What the frick?!

A Free And Independent Scotland.

Moderator: Mod Squad

Re: What the frick?!

Postby Q.U. » Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:21 am

Can you name one in all of history? A real democracy, not a dictatorship with show elections; one with something comparable to the Bill of Rights.

I don't know really, there is no perfect example for such things, since it's hard to tell what you'd classify as real democracy. Still, let's think about India. Highly corrupt, elective government, constitution present, and a 3.3 on corruption index. With quickly rising remittances and a negative net migration.
It's not doing very badly, sure. But would you say that they are developing as fast as they could, in their current situation?

Sure. You'd just said that every civilization developed money.

Every civilisation ends up developing money, after growing sufficiently. That doesn't mean we haven't seen some that got conquered or went extinct before they got there.

That only applies if everything is united, and there is no internal conflict. What do you think the prospects are of uniting India/Pakistan, Israel/its neighbors, or Switzerland/anything? And how would a nation without military-like forces deal with civil unrest, piracy, and organized crime?

I don't see them uniting, at least not until they learn how to coexist.

And to answer your other question:
civil unrest - police/riot police
piracy - coast guard
organised crime - FBI
We have all of them already. And no, you're mixing ideas here, the point is not that it would take fewer cops to keep peace. It would take more. But surely less than a regular army takes. Hell, if we shoved 30% of each country's army personnel to police forces they would have been able to afford to put a cop on every corner, making the place much safer.
All I'm saying is that there would no longer be a need to keep a militarised force designed to defend against foreign aggression. And that's a huge weight off of a country's shoulders. And we know it. We've seen it. In Switzerland for instance.

Also problems of motivation and resource allocation.

Well, BR already made points about motivation (creative jobs being sufficiently rewarding without money incentives) and resource allocation (communism that provides everything to everyone equally). So I'm not bordering on those any more, since we've already discussed them once.

Theoretically, curing diseases and helping people live with disabilities should remove such things as strong drivers for natural selection. As such, genetic problems should accumulate over time as genetic drift causes breakdowns that are not immediately removed by selection. This effect should become stronger the better the social safety net works, so it's probably only been significant since modern medicine and social welfare programs came along in the last century or so. As medical technology improves, it should become stronger until the point where large scale genetic manipulation becomes practical, at which point it disappears. From then on, it's directly in our own hands. Keep in mind that nothing ends.

I agree completely. The only threat in going that way is that by being protective over people who should normally be excluded from society through natural selection will build up over time X, where X is the time we have left until we can deal with all of that through our means of control and technology. It becomes dangerous when you're taking a leap of faith about "we will get to X before our systems collapses from overbearing disabled units of our societies". Because we don't really know that. We can only hope.
This post is intended for information only. Please do not reply to this message as responses cannot be read or acknowledged due to the stupidity of the user.
Moderator

User avatar
offline
 
Posts: 3288
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:41 pm
Location: Zerus
Gender: Male

Re: What the frick?!

Postby NeoWarrior7 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:22 am

Or invest in more genetics programs.

Honestly, I can't take Ruff seriously through his blatant standard Republican rhetoric. Taxes are bad and kill jobs. Obama's a terrible person. The Democrats are always to blame. Beck isn't a greedy lying bastard. The Government is evil (Well, that's true enough when they take office...).

Honestly, the main problem is I can't take them seriously until they stop being huge dicks about everything.
Image
For the Greater Good
User avatar
offline
 
Posts: 11824
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 6:15 pm
Gender: Male

Re: What the frick?!

Postby Q.U. » Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:50 pm

And Obama was born in Kenya. Don't forget about Obama having been born in Kenya! Birthers love that.

Or invest in more genetics programs.

Yes, but then conservationists will protest that it's unethical and against god. Plus compassionate people will complain that instead of "wasting" money on questionable research we should be spending them on the poor and underprivileged.
This post is intended for information only. Please do not reply to this message as responses cannot be read or acknowledged due to the stupidity of the user.
Moderator

User avatar
offline
 
Posts: 3288
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:41 pm
Location: Zerus
Gender: Male

Re: What the frick?!

Postby BeeAre » Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:01 pm

Yes. I talk way too much. I had to do it recently because my mouth got all sore and coldy and fluy so I couldn't flap my real jaws as well so I had to ejaculate it onto all of your cyber faces. I am sorry for that (unless you're into that sort of thing, then you're welcome).

so hey, i'd love to continue the arguments about authority and anarchy and how my even bringing up dischord means i concede that it actively exists and did concede that even before the argument began so bringing it up when i am merely making the ultimate claim that our system is too skewed in the favor of competition vs cooperation is rhetorically irrelevant yet it keeps happening again and again as it i am not paying attention to it (of course i know what entropy is, my argument by referencing it must be a reference to resisting it, not beating it :{ ) and thus i want to say right here and now that i understand the practical limits of how things work and merely want to implant an idea into people's heads that perhaps just a weensy bit more in the other direction would be good and frankly i'm a huge hug fanatic gay pants unicorn, but:

I mostly agree with your points, and the parts i don't agree on merely relate to how i have contextualized the world, and since you guys won't accept any other answer except live and let live, i'll let you have it, because eventually you guys will either make the partial concession personally in the context of your relationships to others (that competition is the main thing that should be limited, vs the seeming world standard now that it is cooperation that mainly should be limited) or never make it and be FOREVER ALONE (<- funny joke ha ha);

so I would like to see Ruffdraft's response to Valhallen's response to his response to my response.
Snafu Comics' Forum Alpha Bro, Staff Writer, Editor, Image, and Keeper of the Jar Brain of Secret President. RIP Ku Ku Ku \(-^.^-)/ U Wuz A REAL N***A!!!!!!!
"We're quite aware of this. BR is no happy rainbow face man. He is simply our neighborhood best fucking poster." ~ Warbear
最後の撃は。。。切ない。Puff Most Epic.
Ladies and Gentlemen, The:
BR

User avatar
offline
 
Posts: 5644
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:06 pm
Location: Mississippi
Gender: Male

Re: What the frick?!

Postby Q.U. » Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:51 pm

Actually, BR, I'm not going to argue that we should or should not limit competition and develop more cooperation. As long as you agree that both of them, when applied in the right place and to a reasonable extent, are beneficial. You claim that in today's capitalist world we have too much competition, is that it? Well, I don't have an opinion, I really can't tell if we do or don't. So I'm actually curious as to how you arrived at that conclusion. Too many reported cases of competition gone wrong? Or is it something else?
This post is intended for information only. Please do not reply to this message as responses cannot be read or acknowledged due to the stupidity of the user.
Moderator

User avatar
offline
 
Posts: 3288
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:41 pm
Location: Zerus
Gender: Male

Re: What the frick?!

Postby BeeAre » Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:32 pm

Q.U. wrote:Actually, BR, I'm not going to argue that we should or should not limit competition and develop more cooperation. As long as you agree that both of them, when applied in the right place and to a reasonable extent, are beneficial. You claim that in today's capitalist world we have too much competition, is that it? Well, I don't have an opinion, I really can't tell if we do or don't. So I'm actually curious as to how you arrived at that conclusion. Too many reported cases of competition gone wrong? Or is it something else?


there are reported cases, and the ones that are reported have far reaching effects that negatively impact more than they positively impact, and in ways that are very classically bad for a majority and good for a select minority, but it is not so much the individual cases as the similar theme to the practices that generate the cases.

I keep writing out several examples of it, but I mean, they're anecdotes, so, I dunno, maybe a catchy song/political essay against it is a decent way to summarize a few of the exploitations of the system that are being done today with little to no accountability: http://sendables.jibjab.com/originals/big_box_mart this is an attack against Wal-Mart, of course. I don't agree with the whole thing, but the cycle of "cheap, buy it, cheap, can't avoid it, cheap, work for it" in the video is an actual thing that is happening with several different stores.

It's really easy to see then why Vladimir Lenin made a more scathing essay about the nature of capitalism being a very easy parallel to colonial imperialism: that if a company constantly evades the systems attempting to contain it, it becomes like its own nation (or religion? heh) very fast, with its own goals of expansion and conquest, if you will.

I understand the differences of course, but then there are actual companies for mercenaries like Xe (formerly Blackwater) who are ACTUAL ARMIES THAT WORK FOR HIRE. Thank God America is Rich, right?

Privatizing War is a scary thing. War at all is horrendous, but that people can CAPITALIZE not merely on the effects of it, but the act of beginning it at all, that's pretty scary to me.

The constant and sole adoration of the individual is just as dangerous as falling prey to the mindless focus of mob rule, and effectively the same issue with different names, given the conditions, method, and results.
Snafu Comics' Forum Alpha Bro, Staff Writer, Editor, Image, and Keeper of the Jar Brain of Secret President. RIP Ku Ku Ku \(-^.^-)/ U Wuz A REAL N***A!!!!!!!
"We're quite aware of this. BR is no happy rainbow face man. He is simply our neighborhood best fucking poster." ~ Warbear
最後の撃は。。。切ない。Puff Most Epic.
Ladies and Gentlemen, The:
BR

User avatar
offline
 
Posts: 5644
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:06 pm
Location: Mississippi
Gender: Male

Re: What the frick?!

