Rational Politics.

EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3907
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is offlineOffline
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]

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3907
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is offlineOffline
MattShizzle wrote:You do

MattShizzle wrote:

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.

Well then the education system failed you. Success in education must be measured in one's ability to be self sufficient not in getting a diploma. So, I guess your schools get an F, and they should not receive more tax money until they can prove they can help people like you be sucessful.

 

So why not fix this problem with the application of scientific principles to the education of children? Your socialist proposals if implemented are just going to lead to everyone living in poverty. I'm sorry you haven't found success but that's no reason everyone else must suffer too. I'm all in favor of doing whatever is necessary to help people with learning disabilities become self sufficient, but I don't want welfare or rewarding a government that failed in your education to be given more money to squander.

 

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


MattShizzle
Posts: 7966
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
50-some thousand a year

50-some thousand a year isn't poverty. If everyone made the exact same wage that's what it would be. If socialist ideas don't work, then why is everything so much better for the majority in Europe than in the US?

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


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
Quote:You know all about

Quote:
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?

Where else in nature do you see unrelated organisms not letting babies die when their parents had more babies than they could  afford?  Our infant mortality rate is a direct result of a decidedly artificial construct.  Welfare is necessary because we don't let babies die.  You can't have it both ways.  You either let babies die, or you admit that welfare is necessary.

Quote:
One group of people that is good at accumulating wealth is going to continually give up this wealth to whomever needs it.

In America, most people with money were raised in families with comparable amounts of money.  It's more about who gave birth to you than some kind of inherent "ability to accumulate wealth."  Out of curiosity, have you ever tried to accumulate wealth at $2.15 per hour plus tips?

Quote:
Is there rate at which they should just decide to stop working, running a business or investing?

Will you point to the economic theory stating that taxing the rich to fund welfare necessarily leads to a point at which no more wealth can be accumulated?  If you can't produce it, then your question is meaningless.

Quote:
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?

EXC, let me make this perfectly and abundantly clear.  In anthropological terms, there has NEVER, EVER, EVER been a human society above the level of "extended family" that has not had some kind of centralized support structure.  EVER.  The moment that humans get together to accomplish common goals, it becomes inevitable that disparities will result.

Wealth redistribution is a huge catch-all that people like you use to villify welfare.  It's a red herring.  Wealth redistribution is NOT a new relationship.  It is done by apes, lions, ants, bees, chimps, monkeys, hyenas, and Kalahari bushmen.

It should cause those who have and those who do not have to recognize their interdependence, if it's done well.

Quote:
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?

This sounds completely sociopathic!  If people happen to be born poor, you'd have them become eunuchs in the military? 

Quote:
Isn't that the problem, these people worry first about who they can get laid with instead of how to be self sufficient.

Statements like this make me sick to my stomach.  Have you ever known anyone on welfare?  I don't mean somebody you saw in line at the supermarket.  I mean have you ever gotten to know someone well enough to understand their life?  You have no fucking clue what it's like, and you're passing judgment on people and proposing solutions that would take away their very humanity.  You'd rather the people with the $80k a year jobs be able to buy a new car every three years instead of every four, because dammit, they deserve that car, and fuck those people who grew up without a chance in hell of getting a good education because people like you refuse to pay for any fucking public services that would actually help them.

I'm sorry.  I can't even finish your post.  I'm too mad.

 

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

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
You know what, I fucking

You know what, I fucking hate all or nothing thinking.  I fucking hate it.  You want to talk about an irrational fucking mindset?  I'll tell you what an irrational fucking mindset is.  It's someone with their head so far up their ass that they think that "welfare" is an either-or proposition.  Either it's good or it's bad.  If there's any downside to it, the whole fucking thing has to be thrown out.

Who the fuck thinks that millions and millions of people across a huge country can all make enough money to support themselves and retire comfortably, all the while going to great schools, driving on great roads, eating at great restaurants, buying new cars, and paying $2.15 an hour to anyone who doesn't happen to have the luxury of having one of the elite jobs formed by the natural stratification of society when you don't regulate the fuck out of commerce?

Is it really possible to be rational and believe that any attempt to bolster the bottom of an economy is the equivalent of reincarnating Stalin?  When the fuck did any social support structure become equivalent to leftie socialist bullshit?

Dude, you really need to turn the fucking radio off of Rush Limbaugh. 

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

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


magilum
Posts: 2410
Joined: 2007-03-07
User is offlineOffline
Atlas is shrugging in his

Atlas is shrugging in his grave.


anniet
Silver Member
Posts: 325
Joined: 2008-08-06
User is offlineOffline
EXC wrote:I'm all in favor

EXC wrote:

I'm all in favor of doing whatever is necessary to help people with learning disabilities become self sufficient, but I don't want welfare or rewarding a government that failed in your education to be given more money to squander.

EXC, I'm truly glad to hear that life hasn't royally screwed you over, but it has other people.  What is the alternative that you propose to the system we currently have for people who are having trouble dealing with life?

Have you ever met someone on welfare?  There are some who are just lazy mooches, but overall, the people that I have met are just shell-shocked.  They grew up in restrictive households with abusive religion, or faced repeated physical abuse, or they are trying very hard to keep up with modern society but have problems with one or more aspects of this.  I could go on, but I imagine you get the point.  I can't count the amount of people I've known who have stories you think only happen in fiction.

Take a look around you at the suffering of the people you see, then put their self-destructive behavior in context.  When life has you beat down, it's hard to rise above this.  Yes, some people do make it through nastiness alright, lots don't.  And those who do come out alright generally need some time and distance from whatever it is that has messed with the course they had plotted for their life.  Is it beneficial for society to just write these people off?  If so, what exactly do you propose to do with them?  What do you do when it is your parent who has had a nervous breakdown, your child who has self-medicated with drugs, etc. 

Life often does not go as expected.  None of us truly have control over our lives.  What should we do to/for others who have the unexpected intrude upon their plans?

"I am that I am." - Proof that the writers of the bible were beyond stoned.


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 4197
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
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, 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.
wow.  we're takin' over, huh?  so far as i know, myself and jacob cordingly are the only marxists here and we don't agree on everything.  just what the fuck is a "neo-marxist," anyway? 
EXC wrote:
But this is a false idea first that governments could ever do this without going bankrupt.
i agree.  the fact that you would consider this idea marxist shows me just how familiar you are with marxism.  maybe proponents of the stalinist ideal of "socialism in one country" would fall into this trap in praxis, but even they wouldn't make it a part of their theory. 
EXC wrote:
 It’s just replacing a celestial sugar-daddy (God) for an earthly one (Government). How about no sugar-daddies?
actually, marxism is about concentrating and maximizing the means of production in a developed nation toward the goal of allowing everyone to become self-sufficient.  i suppose you skipped the passages about the withering away of the state in your marxist readings.  i suppose you skipped marxist reading entirely.
EXC wrote:
  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.
just how far did you get in capital or grundrisse?  the foundations of marxism were laid with a thorough observation and diagnosis of the realities of the capitalist world.  maybe for zapatero or mugabe or (here in slovakia) robert fico there is a cult of the state, but this can be called neither socialist nor marxist unless one completely excises these terms from their intended meanings.  
EXC wrote:
 2. Devotion to a dogma and practices that have been proven not to work. Devotion to the dogma of wealth redistribution/welfare can solve all problems is of supreme value.
there is no wealth redistribution in socialism.  a socialist state is not a welfare state.  in a socialist revolution, the means of production are expropriated by the proletariat, which usually means that the factory workers become the direct administrators of their machines.  there is also agricultural collectivization, but only when the industrial centers have advanced to a point where they can supply the countryside sufficiently for such an endeavor.  people still own their houses, their belongings, their money.  nobody comes to your house, counts out your cash, and takes some to people across the street.  money may disappear but that is most likely a long time coming, only after the highest stages of communism have been reached. 
EXC wrote:
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.
 who the fuck have you been reading?  some hippy director of greenpeace or what?  there are plenty of defenses of socialism out there by people like leon trotsky, tony cliff, and paul mattick (who opposed the idea of a socialist revolution through state power) that are based completely on rational argument with no appeal to pathos or bleeding-heartism.  and just what are the destructive "socialist values"?  
EXC wrote:
 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.
what "socialists"?  is a socialist to you anyone who believes in welfare programs and state education?  are they "neo-Marxist" too?  you're starting to sound like anne coulter.
EXC wrote:
 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.
government mandates are useless.  only trade unions and workers' soviets can get things going. 
EXC wrote:
Wealth should be generated though work, investment, and entrepreneurship that solves real problems and meets the real needs of society.

which is why dickensian england was such a nice place to live in.  entrepeneurship had a free reign there, and the poverty was third world.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3907
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is offlineOffline
anniet wrote:Have you ever

anniet wrote:

Have you ever met someone on welfare? 

 

Have you ever met a rich person? How many of them have gotten rich or maintained their wealth by running or investing in a business that pays high wages to large numbers of unskilled laborers? You are simple making an emotional appeal instead of a rational one. 

So it doesn't really matter what the reasons why people are on welfare or how dysfunctional their childhood may have been. Wealth redistribution can not work. The rich will simple hide their money when high taxes and mandates are use to try to confiscate their wealth. It is a recipe for class warfare and eventual impovrishment of the whole society.

The only thing that may work is an effective education system that can rehabilitate people quickly where everyone can be trained at a lever where they can be self sufficient. This is the only situation that the rich/private business could provide aid to those less fortunate. It is simply irration wish thinking to believe any other assistance to the poor could work without creating more poverty.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3907
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is offlineOffline
MattShizzle wrote:Not if we

MattShizzle wrote:

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.

The rich and capitalists would just buy gold bars and bury them in the ground.

They will put their money into secrect swiss bank accounts and retire.

The highly educated and entrepenural people would move to countries that would not cofiscate their wealth and allow them to keep what they earn.

 

Bottom line, you would just have a system where everyone is poor.

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3907
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is offlineOffline
iwbiek wrote:actually,

iwbiek wrote:

actually, marxism is about concentrating and maximizing the means of production in a developed nation toward the goal of allowing everyone to become self-sufficient.  i suppose you skipped the passages about the withering away of the state in your marxist readings.  i suppose you skipped marxist reading entirely.
 In the high tech world of today, they only way to make people self sufficient would be to have an effective education system. So where are the Marxists when it comes to reforming our education system? Seems like they are all stuck on this irrational notion that people who do become highly productive should just willingly fork over all their hard earned wealth and never enjoy the fruits of their own labor. If you reform Marxism where the goal is to make everyone self sufficient through effective education/rehabilitation, I'm all for it. Why bother discussing any other goals than this? I don't want to hear any more irrational ideas about wealth redistribution from the haves to the have nots.  
iwbiek wrote:
  and just what are the destructive "socialist values"? 

No one can enjoy the fruits of their own labor as long as someone else is less well off.

Private ownership of a business without government interference and high taxes is not permitted.

The belief that punishing success with high taxes and rewarding laziness with welfare will not eventually wreck the economy and society.

 
iwbiek wrote:
what "socialists"?  is a socialist to you anyone who believes in welfare programs and state education?  are they "neo-Marxist" too?  you're starting to sound like anne coulter.

They are against private ownership of business, but they won't come out and say it. So they just want to tax the fuck out of business to pay for welfare that doesn't educate or reform people.

What enables the anne coulters of the world is a welfare system that does reform people but just passes out aid with no conditions on the recipients. If leftists would only support aid that gets people off government dependency instead of living in a fantasy world of wealth redistribution, the anne coulters would not have a voice.

 
iwbiek wrote:
only trade unions and workers' soviets can get things going.

Where are the unions when it comes to getting effective education for their members? Why isn't their main concern getting members educated with the skills the economy needs? They just act like a mafia, extorting and intimidating. Creating a monopoly and not allowing employers to innovate. The teachers' unions are among the worst.

