potential Buddha (meaning the enlightened one), Tesla (or Einstein if you prefer him), or Leonardo da Vinci. We are all equal in having that potential, and  a primary purpose of our society should be to support a development of individuals towards developing their own potential. This is a long-termed gradual process, which only now starts to be visible in society. 18,5 millions of years ago there was a potential in monkeys to become human beings, and this happened. Now this humanization is preparing to take a final stage, never before were changes in society as great as today, and they will be even greater. The humanization is what we all always wanted, equality, freedom, justice, brotherhood, love, beauty and peace. It is within us hard-wired somewhere to try for these goals again and again, to achieve them, or die trying. There is no other choice. Dunno like you guys here, but I'd rather choose the first option.

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Luminon is a people lover

Luminon is a people lover ... Me too.

The people need to be awakened, to be the "power". A system must rally the people to vote often on all issues of goal setting, creating real participation and enthusiasm. I don't believe in controlling the people .... I believe in the majority to figure out the best path, not a vague powerful few elected to authority. All the world systems are failing to some degree because of apathy and fear induced by the elite rich controllers. I can see no other way to a reasonable peaceful world but to completely eliminate even the possibility of the super rich and dynasties .....

I have never feared a so called "world order". We the world people, must be the law of world  order. We the people must be that order. I don't believe the world will melt into one culture, not if people are free to be themselves.

I do believe the idea of the UN, and a World Peace Corps and military, to guarantee no wars, no starvation, and natural disaster relief are ideas of progress. World nuclear weapon disarmament and of all WMDs is urgently needed. Opening up world internet and peoples TV communication is a major priority.

Sure we will always need leadership and gifted innovators and problem solvers, but I trust that they are there in abundance, and that we the people, if given the power to communicate openly can select such administrators. 

Imagine, yeah I am a dreamer, an optimist .... What stands in the way of making real major sweeping world improvements? Induced apathy, by those who like it the way is, seems problem # one.

"EAT THE RICH"

 

        


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I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:Fair

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

Fair regulation and taxes, and why is this problem not corrected, and out of control? The super rich basically own the media , the propaganda machine and like it the way it is.

Because the same ultra rich are the ones making the laws.  My hope is that Obama doesn't fall into the rich boy crowd.  He's a millionaire after selling a couple of books but because of those sales he was finally able to pay off his student loans.  Guys like him and Bill Clinton who spent some time living a middle or working class life are more sympathetic and pass laws that can benefit us peasant folk.  I doubt I'll be seeing anything from people who live in unearned extreme wealth (Bush Jr., McCain).

All this talk wants me to read Thomas Frank's What's the Matter With Kansas.  Living in Kansas I should have read it by now.


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magilum wrote:The last

magilum wrote:

The last radical libertarian I argued with was a KFC dishwasher who lived in a trailer. I wonder why such meager people, who could probably do with some help themselves, are so ready to sell us out to the wolves. If they had their way, "society" would consist of bearded mountain men casting suspicious glances at each other as they squat over buckets.

Consider for a moment that he already lives in a trailer...


 

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MattShizzle wrote:If you

MattShizzle wrote:

If you ever look at statistics, the income gap is way lower in more civilized countries like those in Western Europe. The only place you see it as high or higher than the US is in the 3rd world.

The last time we had an income gap this big, we were hit by the Great Depression.

The problem, as I see it, is that concentrating economic power among a relatively few people (say, the top 2% of the population) gives that 2% more political power. As we see with stupid laws like the DMCA and Bush's tax cuts, moneyed interests are able to influence political decisions to a much greater degree than us poor plebeians.

Right now, there should be two top economic priorities: levelling the income gap, and reducing the national debt.  Unless these two issues are addressed, our economic troubles are going to get worse. I don't know if it'll be Great Depression bad, but it'll be bad.

Levelling the income gap will certainly help reduce one of EXC's problems, the number of poeple receiving government assistance. (In spite of "common knowledge," most people on welfare don't want to be on welfare, and remain on welfare for much less than their available 60 months.)

I'm definitely more a liberal than a libertarian, in that I believe the government's primary role should be to run common societal infrastructure, like roads, health care, coordination of communications infrastructure, etc, and to provide a safety net for those who fall, for whatever reason. Our limited welfare system seems to be working fairly well (60 months is your lifetime available welfare). Our biggest problem in this area is the lack of universal health care. (And before anybody starts crying about the cost -- do you know how much the US spends on health care? I mean everything, from government-funded programs to insurance to co-pays and deductibles. It's as much or more per-capita than most universal-health-care programs, and we only cover about 80%-85% of our population. And for those with poor insurance [a good-size chunk of that 85%], the wait times and access to care is is bad or worse than the universal health care systems.)

