HERE are the RJ conservatives to Debate! - HERE BE DRAGONS!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 18, 2010 4:35 PM GMT
    I liked how George Will would always present an argument with honesty and integrity, respecting the sincerity of the person asking.


    Would a conservative RJ poster please step up to answer questions (phrased as neutrally and civilly as possible) without any posturing or going off on tangents?

    EDIT:

    Well, step up some of our conservative members have, with style!

    You will find here a thread that was added to slowly, gradually, and with evident time and care taken with each post.

    That snail's pace, (I think) has been a critical factor in h the laser-like focus that carries through this thread.

    Read on:
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 18, 2010 4:37 PM GMT
    Curious is maybe the only one who can pull it off... all the others that I am aware of don´t even see the tensions of siding with "the conservatives" as gay men.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 18, 2010 4:39 PM GMT
    CuriousjockAZ, a very classy Conservative.

    -Doug
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 18, 2010 4:42 PM GMT
    Well, SB , what was he doing before going on the attack? He was being attacked. Horse, cart...do you know which one goes first?

    -Doug
  • conservativej...

    Posts: 2465

    Nov 18, 2010 5:00 PM GMT
    Why don't you start by trying to build a fairly neutral question. Provide us a little context as to your own political persuasion since you have framed this in the context of "RJ conservatives ."

    LostBoy has commented, " all the others that I am aware of don´t even see the tensions of siding with "the conservatives" as gay men" which I believe is likely a majority opinion of young gay men. That adds a qualification that we so often see in American culture, e.g., I'm a XXX American.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 18, 2010 7:36 PM GMT
    conservativejock saidWhy don't you start by trying to build a fairly neutral question. Provide us a little context as to your own political persuasion since you have framed this in the context of "RJ conservatives ."

    LostBoy has commented, " all the others that I am aware of don´t even see the tensions of siding with "the conservatives" as gay men" which I believe is likely a majority opinion of young gay men. That adds a qualification that we so often see in American culture, e.g., I'm a XXX American.


    Point taken.

    INTRODUCTION:

    In various threads I have previously explained I my fundamental worldview that defines all my thinking, thus my politics.

    I believe individual rights are secondary to the rights of society. It runs contrary to my thinking to act in a way inconsistent with that. Not surprisingly, I am on the left end of the political spectrum - far left socially, but I vote Liberal Party.

    I am a cultural hybrid - a Canadian educated in Holland at an American school.
    My mother is native Canadian, my father French, they lived for years in Britain, therefore my interests include US politics and, secondarily, gay rights in the US.


    PURPOSE:

    I am not interested in influencing but to understanding what American gay men are thinking.

    METHOD:
    I use the following sites daily to keep abreast of these areas (in this order)
    cbc.ca
    ctv.ca
    ottawacitizen.ca
    cnn.com
    fox.com
    msnbc.com
    bbc.uk.com
    365gay.com
    joe.my.god blog
    after-eltoncom
    pinknews.uk.com

    huffington post (for a few laughs)
    then I come to RJ

    The thoughts of Americans are of primary interest to me. Those of other nationalities or non-resident Americans are noteworthy for me too, but mostly in terms of Americans ' response to them.

    Wherever I do not understand the thinking in a post I ask a question.
    The statement is already there; I am asking to "see the work" so I can understand how that answer is arrived at.

    I ask this of all posters, of any political stripe.

    The poster explains, I might ask a couple more questions ( I rarely need to - they explain the logic well, and I understand. I see the reasoning, and my curiousity is satisfied.

    There are plenty of people here who represent Democratic perspectives, who are always quick to make the point, defend it vigorously and with integrity, applying reasoning that displays a consistent world view.

    . No matter how neutrally asked, though, I it has been hard to get people on the right of the political spectrum to have an exchange without them going off on argumentative tangents. It is disrespectful and contemptuous of every effort at constructive engagement.