Postby Rough Giraffe » Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:26 pm

BeeAre wrote:I would like to see Ruffdraft's response to Valhallen's response to his response to my response.
Working on it. In the mean time, I would like you to provide valid answers to the questions I posed earlier but that you refused to acknowledge. Also...
Valhallen wrote:
BeeAre wrote:That's why I keep bringing up this philosophical point when we go political. The ultimate or absolute weight of someone's opinion comes down to whether or not they will dare to hope for something that they believe is beneficial or not, and then, in that hope, acting to try and make that beneficial outcome come true.

Not whether they're right or wrong?
...this.
Image
A little bit Ruff around the edges
User avatar
offline
 
Posts: 1159
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:39 am
Gender: Male

Re: What the frick?!

Postby EagleMan » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:05 pm

my government reading will actually be useful for once

the pages I just read talked about regulation and such, and how the deregulation of the airline or food industries (or lack of any on the latter, like for instance the milk or grain farmers) basically screwed everything since competition killed so much

of course it also balanced it with how regulation is beneficial to businesses and sometimes isn't (since regulation can in instances make sure your opponents don't gip you with underhanded practices, but the next day you might be the one complaining for not being allowed to do something similarly dubious).
User avatar
offline
 
Posts: 13875
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2006 4:24 pm
Gender: None specified

Re: What the frick?!

Postby Q.U. » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:08 am

I keep writing out several examples of it, but I mean, they're anecdotes, so, I dunno, maybe a catchy song/political essay against it is a decent way to summarize a few of the exploitations of the system that are being done today with little to no accountability: http://sendables.jibjab.com/originals/big_box_mart this is an attack against Wal-Mart, of course. I don't agree with the whole thing, but the cycle of "cheap, buy it, cheap, can't avoid it, cheap, work for it" in the video is an actual thing that is happening with several different stores.

Oddly enough, that problem would disappear with global currency and global economy. But yes, outsourcing can lead to such situations. Which is also a reason not to increase taxes, for international companies will move their production/HQ/services to other countries where it is cheaper, in the end you're loosing jobs.

I understand the differences of course, but then there are actual companies for mercenaries like Xe (formerly Blackwater) who are ACTUAL ARMIES THAT WORK FOR HIRE. Thank God America is Rich, right?

Privatizing War is a scary thing. War at all is horrendous, but that people can CAPITALIZE not merely on the effects of it, but the act of beginning it at all, that's pretty scary to me.

I don't see how this relates to the competition issue any more. You can start up a company providing any legal service/product you want. It's not an issue of competition buy of lax laws.
Though it is a dangerous situation when private armies for hire grow large and powerful. I can easily imagine a future where the government tries to force regulations on the big banks and companies, and they suddenly fight back with hired armies. In 3 more centuries your grandpa will be telling grandkids "I lost my left arm in the war against Microsoft" or something.
This post is intended for information only. Please do not reply to this message as responses cannot be read or acknowledged due to the stupidity of the user.
Moderator

User avatar
offline
 
Posts: 3288
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:41 pm
Location: Zerus
Gender: Male

Re: What the frick?!

Postby BeeAre » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:05 am

to RD: the right and wrongness of the situation is a dubious thing to make as a singular claim, moreso for valhallen than you. if you guys want to agree on a thread-based definition, we can go from there, but my argument would include the idea that because perspective varies there would be a moral formula if you will that would involve some relationships between values both by literal trade-offs, emotional/cultural trade-offs, and the aggregate of all the major forms of those opinions as contrasted against one another. what i mean is: if we take every available or demographically identifiable opinion on earth and begin crossing out the things that contrast against one another logically and marking the compatibilities of several perspectives, i believe we won't have an ultimately empty sentence left. :\

if we then proceed to use the aggregate definitions, the compatible for "good" and the ultimately dismissed or irreconcilable positions as "bad", we can make some neat if purely speculative suppositions towards the nature of decisions being right or wrong.

As Q.U. pointed out, it's all context, so if we know every context, or can suppose the upper and lower limits of a context's range, we can generate a rubric for movement within that context.

i'm not sleeping well so let's see if i can try and make my point coherent.

my argument in that statement I made earlier is the conclusion of this moral generalizing: that the beneficial outcome IS right and not wrong because it first avoids conflicting against the methods of other 'morally' sound positions on beneficial outcomes, and second in interacting with those other 'morally' sound positions, it works to achieve them as well.

in an anecdotal example: Ebenezer Scrooge is portrayed as a dick because his 'morality' before his christmas ghost stuff both dismisses and conflicts and is irreconcilable with the morality of the other characters in the story. After his Christmas Wake The Fuck Up Alarm suddenly he takes the reverse, and this is seen as purely and completely beneficial for all involved in the presented circumstances.

This is why I cede that conditions are not the same, nor need they be: because the likelihood of the conditions being completely and utterly irreconcilable is minuscule given the beginning supposition that the two parties will try to agree at some point.

did anybody read the rest of the Ender series? The hierarchy of aliens? Roughly, The people you understand because you know them, The people to which you talk, the people to which you haven't talked yet (but can), the aliens to which you can talk, the aliens to which you cannot talk.

I'm not going to use this as an ultimately accurate scale (because I can't even tell if I'm being accurate in this particular state of mind), but it might help me explain through my. uh. haze.

in that hierarchy, communication is possible until the last step: the irreconcilable and unknowable alien. I personally believe that no person on Earth is of the last two steps, but even if I were more cynical, it would be hard to convince me that people exist on this world would go to that last step.

uh, i'm tired, maybe. well. i'll talk briefly to QU here:

do you think it's reasonable that such a war with microsoft could happen? that's pretty directly tied to the aims of competition in a company or an empire.
Snafu Comics' Forum Alpha Bro, Staff Writer, Editor, Image, and Keeper of the Jar Brain of Secret President. RIP Ku Ku Ku \(-^.^-)/ U Wuz A REAL N***A!!!!!!!
"We're quite aware of this. BR is no happy rainbow face man. He is simply our neighborhood best fucking poster." ~ Warbear
最後の撃は。。。切ない。Puff Most Epic.
Ladies and Gentlemen, The:
BR

User avatar
offline
 
Posts: 5644
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:06 pm
Location: Mississippi
Gender: Male

Re: What the frick?!

Postby Rough Giraffe » Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:57 pm

BR, I had a couple specific questions that you refused to acknowledge, and they are as follows:
RuffDraft wrote:So if someone who makes $1 billion a year who owns a competitive business [EDIT: meaning, they create jobs] donates $10 million (1% of their income) into medical research towards curing Crohn's disease, what is your opinion of that person?

What if you don't know that someone is donating money to a cause that benefits you and you bad-mouth that person? Should that person then give that money to another cause?

Suppose someone is making huge donations to your cause but he regularly employs tactics that gets other businesses to file for bankruptcy, causing thousands of people to become unemployed?

Could you answer those questions, please?
Image
A little bit Ruff around the edges
User avatar
offline
 
Posts: 1159
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:39 am
Gender: Male

Re: What the frick?!

Postby Valhallen » Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:38 pm

Unions.

Wisconsin.

Shenanigans.

Thoughts?
Moderator

User avatar
offline
 
Posts: 2720
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2007 1:34 am
Location: The Rotunda of Seclusion
Gender: Male

Re: What the frick?!

Postby Rough Giraffe » Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:17 am

Still working on my reply, VH1. It's a little difficult, being employed nearly full-time and then hanging out with friends, to get a timely reply in that isn't a two-sentence paragraph.
Image
A little bit Ruff around the edges
User avatar
offline
 
Posts: 1159
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:39 am
Gender: Male

Re: What the frick?!

Postby BeeAre » Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:20 am

i answered those questions briefly, i didn't just ignore them: irrelevant to my concerns about the rich. i seriously do not consider myself worth saving above literally everyone else. i want to be saved, and i want everyone else saved.

literally speaking, in the broadest terms, i don't care what they do with their money. it's their freedom to choose what to do with it (hahahahahaha lol) until you know it hurts other people in a really distinct way. then i might be upset.

and if found out i was benefitting from the total suffering of others i'd do what everyone else does: feel bad but do nothing significant about what had been because it would already be done. i'd certainly not try and go out of my way to affiliate myself with those organizations consciously or with any sort of cognizance ever again lol. it has happened that i have done work for local organizations who did unscrupulous things, in some kind of fundraiser in high school pocketing what i believed was too high a margin of the candy price and some student government committee in the university i went to that told a lot of people that they really didn't matter for some on campus event for which they had been out campaigning, and while i did nothing to the resources already collected, i vocally opposed and stopped my involvement with them from then on. i would have benefitted by staying on, but i left because i found their decision bad.

but its hard to stop buying from really big corporations, like say wal-mart, esp when it is one of your only options for things in the south (and it often is). so i still receive marginal benefits from some places of business that i find a bit distasteful, and that makes me sad that i can't really get out of that situation.

sooo yea

valhallen, hey! with no direct analogs to corporations or stock ownership/shareholders in a relatively simple economy, would you have a point of view/opinion on their worth from what you have as an understanding about their positives or negatives?

with regards to wisconsin, i heard from a bunch of places that the unions eventually gave into every single demand except the collective bargaining rights which is effectively the right of the unions to act as a peaceably assembled group which last i heard was uhhhhh unconstitutional or something so i am against the law passed.
Snafu Comics' Forum Alpha Bro, Staff Writer, Editor, Image, and Keeper of the Jar Brain of Secret President. RIP Ku Ku Ku \(-^.^-)/ U Wuz A REAL N***A!!!!!!!
"We're quite aware of this. BR is no happy rainbow face man. He is simply our neighborhood best fucking poster." ~ Warbear
最後の撃は。。。切ない。Puff Most Epic.
Ladies and Gentlemen, The:
BR

User avatar
offline
 
Posts: 5644
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:06 pm
Location: Mississippi
Gender: Male

Re: What the frick?!