When you get unions to be job training centers instead of an extortion mafia, then they could get things going. If your committed to your cause, you should get how unions operate to change instead of trying to change people like me.

 

iwbiek wrote:

which is why dickensian england was such a nice place to live in.  entrepreneurship had a free reign there, and the poverty was third world.

There was plenty of entrepreneurs looking for skilled labor, right? The problem was the poor didn't have the skills the employers needed. So if there was poverty, it was a failure to put the poor into effective education systems. Were the unions in Dickensian England advocating for education or just extortion and confiscation of the wealthy?

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3907
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is offlineOffline
Hambydammit wrote: If

Hambydammit wrote:

 If there's any downside to it, the whole fucking thing has to be thrown out.

I am not an all or nothing guy. Keep what works, throw out what doesn't work. It has to be reformed to only be what works.

I'm not against welfare as a short term solution. I could support having the government pay for a poor person's birth control for a year or two if they were in an effective job training program.  But they really shouldn't be waisting their time fucking instead of learning to be productive.

 

Hambydammit wrote:

Who the fuck thinks that millions and millions of people across a huge country can all make enough money to support themselves and retire comfortably, all the while going to great schools, driving on great roads, eating at great restaurants, buying new cars, and paying $2.15 an hour to anyone who doesn't happen to have the luxury of having one of the elite jobs formed by the natural stratification of society when you don't regulate the fuck out of commerce?

The reality is that about all unskilled labor can soon be automated away. So if you're going to force employers to pay $20 and hour for unskilled labor, there won't be any jobs for unskilled labor. So you are just going to accelerate the unavailablity of any job for the poorly educated.

Who says's there has to be a "natural stratification"? Humans are capable of engineering many unnatural things. Why isn't science and ration thinking applied to the education of our citizens as it has been done to create things like computer technology and military weapons? Why can Toyota produce cars with near zero defects yet our education system produces so many people without the skills they need to succeed? Why isn't the same quality control methods Toyota uses used in our education system?

To accept the idea that their must be a "natural stratification", one must also accept that their must be a large number of poorly trained people by our education system. I'm not willing to accept this premise.

 

Hambydammit wrote:

Dude, you really need to turn the fucking radio off of Rush Limbaugh. 

Well when you explain to me how economics really works. Why would raising the minimum wage not cause inflation? Who is hurt most by inflation? Why would business owners not just find another investment that does not require them to pay high wages? Why would they not move jobs oversees? Why would they not make less jobs available through automation?

 

Why not raise the minimum wage to $1000/hour that way every would soon be rich? We could all retire rich no more poverty in the world. Why don't we just go to church and pray for God to help the poor too since we all care so much?

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 4197
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
EXC wrote:  In the high

EXC wrote:

 

 

 In the high tech world of today, they only way to make people self sufficient would be to have an effective education system. So where are the Marxists when it comes to reforming our education system?

excellent question.  when the bolsheviks assumed power after the october revolution, they did a total overhaul of the old tsarist educational system with the single goal of the rapid industrialization and mechanization of the soviet union.  the humanities, even history, were very downplayed.  students were sent to factories, agricultural cooperatives, steel mills, etc., for practical instruction and yes, labor, though the accounts we have of this system from disinterested historians are not horrific (i would refer you to sheila fitzpatrick's the russian revolution and richard overy's the dictators).  it was only after the death of lenin, during the stalinist bureaucratic reaction, that the education system began to revert back to pre-revolutionary modes.  these modes are incompatible with socialism.

EXC wrote:

   Seems like they are all stuck on this irrational notion that people who do become highly productive should just willingly fork over all their hard earned wealth and never enjoy the fruits of their own labor.
 once again, who are "they"?  i'm talking about the consensus of the majority of major marxist theoreticians.  are you talking about your local school board?  ralph nader?  who?  if you want to get a real idea of marxism, i refer you to the wealth of writings that is www.marxists.org.  otherwise, enough with the half-baked cliches.  i've already tried to explain to you that nobody is required to "fork over" their "wealth."  at the height of communist theory, the means of production become the communal property of workers' soviets and people's communes.  this is not done by the big bad state.  this is done by direct revolutionary expropriation by the workers.  this is marxism.  it is not "redistribution of wealth."  it is expropriation of the means of production.  if you don't like that, fine, join the imperialist reaction.  you have my blessing.  but don't moralize with me. 
EXC wrote:
If you reform Marxism where the goal is to make everyone self sufficient through effective education/rehabilitation, I'm all for it. Why bother discussing any other goals than this? I don't want to hear any more irrational ideas about wealth redistribution from the haves to the have nots.
 *sigh*  you never heard any of those "irrational ideas" from me or any other marxist.  maybe you did hear about it from a bleeding-heart liberal.  fine.  i hate those people more than you do, probably.  the goal of marxism is to make everyone self-sufficient neither through "redistribution of wealth" nor through "education/rehabilitation" (at least not initially).  marxism's goal is revolution.  perhaps violent revolution.  the revolution might establish a dictatorship of the proletariat, depending upon the society's objective conditions.  then, partially through education/rehabilitation, the goal of communism is worked toward.  i'm not interested in your fucking taxes or your 401K, though if a revolution ever does come to pass you might suddenly find it worthless.  if you don't agree with this, fine.  but don't say marxists want to take all your money and give it to inner-city kids.  marxists aren't thinking about your money at all. 
EXC wrote:

No one can enjoy the fruits of their own labor as long as someone else is less well off.

where exactly did you read that?  if you're talking about a "social state," you're probably right--in principle.  if you're talking about socialism, you're dead wrong.  once again, three words that are the key to socialist theory: MEANS OF PRODUCTION.  forget "wealth" and "money": throw those terms out the window.  without the former, the latter don't exist.  by expropriating the means of production, the proletariat turns the factories, farms, mines, mills, etc., away from serving private ends to serving social ends.  production is maximized so that everyone will be well off.  there are no "haves" to steal from, nor "have-nots" to give to.  this is socialist, and communist, theory.  i fully acknowledge it has never been demonstrated.  i also contend it has never had a real chance to be demonstrated, except for a few brief years at the close of WWI in a country that was, according to marxist theory, too economically bacward to enter into socialism yet.  once again, if you don't think marxism or socialism is valid, fine.  but at least know what it is.

EXC wrote:

Private ownership of a business without government interference and high taxes is not permitted.

close.  private ownership of a business is not permitted at all: at least, as far as production goes.  still, this cannot be acclomplished overnight.  a country must be very economically developed.

EXC wrote:

The belief that punishing success with high taxes and rewarding laziness with welfare will not eventually wreck the economy and society.

and for the tenth time, this is not socialism.  this is a social state or welfare state, or rather just spineless liberalism and populism.  socialist theory is very explicit, and marxism even more so.  once again, run over to www.marxists.org.

 

EXC wrote:

If leftists would only support aid that gets people off government dependency instead of living in a fantasy world of wealth redistribution, the anne coulters would not have a voice.

ok, so now it's "leftists."  since that's way more broad than "socialists" or "marxists," i'll let that one slide. 
EXC wrote:
 They are against private ownership of business, but they won't come out and say it.

once again, who the fuck is "they"?  certainly not socialists, and especially not marxists, because they will absolutely come out and say it.

 

EXC wrote:

Where are the unions when it comes to getting effective education for their members? Why isn't their main concern getting members educated with the skills the economy needs? They just act like a mafia, extorting and intimidating. Creating a monopoly and not allowing employers to innovate. The teachers' unions are among the worst.

well, actually, my father was able to go to vocational school because of the teamsters, but never mind.  i agree the trade unions of today's america are worthless because they have no revolutionary outlook.  that's why america is very hard soil for a revolution.  the bureaucracy is too big.

EXC wrote:

If your committed to your cause, you should get how unions operate to change instead of trying to change people like me.

i know exactly how unions operate.  my father was a union man.  my cousin is a union man.  and if i were back in the US in a trade, i'd be in a union too.  i don't agree with all their methods but they have every right to exist, especially in construction, shipping, and factories.  i understand you have a big beef with education.  have you ever looked anywhere else?  and i'm not trying to change you.  i'm just telling you that you have no grasp of what socialism or marxism is.

EXC wrote:

There was plenty of entrepreneurs looking for skilled labor, right? The problem was the poor didn't have the skills the employers needed. So if there was poverty, it was a failure to put the poor into effective education systems. Were the unions in Dickensian England advocating for education or just extortion and confiscation of the wealthy?

that's bullshit, because the entrepeneurs weren't looking for skilled labor at all.  why the fuck would they hire 7 year-old children if they need mechanical engineers?  the fact is, with the increase of the division of labor, skills needed in production became little more than having at least one hand.  in dickensian society, laborers had no choice but to price themselves low.  once again, if you had actually read marx, particularly capital, you would understand how labor works, how it works as a commodity, the difference between absolute value and surplus value, how capital works, and how it is interested in keeping the working classes poor and stupid, with a reserve army of unemployed.  what fucking skills do you need to be taught to run a goddamn power loom?  the unions is dickensian england were interested in existing, since they were constantly busted up and most of their members were starving.  it's because of the persistence of unions that the situation is better than it was; people didn't get more educated.  the situation is different today of course; unbridled capitalism no longer exists.  i just wanted to set the record straight on dickensian england and unbridled capitalism.

anyway, if you really want to talk socialism or marxism, go brush up and bring some arguments.  but don't do what creationists try to do with evolution: don't refute claims that marxists don't make.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3907
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is offlineOffline
iwbiek wrote: students were

iwbiek wrote:

 students were sent to factories, agricultural cooperatives, steel mills, etc., for practical instruction and yes, labor, though the accounts we have of this system from disinterested historians are not horrific (i would refer you to sheila fitzpatrick's the russian revolution and richard overy's the dictators). 

 Right, a planned economy. No room for innovation, no competion to produce the best product. Some dictator told people what to produce and gave consumers no choice. Then ended up with industry that produced inferior products because the consumer had no choice. 

EXC wrote:

  it is not "redistribution of wealth."  it is expropriation of the means of production.  if you don't like that, fine, join the imperialist reaction.  you have my blessing.  but don't moralize with me.
 Yes, someone works their ass off to own the means of production. Then others should just steal someones life savings without compensation. Great theory on how to make a peaceful, economically prosperous society. Maybe you should educate us on how Marxism could work in our modern high tech society. I'm part of an small enterprise that makes software, electronics and mechanical parts. Our "means of production" is computers and CAD software. We then sell our products to other companies So, that makes our Intellectual Property their means of production. So if I follow your Marxist theory, us workers should get some guns, go over to the offices of the CAD software makers. Force them at gunpoint to install their software(our means of production) on our computers and give us valid license files. But then we have to worry about our potential customers coming to our offices and stealing their "means of production" from us. Should we just let them just come and take our IP without compensation? Who is going to pay our bills? If this is the case, I think I'm just going to become a beach bum and try to scam the welfare system to get enough money to live. The fact is in our high tech economy, the people the have the appropriate education "own the means of production". So if you want to improve the lives of all citizens, you don't steal from the rich. You educate all citizens so they have the "means of production" in their brains.  
iwbiek wrote:

that's bullshit, because the entrepeneurs weren't looking for skilled labor at all. 

why the fuck would they hire 7 year-old children if they need mechanical engineers?  the fact is, with the increase of the division of labor, skills needed in production became little more than having at least one hand. 

 

I'm against child labor laws. They should be in an effective school. If the workers are being exploited because there is a large number of unskilled laborers. Then you have to educate them so they have skills that they can negotiate with the employers.

In our modern IP based economy, when you effectively educate someone, they own the means of production. You don't need a violent revolution that steals from people. You need an education system puts the "means of production" into everyone's brain.

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


anniet
Silver Member
Posts: 325
Joined: 2008-08-06
User is offlineOffline
EXC wrote:anniet wrote:Have

EXC wrote:

anniet wrote:

Have you ever met someone on welfare? 