Like most libertarians, I firmly believe in maximizing personal liberties. (I think corporations are not people, and as such, should be regulated to fuck and back. I like Hamby's idea of graduated taxation to give tax incentives to start your own business, coupled with EXC's idea of taxing environmental damage.) There should be no such thing as a victimless crime. The government (including the President) should be open to investigation at any point. There should be no such thing as a hidden law. (Certain TSA regulations have the force of law, but are not available for inspection, so there's no way to know beforehand if you are breaking them.)

I believe individuals have a responsibility to society -- after all, our standard of living is available only because of society. As others have pointed out, "ownership" is not a rational idea in and of itself, and is there only because of social agreements.

Agreeing to help others in exchange for the guarantee of ownership is a small price to pay, if you ask me.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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Name this game

EXC wrote:

 

I've come to the conclusion that the current atheist movement is full of so many socialists, neo-Marxists with far left wing political ideals, that there is no way the movement could be considered ‘rational’.  
     It's a good thing that this web site isn't called rational politics.  We are a very diverse group here, politically.  It is religion that we do agree on, well most of us, that brings us here. 
 [fixed by sapient]         

 


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Hambydammit wrote:Quote:Yeah

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:

Yeah yeah..capitalism rah rah rah.

If socialism is so irrational, explain to me why the quality of life in left leaning countries always outranks the US.

Both capitalism and socialism, if taken to their theoretical extremes, are stupid and untenable.  There must be personal incentive in the workplace, and that entails elements of capitalism.  There must be support structures from a centralized government, and that entails elements of socialism.

As an example, take Norway.  It's got the second highest HD ranking, and it is identified as a mixed economy, with both a free market system and substantial government controlled sectors.  Also notice that Norway's standard of living is particularly high because of its ratio of natural resources to population.  It is an incredibly resource rich country for its size.

Australia?  Mixed economy.  Canada?  Mixed.  I could go on, but the trend is obvious.  In countries where free market principles are allowed to operate within a controlled environment, and public health and welfare is controlled by the government, there are high standards of living.  As I mentioned earlier, I advocate a mixed government with both free market and socialist elements.

 

I'm in total agreement with you. When I used the word socialism, I was using it in the Fox News "fucking commie Canada" "nanny government left" meaning, which everywhere else in the world means a mix of socialism and capitalism. I should have said social democratic.

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Quote:Levelling the income

Quote:
Levelling the income gap will certainly help reduce one of EXC's problems, the number of poeple receiving government assistance. (In spite of "common knowledge," most people on welfare don't want to be on welfare, and remain on welfare for much less than their available 60 months.)

Speaking of this, here are a few more tidbits about our "welfare state."  The majority of Americans on welfare are married caucasians.  Since the Clinton administration, there has been no incentive to have more babies while on welfare.  Unless it's changed in the last four years, starting from the day you begin receiving welfare checks, you have nine months to have another kid.  In other words, if you're pregnant when you begin receiving welfare, your unborn child will be covered when born.  After 9 months, you get nothing more, no matter how many kids you have.  Furthermore, there is a time limit on welfare.  I forget what it is.  Furthermore, there are laws in place mandating that the recipient must interview for jobs and seek training.

A girl I dated about five years ago was a case worker for children of welfare parents.  You want to know why welfare isn't working?  The payments given out for welfare are based on a complicated government formula designed to give parents just enough so that neither they nor their children starve.  The idea is that they will have incentive to get a better job if they aren't getting enough money to live on for the long term.  The reality is that reality is not like a government formula.  First, welfare kids are not insured.  If they hurt themselves on the playground, tough titties.  Second, day care is not included in welfare, yet the mother is required to do training and go on job interviews.  Particularly if the mother has preschool kids, somebody's got to watch them while the mother is doing all of that.  Babysitters cost money.  (Welfare mothers don't have family who have time to babysit for free.)

Finally, the limit on welfare is a huge deal.  In case anybody's missed it, the longevity of minimum wage jobs is not reliable.  People who go on welfare once are likely to get into the same situation again in the relatively near future.  Consider that the thing most Americans rely on to get them through hard times is their savings account.  People recently off welfare don't have savings accounts.  They're trying to pay back bills that they accumulated while on welfare, all the while paying for daycare while they work a job with the same pay rate as they're being charged by the daycare.

 

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Hambydammit wrote:Speaking

Hambydammit wrote:

Speaking of this, here are a few more tidbits about our "welfare state."  The majority of Americans on welfare are married caucasians.  Since the Clinton administration, there has been no incentive to have more babies while on welfare.  Unless it's changed in the last four years, starting from the day you begin receiving welfare checks, you have nine months to have another kid.  In other words, if you're pregnant when you begin receiving welfare, your unborn child will be covered when born.  After 9 months, you get nothing more, no matter how many kids you have.  Furthermore, there is a time limit on welfare.  I forget what it is.  Furthermore, there are laws in place mandating that the recipient must interview for jobs and seek training.

