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Just 53% Say Capitalism Better Than Socialism

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posted on Nov, 3 2009 @ 12:06 PM
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I believe that if we spread the wealth, we are just propping up bad ideas. Under that idea, even if somebody is a failure or is lazy, they will still get the same amount of money as everybody else that works way harder. I just dont believe it can or will work.


How many times do I have to use the word meritocracy here?




posted on Nov, 3 2009 @ 01:20 PM
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Originally posted by The Transhumanist

I don't think we are all that far away from each other as far as being libertarian goes. Take the test on www.politicalcompass.org... Here is where I am www.politicalcompass.org...


This is where I fell on the graph in the test: results

Which was pretty surprising to me. I believe it was in the construction of the test. Many of the choices did not have satisfactory answers for me. In other words, I saw other options which I would stand for, but were not admissible in the test. Several were patently ridiculous in my mind, since I could see no reason for government involvement in them at all. Few actually touched on the topic of "liberty", and focused instead on certain fruits of liberty which have no relevance that I could ascertain.

Basically, I believe that government's role should be limited to laws, a very few laws, those which are essential to the function of a society. That role should be tightly minimized in areas of social mores and economic decisions, which are best left to the individual. Laws, and governance, should be limited to actions between individuals that result in harm to an innocent, or a person unable to defend themselves for whatever reason. In my mind, it's not government's role to tell me how to live, nor provide me with a living, it's to insure that I don't harm someone else.




Besides, if I let them get you, who would I have conversations like this with?


Good point. Same goes for you. I just don't plan on things ever escalating to that point. Martial law is a frighteningly powerful tool for bringing about order.


I believe that in America, martial law will have unintended consequences, bringing on a free for all anarchy rather than any sort of "order" it intends. Not a good thing, nor a productive thing. It may well result in the destruction of the very powers that seek to protect themselves by implimenting it.



Ballots not bullets. I will only fight if it becomes absolutely necessary to carry on my chosen way of life. I don't ever see capitalists coming to my door and putting a gun up to my head however. I guess I am just a little less bloodthirsty than some of you.


I think it may be less a matter of bloodthirst, and more a matter of differing thresholds in the things we will allow before taking action. I don't want to harm anyone, but neither will I stand Idly by forever while they harm me or mine.




What honestly makes a scientist more qualified to engineer a green economy?


If you look at the ludicrous number of czar appointees, it shows Obamas increasing dependency on technical specialists. The trend shows that it is only up from here with political decisions becoming increasingly technical. Who else besides an environmental engineer do you propose handles the environmental engineering in our country?


I think a better question is to determine whether or not a "green" economy is even necessary in the first place. So far, I've seen no hard evidence that it is, just a lot of politically motivated, emotionally fuelled rhetoric on the issue. All of the objective scientific data indicates that humans, as a race, have no power to change the course of cyclic nature on that sort of scale.

In the event that it were shown to be necessary, under NO circumstances would I entrust that sort of engineering to the mind of one "specialist".



posted on Nov, 3 2009 @ 03:04 PM
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I agree with most of your post. The test often didn't have answers that really satisfied me either and there were dozens more questions I wish it would have asked. That being said I think it is an adequate way to put things into perspective especially when your politics don't fall directly into one of the camps.

I disagree with you about martial law. I think you underestimate just how powerful our military is. This isn't a bunch of guys running around with muskets anymore. I don't think the citizens could ever really expect to take on the army, marines, air force and navy and win.




In the event that it were shown to be necessary, under NO circumstances would I entrust that sort of engineering to the mind of one "specialist".


All you have done so far is tell me who you wouldn't trust. So who would you trust? I am not advocating leaving things up to one specialist. Or even a team of specialists. I'm talking about an interdisciplinary think tank with multiple specialists from relevant fields.



posted on Nov, 3 2009 @ 05:55 PM
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Originally posted by The Transhumanist

I disagree with you about martial law. I think you underestimate just how powerful our military is. This isn't a bunch of guys running around with muskets anymore. I don't think the citizens could ever really expect to take on the army, marines, air force and navy and win.


We'll have to agree to disagree on that, then. I have a sneaky suspicion, and nothing more, that the ranks of the military, and paramilitary outfits like the police forces, would have a bit of dissention in their OWN ranks to quell before being turned loose on the populace. No telling how it will shake down in the end, but there is a window of opportunity present there for the resourceful.

There are just too many variables to make an objective prediction as to which "side" would emerge victorious. One has to factor in various parameters, such as but not limited to how many of "them" will blindly follow orders, how many will kick up a fuss over wrong-doing, how that will be handled, how long it will take to handle it, who will be left, what will the unit cohesion be like in the wake of it, raw numbers between the "establishment" forces and the "civilian" forces, available weaponry and weaponry sources, which outside powers will choose to meddle in it, and how they choose to meddle, defections from one side to the other, etc. The list goes on and on.

All any of us can really do is pick a scenario and run with it. Having seen first hand what a disturbed population can do to a military force if they're determined enough, and vice versa, I can tell you that in my opinion it all falls down to the initial conditions when it kicks off.

Nothing is EVER a "sure bet".




In the event that it were shown to be necessary, under NO circumstances would I entrust that sort of engineering to the mind of one "specialist".


All you have done so far is tell me who you wouldn't trust. So who would you trust? I am not advocating leaving things up to one specialist. Or even a team of specialists. I'm talking about an interdisciplinary think tank with multiple specialists from relevant fields.


I'm not sure that I would trust anyone, to be honest. A personal failing of mine. My main point, however, was that a determination of NEED should be rigorously undertaken before action of any sort. I've yet to see any data that supports the imminent NEED for any sort of "green economy", just a lot of emotional rambling about how SOMETHING needs to be done RIGHT NOW. I'm always suspicious of the motives of those who urge rash action before thought has a chance to take hold.

For example, I hear about nebulous claims of CO2 levels rising to make Earth uninhabitable in some ill-defined "future", if action isn't taken RIGHT NOW. Rarely is there any mention of how much higher CO2 levels have risen in Earth's past (in the neighborhood of 500% higher than now, in pre-human times), with the result that not only was all life not wiped out, but it actually flourished on a much more lush, greener planet, in a far more diverse biosphere.