    I am looking for rational dialogue, not to listen to gay men shouting at traffic.

    Simple statements of the obvious hold minimal interest. I want to engage people who are thought-provoking without being provocative.
  • conservativej...

    Posts: 2465

    Nov 19, 2010 12:24 AM GMT
    Let me get this started before I retire for the evening. It is approaching early morning here in Switzerland. I'll write more tomrorow.

    I appreciate your openness. Of what you stated, the one quote below is where we greatly differ.

    UpperCanadian said

    I believe individual rights are secondary to the rights of society.


    While I do believe that our social structures are of significant importance, I do not believe societies needs should explicitly and in all cases override individual rights.

    Off to bed. But define for us individual freedom in the context of your quoted comment. By your definition -- the quote -- does this mean you believe everyone should be guranteed an income of say $75,000 USD per annum? And if so, should someone like myself you gave $18MM this year thus far to non-profits be required to pay taxes to ensure each individual receives $75,000 USD per annum in income, even if that takes 80% of my individual income?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 19, 2010 12:18 PM GMT
    conservativejock saidLet me get this started before I retire for the evening. It is approaching early morning here in Switzerland. I'll write more tomrorow.

    I appreciate your openness. Of what you stated, the one quote below is where we greatly differ.

    UpperCanadian said

    I believe individual rights are secondary to the rights of society.


    While I do believe that our social structures are of significant importance, I do not believe societies needs should explicitly and in all cases override individual rights.

    Off to bed. But define for us individual freedom in the context of your quoted comment. By your definition -- the quote -- does this mean you believe everyone should be guranteed an income of say $75,000 USD per annum? And if so, should someone like myself you gave $18MM this year thus far to non-profits be required to pay taxes to ensure each individual receives $75,000 USD per annum in income, even if that takes 80% of my individual income?

    Guaranteed minimum annual income:

    Anytime I have entered into a discussion about this , a willful and persistent strawman argument is that we are somehow talking about a "maximum" income, whereby no one would be motivated to earn more than that. (which does not follow at all).

    Nor does it follow that GMAI would cause runaway inflation, any more than the basic minimum wage laws (already a beginning toward GMAI) have done.

    . The amount of such an income should be commensurate to the local cost of food and housing, the cost of essential clothing.

    Everyone is entitled to reasonable food, clothing and shelter but society does not need guarantee everyone an equal house. GMAI is about ensuring everyone enjoys a least an essential minimum standard of living.

    Reduced Public-Provided Services

    With GMAI, it becomes no longer the public's role to operate subsidized housing, food banks and a lot of other social services. Each person now has the guaranteed means, now they have the responsibility to take care of themselves.

    Taxation

    I favour a combination of consumption tax and a progressive income tax, where (the more money you earn, the more tax is payable).The system must allow and incentivize the human urge to improve one's condition - to afford the nicer things - beyond the utilitarian minimum.

    voluntary charitable contributions should be deductible at 1.5 times their value, as incentive. Society has a duty to the individual, to recognise and reward voluntary acts of charity.

    Personal Incentive

    People are status concious, and will always strive to outdo the next guy.

    Some will be content to just coast along on their GMAI, which is fine - they are no more a burden than the next person who IS motivated to surpass the minimum and enjoy a more luxurious life.

    Effect on crime:

    Fewer desperate people should translate to a reduction in "subsistence" crimes. (the random street level stuff against persons. Greed crimes (the big frauds and big money crime ) would not lessen through any effect of a GMAI.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 19, 2010 12:22 PM GMT
    conservativejock saidLostBoy has commented, " all the others that I am aware of don´t even see the tensions of siding with "the conservatives" as gay men" which I believe is likely a majority opinion of young gay men. That adds a qualification that we so often see in American culture, e.g., I'm a XXX American.