The limit is 60 months, lifetime.

My wife was a welfare-to-work case manager, and later, regional directory of the welfare to work program in Southeast Alaska. Welfare recipients are required to do "work-related activities." The case worker attempts to get the welfare recipient into the work force as soon as possible.

It's not at all like the common misconception of "welfare."

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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Quote:It's not at all like

Quote:
It's not at all like the common misconception of "welfare."

And you know, something's been puzzling me about this common misconception.  Rush Limbaugh is friends with lots of the top brass at the White House.  Has been for years.  Isn't it odd that none of those folks ever mentioned to him just how horribly wrong his tirades are?  I mean, hell.  Surely there are a few people in the White House who know something about the welfare system.  Presumably, they're the ones who were involved in reforming it, or at least successors of those who did.  Yet, day in and day out, Rush preaches to millions of Rethuglicans, telling them blatant untruths about it.

It's almost as if it was designed that way... 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Ha ha.  To be fair though,

Ha ha.  To be fair though, Hannity is way, way worse than Limbaugh.  As far as being violently clueless, he's right up there with O'Reilly in my opinion.  A tidbit concerning the looming energy crisis from a month or 2 ago goes something like this:  "America was able to produce enough arms to last through WWII.  Are you telling me that America is now unable to get through this little energy crisis?"

I was just like, dude...arms and energy are not the same thing at all. 

I consider myself to be a conservative (not a Republican, a Libertarian), but these AM talk radio guys are so hilariously clueless on so many fronts.  Rush just signed an 8 year, $400 million contract with IEB.  That's twice as much as A-Rod makes in a season.  How could someone with that kind of wealth possibly understand his audience, and in turn be understood by his audience?  There is no energy crisis for Rush.  There is no recession.  The guy could literally light his cigars with rolls of $100 bills and it wouldn't even be a drop in the ocean. 

The same goes for Beck, though to a lesser degree.  I mean, he's a fairly enjoyable guy to listen to, if only in a comedic sense, but he's pulling in several million a year himself, and is generally pretty ignorant of what it means to be an average American with average problems.   

But none of it makes me quite as sick as the ad spot that Hannity does for Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.  "Head on down to Ruth's Chris and have dinner for 2 for ONLY $89!"  Yeah Sean, you're reaaaally appealing to your blue collar base here.  Dick. 


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Hambydammit wrote:You want

Hambydammit wrote:

You want to know why welfare isn't working?  The payments given out for welfare are based on a complicated government formula designed to give parents just enough so that neither they nor their children starve. 

I think that is the way it should be. Welfare should give you just enough money to survive. Though you do have a good point with the daycare problem. Perhaps government run daycares for people who are on welfare would be a good idea. That would help them get off the system and back to training or work. Anything that hastens people's away from welfare is a good thing in my book.

nigelTheBold wrote:

It's not at all like the common misconception of "welfare."

Yeah, we really did fix that system. There is probably some small amount of abuse left, but I think we actually are running welfare pretty well now.

 

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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Jormungander

Jormungander wrote:

Hambydammit wrote:

You want to know why welfare isn't working?  The payments given out for welfare are based on a complicated government formula designed to give parents just enough so that neither they nor their children starve. 

I think that is the way it should be. Welfare should give you just enough money to survive. Though you do have a good point with the daycare problem. Perhaps government run daycares for people who are on welfare would be a good idea. That would help them get off the system and back to training or work. Anything that hastens people's away from welfare is a good thing in my book.

nigelTheBold wrote:

It's not at all like the common misconception of "welfare."

Yeah, we really did fix that system. There is probably some small amount of abuse left, but I think we actually are running welfare pretty well now.

 

Just enough money to survive? What do you suggest someone does who's industry evaporates and they require training to get back into the workforce? Or someone who has kids that require medical care? Or that become disabled and can't get back into the workforce?

Who cares if there are a small percentage of freeloading slackers? That really an issue of generational poverty, not welfare.

"A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven." -- former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien


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It should be enough to not

It should be enough to not go hungry, have a roof over their head and live with some ammount of comfort. If they are given just enough to survive I can't possibly blame them if they decide to go out and rob people/stores/etc. There are always going to be people who are not able to work or are unable to find work. It is totally wrong that there are billionaires at the same time there are those who can't even afford a roof over their head. There is not nearly enough equality in the US. I think the mix is better than we have now, but totally eliminating capitalism from the world would be better.

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There's a very simple,

There's a very simple, fundamental problem with the idea of giving people less than they need to get by to encourage them to get off welfare.  It doesn't work.

