Weekly discussion 24 (1/13/13-1/20/13): $1 trillion coin

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Re: Weekly discussion 18 (8/6-8/13): US credit rating downgraded

Postby Valhallen » Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:53 pm

Weekly discussion 19 (6/18-6/25): NYC shenanigans

As you may have heard, New York City is considering banning the sale of soft drinks over 16 ounces, with a fine to venders of $200. Sure, obesity is a problem, but what do you think about this attempt to address it? Also, in a not-strictly-related but amusing coincidence, NYC is also considering decriminalizing possession of "small" amounts of marijuana, reducing possession of up to 25 grams from a misdemeanor to a "violation" that carries a $100 fine. So then, is any of this appropriate? How many times as illegal should one be compared to the other?
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Re: Weekly discussion 19 (6/18-6/25): NYC shenanigans

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Re: Weekly discussion 19 (6/18-6/25): NYC shenanigans

Postby Valhallen » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:20 pm

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Re: Weekly discussion 19 (6/18-6/25): NYC shenanigans

Postby Q.U. » Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:28 am

Sure, obesity is a problem, but what do you think about this attempt to address it?

Market needs to be adjusted so that junk food is NEVER cheaper and more accessible than home cooked food.
Consumer culture needs to be changed through re-education, not through hard-line banning.

Well at this point they might as well just ban it. I think they missed the time to start doing something by about 30 years already.

NYC is also considering decriminalizing possession of "small" amounts of marijuana

Should just legalize and tax it. They've been prancing around the issue for decades now, constantly flirting with legalizing it but never having the guts to do it. Then they start legalizing it more and more, and making the legal system more lenient. It's a farce. The day the USA admits it loves socialism and officially supports the use of pot will be the day soccer comes out and admits it is gay.

It's a magnificent sight, to see whole nations in denial.
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Re: Weekly discussion 19 (6/18-6/25): NYC shenanigans

Postby Valhallen » Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:28 am

Q.U. wrote:Market needs to be adjusted so that junk food is NEVER cheaper and more accessible than home cooked food.
Consumer culture needs to be changed through re-education, not through hard-line banning.

Well at this point they might as well just ban it. I think they missed the time to start doing something by about 30 years already.
What kind of market adjustment do you have in mind? Cheap home-cooked food can be cheaper than fast / junk food, but adding the time and equipment it takes to prepare food at home can make it less attractive for the people who would respond most strongly to economic incentives and who now rely the most on fast food. Some kind of tax / subsidy scheme to alter costs and benefits?
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Re: Weekly discussion 19 (6/18-6/25): NYC shenanigans

Postby Q.U. » Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:16 am

I'm mostly thinking along the lines of making labour more expensive while making the raw materials and gas/electricity less expensive. I don't believe that direct subsidies are a good long-term solution in any case. Though I would support the ban on permitting to feed some products to humans. Like in the case of mechanically separated meat.
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Re: Weekly discussion 19 (6/18-6/25): NYC shenanigans

Postby Valhallen » Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:53 pm

So, increase the minimum wage (or mandate increased benefits for part time employees, say) to make fast food less appealing? How do you propose making raw materials and energy less expensive without subsidies (note that these currently enjoy subsidies)? I think that an urban planning approach is needed to address the "food deserts" where it is difficult to get healthy food, but that would rely on local authorities getting economic incentives and regulations right to encourage that in a piecemeal fashion.

Some things shouldn't be fed to humans, but what's wrong with mechanically separated meat?
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Re: Weekly discussion 19 (6/18-6/25): NYC shenanigans

Postby MetsFan » Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:45 pm

Q.U. wrote:It's a magnificent sight, to see whole nations in denial.


Astonishingly, there's not a magic lever that the mayor of NYC or the governor of NY can use to go around the state legislature or instantly soothe their less liberal colleagues.

That being said, the legalization of marijuana isn't far off. The trend of the rise of support has been nothing short of extremely reassuring, and everyday you hear more voices clamoring for the end of this new prohibition. It's not just a fringe thing anymore. Numerous states have eased their marijuana laws considerably, ordinary citizens (i.e. stay-at-home moms) are more open about their use, and more prominent politicians have been advocating its legalization. Ron Paul is a joke, but Gary Johnson? Ironman ex-governor of New Mexico who did wonders for the state?

Marijuana legalization is going to be a big issue soon.

Fuck socialism. Go corporations.
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Re: Weekly discussion 19 (6/18-6/25): NYC shenanigans

Postby NeoWarrior7 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:52 pm

Fuck corporations.
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Re: Weekly discussion 19 (6/18-6/25): NYC shenanigans

Postby MetsFan » Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:52 pm

Corporations are awesome.
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Re: Weekly discussion 19 (6/18-6/25): NYC shenanigans

Postby DaCrum » Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:54 pm

Corporations are cool, but will trample upon the common man if given the chance.
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Re: Weekly discussion 19 (6/18-6/25): NYC shenanigans

Postby NeoWarrior7 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:57 pm

Hell, they'll trample the common man if they AREN'T given a chance.
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Re: Weekly discussion 19 (6/18-6/25): NYC shenanigans

Postby MetsFan » Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:59 pm

Corporations have given the common (Westerner) man everything he could ever want and more.

cheap food
cheap cellphones
relatively cheap computers
affordable videogames
book stores
wal-mart
planes
lotsa cars
trains
relatively cheap guns
the internet
everything i could ever pirate

and so on and so forth

I am the Consumer.
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Re: Weekly discussion 19 (6/18-6/25): NYC shenanigans

Postby DaCrum » Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:15 pm

Yeah, that's all good. They'll still trample you if you let them.
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Re: Weekly discussion 19 (6/18-6/25): NYC shenanigans

Postby NeoWarrior7 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:23 pm

Doesn't mean they AREN'T totally evil.
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Re: Weekly discussion 19 (6/18-6/25): NYC shenanigans

Postby MetsFan » Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:25 pm

DaCrum wrote:Yeah, that's all good. They'll still trample you if you let them.