Postby Valhallen » Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:13 am

Q.U. wrote:
Can you name one in all of history? A real democracy, not a dictatorship with show elections; one with something comparable to the Bill of Rights.
I don't know really, there is no perfect example for such things, since it's hard to tell what you'd classify as real democracy.
A democracy is a government in which much of the population runs things by popular vote, usually by electing representatives who themselves run things. The popular control is a powerful self-corrective mechanism, but it can be subverted if the leadership prevents opposition (a dictatorship with show elections) or if parts of the population are suppressed through various means (why something like the Bill of Rights that provides for freedom of religion, expression, etc. is important for a functioning democracy). I was challenging you to support your assertion about democracies by finding a functioning democracy that was less self-corrective than Caligula's Rome.

Q.U. wrote:Still, let's think about India. Highly corrupt, elective government, constitution present, and a 3.3 on corruption index. With quickly rising remittances and a negative net migration.
It's not doing very badly, sure. But would you say that they are developing as fast as they could, in their current situation?
The high emigration and remittance indicates that India is exporting workers, which means that supply exceeds domestic demand at international labor prices, not that its democracy isn't working. India's economy grew 7.2% last year, and its lowest growth rate during the financial crisis was 6.7%. Poverty is decreasing. Corruption is a problem that probably significantly harms economic growth and Indians' welfare, but that's largely a legacy of the socialist era. Efforts are underway to clean things up, and there seems to be some progress. India has a more competitive political party system than the US. You had said, "And a highly corrupt democracy is just as self-corrective as Caligulas' tyranny. I rest my case." Do you really think that India's reasonably functioning democracy is no more self-corrective than Caligula's tyranny, which continued until Caligula himself was assassinated (meaning it was replaced rather than reformed)?

Q.U. wrote:
Sure. You'd just said that every civilization developed money.
Every civilisation ends up developing money, after growing sufficiently. That doesn't mean we haven't seen some that got conquered or went extinct before they got there.
Meaning that they did not, in fact, develop money. Cultures without money exist today in some of the more remote parts of the world.

Q.U. wrote:And to answer your other question:
civil unrest - police/riot police
piracy - coast guard
organised crime - FBI
We have all of them already. And no, you're mixing ideas here, the point is not that it would take fewer cops to keep peace. It would take more. But surely less than a regular army takes. Hell, if we shoved 30% of each country's army personnel to police forces they would have been able to afford to put a cop on every corner, making the place much safer.
All I'm saying is that there would no longer be a need to keep a militarised force designed to defend against foreign aggression. And that's a huge weight off of a country's shoulders.
The US employs about a million people in law enforcement, about 2/3 the number on active military duty. Many nations have police forces comparable in size to, though somewhat less than, their active military forces. A one-world government would likely not need as many military-esque forces (though some, including intelligence services and research, would be necessary for security against domestic, if not foreign threats), but even if all current military personnel were diverted to police duty, it would be quite a ways from "a cop on every corner".

Q.U. wrote:And we know it. We've seen it. In Switzerland for instance.
Actually, Switzerland is one of the most heavily militarized countries in the world. Think Israel moved to a landlocked mountainous area, with the corresponding shift in emphasis from sea and air assets to mountain fortifications (and thus a large factor in Switzerland's smaller annual military expenditure despite universal military service similar to Israel's). Switzerland maintained neutrality through the World Wars by backing it with force, not by asking other countries nicely not to invade.

Q.U. wrote:
Theoretically, curing diseases and helping people live with disabilities should remove such things as strong drivers for natural selection. As such, genetic problems should accumulate over time as genetic drift causes breakdowns that are not immediately removed by selection. This effect should become stronger the better the social safety net works, so it's probably only been significant since modern medicine and social welfare programs came along in the last century or so. As medical technology improves, it should become stronger until the point where large scale genetic manipulation becomes practical, at which point it disappears. From then on, it's directly in our own hands. Keep in mind that nothing ends.
I agree completely. The only threat in going that way is that by being protective over people who should normally be excluded from society through natural selection
My use of "should" above indicates probabilistic prediction. Your use there indicates moral judgement. Careful with the implications.

Q.U. wrote:will build up over time X, where X is the time we have left until we can deal with all of that through our means of control and technology. It becomes dangerous when you're taking a leap of faith about "we will get to X before our systems collapses from overbearing disabled units of our societies". Because we don't really know that. We can only hope.
Trends indicate that genetic engineering should get good enough within a generation or two, so it really shouldn't be an issue at this point. Though widespread genetic engineering may have issues of its own.

BeeAre wrote:I mostly agree with your points, and the parts i don't agree on merely relate to how i have contextualized the world, and since you guys won't accept any other answer except live and let live, i'll let you have it, because eventually you guys will either make the partial concession personally in the context of your relationships to others (that competition is the main thing that should be limited, vs the seeming world standard now that it is cooperation that mainly should be limited) or never make it and be FOREVER ALONE (<- funny joke ha ha);
I'll grant that what you're talking about can be helpful in some contexts. I just don't think it's a viable replacement for the mixed economy model for the system as a whole. It's not that a given strategy should be expanded or limited overall, but that each should be used where it is most effective.

BeeAre wrote:there are reported cases, and the ones that are reported have far reaching effects that negatively impact more than they positively impact, and in ways that are very classically bad for a majority and good for a select minority, but it is not so much the individual cases as the similar theme to the practices that generate the cases.
In a mixed economy, the theoretical response to things like that is for the government to address it through regulation, whether banning those things outright or by applying economic incentives that internalize externalities.

BeeAre wrote:I keep writing out several examples of it, but I mean, they're anecdotes, so, I dunno, maybe a catchy song/political essay against it is a decent way to summarize a few of the exploitations of the system that are being done today with little to no accountability: http://sendables.jibjab.com/originals/big_box_mart this is an attack against Wal-Mart, of course. I don't agree with the whole thing, but the cycle of "cheap, buy it, cheap, can't avoid it, cheap, work for it" in the video is an actual thing that is happening with several different stores.
Fair enough, but that's only part of the story. Specialization in trade should lead to gains for both parties, as workers in China gain decent employment and the US gains cheaper goods and redirects the labor force to other things. The problem is that the shift has happened fast enough that ex-factory workers can have trouble finding work in the areas where the US labor has advantages, like high tech design and manufacturing or service.

BeeAre wrote:Privatizing War is a scary thing. War at all is horrendous, but that people can CAPITALIZE not merely on the effects of it, but the act of beginning it at all, that's pretty scary to me.
People have been profiting from war for as long as there has been war, and mercenaries date back thousands of years. So it's nothing new.

Q.U. wrote:Oddly enough, that problem would disappear with global currency and global economy. But yes, outsourcing can lead to such situations. Which is also a reason not to increase taxes, for international companies will move their production/HQ/services to other countries where it is cheaper, in the end you're loosing jobs.
Actually, that issue arose in the first place due to the globalization of the economy, and a global currency wouldn't get rid of it. Significant labor specialization would only go away if all the world reached a comparable level of development, and there would still be specialization based on resource availability. And while the US is losing manufacturing jobs, it is gaining service jobs, and China is gaining manufacturing jobs (a lot more than the US is losing). Economics is not zero-sum.

DaCrum wrote:Though it is a dangerous situation when private armies for hire grow large and powerful. I can easily imagine a future where the government tries to force regulations on the big banks and companies, and they suddenly fight back with hired armies. In 3 more centuries your grandpa will be telling grandkids "I lost my left arm in the war against Microsoft" or something.
We are... quite a ways from that. Military contractors and corporations that would hire them don't have the heavy conventional firepower, air superiority capabilities, home territory, sea power, popular support, intelligence services, or WMD stocks of national militaries. They also tend to be a few orders of magnitude smaller. For example, Blackwater had fewer than 1100 people in Iraq in 2008.