1) Remember, please, that human society is a very complicated superorganism.  It's the same kind of thing as an ant colony or beehive, only with a much more flexible division of labor and system of stratification.

2) Sociobiologists are fast becoming aware that slackers are part of a superorganism.  It's not a matter of flawed individuals.  It's a matter of the boundaries of a system.  Consider that in an ant colony, there is a small percentage that do very little work compared to the others, and reap full rewards of being part of the system.  Curiously, when researchers identify and remove only the slacker ants, the same percentage of ants relative to the new size of the colony turn into slackers.  Judging by records of human societies, I see no reason to doubt that the same dynamic operates in the human superorganism.

3) In other words, there will ALWAYS be a fringe element who will take advantage of a welfare system.  This is NOT a justification for not having the system in place.  As many have pointed out, most of the people who go on welfare are not bums.  They are people with families who had bad luck, a bad economy, illness, injury, or some combination.  Again, the VAST MAJORITY of people on welfare are trying to get off welfare.

4) The reason people want to get off of welfare is that welfare is really, really not sexy.  People, by virtue of their nature, want better status than their neighbors.  That's because the hot women prefer to fuck high status men, and because it takes money for a woman to be as hot as she can be.  Gym memberships, makeup, hundred and fifty dollar haircuts, designer clothes and jewelry are expensive.

5) Because of simple mathematics, GETTING AHEAD INVOLVES HAVING MORE THAN YOU NEED.

6) Let me repeat that.  It's important.  THE FREAKING DEFINITION OF GETTING AHEAD IS HAVING MORE THAN YOU NEED.

7) If you want someone to get off the welfare system, you need to let them save money.  There are already programs in place to encourage, and in some cases, mandate savings.  At the local homeless shelter in my city, residents are required to meet with a financial planner and budget so that they are able to save something, even if it's only a few dollars.  Their savings accounts are managed for them, and they are not allowed to stay at the shelter unless they follow these guidelines.

This is really, really simple.  In order for welfare to be effective, it has to be the equivalent of a living wage.  Period.  It's important to include incentives to get back into the workforce, but they need to be actual incentives, not punishment for not being able to make it with not enough money to make it.

 

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I See You There.

Hambydammit wrote:

This is really, really simple.  In order for welfare to be effective, it has to be the equivalent of a living wage.  Period.  It's important to include incentives to get back into the workforce, but they need to be actual incentives, not punishment for not being able to make it with not enough money to make it.

Hamby, I've been lurking on this post because you've been saying exactly what I think on this subject more concisely than I could.

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but proof, proof is the bottom line for everyone."
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Thankyou

Boon Docks wrote:

EXC wrote:

 

I've come to the conclusion that the current atheist movement is full of so many socialists, neo-Marxists with far left wing political ideals, that there is no way the movement could be considered ‘rational’.  
     It's a good thing that this web site isn't called rational politics.  We are a very diverse group here, politically.  It is religion that we do agree on, well most of us, that brings us here. 
 [fixed by sapient]         

 

 

  Again thankyou for fixing this issue for me !!


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stillmatic wrote:Who cares

stillmatic wrote:

Who cares if there are a small percentage of freeloading slackers?

I don't care. That is why I said in my post that we are running welfare pretty well. You even quoted me saying that. I said that only a small percentage of welfare recipients are abusers. We have made welfare run as good as it can to keep out abuse. No one cares about the fringe group that still somehow abuses it. Please, actually read my post before responding. Or at the very least don't quote me and then have a response that implies I think the opposite of what I was quoted on.

Hambydammit wrote:

 In other words, there will ALWAYS be a fringe element who will take advantage of a welfare system.  This is NOT a justification for not having the system in place. 

I agree. I just wonder if this is a response to my post or not. If it is not a response to my post then we are in complete agreement. If this is a response to my post then I would like to see where I claimed that welfare abuse is a reason for shutting down the system.

Just in case we are all confused:

Jormungander wrote:

Yeah, we really did fix that system. There is probably some small amount of abuse left, but I think we actually are running welfare pretty well now.

{emphasis added}

Nowhere did I say that we should shut down welfare because of abuse and nowhere did I say that I even cared about abuse.

Hambydammit wrote:

The reason people want to get off of welfare is that welfare is really, really not sexy.

I agree. People don't want to be looked down upon. We should not look down upon people who are on welfare, but unfortunately some people do. Being on welfare wrongfully has an implication that you are lazy or incompetent. Oh well, even if we made the system better, many people would still look down upon it.

Hambydammit wrote:

This is really, really simple.  In order for welfare to be effective, it has to be the equivalent of a living wage.  Period. It's important to include incentives to get back into the workforce, but they need to be actual incentives, not punishment for not being able to make it with not enough money to make it.