Snail-darters, spotted owls, and polar bears may or may not be on the ropes, but if so, all indications are that it's part of a grander scheme, since we are in the midst of an extinction episode that has been going on for somewhere between 8,000 and 12,000 years. In comparison, the dinosaur extinction episode went on for around 20,000 years. Other extinction episodes have similar durations.

It;s just a fact of life on Earth that periodically, some species go extinct, and others take their place. This happened long before the advent of man, or the use of fossil fuels, and will likely keep occurring long after those factors are gone.

Should the necessity be conclusively proven, however, I'm with you on the interdisciplinary panel sort of set up. Not as law-makers, but rather as advisors. Furthermore, punishments for emissions will not be workable, while at the same time maintaining current "civilized" living standards, without providing alternatives to those emissions concurrently. In a carrot-and-stick approach, one needs the presence of the carrot. Liberal application of the stick without the carrot will result in massive resentment, and calamity.

Right now, socialist policies advocate coming down with the stick (in the form of cap-and-trade), but the alternative carrot, in any sort of workable form, is nowhere to be seen. Windmill farms? no one wants them in THEIR back yard, but they'll be glad to use the energy if someone else has them in THEIR back yard. Ditto for nuclear power, and any number of other suggested alternatives. Hydroelectric? don't forget the poor snail darters...

See what I mean? we are currently being presented with a no-win situation under socialist policy. Ideally, I think it may eventually boil down to individual production of their own power for each household, thus taking them off the grid entirely. That will open a whole 'nuther can of worms. The collective thinking of everyone being "on the grid", with centralized production, will be a thing of the past.

Water distribution will be somewhat more problematic, given the currently entrenched municipal systems. Rural folks will be a bit better off in that regard.

Come to think of it, collectivist/socialist thinking is already a huge part of urban life in the United States, and I harbor severe doubts as to the viability of urban environments in the future, especially if the current brand of socialist thought is allowed to proliferate.

Think of it... Rural folks produce food. They produce it in abundance here, but that's about ALL they produce. Most all other goods and services are produced in urban environments. What happens to that production if the urban environments are allowed to degenerate because of our current brand of socialism, which they like to call "progressivism".

The end product appears decidedly RE-gressive, to me.



[edit on 2009/11/3 by nenothtu]



posted on Nov, 3 2009 @ 06:50 PM
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The green economy was purely hypothetical. I think long term it would be better for the consumer if we had alternative, renewable energy and ideally as you said, everyone would be supplying power to their own homes and not relying on a power grid. I was mainly interested in who you would trust in a hypothetical situation where we needed a green economy, but you could really use almost any example.

It seems like we for the most part agree that interdisciplinary teams would be best suited to take on a task like that. I disagree that they should only be advisers however. If you reach an objective scientific consensus on how to handle a problem, why would you hand it off to a politician to screw it up? I say let the interdisciplinary team solve the problem and create the legislation.

I have mixed feelings about cap and trade. Short terms it's gonna hurt every body's wallets and for what? A solution to a problem we might not even have any control over? Oh and so Al Gore and his cronies can become fantastically rich of course. I think we need more data before we can make a decision like cap and trade.




What happens to that production if the urban environments are allowed to degenerate because of our current brand of socialism, which they like to call "progressivism".


Specifically how does progressivism lead to degeneration of urban environments?

What particular brand of socialism are you talking about?

No legitimate businesses want to set up shop in the ghetto aside from corner stores. How else do you improve the standard of living in those areas besides urban renewal projects that provide new jobs and infrastructure?



[edit on 3-11-2009 by The Transhumanist]

[edit on 3-11-2009 by The Transhumanist]



posted on Nov, 3 2009 @ 07:07 PM
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Originally posted by The Transhumanist



I believe that if we spread the wealth, we are just propping up bad ideas. Under that idea, even if somebody is a failure or is lazy, they will still get the same amount of money as everybody else that works way harder. I just dont believe it can or will work.


How many times do I have to use the word meritocracy here?


How is spreading the wealth equally between everyone[/] a meritocracy exactly? What would be their merit since it will not be money, at least not much more money than they allready are getting? Mind you, it would have to be something extremely worth while for somebody to actually go for it. Wiki's own def is a society who rewards via wealth, position, and/or status those who show talent and competence as demonstrated by past actions or by competition. Dont we allready have that here? What will be somebodies new merit? Social status? That would create an aristocracy of sorts. Position? That leads to corruption eventually (power is a hard thing to not let go to ones head). Wealth? We allready said that it wouldnt be that much higher, and even it would have limits. What would your idea be of the merit based on ones strive and ability to do better?



posted on Nov, 3 2009 @ 07:28 PM
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You would get paid more. It doesn't matter if it's not a lot more. A few extra thousand and an improvement in rank and social status is actually a pretty good motivator. Would an aristocracy really be such a bad thing? Aristocracy has a very different meaning from it's modern connotation. It actually comes from Aros = best and kratos = power. So it really means rule by the best.

And no we don't have that here. We have something more in line with a plutocracy. The people who make the most money in this country actually contribute NOTHING to the economy. All they do is move money around and they get incredible rewards for it. A real meritocracy would put the most money in the hands of those most qualified and those who do an exceptional job.

[edit on 3-11-2009 by The Transhumanist]



posted on Nov, 3 2009 @ 08:11 PM
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Originally posted by The Transhumanist
You would get paid more. It doesn't matter if it's not a lot more. A few extra thousand and an improvement in rank and social status is actually a pretty good motivator. Would an aristocracy really be such a bad thing? Aristocracy has a very different meaning from it's modern connotation. It actually comes from Aros = best and kratos = power. So it really means rule by the best.

And no we don't have that here. We have something more in line with a plutocracy. The people who make the most money in this country actually contribute NOTHING to the economy. All they do is move money around and they get incredible rewards for it. A real meritocracy would put the most money in the hands of those most qualified and those who do an exceptional job.

