Will the Democracy that's necessary finally be our ruin?

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    Jan 26, 2011 4:29 PM GMT
    I was thinking about something this morning as I lay in bed. I realized what a true dilemma we have as a nation – how to solve the massive debt issues. There are only two ways to do it. One is to raise taxes and the other is to cut programs. Conservatives and Libertarians generally wish to see taxes lowered and allow people to figure out their own economic destiny while Liberals and Socialists wish to expand programs and certainly not cut any of them and raise taxes if need be. We are polarized as a nation, because no matter what, a democracy allows people to vote in their own best [selfish] interest and that is why we have two parties who represent two different sides of the spectrum (albeit with a lot of independents in between).

    Democracy, and bipartisanship, it seems, will eventually result in America’s collapse until a recovery happens and the same mistakes are repeated. But then I wondered why, who is it among us that is going to create this terrible failure because of their unwillingness to concede? I thought about it some more and realized that there are 4 kinds of people out there voting, and at least two of them are destroying the American dream without even knowing it.

    The first group makes up the bulk of why we still have a part an American dream that hasn’t completely been destroyed - yet. They believe that the principle of economic freedom is more important than being the winners in society, that the ability to achieve it is worth something. They understand, miraculously, that in order for the ordinary person to feel a motivation to achieve lofty monetary gains it will be contingent on the ability to keep what they have earned. They know the principle is what counts regardless if they have become successful yet or not in their own attempts to be winners. They realize that with all its flaws, the cornerstone of capitalism is to not squelch or create an environment that chokes the main incentive for someone to work hard and achieve unbridled productivity: competition and the motivation to have nicer things and live better than someone else or how they used to live before. Capitalism, with all its flaws, they note, has been the biggest contributor in the advancement of technology which has in turn saved many, many lives. These people think realistically rather than idealistically.

    The second group is the people everyone wants to be: those who have already achieved vast monetary gains. This group is divided into three parts, some just want to keep their money and enjoy the fruits of their labor and not be bothered with greater taxes. Others are intent on making sure everyone knows what wonderful compassionate people they are by vocalizing ideas of wealth redistribution and socialistic ideas, but would never themselves want to live in such a political climate or themselves be willing to part with the degree of lavish comforts that they currently enjoy. The last group, regardless of political affiliation, just makes large donations because they realize it’s the right thing to do. That giving back when you have so much just sitting around makes sense.

    The third group are the, as of yet, non-achievers (or what you would call losers in society), but they are either bitter or lazy. They prefer security over freedom. These people, for whatever reason don’t care about having a principle in place where they have the ability to make great achievements if they put forth the effort – because after all, who wants to really put in the effort and still end up being a loser? They think that they are already entitled to something just because they are alive and that by existing they deserve something from someone else. They also believe that if someone develops a terrible disease or health problem, it must not be a tragic combination of genetics and/or diet where no one else is to blame, it must be the fault of everyone who just fortunately didn’t develop a crippling health condition and subsequently were able to thrive in life. The losers feel that those people, as punishment, owe everyone else money for their crimes against humanity. This group is not only selfish (which may or may not be an attribute of any of the groups), but vindictive as well. These are the people who would rather see everyone on the ship die when they realize they are going to die than to see some live. These are the people who, instead of embracing the principles of true capitalism, would rather see the whole nation fall than to lose their entitlement. These are the true greedy people of the country.

    Then you have the do-gooders of the world like Christian and Meninlove who mean very well and so desperately want to believe that there can be a world with no losers – that if we just try hard enough we can have a world where nobody dies of want or because they couldn’t afford something. The solution is of course, expanding programs by using taxpayer dollars which everyone should just pay because it's the moral and right thing to do! But these are the people who also willingly refuse to grasp key concepts as outlined when (the famous and ingenious African American Economist) Thomas Sowell said “The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.”

    And there you have it. You can decide which group you want to be in.