    Not sure it has anything to do with age. The Republicans party has been infiltrated by the religious right, and now many of them bray the anti-gay, anti-women, anti-equality filth which comes from people like James Dobson. I don´t care how small you want your government to be: these people want government controlling morality. That is not age specific. Siding with the Republicans is HUGELY complex for all but the most stupid, naive or self hating of gay men.
  • conservativej...

    Posts: 2465

    Nov 19, 2010 3:39 PM GMT
    UpperCanadian said
    conservativejock saidLet me get this started before I retire for the evening. It is approaching early morning here in Switzerland. I'll write more tomrorow.

    I appreciate your openness. Of what you stated, the one quote below is where we greatly differ.

    UpperCanadian said

    I believe individual rights are secondary to the rights of society.


    While I do believe that our social structures are of significant importance, I do not believe societies needs should explicitly and in all cases override individual rights.

    Off to bed. But define for us individual freedom in the context of your quoted comment. By your definition -- the quote -- does this mean you believe everyone should be guranteed an income of say $75,000 USD per annum? And if so, should someone like myself you gave $18MM this year thus far to non-profits be required to pay taxes to ensure each individual receives $75,000 USD per annum in income, even if that takes 80% of my individual income?

    Guaranteed minimum annual income:

    Anytime I have entered into a discussion about this , a willful and persistent strawman argument is that we are somehow talking about a "maximum" income, whereby no one would be motivated to earn more than that. (which does not follow at all).

    Nor does it follow that GMAI would cause runaway inflation, any more than the basic minimum wage laws (already a beginning toward GMAI) have done.

    . The amount of such an income should be commensurate to the local cost of food and housing, the cost of essential clothing.

    Everyone is entitled to reasonable food, clothing and shelter but society does not need guarantee everyone an equal house. GMAI is about ensuring everyone enjoys a least an essential minimum standard of living.

    Reduced Public-Provided Services

    With GMAI, it becomes no longer the public's role to operate subsidized housing, food banks and a lot of other social services. Each person now has the guaranteed means, now they have the responsibility to take care of themselves.

    Taxation

    I favour a combination of consumption tax and a progressive income tax, where (the more money you earn, the more tax is payable).The system must allow and incentivize the human urge to improve one's condition - to afford the nicer things - beyond the utilitarian minimum.

    voluntary charitable contributions should be deductible at 1.5 times their value, as incentive. Society has a duty to the individual, to recognise and reward voluntary acts of charity.

    Personal Incentive

    People are status concious, and will always strive to outdo the next guy.

    Some will be content to just coast along on their GMAI, which is fine - they are no more a burden than the next person who IS motivated to surpass the minimum and enjoy a more luxurious life.

    Effect on crime:

    Fewer desperate people should translate to a reduction in "subsistence" crimes. (the random street level stuff against persons. Greed crimes (the big frauds and big money crime ) would not lessen through any effect of a GMAI.


    My purpose in posting was not for you to response with a litany of support for ideas and ideals which you already espouse. You are running an ad campaign. One in which few on RJ will take the time to engage.

    Nevertheless, my postulate was to inquire as to whether you believe in a minimum annual income. One that is actually in effect through today's social network but a a much lower target value than I stated, i.e. $75,000.

    Fortunately we are not yet under totalitarian rule as you prpose and by choice the vast majority of global citizens would not agree with such a proposal whether liberal or conservative.

    It is by choice my friend.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 19, 2010 4:05 PM GMT
    socalfitness saidWhen I read from the OP in above messages that the responses to questions from liberals who share his same politics were intelligent, but the responses from conservatives were generally defective, my first impression was the OP was not as objective to dissenting views as he indicated. Then I realized he had been recently interacting with riddler78. I saw these recent messages, but did not read them, so obviously I cannot make a definite comment. I do know from past messages, that riddler78 provides an intelligent articulation of conservative positions, backed up with significant facts further backed up by resource references. Unless riddler78 has changed, I suspect the OP was not open to an intelligent conservative discussion, further suggesting to me he does not have the objectivity he claims and probably believes that he has.

