What he's saying is we need a broader range of backgrounds with direct input into the process of making laws, I agree with that. As for specific qualifications at the very least they should have some proof they're capable of critical thinking, understanding causality and the effect of long term investment and planning.
Well I can agree with that, at least in part. But you're implying that having a degree in Law does not mean they know how to think critically. If the implication is that being versed in Law means that you can debate effectively about what the law means, then it stands to reason that those who study and practice law ("Lawyers") are able to do their jobs because
they can think critically.
What kind of critical decisions are you trying to get out of congress, exactly?
Oddly enough, the Constitution is written in plain English, yet people love to interpret it in ways that are contrary to its actual meaning.
What do you mean, "And?" Assuming you agree, then your argument about laws being writ in modern English is utterly without meaning.
Let's say the Constitution makes a simple observation, such as "Water flows downhill." 100 years go by and the Supreme Court looks at that statement and says "Well yes, water does flow downhill but due to eddies and the quantum ocean of subatomic particles, it would probably be better to say that 'water flows downhill except certain very limited circumstances.'" 50 years go by and they look at it again and say "water mostly flows downhill," then 20 more years go by and the new ruling is "water flows both uphill and downhill." Then, 10 years later, the judges say that the "Uphill Water Act of 1985" is constitutional because the law has clearly been interpreted to say that water flows uphill. And when you confront them on the fact that a plain English sentence means the exact opposite of what they say it means, they cite judicial precedence.
This is how lawyers, and indeed members of congress work, and this comes from people thinking critically--outside the box, so to speak. So perhaps what we need is not so much critical thinkers as much as we need people who can think critically regarding the way the Constitution was written and how to adequately defend it.
I supposed earlier I should have been more specific; when I said "legalese" I didn't just mean "the ability to write a law." I meant "the ability to write a law and understand the effects it could have in conjunction with pre-existing laws."
Right... because man-made law is more complicated than the natural laws for any good reason.
What natural laws are we talking about here, and what do they have to do with the topic at hand?
I'm not saying that knowledge of laws isn't neccessary I'm saying that lawyers don't have the neccessary thinking processes to create effective solutions to the majority of problems. For example identity theft, the typical lawyerly response would be to add extra levels of authentication and have ID verification as often as possible. [url=http://www.ted.com/talks/david_birch_identity_without_a_name.html]
I always enjoy TED. Wonderful ideas and presentation. It would be great to see something like this implemented in America and worldwide.
So I guess my question is: What serious, deliberate changes would you make to congress to allow them to formulate critical solutions to problems such as these, and how would those changes guarantee that outcome?
So you're saying he should, I dunno, go golfing
a lot while making $400k a year?
I don't know what your definition of an "average" politician is, but there are
politicians that legitimately try to relate to the people, and then there are politicians that fake it and outright lie and make empty promises, and I understand how it can be difficult to differentiate between these two classes. In that case, you need to look at their history, their promises, their actions and their results, not their colorful speeches.
haha that's cute Ruff, you thought I was jabbing specifically at Republicans
I thought what
You have a really
strange way of interpreting the things I say.
But no the existence of a handful of politicians that can relate doesn't salvage the whole, importantly the currently allowed campaigning methods discourage that. Campaigning is advertisement, who ever has the most positive coverage wins because no one will vote for someone they've never heard of no and very few people will make the time investment to conduct background checks on the candidates.
Hahaha! That's ridiculous! Lots of people voted for Obama in 2008 without knowing anything about him. Some voted for him because he was a Democrat, some voted for him because they didn't like McCain, some voted for him because he was Black, some voted for him because he was a good speaker, and some even voted for him because of freakin' OBAMA GIRL. And if they were already sold on Obama and heard things like "Obama worked with Bill Ayers for a number of years," they'd probably make excuses for it, kinda like how they do now.
As for people conducting background checks, I think that should be a prerequisite to holding a public office in the first place, but that's just me.
Anyway: There's no "saving money" here. If someone makes a lot of profit doing whatever it is they do and the government takes what you might call the "excess," that's money they won't get to use to recycle back into their business. Do you have any evidence to suggest that an income cap of $100k would do the things you say it would?
You still can not differentiate between business accounts and personal accounts I see.
You still can not answer simple questions I see.
As for business and personal accounts, how is the government going to keep track of how much money goes into one or the other? What if he has $300k in his business account over the course of a few years, and "fixes" his salary at $100k, then uses an extra $50k to buy a new car or yacht or whatever? How would the government know he used that money for something other than his business? The government would have to spend extra resources just to make sure that money was accounted for and properly taxed. If that kind of thing happens a few thousand times, how is the government going to know about each and every single case?