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    Jan 26, 2011 4:46 PM GMT
    "Then you have the do-gooders of the world like Christian and Meninlove who mean very well and so desperately want to believe that there can be a world with no losers – that if we just try hard enough we can have a world where nobody dies of want or because they couldn’t afford something. The solution is of course, expanding programs by using taxpayer dollars which everyone should just pay because it's the moral and right thing to do! But these are the people who also willingly refuse to grasp key concepts as outlined when (the famous and ingenious African American Economist) Thomas Sowell said “The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.”


    Earth to Mock....you're completely wrong. The poor will always be with us. You can;t have rich without having poor. Pay attention: I posted this on another topic.

    If everyone was a millionaire a quart of milk could very well be 100 dollars, because wealth is relative, and business charges what the market will bear.

    If everyone pays SOME though taxes the burden on each person paying is lighter than expecting SOME people to pay vastly to charities, which can and do cherry pick who they wish to assist, and have to do it with an inconsistent flow of funding.

    At the same time you have said it should all be volunteers and donations, you harp on about how no one should feel obliged.

    I've read your posts in the past saying greed is just the way it is etc, yet you also claim to be christian, and your faith says otherwise about greed.
    From a christian perspective, what did Christ say about taxes?
    "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's"

    What was the sin of Sodom?

    "She and her daughters" (the government and the citizens)

    Ezekiel
    "New International Version (©1984)
    "'Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.

    New Living Translation (©2007)
    Sodom's sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door.

    English Standard Version (©2001)
    Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    "Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy.

    GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
    This is what your sister Sodom has done wrong. She and her daughters were proud that they had plenty of food and had peace and security. They didn't help the poor and the needy.

    King James Bible
    Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

    American King James Version
    Behold, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

    American Standard Version
    Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom: pride, fulness of bread, and prosperous ease was in her and in her daughters; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

    Bible in Basic English
    Truly, this was the sin of your sister Sodom: pride, a full measure of food, and the comforts of wealth in peace, were seen in her and her daughters, and she gave no help to the poor or to those in need.

    Douay-Rheims Bible
    Behold this was the iniquity of Sodom thy sister, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance, and the idleness of her, and of her daughters: and they did not put forth their hand to the needy, and to the poor.

    Darby Bible Translation
    Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom: pride, fulness of bread, and careless ease was in her and in her daughters, but she did not strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

    English Revised Version
    Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom; pride, fulness of bread, and prosperous ease was in her and in her daughters; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

    Webster's Bible Translation
    Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

    World English Bible
    Behold, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: pride, fullness of bread, and prosperous ease was in her and in her daughters; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

    Young's Literal Translation
    Lo, this hath been the iniquity of Sodom thy sister, Arrogancy, fulness of bread, and quiet ease, Have been to her and to her daughters, And the hand of the afflicted and needy She hath not strengthened.

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    Jan 26, 2011 4:48 PM GMT
    That's a really good encapsulation of the dilemma, mock.

    Each of those groups ultimately has to come to accept they cannot have what they want the way they want it; compromises must be struck and a middle point must be found (which basically satisfies no one fully. Everyone ends up having to accept water in their wine.

    It is said "a good deal is one that satisfies neither party."

    From a Canadian perspective, America achieved its success by celebrating liberty and pursuit of individual goals and that is what drove even their geographic expansion.

    Canada on the other hand was cobbled together by circumstance forcing us into reluctant union through fear of being taken over by the expanding powerhouse to our south, and the inability and unwillingness of our "mother country" to keep supporting us.

    Cut off from effective support and protection, we were reluctantly forced to join together and survive.

    In time, we became proud of having managed to do that, and VERY slowly began to develop a pride in that achievement, to where "compromise" was no longer seen as something we were just forced to do but something we had perforce become good at. We recast and elevated that "shame" to a point of pride.

    From feeling abandoned by Britain we began to feel like a nation for the first time in WWI, when we found ourselves vital to Britain's interests and invaluable because we had managed somehow to make it work despite ourselves.


    In French we say "un pays malgré nous; un pays malgré tout"
    ("One country despite ourselves; one country despite everything")

    PEIslanders and Newfoundlanders resent mainlanders and hate that they had to join them; Upper and Lower Canada (Ontario and Quebec) resent each other and having to support the less advantaged provinces. Westerners resent the political dominance (through economic advantage and population density ) of Ontario and Quebec and resent their oil wealth flowing east (while sullenly knowing at heart it was only made accessible through the money & infrastructure provided by Central Canada.