    I do emphasize this is only an impression because I have not read those recent messages from the OP and riddler78. I do suggest to any of my conservative friends who may be considering spending the time here, look at both profiles to see common recent threads, read the interactions and decide if you want to get involved here.


    No!
    Bad dog! (swats nose)


    I did not say responses were "generally defective " so stop it. You are doing right there what I am talking about. You have fabricated a dishonest rewording of what I said, and react to that.

    The post was worded carefully, so your misreading of it feels willful. If that is indeed the case - that is precisely my point.
    I am talking about disingenuousness.


    That is a disingenuous response.

    I did not want to, but it seems I need to be specific with people:


    socal fitness:.
    8/10 - 90% of the time.


    You always present a consistent perspective. When asked a question, you will argue your position convincely, but only after a preliminary deflection. If the deflection does not deter someone from pressing, you will then show your work, but it is cluttered with editorial adjectives. Stripped of the partisan adjectives , your points are good.

    When you do an Initial post (any new statement not responding to a question), what you write has been well thought out. your responses are well crafted and do not show sloppy thinking. I may not always like the conclusion you reach, (because we are starting from diametrically different worldviews), but I understand the reasoning, and it is consistent with your previous statements.

    You believe what you write, and only write what you believe. When asked a question, you answer in the pattern I decribed, and I am generally always satisfied with your response.

    You avoid extreme characterizations, but you editorialise too much. Not everything needs a describing word that tells us how you feel about THAT particular subpoint. It is secondary and redundant as its "undesirability" decriptor is implicit by it being mentioned at all.

    In a Response Post, then, strip as many "loaded" adjectives as you can before you hit the final post. It makes the logic clear and inarguable when you really edit it down, as every adjective isbecomes point of possible derailment for both YOU and deflection, in response. Skip that step - it wastes time and impedes the productive flow of discussion.

    My main issue with your posts is when reading others' posts, I feel you ascribe characterisations that are just not there.. To illustrate:notice above I did not say "a preliminary " lazy deflection", or a "humorous" deflection, or "aggressive" deflection. I did not characterise it in any way, I mention it without any adjective.

    It would be much more productive were you to take a moment to be sure you are reacting to what was written, without mentally inserting adjectives that aren't there to keep yourself on point and progress the discussion.

    In summary - I I read you, have interacted with you, and a ultimately get an answer but there is a tedious dance first.
    offers good insight in conservative analytical thought but it takes a lot of patience.

    mocktwinkie:
    9/10 - 50% of the time

    Very consistent perspective. Initial Posts are well stated, and are pretty rarely apparently meant only to be provocative. You have a 50-50 chance that when asked a question or a follow-up, he will answer directly,fully and argue his position convincely. Generally avoids extreme characterisations.

    It can be very satisfying to have a discussion with mocktwinkie .

    Sincere, he believes what he writes and does not waste his own time.

    The main impediment to discussion is he will seize upon any word as a means of drailment and willful avoidance of answering. and will will waste your time with minor tangential deflections that become tiresome, rather than just acknowledge "OK, I cannot really reconcile that.

    One question gets answered but a subsequent question is rarely answered .

    In summary:

    mocktwinkie presents conservative summary perspective, but not analysis.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 19, 2010 4:23 PM GMT
    conservativejock saidI appreciate your openness. Of what you stated, the one quote below is where we greatly differ.

    UpperCanadian said

    I believe individual rights are secondary to the rights of society.


    define for us individual freedom in the context of your quoted comment. By your definition -- the quote -- does this mean you believe everyone should be guranteed an income of say $75,000 USD per annum?


    detailed response from UC .