BeeAre wrote:to RD: the right and wrongness of the situation is a dubious thing to make as a singular claim, moreso for valhallen than you.
...
if we then proceed to use the aggregate definitions, the compatible for "good" and the ultimately dismissed or irreconcilable positions as "bad", we can make some neat if purely speculative suppositions towards the nature of decisions being right or wrong.
You seem to be referring to moral rightness/wrongness there, while I was referring to factual rightness/wrongness. Very different measuring sticks, though both influence policy.

BeeAre wrote:in an anecdotal example: Ebenezer Scrooge is portrayed as a dick because his 'morality' before his christmas ghost stuff both dismisses and conflicts and is irreconcilable with the morality of the other characters in the story. After his Christmas Wake The Fuck Up Alarm suddenly he takes the reverse, and this is seen as purely and completely beneficial for all involved in the presented circumstances.
That's a somewhat anachronistic interpretation of the moral. Rather, Scrooge lacked generosity; the problem wasn't a conflict with the community per se. And many of the wealthy at the time weren't very dissimilar from Scrooge anyway. That was a time without social safety nets and when being poor was considered the fault of the poor person (more so than today).

BeeAre wrote:did anybody read the rest of the Ender series? The hierarchy of aliens? Roughly, The people you understand because you know them, The people to which you talk, the people to which you haven't talked yet (but can), the aliens to which you can talk, the aliens to which you cannot talk.

I'm not going to use this as an ultimately accurate scale (because I can't even tell if I'm being accurate in this particular state of mind), but it might help me explain through my. uh. haze.

in that hierarchy, communication is possible until the last step: the irreconcilable and unknowable alien. I personally believe that no person on Earth is of the last two steps, but even if I were more cynical, it would be hard to convince me that people exist on this world would go to that last step.
No one on Earth is in the last two categories because we haven't found sufficiently intelligent nonhumans (though Koko may qualify depending on where the line is drawn). The books heavily imply that deciding to put something in the last category says more about oneself than about the alien in question. That's not the only consideration though; people don't have to be foreign to be treated badly. For example, targets of genocide are no more foreign than Utlanning, and often not even that.

BeeAre wrote:valhallen, hey! with no direct analogs to corporations or stock ownership/shareholders in a relatively simple economy, would you have a point of view/opinion on their worth from what you have as an understanding about their positives or negatives?
If the difference is the absence of just those things, Intrinsically, there may not be any advantages. It would be harder and riskier for businesses to grow and respond to changes, so it may take longer for a business to accumulate undue power, but there would probably be less turnover and less competition in general, which would enhance the concentration of power. Compared to an economy without them, an economy with corporations, stock, and shareholders would probably grow faster, respond more quickly to problems, develop technology faster, more easily take advantage of economies of scale, and due to the above have a better standard of living over the long run.

BeeAre wrote:with regards to wisconsin, i heard from a bunch of places that the unions eventually gave into every single demand except the collective bargaining rights
That happened before the Democratic Senators left the state. Walker and the Senate Republicans also wanted to remove the collective bargaining rights, and they had the votes to do so had the Democrats stayed to provide a quorum. Recently, Senate Republicans classified the removal of bargaining rights as non-fiscal to remove the quorum requirement (though their stated reasons for doing it in the first palce were that it was, and Walker made a statement after it was passed as nominally non-fiscal, that it was fiscal after all). People called shenanigans, and last I heard there are two cases against the bill making it through the system, and recall petitions have started for several people.

BeeAre wrote:which is effectively the right of the unions to act as a peaceably assembled group which last i heard was uhhhhh unconstitutional or something so i am against the law passed.
I mentioned it before, but collective bargaining with employers is not protected by freedom of assembly. Union people and their supporters have been assembling in protest throughout this process, and their ability to do so is not in question (though they were kicked out of the capitol building).
Moderator

User avatar
offline
 
Posts: 2720
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2007 1:34 am
Location: The Rotunda of Seclusion
Gender: Male

Re: What the frick?!

Postby Rough Giraffe » Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:36 am

Valhallen wrote:
RuffDraft wrote:I agree that we should dramatically cut spending and attempt to increase revenues, but increasing revenues is heavily determined by the private sector, taxes tend to discourage growth, and a raise of taxes might actually reduce revenues depending on how much money large businesses and corporations are able to make.
Consider the Clinton, Reagan, and other administrations with both higher taxes and better growth than the present.
Consider the 1930's through the 1980's, where taxes were upwards of 70% and we didn't have nearly the growth we did in the following years. We also didn't have the revenues we did before we lowered taxes below 40%.

Valhallen wrote:Sure, there should theoretically be a disincentive to growth from increasing taxes, but we seem to be quite a ways from the point where that becomes significant (also recall that taxes pay for things that greatly help growth, like functioning infrastructure). With that in mind, remember that the Laffer Curve has both an increasing and a decreasing slope. And that the far side derives from reduced incentive for investment in things subject to tax, not immediately shutting down businesses.
My major concern is what is taxed, and at the rates by which they are taxed. You're familiar with the "Death Tax," a.k.a. the Federal Estate Tax? A person dies, and their assets are taxed at death? The IRS claims that it is a tax on your right to transfer property at your death (which, if it's a right, why is it taxed? Doesn't that make it a privilege?). And then, if the "heir" can't pay the tax, they have to sell some of their property. Unless I'm mistaken, most if not all the items (a nice word that doubles as a term for both Lawyers and Gamers) the "heirs" would have to pay this tax on have already been taxed. Property tax, sales tax, income tax... and the tax includes things like cars, furniture and artwork, business property (machines, inventory, etc), investments (stocks, bonds, etc), most if not all of which have already been taxed in one form or another. Right now, the top marginal taxation on an entire estate is 35%, with the bottom being 10%.

So why does this tax exist? I'm thinking some bureaucrat in the 1930's, brainstorming on solutions to the Great Depression, came up with it on a whim, thinking it would be a great way to squeeze that much more money out of the richer population; however, this also affects the poor---those that save and invest, those that own small businesses, and those that own farms---farms, which have a lot of assets but generally very little in terms of cash; farms, which would be considered wealthy when you total their overall possessions but probably consider themselves generally poor because at any given time they have to cycle most of the money they make back into the farm. And because of the Estate Tax, supposing some mule kicks Pa in the chest, one of the family members (more'n likely the son) will be listed in the Will as having inherited it all, and will therefore have to then pay around 35% of the total value of the assets involved in the transaction; probably, in order to afford that, he'll end up having to sell a lot of what he has just so he doesn't go in the red.

And before you say this was a tangent: it was evidence to a point. When you say "we should raise taxes," you shouldn't just be looking at income tax; you should look at all the others and determine what percentage of someone's overall wealth could be taken by the government given any number of scenarios. In the above example, they've already paid income taxes, they've paid sales tax on anything they bought locally, they pay property tax on anything above a certain value (land, farm equipment, houses, barns, etc.), and now they're being forced to pay 35% of the assets on their farm; the new owner of the farm could potentially end up paying a one-time fee of more than 100% their yearly income in taxes if all the equipment they procured over the years is worth enough.

Valhallen wrote:
RuffDraft wrote:Raising taxes can increase revenues to a point, but because of the uncertainty as to the adverse consequences to raising taxes, it would probably be better to keep them where they are for now;
And what is that point? History indicates that it's quite a bit higher than present rates. Increasing just the top bracket to its Clinton-era rate should go a long way to closing the deficit, and businesses did just fine at that rate in the past. Do you think that, in order to "attempt to raise revenues," any tax rates should be increased? Which bothers you more, the deficit, or raising tax rates to what they were in the Clinton years?
Why can't both of those bother me equally?

Lemme pose something to you: Let's pretend that my income is... $5,000 a month. Let's say that I spend $2000 on rent and upkeep, $1,000 on food, soda and alcohol, and I spend $500 on recreation. And then I pay roughly 30% of my income in taxes, so about $1500. That's exactly $5,000. So my budget is exactly balanced with zero debt. Now let's say that I get a credit card with a $10K credit limit and a 20% APY interest rate. With the power of "unlimited" credit in hand, I begin to spend an extra $300 per month (doesn't matter on what). And I keep spending that, until I find out that I'm up to $9,000 in debt, and the monthly payment is about $150. And now let's say that whatever it was I was spending that extra money on can't simply be cut from my budget without worse problems. And let's also say I'm addicted to alcohol but can't admit I have a problem. And then let's say that I don't think soda costs that much so I don't need to cut it either. And food is essential to me so I'm not going to cut anything from there. And rent can't be cut, and upkeep is another essential thing so none of that changes. But let's say that I cut my recreation budget for the month down to $200. So that takes care of my extra expenditure, but now I have to worry about the interest on my debt. And then because I'm worrying about my debt and because I am an alcoholic I begin to drink more, so my alcohol expenditures increase by $200. And let's also say I'm getting fatter so my food budget increases. And then let's say that I just suddenly decide to go out more often and my recreation budget goes back up to $500. And by the time I've reached about $9900, I decide to call my bank and tell them that I need to increase my credit limit to $14,000 to cover some emergency expenses, and they give it to me--just for the sake of argument. So now I'm paying more than I ever thought I would and there's no real way for me to increase my income, and I have all these problems that I don't think are problems but there's the looming concern of my credit limit that I have just increased by an insane amount of money and I keep spending more and more, and WHERE DOES IT END?!?