The reason I think this idea of yours is ridiculous is because I can tell that you haven't thought it out, you apparently can't see what effects it would have on the nation as a whole, and the only reason you like the idea is that you believe it would "eliminate" the difference between rich and poor and make things "fairer" according to your idea of "fairness," which is that people who show more success in life are taxed according to their success, even if they start from modest beginnings and end up making millions because of that success (an amazing logical fallacy on your part if ever there was one).
I was curious as to how this whole overtime thing actually worked, so I called a relative of mine who works as an assistant administrator for one of the Holiday Inns, and it turns out that businesses don't like to give any overtime at all, and are actually more inclined to hire another person full time--although they do prefer part-timers because their hours are more flexible--than to work their current employees more than 40 hours a week
It varies by industry if that's how it works for hotels then so be it, that's not how it works in any of the local factories I know of. Some of them have been on mandatory overtime for months now, the workers only get a day off if they use their vacation days.
Are the workers unhappy to be working overtime? If so, why do they still work there? It couldn't be that there are no other places to work in our allegedly recovering economy, could it?
Yes, but those enterprises are entirely reliant on the quality of one's work and how much revenue they can generate from it. If you develop a software that fulfills a certain need and 1 million people buy it at $30 within a year, that's $30 million that can be divided up between the programmer, those who marketed it, the owner of the company and so on. If you work at home developing software and do the same thing, in all likelihood, unless you really know how to market it for the lowest cost possible, you're not going to make nearly as much.
What you cited was an example of a very specific business model and made the suggestion that that should be the standard, which it shouldn't. Could you imagine applying that to jobs in the food-service industry, the education industry (either public or private), the health care industry, the automotive industry, and so on? What practical application could you have for that except for, say, writing, programming and scientific research?
You can't fucking read, I'm saying that as an incentive companies like google will let their workers send in their work via e-mail. Not that google employees found their own work at home businesses. (google is just an example I don't remember if they're one of the companies that does this)
can't read? I'm sure I had specifically addressed that in talking about a programmer developing software from home for a company. Do me a favor and read it again.
The type of incentives you're wanting to give out typically work best in simple, low-moderate paying jobs (factories and entry level service work). Those incentives have much lower than expected effects for creative or intellectual fields, (designers and engineers). The latter are typically already paid well enough that they're not as highly interested in getting a raise or a bonus, now an extra week of vacation that would be fucking awesome.
So what? Those are jobs that need to be filled, regardless of what they pay. You just made the argument against me that businesses aren't hiring enough. If a dozen factory workers get paid $12 an hour but the factory owner could afford to hire an extra six employees by paying everyone minimum wage, are you going to blame him if he decides not to hire more people and pay his current employees $12/hr vice $7.25/hr?
The average engineer already makes a six-figure income because their skills are so specific and in high demand. I don't understand what point you're trying to make by bringing them up. Unless you're just talking about them because of all the taxes your plan would inflict upon them. In the name of "fairness," of course.
As for you specific industries, any food-service under about 3 stars should be automated out of existence as a career, there's no room for an employee to better themselves in that and it normally pays shit as well. Being a court jester in medieval Europe would be less demeaning that food service work.
Hah! Shows what you know. Court Jesters in Medieval Europe were actually highly sought-after. They were officially the only people who could break bad news to the king. They could even insult the king as part of their bit as long as they led into it, basically giving the king and his guests a "roast" style joke. Hell, Queen Elizabeth once admonished her jester for not being harsh enough
Anyway: Who the heck makes a career out of being a fry cook (etc)? Maybe you're using a different definition of "career," but in my eyes a career is something you do as a job for the rest of your workable lifespan. People like Sean Connery and Henry Mancini made careers out of what they did (the latter being deceased of course). No one makes a career out of being a fry cook (etc). It is a purely temporary job.
Furthermore, what exactly about working at McDonald's (etc) while you're in high school is demeaning? It teaches you personal responsibility and certain specific job skills (keeping a well-kept appearance, showing up on time, adjusting to a schedule, dealing with customers, and more), which a lot of people need if they're going to be a productive member of the workforce. If you're a kid, chances are you're not really qualified to hold a professional career like many adults. Most kids who get a job somewhere like McDonald's are only doing so so they can earn some personal spending money and learn to be a little more self-reliant for when they graduate from High School. After all, they're going to have to find a place to stay if they decide to move out of that box under the stairs of the corner their parent's basement. I guess I don't have to explain how all this works to you, you probably dealt with that kind of thing when you were 18 or 19, right?