No, it doesn't. Period. I think that having more than the bare minimum needed to survive is a great incentive to get off of welfare. Welfare shouldn't be a punishment, but it should be the bare minimum possible. That way almost any job is a step up in financial security (i.e. any job holds a powerful financial incentive to people on welfare).

MattShizzle wrote:

I think the mix is better than we have now, but totally eliminating capitalism from the world would be better.

And this I am interested in. How does one get rid of capitalism? I'm trying to imagine how one would do that, but all I can come up with is total state control or sustenance farming. Neither seem attractive. Are their other methods of ending capitalism you know of?

 

And just to finish this all off:

Hambydammit wrote:

There's a very simple, fundamental problem with the idea of giving people less than they need to get by to encourage them to get off welfare.

Is this a response to what I wrote? I hope it isn't because I never said that we should give people on welfare less than they need to survive. I said we should give them the minimum necessary for survival. They will get by, they just won't be that far from destitution.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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stillmatic wrote:Just enough

stillmatic wrote:

Just enough money to survive? What do you suggest someone does who's industry evaporates and they require training to get back into the workforce? Or someone who has kids that require medical care? Or that become disabled and can't get back into the workforce?

There are resources for much of that. There are displaced worker programs, child health care programs, and so on. Much of the problem is that the government has privatized much of it. People have to dig around to find out who is managing the programs, how to contact them, and then figure out how to get through the corporate red tape. And since the corp insists on a profit, not as much of the money makes it to the people who need it most.

There are resources for much of that, but not enough.

Quote:

Who cares if there are a small percentage of freeloading slackers? That really an issue of generational poverty, not welfare.

In my wife's experience (and in listening to her), most people really don't like to be dependent on the state. Both as a case worker and later as regional director, she was all in her clients' private lives. She and her case workers were constantly meeting with the clients, going over their finances, working with them to plan a way out of welfare, helping them get funds for education and training and whatnot. Some of the clients appreciated it; they were the ones who wanted to get back on their feet from a sense of self-worth and pride. Some of the clients did not appreciate it; they were the ones who wanted to get back on their feet just to get their privacy back.

The "generational poverty" thing is a big, big problem. Welfare can help people survive, but it's gonna take a lot to reform the system to the point where poverty is no longer institutionalized. I suspect that's where Matt's coming from.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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"Cross post" .... cause I

"Cross post" .... because I care, so I break the law ! From,

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/14904?page=2

103 - Isn't the problem that, we the common people and the government are two different things? Doesn't education start with being involved? How do we create enthusiasm and involvement?  Isn't  the present system that allows a super rich dynasty the root of the problem? Why allow human vacuum cleaners? Money is blood sweat and tears of the majority. Fuck the minority rich controllers. Wake up, "Eat the Rich" NOW .....

This satire I find compelling, Work could be fun, but it is mostly not for the majority?

"THE ABOLITION OF WORK" , By Bob Black , essay

 http://www.primitivism.com/abolition.htm

Here in 2 podcasts. The first one, is dry and too the point, with no music and the reading is fast. The second one is with trippy music and more fun.

1 : Episode 093 - click the pod button, not the title.

http://radiofreeliberty.libsyn.com/

2 : with music,

http://www.thefalsegods.com/twilight/twilight016.htm

Starts reading the essay at about 1/3 in .... with  additional music breaks .... it takes a few moments to load  most podcasts like this  ....

http://www.thefalsegods.com/twilight/shows/64k/twilight16.mp3

    OR See Show 16 - (lots of other cool shows too)

http://www.thefalsegods.com/twilight/playlists.htm

What a crap ass system we are handing the kids. Yeah I don't have all the solutions, but sheezz, so many fucked up things are obviously changeable for the better. Wake up the neighbor robots. Sue the FCC. Over 500 trillion dollars trying to steal Iraq's oil, was who's brainy idea and why? .... and no universal world health care .... why inflation? ... why mega profit making rich dynasties? .... etc ....

    Yeah "education" in name of FUN .... building a FUN world  .....

IMAGINE ....  


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Sapient wrote:EXC wrote:How

Sapient wrote:

EXC wrote:

How about no sugar-daddies?
  I'm a fan.  Except I think it violates your first tenet... 

 

Quote:
 1. Based on wish thinking.

 

No, there is a big difference. Wish thinking is believing that the universe could operate under laws/rules that science has demonstrated do not exist. Theists wish there was a sugar-daddy god that answered all their requests, so they pray. This is wish thinking because the universe does not operate this way.

I've argued with leftist socialists enough to know that they just ignore the reality of how economics and human nature works. They basically propose these ideas about welfare and business mandates to make themselves feel like they care, when in reality they are doing nothing. It a drug that makes them feel good, makes them feel morally superior to people like me. Basically they want to put the burden of helping others on the rich, government and businesses instead of themselves. Pretty much like prayer, a way to make yourself think your helping when you're doing nothing.