It's the same way this country is being run right now. We're increasing our debt and refusing to do much about cutting spending, and pretty soon, there will be no end. This is what I'm afraid will happen if things continue to progress the way they are, and we just ignore it, thinking that these people know what they're doing and will fix it for us if we give them enough time. We can't keep being this naive.

Valhallen wrote:
RuffDraft wrote:Even if the government does some things better than the private sector, that doesn't mean they should run everything.
Except that no one was proposing that the government should.
...granted. I was actually just speaking generally, but...

Valhallen wrote:Conversely, rhetoric to the extent that the government is less efficient than the private sector full stop is popular these days (like "education, mail, health care; all of these worse in the public sector versus the private sector").
Well of course it's popular. Because it's very true. Our US Post is essentially bankrupt, while UPS and Federal Express (and others) tend to have tremendous profits. Our public education system generally sucks, while many private schools provide a very good education. Our country has some of the best private health care in the world, while many doctors refuse to accept Medicare because of the red tape and price controls.

Valhallen wrote:
RuffDraft wrote:Lastly, yes, the US economy has started to improve. The question is whether it had anything to do with the stimulus bill, which we were told would create jobs and prevent unemployment from rising.

If you look at this chart here, it seems that unemployment really started dropping since November, after the Republicans gained control of the House. What I think this means is that most businesses thought that the Republicans were going to keep taxes at their current level so they started hiring more. And while I don't have any concrete proof of this, it's an argument based in the following sequence of events:
Questionable. First, the data table there indicates that the graph is a month off (if the table is off instead, it's even further from your point). Unemployment actually went up in November, and December was in line with the preceding trend. If the tax rate makes such a difference, why was there job loss in the first place (there's a reason, and it relates to why the stimulus was needed)? Can you point to anything that the House Republicans have actually done that would explain the faster decline in unemployment in the last few months (or could it be that the economy is recovering from the recession?)? And recall this graph that I posted earlier. It indicates that the economy was shedding jobs at an ever increasing rate prior to Obama taking office, and when the stimulus passed, the job loss slowed down and reversed. Do you think that anyone expected it to immediately stop job loss?
Ayy... I suck at finding accurate sources, don't I?

Anyway, I find it hard to accept that the Stimulus did anything worth mentioning. The Stimulus was little more than a bunch of pet projects, originally written by the Apolo Alliance; it was based off faulty projections; after it passed, unemployment rose above their projections; they made very brash and dubious assumptions about the causes and effects of the projects in the bill...

In my eyes, the whole bill was nothing more than a collaborative agenda.

Valhallen wrote:
RuffDraft wrote:If "Revenues - Expenses = Profits", then businesses have to determine how to keep their profits high in order to maintain a business.
Financially, a business can operate indefinitely with zero profit, since profit exists only after operational expenses have been met. Economically, low profits provide a poor return on investment, and so encourage moving capital to more profitable ventures. This case is like refitting a sprocket factory to produce cogs when cogs become profitable enough in comparison to justify the refit. Economic activity still goes on, and taxes are still paid - it's just different than before. In the recession, businesses couldn't meet operational expenses (due to the financial system not providing loans and from decreased demand) and downsized or shut down to cut losses. That economic activity stops and provides no tax revenue.
I'll agree with that.

Valhallen wrote:
RuffDraft wrote:2009, we were looking at a debt of about $10 trillion, and as you said, the government operates by having high revenues and (at least, ideally) low expenses, so to eliminate that debt, they need to do something. And what they ended up doing was spending over four trillion dollars in just the first two years, compounding the nation's debt even further.
It was a bad situation with various unpleasant options available. In this case, money was spent to get the financial system working again and jump-start demand, at the cost of a large deficit that must be brought down once the economy improves. Alternatively, the government could have carried on as usual, not doing TARP, the stimulus, etc.
I question whether we have those exact same conditions now as we did then?

Valhallen wrote:
RuffDraft wrote:Any good businessman knows that (most) Democrats are in favor of higher taxes.
The "raise taxes bad, lower taxes good" rhetoric is simplistically misleading. For a given situation and set of goals to accomplish, there is an optimal tax structure to pay for it (as Q.U. said earlier). If tax rates are above that, taxes should be cut. If they're below that, they should be raised. In the current situation, the US is facing a large deficit and cuts to important programs. Looks like it's time to raise taxes. Any good businessman should know that slightly higher taxes and a government that works is usually preferable to keeping taxes the same while programs that maintain a good business environment are cut.

RuffDraft wrote:Short of saying outright that they intended to raise taxes, the Democrats wanted to let the Bush-era taxes expire and rise to what they were before, and the Republicans were fighting to keep them the same.
BUSH HIMSELF INTENDED THE CUTS TO EXPIRE WHEN HE SIGNED THE CUTS WITH AN EXPIRATION DATE! Do you remember when the cuts were debated, how concerns were raised that it could lead to large deficits? Because that's where we are now. "Raise taxes bad, lower taxes good," though stupid, seems to have embedded itself in the electorate somehow. A few decades of Republican rhetoric, perhaps?

Or, I dunno, maybe this. Turns out that revenues increased after Bush cut taxes, and that a substantially larger percentage of those taxes were paid by the wealthy. I notice many people who advocate raising taxes ignore that fact. Yet another reason to conclude that we do NOT have a taxation problem, but rather a spending problem. Reduce overall spending and you won't have such a huge problem.

Valhallen wrote:
RuffDraft wrote:Anyway, a little research into Soros reveals that he is a major globalist; he wants things like an international currency, and a central world government.
Did you actually read those? Because they don't support either point there. If evidence you're citing to support the conclusions that Soros wants an international currency and a central world government doesn't actually support those things, it raises serious questions about how you arrived at those conclusions. So, how did you arrive at those conclusions?
Well, first of all, I looked at more than just those few links to make my decision. The above links were the first couple that I pulled from a quick Google search. And also, you say they don't support my claim that he's a globalist, and from what I can tell, they actually do. The second one is just the author of the blog saying it's a conspiracy theory without providing any evidence that it's wrong; in fact, the thing he quotes actually helps my point.

I recall that I linked you to a thing where he said "The United States must stop resisting the orderly decline of the dollar, the coming global currency, and the new world order." From just that line, you can conclude a few things: 1) he believes that it would be in the world's best interest to devalue the dollar; 2) he anticipates a global currency, which he believes is the answer to all of our financial problems; 3) he wants a loosely-defined economic "new world order" that no one seems to know the true identity of; 4) George Soros is a loon.

Okay, that last one was my own personal opinon. But anyway... I can see that you're not going to agree with me on Soros... I'm not sure what else I can say that would make you understand why I simultaneously fear and despise him.

Valhallen wrote:
RuffDraft wrote:Lastly, I wonder if I could get you to stop watching people like Keith Olberman for news. It's not very healthy (for your mind).
And how have you reached that conclusion?
Well, Olberman is an idiot, isn't he? Wouldn't want it to spread. lol

It was more of a joke. Only those who don't like Kieth Olberman would find it funny in the slightest.

Valhallen wrote:
RuffDraft wrote:@Q.U,: I'm sorry, I don't really see you doing much (or very good) research, all I see you doing is making bad arguments and pointing out obvious things like how the Prime Minister of Malaysia forgave and apologized to Soros in person. I mean, really---Soros is a very good speaker. He sounds very reasonable most of the time. I'm sure he could convince someone that blue is red or something. Either way, the Prime Minister having a talk with Soros in person, at length, and then shaking his hand at the end is something that even I could have predicted if I had heard that the two would be meeting to discuss this.
How about, instead of just claiming that arguments are bad or "obvious" (which makes it wrong somehow?), or saying that research is insufficient, you actually explain in detail what is wrong with the argument or research? In the case of Soros and the Prime Minister of Malaysia, you had claimed that the Prime Minister's statement that Soros was bad meant that Soros was bad. It kind of matters (a lot) that he recanted the statement after the economic crisis. Unless Soros actually coerced the Prime Minister to say that, the circumstances of the meeting (which actually imply that the Prime Minister changed his mind beforehand) don't really matter.
All right, I see your point. So what exactly did Beck lie about here?

Valhallen wrote:
RuffDraft wrote:I'm not going to cover the rest of your stuff. Go ahead and believe what you will. But if it turns out the Beck is right, maybe you'll start listening to him? Yeah I know that's too much to hope for.
Q.U. just pointed out several things where it turns out that Beck is NOT right or at least unsupported. Maybe you'll start acknowledging that? Is that too much to hope for?
It's very difficult; I still don't think Beck is altogether mistaken about Soros.