Incidentally, store managers at McDonald's earn a salary and it's usually somewhere between $30k and $50k, which is what I would call modest for a chain store. Also, being at an entry-level position straight out of college or some kind of vocational school is not demeaning regardless of what that job is; no one owns the company after working there only a day. Realistically, it is important that you like what you do, but when it comes down to it a job is a job, and you're not there to have fun, you're there to fill a position and earn your pay (although there are ways you can make office work fun
and if it improves your morale, work ethic and productivity, you may find yourself being paid more or receive a bigger end-of-the-year bonus because of it).
Come to think of it, I think you're making a mistake in one of your assumptions. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to be implying that if it doesn't pay well it's a demeaning job. How exactly do you devalue a person's
worth if you pay them a lower wage?
The education industry is already considering models like Khan Academy, having recorded lessons with teacher support standing by for questions. Even for higher education online courses, taken from home are increasing in number.
Yeah, those are good programs, and they're proving to be about as effective as classroom learning--that is to say, varying degrees of success. Not that the idea doesn't have some merit; but parents would have to get more and more involved and help motivate their kids for it to be an efficient alternative.
Yet, even with all of that said, how is this in any way related to your base argument? I can't see any real correlation. Those teachers don't work from home; they go to an office with specific equipment which allows them to perform the job they've been assigned. I suppose you could make the claim that since they can work with many students over the country from a single location that it's more efficient, but you weren't making an argument about efficiency, you were making one about job incentives.
The healthcare industry is fast approaching a system where machines are the doctors hands, soon you'll be able to be operated on by a specialist in New York even if you were injured on a trip to Germany and vice versa.
You would trust emergency surgery to a surgeon hundreds of miles away operating a complicated machine by remote control? I sure as hell wouldn't. Do I even need to explain why?
Even disregarding my reservations about the idea, the doctors wouldn't operate complex surgical machinery from home
no matter how good they are, so that example is out the window.
The automotive industry is already largely automated, that is when they're not moving plants to Mexico and China to have workers work for <$1 a day.
This is completely irrelevant. We're talking about people that work from home and send the work they do to their boss (Email, cloud network, whatever) as an incentive. Even the auto industry has mechanics and technicians in the factory to inspect and verify the craftsmanship and operation of the whole process. They cannot inspect a car for defects from home. Just saying that the industry is "largely automated" doesn't mean that they've eliminated factory workers. It just means that they hire fewer workers while manufacturing their goods more efficiently.
However, I'll give you another chance to come up with a few more relevant examples if you like.
You're missing the point--most if not all small businesses operate like that. Some earn more, some earn less. Most of them, unless they're really lucky don't last more than 5 years. I'm sure there are many that make more than $100k in profit. If they make $100k one year, then branch off, hire more employees and end up doubling their profit a few years down the line, you'd be fine with taking $110k from them, which would be nothing short of punishing their success.
Yes. I see no reason to mince words regardless of how you try to spin this. No matter how successful the business, the owner would not be allowed to pay himself more than $100k a year without the tax kicking in. He would be forced to save the extra profits for down years or to reinvest them in the business.
So let me see if I have this right, according to you...
1) People at the top supply goods and services in exchange for money. They aren't allowed to be successful or they receive a very stiff penalty, and the most they can take home after taxes regardless of success is $90k; these people are referred to as parasites.
2) People at the bottom who do not work receive a government handout that comes from the aforementioned parasites. These people would not be required to contribute to society in any meaningful way, and would be free to sit around doing nothing but watching TV and browsing the internet if they so chose; these people are somehow not
It seems as if you want to punish people at the top in favor of those at the bottom. In that case, all you're doing is going from a system of natural inequality (capitalism) to a system of forced inequality (communism). This doesn't help anyone. This makes things worse. A lot worse. This kind of thing has been tried in the past, and living conditions simply do NOT improve. You might mean well, but you're throwing out ideas that are both harmful and impractical.
Well I suppose this would go back to what I was saying about how a company is actually more inclined to hire a part-timer with flexible hours than pay an employee overtime. But in addressing your argument, no it doesn't. You cannot blame a heightened unemployment rate on a company who hires according to its payroll budget. Further, you cannot blame heightened unemployment on a company that has to resort to layoffs to maintain a positive income. Changes in the market that are beyond a company's control cannot be blamed on the company for which those market fluctuations affect. If you want to start blaming companies that resort to layoffs, then what if those companies had to either lay off employees or shut down? Do you blame a company for staying open while hiring fewer employees more than you would for shutting down a factory or some such? That would be utterly ridiculous.