For example, this video about McCain supposedly preventing people from getting Birth Control assumes that health insurance providers can somehow provide free services to the poor without passing these costs onto the consumer. Now the truth is McCain an other economic conservatives just don't believe the government should mandate what a services an insurance company company should offer. Now to go along with this video, one must ignore the economic laws.

1. The cost of mandating services will be passed onto the consumers. We already have a huge crisis of affordable health insurance. They will either pass the cost onto consumers or they will go out of business.

2. When a health insurance company provides birth control to it's customer, it is then acting a middleman in the chain of product delivery. This will only increases cost since they must manage inventory and do paperwork. It is more economical to have the customer buy the product wholesale from the providers.

It may make you feel that you care by supporting mandates, but economics simple does not operate this way. You hold these believes about how government should operate, yet you don't explain how mandates just don't get passed along to the consumers.

Another irrational idea is that an economy can survive that rewards people based upon how hard they work rather than the value of the products and services to consumers. If success is not rewarded, the economy fails.

The government is broke and highly in debt. The government is unable to fund infrastructure programs. This is why private investors are proposing public works projects where they can get a return on investment from user fees. They technology exists now so that all services can be pay as you go.

If you tax the rich and businesses excessively, they will just stop investing and hiring people to work for them. They will take their money and hide it. But this reality is just ignored by all the "rational" leftists. The leftist just keep proposing higher taxes ignoring the reality of how this will change behavior.

There is nothing in nature that suggests a society could exist where one group of people could support another group. Relationship are either symbiotic or adversarial. Socialism is a recipe for class warfare. It doesn't matter that you "feel" that it's just right to help the poor, this is how the world works.

I am not a libertarian. A libertarian put liberty above all else. Jefferson put it best LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSIUT OF HAPININESS. You can't have liberty without life, which is why and individual and societies high priority must be they obtaining the elements needed for survival(food, clothing, shelter, essential medical services). This is why self sufficiency is a higher priority than liberty.

If we are to have a government that helps it's less fortunate citizens, it must be base upon what works and what benefits all members of society. When we have an education system that enables citizens to be self sufficient, everyone benefits and the system can sustain itself. There really is not much else governemts can do that would be a win for everyone.

So I firmly disagree that you can have a rational community with numerous people that have far left economic and socialist ideas. They simply ignore the reality of how the world operates. Politics operates in a very similar way to religion and is just as subject to irrational dogma.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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Where do you get the idea

Where do you get the idea that education makes people succesful? I have my BS, a 3.0 average and have never made more than 20,000 a year. If the government doesn't help the poor, what prevents them from rising up, killing the rich and taking what they rightfully deserve? With the sort of system you propose the poor will way outnumber the rich, and the middle class may cease to exist.

 

The rich... off with their heads.

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MattShizzle wrote:Where do

MattShizzle wrote:

Where do you get the idea that education makes people succesful? I have my BS, a 3.0 average and have never made more than 20,000 a year. If the government doesn't help the poor, what prevents them from rising up, killing the rich and taking what they rightfully deserve? With the sort of system you propose the poor will way outnumber the rich, and the middle class may cease to exist.

 

The rich... off with their heads.

The poor won't be doing that. They have no organization and no will to 'take what they rightfully deserve.' Every poor person that I know would never kill a rich person. They would rather squander all their efforts and money on cheap entertainments. Having the poor rebel is a rare thing in history. It is common for an upper class to maintain control for centuries before the abused poor do anything about it. We keep our poor to well preoccupied for them to make any kind of a stand. It is sad that I can off the top of my head think of five people who make less than $10/hour who spend more money on entertainment than I do. If income disparity grew in the US we would not see a blood bath. We would see more people like that: no will to achieve more and no effort put into anything but their time-filling entertainments.

That being said I do not endorse killing or excessively taxing the rich. I would rather slash funding to needless government bureaucracies than jack up taxes.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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Quote:So I firmly disagree

Quote:
So I firmly disagree that you can have a rational community with numerous people that have far left economic and socialist ideas. They simply ignore the reality of how the world operates. Politics operates in a very similar way to religion and is just as subject to irrational dogma.

Hell, Matt isn't even that far left.  Who are you talking about? I'm pretty sure that I've always advocated an essentially free market with the more vital social support structures being at least partially socialized.  That's hardly far left.  It's certainly not socialist.  Are you sure you know what far left means?

Quote:
Basically they want to put the burden of helping others on the rich, government and businesses instead of themselves. Pretty much like prayer, a way to make yourself think your helping when you're doing nothing.

I'm puzzled.  If the people with the money aren't helping those without money, who's going to do it?