Valhallen wrote:
RuffDraft wrote:@DaCrum: Valhallen agreed with me in another thread that an international currency would actually do more harm than good; more than likely it would destroy economies and create massive financial strife before being fully implemented. And then, it would be too susceptible to worldwide events; for example, if China experiences a massive natural disaster (volcano, earthquake, misdirected microwave beam from space, etc) and as a result there is famine, disease, destruction, whatever, they have to spend boatloads of money just to fix the problem and get everyone back on their feet; in this case, with the current system, only China's economy is directly affected (yes, there will be indirect effects, but those are minuscule by comparison). If that happens in the "global economy" thing, all countries are affected. Imagine if Canada were directly affected as a result of something stupid that happens in America. Is that what you want?
That's somewhat true, but local disasters have global effects already. If the US experiences economic disruption, Canada would probably be affected, as it is the US's largest trading partner, and the US and Canada have many other financial ties. One of the big problems a global currency would cause in the present economy is that it would prevent national economies from using exchange rates to rebalance things as economies change over time. That would be less of an issue if the single currency came with a single economic organization that set global economic policy, but it wouldn't go away.
I'm not sure I agree completely, but I don't really know enough about economics to really comment... I'll just say you're right and move to the next one.

Valhallen wrote:
RuffDraft wrote:Said "discourage." Taxes "discourage" growth. As an example, Norway has one of the highest taxes in the world. What have they produced in the last few decades that has been of any real use? I mean, besides the obvious gas, food, paper products and fish. The last major invention by Norway that I can find was the aerosol can in 1926 (the best invention ever being beer, by the Babylonians prior to 6000BC). And while I can't currently find a link to this statistic, I heard that about 1/3 of all medicines and vaccines in use today (more than any other country) were invented in/by the United States.
Norway has a higher GDP (PPP) per capita than the US
I see that statistic a lot from you guys. Norway's GDP per capita may be a bit higher, but what does it prove, exactly? That they have fewer impoverished people? So what? Does that mean their country is inherantly better than the US or something?

Again, so what? What does this prove to me?

Valhallen wrote:
RuffDraft wrote:My point was that in many cases the government can not provide as good or better service than the private sector. In many cases, government health care is actually worse than private health care. And that goes for education; charter schools and private schools often (not always, but often) outperform public schools. Most public schools are significantly below standards for math and reading (D.C. was the lowest that I recall, something like 12-14% of standards).
I responded to this point when you raised it earlier. Do you really think that education in the US would be better if the government left it to the private sector?
I'm almost certain you're going to say it would be a bad idea, based on the fact that private schools only account for about 10% of all schools nationwide. Certainly, with such a small number of private schools in the country, if we got rid of public education, there wouldn't be anywhere near the number of private schools we would need to educate the children.

But since you and I both love statistics so much (hah), why don't we compare the rates of graduation between private and public schools? Just under 70% with public, and just over 90% with private. And according to this, if you scroll down to "Academic Achievement in Private School vs. Public School," it remarks, "The NCES periodically administers the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) to American students in grades 4, 8, and 12. In all subject areas, private school students consistently score well above the national average."

So tell me: If all public schools were ran similar to private schools, don't you think it would make a huge difference?

Valhallen wrote:
RuffDraft wrote:However, it seems a lot of failing public schools are close to bad neighborhoods; maybe that has something to do with it. Perhaps the problem deals not only in the number of bad tenured teachers but also in the living conditions surrounding those schools. How much money would it take to clean them up?
And it seems that the children who attend private schools usually have parents who can afford to send them, with the attendant socioeconomic benefits that that implies. Perhaps this is another reason why urban renewal and programs that help the poor are important. Oh wait, that's a socialistic redistribution of wealth that interferes in the free market state of affairs, paid for largely by growth-reducing taxes on the wealthy.
No, that's redevelopment. You know, charity? Helping the poor? I'm all in favor of that. When states use their taxes to repair and urbanize cities that are largely run-down, that's fine, isn't it?

What I'm not in favor of is saying that the rich should be taxed more simply because they aren't using their money the way someone else says they should. Because not only do the rich already pay a very high amount of taxes that is already disproportional to their relative wealth in the country (top 20% has about 30-40% or so of the wealth and pays roughly 70-80% of the overall tax burden) but many of them already have to pay around 50-60% of their overall income in taxes because of all the other taxes that apply to them (income tax, corporate tax, property tax, sales tax... and I can't remember what else), many of which the poorer populace is exempt from or don't apply to (added to that, the bottom 20% in this country pay roughly 3% of the overall tax burden, and even some of those pay a negative percentile in taxes; I believe it was that the bottom 1% actually pay -3% when all is said and done).

Additionally, if someone making $50K a year is saving about 30% of what they make, that's $15K per year they save. If someone making $2M a year is doing the same thing, they're saving $600K per year. At the same time, someone making about $50K per year is currently subject to a 25% tax rate; the person making $2M is subject to a 35% tax. 25% of 50K is 12.5K, and 35% of 2000K is 700K. So the millionaire gets to keep less, percentage-wise than the Working-Class Hero.

Valhallen wrote:
RuffDraft wrote:
BeeAre wrote:and obama constantly makes the political move to work with republicans
Let me stop you there. Do you not recall on October 25th 2010, less than eight days before election day, Obama called Republicans "our enemies?" And then, on November 1st, he went back and said "I probably should have used the word 'opponents' instead." Then, after the election was won in the favor of the Republicans, on January 1st, he said "I'm willing to work with anyone of either party who's got a good idea and the commitment to see it through."

Translation: "Shit, we lost---time to put on a good face."
You seem to be placing a great deal more importance here on words than actions. Remember back when the Democrats controlled the House and had 60 in the Senate? They faced unified Republican opposition on most things both before and after "compromise" alterations to bills. After the Democrats lost their 60th Senate vote, Republicans threatened to filibuster anything that wasn't just what they wanted.
So what? Democrats do the same thing when they're at a loss. The filibuster mechanic is in place for a reason. I don't blame either parties for using a filibuster.

Valhallen wrote:Republicans have held up Obama's appointees too. So, what exactly do you think that Obama should have done in the sprit of bipartisanship?
Not refer to Republicans as enemies and then ask them to be allies.

Valhallen wrote:
RuffDraft wrote:
BeeAre wrote:and offers real numbers to programs for the cutting of spending.
Does he, now?
Seeing as how that talks about and puts numbers to cuts he proposes... yes, he does.
...and yet spending has increased. Do you not understand the problem I'm having with this?

In the above example I have about running at a deficit on a $5K budget for one month, let's say that part of my food budget includes expensive cheeses, imported from France or whatever. If I get rid of fancy cheese, and reduce the amount I spend on food from $1000 to $800, but then I triple my recreation budget (say to about $1500), by the logic you're presenting to me, I have cut spending. In the same way, Obama's budget calls for a cut to some things, but overall his spending increases to the point where his budget is $1.65 trillion in the red. I may not be the brightest guy in the world, but I can do basic math.

Valhallen wrote:Like oil subsidies, say? Or military spending?
Well on the military spending, I suppose I'm just biased... but on the oil subsidies, I agree that giving a subsidy to a very profitable enterprise is probably a dumb idea. I don't think they should be more heavily taxed; rather, I think we should eliminate tax loopholes and get them to pay the full amount they owe. And then, maybe consider lowering taxes later.

EDIT: I missed a huge chunk of the message when I was working on it; I'll make a second post with that, probably tomorrow.
Last edited by Rough Giraffe on Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Image
A little bit Ruff around the edges
User avatar
offline
 
Posts: 1159
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:39 am
Gender: Male

Re: What the frick?!

Postby BeeAre » Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:24 pm

still reading but minor note to valhallen: i thought like some people in wisconsin had been kicked out of the protests or something nm about dat, point retracted

but man ruffdraft, i am glad this is valhallen's post and not mine because a few of your articles don't really substantiate some of the claims you relate them to and you admit you don't understand the impact of GDP comparisons (in this instance specifically to Norway) despite your lengthy discussion on tax and revenue???? :\ that's awkward
Snafu Comics' Forum Alpha Bro, Staff Writer, Editor, Image, and Keeper of the Jar Brain of Secret President. RIP Ku Ku Ku \(-^.^-)/ U Wuz A REAL N***A!!!!!!!
"We're quite aware of this. BR is no happy rainbow face man. He is simply our neighborhood best fucking poster." ~ Warbear
最後の撃は。。。切ない。Puff Most Epic.
Ladies and Gentlemen, The:
BR

User avatar
offline
 
Posts: 5644
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:06 pm
Location: Mississippi
Gender: Male

Re: What the frick?!

Postby Rough Giraffe » Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:32 pm

BeeAre wrote:you admit you don't understand the impact of GDP comparisons (in this instance specifically to Norway) despite your lengthy discussion on tax and revenue???? :\ that's awkward
I am asking what it proves to me. That people in Norway are richer? That their standard of living is higher? That there are fewer poor? My question is what point you are trying to make by citing it.
Image
A little bit Ruff around the edges
User avatar
offline
 
Posts: 1159
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:39 am
Gender: Male

Re: What the frick?!