 

Have you ever met a rich person? How many of them have gotten rich or maintained their wealth by running or investing in a business that pays high wages to large numbers of unskilled laborers? You are simple making an emotional appeal instead of a rational one. 

So it doesn't really matter what the reasons why people are on welfare or how dysfunctional their childhood may have been. Wealth redistribution can not work. The rich will simple hide their money when high taxes and mandates are use to try to confiscate their wealth. It is a recipe for class warfare and eventual impoverishment of the whole society.

The only thing that may work is an effective education system that can rehabilitate people quickly where everyone can be trained at a lever where they can be self sufficient. This is the only situation that the rich/private business could provide aid to those less fortunate. It is simply irrational wish thinking to believe any other assistance to the poor could work without creating more poverty.

 

I'm an assistant to an investment advisor and I have taught ESL to a few members of the upper class in a certain town in Mexico, so, yes, I do have some experience with rich folks.  The one guy in Mexico I'm thining of did better than a lot if his peers because he paid high wages to his employees.  Those who did not follow his model faced threats of kidnapping, assault, equipment sabotage, etc. that he did not have to worry about.  If there is no voluntary wealth distribution it leads to social instability.  The wealthy of Mexico, India, and many other similar countries enjoy standards of living that are not really seen here even amongst the rich here.  However, they live in armed compounds, constantly under threat.  Is this how you want to live?

Maybe it's just the people I've been around, but I've seen a lot of mental health issues amongst the poor.  A good portion of people at or below the poverty line have some real obstacles to caring for themselves in the rather complex society we have grown into.  This is not to say that the poor are crazy, but rather that some people have real issues with finding their way in society.  Just look at the homeless population that you see around town for the extreme of this. 

totally agree with you that we need to be more focused on educating our fellow citizens.  A person needs skills in order to be productive.  And even the most damaged human being can usually learn something that allows them to be more an integral part of a producing society.  Such a policy change would require more funds to be redistributed from those who have money though as we do not currently have the number of quality programs we would need just to serve those who are living at or below the poverty line. 

You can't just tell people that they have to rely solely on themselves.  Almost everyone needs some sort of help at some point in their life due to circumstances beyond their control.  Some people need quite a bit of help based on how life has gone for them as life has really sucked for a fair number of people. 

I do thank you for bringing up this topic and taking the time to listen to everyone even if you may still not agree with what you are reading.  It is important to think of our place in our community and how we directly affect the lives of others.

 

"I am that I am." - Proof that the writers of the bible were beyond stoned.


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 4197
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
EXC wrote:    iwbiek

EXC wrote:
iwbiek wrote:

 students were sent to factories, agricultural cooperatives, steel mills, etc., for practical instruction and yes, labor, though the accounts we have of this system from disinterested historians are not horrific (i would refer you to sheila fitzpatrick's the russian revolution and richard overy's the dictators). 

 

 

EXC wrote:

  it is not "redistribution of wealth."  it is expropriation of the means of production.  if you don't like that, fine, join the imperialist reaction.  you have my blessing.  but don't moralize with me.
 Yes, someone works their ass off to own the means of production. Then others should just steal someones life savings without compensation. Great theory on how to make a peaceful, economically prosperous society. Maybe you should educate us on how Marxism could work in our modern high tech society. I'm part of an small enterprise that makes software, electronics and mechanical parts. Our "means of production" is computers and CAD software. We then sell our products to other companies So, that makes our Intellectual Property their means of production. So if I follow your Marxist theory, us workers should get some guns, go over to the offices of the CAD software makers. Force them at gunpoint to install their software(our means of production) on our computers and give us valid license files. But then we have to worry about our potential customers coming to our offices and stealing their "means of production" from us. Should we just let them just come and take our IP without compensation? Who is going to pay our bills? If this is the case, I think I'm just going to become a beach bum and try to scam the welfare system to get enough money to live. The fact is in our high tech economy, the people the have the appropriate education "own the means of production". So if you want to improve the lives of all citizens, you don't steal from the rich. You educate all citizens so they have the "means of production" in their brains.  
iwbiek wrote:

that's bullshit, because the entrepeneurs weren't looking for skilled labor at all. 

why the fuck would they hire 7 year-old children if they need mechanical engineers?  the fact is, with the increase of the division of labor, skills needed in production became little more than having at least one hand. 

 

I'm against child labor laws. They should be in an effective school. If the workers are being exploited because there is a large number of unskilled laborers. Then you have to educate them so they have skills that they can negotiate with the employers.

In our modern IP based economy, when you effectively educate someone, they own the means of production. You don't need a violent revolution that steals from people. You need an education system puts the "means of production" into everyone's brain.

 

 

ok, guy, whatever.  you're throwing out generalities without even bothering to quote a source.  your grasp of marxist theory and the history of the soviet union, based on your statements, is obviously null, and your emotional beef with the american education system is intruding on your analysis of places and times where it didn't even exist.  you're not interested in what socialism actually means, you're just interested in creating a bogey, calling it socialism, and beating it to death (you still haven't told me who "they" are).  i am not, nor have i ever tried to argue you into being a marxist, so WHY THE FUCK DO YOU KEEP TALKING TO ME LIKE THAT'S WHAT I'M TRYING TO DO???  i'm only saying, the "socialism" and "neo-marxism" you're so against has NOTHING to do with either marx or socialism.  that has ALWAYS been my point, and NOTHING ELSE.  go get reactionary with someone else, because your opinion doesn't mean dick to me.  just please clean up your terminology if you want to make a cogent argument.

 

EXC wrote:
 Right, a planned economy. No room for innovation, no competion to produce the best product. Some dictator told people what to produce and gave consumers no choice. Then ended up with industry that produced inferior products because the consumer had no choice. 

 {fixed quotes -aiia}

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 4197
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
oh, and by the way, another

oh, and by the way, another free lesson in marxist theory: computer software is a commodity, not a means of production.  computer software is no more a means of production than a book, even if it is used in design.  means of production create commodities, which are concrete objects with use-value: intellectual property does not qualify as a commodity, so the marxist has no opinion on it.  i personally don't give a flying fuck if you go steal computer software or not.  now the guys down at the plant who build your computers, that's another story...

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 4197
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
EXC wrote:Yes, someone works

EXC wrote:

Yes, someone works their ass off to own the means of production. Then others should just steal someones life savings without compensation. Great theory on how to make a peaceful, economically prosperous society.

"that's life...that's what the people say...you're ridin' high in april...you get shot down in may..."

 

 

 

 

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


MattShizzle
Posts: 7966
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
They don't work for it for

They don't work for it for the most part, they inherit it.


mrjonno
Posts: 726
Joined: 2007-02-26
User is offlineOffline
iwbiek wrote:oh, and by the

iwbiek wrote:

oh, and by the way, another free lesson in marxist theory: computer software is a commodity, not a means of production.  computer software is no more a means of production than a book, even if it is used in design.  means of production create commodities, which are concrete objects with use-value: intellectual property does not qualify as a commodity, so the marxist has no opinion on it.  i personally don't give a flying fuck if you go steal computer software or not.  now the guys down at the plant who build your computers, that's another story...

 

I do love it when people on the right try to justify software theft as  if somehow its not stealing , there is no moral and in most countries legal difference  between pirating a piece of software and stealing a physical computer out of someone shop that has such software on both cases are straight theft (criminal matters).

The only real difference is the chances of getting caught, intellectual property is 100% a commodity


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
Quote:Have you ever met a

Quote:
Have you ever met a rich person? How many of them have gotten rich or maintained their wealth by running or investing in a business that pays high wages to large numbers of unskilled laborers? You are simple making an emotional appeal instead of a rational one.

EXC, I grew up poor as shit.  I got rich by getting very, very lucky on several counts.  First, I landed the one and only job in my field in my city that paid a decent amount of money.  Second, I worked so much that I didn't go on a date or eat out for over two years.  Third, I got extremely lucky in my choice of stock investments for a meager amount of money.  (By comparison, most of the people I know who invested at the same time lost value.)  I have run two businesses.  I lost one of them to nefarious legal manipulations.  The other one is in a slump just like every other small business in the country right now.  I haven't been paid in over a year for forty or more hours per week.  I am no longer rich.

To put this bluntly, EXC, you don't know jack shit about what you're talking about.  I do.  I've been on all sides.  I've been unemployed.  I had one year where I grossed $6,811.  I remember that because $6800 was the cutoff for paying taxes.  I had to send the government a check for taxes on $11.  The stamp and envelope cost more than the check was made out for.  I've made six figures a year.  I've been worth well over a million in liquid assets.  I'm back to struggling to pay my mortgage.  That's because my business is down over 20% per year.  My business is the service industry.  Most of my employees can't afford insurance, and I can't afford to pay them enough to get it.  I can't afford to provide insurance for part time employees.

You, EXC, listen to too much tallk radio, and you don't know jack shit about how economies work.  I know this because I am a small business owner, and I do know how economies work.

Quote:
Wealth redistribution can not work.

You stubborn snot!  This is an empirical fact.  THERE HAS NEVER IN THE HISTORY OF HUMANITY BEEN A SOCIETY ABOVE THE LEVEL OF EXTENDED FAMILY THAT DID NOT EMPLOY WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION IN SOME WAY!

 

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

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3907
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is offlineOffline
iwbiek wrote:oh, and by the

iwbiek wrote:

oh, and by the way, another free lesson in marxist theory: computer software is a commodity, not a means of production.  computer software is no more a means of production than a book, even if it is used in design.  means of production create commodities, which are concrete objects with use-value: intellectual property does not qualify as a commodity, so the marxist has no opinion on it.  i personally don't give a flying fuck if you go steal computer software or not.  now the guys down at the plant who build your computers, that's another story...

 

Well then try design a complex computer chip, computer board or a complex mechnical system without using expensive CAD software. You think you could do it?

 

Our company makes concrete objects(electronic boards, parts) which are made from cheap metal and plastic. The real value of our products is the design files and the people that know how to build them. I think you need to raise Marx from the dead to update his theories.

 

iwbiek wrote:

i personally don't give a flying fuck if you go steal computer software or not.  now the guys down at the plant who build your computers, that's another story...

They'll be out of work when no one writes software to run on these computers. Why shouldn't I go down and steal the computers we need as well as the software? What's difference we need both to produce our product.

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 4197
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
mrjonno wrote: I do love it

mrjonno wrote:

 

I do love it when people on the right try to justify software theft as  if somehow its not stealing , there is no moral and in most countries legal difference  between pirating a piece of software and stealing a physical computer out of someone shop that has such software on both cases are straight theft (criminal matters).

The only real difference is the chances of getting caught, intellectual property is 100% a commodity

a., i don't know where you get the idea i'm on the right, since i've just obviously declared myself a marxist.  b., i don't know where you get the idea i'm trying to justify stealing software when clearly i'm only making the argument that it has no bearing on marxist theory, right or wrong.  and c., intellectual property is not a commodity in the marxist sense, which i clearly defined above.  the whole spiel was only to make it clear that intellectual property is a moot point in terms of marxist theory.  for the hundredth time, i'm only trying to clarify what "marxism" and "socialism" are, and save those terms from those who want to conflate and exploit them in a crusade for education and welfare reform.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 4197
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
EXC wrote:iwbiek wrote:oh,

EXC wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

oh, and by the way, another free lesson in marxist theory: computer software is a commodity, not a means of production.  computer software is no more a means of production than a book, even if it is used in design.  means of production create commodities, which are concrete objects with use-value: intellectual property does not qualify as a commodity, so the marxist has no opinion on it.  i personally don't give a flying fuck if you go steal computer software or not.  now the guys down at the plant who build your computers, that's another story...

 

Well then try design a complex computer chip, computer board or a complex mechnical system without using expensive CAD software. You think you could do it?