    So everyone's pride is hurt in some fashion.

    Where the USA's pride came through victory after victory, ("winning") Canadians had to accept compromise after compromise, until it became our very identity, as stated in the oft-told joke here:

    "Why did the Canadian cross the road?

    To get to the median."



    It took us generations to develop that mindset. (and though it still chafes).


    I cannot foresee a circumstance that could bring about that kind of attitudinal change in the broad American population.


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    Jan 26, 2011 4:59 PM GMT
    meninlove said"Then you have the do-gooders of the world like Christian and Meninlove who mean very well and so desperately want to believe that there can be a world with no losers – that if we just try hard enough we can have a world where nobody dies of want or because they couldn’t afford something. The solution is of course, expanding programs by using taxpayer dollars which everyone should just pay because it's the moral and right thing to do! But these are the people who also willingly refuse to grasp key concepts as outlined when (the famous and ingenious African American Economist) Thomas Sowell said “The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.”


    Earth to Mock....you're completely wrong. The poor will always be with us. You can;t have rich without having poor. Pay attention: I posted this on another topic.

    If everyone was a millionaire a quart of milk could very well be 100 dollars, because wealth is relative, and business charges what the market will bear.

    If everyone pays SOME though taxes the burden on each person paying is lighter than expecting SOME people to pay vastly to charities, which can and do cherry pick who they wish to assist, and have to do it with an inconsistent flow of funding.

    At the same time you have said it should all be volunteers and donations, you harp on about how no one should feel obliged.

    I've read your posts in the past saying greed is just the way it is etc, yet you also claim to be christian, and your faith says otherwise about greed.
    From a christian perspective, what did Christ say about taxes?
    "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's"

    What was the sin of Sodom?

    "She and her daughters" (the government and the citizens)

    Ezekiel
    "New International Version (©1984)
    "'Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.

    New Living Translation (©2007)
    Sodom's sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door.

    English Standard Version (©2001)
    Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    "Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy.

    GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
    This is what your sister Sodom has done wrong. She and her daughters were proud that they had plenty of food and had peace and security. They didn't help the poor and the needy.

    King James Bible
    Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

    American King James Version
    Behold, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

    American Standard Version
    Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom: pride, fulness of bread, and prosperous ease was in her and in her daughters; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

    Bible in Basic English
    Truly, this was the sin of your sister Sodom: pride, a full measure of food, and the comforts of wealth in peace, were seen in her and her daughters, and she gave no help to the poor or to those in need.

    Douay-Rheims Bible
    Behold this was the iniquity of Sodom thy sister, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance, and the idleness of her, and of her daughters: and they did not put forth their hand to the needy, and to the poor.

    Darby Bible Translation
    Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom: pride, fulness of bread, and careless ease was in her and in her daughters, but she did not strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

    English Revised Version
    Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom; pride, fulness of bread, and prosperous ease was in her and in her daughters; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

    Webster's Bible Translation
    Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

    World English Bible
    Behold, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: pride, fullness of bread, and prosperous ease was in her and in her daughters; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

    Young's Literal Translation
    Lo, this hath been the iniquity of Sodom thy sister, Arrogancy, fulness of bread, and quiet ease, Have been to her and to her daughters, And the hand of the afflicted and needy She hath not strengthened.



    The ideas of christianity have nothing to do with the politics of economics. In those days Caesar was in control. He taxed unfairly but you gave because by not doing so you would be put in jail which automatically makes you unable to engage in the higher service of helping others.

    Helping the poor and needy is a moral responsibility. PEOPLE are responsible. Individuals. You keep confusing monetary tax policies with private moral obligations. The people of Sodom were evil and corrupt and they selfishly did not care about others.

    Your ideas about "helping" the poor through entitlements are inherently insatiable with regards to needing to continually raise taxes in order to fulfill moral obligations until the very driving principles behind capitalism have become so eroded that you will end up with no environment conducive to individuals having reason and motivation enough to pursue their own interests.