Postby Q.U. » Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:54 pm

The high emigration and remittance indicates that India is exporting workers, which means that supply exceeds domestic demand at international labor prices, not that its democracy isn't working. India's economy grew 7.2% last year, and its lowest growth rate during the financial crisis was 6.7%. Poverty is decreasing. Corruption is a problem that probably significantly harms economic growth and Indians' welfare, but that's largely a legacy of the socialist era. Efforts are underway to clean things up, and there seems to be some progress. India has a more competitive political party system than the US. You had said, "And a highly corrupt democracy is just as self-corrective as Caligulas' tyranny. I rest my case." Do you really think that India's reasonably functioning democracy is no more self-corrective than Caligula's tyranny, which continued until Caligula himself was assassinated (meaning it was replaced rather than reformed)?

That wasn't the point I was making when I said that.

Meaning that they did not, in fact, develop money. Cultures without money exist today in some of the more remote parts of the world.

True. But we do know that developing money does occur independently when a civilisation reaches a certain level of development.

The US employs about a million people in law enforcement, about 2/3 the number on active military duty. Many nations have police forces comparable in size to, though somewhat less than, their active military forces. A one-world government would likely not need as many military-esque forces (though some, including intelligence services and research, would be necessary for security against domestic, if not foreign threats), but even if all current military personnel were diverted to police duty, it would be quite a ways from "a cop on every corner".

That does not undermine my point. Expenditure on keeping other countries feeling militarily weak compared to yours can be avoided.

Actually, Switzerland is one of the most heavily militarized countries in the world. Think Israel moved to a landlocked mountainous area, with the corresponding shift in emphasis from sea and air assets to mountain fortifications (and thus a large factor in Switzerland's smaller annual military expenditure despite universal military service similar to Israel's). Switzerland maintained neutrality through the World Wars by backing it with force, not by asking other countries nicely not to invade.

Fortifications that were no better then the French, and yet they meant nothing when Hitler decided to ride over them. You cannot tell me that Switzerland wasn't invaded during WWII because of their fortifications. They weren't invaded because they were neutral and didn't pose a threat. The gain of invading them would not cover the costs for the Nazis.
Not to mention they spend a mere 0.8% of their GDP on military, it's still a good money saver.

My use of "should" above indicates probabilistic prediction. Your use there indicates moral judgement. Careful with the implications.

Then you misunderstood my response. I'm talking about natural selection, morality doesn't play a role there. And by "should normally" I mean "as happens in nature" in this context.

Trends indicate that genetic engineering should get good enough within a generation or two, so it really shouldn't be an issue at this point. Though widespread genetic engineering may have issues of its own.

A generation or two is imho slightly optimistic. Genetics has already proven to be way more tricky to deal with properly than we'd hoped.

Actually, that issue arose in the first place due to the globalization of the economy, and a global currency wouldn't get rid of it. Significant labor specialization would only go away if all the world reached a comparable level of development, and there would still be specialization based on resource availability. And while the US is losing manufacturing jobs, it is gaining service jobs, and China is gaining manufacturing jobs (a lot more than the US is losing). Economics is not zero-sum.

And in a single country-state "migration" would be easier than ever, and the only "outsourcing" one could force would mean simply moving your business elsewhere to hire lower wage workers, who in the end have to have lower skills and less competence. Because once you allow free flow of resources and money (and that includes human resources) the world development level ought to stabilise within a generation or so. Not to mention that outsourcing within the same country does not lose the country its profits, so the money ends up going back to the people who lost their jobs anyway, be it in the forms of unemployment benefits or government-driven investments.

It's the same way this country is being run right now. We're increasing our debt and refusing to do much about cutting spending, and pretty soon, there will be no end. This is what I'm afraid will happen if things continue to progress the way they are, and we just ignore it, thinking that these people know what they're doing and will fix it for us if we give them enough time. We can't keep being this naive.

I'm also afraid that due to the rising taxes Americans will no longer be able to afford being overweight alcoholics in denial...

It's very difficult; I still don't think Beck is altogether mistaken about Soros.

You're being subjectively driven, Ruff. Listen to his show again with a clear head from a purely "reporting" point of view. Forget if he's right or wrong, ask how well he does in presenting information to the public. Does he quote his sources right? Does he provide the context to every quote? Is he fair and balanced and doesn't jump to conclusions? Does he not bend the facts to make his point appear true?

It's sad that in today's world we need to learn the rhetorical devices of media and propaganda in order to be able to filter the information we're fed by those media. Otherwise you're being made a fool of and you won't even realise.

Again, so what? What does this prove to me?

It proves that an average Norwegian is wealthier and more educated than an average American.

So tell me: If all public schools were ran similar to private schools, don't you think it would make a huge difference?

It would, people would be awesomely educated if all public schools worked as hard on the kids as the prestigious private schools. Too bad 40% of American families wouldn't be able to afford schooling their children.

Well on the military spending, I suppose I'm just biased... but on the oil subsidies, I agree that giving a subsidy to a very profitable enterprise is probably a dumb idea. I don't think they should be more heavily taxed; rather, I think we should eliminate tax loopholes and get them to pay the full amount they owe. And then, maybe consider lowering taxes later.

And oil companies all sit at their round table the next day and say, we will increase the price of oil for USA by 100%. Let them suckers choke on that, until they give us all the tax cuts we want.
Wake up, you're in the world's #1 consumer of oil, if your government doesn't lick oil companies' asses you will all go down to hell.


Edit
Hey, look, Fox News proves how unbiased and true they are. CNN reports.
This post is intended for information only. Please do not reply to this message as responses cannot be read or acknowledged due to the stupidity of the user.
Moderator

User avatar
offline
 
Posts: 3288
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:41 pm
Location: Zerus
Gender: Male

Re: What the frick?!

Postby Rough Giraffe » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:09 pm

Q.U. wrote:
RuffDraft wrote:It's the same way this country is being run right now. We're increasing our debt and refusing to do much about cutting spending, and pretty soon, there will be no end. This is what I'm afraid will happen if things continue to progress the way they are, and we just ignore it, thinking that these people know what they're doing and will fix it for us if we give them enough time. We can't keep being this naive.

I'm also afraid that due to the rising taxes Americans will no longer be able to afford being overweight alcoholics in denial...
You say that like it's a bad thing. lol

Seriously, tho, are you implying that no other countries get as drunk as Americans? Maybe you should look at the stats for your own country. I've never been to Arakis; maybe you'd like to live somewhere in non-fiction?

Q.U. wrote:
It's very difficult; I still don't think Beck is altogether mistaken about Soros.

You're being subjectively driven, Ruff. Listen to his show again with a clear head from a purely "reporting" point of view. Forget if he's right or wrong, ask how well he does in presenting information to the public. Does he quote his sources right? Does he provide the context to every quote? Is he fair and balanced and doesn't jump to conclusions? Does he not bend the facts to make his point appear true?

It's sad that in today's world we need to learn the rhetorical devices of media and propaganda in order to be able to filter the information we're fed by those media. Otherwise you're being made a fool of and you won't even realise.
Interesting point. Perhaps I'll do as you say. I'm at work now tho, so it'll have to wait until I get home.

Q.U. wrote:
RuffDraft wrote:Again, so what? What does this prove to me?

It proves that an average Norwegian is wealthier and more educated than an average American.
Okay, well, that doesn't prove they're more educated by itself... But anyway...

The population of Norway is about 4.9 million. It encompases about 385.2 thousand sq-km of land. It's one of the most sparsely populated countries in Europe (at an average of 12.5/sq-km). Its GDP is ~$259 billion, which makes it the 25th richest country in the world.

The population of the United States is about 308.7 million. It encompases about 9.8 million sq-km of land. It's population density is about 33.7/sq-km. Its GDP is about $14.256 trillion, making it the richest in the world.

The reason GDP per capita for Norway is higher than the US is because of the relative difference between population and GDP. It doesn't mean that the average Norwegian is richer, and it sure as hell doesn't mean they have a higher standard of living. It's a ratio between the population and GDP. Find me a graph that shows the percentage of Norway's population that meets your alleged standards of wealth and compare it to a similar graph of the US's population and I'll consider your argument.

Q.U. wrote:
RuffDraft wrote:So tell me: If all public schools were ran similar to private schools, don't you think it would make a huge difference?

It would, people would be awesomely educated if all public schools worked as hard on the kids as the prestigious private schools. Too bad 40% of American families wouldn't be able to afford schooling their children.
But suppose that the 60% that could donated a proportional amount relative to their economic standing towards education of those that could not? We've already seen Americans helping other Americans less fortunate than themselves. Let's say everyone donated an extra of 10% of their income to those (private) schools so that the poorer population could either attend free or attend at a reduced cost, relative to their economic standing. Base it off the amount of taxes that we got in 2009 and cut it in half (assume the average amount in taxes paid equates to about 20-25%), and calculate how much it would cost for those 40% you mentioned to go to these same private schools. Then, based on a steep curve, figure out how much it would take for those 40% to afford reduced tuition.

My plan is fairly sound, wouldn't you say? It just needs to be able to be put to practice without government intervention.