 

Our company makes concrete objects(electronic boards, parts) which are made from cheap metal and plastic. The real value of our products is the design files and the people that know how to build them. I think you need to raise Marx from the dead to update his theories.

 

iwbiek wrote:

i personally don't give a flying fuck if you go steal computer software or not.  now the guys down at the plant who build your computers, that's another story...

They'll be out of work when no one writes software to run on these computers. Why shouldn't I go down and steal the computers we need as well as the software? What's difference we need both to produce our product.

 

jesus fucking christ, are you THICK?  I DON'T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT YOUR SOFTWARE PROBLEMS NOR AM I TRYING TO PROSELYTIZE YOU.  I WOULD JUST LIKE YOU TO BOTHER READING UP ON MARXISM BEFORE YOU BANDY THAT TERM ABOUT LIKE A FUCKING CHEW TOY.

until you can grasp the basic concepts of marxism, we cannot talk about modern problems in a marxist framework, so i won't waste my time with an argument i never even tried to start.  go read up what "means of production" and "commodity" mean to a marxist and then i'll be happy to discuss whether or not intellectual property fits in that framework, but right now you're just looking for me to make some excuse why i want to give half your paycheck to joe blow across the street or some bullshit like that so you can pounce.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3907
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is offlineOffline
Hambydammit wrote:To put

Hambydammit wrote:

To put this bluntly, EXC, you don't know jack shit about what you're talking about.  I do.  I've been on all sides.  I've been unemployed.  I had one year where I grossed $6,811.  I remember that because $6800 was the cutoff for paying taxes.  I had to send the government a check for taxes on $11.  The stamp and envelope cost more than the check was made out for.  I've made six figures a year.  I've been worth well over a million in liquid assets.  I'm back to struggling to pay my mortgage.  That's because my business is down over 20% per year.  My business is the service industry.  Most of my employees can't afford insurance, and I can't afford to pay them enough to get it.  I can't afford to provide insurance for part time employees.

You, EXC, listen to too much tallk radio, and you don't know jack shit about how economies work.  I know this because I am a small business owner, and I do know how economies work.

I've had similar experiences. So  please educate me on how things really work. If the government mandates your business pay higher wages and benefits are you making so much money that you'll just pay this out of your own pocket? Won't you just pass this cost on the the consumer who will buy less of your product? If the market doesn't allow you to raise your prices are you not going to lay people off?

If the poor are forced to pay higher prices for the good and services they need when you have to raise your prices. How are the poor receiving any net benefit?

If the setting the minimum wage at $10 or $20 has no negative effects on the economy and only helps the status of the poor/middle class, why not raise it to $100 or $1000? Bottom line is who pays when you mandate more for workers?

OK then educate me since I'm so irrational and ignorant. Please answer my questions and explain how the economy really works.

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
Wealth redistribution can not work.

You stubborn snot!  This is an empirical fact.  THERE HAS NEVER IN THE HISTORY OF HUMANITY BEEN A SOCIETY ABOVE THE LEVEL OF EXTENDED FAMILY THAT DID NOT EMPLOY WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION IN SOME WAY!

 

OK then, give us some examples from history when people gave away their wealth without expecting anything in return? The only thing that close comes to mind is charities such a Carnegie and now Gate and Buffett. But they were giving their money to institutions that they believed could help the causes they believed in, not to drug addicts that would just fuck without birth control even if you gave it to them for free.

But if the government had taxed and mandated the shit out the rich as you proposed, they wouldn't have had much wealth to give away. They probably wouldn't have even started their businesses anyways if the government was going to take away all their wealth.

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


anniet
Silver Member
Posts: 325
Joined: 2008-08-06
User is offlineOffline
Stop Global Whining

I find it interesting that you are doing exactly what your tag line is against.  Yes, it sucks that some people are irresponsible asses.  However, they do not live well.  Even if they have managed some sort of long-term status on welfare or disability, their life in poverty sucks.  You are not going to be able to set up a human run system that entirely keeps these people from obtaining charity.  You have stated that you do believe in temporary assistance for people who need it.  Some of those funds are always going to go to people who don't deserve anything from others.  However, the reason that we have such programs is because the majority of the money does go to help people who do contribute to society when they can.

Yes, it sucks that not everyone can take care of themselves.  That's just part of life and why humans band together.  We often survive based on our connections to each other rather than our individual abilities.  That does benefit humanity as a whole, and will continue to do so.

I would remind you that people start businesses for all kinds of reasons, economics only being a part of it.  Gates liked playing around with technology and would have done so no matter what.  Carnegie liked power and found it in business.  Buffett sees how businesses fit into the overall economy and likes to play with that (think a talent for Monopoly).  Did you not get a sense of accomplishment from your business success?  Did you like the freedoms involved in being your own boss, the challenges in making a business thrive, the ability to provide employment for others, etc.? 

I do think one of the major failures of our current economic structure is no true differentiation between small and large business.  You are correct in looking at ways in which we need to reform the rules for small business.  Just the way small business is defined is ludicrous. (http://www.sba.gov/idc/groups/public/documents/sba_homepage/serv_sstd_tablepdf.pdf)

That doesn't mean all business rules should be scrapped, it means we need to change how small business is treated.  What works for the local mom and pop is not going to work for Kraft and vice verse.

We are not created equal and people should be able to benefit from their particular talents.  And since everyone benefits in one way or another from society, they do owe what they can give to society.  However, the pure capitalism that you advocate causes societal imbalances.  A mix of capitalism and socialism (such as Western Europe has) has proven to be the most beneficial system for the most people.  Countries that allow for a more purely capitalist structure end up mired in corruption, violence, and lower quality of life - Russia and Mexico being the 2 that stand out in my mind at the moment.

I would remind you that money is actually an abstract idea that only has value because we all agree it has value.  If everyone agreed tomorrow that greenbacks were worthless they would be (see Zimbabwe).  Obviously, the probability of this happening is low, but if you watch the currency markets you can see swings that are linked to emotions.  I laugh when I watch the currency and commodities markets as so much of the movement is based on hunches.  Yeah, these hunches generally play out, but they invite in emotion rather than just reason and can go seriously wrong.  Money represents community assets.  How do we as a community want these assets to be divided?  The redistribution of wealth that so irritates you reflects community priorities.  People have found that a certain level of wealth redistribution creates a middle class with vested interests in the society and provides calming forces.  You take away the opportunities for the lower classes created from funds taken from the rich and you create an environment in which instability can grow.

"I am that I am." - Proof that the writers of the bible were beyond stoned.


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
Cool anniet. It all boils

Cool anniet. It all boils down to what is fair and healthy for all. The small minority of the super rich is a symptom of a screwed up system, and yes, improved well rounded education including ethics starting grade 1, is so very needed.


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
Quote:OK then, give us some

Quote:
OK then, give us some examples from history when people gave away their wealth without expecting anything in return?

EXC, you are a very thick man, and you need to take the gigantic chip off of your shoulder.  What would give you the idea that people don't get anything in return when a central leader or government "redistributes wealth"?

Because I've had a nap and am feeling less cranky, I'm going to try (in vain) to teach you something.  You won't listen, but hopefully some people reading the thread will learn from your stubbornness.

"Wealth redistribution," regardless of the style of form of government being employed -- and for that matter, whether or not societal organization can be anthropologically regarded as "government" -- is the process of alloting resources from pools of excess for public projects that would not be realized otherwise.  In the simplest form of "government" beyond extended family, you have a tribal model known as "Big Man."  There are still a few examples of Big Man tribes here and there in the remotest parts of the world, but they are somewhat tainted by the inclusion of trading practices that were not available to humans when Big Man was the newest greatest thing in politics.

In Big Man societies, wealth doesn't mean exactly the same thing.  Money does not exist, and advanced barter is the way of the world.  Typically, the Big Man is a sort of de facto leader, although he does not technically have "authority."  He is assumed to have what you could call the loudest voice.  He is heard first.  His words are given much weight because he is usually among the wisest and most accomplished men of the tribe.

One of the neatest features of Big Man societies is that many of them, if not most, from whom we've unearthed substantial relics, had a kind of regular "Redistribution Feast" where the Big Man would collect excess resources from every family in the tribe and throw huge cornucopic parties where the Big Man and his family would refrain from indulging, instead allowing regular barterers from other tribes to come and enjoy the bounty, along with all the members of his own tribe.

The benefits of these fetes are many.   First, the Big Man who threw the biggest feast gained a sort of political power.  Though he didn't become a leader in a more advanced sense, it added more weight to his voice, and could sometimes give him more power in negotiating barter rates for his own tribe.  It strengthened his position and voice within his own tribe, but more importantly, it gave his own tribe a focus towards which to work together.  It strengthened community bonds.  This, EXC, is something that you have missed in your diatribes.  You have forgotten that we are all human beings, and no matter how much you think something works on paper, if it doesn't fit human nature, it will not work.  Human beings are social creatures who use reputation, trust, and familiarity to reinforce their own attachment to their communities.

As we move up the ladder of governmental organization, we get Chiefdoms, extended chiefdoms, kingdoms, states, nations, and international conglomerates.  (Let the scholars dicker over sub-divisions and terminology.  The progression is certain.)  At each level, the need for infrastructure, organization, and distribution of resources becomes greater and more complex.  At each level, a simple principle from game theory predicts exactly how these challenges will be overcome.  I've talked about this many times before.  Non-Zero-Sum Systems.  Simply put, the collective effort of many individuals is orders higher than the accumulated effort of independent individuals.

The thing is, as societies become more complex, stratification and specialization become more prominent.  This is inevitable.  Consider a simple fishing village.  Suppose there are a hundred people in a fishing village, and four fishermen, each with a boat, a small crew, and one net can provide all the fish the village need.  One fisherman in twenty five can support a village at this level.  Now, suppose that the population expands inward from the sea and grows to one thousand.  While it may be possible that the fishermen can still supply the population at a 1:25 ratio, there is an added problem.  They cannot do this while at the same time transporting the fish inland to the larger community.  For each fisherman, the village now needs four deliverymen.

There's a catch, though.  A fisherman needs a boat.  Boats take a long time and many resources to build, and maintenance is expensive in time and resources.  A net takes specialized skill in weaving rope.  It takes many, many man hours, and is often damaged while fishing.  Fishing takes specialized knowledge of good fishing areas, the weather, tides, and all sorts of other things that take time to learn.

A deliveryman, on the other hand, needs his two feet and a bag.

To the inland people, the deliveryman hauling fish is functionally no different than the fisherman.  He delivers fish.  Yet, in terms of resources, the deliveryman's work is far less valuable than a fisherman.  If a fisherman is lost at sea with his boat and nets, the whole village will suffer until a new boat is built by someone with the resources to do so and the knowledge necessary.  Since a large part of the community lives inland, the number of people who can do so is proportionally much smaller than it would have been when the village had a hundred people.  Proportionally speaking, the absence of a fisherman makes the presence of a fisherman more valuable!

A deliveryman, on the other hand, is easily replacable.  Should a brown bear get a nice meal from a passing deliveryman and his wares, any old teenager with good lungs and strong legs will do as a replacement, so long as he can follow simple travelling directions.  No particular harm to the village.  More notably, no particular reason to compensate the deliveryman as generously for his work as the fisherman for his.

Even when money is not present, there are rewards for being a fisherman.  In most societies we've unearthed, the men with the most prestigious skills tended to have more wives than others.  Wives are resources.  (Sorry, women.  It's not PC, but it's true in this context.)  Even though fisherman may not be getting "paid" more "money" to fish, they are reaping societal rewards in the form of resources and opportunities.

You can imagine a young deliveryboy's ego collapsing when a young tribe girl informs him that maybe one day if he gets his own boat, she will consider becoming one of his wives.