    And I never said there should be no taxes. Many times I have indicated that I believe there should be a negative tax increase for the poor -- this would eliminate all the welfare bureaucracy.
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    Jan 26, 2011 5:02 PM GMT
    "Your ideas about "helping" the poor through entitlements are inherently insatiable with regards to needing to continually raise taxes in order to fulfill moral obligations until the very driving principles behind capitalism have become so eroded that you will end up with no environment conducive to individuals having reason and motivation enough to pursue their own interests."

    No, that's your own extrapolation, because of what I'm finding more and more about many Americans, you can only think in extremes.

    ...And if you what you say is true, pray tell, how has Canada managed to come out on top the way it has? icon_wink.gif

    -Doug

    PS "The ideas of christianity have nothing to do with the politics of economics."
    lol, so you're a fake christian? Your faith is to come before your politics.

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    Jan 26, 2011 5:04 PM GMT
    "The idea that a classe dangereuse threatens our polity--an undeserving poor that needs to kicked and harassed into work--is a myth that has gained currency in every era, fuelled by fear and mistrust among an insecure middle-class and fanned by governments desperate to maintain their tenuous grip on power."
    Richard Horton, 1/1/2011
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    Jan 26, 2011 5:08 PM GMT
    q1w2e3 said"The idea that a classe dangereuse threatens our polity--an undeserving poor that needs to kicked and harassed into work--is a myth that has gained currency in every era, fuelled by fear and mistrust among an insecure middle-class and fanned by governments desperate to maintain their tenuous grip on power."
    Richard Horton, 1/1/2011



    ...and of course there are just tons of jobs available for them deadbeat poor, right? Especially those mentally handicapped ones that Mock wouldn't want to hire. icon_wink.gif

    -Doug
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    Jan 26, 2011 5:13 PM GMT
    When I taught US history, and political science, a question I posed to my students was why the US has been so successful. Certainly not because of where the people came from, because we have come from everywhere. And yet those other places have been less successful than us. Same people, but less success.

    So it isn't because we were mostly English at first, or northern European, or Mediterranean, or eastern European, or African, or any one thing. So we must look elsewhere for an explanation.

    Some textbooks used to talk about our natural resources, and having access to 2 oceans, and a favorable climate. True, but that wasn't so at first, when the original 13 colonies were clinging to the forested eastern seaboard, and only later spread across the continent, not becoming a unified whole until roughly 1900.

    So what could it be? My contention is that it's a single piece of paper, our US Constitution, perhaps the greatest document in human existence. That for the first time in history fully unleashed the creative energy inside all of us, regardless of where we come from. Because it says that the people are in charge, and authority comes from us, not from appointed institutions over us.

    Yet government must be our chosen referee in this, or else we'll run rampant over each other. There has to be some mediator, over both individuals and corporate concerns, to prevent a tyranny of power, or wealth, or selfish interests, and also of mob rule.

    But I fear we are losing sight of this, and adapting an older European view of government, as being our master, and we its subjects. We forget that government exists to serve us, not we it.

    Some well-meaning Teabaggers almost see this, but are deflected by the agendas and propaganda of opportunists, like the Koch brothers and Dick Armey, and self-serving media talking heads. They almost get it right, but then pervert it with their own less-than-noble personal objectives & prejudices.

    As Benjamin Franklin is alleged to have answered, when someone asked him as he left the Constitutional Convention hall about what kind of government the delegates had chosen:

    "A Republic, if you can keep it."
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    Jan 26, 2011 5:15 PM GMT
    meninlove said "Your ideas about "helping" the poor through entitlements are inherently insatiable with regards to needing to continually raise taxes in order to fulfill moral obligations until the very driving principles behind capitalism have become so eroded that you will end up with no environment conducive to individuals having reason and motivation enough to pursue their own interests."

    No, that's your own extrapolation, because of what I'm finding more and more about many Americans, you can only think in extremes.

    ...And if you what you say is true, pray tell, how has Canada managed to come out on top the way it has? icon_wink.gif

    -Doug

    PS "The ideas of christianity have nothing to do with the politics of economics."
    lol, so you're a fake christian? Your faith is to come before your politics.