    ][cite]conservativejock said[/cite]

    My purpose in posting was not for you to response with a litany of support for ideas and ideals which you already espouse. [/quote]

    So you asked me a question, for me NOT to respond to.

    icon_confused.gif



    CJ:
    Nevertheless, my postulate was to inquire as to whether you believe in a minimum annual income. One that is actually in effect through today's social network but a a much lower target value than I stated, i.e. $75,000.
    [/quote]

    Let's be absolutely clear on this:

    1: I ask for a debate with integrity. with a consrvative/
    2. CJ says, OK, what do to think of guaranteed incomes?

    3. I think "good question, respectful. I respect that". I answer carefully.

    4. CJ What are you talking nbout that for, dummy??

    Really bloody obnoxious of you to ask a question, then give me hell for answering it.

    Way to respect people, dude.

    QED

    Again.

    You guys are just proving my point. icon_rolleyes.gif

    Thanks. Never mind.

    I asked, you guys showed you can't do it.

    have no idea how you guys got through school.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 19, 2010 4:28 PM GMT
    Freudian slip or what?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PostulateIn traditional logic, an axiom or postulate is a proposition that is not proved or demonstrated but considered to be either self-evident, or subject to necessary decision. Therefore, its truth is taken for granted, and serves as a starting point for deducing and inferring other (theory dependent) truths.


    "Nevertheless, my postulate was to inquire as to whether you believe in a minimum annual income. "
    The "postulate" he had in mind, obviously, was that whatever arguments you make will be read by him as a "litany of propaganda."icon_razz.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 19, 2010 4:50 PM GMT
    Accuracy and precision are not synonyms.
    Consistency of thought does not imply validity of thought.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AccuracyA measurement system is called valid if it is both accurate and precise. Related terms are bias (non-random or directed effects caused by a factor or factors unrelated by the independent variable) and error (random variability), respectively.


    For example, mocktwinkie's fanatic insistence that the leftist policies of the Democrats leading to the CRA were fundamentally to blame for the financial crisis is consistent, but he ignores everything else that points to the flaws of the deregulated market. Some arguments to the contrary, e.g.

    [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_crisis_of_2007%E2%80%932010[/url]A 2000 United States Department of the Treasury study of lending trends for 305 cities from 1993 to 1998 showed that $467 billion of mortgage credit poured out of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)-covered lenders into low and mid level income borrowers and neighborhoods.[56] Nevertheless, only 25% of all sub-prime lending occurred at CRA-covered institutions, and a full 50% of sub-prime loans originated at institutions exempt from CRA.[57] While the number of CRA sub-prime loans originated were less than non-CRA sub-prime loans originated, it is important to note that the CRA sub-prime loans were the more "vulnerable during the downturn, to the detriment of both borrowers and lenders. For example, lending done under Community Reinvestment Act criteria, according to a quarterly report in October of 2008, constituted only 7% of the total mortgage lending by the Bank of America, but constituted 29% of its losses on mortgages."[58]

    Others have pointed out that there were not enough of these loans made to cause a crisis of this magnitude. In an article in Portfolio Magazine, Michael Lewis spoke with one trader who noted that "There weren’t enough Americans with [bad] credit taking out [bad loans] to satisfy investors’ appetite for the end product." Essentially, investment banks and hedge funds used financial innovation to enable large wagers to be made, far beyond the actual value of the underlying mortgage loans, using derivatives called credit default swaps, CDO and synthetic CDO. As long as derivative buyers could be matched with sellers, the theoretical amount that could be wagered was infinite. "They were creating [synthetic loans] out of whole cloth. One hundred times over! That’s why the losses are so much greater than the loans."[59]

    Economist Paul Krugman argued in January 2010 that the simultaneous growth of the residential and commercial real estate pricing bubbles undermines the case made by those who argue that Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, CRA or predatory lending were primary causes of the crisis. In other words, bubbles in both markets developed even though only the residential market was affected by these potential causes.


    are routinely dismissed by him either by not addressing them, or outright denial. Christian had tried to enlarge his knowledge base by pointing out books he should read, but so far I don't know if he's taken the time to do so.

    And he also ignores other equally valid hypotheses as to why the right might have also promoted the housing bubble, (e.g. with an ulterior motive of making homeowners more Republican-leaning; or just simple lobbying by financial entities to eliminate moral hazard from their "innovative" financial instruments), but just fixates on the hypotheses about leftist/"social-do-goodies" and "no-true-Scotsmen," i.e. Bush was at heart not a free market but a large government promoter.

    In short, I'd rather be right sometimes and wrong the other times, than wrong all the time.

  • conservativej...

    Posts: 2465

    Nov 19, 2010 4:51 PM GMT
    Always amazed at how these things morph.

    "Would a conservative RJ poster please step up to answer questions?"

    Let's try angain OP. Ask a question. Make this simple. Yes or not answers, plus a few more lines perhaps. In an effort to communicate.

    Apparently I do not have as much time as you for such discussions.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 19, 2010 5:14 PM GMT
    Conservayive gays be reasonable?

    Never!
    http://www.gaypatriot.net/?comments_popup=31941
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 19, 2010 5:29 PM GMT
    Just a quick comment. I think you are editorializing just as you accused me of doing when you characterized my use of the term "defective" as "dishonest rewording" and "disingenuous". You are if effect stating a motive or willful intent without having a basis.

    You did qualify it later by saying "feels willful." It wasn't willful, but you are entitled to state it as your impression, versus an absolute fact, in contrast to the first two statements, as noted above.

    Using the term "defective" was sloppy on my part. My intent was to state your general positive impression to the responses you received from liberals, contrasted with your impression to the responses you received from conservatives.

    I actually had deleted that post, temporarily, but you quoted it first. I had recalled your interchanges with riddler78, but after posting the message, decided I should identify the specific threads first, so in case my memory had failed me, I would not have to do a mea culpa.

    I don't consider myself the most diplomatic poster, but one thing I try to do to reduce the editorializing, and not needlessly inflame, is to not associate a motive unless it is clear. For example, if someone misstates what I said, I tend to call it misstating or misquoting, giving them the benefit of the doubt. If they persist, or otherwise demonstrate a pattern, then I will call it lying or being dishonest.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 19, 2010 5:39 PM GMT
    The OP was not a question, it was a challenge to "be thought-provoking", not just provocative," to discuss things in good faith and integrity, and put aside posturing.

    There is no possible misinterpretion of what I have just said, and there is nothing more there than what I have just said.

    Any continued misunderstanding can only be willful pretence. The challenge is there:

    There are a few on the left already who try to engage in sincere discussion but it remains to be seen for the guys on the right. I cannot explain it any more plainly, so I will make no further attempts, if yopu still dont understand.

    So far you are still a contender, but, that's strike 2 .





  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 19, 2010 5:56 PM GMT
    socalfitness saidJust a quick comment. I think you are editorializing just as you accused me of doing when you characterized my use of the term "defective" as "dishonest rewording" and "disingenuous". You are if effect stating a motive or willful intent without having a basis.

    You did qualify it later by saying "feels willful." It wasn't willful, but you are entitled to state it as your impression, versus an absolute fact, in contrast to the first two statements, as noted above.

    Using the term "defective" was sloppy on my part. My intent was to state your general positive impression to the responses you received from liberals, contrasted with your impression to the responses you received from conservatives.

    I actually had deleted that post, temporarily, but you quoted it first. I had recalled your interchanges with riddler78, but after posting the message, decided I should identify the specific threads first, so in case my memory had failed me, I would not have to do a mea culpa.

    I don't consider myself the most diplomatic poster, but one thing I try to do to reduce the editorializing, and not needlessly inflame, is to not associate a motive unless it is clear. For example, if someone misstates what I said, I tend to call it misstating or misquoting, giving them the benefit of the doubt. If they persist, or otherwise demonstrate a pattern, then I will call it lying or being dishonest.