No money needed, EXC, and society has stratified itself, leaving the poor and the rich -- from nothing more than the natural phenomenon of humans making more humans.  Population growth.  Perfectly natural.  Now, consider the alternatives.  Suppose that through some miracle of human comprehension, the villages had decided to artificially change the way things worked.  Instead of fishermen getting preferential treatment, more wives, bigger portions of the catch for their own family, and a fast track to Chief status, they get exactly the same as everyone else.  A delivery boy gets just as much as a fisherman.  Why, then, would anyone become a fisherman?

It's tempting to say that "for the good of the group," some people would "sacrifice" and become fisherman.  This, however, would turn the tables on human nature.  It would make the thing that required the most knowledge, resources, and skills proportionally less valuable than the thing that required the least.  It would be LEFTIE PINKO COMMUNISM!!!

EXC, if you have not read "The Selfish Gene," then you must.  You are laboring under many false assumptions that stem from the idea of Group Selectionism.  Group selection DOES NOT AND CANNOT EVER OCCUR.  IT IS A MYTH.  Anytime you find yourself thinking that someone should just suck it up and sacrifice for the good of the many, you are dangerously close to falling victim to the GS fallacy, as I like to think of it.

Yes, people will sometimes do things that benefit the group, else we would not have society.  The thing is, IN ALL CASES, this behavior can be expressed as a best case scenario for the individual -- not the group.  Going back to the delivery boy, we can see this in action.  All things being equal, the delivery boy would much rather be a fisherman than a delivery boy, but he has no resources of his own with which to make a boat, and he doesn't know how to tie knots or weave rope.  Though he is but one of a dozen or so delivery boys, he is devoted to his task, and goes out of his way to try to make friends with all the fishermen.  He sits around them in his spare time, watching them make and repair nets.  Eventually, because of the age difference and random chance, a fisherman somewhere is going to die.  Perhaps there will be a gap in production large enough for him to fill.  It's certainly not guaranteed.  Every delivery boy doesn't get to be a fisherman.  However, it's the only shot they have.  For their own selfish reasons, it's better for them to bide their time, waiting in the wings, for the shot to be a fisherman later.  This is individual motivation.  It is NOT "sacrificing for the group."

A good parallel exists in nature.  Certain species of birds (some grouse do this, if memory serves) earn mating rights by securing nesting sites.  In other words, no female will mate with a male unless the male controls a nesting site.  There are usually more males than sites, so many males go mateless.  A curious thing happens, though.  We would expect selfish individuals to continue to try to take a nesting site away from somebody.  After all, if they don't mate this season, it's highly likely they will die before passing on their own genes.  We should expect that they would keep fighting until their own death if necessary, to secure a nest.

This is not what happens.  They accept their fate, and live out their days on the outskirts of town, so to speak, not bothering anyone.  People like you, EXC, who believe in sacrifice for the good of the many would be suspicious that group selection was involved.  These grouse are laying down their own genetic lives for the good of those who already have nests.  Unfortunately, this is empirically and mathematically dead wrong.  Every once in a while, a fox comes prancing out of the woods.  What makes an easier target for a fox?  Is it a grouse with nothing to protect who will simply run for the trees?  No, indeed!  It is the grouse who vigorously protects his territory!  Foxes are more likely to kill grouse with a nest than those without.  When this happens, a new fight breaks out between the "homeless" grouse for who will get to sit on the nest next!

Mathematically, the grouse are more likely to mate if they do not fight.  If they wait their turn, there are no guarantees, but the chance that they will mate is higher than if they weaken themselves so badly with fights that they cannot defend their nest once they have it.

EXC, you need to get a firm grasp on this concept.  People do things because it's in their best advantage, not because it's in society's best advantage.  We do a great job of believing that we are above all that and that we create societies for the greater good, but it's just not true.  The only societies in which people do behave in ways that benefit everyone are those societies in which it is to their benefit materially or positionally to do so!

Ok, now back to wealth redistribution.  Remember the delivery boy?  He's got a problem.  It's to his best advantage to bide his time and learn the trade before trying to become a fisherman, but there are no guarantees that he will ever become one.  There are far more delivery boys than fishermen, and it will always be so.  The odds are that he'll never be one, but biding his time is the best option.  There's a bigger problem for him.  Why does he want to be a fisherman?  More wives.  Fast track to chiefdom.  Resources.

Suppose the fisherman toils away fishing all year, and as a benefit, the villagers chip in and build him one of the nicest wigwams in town.  They do this because they don't have a boat, and it's to their advantage to be nice to the fisherman because maybe he'll notice how much work they did and throw them another fish from time to time as a way of saying thanks.  Will they do the same for the delivery boy?

Of course they won't.  Delivery boys are a dime a dozen.  Perhaps, the delivery boy will work some of his own trade magic, though.  He will slip a couple of extra fish to certain families in exchange for future favors, and will probably be rewarded.  Unfortunately, the size of these rewards will be small because of the ready availability of delivery boys, and the fact that all of them are currying favor in their own ways.  Again, if a delivery boy gets pissed and quits, no big deal.  Someone else wants the job, and is willing to do it for what it's worth.

You can imagine this translating into a higher society with money.  The delivery boy doesn't get to charge double for the fish he just bought.  He charges a small delivery charge, maybe ten percent.  If he charged something far in excess of its value, another delivery boy would simply come in and charge less -- still making a profit.  This is simple competition.  The inherent value of the resource dictates the price.

Ok... finally, then, how does this come back around to resource redistribution.  Very simply, some resources are far more valuable to a society than others, but as society becomes bigger and more complex, the number of resources increases dramatically, as does the methods of distribution and acquisition.  Instead of direct markets, where the producer sells directly to the consumer, you get tons and tons of middle men.  This is because it's impossible to have a society as complex as ours, with as many technologies, with all "villages" being self sufficient.  McDonalds is far more efficient at making billions of hamburgers than a hundred thousand independent burger joints.

I mentioned in another post that people don't let babies die.  We can talk about that now.  In a family-based society where the core family was entirely dependent on itself for its well being, babies would die when their parents could not produce enough resources to keep them alive.  This system would work pretty well if there was modern birth control.  Parents could simply learn from their first mistake and try not to make any more babies.  (Assuming the whole family didn't die from the efforts to save the baby that drained the resources too much!)  Unfortunately, for there to be modern birth control, there would need to be a condom maker, and condoms take plastic makers, machine makers, lube makers, spermicide makers, and laborers to run all the machines.  Families aren't big enough to have their own condom factories.

Society is necessary for condom factories to exist.  Once you have a society, you have a serious problem.  Suppose that Bob and Joy have six babies, and they can only afford five.  They live right next to Dick and Jane, who have three babies, but can afford five.  Bob and Joy realize that Dick and Jane can give them enough money to raise their child, but it's unfair to ask them to do so.  Even so, they really, really, want their baby to live.  They go to Dick and Jane and ask for help.  Seems perfectly reasonable, right?  For the good of the group, Dick and Jane ought to help.

On an individual basis, this might happen, especially if, as neighbors, Dick, Jane, Bob, and Joy, are all friends.  However, what if, in a given town, there are a hundred families with one too many babies and only ten with enough money to support two extra babies?  Here's where non-zero-sum systems come into play.  Instead of the ten families giving all of their extra resources to the hundred families with extra babies, they can each chip in twenty percent of their extra resources, and that's enough to run an orphanage!

(This is, of course, how public welfare started, you know!)

Now, from the selfish point of view of the well to do families, this is better than directly helping everyone that needs help.  Remember the fishermen and delivery boys?  There are always more delivery boys than fishermen, but everybody fucks and make babies.  There will always be fewer haves than have nots -- UNLESS YOU WANT TO BE A PINKO LEFTIE COMMUNIST!!!!!!

So, if you DON'T WANT TO BE A PINKO LEFTIE COMMUNIST!!!!!! you have to deal with the fact that there will always be more haves than have nots, and if you don't want to run Child Protective Services all by yourself, you need to pay somebody to do it.  There's NO PROFIT in Child Protective services.  That's why it's run by the government.  The government needs money to do it.  That's why it taxes you.

In short, the same non-zero-sum systems that make society work make welfare work.

Ok... one last thing.  Fishing is risky.  It's costly.  It also produces much, much more than one family can eat.  Why would anyone become a fisherman?  Because it's more valuable to him than being a delivery boy.  If the value of being a fisherman is taken away, the incentive to produce for other people is also taken away.  Instead of catching enough for the whole village, he can spend an hour a day on the dock catching enough for his own family, and then have leisure time on the side.

If everybody does just what he needs, what do you have?  No society.  Why do you have society?  Because of the benefit of non-zero-sum math.  The catalyst, though, is not the good to the society.  It's the good to the individual!

Now, EXC, think about this very, very carefully.  THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A SOCIETY THAT DID NOT REDISTRIBUTE WEALTH.  That's because societies naturally stratify, and some jobs are naturally worth more than others.  IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE A PINKO LEFTIE COMMUNIST, YOU MUST ADMIT THAT THIS IS THE WAY THINGS ARE.    If you do not redistribute wealth, BABIES WILL DIE.  If you do not want babies to die, you must admit that it is up to society to keep them from dying, not individuals.  If it is up to society, then it must be paid for by TAKING SOME MONEY FROM THOSE WHO HAVE EXTRA and giving it either directly to the people who need it, or to an intermediary organization that distributes it according to need.  Because of the law of non-zero-sum systems, it is BETTER FOR YOU TO PAY FOR WELFARE THAN HAVE IT BE IN THE HANDS OF INDIVIDUALS!

 

(Cue EXC spouting the same shit, demonstrating again that he has little understanding of economics or human nature)

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

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3907
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is offlineOffline
Hambydammit wrote:EXC, you

Hambydammit wrote:

EXC, you are a very thick man, and you need to take the gigantic chip off of your shoulder.  What would give you the idea that people don't get anything in return when a central leader or government "redistributes wealth"?

Sure the politician get lots for redistributing wealth. They buy votes, power and get money for nothing. But its not their wealth their redistributing. It's the wealth they've taken at gunpoint(via the taxman). Taxes like income tax where the payer recieves no guarantee of recieving anything in return amount to theft, and in the long run it's very destructive.

I want an example where the people or species giving up their own wealth for nothing in return can be sustained. We all know politician get a huge benefit from redistributing other people's wealth. The mafia bosses also benefit when they spead the wealth around to the community as well.

Hambydammit wrote:

The benefits of these fetes are many.   First, the Big Man who threw the biggest feast gained a sort of political power.  Though he didn't become a leader in a more advanced sense, it added more weight to his voice, and could sometimes give him more power in negotiating barter rates for his own tribe.  It strengthened his position and voice within his own tribe, but more importantly, it gave his own tribe a focus towards which to work together.  It strengthened community bonds.  This, EXC, is something that you have missed in your diatribes.  You have forgotten that we are all human beings, and no matter how much you think something works on paper, if it doesn't fit human nature, it will not work.  Human beings are social creatures who use reputation, trust, and familiarity to reinforce their own attachment to their communities.

 

So the Big Man benefits from redistibution others wealth. The people who gave their wealth expected something in return. They didn't just keep giving money to slackers year after year generation after generation. Didn't the people who recieved the benefits supposed to contribute something in the future when they were able to? When society worked well the big man was essentially arbitering a social contract among the tribe members.

But we don't have that today. The big man is essentially a mafia boss that shakes down business and the hard working and gives them nothing in return.

Wealth creation today all depends on education. So all excess wealth in society must be directed toward educating the contributors so they can eventually become contributors. This isn't wealth redistribution it is a social contract between those that have excess wealth and those that don't. The Big Man needs to make sure the wealth is use wisely to the benefit of the whole tribe.

Today the system is broken because the Big Man(government) doesn't make sure the wealth is used to benefit everyone in the society. The big man just pays off the people that voted for him with welfare payments and mandates on business. It's a mafia not a tribe.

 

Hambydammit wrote:

 Anytime you find yourself thinking that someone should just suck it up and sacrifice for the good of the many, you are dangerously close to falling victim to the GS fallacy, as I like to think of it.