    It's impossible for any faith to be on the side of an economic policy where everyone is benefited and a winner and where there isn't preference for one at the peril of another. And since such a goal is impossible, it's best not to mix economic policy with religion very much.

    As a blatant example (which I know you'll still refuse to grasp): in order for you to take regard through economic policy for the needy and suffering in your own country you automatically have to exclude the ones suffering in other countries -- so it could be easily argued that you really are not as compassionate and caring as you would like everyone to believe you are. Do I need to remind you that if healthcare is a human right from a moral perspective, as you believe, then the whole world (every man woman and child) should be covered and not just one selfish privileged country? icon_rolleyes.gif And yet, I haven't heard you propose such a policy yet! What can I say, you must be some greedy selfish heartless person.

    Last time I checked, we're living on earth, not heaven.
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    Jan 26, 2011 5:19 PM GMT
    You'd be surprised at how many journals are solely devoted to third-world diseases, and the amount of money devoted to international health initiatives, both governmental and private.
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    Jan 26, 2011 5:20 PM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidYou'd be surprised at how many journals are solely devoted to third-world diseases, and the amount of money devoted to international health initiatives, both governmental and private.


    And that's a wonderful thing, and the way that it should be. No quarrel here!
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    Jan 26, 2011 5:25 PM GMT
    ROFL
    "As a blatant example (which I know you'll still refuse to grasp): in order for you to take regard through economic policy for the needy and suffering in your own country you automatically have to exclude the ones suffering in other countries -"

    More extremist thinking on your part.

    Here:
    from http://finance.mapsofworld.com/aid/foreign/canadian.html
    "Present status of Canadian foreign aid:
    Today, Canada holds the 13th position world-wide in terms of its foreign aid activities. Despite being an active member of international organizations such as Millennium Development Goal and signatory to the Millennium Declaration of the United Nations, Canada has yet to reach its basic goal of bringing down the total number of people living below the poverty line by the year 2015 unlike countries like Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, Denmark, Luxembourg, France, the United Kingdom, Finland, Spain and Belgium. According to the present Canadian government, Canada's annual foreign aid is on track to increase to $5 billion by 2011 &.it has also doubled aid to Africa to more than $2 billion a year.

    Canada can take action:

    * Reach the UN target of 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) by 2015 by committing to a timetable to increase aid by 12% in each of the next 3 years and by 15% thereafter.
    * Enact legislation to make "ending poverty" the exclusive goal of Canadian foreign aid in a way consistent with our human rights' obligations."


    Again, everyone gives SOME not ALL. You need to practice saying that word, SOME.

    The goal is to end extreme poverty.

    -Doug
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    Jan 26, 2011 5:39 PM GMT
    meninlove saidROFL
    "As a blatant example (which I know you'll still refuse to grasp): in order for you to take regard through economic policy for the needy and suffering in your own country you automatically have to exclude the ones suffering in other countries -"

    More extremist thinking on your part.

    Here:
    from http://finance.mapsofworld.com/aid/foreign/canadian.html
    "Present status of Canadian foreign aid:
    Today, Canada holds the 13th position world-wide in terms of its foreign aid activities. Despite being an active member of international organizations such as Millennium Development Goal and signatory to the Millennium Declaration of the United Nations, Canada has yet to reach its basic goal of bringing down the total number of people living below the poverty line by the year 2015 unlike countries like Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, Denmark, Luxembourg, France, the United Kingdom, Finland, Spain and Belgium. According to the present Canadian government, Canada's annual foreign aid is on track to increase to $5 billion by 2011 &.it has also doubled aid to Africa to more than $2 billion a year.

    Canada can take action:

    * Reach the UN target of 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) by 2015 by committing to a timetable to increase aid by 12% in each of the next 3 years and by 15% thereafter.
    * Enact legislation to make "ending poverty" the exclusive goal of Canadian foreign aid in a way consistent with our human rights' obligations."


    Again, everyone gives SOME not ALL. You need to practice saying that word, SOME.

    The goal is to end extreme poverty.