[edit on 3-11-2009 by The Transhumanist]


According to the CBO, the top 1% of the earners in this country paid over 25% of ALL the taxes collected in the country. Just 1% of the pop payed a quarter of our governments taxes. And you say that they contribute "NOTHING" to the economy? I guess all the people they employee are just ghosts as well? Aboritions?

www.factcheck.org...

Yes, an aristocracy would be a bad thing. How can you actually say it would be a good thing? Ill fill you in on how the world works. First, you have somebody that does a great job and gets promoted. Since that person now has power to influence who else gets promoted, usually, that person helps get his buddy a bit higher and so on. Its just the truth. You can say all you want that that wouldnt happen in a Libertarian Socialist society, but eventually, corruption would come about....just like it is here.



posted on Nov, 3 2009 @ 08:16 PM
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Originally posted by The Transhumanist

It seems like we for the most part agree that interdisciplinary teams would be best suited to take on a task like that. I disagree that they should only be advisers however. If you reach an objective scientific consensus on how to handle a problem, why would you hand it off to a politician to screw it up? I say let the interdisciplinary team solve the problem and create the legislation.


But then you have an unelected body legislating, making law for all. That would seem to be a dangerous proposal, dangerously close to a beaurocracy. Another of the gripes I have with the current system. We already have unelected, appointed, hired agencies of the government making determinations that are supposed to carry the force of law. There is neither democracy nor republicanism involved there. It's awful close to feudalism, in my estimation. Thankfully, I have no scruples against ignoring the edicts of the Manor Lords. As far as I'm concerned, "laws" passed by non-lawmakers are not laws at all, they're illegal laws, a definite dichotomy



I have mixed feelings about cap and trade. Short terms it's gonna hurt every body's wallets and for what? A solution to a problem we might not even have any control over? Oh and so Al Gore and his cronies can become fantastically rich of course. I think we need more data before we can make a decision like cap and trade.


I'm with ya, bro, I'm with ya. Nice to find the common ground.




What happens to that production if the urban environments are allowed to degenerate because of our current brand of socialism, which they like to call "progressivism".


Specifically how does progressivism lead to degeneration of urban environments?

What particular brand of socialism are you talking about?

No legitimate businesses want to set up shop in the ghetto aside from corner stores. How else do you improve the standard of living in those areas besides urban renewal projects that provide new jobs and infrastructure?



First, urban environments are not composed solely of ghettos. There's generally a whole city surrounding the ghettos. Neither are the ghettos fenced off (yet), barring the inhabitants from travelling to other areas of the city when employment calls.

The particular brand of socialism I refer to is the current incarnation, "progressivism", which, as I've already stated, I don't view as being all that progressive. It's just a different label for the same old tripe, a "re-branding", a marketing ploy.

It destroys urban environments by creating even MORE dependence on TPTB, rather than assisiting inhabitants in developing independence, a circumstance that urbanized areas is peculiarly susceptible to. What you get then is an attitude that "the government will take care of it, so I don't have to worry", which in turn breeds a complacency and stifles individual initiative. That in turn allows for the ghetto areas to creep outward, and engulf the city, which produces flight of the middle class, who take the industries with them, in an ever expanding cycle, which spirals the ghetto areas ever downward, taking their inhabitants with them, expanding the ghettos, back to square one.

Rinse, wash, repeat. And "No legitimate businesses want to set up shop in the ghetto aside from corner stores", as you observed. That's not enough to base a viable economy on.

For those reasons, Urban Renewal cannot be accomplished via massive infusions of assistance externally, from a government. It has to come from within, and that starts with the individual. Limited government assistance, in the short term, may have a place, but if that's all there is, that's all there ever will be. Hope will not take root, much less flower. This is why the socialistic "progressive" policies of the past, from before the branding term was even coined, have failed miserably. Unchanged, they will continue to fail. What was meant to be hope was supplanted by complacency that "the government will take care of it". They haven't, and they can't.



posted on Nov, 3 2009 @ 08:36 PM
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According to the CBO, the top 1% of the earners in this country paid over 25% of ALL the taxes collected in the country. Just 1% of the pop payed a quarter of our governments taxes. And you say that they contribute "NOTHING" to the economy? I guess all the people they employee are just ghosts as well? Aboritions?


You obviously aren't familiar with what contributing to the economy means. It means you are producing a good or a service. Something new enters the market. Otherwise you are just moving money around and not actually contributing to the growth of gdp.




Yes, an aristocracy would be a bad thing. How can you actually say it would be a good thing? Ill fill you in on how the world works. First, you have somebody that does a great job and gets promoted. Since that person now has power to influence who else gets promoted, usually, that person helps get his buddy a bit higher and so on. Its just the truth. You can say all you want that that wouldnt happen in a Libertarian Socialist society, but eventually, corruption would come about....just like it is here.


What is your alternative? Rule by the rich? Rule by the average? Rule by the best is the most practical method there is. Corruption can't take place when you are promoting people based on objective evidence of their efficiency. Only when subjective decisions come into play with promotions can someone elevate their buddy to a position of power.




But then you have an unelected body legislating, making law for all. That would seem to be a dangerous proposal, dangerously close to a beaurocracy. Another of the gripes I have with the current system. We already have unelected, appointed, hired agencies of the government making determinations that are supposed to carry the force of law. There is neither democracy nor republicanism involved there. It's awful close to feudalism, in my estimation. Thankfully, I have no scruples against ignoring the edicts of the Manor Lords. As far as I'm concerned, "laws" passed by non-lawmakers are not laws at all, they're illegal laws, a definite dichotomy


Democracy is the freedom to be wrong. The freedom to make subjective decisions. The scientific method is for reaching an objective understanding of problems and their solutions. I don't see why democracy has to be involved in EVERY technical decision when scientists already regulate each other through peer review.