You must be mistaking me for someone else, I'm Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh in one post, then I'm Carl Marx in the next.

All I'm saying is the less forntuate in society are to be help by the wealth of the rest of society, it must be something that works for everyone that benefits everyone. Education is about the only thing that could work. You want the wealthy to make sacrifices for the long term group benefit fine. But their needs to be a system in place that guarantees they will have a net benefit.

Why only the rich should make a sacrifice? Why not ask the poor that need an education to be self sufficient to give up pleasures such as sex, reproduction, drugs, etc.. for a short period of time while they get educated in something that will benefit the whole society in the long run.

I'm all for giving the delivery man benefits while he's studying to become a fisherman. But some delivery men don't want to make the effort to become fishermen. So, they'll just have to accept whatever rate society can afford to pay them. If you take all the wealth from fishermen to pay for who everyone that doesn't want to get an education or work at all. No one will make the effort the be a fisherman. The whole society will be equal in poverty.

So I'm for social contracts, against wealth redistribution.

Hambydammit wrote:

 BABIES WILL DIE. 

Babies will die when society does not have enough resources. So how do humans tribes get adequate resouses? By educating our citizens well enough that everyone has the wealth they need to keep their babies from dieing. You want to set up a system where the people who are best at creating wealth are given little incentive, the people who are bad at creating resouses needed to keep babies from dying are rewarded. A recipie for disaster down the road.

Minimum wage mandates do nothing to help babies because any gains in wages are offset by the inflation it causes. Few parents will find any work at all because it's to costly to hire them. Unskilled labor can be automated away when the price for their labor is too high. So babies will die when the parents can't find work.

You are simple making an emotional irrational appeal with this statement. If you want to win your argument you need to explain why my understanding of economics is wrong and answer my questions. Namely if raising the minimum wage to $10 is good and does no harm to the economy(or tribe)? Why not raise it to $1000/hr.?

We don't need wealth redistribution, we need an education social contract between the classes.

 

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3907
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is offlineOffline
I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:Cool

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

Cool anniet. It all boils down to what is fair and healthy for all. The small minority of the super rich is a symptom of a screwed up system, and yes, improved well rounded education including ethics starting grade 1, is so very needed.

It boils down to what works and what doesn't work. Perhaps you think it unfair that gas $4 gallon they poor would be healther if it was cheaper, so the oil companies should be mandated to only sell it away at $1/gallon. Sorry but you'll have no gas.

This where this whole irrationality begins. Humans have a concept that the goal of universe should be 'fair' toward everyone. So we invent religions where God will be fair to you if your fair to him. Invent imaginary economic systems where wealth can supposedly come from nothing, where government can just mandate that poverty go away. The world is what it is, we should view it objectively and base our decions what to do based not on what is fair or moral, but what works and what doesn't work.

 

The only ethic we need to teach is view the world objectively. Discover how it works and work within that framework to design systems that meet our individual and common goals.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
EXC, I agree with some of

EXC, I agree with some of your views, especially on the importance of education ... but the money system needs fixing. Gas prices? Google "oil executives salaries" etc ....

"In fact, the oil industry's profit margin last year was 8.5 percent — higher than the average for all industries — but less than half the profit of banks." 

Talk about welfare .... the super rich are often the first ones bailed out by the poor uneducated public.

Why is over half the American budget spent on it's military?

Go education, communication .... increase "global whining" , end unnecessary suffering ..... "Eat the Rich"

 

 


Jormungander
atheistScience Freak
Jormungander's picture
Posts: 938
Joined: 2008-07-15
User is offlineOffline
I AM GOD AS YOU

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

improved well rounded education including ethics starting grade 1, is so very needed.

I disagree that we can teach most children ethics or morals in schools. As early as third grade I had a strong "F*ck my teachers" attitude. I realize now that I should have been nicer to them, but until college I despised most of them. Oddly I was also a straight 'A' student. My school tried to institute a DARE anti-drug program in third grade and I would endlessly mock the program to the director himself, and other students would join in deriding the program. I think that most children ignore social conditioning attempts in school. If the anti-drug program taught me anything, it is that children blow off school instruction. By high school kids were bragging about how much weed they smoked.

That being said, I think that parents hold all of the responsibility teaching their children ethics. If I ever have children, I will make sure they conform to my ethical standards; even if that means telling them that their teachers are wrong.

"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


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
Umm,  Jormungander , I

Umm,  Jormungander , I agree in part , the school of my youth sucked for the most part, and in big part because ethics was not part of the teaching .... untill college as an elective ..... not required ..... 


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 4197
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
Jormungander wrote: I

Jormungander wrote:

 

I disagree that we can teach most children ethics or morals in schools. As early as third grade I had a strong "F*ck my teachers" attitude. I realize now that I should have been nicer to them, but until college I despised most of them. Oddly I was also a straight 'A' student. My school tried to institute a DARE anti-drug program in third grade and I would endlessly mock the program to the director himself, and other students would join in deriding the program. I think that most children ignore social conditioning attempts in school. If the anti-drug program taught me anything, it is that children blow off school instruction. By high school kids were bragging about how much weed they smoked.

That being said, I think that parents hold all of the responsibility teaching their children ethics. If I ever have children, I will make sure they conform to my ethical standards; even if that means telling them that their teachers are wrong.

sounds like me too.  i used to give my teachers straight hell and i was voted most likely to succeed.  and the funny part is, most teachers would just smile or laugh at my blatant disrespect because they knew i was smarter than them and so they were a little scared of me (that's not a paean to how smart i am but rather an accurate view of how stupid my teachers were).  that's why i distrust humanities in school in general, particularly literature, music, art, and creative writing, since these subjects are so subjective and talent-based (even tastes in literature require some predisposition toward it), and many times the teachers don't know any more about it than the students.  i always respected my practical teachers the most: sciences, mathematics, technical studies, and my russian language teacher.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
Basic right and wrong ??????

Basic right and wrong ?????? needs be taught,  .... give me the kid and and I will hand you the man ....


Jormungander
atheistScience Freak
Jormungander's picture
Posts: 938
Joined: 2008-07-15
User is offlineOffline
iwbiek wrote:i distrust

iwbiek wrote:

i distrust humanities in school in general, particularly literature, music, art, and creative writing, since these subjects are so subjective and talent-based (even tastes in literature require some predisposition toward it), and many times the teachers don't know any more about it than the students.  i always respected my practical teachers the most: sciences, mathematics, technical studies, and my russian language teacher.

I feel the same way. I really could not agree more. Perhaps that is the reason that I am attending UCI's engineering program rather than the humanities. My roommate is a social ecology major. I can't imagine the kind of bullsh*t he has to put up with in his classes. I want to learn something that gives practical and tangible results for my work.

 

Quote:

Basic right and wrong ?????? needs be taught,  .... give me the kid and and I will hand you the man ....

Quote:

Not if the kid lacks basic respect for you and derides you constantly in front of his peers. Also not if you have to watch over 34 other kids simultaneously, some of which are obedient and some of which can't wait for you to slip up so they can laugh at you to your face. In hindsight I should have been nicer to my teachers, but we loved to slur them in class at the time. Those teachers did not even have the will needed to maintain basic control over us, much less impart important ethical lessons. I want kids to learn such lessons, I just doubt the average teacher is competent enough to deliver them.

"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


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
Fix it, how the fuck can

Fix it, how the fuck can anyone say teaching basic agreed ethics is not do able ?


Jormungander
atheistScience Freak
Jormungander's picture
Posts: 938
Joined: 2008-07-15
User is offlineOffline
I can't edit my post

I can't edit my post anymore, but the last quote is my response.  I am not saying that is is undoable, just that many kids will ignore it. Just like we ignored the anti-drug program. How about this: if an American school system has an ethics program and there are noticeable improvements in the students, then I will support it. But my personal (and highly biased) experience makes me think that most students will blow it off. But for that matter there is a general discipline problem in schools that must be addressed. Perhaps if students held a basic respect for their teachers then they would absorb such ethics lessons.

 

For my last post this is what I meant to do, sorry about the repost everone:

Quote:

Basic right and wrong ?????? needs be taught,  .... give me the kid and and I will hand you the man ....

Not if the kid lacks basic respect for you and derides you constantly in front of his peers. Also not if you have to watch over 34 other kids simultaneously, some of which are obedient and some of which can't wait for you to slip up so they can laugh at you to your face. In hindsight I should have been nicer to my teachers, but we loved to slur them in class at the time. Those teachers did not even have the will needed to maintain basic control over us, much less impart important ethical lessons. I want kids to learn such lessons, I just doubt the average teacher is competent enough to deliver them.

"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


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
Ahh , what a cop out, don't

Ahh , what a cop out, don't teach basic agreeable simple truth ??? What is ethics ?

edit - I'm talking about starting at grade 1. Young kids are "generally" impressionable and take well to learning fairness and kindness. Ethics teaching is more than stating the rules, it's explaining the whys. Why we don't make fun of disfigured burn victims. Why prejudice is dumb and wrong, etc.


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
Quote:Sure the politician

Quote:
Sure the politician get lots for redistributing wealth. They buy votes, power and get money for nothing. But its not their wealth their redistributing. It's the wealth they've taken at gunpoint(via the taxman). Taxes like income tax where the payer recieves no guarantee of recieving anything in return amount to theft, and in the long run it's very destructive.

Do you have a comprehension problem?  Let me make this as simple as possible for you.  Wealth redistribution benefits THE ENTIRE SOCIETY by allowing more to be done through collective effort than could be done by individual effort.  Do you not understand that the rich are affected by the poor?  We all live in the same country, and the fortunes of any group affect the fortunes of every other group.

EXC, you are being exceptionally dense.  Again, repeated for you several times so that maybe it'll get through:

THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A HUMAN SOCIETY ABOVE THE LEVEL OF EXTENDED FAMILY THAT DID NOT HAVE WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION.

THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A HUMAN SOCIETY ABOVE THE LEVEL OF EXTENDED FAMILY THAT DID NOT HAVE WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION.

THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A HUMAN SOCIETY ABOVE THE LEVEL OF EXTENDED FAMILY THAT DID NOT HAVE WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION.

THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A HUMAN SOCIETY ABOVE THE LEVEL OF EXTENDED FAMILY THAT DID NOT HAVE WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION.

THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A HUMAN SOCIETY ABOVE THE LEVEL OF EXTENDED FAMILY THAT DID NOT HAVE WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION.

THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A HUMAN SOCIETY ABOVE THE LEVEL OF EXTENDED FAMILY THAT DID NOT HAVE WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION.

THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A HUMAN SOCIETY ABOVE THE LEVEL OF EXTENDED FAMILY THAT DID NOT HAVE WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION.

Do you comprehend this?  Does the significance of this sink in?  IT IS FUCKING IMPOSSIBLE TO HAVE A SOCIETY ABOVE THE LEVEL OF EXTENDED FAMILY WITHOUT SOME FORM OF WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION.

Quote:
I want an example where the people or species giving up their own wealth for nothing in return can be sustained.

This is very, very fucking simple.  There is no example where the people or members of any species give up their own wealth and get nothing in return.  Nowhere.  In all of life on earth.  Including humanity.  That's because people get something back for their redistributed wealth.  No matter what the system.

Quote:
We all know politician get a huge benefit from redistributing other people's wealth. The mafia bosses also benefit when they spead the wealth around to the community as well.

Right, EXC.  Mafia bosses spread their wealth around the community, even though they're taking more than their "fair" share.  Politicians pass favorable legislation for their best contributors.  Money goes in, services go out.  It's commerce.  I'm proud of you for recognizing basic trade.

Quote:
So the Big Man benefits from redistibution others wealth.

No shit.

Quote:
But we don't have that today. The big man is essentially a mafia boss that shakes down business and the hard working and gives them nothing in return.