I'm not laying blame on A company, I'm laying blame on a trend of which many companies are a part. Further a company that is laying off workers typically doesn't have their rest of their workers working over time you don't seem to be able to keep your arguments straight here. Actually if that company is unionized the union won't allow the company to lay people off and force other workers to pick up the slack. Which is a case of the unions doing their job right.
No, a union's job is to make sure its workers receive equal representation under the law, better working conditions and market-based pay. It is not their job to force employers to hire more employees than they need or can afford. The case of a small number of factories overworking their employees and racking up a lot of overtime hours, out of literally hundreds of thousands around the country is not what I would call a "trend." I'm not saying it's good; I'm just saying that that doesn't quantify against your argument. Show me solid evidence that this is happening in more than a low percentage of factories around the country and I'll admit that I'm wrong.
No, that is a gross misrepresentation of my argument. I'm asking why we should cap income in the first place if there are already people who earn an income past $100k and people who aspire to do the same.
Because it was your contention that we should have laws that prevent people from being permitted to work past the point where they would make >$100k and therefore waste their effort; I asked why we shouldn't simply allow them to keep the money they make past that point instead of resorting to a capping tax rate and a set of laws that would ultimately restrict the workforce and award mediocrity.
Because not capping it allows for a wider income gap, which lower quality of life. I believe the constitution mentions prosperity as one of it's goals, which in the modern tongue is or includes quality of life.
You may want to brush up on what the Constitution actually says, because what you've just presented to me is a very telling sign that you don't know what you're talking about.
By allowing the existence of super rich individuals the rest of the nation suffers a lower quality of life, because people do after all compare themselves with each other.
You're making a logical fallacy of False Cause. You're effectively saying that in order for one man's quality of life to go up, another man's must invariably go down, which is wrong. If a man buys himself a yacht, no one else is negatively affected by the purchase. In fact, the man who bought the yacht has just made someone else's quality of life go up by buying
the yacht. You'd see that if you could look beyond your envy for more than five seconds.
Meanwhile, the ACTUAL parasites (either people who could otherwise work but don't and collect unemployment benefits and so on, or people who steal from those who do work because they themselves are poor) are fine, upstanding citizens to you?
Most people who could work but don't actually can't work because their are no jobs in their area or which they are qualified for. Sure some of them could work part time at McDs or something but they couldn't support themselves on such an income and would be disqualified from assistance by working so then defeating the purpose of working in the first place. Additionally we have practices like this https://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/26/busi ... .html?_r=2
Further unemployment benefits have a time limit and only people collecting are counted as unemployed. I've seen no evidence anywhere that the decline in unemployment since it's high point back in 2009/2010 was from people actually getting back to work rather than from people's benefits expiring.
Well that may be because you're not reading enough. You're only looking at the U3 ("official") unemployment rate. You should look at the U6 unemployment rate, which shows that although "real" unemployment reached a high of 17.2% late 2009, now the number is down to about 14.8%. For a comparison, it was around 8% for most of Bush's term and rose above 13% towards the end of his term. The recent drop in unemployment is not great, but it does show that people ARE getting back to work. http://portalseven.com/employment/unemp ... oYear=2012
Your view of the world is as warped as expected.
How so? All I did was properly define the term "parasite," which you used incorrectly.
Your argument is that an increased wealth gap leads to a lower standard of living, but that's not true. Our wealth gap is perhaps the highest it's been in a long time, and our standard of living is still on the rise. The UN Human Development Index ranks us 4th in the world (behind Norway and Australia and roughly tied with the Netherlands).
And the second you account for the wealth gap we go from 4th to 23rd.
So let me get this straight. You say that increased wealth gap leads to a decreased standard of living. I prove that that isn't true using a chart that clearly shows that our standard of living is high. Then you say that in order to accurately determine whether a wealth gap leads to a decreased standard of living you have to not only compare the standard of living across various countries but also adjust for the wealth gap itself? That doesn't make a lick of sense. If I tried to make a similar argument against you, you'd wonder what the hell was wrong with my head.