Give me five personal examples, either from your life or the experience of an immediate friend or relative.

NeoWarrior7 wrote:Doesn't mean they AREN'T totally evil.


Actually, it kinda does. They're a boon. Best thing that ever happened to humanity.

They also employ shitloads of people, generate vast amounts of concentrated wealth (and invest it), drive an incredible amount of scientific research, etc., etc. Especially with more and more companies moving towards the "beneficent company" model.
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Re: Weekly discussion 19 (6/18-6/25): NYC shenanigans

Postby DaCrum » Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:27 pm

Really? That's a really fucking stupid argument which I'm not going to even agree upon. Are you trying to find personal bias in me via lay testimony?
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Re: Weekly discussion 19 (6/18-6/25): NYC shenanigans

Postby NeoWarrior7 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:32 pm

Yeah, for now.

Then one day you'll wake up, and a dozen men own all the wealth, and we're all brainwashed slaves to the corporate state. Like 1984, but with corporations.

And the threat of the future is besides the downsides they already cause.

Honestly, you sound a little hopped up on the consumerist propaganda comrade. Best thing that ever happened? Try the invention of writing, or the start of the universe, or Jesus, or something reasonable. Hell, that time we figured out fire was pretty damn great.
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Re: Weekly discussion 19 (6/18-6/25): NYC shenanigans

Postby DaCrum » Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:34 pm

Best thing that ever happened to humanity.

Medicine?
Agriculture?
Cultural achievement?
You think that the corporation is the best thing to happen to humanity?

So you like bureaucracy too I'd assume? The corporation has its uses, and I will utilize it to the best of my benefit. But I refuse to let them trample me. I am the consumer, I am their god. Not their servant.
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Re: Weekly discussion 19 (6/18-6/25): NYC shenanigans

Postby MetsFan » Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:41 pm

CM:
All I'm looking for is proof that corporations trample all over anyone at any time. I thought that, given your supposed belief in the grand scale of corporate mayhem, you might be able to provide some examples from your own life.

If you can't, I'd be satisfied with some external examples, as long as they adhere to the "plight" of the common man.

NW7:
That sounds like a Hollywood movie. It's a nice story, but it's a fabrication. You're just pulling things out of your ass.

Writing's a pretty good contender, I must admit. I guess it would be safer to say corporations are the best thing to happen to modern civilization.

Consumerist propaganda? More like, advocacy of technological capitalism. Corporations are able to complete huge projects that can't really be accomplished through anything else. Ultimately, their goal isn't to control the world; it's to get rich. You can't just summarize a corporation as "evil"; they're made up of people. Executives run things to make the stockholders happy and keep their own salaries high. Managers follow executives' orders to make executives happy, making the shareholders happy, and keep their own salaries high. The common man follows managers' orders to make managers happy, making executives happy, making the shareholders happy, allowing them to make a living. Then the common man goes home and buys everything to make him happy (videogames, for me) and is able to do so because a) his corporate-paid wage and b) how cheap and accessible corporations make goods.

The notion that a dozen men will own all the world's wealth is ridiculous. The world moves too quickly and randomly for that to happen.
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Re: Weekly discussion 19 (6/18-6/25): NYC shenanigans

Postby DaCrum » Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:47 pm

Wizard: Right now, 1 percent of the US population controls around 40% of the wealth. You're saying that the world is too tumultuous to keep wealth in one hands? Yeah, you're right. Unless those wealthy and those corporations turn the rules in their favoring with favorable taxes, laws, and politicians. Which you can see very obviously in US tax code, corporate laws, the influence of corporations and other special interest groups in the past 25 years.
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Re: Weekly discussion 19 (6/18-6/25): NYC shenanigans

Postby NeoWarrior7 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:19 pm

They're run by people, that's WHY they're evil.

Evil exists only in the heart of man my friend. Also, hell and space monsters, but we'll get to those later.
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Re: Weekly discussion 19 (6/18-6/25): NYC shenanigans

Postby Valhallen » Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:13 pm

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Yo yo yo, we got the proletariat up in the hizzy. Now we got one hollain' the hegemonization of the bourgeoisie. Keep it rigorous, keep it topical, and let's rumble.
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Re: Weekly discussion 19 (6/18-6/25): NYC shenanigans

Postby Rough Giraffe » Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:43 am

CM: If I understand what you're saying, the corporations trample over everyone all the time BECAUSE the top 1% "controls" 40% of the wealth? Forgive me, but I don't understand exactly how that works. Could you explain how one is directly related to the other?

EDIT: Also, how exactly is the tax code stacked in the favor of the rich? It was my impression that over 40 million Americans pay zero taxes, and some even see a negative tax rate. Even if a rich person only pays 20% of their total income in taxes, they're still paying 20% more than 40 million people. Could I get you to expand on that?

NW7: Are you suggesting that wealthy people cannot be virtuous?
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Re: Weekly discussion 19 (6/18-6/25): NYC shenanigans

Postby Tuor » Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:09 am

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"Suddenly Frodo noticed that a strange-looking weather-beaten man, sitting in the shadows near the wall, was also listening intently to the hobbit-talk. He had a tall tankard in front of him, and was smoking a long-stemmed pipe curiously carved. His legs were stretched out before him, showing high boots of supple leather that fitted him well, but had seen much wear and were now caked with mud. A travel-stained cloak of heavy dark-green cloth was drawn close about him, and in spite of the heat of the room he wore a hood that overshadowed his face; but the gleam of his eyes could be seen as he watched the hobbits."
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