NO EXC.  The government in the U.S. today gives a lot of things back to the citizens.  It just does so very inefficiently and with a lot of deception and corruption.  If it reaches a point where the government takes so much that businesses cannot stay open, the system will collapse and practices will have to change.  So what?

Quote:
Wealth creation today all depends on education.

What do you mean?  You make generalizations so large that you're effectively not saying anything at all.  Do you mean that for Bill Gates to make money, your kid needs to have a good public school education?  Horse shit.  Do you mean that for an average person to be able to become wealthy, he needs to be well educated?  Horse shit.  Good education is obviously better than poor education.  I'm a big fan of educating people.  Hell, I'm even trying to educate you.  You've got to stop taking generalities that could mean almost anything and making sweeping pronouncements about incredibly complex systems.

Quote:
So all excess wealth in society must be directed toward educating the contributors so they can eventually become contributors.

What the fuck?  What excess wealth?  You mean excess tax revenues?  We're running at a deficit, big guy.

Or, do you mean you want to TAX THE WEALTHY to provide FREE education for the very poor?  Isn't that WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION?

And by the way, what the hell do you mean that if we educate the contributors, they will become contributors?

Quote:
This isn't wealth redistribution it is a social contract between those that have excess wealth and those that don't.

Honey, I wasn't having sex with the maid.  I was just doing the horizontal mambo.

Quote:
The Big Man needs to make sure the wealth is use wisely to the benefit of the whole tribe.

No shit.

Quote:
Today the system is broken because the Big Man(government) doesn't make sure the wealth is used to benefit everyone in the society. The big man just pays off the people that voted for him with welfare payments and mandates on business. It's a mafia not a tribe.

Please stop using all or nothing language.  The system today is highly inefficient because it doesn't reliably and efficiently redistribute wealth the the optimum benefit of most members of society.  It is bottlenecked so that small segments of society are benefiting more than large segments.

Quote:
You must be mistaking me for someone else, I'm Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh in one post, then I'm Carl Marx in the next.

Honestly, I feel like I should just stop talking to you now.  I'm glad you can see the brainwashing done by religion, but if you can't see the same thing in your own politics, you've got some growth to do before you can truly call yourself a rational person.

Quote:
All I'm saying is the less forntuate in society are to be help by the wealth of the rest of society, it must be something that works for everyone that benefits everyone.

Everyone?  The rest of society?  What does this mean?  Does this mean that you ought to have bigger paychecks if welfare works?  Does it mean that only if absolutely everyone on welfare fits exact criteria that you decide will it be viable?

Do you not understand the idea of evolutionarily stable systems?  This is just the biological manifestation of simple math, which is exactly the same in economic systems.  (You do know that an economist discovered game theory, right?)  Haven't I explained the hawks and doves to you?  When you have divergent interests, there is a point of stability at which everyone gets some benefit, but not all possible benefit of their abilities.  That is the most that is possible with relative stability.  Anything more or less, and there will be instability.

America's economy is unstable now because we're not particularly close to such a point.  This doesn't mean that welfare doesn't work.  It means that our particular welfare system is not working particularly well!  You've hit the nail on the head several times, and you're too brainwashed to realize it.  Wealth redistribution works, but we're redistributing wealth very, very inefficiently, and we're wasting a great deal of it.

(Consider the trillions of dollars we've spent to get one dictator hanged.  How much education could you buy for all the poor children if you had the trillions of dollars we spent on Hussein's rope?)

Quote:
Education is about the only thing that could work.

Or, you could reform the system significantly, making government much more transparent, eliminating corporate contributions to political parties, prohibiting political parties from exercising influence over media sources, reforming voting policies, using current science to form public policy instead of religious and political dogma, etc, etc, etc.

There are LOTS of things that can be done.  Good education systems would certainly help. 

Quote:
You want the wealthy to make sacrifices for the long term group benefit fine. But their needs to be a system in place that guarantees they will have a net benefit.

So you really do want the paychecks of the rich to be bigger after making sacrifices for the benefit of society?  You're in fairy land.  Think about this very, very carefully.  If I give up some of my wealth, and get all of it back, that's not wealth redistribution.  That's a loan.  The whole point of wealth redistribution is that some people give up money so that other people can get products and services, like education.

Sure, if the standard of living in a country goes up because of wealth redistribution, you can say that the wealthy might benefit financially from it, but the point is that wealth redistribution is giving up some of the overages in one sector to make up for the underages in others.  That's why it's called redistribution.

Quote:
Why only the rich should make a sacrifice? Why not ask the poor that need an education to be self sufficient to give up pleasures such as sex, reproduction, drugs, etc.. for a short period of time while they get educated in something that will benefit the whole society in the long run.

Because they're human beings, you dipshit.  Didn't I just explain to you that the poor must have hope for something better or it is in their best interest to fight until they're dead?  You don't instill people with hope by saying, "Hey, poor person, sorry your life is a piece of shit, and you have very little to live for.  Listen, I have this plan... why don't you give up the only things you do have?  It would be awesome.  You'd love it."

Quote:
I'm all for giving the delivery man benefits while he's studying to become a fisherman. But some delivery men don't want to make the effort to become fishermen. So, they'll just have to accept whatever rate society can afford to pay them. If you take all the wealth from fishermen to pay for who everyone that doesn't want to get an education or work at all. No one will make the effort the be a fisherman. The whole society will be equal in poverty.

EXC, didn't I just say that to you?  The point is, the fisherman doesn't give up all the benefit of being a fisherman!  It's one thing for society to say, "Sorry, poor people, but you'll just have to accept what the rich people are willing to give up."  That's fine, so long as it's enough for them to live on and have relatively meaningful lives.  If it isn't, it's in the rich people's best interest to find a way to give them more because PISSED OFF POOR PEOPLE IN LARGE GROUPS ARE VERY, VERY DANGEROUS TO RICH PEOPLE.  Read any history book.

Quote:
So I'm for social contracts, against wealth redistribution.

Right.  And I'm against eating, but mastication is great.

Quote:
By educating our citizens well enough that everyone has the wealth they need to keep their babies from dieing.

I wish I could manage to educate you enough to realize that UNLESS YOU WANT COMMUNISM, YOU HAVE TO HAVE STRATIFIED SOCIETY.  If you have stratified society, you MUST have wealth redistribution.

Quote:
You want to set up a system where the people who are best at creating wealth are given little incentive, the people who are bad at creating resouses needed to keep babies from dying are rewarded. A recipie for disaster down the road.

For fuck's sake.  Please stop listening to Republican radio.  I have never said any such thing, and if you paid attention, you'd realize that I've often been one of the loudest advocates of programs to encourage the poor people to stop breeding so goddamned much!

I'm not saying I want to set up anything.  I'm telling you what will work and what will not work.  You don't stop poor people from making babies by taking things away from them.  You know why a lot of people have babies?  Because they think a baby will add meaning and purpose to their lives.  If you take things away from poor people, and leave them with little or no purpose or meaning, you know what they're going to do?  They're going to try to find ways to have meaning and purpose in life.  It's fucking hard to have a meaningful life when you work sixty hours a week and still can't pay your bills.

Let me spell this out very, very clearly.  The incentive for rich people to give up some of their wealth is that a small percentage of wealth, when used effectively, can help a LOT of people have meaningful lives.  When more people have meaningful lives, they're happier.  When they're happier, they commit less crime, they have fewer unwanted babies, they take less drugs, they buy more things to play with.  In short, society is better for EVERYBODY, including the rich.

I've said over and over that there are points of stability.  Suppose the tax rate at $100k is 25%.  A man making 100k actually makes 75k.  Now, suppose the tax rate for $150k is 28%.  A man making $150k takes home 108k.  That is more actual money, while still paying a higher tax rate.  As long as you structure tax increases so that making more money doesn't actually net less after taxes, there is always incentive for the rich to make more money.  In such a simple example, yes, there will be a nasty range where making a few more dollars will actually drop your income, but if this is well known, the trick is simple.  Arrange your income so that you either make enough over to make it worth it, or don't.  This is a minor hurdle to wealth accumulation, not a roadblock.  Rich people have lots of ways to manipulate their income to their own benefit.

Quote:
Minimum wage mandates do nothing to help babies because any gains in wages are offset by the inflation it causes.

You're jumping all over the damn place.  Nothing happens in a vacuum, EXC.  If you raise minimum wage without taking inflation into account, yes, you can create problems.  However, if minimum wage is not high enough for people to live on, you have a catch 22.  Either you take money from those who make above minimum, and give it to those who don't, or you raise minimum so that the people above it get to keep more of their money.  If inflation is a problem, it's not just because of minimum wage -- hate to break it to you.  There are much larger problems with our economy than what the poorest people are making.  When you have an entire country operating at a deficit for many decades, while growing the economy largely through credit, you've got a pretty big disaster in the making.

Quote:
Few parents will find any work at all because it's to costly to hire them. Unskilled labor can be automated away when the price for their labor is too high. So babies will die when the parents can't find work.

Most of my employees make minimum wage.  I can't automate their unskilled work because I can't afford to buy equipment to roll silverware.  My only option is to raise menu prices to account for the difference...

Quote:
You are simple making an emotional irrational appeal with this statement. If you want to win your argument you need to explain why my understanding of economics is wrong and answer my questions. Namely if raising the minimum wage to $10 is good and does no harm to the economy(or tribe)? Why not raise it to $1000/hr.?

Because $10/hr is within the range at which businesses paying minimum wage could afford to stay in business, and $1000/hr is not.  Do you want to pay $75 for a big mac?  Or, alternatively, would you be willing to put up with a $0.25 per burger increase?  Was that a serious question?

Who's making emotional appeals.  I'm furious at your denseness after I've explained in great detail the scientific reason why what you're saying is absurd.  You're tossing around platitudes about economic systems you clearly don't understand.  Hell, even the marxists are getting on your ass!

For fucks sake, turn off your radio.  Read a goddamned book by a scientist.  You really, really need some basic knowledge about Game theory and human nature before you talk again.

 

 

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

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


mrjonno
Posts: 726
Joined: 2007-02-26
User is offlineOffline
Capitalism without a welfare

Capitalism without a welfare safety net, isnt better capitalism the reality the only thing you get  is communism.

If the really poor can't survive in the real world they don't work harder they simply start a revolution and shoot the rich . A welfare state is basically a prerequisite for functioning stable capitalist society.

As for unions they are pure capitalism. Individuals form their own company (a union) and sell their services, the union offers its members better wages (in return for a cut) and sells its services to the highest bidder. Sure that doesnt always happen but then again capitalism doesnt always produce fit profitable companies that don't rely on state funding to survive Smiling

 


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
Quote:If the really poor

Quote:
If the really poor can't survive in the real world they don't work harder they simply start a revolution and shoot the rich . A welfare state is basically a prerequisite for functioning stable capitalist society.

Maybe a little to sweeping, but generally true.  Emphasis on the word "stable."  As I was saying, the benefit to the rich of having their wealth redistributed is that they get to stay rich instead of ending up with their heads on pikes, whether metaphorical or real.  Again, large groups of pissed off poor people are very bad for rich people.

Put simply:

IF you do not enforce equality, society will stratify.

Stratified societies do not tend towards equality.  Rather, the most powerful tend to increase their power.  The poor tend to become poorer.  If stratified society is to continue, the stratification must be limited in such a way as to prevent the poorest from becoming disenfranchised and getting pissed off.  I leave it to politicians to fight over exactly how to limit stratification, but it's a quantifiable thing, and the effectiveness of a society's efforts can be measured.

Anyone care to compare the US income gap to those of Western Europe, and see what kinds of systems work the best?

 

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

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


MattShizzle
Posts: 7966
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
Hambydammit wrote:Anyone

Hambydammit wrote:

Anyone care to compare the US income gap to those of Western Europe, and see what kinds of systems work the best?