It destroys urban environments by creating even MORE dependence on TPTB, rather than assisiting inhabitants in developing independence, a circumstance that urbanized areas is peculiarly susceptible to. What you get then is an attitude that "the government will take care of it, so I don't have to worry", which in turn breeds a complacency and stifles individual initiative. That in turn allows for the ghetto areas to creep outward, and engulf the city, which produces flight of the middle class, who take the industries with them, in an ever expanding cycle, which spirals the ghetto areas ever downward, taking their inhabitants with them, expanding the ghettos, back to square one.


None of the poor people at the homeless shelter I volunteer at in the ghetto want less help. They all need an even footing and more importantly jobs in the ghetto so that they can become independent. Without an even footing to start at, many of them are doomed to fail from the onset. How do you expect a homeless man with no higher education, dirty clothes, no interviewing skills and no formal job skills to compete with others in the job market?

Socialism is definitely not the problem that is causing the expansion of the urban poor. It is the lack of socialism and urban development that is hurting them. And it's not like the money isn't there. The idiot mayor of my city spent millions on a ferry that would go between here and Canada and it was a colossal failure. And yet not one dollar went into urban renewal. Trust me, go into the ghetto and interview the poor on what the governments involvement with the urban poor should be and I guarantee you know one will say it should keep it's nose out of the issues.




Rinse, wash, repeat. And "No legitimate businesses want to set up shop in the ghetto aside from corner stores", as you observed. That's not enough to base a viable economy on.


Exactly, spend a little tax money on urban development and you will see quite a transformation. Change comes from the bottom up remember. The trickle down theory was an abysmal failure.




For those reasons, Urban Renewal cannot be accomplished via massive infusions of assistance externally, from a government. It has to come from within, and that starts with the individual. Limited government assistance, in the short term, may have a place, but if that's all there is, that's all there ever will be. Hope will not take root, much less flower. This is why the socialistic "progressive" policies of the past, from before the branding term was even coined, have failed miserably. Unchanged, they will continue to fail. What was meant to be hope was supplanted by complacency that "the government will take care of it". They haven't, and they can't.


You are aware that welfare recipients are forced to apply for 15 jobs a week right. Sorry that's 15 different jobs that are currently hiring a week. No one is sitting on their ass and receiving state money for it and saying thank god they will always be there for me. Welfare actually provides more incentive to get employment, especially since welfare benefits are much less than a minimum wage job would provide. The only exception is those that are physically or mentally incapable of working. They receive the money either way and in MOST cases, they have legitimate problems that keep them from working.

[edit on 3-11-2009 by The Transhumanist]



posted on Nov, 3 2009 @ 09:24 PM
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Originally posted by The Transhumanist

What is your alternative? Rule by the rich? Rule by the average? Rule by the best is the most practical method there is. Corruption can't take place when you are promoting people based on objective evidence of their efficiency. Only when subjective decisions come into play with promotions can someone elevate their buddy to a position of power.



Forgive me for pointing this out, but "rule by the best" definitely appears to be at odds with the socialist ideal of rule by all.




Democracy is the freedom to be wrong. The freedom to make subjective decisions. The scientific method is for reaching an objective understanding of problems and their solutions. I don't see why democracy has to be involved in technical decision making when scientists already regulate each other through peer review.


The scientific process, and peer review as well, also incorporate the freedom to be wrong. This is shown every time a new discovery has been made, and existing theory must be changed to accommodate it, else it gets wedged in where it won't fit. SOME form of government, not necessarily a democracy, HAS to be involved, in that laws are formulated to govern the oppressed.

What you suggest here is a technocracy, an aristocracy of the technicians. I fail to see how that is any improvement over what we have now, from either the standpoint of socialism OR capitalism. There is still a ruling class ("THEM"), and an underclass ("US").



None of the poor people at the homeless shelter I volunteer at in the ghetto want less help.


Precisely my point. They've gotten used to it being done FOR them, and want MORE.



They all need an even footing and more importantly jobs in the ghetto so that they can become independent. Without an even footing to start at, many of them are doomed to fail from the onset. How do you expect a homeless man with no higher education, dirty clothes, no interviewing skills and no formal job skills to compete with others in the job market?


The same way I did. I didn't start from wealth OR priviledge. I started in a shack in Appalachia, no running water, outhouse, all that. When I went anywhere, I WALKED there. No transportation either. It wasn't like walking down to the corner, or even several blocks. I didn't have an even footing, either. Matter of fact, most of these folks here ALREADY have a decided advantage from where I started out.

Somehow, I managed to get out of there without government handouts. That shack has since burnt to the ground.



Socialism is definitely not the problem that is causing the expansion of the urban poor. It is the lack of socialism and urban development that is hurting them. Trust me, go into the ghetto and interview the poor on what the governments involvement with the urban poor should be and I guarantee you know one will say it should keep it's nose out of the issues.


Indeed it is, and it gets worse, the stronger socialism in America gets. I don't need to go into the ghetto, as I live in the edge of it now. Initially, that was by choice. I reckon you could say that I just never had the ambition to get a mansion on the hill. I never saw the rationale for it. Lest you doubt, there are members here at ATS who can verify that what I say is so, that's where I live. I interact with the inhabitants of the ghetto on a daily basis, just by going out my front door. You are quite correct in stating that none of the urban poor want the government to "butt out". Quite the contrary, as you and I have both stated, they want MORE. They've been conditioned to that, and expect it now.

It illustrates my point beautifully.




Exactly, spend a little tax money on urban development and you will see quite a transformation. Change comes from the bottom up remember. The trickle down theory was an abysmal failure.



I beg to differ. None of the tax money spent on urban development thus far has made much improvement. However, since you said "transformation" instead, I can agree with that. The transformation has not been for the better so far, and has instead been a downward spiral, taking the remains of the cities along.

True enough, trickle down never reached into the ghettos, but that wasn't a failure of the system, it was a failure of the inhabitants to grasp it. They preferred that government do the trickling, and continue to do so.





You are aware that welfare recipients are forced to apply for 15 jobs a week right. Sorry that's 15 different jobs that are currently hiring a week. No one is sitting on their ass and receiving state money for it and saying thank god they will always be there for me. Welfare actually provides more incentive to get employment, especially since welfare benefits are much less than a minimum wage job would provide. The only exception is those that are physically or mentally incapable of working. They receive the money either way and in MOST cases, they have legitimate problems that keep them from working.



Tough welfare office you've got there. I commend you for it. Here it's 3 job applications a week. The local economy wouldn't allow for 15 applications a week at this point anyhow. True enough, in some cases (not all - not around here anyhow) welfare payments are less than a minimum wage job, but then again, there's a lot less work involved in receiving it. Further, because of Section 8 housing and food stamps, in combination with the welfare checks, most recipients are doing well enough not to need to work. So they don't. They realize their needs are provided for in perpetuity, without the need to work.

15 applications a week, and they STILL can't find employment? Are those employers even really hiring? The most I'd heard of previous to this was 5 a week, and at that, most of the recipients targetted establishments that they knew weren't actually hiring. Otherwise, at 5 a week, they would have been employed in short order. Of course, the economy was in better shape back then.

[edit on 2009/11/3 by nenothtu]

[edit on 2009/11/3 by nenothtu]



posted on Nov, 3 2009 @ 09:38 PM
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Originally posted by The Transhumanist


According to the CBO, the top 1% of the earners in this country paid over 25% of ALL the taxes collected in the country. Just 1% of the pop payed a quarter of our governments taxes. And you say that they contribute "NOTHING" to the economy? I guess all the people they employee are just ghosts as well? Aboritions?


You obviously aren't familiar with what contributing to the economy means. It means you are producing a good or a service. Something new enters the market. Otherwise you are just moving money around and not actually contributing to the growth of gdp.




Yes, an aristocracy would be a bad thing. How can you actually say it would be a good thing? Ill fill you in on how the world works. First, you have somebody that does a great job and gets promoted. Since that person now has power to influence who else gets promoted, usually, that person helps get his buddy a bit higher and so on. Its just the truth. You can say all you want that that wouldnt happen in a Libertarian Socialist society, but eventually, corruption would come about....just like it is here.


What is your alternative? Rule by the rich? Rule by the average? Rule by the best is the most practical method there is. Corruption can't take place when you are promoting people based on objective evidence of their efficiency. Only when subjective decisions come into play with promotions can someone elevate their buddy to a position of power.


So now all those companys dont make anything new all year? They dont help our GDP grow every year? So if it is not the top one percent who make a majority of the jobs by owning and creating business, how does our gdp grow every year? Your logic is failing you my friend. Every new store that they open, new job they create, new invention that they come up with and produce all contributes to the economy. All of that RAISES GDP along with GDI. Is that really just moving money around? What do you call "spreading the wealth"? That isnt moving the money around? On top of all the stuff that they create, they also pay 25% of all the taxes collected which runs this country. All the people on welfare and the likes are allready having the wealth spread to them for free. And wouldnt spreading all of the GDI equally for the most part around to all of the citizens of this country contribute to inflation? What woud the dollar be worth if everybody had it equally? Essentially, there would be no real reason to even have money at all if we all had it. So why not work just for free?

My alternative would be to rule yourself. Instill morals and ethics into people from the time that they are young. Have people learn to make do with what they have. Our ancestors all did this and so can we. As far as government goes, if we have enough morals there wouldnt be as much need. Instead of just voting in people based on party lines, become informed of what they propose to do or have done in government and see if that falls in line with what you feel is right. When they get there, watch their butts like a damn hawk and make them accountable for any mishaps if and when they happen. You must put people in government that are honorable. If the people you put in are honorable then no amount of corporate bullying (lobbying lol) can touch them. If they go to DC with a sense of a mission to do right and not a sense of "How can I make this help me" then I believe that it will work out. But, as it stands, we dont have those types of people in power. I propose, if and when we are able to get those types of people in power, we make them add amendments that would limit the role of government in each of our lives.

To me, government isnt much needed like I said before. Its only really needed for emergencies like a natural disaster, time of war, police, fire, etc. THAT IS IT. I dont need somebody to tell me what kind of lightbulb I MUST use. What sense does that make? Do I know what is good for me or does the government? In your system, society itself will dictate to me what is best. I believe it is I that knows best about myself. Why do we have to be "ruled" by andybody? I dont need to be "ruled", I just want somebody there in case of an emergency that I cant handle. To me, half of the crap that congress does is just that, crap. They spend to much time making laws that are worthless. The only laws that I believe really apply to me are the Amendments and my state's laws that we the people of that state vote on. Socialism, of any sort, is having somebody else control your own life. In Libertarian Socialism, could I become a guy that just wants to travel with the money that is given to me every year? Would I have to ask permission every time I want to go somewhere like it is stated in the book "Utopia"? Would I be allowed to not work for a day when I feel like it? Or would I be punished because the community needed me to do the menial labor that they require so that cog in the wheel would keep going? Im not a cog in a sprocket. Im a human being that can choose to become the best damn artist if I want and put my mind to it or I can choose to be the biggest bum in the world (my childhood dream, honestly) and live day to day without somebody else tellin me that I must work.



posted on Nov, 3 2009 @ 11:26 PM
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reply to post by nenothtu
 


Forgive me if I don't address every paragraph individually. It is getting very tedious.




Forgive me for pointing this out, but "rule by the best" definitely appears to be at odds with the socialist ideal of rule by all.


Indeed. My ideal society would be a technocratic socialist state where the workers own the means of production and decide the "what" and interdisciplinary experts decide the "how".



I beg to differ. None of the tax money spent on urban development thus far has made much improvement. However, since you said "transformation" instead, I can agree with that. The transformation has not been for the better so far, and has instead been a downward spiral, taking the remains of the cities along.


It's entirely possible that different cities need radically different changes. As far as my city goes, there hasn't been any attempt at urban development, at least not in the poor neighborhoods for several years. There also hasn't been any more socialism, no increase in welfare for several years either. So at least in my city, your argument that socialism is leading to the expansion of poverty, really just doesn't apply. It's apathy that is causing poverty to expand in my city. The state isn't even trying.




The scientific process, and peer review as well, also incorporate the freedom to be wrong. This is shown every time a new discovery has been made, and existing theory must be changed to accommodate it, else it gets wedged in where it won't fit. SOME form of government, not necessarily a democracy, HAS to be involved, in that laws are formulated to govern the oppressed.


Science if failable because humans are failable. A question like, which alternative energy souce is the best combination of cost-effectiveness and efficiency has a definite answer. It isn't an opinion.

With the right information anyone could come up with the answer but a team of experts is likely going to come up with the answer a lot faster than a bunch of day laborers.




What you suggest here is a technocracy, an aristocracy of the technicians. I fail to see how that is any improvement over what we have now, from either the standpoint of socialism OR capitalism. There is still a ruling class ("THEM"), and an underclass ("US").


In your version of libertarianism, there would still be a ruling class as well. It would turn into a de facto plutocracy.




Precisely my point. They've gotten used to it being done FOR them, and want MORE.


That's because they can't provide for themselves without a job and even many with jobs can barely provide for their families without at least food stamps.




The same way I did. I didn't start from wealth OR priviledge. I started in a shack in Appalachia, no running water, outhouse, all that. When I went anywhere, I WALKED there. No transportation either. It wasn't like walking down to the corner, or even several blocks. I didn't have an even footing, either. Matter of fact, most of these folks here ALREADY have a decided advantage from where I started out. Somehow, I managed to get out of there without government handouts. That shack has since burnt to the ground.


That's a very heartwarming pull yourself up by your bootstraps story. To quote a local principle of a city school in a poor area "To pull yourself up by your bootstraps, you must have boots."




15 applications a week, and they STILL can't find employment? Are those employers even really hiring? The most I'd heard of previous to this was 5 a week, and at that, most of the recipients targetted establishments that they knew weren't actually hiring. Otherwise, at 5 a week, they would have been employed in short order. Of course, the economy was in better shape back then.


Yeah our welfare office is pretty harsh. Perhaps it has a right to be. I don't want so called "parasites" who aren't even attempting to look for work living off the sweat of my brow any more than you do.




So now all those companys dont make anything new all year? They dont help our GDP grow every year? So if it is not the top one percent who make a majority of the jobs by owning and creating business, how does our gdp grow every year?


I'm talking about traders and investment bankers. Trading doesn't create anything new.




My alternative would be to rule yourself. Instill morals and ethics into people from the time that they are young.


Ideally everyone would have complete autonomy by the time you become an adult. However as I stated above you would still have a ruling class of plutocrats. If you didn't like the plutocrat your buying your car from, you could always buy it from another plutocrat, but you are really just lining the pockets of the same oligopoly.




To me, government isnt much needed like I said before. Its only really needed for emergencies like a natural disaster, time of war, police, fire, etc. THAT IS IT. I dont need somebody to tell me what kind of lightbulb I MUST use. What sense does that make?


None. I'm not advocating the state micomanaging your lives down to the clothes you wear, just enough so you aren't speeding through red lights and punching people in the face.




Why do we have to be "ruled" by andybody? I dont need to be "ruled", I just want somebody there in case of an emergency that I cant handle.


Most people don't need to be ruled. I say most because the laws are there in the first place because certain people are incapable of governing themselves. It's important to note that the vast majority of violent crimes are money related and caused by disparity.




could I become a guy that just wants to travel with the money that is given to me every year? Would I have to ask permission every time I want to go somewhere like it is stated in the book "Utopia"? Would I be allowed to not work for a day when I feel like it?


I don't see why not. As long as at the end of the year you are paying your dues at least. In your libertarian society you would still have to work when you were scheduled by your employer or else you would probably lose your job. People are forced to work no matter what the context of society is. If not for the society you work at the very least for your survival.



posted on Nov, 4 2009 @ 12:28 AM
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Originally posted by The Transhumanist
It's entirely possible that different cities need radically different changes. As far as my city goes, there hasn't been any attempt at urban development, at least not in the poor neighborhoods for several years. There also hasn't been any more socialism, no increase in welfare for several years either. So at least in my city, your argument that socialism is leading to the expansion of poverty, really just doesn't apply. It's apathy that is causing poverty to expand in my city. The state isn't even trying.


There's no need for "more" socialism, as, by observation, what we already have in place is sufficient for perpetuation of the downward spiral. Be that as it may, we appear to be well on our way to getting more socialism any how.



Science if failable because humans are failable. A question like, which alternative energy souce is the best combination of cost-effectiveness and efficiency has a definite answer. It isn't an opinion.

With the right information anyone could come up with the answer but a team of experts is likely going to come up with the answer a lot faster than a bunch of day laborers.


True enough, I merely differ in thinking that technocrats have a place advising rather than legislating. The reason for that is that when they are in an advisory role, the voice of the people is still admissible. It may be that the "better" idea is not what they want. When it is forced on them anyhow, what you have is a totalitarian system, bordering on autocracy.



In your version of libertarianism, there would still be a ruling class as well. It would turn into a de facto plutocracy.


You misunderstand me. I'm of the opinion that economics, in common with religion, have no place being addressed by government. This would be in direct opposition to plutocracy, or "the rule of money". The sole role government should have in economic matters is coining money, and regulating commerce between states, and between the individual country and the remainder of the world. In plutocracy, money rules the government. I believe, to the contrary, that the government should rule the money supply, not it's use once it leaves government hands.

Of course there would be a ruling class, I've never advocated anything different. The difference is that the ruling class ought to be subject to the will of those ruled. The US used to be like that, long ago, but of late I've noticed a decided tendency for the ruling class to ignore the clamoring of the people, and do what THEY, the rulers, want regardless of the people's will. That, sir, is a recipe for disaster in an armed to the teeth country. People are now noticing that their voice doesn't count for much. No telling what will happen if it turns out that they have been so silenced as to not be able to "throw the bums out" via the ballot box.



That's because they can't provide for themselves without a job and even many with jobs can barely provide for their families without at least food stamps.


Folks somehow managed before food stamps became de rigeur, before they had the nanny state to do it for them. I'm of a mind that there may be a few individuals left who are savvy enough to figure out how to do it again, without governmental interference.



That's a very heartwarming pull yourself up by your bootstraps story. To quote a local principle of a city school in a poor area "To pull yourself up by your bootstraps, you must have boots."


My point exactly. These folks in this ghetto ALREADY HAVE better boots than I started out with, but they don't make use of them. If the state catches them doing it, there goes the free ride. They have been conditioned to failure through governmental interference.

"The Man" who is "keeping them down" is the man giving them handouts, but there has been a very artful misdirection to implicate other "The Man"s, who are for the most part unreachable.



[edit on 2009/11/4 by nenothtu]



posted on Nov, 4 2009 @ 01:45 AM
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Originally posted by The Transhumanist
That is a terrible argument. You could say the same thing about capitalism. If capitalism is so obviously the best choice, how do you explain why almost two thirds aren't head over heels in love with capitalism?


I would say partly because capitalism has been given a horrible wrap as of late.

People want to blame capitalism for the financial debacle we have, and continue to go through, rather than corrupt politicians and their lobbyiest.



Thanks for the enlightenment. While you are at it, you might want to ask the rural poor of China how much they like the free market.


It "aint" 1970 anymore... China is an industrial superpower largely due to capitalism.

It is far better off today then what it used to be, back when it was in a far more socialist state.

How is North Korea doing while we're at it?

How about the Soviet Union?

Why has India (the second fasting growing economy in the world, only behind China) embraced capitalism?


Or we could provide socialized higher education. No debt. Just taxes. If you really care about your country you wouldn't have a problem paying higher taxes so everyone and anyone can get an education, regardless of financial status.


What if I do not want the goverment in my personal finances?


With that last line, you are just putting words in my mouth. I said a person with an undesirable job should have comparable wages.


No they shouldnt. People with high paying jobs get those high paying jobs because they have drive and motivation...somthing that drives competition, and builds nation wealth. If everyone is paid equally, you effectively kill what has made america so competitive on the world stage. We will not be the nation at the forefront of research and development, along with various other categories that drive our species forward into the 21st century.

I know what your going to ask. "Why would socialism kill Americas standing in R&R?" Well, ask yourself this, if socialism was "great" then why did the "brain drain" favor the US instead of the USSR? We can tell a lot by a quick overview of history...


They would be doing the same amount of work. I am not saying give everyone a handout for sitting on their couch.


Then you are living in a fantasy world... Most people on governmental aid would prefer to stay on it rather than go out and work. Equal work does not, and should never equate to equal pay. There are certain jobs that enlist far more responsibilities on an individual than do others etc.


Furthermore, nothing is free in socialism. You pay for it with taxes.


It depends on who is paying those taxes. The people in poverty would essentially be getting a free handout whilst the "rich" pay for them.



And yet the gap between the rich and the poor only gets wider. Who is reaping the benefits of their economic growth? The capitalists and statesmen.


Whereas before, everyone was poor...They are in far better off shape than before. They are a manufacturing juggernaut. By embracing capitalism, they have lifted tens of millions of their own people out of poverty.



That is not necessarily a good thing.


How exactly is moving up the payroll ladder a bad thing?


It is easier to rise up the ladder because it is possible to exploit the working class. You could always make money by moving your factory to the third world where people will work for pennies on the dollar in worse conditions. Is it legal? Yes. Fair? Hardly.


And do you know why companys ship jobs overseas? It has to do with all our regulation and taxes... If they did not go overseas, they would not be able to compete in the globalized economy.

This is where replacing our tax code with a fairtax would come in handy.


In socialism, if you want to reach your full potential, you have to work and study harder than the next guy. Competition is still a strong driving force for the more desirable jobs.


Under socialism, there will be a lot less "desirable" jobs. In fact, I would wager that there would be a lot less job growth and a lot more poverty as a result of socialism.



I disagree. The country was founded on individualism and sacrifice. Individualism drives individual success. Altruism drives collective success. The poor wouldn't have a fighting chance in this country without altruism.


You disagree with this nation being founded on "Individual rights, Freedoms, and Liberties"?

Then you disagree with the very fabric that this nation was founded on.


[edit on 023030p://1311am by semperfoo]



posted on Nov, 4 2009 @ 05:11 PM
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reply to post by nenothtu
 





There's no need for "more" socialism, as, by observation, what we already have in place is sufficient for perpetuation of the downward spiral. Be that as it may, we appear to be well on our way to getting more socialism any how.


The only socialism that appears to be on the way is health care. Everyone should be provided free health care in this country. There is not any socialism happening in my city and yet the poor areas continue to expand so your argument doesn't really hold up. Socialist policies can not be fairly blamed as the sole cause of the downward spiral. I would argue that most aren't a cause period. You have your argument and I have mine. Neither is right. Capitalism is only right for individualists and collectivism is only right for collectivists. The only way to appease both the collective and the individual is a balance. Otherwise your bound to piss somebody off. Collectivism and Individualism are neither right nor wrong, they are just different lifestyles.




True enough, I merely differ in thinking that technocrats have a place advising rather than legislating. The reason for that is that when they are in an advisory role, the voice of the people is still admissible. It may be that the "better" idea is not what they want. When it is forced on them anyhow, what you have is a totalitarian system, bordering on autocracy.


We agree to disagree here. To restate what I said above, the people still decide the what and the technocrats decide the how. The democratic process is still there but it's not so ubiquitous that it throws a wrench in the gears.




Of course there would be a ruling class, I've never advocated anything different. The difference is that the ruling class ought to be subject to the will of those ruled.


Not true. In a mincarchist capitalist state, the majority of power would be held by individuals completely unaccountable to the state or the workers.




Folks somehow managed before food stamps became de rigeur, before they had the nanny state to do it for them.


Some did. Some starved to death and we as a nation were empathetic enough to realize it was absolutely unacceptable then and still is today.




My point exactly. These folks in this ghetto ALREADY HAVE better boots than I started out with


I really doubt that. How are they better off?




I would say partly because capitalism has been given a horrible wrap as of late.


That's because some people prefer collectivism to individualism. They aren't right or wrong it's just another way to live.




It is far better off today then what it used to be, back when it was in a far more socialist state.


For some. That doesn't justify not caring about the rest.




What if I do not want the goverment in my personal finances?


Take it up with the IRS. I'm personally fine with it as long as you don't use the roads I pay for, send your kids to the schools I pay for, fly in an airplaine, use the sewer system I pay for and as long as you make a deal with a police so that they under no circumstances will protect you or your family. Otherwise keep making everyone painfully aware of how selfish you are.




No they shouldnt. People with high paying jobs get those high paying jobs because they have drive and motivation...somthing that drives competition, and builds nation wealth.


If everyone in the nation was equally smart, ambitious and talented, many would still end up in undesirable low paying jobs because there aren't enough good jobs to go around.




How is North Korea doing while we're at it? How about the Soviet Union?


Both are examples of despotic nightmares not representative of my idea for an ideal society.

How is Denmark?

How is France?




Then you are living in a fantasy world... Most people on governmental aid would prefer to stay on it rather than go out and work.


Funny because in order to receive government aid, you must be actively applying for work.




It depends on who is paying those taxes. The people in poverty would essentially be getting a free handout whilst the "rich" pay for them.


They would still be working. Nothing would be free.




Whereas before, everyone was poor...They are in far better off shape than before. They are a manufacturing juggernaut. By embracing capitalism, they have lifted tens of millions of their own people out of poverty.


While ignoring the vast majority. How is that acceptable to you?




And do you know why companys ship jobs overseas? It has to do with all our regulation and taxes... If they did not go overseas, they would not be able to compete in the globalized economy. This is where replacing our tax code with a fairtax would come in handy.


Multinationals don't pay taxes. Gee maybe globalization isn't a good thing.




It is easier to rise up the ladder because it is possible to exploit the working class.


You still haven't responded to this.




Under socialism, there will be a lot less "desirable" jobs. In fact, I would wager that there would be a lot less job growth and a lot more poverty as a result of socialism.


I don't think your wager is worth anything. Let's see numbers.




I disagree. The country was founded on individualism and sacrifice. Individualism drives individual success. Altruism drives collective success. The poor wouldn't have a fighting chance in this country without altruism.


Here it is for you again since you didn't read it the first time.

[edit on 4-11-2009 by The Transhumanist]



posted on Nov, 4 2009 @ 06:06 PM
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I love how that statistic is most likely polled from those whom don't truly know what capitalism is. No American that is alive right now has ever experienced free market capitalism, yet they think they have and they think they know what it feels like.



posted on Nov, 4 2009 @ 06:08 PM
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No one has experienced state socialism either. I never want to experience either.



posted on Nov, 4 2009 @ 08:38 PM
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Originally posted by The Transhumanist
For some. That doesn't justify not caring about the rest.


How about practice what you preach? Use your own personal finances to aid othersl. However, do not expect others who do not fall under your line of thinking to follow your suit.



Take it up with the IRS.


Would that be the unconstitutional IRS you are referring to?


I'm personally fine with it as long as you don't use the roads I pay for,


You are a hypocrit, do not put words into my mouth. I actually endorse the fairtax. I am not against paying taxes, so long as the system is fair, and far more pro buisness. I also do not want the government meddling in my personal finances. I want to have the final say.


send your kids to the schools I pay for,


Thats fine, I am all for privatized schooling.


fly in an airplaine,


You lost me...


use the sewer system I pay


So, you would deny me the right to take a crap, but would gladly shell out the extra dough for someone who doesnt work, and lives off the government? Hypocrit.


for and as long as you make a deal with a police so that they under no circumstances will protect you or your family.


That would be fine, I have my own means of protection.


Otherwise keep making everyone painfully aware of how selfish you are.


Selfish? No. Pragmatic, yes.



Both are examples of despotic nightmares not representative of my idea for an ideal society.


"Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." - George Santayana


How is Denmark?


Ask yourself this, why do people from all around the world, prefer to come to the US instead of France and Denmark?

Surely if those places were so great, people would be flocking to get in?


How is France?


I think the famous heat wave France experienced in 2003, where 15,000 died from a mere heat wave, indicated how fragile their governmental run systems are.



Funny because in order to receive government aid, you must be actively applying for work.


There are loopholes, and the system can, and is being abused.



They would still be working. Nothing would be free.


What kind of policies would you persue to ensure stable job growth? How would you successfully keep jobs from oursourcing to successful capitalist nations?

You cannot simply create jobs out of thin air.



While ignoring the vast majority. How is that acceptable to you?


Give them credit, they have lifted over 300 million people out of poverty in a rather short period of time. Or would you prefer that 300 million of their people still lay in poverty?


"Having lifted 300 million of its own people out of poverty in less than a generation - surely one of the greatest achievements of the 20th century - China has now pledged to commit more of its considerable resources to helping us help those in desperate need elsewhere," James Morris, Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme, said in Beijing."

redcouch.typepad.com...



Multinationals don't pay taxes. Gee maybe globalization isn't a good thing.


They do pay taxes, however, they do not have the embeded costs of complying to a complicated tax code like ours. Often times, American goods are taxed twice, which makes the end product more expensive and less competitive in the global market.



You still haven't responded to this.


Why? Its your opinion. Anyone can move up in a free market driven by pure capitalism.



I don't think your wager is worth anything. Let's see numbers.


The soviet union? Nazi Germany? North Korea?

How about China? Was it working for China before they embraced capitalism?

How about this, you show me where pure socialism has worked past and present...

[edit on 093030p://0511pm by semperfoo]



posted on Nov, 4 2009 @ 09:13 PM
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Originally posted by The Transhumanist
No one has experienced state socialism either. I never want to experience either.


I will let the endless speculative rants continue...
Here is the problem I see with the argument you are presenting. You post a tribute thread to the possible future demise of capitalism, and in its place, socialism springs forward, and then make the rest of this thread about your ideal world of how you think things should be ran... I can see now that this thread is a waste of my time. You sir, should be ashamed!



[edit on 093030p://1411pm by semperfoo]




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