    -Doug


    The fact that you remotely believe such a goal is possible is completely revealing about how actually naive and idealistic you are -- as noble as your goal is. "Extreme poverty" will and can never end. Having the goal to do as much for others as possible is a great personal goal -- but don't try to bring everyone else into something that cannot be morally satisfied.

    “Only where we ourselves are responsible for our own interests and are free to sacrifice them has our decision moral value. We are neither entitled to be unselfish at someone else's expense nor is there any merit in being unselfish if we have no choice. The members of a society who in all respects are made to do the good thing have no title to praise.”-- Friedrich August Hayek


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    Jan 26, 2011 5:43 PM GMT
    ...and yet Canada stands as complete contradiction to what you're saying.

    Your reasoning is again extreme.

    You may as well say that there will always be house fires so why bother with a fire dept because it's impossible to prevent them from ever happening.

    Or, crime will always be with us so we should just get rid of the police.


    Anyway, carry on young man, maturity will come eventually.

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    Jan 26, 2011 5:47 PM GMT
    meninlove saidAnyway, carry on young man, maturity will come eventually.

    LOL! You force me to think of the saying:

    "Children should be seen, and not heard." icon_wink.gif
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    Jan 26, 2011 5:58 PM GMT
    meninlove said...and yet Canada stands as complete contradiction to what you're saying.

    Your reasoning is again extreme.

    You may as well say that there will always be house fires so why bother with a fire dept because it's impossible to prevent them from ever happening.

    Or, crime will always be with us so we should just get rid of the police.


    Anyway, carry on young man, maturity will come eventually.



    If it helps you to feel better about your own maturity level or ability to grasp reality, the more power to you.

    The "examples" you provided of my "extreme reasoning" are certainly foolish in their own right, nevertheless completely inapplicable. But to further distill, in equivalent terms, what you are indeed saying is that at some point the growth of the police department will mean no more crime and that there an be a fire dept large enough to prevent a fire from ever happening again.

    Another Hayek quote you forced me to remember:

    “Intellects whose desires have outstripped their understanding”



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    Jan 26, 2011 6:13 PM GMT
    Interesting that an RJ member brings up a topic and expresses his thoughts. Instead of just disagreeing, he is met with abuse. Some of the abusers often demonstrate lack of logic and coherence, along with irrelevant points in their own posts, so the attacks are probably the best way they know to respond. This behavior suggests the limitations of RJ in having serious dissuasions.
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    Jan 26, 2011 6:16 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    meninlove saidAnyway, carry on young man, maturity will come eventually.

    LOL! You force me to think of the saying:

    "Children should be seen, and not heard." icon_wink.gif


    I'm sure when you taught political science you gave your students bad grades when their work or ideas didn't match up with yours. Believe me, there are some of us who just go along with the flow even though we know you're utterly wrong.
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    Jan 26, 2011 6:18 PM GMT
    socalfitness saidInteresting that an RJ member brings up a topic and expresses his thoughts. Instead of just disagreeing, he is met with abuse. Some of the abusers often demonstrate lack of logic and coherence, along with irrelevant points in their own posts, so the attacks are probably the best way they know to respond. This behavior suggests the limitations of RJ in having serious dissuasions.


    What's interesting is that I'm being accused of making "extreme" gestures, but I can't think of a more extreme position than one believing that one day "extreme poverty" (whatever the heck that means) will some day be able to be overcome in this world.

    Like, for real? Is it just complete willing blindness? It's like when I see the bumper sticker "end child poverty".

    The worst part of it all is that they want to make you believe that unless you have their specific economic policies in mind that you must be cruel and heartless and not be as interested in ending poverty as they are. Which is completely untrue.
  • TrentGrad

    Posts: 1541

    Jan 26, 2011 6:20 PM GMT
    meninloveEarth to Mock....you're completely wrong. The poor will always be with us. You can;t have rich without having poor.


    I think you're missing the point: this seems to be nothing but a troll thread, created by someone who perhaps finds himself (either currently, or historically, or both) amongst the elites.

    Greed is positioned as only something that relates to the use of or support of government social programs, thereby reducing the entire polemic to nothing but an intellectual means of sticking his thumb in the eye of those whom he disagrees with.