 

 

From Letter to a Christian Nation  (comparing ratios of CEO salaries to those of the same firms average employees) :

 

Britain 24:1

France 15:1

Sweden 13:1

US 475:1

 

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


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
Curious indeed...Seems like

Curious indeed...

Seems like the rich are not being taxed so heavily that they stop trying to make more money...

 

 

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

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
America is sick ...

America is sick ...


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 4197
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
jesus fucking christ, this

jesus fucking christ, this thread really makes me wanna get out and agitate.  wish i could find a branch of the fourth international somewhere near kosice...

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


Jacob Cordingley
SuperfanBronze Member
Jacob Cordingley's picture
Posts: 1484
Joined: 2007-03-18
User is offlineOffline
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, 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.

This is a sweeping generalisation. What exactly do you mean by socialist? Much left-wing political philosophy is about understanding what is, and how things

actually work. Marx for example wrote huge volumes of what can only be described as the first critical political economics. The more we understand how things

work, the more we understand how much it needs to change. Socialists have a wide range of solutions to the huge problems with capitalism. Proponents of

capitalism say "it works" but in reality it is very unstable and unpredictable, and is constantly fluxuating between boom and bust. And who exactly does it

work for? A minority of the global population is the answer to that question. Socialists are those who take the view that capitalism cannot look after

people, and that it must either be tamed or gotten rid of altogether.
 

EXC wrote:

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.

I see your point sir. The problem with your argument is that total self-sufficiency is impossible. Humans beings will always rely on other human beings, you

can't build a stadium, or a skyscraper by yourself. We are social creatures, I'm not saying this because I'm a stupid irrational socialist who wishes it to

be so, I'm stating empirical fact. There is much bad about human nature that I'm aware can never be changed, but I accept that, and get on with it. I

actually agree though that to an extent people have to work for themselves in order to get somewhere. I don't think that dependence on a welfare state is

necessarily the way forward, but in a capitalist economy it is a necessary buffer to protect people from exploitation. A free market economy isn't this

idealistic vision of equals competing for capital. It leads to a few elites having vast amounts of power over others, and the ability of that few to exploit others. The classic argument that it works is misleading, it works for some, it doesn't for others. I actually see a co-operative based economy as a solution to the problem. It still requires a market, which creates growth and industry, and thus will not run into stagnation, but ultimately does not create massive wealth gaps or exploitation.

EXC wrote:

 
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?

Again I think you've made a sweeping generalisation. None of us here were indoctrinated into Soviet-style communist dogma. I'd imagine none of us here have exactly the same view, and none of us agree with every single word of the Communist Manifesto. I partly agree with you on the issue of a welfare state, but don't see an alternative to it while the capitalist political economy remains.
 
 

EXC wrote:
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.

I think I've already dealt with this.


EXC wrote:

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.

I agree that some socialists can be quite dogmatic about their views. At the same time capitalist ideology is equally if not more dogmatic. Time after time I hear the same responses: "it works" (well it actually doesn't), "those who earn the most work hardest for it" (so are Indonesian sweat shop children just lazy?), "it's just human nature" (well, is it really?). People also seem to assume that all money is earnt fairly, because it's just how it's done. But it is the workers who make most of the employer's wealth. In most situations it is not the employer that has made the commodity, it is the worker, but what share does the worker actually get from the sale of the product, virtually none in reality.
 

EXC wrote:
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.

Have you got some stats for this? Any empirical data? The USA may be an example of a country that has turned to Christian fundamentalism rather than socialism, but by and large it is alone in that respect. This is probably more due to the heritage of the Cold War. The very idea of being left wing was actively discouraged by successive governments, while Christian values were actively encouraged. The result: sixty years worth of people raised to hate "reds" and love "God". In Britain socialism is more prevailent than fundamentalism, in Europe generally this is the case. In Latin America, both are very prevailent.

EXC
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.[/quote wrote:

 
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 think these are the goals of one irrational unthinking person. How is this a desirable set of affairs? See, many people confuse ruthless efficiency with being a rational way to run a society. You're society wouldn't even be that efficient. Co-operation is the lubricant of any society, human beings and self-sufficiency don't go together very well. We aren't cats, we are a socially minded primate. The problem with using efficiency as a bench-mark for "rational" is that in doing this you are actually ignoring what makes people happy, what's the good in living in an efficient social model if people aren't happy. Now, I'd agree that it would be impossible to run a society where everyone was perfectly happy all the time, but a "rationally" ordered society would have to take this into account, as well is its efficiency and its workability. A system where families and individuals are forced into self-sufficiency, where there is no freedom of thought, no ability to study science for the simple purpose of expanding our understanding, where humans beings become alienated from each other is one where no matter how well it works economically (which I suppose your idea was, even though it probably wouldn't) it will fail to satisfy mankind's taste for liberty and social interaction.


EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3907
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is offlineOffline
Jacob Cordingley wrote:I

Jacob Cordingley wrote:

I think these are the goals of one irrational unthinking person. How is this a desirable set of affairs? See, many people confuse ruthless efficiency with being a rational way to run a society. You're society wouldn't even be that efficient. Co-operation is the lubricant of any society, human beings and self-sufficiency don't go together very well. We aren't cats, we are a socially minded primate. The problem with using efficiency as a bench-mark for "rational" is that in doing this you are actually ignoring what makes people happy, what's the good in living in an efficient social model if people aren't happy. Now, I'd agree that it would be impossible to run a society where everyone was perfectly happy all the time, but a "rationally" ordered society would have to take this into account, as well is its efficiency and its workability. A system where families and individuals are forced into self-sufficiency, where there is no freedom of thought, no ability to study science for the simple purpose of expanding our understanding, where humans beings become alienated from each other is one where no matter how well it works economically (which I suppose your idea was, even though it probably wouldn't) it will fail to satisfy mankind's taste for liberty and social interaction.

 

I see you as someone who refuses to view the world as it really is and instead base your politics on how you wish it could be. This is the reality you can deny it if you wish. Since we have no god, the laws of nature force us into self-sufficiency mode. You simple can not have large numbers in a society permanently shielded from the laws of survival.

I'm not denying the human need for happiness, understanding, art, music, etc... I've said nothing against freedom of thought. But to think, be happy or anything else one must first have food and shelter. I'm not using efficiecy as the benchmark, I'm using survival. Once people can survive, then if they have liberty they can pursue their own hapiness. Isn't happiness also dependent on the ability to enjoy the fruit's of one's labor? Wealth redistribution just creates a society where everyone must be equal in misery.

We are like cats in that the same laws of nature apply to us both. They are still our evolutionary cousins. The only difference is our larger brains should enable us to understand our world better. Unfortunately, our brains often cause us to see the world as we wish rather than as it is(hence religion, poverty can be eliminated just by passing mandates on employers, or getting rid of private property and corporations).

Life has a foundation, you simply can not put the cart before the horse. The foundation for life must first be survival eg..(food, clothing and shelter). Survival must be first and foremost. In you wish thinking ideology, you just build society as a house of cards. When the hurricanes, earthquakes and financial disruptions occur, it's all blown down. Then people have no other hope but religion.

For complex life forms and societies to sustain themselves, every member must be a contributor at some point. Look at the organs in cells in a human body. Every organ that takes from the blood stream must contribute something back, otherwise it's a cancer. Life between organisms is either a cooperative contract or a war for survival.

The people who believe in wealth redistribution whenever someone is perceived to need something. Do they ever talk about the negative side of minimum wage, mandates for employers, progress income tax? No, they don't want to talk about it. I could be convinced with evidence to support some of these proposals when there is evidence and a reason to believe they would solve problems. Which is why I support some of them short term while someone is being reeducated.

They don't want to look at reality because this wish thinking is their religion.

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3907
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is offlineOffline
Hambydammit wrote:Who's

Hambydammit wrote:

Who's making emotional appeals.  I'm furious at your denseness after I've explained in great detail the scientific reason why what you're saying is absurd.  You're tossing around platitudes about economic systems you clearly don't understand.  Hell, even the marxists are getting on your ass!

Well your whole rant pretty much proves your whole argument is based on your emotional response, rather than on scientific understanding of economics and human nature. I've pissed you off worse than any theist could because I'm attacking your religion. It's absurd to think you can continually pay for people no matter how little they contribute in productivity. And then pass on there bad habits and lack of education to the next generation in even greater numbers.

There are plenty of conservative free market economists that agree with a position like mine. That governments only role in the economy should be to prevent fraud. Using wealth for effective education is about the only form of help for the poor that can work in the long run.

If it is as you claim, welfare without strings also benefits the rich. Why must the taxman take people's wealth by force? The government basically puts a gun to your head collects it's taxes and says, this is for everyone's benefit. This isn't a symbiotic relationship, it's class warfare. Why must a truely beneficial relationship be done by force?

In your big man scenario, if redistribution of wealth was beneficial to all, the wealthy would give up their wealth voluntarily. Does the big man have to put a knife to throats of everyone that doesn't want to pay taxes? Can the wealthy leave the village and find a place that would allow them to enjoy the fruits of their labor without fear of being hunted down?

Evolution demonstrates that if a behavior or feature is rewarded, you'll get more of it. You punish a behavior you'll get less of it. So your economic policy is reward low productivity and punish wealth creation. So, we know what we'll get.

I actually got you to admit that setting the minimum wage at $1000/hr does more harm than good. That's a start. So I'm assuming an income tax at 99.9% would also have some undesirable secondary effects. So there must be some type of curve then where the level of wealth distribution causes harm the high it is. Please explain how this works and how one can find the optimal point in this curve? Your answer seems to be just move welfare up until there are no staving babies. This is just an emotional response because babies will probably starve no matter what you do. We don't have mandatory birth control, so people will breed as long as they have food.

Do we just keep raising the wealth redistribution until there is no hunger? How is the population controlled in this scenario? Isn't it just human misery that controls the population growth? The poor will be restless and violent because their won't be any rich to hire them for a job. Look what the wealthy do now, they hide their money in Liechtenstein and the Cayman Islands. Do we invade these countries? How do you keep there from being an underground economy without having a 1984 type Big Brother?

The fact is that people that are educated and have a good income have a lower birth rates. They spend their time/money on other pursuits and delay child bearing till they are more mature. Which is why this is the only social contract that can work.

The fact is your way is just make everyone equal in misery.

But that's your religion, somehow society lowers the number of starving babies by continually rewarding people for having low productivity. The laws of reward and punishishment that have been in place throught our species evolution must be ignored for your religion.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 4197
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
now i see the pattern. 

now i see the pattern.  anyone who disagrees with exc's politics is religious.

kinda like anyone who disagrees with fred phelps's homophobia is going to burn in hell.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3907
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is offlineOffline
iwbiek wrote:now i see the

iwbiek wrote:

now i see the pattern. anyone who disagrees with exc's politics is religious.

kinda like anyone who disagrees with fred phelps's homophobia is going to burn in hell.

Anyone that takes a political or economic position that is not based on how the world really works is thinking like a religious person. The people who espouse things like minimum wage just ignore the secondary effects like inflation and higher unemployment. Why? Often you feel better when you ignore reality. The world is perfect when you believe every one's can have a sugar daddy in Heaven or in Washington. You don't have to do the hard work of getting an education and solving real problems if you can just pray to God or ask politicians to pass out mandates and money. Government can just pass out money if the education fails and they can't prevent fraud in the business world.

Communists ignore the fact that there would still be an underground economy if you outlawed private property(unless you have Big Brother). Also that there would be little motivation to study, take risks or work hard. You insist this is not the case because this is how you wish things to be. I may as well argue with a Theist that prayer doesn't work just because they wish it to be so.

A rational person can change his position based upon what works and doesn't work. You could never change your position because you feel you are right. You've invested too much in your position to ever change just as a religious person can't give up his religion if he has invested heavily in his faith.

 

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen