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

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

Postby Rough Giraffe » Fri Jun 22, 2012 6:22 am

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

Postby Q.U. » Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:55 am

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.

A good balance of temporary subsidies and correctly placed taxes could encourage the development and growth of a more sustainable and healthy food market. The food market can be very well guided by the legislation. And once sufficient improvement is made subsidies can be slowly recalled and incentives not to use the previous means of production either banned or taxed accordingly so as to prevent them from re-emerging.

Some things shouldn't be fed to humans, but what's wrong with mechanically separated meat?

That meat by itself is not a problem. Since it provides a very valuable source of somewhat nutritious food. The problem with it is how hard it is to control and enforce most standards in it. Which is why it's so easy to bypass the standards and limits as to fat content and many other regulations with this kind of meat. A lot of the meat that litters the food market with unhealthy fastfood is MSM. Keep in mind MSM was only labelled as meat for human consumption in 1994. Which seemed to overlap with a new increase of obesity rates in the US. Now, correlation does not imply causation. But a relation between these events is likely.



Also, not gonna waste time on this silly little debate about corporations being good or evil, since I find it stupid.
But...

MetsFan wrote: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

Not for a single one of these things should corporations get the majority of the credit imho. Not to mention that not a single one of these things, except maybe for Wal-Mart, which IS basically a corporation, can only be effectively provided to the public by corporations. Unless you never heard of sustainable development.

You see if it was my post, I would credit Henry Ford and his invention of the assembly line for our supply of cars. Same with food, planes, trains and video games. Most of these are produced by big companies and corporations, that is true. But none of them have to be in any way. A family run small business can, and often does, produce any of these goods.
You see, what makes a corporation big and powerful is either capital or acute innovation. Often a mix of these two factors. Microsoft got its money through the innovative thinking of its founder, and grew to become the giant it is now. And that giant managed to lose a good deal of shares due to another man's innovative thinking, which allowed their competitor, Macintosh, to rise as well. Both of these examples were small businesses at the beginning. The problem with corporations growing too big is what you pointed out yourself. They end up making everything. Which means that it is very difficult for new innovative and small businesses to rise up and steal some production from them, due to their vicious advertising campaigns and aggressive take-over style marketing. Not to mention some corporations actively inhibit the technological development of the world in order to prevent such innovations to arise, or to hog them to themselves, in case they would undermine the corporation's current marketing model.

Companies and corporations are useful as long as one knows how to play them. They are actually very simple in operation and thus highly predictable in the general sense. They want to make profits. It's not a good or bad thing, it's just their goal. It's clearly stated. What is discouraging is that so often people who are supposed to be regulating them fail to remember what these companies are after.
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Re: Weekly discussion 19 (6/18-6/25): NYC shenanigans

Postby Riz » Fri Jun 22, 2012 7:33 pm

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