    Agreed. I used loaded adjectives too. I should have stripped those as I was editing. (It is admittedly hard to catch them all, as we do not really "read" them again.

    Do not to add anything to what I said about comments from liberals, though . I wasn't speculating there on WHY I see it MORE (and certainly not from all liberals) ( nor did I did intend that it COULD only be from liberals) (I think there are more of them creating an (over-representational skew" but more particularly I think it creates a seige mentality among the minority; it requires more sensitivity and it is easier to cause a defensive response.
  • tongun18

    Posts: 593

    Nov 19, 2010 8:11 PM GMT
    This seems like a great thread I would like to participate in but it appears to be missing large chunks. People are quoting comments and I have know idea what the original text says as I do not see it posted. Anyone know what's going on?
  • rioriz

    Posts: 1056

    Nov 19, 2010 8:31 PM GMT
    UpperCanadian saidI liked how George Will would always present an argument with honesty and integrity, respecting the sincerity of the person asking.


    Would a conservative RJ poster please step up to answer questions (phrased as neutrally and civilly as possible) without any posturing or going off on tangents?



    Ask away! I feel that I have always presented my point in a clear and concise manner here in the forums!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 19, 2010 8:39 PM GMT
    It requires a certain level of audacity especially here, to fret about the civility of "conservative" posters (or anyone who doesn't identify themselves as "liberal" or "left-leaning") - especially when no condemnation or no rebukes are provided to the disingenuous and trite responses provided by the vast majority of those who comment who also happen to be very "liberal" (a misnomer) economically. To rate commenters is a masturbatory exercise that is useless, often ad hominem in nature and doesn't do anything to address the ideas.

    Anyway, to address some specifics: "I believe individual rights are secondary to the rights of society."

    If anything, what we know of economics and history suggests that these are often the justifications for various atrocities. Society has no rights inherently beyond the rights given to them by the individuals who live in that society, so I'm really not understanding this differentiation to begin with. Lord Acton's quote has not persisted because he was a pretty man. Further, the needs of society are best met at an individual level - though what I suspect you mean and what I think you erroneously infer is that the needs of society and the needs of government are one and the same. Capitalism only works because it has been impossible for us to predict the future.

    Think of businesses/institutions as little experiments each in their own way to optimize around the problems as provided in the market. Each of these producers must optimize around what they can charge versus the cost they can provide the product and/or service. Profit reflects a monetary value of what gets created that society values. At a high level view of this, a multitude of experiments are required because the market and society's needs are not only ever changing, but different for different segments.

    The brilliance of this disorganized, and decentralized approach, is that there is one binding factor where market players communicate: price. Price provides the incentives or disincentives for new players to enter the market place based on the value they believe they can provide. This is why a centralized/government approach doesn't and hasn't worked. Sure we could optimize and effectively write a program to convert x resources into y products but look over the past 40 years how the world has changed - how the economy has changed. Many of the jobs today didn't even exist 20 years ago!
    Wealth itself is a figment of human creation. Resources and ideas are usless without the problems in which they are deployed to solve. A piece of iron ore is just a hunk of rock before it is transformed into something useful. Profit by definition is that difference between the cost of a product and the sum of its parts. Wealth therefore is a reflection of the historical value provided to society/markets.

    Government however also provides an essential role to allowing markets to flourish. Markets require four conditions:
    (1) Property rights for all (rich and poor) - demagogues usually argue that autocracies/crony capitalism represent capitalism. They don't. A look at world bank's doingbusiness.org shows the direct correlation and causation of bad property rights/business regulations where in underdeveloped countries often simply favor the existing elite/rich.
    (2) Stable government. A benevolent dictator while being nice conceptually ever happens and even when it does, doesn't provide for the instability that follows - that's why representative democracies provide the best stability for growth - because of their peaceful
    (3) Markets require that at least some level of free trade - free flow of goods occurs. Further helps define comparative advantage within a country.
    (4) Foreign investment and repatriation of funds must also be allowed. Allows for additional competitors to be created - investment won't happen if investors don't know they can actually access any profits in the future.

    So that's my world view. As to your points:

    (1) Guaranteed minimum annual income / Negative income tax: both similar ideas - you can look up the latter which was pushed by none other than Milton Friedman who believed that a basic guaranteed minimum would in fact be more ideal than a bureaucrat determining the social services that are good for people and the amount they should be entitled to often on an arbitrary basis. I note further that charities are far more optimal at providing social services - and it is only in flourishing economies that charitable giving also occurs. Charities have the benefit of being generally more local

    (2) Taxation: I'm for a flat(ter) tax or alternatively a consumption tax but not both. If income comes from productive activities society/markets are willing to pay for, why do we tax them while we don't tax consumption? In societies where taxes are lower, people give more to charities - and charities are in a far better position to assess the specific needs of individuals than bureaucratic policies created a state or several states away. On this issue of tax however, already it's progressive in that the rich pay substantially more in dollar amounts - to the point that something like the top 5% pay for more than 50% of the US federal budget. The effect is not as pronounced in Canada but they still pay a wildly disproportionate amount to their numbers. The only reason to increase marginal taxes is an attempt to use tax policy to enact social policy - and to reduce the ranks of the wealthy - who as noted above also contribute more to society even if you argue that they benefit more.

    The current tax code as it stands must be simplified - and this would be the equivalent of a tax break without actually giving one because it is less of a burden on society. As it stands, I would guess that very few people even as athletically inclined as they are here, could lift the tax code when it was just a few small volumes in the late 80s to a size that is larger than encyclopedia brittanica if it were still being published.

    I would however be against a nationalized sales tax (and on this I differ from the Canadian Conservatives) until such time that income taxes are eliminated or reduced to zero because government always wants to expand and increase its powers - it's just the nature of the beast - they would never easily give up a new additive revenue source. More detailed explanation here from Cato: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTTMLH9jsag

    (3) Crime does not follow poverty. Certainly there may be some additive incentives but this assumption does a terrible disservice to the poor.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703580904574638024055735590.html

    "A Crime Theory Demolished: If poverty is the root cause of lawlessness, why did crime rates fall when joblessness increased?

    The recession of 2008-09 has undercut one of the most destructive social theories that came out of the 1960s: the idea that the root cause of crime lies in income inequality and social injustice. As the economy started shedding jobs in 2008, criminologists and pundits predicted that crime would shoot up, since poverty, as the "root causes" theory holds, begets criminals. Instead, the opposite happened. Over seven million lost jobs later, crime has plummeted to its lowest level since the early 1960s. The consequences of this drop for how we think about social order are significant."

    A better target for crime reduction? Abolish gun control and drug prohibition (ie legalize marijuana amongst other drugs).
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 19, 2010 8:48 PM GMT
    *salutes tongun18 and rioriz, who, I think, present without deflection and are pragmatic rather than propagandic (hey, is that a word?) *


    -Doug
  • tongun18

    Posts: 593

    Nov 19, 2010 9:17 PM GMT
    lol, thanks Doug! It's a word now, I'm going to demand people be less propagandic now! :-)
  • rioriz

    Posts: 1056

    Nov 19, 2010 9:21 PM GMT
    meninlove said *salutes tongun18 and rioriz, who, I think, present without deflection and are pragmatic rather than propagandic (hey, is that a word?) *


    -Doug


    Why thank you Doug and can say the same back to ya. Honestly it annoys me when either side feels the need to load the thread with sometimes meaningless numbers and quotations that may or may not have any semblance of truth to them. All that does is make the other side comeback with their own paragraphs on end of stuff. I skip through it and usually only read the ones that are concise and presentable.

    I say start a political thread and challenge posters to present their opinions in two short paragraphs per post! LOL nah it won't happen