You're using a very obvious Strawman argument against me. What I'm saying is that we should REFORM OUR COMPENDIUM OF REGULATIONS. Right now what we have is over-regulation and overbearing regulation. Cutting back on non-safety related regulation will reduce the cost on small businesses and help create jobs. I'm not suggesting we do anything like allow people to dump toxic waste in the sewers or allow them to serve food with added chemicals or allow builders to do shoddy work to save time. I'm saying we simplify the code or eliminate certain regulations that have nothing to do with public safety.
I'm not saying that's what you want to happen, only that is what would happen.
That's ridiculous. Your argument assumes that reforming regulations amounts to arbitrarily picking which regulations are good and bad based on little more than chance
The common argument is that most regulations are put their by big corporations to benefit them, however then whimsically people believe they'll be able to just remove those bad ones and big corporations will have no influence in getting other necessary regulations removed.
First of all: Common argument? Not all regulation came from corporate lobbying. I merely pointed out that corporations sometimes try to get more
regulations passed so it's harder for smaller businesses to compete, which is a simple fact (as opposed to the "common" counter-argument that corporations want less regulation so they are free to do what they want).
Secondly, perhaps you can answer a question for me? If there is a such thing as a bad regulation and a good regulation, can you give me a single real-world example of both and why they are good or bad? Also, how would you go about getting rid of the bad one and keeping the good one?
As for your video, that convoluted mess of regulations is what I expect from lawyers. As for the individual complaints however:
*The sidewalk permit while that's a bit inflexible if he's permitted only for a specific stretch of sidewalk he's in violation for being outside of that. It doesn't matter if another government agency was told to do construction where he happened to wanted to set up tables. In the best case scenario where government offices actually communicated his permit would have been refused.
That's exactly the point. If the city was going to be doing construction there, why didn't they deny the permit? If, after approving the permit, and forcing them to move their chairs, why do they have to pay a fine
when they did everything right on their end?
*The requirement of air change is for the purpose of indoor air quality I can only assume that Chicago has some reason for demanding more fresh air, even still a properly designed system doesn't increase the load as much as he's suggesting with his reaction. Typically the exhausted air is used to temper the incoming fresh air thus saving a substantial amount of heating or cooling load so it's not like leaving your windows open in the winter or anything.
But that isn't saving them anything; it's costing a lot more. As he said, most places in the country, that regulation is 10%. In Chicago it's 30%. If you're doing that year-round, your heating and cooling costs are going to be a lot more, not less.
*Charging a tax on bottled water is a great idea, the fad of drinking bottled water everywhere (especially when you could just get a glass of tap) produces a lot of extra garbage which the city has to deal with.
In my eyes, bottled water is not some huge scam like you seem to think it is. Often times tap water has a lot of chemicals added or a lot of dissolved sediment that hasn't been removed or is just poor quality in general. Water here in Guam is pretty poor quality and I've taken to either using a water purifier or getting my water from bottles at the store. Often I'll take the empty bottles home and refill them with the purified water, but I suppose that's beside the point.
I have a cousin who used to sell reverse osmosis water purifiers and went around our state testing people's water as part of his presentation. Some places, especially less-developed or rural areas, didn't even have water treatment facilities. A lot of communities pumped their water from the ground or got it from the stream and just boiled it and let it cool. A lot of places had water that was *red*; it had a lot of sulfur in it. Bottled water is simply an alternative to drinking low-quality water. It serves to improve our standard of living.
That said, I agree with you about all those bottles that get thrown away, and I would like to see some better method of recycling them, however, I disagree that a tax
is a valid means of controlling their sales. In fact, history proves that it is not. Taxes on cigarettes and alcohol haven't stopped people from smoking or drinking, so why would it stop people from buying bottled water?
*Health insurance is a national problem, everyone suffers under the current system. Also I love how he's complaining about his increase in insurance cost when he chose to have another kid, his lack of foresight has nothing to do with overbearing regulations.
Again, you bear a puzzling interpretation of his actual meaning. He complains that it's difficult to turn a profit with the sheer number of regulations and taxes affecting businesses, and that small businesses are often hit harder than larger businesses. He then explains that because he is a responsible adult with a family, he gets health insurance for his children and complains about the increase in costs of his insurance combined with the increasing costs of his business. That's not a lack of foresight, that's a legitimate complaint. Do you think he's the only small business owner with these issues to deal with?
*No, the regulations they've described did not have an equal impact on their bottom line as the tanked economy that's just silly.
Once again you've misinterpreted what they've said. They said, quote: "A slow economy and
excessive regulations have taken a toll on Istria's bottom line." They're not comparing
the two as equals, all they're saying is they both had an influence. That is most definitely not the same thing as a direct comparison.