Quote:
1. The cost of mandating services will be passed onto the consumers. We already have a huge crisis of affordable health insurance. They will either pass the cost onto consumers or they will go out of business.

Are you being intentionally simplistic, or are you just naive?  If it costs the government say, $50,000 per underpriviledged child per year between funding the child welfare services, providing welfare benefits, covering uninsured hospital claims, and other such expenses, and it costs the government $0.75 per condom distributed for free, each condom that successfully prevents a pregnancy saves $50,000.  In any economic system, some costs are offset by unrealized gains resulting from the costs.  Particularly with regard to insurance, prevention is well established as much, much cheaper than treatment after the fact.

The government -- any government -- mandates lots of things that are beneficial to the entire population AND save money in the long haul.  Would you like the government to stop mandating that only the government can print money?  It costs a lot of money to run all those printing presses, and if people just printed their own money on their own printers, it would save hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes.

How about if the government just stops mandating that water treatment plants be used for treating sewage.  Gosh, the EPA is really fucking expensive to run.  If we didn't have that, people could just use their own charcoal filters and save millions and millions of dollars in taxes.

Quote:
2. When a health insurance company provides birth control to it's customer, it is then acting a middleman in the chain of product delivery.

So do you want to mandate that the manufacturer give away its products?  That's not very smart, is it?  They'll go out of business!

But... if poor people don't get birth control, they'll make more babies, and somebody will have to pay for them... so they need to get their birth control, but we don't want the insurance companies to make us pay, because then we'd be paying, and that would be bad, because paying is bad when we don't have to pay because then we're being forced to pay because the government's bad, mmmmkay?

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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I am all for competitive

I goofed in my last #41 post , over 500 billion, not trillion, on the Iraq war, which doesn't include Afghanistan etc.   Hey but ?,

http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0310/p16s01-wmgn.html?page=1

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    I am for competitive markets, and more socialization where needed,  but allowing mega rich corporations and dynasties (disguised monopolies) doesn't promote competition, it diminishes it.

Hamby, I'd sure like to hear you focus a bit more directly on this economic quagmire.


EXC
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Mandates don't work.

Hambydammit wrote:

I'm puzzled.  If the people with the money aren't helping those without money, who's going to do it?

Have I not said over and over the help needs to be in form of an education that need to make people self sufficient? In other words only help that works. Define success in terms of making people self sufficient instead of making them dependent.

You know all about evolution and biology right. Where else in nature do we see one group of organisms providing for another group of organisms without receiving anything in return? And this relationship between the groups goes on indefinitely generation after generation?

This is exactly what you are proposing with wealth redistribution/welfare/mandates. So maybe you should explain from a biological/sociological perspective how sugar daddy relationship work. One group of people that is good at accumulating wealth is going to continually give up this wealth to whomever needs it. These people will just keep working, investing then giving their wealth away. Is there rate at which they should just decide to stop working, running a business or investing?

Please enlighten me of how this economy works? Isn't wealth redistribution and entirely new relationship between organisms? Shouldn't it just cause the rich to think the poor are their adversary?

Hambydammit wrote:

Are you being intentionally simplistic, or are you just naive?  If it costs the government say, $50,000 per underpriviledged child per year between funding the child welfare services, providing welfare benefits, covering uninsured hospital claims, and other such expenses, and it costs the government $0.75 per condom distributed for free, each condom that successfully prevents a pregnancy saves $50,000.  In any economic system, some costs are offset by unrealized gains resulting from the costs.  Particularly with regard to insurance, prevention is well established as much, much cheaper than treatment after the fact.

You are twisting what I said to justify your irrational view of the world.

If someone can't afford condoms, then they can't afford food, shelter and pay their bills. If someone is in such a position and in need of government assistance, why are they not in a job training/education program where they worry about being self sufficient instead of who they can fuck? Why not have a highly disciplined military style program where they learn to be self sufficient instead of engaging all the time in sex and drugs at someone else's expense?

Isn't that the problem, these people worry first about who they can get laid with instead of how to be self sufficient. You just want to coddle these people and their lifestyles so they have no incentive to change. This is a recipe for disaster. They truth is condom cost is not keeping the poor from using birth control. Most people on welfare can afford cable TV, cars, booze, drugs, etc.. They don't want to use the condom. They know people like you will just go along with having tax codes and mandates that punish success and rewards their irresponsible behavior, so why change their ways?

You know this is right, but just like the theist, you'd rather pretend the world doesn't operate this way. Where else in nature have we seen one group of organisms supporting another without receiving any benefit in return?

Hambydammit wrote:

The government -- any government -- mandates lots of things that are beneficial to the entire population AND save money in the long haul.  Would you like the government to stop mandating that only the government can print money?  It costs a lot of money to run all those printing presses, and if people just printed their own money on their own printers, it would save hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes.

This is a false analogy because when people counterfeit money, they are committing fraud and theft. If a health insurance provide decides it's not economical for them to offer BC, they are not committing fraud.

With the information economy, the role of cash is becoming less important and perhaps we'll see the need for cash disappear in our lifetime. Businesses to ETF transfers all the time, because it's more economical than cash. Web sites now allow bartering with 'credits' instead of dollars. 

So the banks, credit card companies, etc.. essentially make their own money to save on the cost of processing cash. You could start your own barter web site and use 'Hamby dollars' if you wanted. When Macy's prints gift cards, they are essentially printing their own money. The government should not regulate this so long as no fraud is occurring.

 

Hambydammit wrote:

ow about if the government just stops mandating that water treatment plants be used for treating sewage.  Gosh, the EPA is really fucking expensive to run.  If we didn't have that, people could just use their own charcoal filters and save millions and millions of dollars in taxes.

You're good a false analogies and ignoring what I wrote.

The people that want to pollute don't own the air and water that they pollute. So to do this would crime against society because the air and water is a common resource. Businesses that are granted by society the permission to do some polluting should be heavily taxed and regulated.

Hambydammit wrote:

So do you want to mandate that the manufacturer give away its products?  That's not very smart, is it?  They'll go out of business!

Well then why wouldn't the heath insurance company go out of business if they are given the mandates instead?

What I want is an education/rehabilitation system that works. Obviously the education system failed you when it comes to understanding economics.

Economically mandates have no net benefit because the businesses just pass the cost on to the consumer. You have this false notion that business can just pass out free benefits. So when you support a mandate, you need to explain where the money comes from to pay for it.

Hambydammit wrote:

But... if poor people don't get birth control, they'll make more babies, and somebody will have to pay for them... so they need to get their birth control, but we don't want the insurance companies to make us pay, because then we'd be paying, and that would be bad, because paying is bad when we don't have to pay because then we're being forced to pay because the government's bad, mmmmkay?

If someone can't afford a .75 condom then they can't afford rent and food either. They just have babies cause they know someone else will pay.

So I'd be all for providing services to the poor if it was part of an effective job training program. But the benefits can only be temporary. It needs to be in a highly disciplined education environment that is proven to work. So perhaps people who can't survive without government assistance shouldn't even be allow to have sex until they are on the path to being self sufficient. That's why they're indigent, fucking is a higher priority than self-sufficiency. The poor that don't want to join a job training program can be offered sterilization as an alternative.

I'm applying the same principles to social policy that I am to religion. Namely what works, what does the science tell us. When you have an effective education system, people become self-sufficient and they don't commit crimes. Everybody wins. People who propose wealth redistribution schemes where the poor get benefits endlessly with no path to becoming self sufficient are just being highly irrational and ignoring how the world really works. What works is creating a social contract between the classes instead of setting up an adversarial relationship with unlimited welfare for the poor. Anything else is just a recipe for class warfare and reduction of the work ethic.

But I may as well argue with a Theist that prayer does not work as argue with people here that wealth redistribution can't work.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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You do realize the "work

You do realize the "work ethic" is another irrationality -ie the "Puritan Work Ethic. " There are also plenty of us with higher educations that can't get jobs for various reasons.

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EXC
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nutxaq wrote:Hambydammit

nutxaq wrote:

Hambydammit wrote:

This is really, really simple.  In order for welfare to be effective, it has to be the equivalent of a living wage.  Period.  It's important to include incentives to get back into the workforce, but they need to be actual incentives, not punishment for not being able to make it with not enough money to make it.

Hamby, I've been lurking on this post because you've been saying exactly what I think on this subject more concisely than I could.

I have another great idea on how to help the poor afford to live. Gas is $4+ per gallon this really hurts them, but water is much cheaper. Let's just have the poor put water in their gas tanks and run their cars on water. Who cares how the laws of physics and chemistry really work. Just like you don't care of the laws of economics works. In fact, let's just legislate that everyone should be a millionare.

The rich did not get rich or maintain their wealth by paying high wages for unskilled labor. They will take their money out of businesses that hire unskilled labor if this mandate is done. Business will shut down or find other ways to avoid paying high wages and taxes. The only thing that can help people earn a living wage is an effective education system. You can choose to ignore this reallity of how the world really works or you can be like the theist and believe the world is something other than what is really is.

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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Not if we don't let them

Not if we don't let them export jobs overseas and tax the hell out of capital gains, etc. Again, not everyone is capable of higher education and plenty of people with even advanced degrees can't get good jobs. It's true the rich didn't get that rich by being fair, so we don't let people get quite so rich. There definitely shouldn't be billionaires when there aren't even people with a roof over their head. We could find a way to confiscate money from those who try to get out of their share of making the system fair.

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team