    He's an aesthetically beautiful lad, but not too worldly if he thinks in terms of what amounts to, in essence, pronouncing an oligarchy preferable to a democracy.

    It's the fact that he thinks in those terms, while deriding those who see the world and the role of government in a different light, that have convinced me that he's doing nothing more than trolling.

    After all, if he's serious about his point, than he is ultimately basing his understanding of "greed" on a theory, while neglecting how hypocritical (read: greedy) it is to disenfranchise the masses because he thinks they are "bitter" or "lazy."

    But the boy is clever...his description of his groups are both provocative and vague.
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    Jan 26, 2011 6:21 PM GMT
    mocktwinkie saidWhat's interesting is that I'm being accused of making "extreme" gestures, but I can't think of a more extreme position than one believing that one day "extreme poverty" (whatever the heck that means) will some day be able to be overcome in this world.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extreme_poverty
    Extreme_poverty_1981-2009.GIF
  • TrentGrad

    Posts: 1541

    Jan 26, 2011 6:24 PM GMT
    socalfitness saidInteresting that an RJ member brings up a topic and expresses his thoughts. Instead of just disagreeing, he is met with abuse. Some of the abusers often demonstrate lack of logic and coherence, along with irrelevant points in their own posts, so the attacks are probably the best way they know to respond. This behavior suggests the limitations of RJ in having serious dissuasions.


    What he did do was author a "point of view" which, for all of it's sophistication, really says "my people are the good, valuable, hardworking Americans who believe that Capitalism is king, and if you don't believe that, it's because you're bitter, lazy and greedy."

    Of course it's met with an extreme reaction from some...it's an opinion of someone who's trolling for an argument, and some people are only to happy to give it to him.

    But don't deceive yourself into believing that the "opinion" in and of itself wasn't "abusive." It was extremely abusive...perhaps you are just conditioned to excuse it because while he's trashing others, he's speaking well of you and your ilk.
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    Jan 26, 2011 6:45 PM GMT
    TrentGrad, if you think I'm declaring an oligarchy preferable to a democracy then you missed the whole point of the thread. We must have a democratic process in society, but like capitalism, it still does not prevent evil from happening and I believe that ultimately we will see America and the rest of the west go into more debt until everything collapses only for society to reform and do it again.

    Capitalism cannot continue to function properly if ever increasing taxes eventually get to the point where they cripple economic growth and erode incentive. No one knows exactly when that point comes. Those who continually want increased programs and taxes to support those programs and entitlements will forever ensure that the debt will never be reduced because they prefer security over freedom of opportunity with the ability to become a winner or end up a loser--- and this paves the way for ever increasing debt.

    The class that values a healthy environment for competition and freedom of opportunity is made up of all classes, not just those who have succeeded, as you might misinterpret.

    p.s. I changed "the democracy we love" to "the democracy that's necessary" to avoid any confusion as to whether or not I'm in favor of the democratic process.
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    Jan 26, 2011 6:49 PM GMT
    mocktwinkie said
    Art_Deco said
    meninlove saidAnyway, carry on young man, maturity will come eventually.

    LOL! You force me to think of the saying:

    "Children should be seen, and not heard." icon_wink.gif

    I'm sure when you taught political science you gave your students bad grades when their work or ideas didn't match up with yours. Believe me, there are some of us who just go along with the flow even though we know you're utterly wrong.

    My philosophy when I taught both college, and later senior high school, was that every student can earn an "A". Unlike some of my fellow professors and teachers, who established some kind of arbitrary ratio of A's, B's, C's, D's and F's, I wanted all my students to get A's.

    Anything less than an A was a failure on my part, It meant to me that I hadn't managed to teach the material adequately, and that was my goal. But neither did I compromise the integrity of the grades I gave. Either you knew the material, or you didn't. I gave no gifts.

    I think as a result, when my university conducted professor evaluations by the students, I consistently rated in the upper 5%, the highest you could get. Yet I still gave D's and C's in my courses, as I gave no easy grades. You either knew it or you didn't. But I was prepared to give everyone an A, if they could do it. And I wanted everyone to do it, a matter of personal pride to me.

    As for political philosophies, I encouraged my students to express themselves, and never penalized anyone for having views that weren't my own.

    I remember once, in senior HS political science, we were having our daily student presentation of something in the news. Three or four students did that every class period, in turn.

    And a girl spoke about a gay news item, something about gay discrimination. Suddenly one of the other students raised the Bible he always carried with him, interrupting her, and literally started thumping it, yelling Jesus hated gays, and gays were condemned to Hell by the Bible.

    I remained calm, and continued to moderate neutrally, the girl (really a young women of about 18 ) who was giving the presentation being very firm and composed. She replied to him, and put him in his place rather neatly, I thought.

    Then I polled the class for opinions, totally neutral, a "What do you think about this?" thing. Not revealing my own inner turmoil, trying to be professional.

    The hardest part was trying to hold back my tears as the entire class dumped on this idiot, and I had to intervene to defend his right to speak his mind. Now I was defending his right to say this anti-gay Christian crap.

    So yeah, tell us how I taught my classes, and how I imposed my Liberal views on my students. Never happened, my friend. Ripped me apart inside, but it never happened.
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    Jan 26, 2011 6:55 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    mocktwinkie said
    Art_Deco said
    meninlove saidAnyway, carry on young man, maturity will come eventually.

    LOL! You force me to think of the saying:

    "Children should be seen, and not heard." icon_wink.gif

    I'm sure when you taught political science you gave your students bad grades when their work or ideas didn't match up with yours. Believe me, there are some of us who just go along with the flow even though we know you're utterly wrong.

    My philosophy when I taught both college, and later senior high school, was that every student can earn an "A". Unlike some of my fellow professors and teachers, who established some kind of arbitrary ratio of A's, B's, C's, D's and F's, I wanted all my students to get A's.

    Anything less than an A was a failure on my part, It meant to me that I hadn't managed to teach the material adequately, and that was my goal. But neither did I compromise the integrity of the grades I gave. Either you knew the material, or you didn't. I gave no gifts.

    I think as a result, when my university conducted professor evaluations by the students, I consistently rated in the upper 5%, the highest you could get. Yet I still gave D's and C's in my courses, as I gave no easy grades. You either knew it or you didn't. But I was prepared to give everyone an A, if they could do it. And I wanted everyone to do it, a matter of personal pride to me.

    As for political philosophies, I encouraged my students to express themselves, and never penalized anyone for having views that weren't my own.

    I remember once, in senior HS political science, we were having our daily student presentation of something in the news. Three or four students did that every class period, in turn.

    And a girl spoke about some gay news item, something about gay discrimination. Suddenly one of the other students raised the Bible he always carried with him, and literally started thumping it, yelling Jesus hated gays, and gays were condemned to Hell by the Bible.

    I remained calm, and continued to moderate neutrally, the girl (really a young women of about 18 ) who was giving the presentation being very firm and composed. She replied to him, and put him in his place rather neatly, I thought.

    Then I polled the class for opinions, totally neutral, a "What do you think about this?" thing. Not revealing my own inner turmoil, trying to be professional.

    The hardest part was trying to hold back my tears as the entire class dumped on this idiot, and I had to intervene to defend his right to speak his mind. Now I was defending his right to say this anti-gay crap.

    So yeah, tell us how I taught my classes, and how I imposed my Liberal views on my students. Never happened, my friend. Ripped me apart inside, but it never happened.


    Well, I decided to just be daring and make an a priori judgement, maybe if nothing more than for the reaction.

    What you're describing sounds actually like you were a very good teacher. Maybe this place is just a way for you to unleash all of your ideas without having to worry if they are "neutral" or not, and I suppose that's alright. I feel though that in the process you overlook so many things that it seems a teacher of political science would be able to view in a less one-sided light.

    Even if I'm staunch in what I believe, I can fully see the opposite point of view as though it were mine and at the end of the day know what I feel is the better or lesser of two evils. I feel that somehow, you don't know how to do this, or at least haven't indicated that you do by anything you say. It's like to you, having a classically liberal view of economics is automatically inseparable from being an anti-gay bible thumping social conservative that may identify as a "republican".