Q.U. wrote:
RuffDraft wrote:Well on the military spending, I suppose I'm just biased... but on the oil subsidies, I agree that giving a subsidy to a very profitable enterprise is probably a dumb idea. I don't think they should be more heavily taxed; rather, I think we should eliminate tax loopholes and get them to pay the full amount they owe. And then, maybe consider lowering taxes later.

And oil companies all sit at their round table the next day and say, we will increase the price of oil for USA by 100%. Let them suckers choke on that, until they give us all the tax cuts we want.
Wake up, you're in the world's #1 consumer of oil, if your government doesn't lick oil companies' asses you will all go down to hell.
That's an odd sentiment, seeing as gas prices are rising all over the world, not just in the US. In fact, they seem higher.

Also, I find it hard to believe that oil companies would simply double gas prices out of spite and expect to make double--or even the same--profits. If Americans could hold out an extra month or two, gas prices would go back down.
Image
A little bit Ruff around the edges
User avatar
offline
 
Posts: 1159
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:39 am
Gender: Male

Re: What the frick?!

Postby BeeAre » Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:07 pm

rd, just reading the part on norway: literally that is exactly what it means. they have given you exactly what you want as proof. The average person's reported education is measured on their performance and accreditation, and the average person's wealth is measured between the take-in and expenditure.

as for standard of living, if you are both independently wealthy and accredited with valuable skills from your education, your mere rational response is to improve your standard of living. Given that Norway is a part of the more socialist Europe, and implements higher levels of social policies that favor stronger government, they invest a lot of their wealth into local infrastructure. Norwegians both on average make both more money than the average American and USE more money.

Norway's standard of living, on average, IS better than America's. O_O

and it really looks like you're saying in your plan on education: "We should have everyone give 10% of their income. But don't make them do it. They have to want to. No government please." So do nothing but hope people are good? Sure sounds like me talking.

and it's not an odd sentiment, RD, that QU would be upset at oil companies, even if he wasn't in the US. It doesn't matter whether oil is in the US or not. >_> oil companies set the prices. i would like to see your sources indicating a low profit margin for oil companies' primary product, please. what makes a competitive ratio these days?

I am afraid to attack your last point on "holding out" until prices go back down. To me, it seems that when prices spiral out of control, in the short term, more damage than the natural recovery could be done. >_> but i am not sure, so i won't approach it.
Snafu Comics' Forum Alpha Bro, Staff Writer, Editor, Image, and Keeper of the Jar Brain of Secret President. RIP Ku Ku Ku \(-^.^-)/ U Wuz A REAL N***A!!!!!!!
"We're quite aware of this. BR is no happy rainbow face man. He is simply our neighborhood best fucking poster." ~ Warbear
最後の撃は。。。切ない。Puff Most Epic.
Ladies and Gentlemen, The:
BR

User avatar
offline
 
Posts: 5644
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:06 pm
Location: Mississippi
Gender: Male

Re: What the frick?!

Postby Rough Giraffe » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:46 am

Once again, I feel like I'm being tag-teamed. Isn't there anyone on here who thinks I'm at least making sense? And if so, please PM me and let me know; I just don't want to feel like I'm alone in my beliefs.

@BR: Fine, Norway is a hell of a lot better than the United States right now. But seeing as that's true, why was it not your first choice when you decided you wanted to get out of the US? Was the plane ticket too expensive? (lol)

I suppose the two weeks I spent in Norway in 2008 didn't let me see much of the whole country... but I did notice their insane taxes; nearly 20% in sales tax for one.

And let me make another point to you, BR. Michael Moore recently suggested we take the money from the billionaires to pay off the debt; he said that money was a "national resource" and so those rich people are not entitled to it anyway (I wonder if he's including himself in that idea)(I also wonder if money being a "national resource" means that the poor are not entitled to it either)(I further wonder how much Moore spends on chicken wings in a single day, and if the money he spends on food could better serve the third world)(I further demand that Michael Moore give his food to Haiti!!!). He claimed that with 400 billionaires in this country, taking their money would solve all our problems. So someone decided to add it all up, and they found that if you sum up the net worth of every billionaire in the country, it would still only reach a measly$1.3 trillion--leaving a $350 billion deficit for this year alone. Which means that your suggestion to tax the rich higher wouldn't have worked anyway. Not with Obama in office, anyway.

BeeAre wrote:and it really looks like you're saying in your plan on education: "We should have everyone give 10% of their income. But don't make them do it. They have to want to. No government please." So do nothing but hope people are good? Sure sounds like me talking.
Oh, hell no. I'm not trying to say we should force them. People help each other all the time. I mean, you've heard of [Name Redacted], right? There's a friend of his he's never met in person named---Oh, you have heard this one? Well he's just one example. There are millions of people like him in America---heck, worldwide---most of them around the same economic standing, many of them a whole lot richer, who donate to worthy causes and work to improve conditions for the homeless and less fortunate and so on and so forth. You really think that if they were told that they could donate 5-10% of their income to help underprivileged children afford to go to a better school that no one would donate anything?

BeeAre wrote:i would like to see your sources indicating a low profit margin for oil companies' primary product, please. what makes a competitive ratio these days?
I dunno. 8.5%? (Scroll to "...aren't as profitable as you think")
Last edited by Rough Giraffe on Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
Image
A little bit Ruff around the edges
User avatar
offline
 
Posts: 1159
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:39 am
Gender: Male

Re: What the frick?!

Postby Q.U. » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:23 am

Seriously, tho, are you implying that no other countries get as drunk as Americans? Maybe you should look at the stats for your own country. I've never been to Arakis; maybe you'd like to live somewhere in non-fiction?

Beats living in OBJECTION. And no, other countries can't say that they get drunk less. But few countries can say that they waste more money then the USA. Compare oil and energy consumption per person in USA to those of other countries. Most countries simply cannot afford to be that spoiled.

The reason GDP per capita for Norway is higher than the US is because of the relative difference between population and GDP. It doesn't mean that the average Norwegian is richer, and it sure as hell doesn't mean they have a higher standard of living. It's a ratio between the population and GDP. Find me a graph that shows the percentage of Norway's population that meets your alleged standards of wealth and compare it to a similar graph of the US's population and I'll consider your argument.

That's exactly what it means, lol. The average Norwegian is richer than the average American. You take the wealth of the whole nation, divide it by the number of people, and you get the average wealth of a person. Sure there are richer and poorer, like everywhere. but in terms of average Norway is richer. Get over it. And yes, it's because they have fewer people. But think about it this way, an average Norwegian produces and generates more GDP for his country than an average American does for his, doesn't he?

But suppose that the 60% that could donated a proportional amount relative to their economic standing towards education of those that could not? We've already seen Americans helping other Americans less fortunate than themselves. Let's say everyone donated an extra of 10% of their income to those (private) schools so that the poorer population could either attend free or attend at a reduced cost, relative to their economic standing. Base it off the amount of taxes that we got in 2009 and cut it in half (assume the average amount in taxes paid equates to about 20-25%), and calculate how much it would cost for those 40% you mentioned to go to these same private schools. Then, based on a steep curve, figure out how much it would take for those 40% to afford reduced tuition.

My plan is fairly sound, wouldn't you say? It just needs to be able to be put to practice without government intervention.

You know, once you rip money off of tax payers and pump them into a school to allow enrolment free of charge, then that's pretty much what a public school is. So you kinda shot yourself in the leg with this one. Really, I strongly believe that it doesn't matter who runs the schools, private investors or government selected bodies, if you pump enough money into them they will become more efficient.

Also, I find it hard to believe that oil companies would simply double gas prices out of spite and expect to make double--or even the same--profits. If Americans could hold out an extra month or two, gas prices would go back down.

They couldn't. You seem to forget that oil is one of them most sought natural resources around. Americans want to increase the taxes for selling oil in their country? It becomes more profitable to sell to China who is willing to pay a tiny bit less, but still more than the taxes would take. Oil companies go sell elsewhere. They are profit oriented, it's simple really. It's one of the reasons why your country went all berserk on Iraq, simply to get their hands on more secured oil production sites. If their troops control the oil fields in Iraq then those who produce oil there are kinda forced to sell it to USA regardless of the taxes and profits.

Once again, I feel like I'm being tag-teamed. Isn't there anyone on here who thinks I'm at least making sense?

All you spout in your last 2 comments is nonsense, so no. I would agree with you in many things, as I did, but not when you make no sense or show off plain disregard to the realities of our world.

@BR: Fine, Norway is a hell of a lot better than the United States right now. But seeing as that's true, why was it not your first choice when you decided you wanted to get out of the US? Was the plane ticket too expensive? (lol)

I think mostly because Norway doesn't allow you to stay in for more than 6 months unless you get enrolled into a school, or get a job for which you first need a permission as a foreigner. It's why Norway never joined EU, cause then people could go in there and work freely, and they don't really want to give away all their social care money and jobs to lazy foreigners.

I suppose the two weeks I spent in Norway in 2008 didn't let me see much of the whole country... but I did notice their insane taxes; nearly 20% in sales tax for one.

And that's how they can afford public school that are better than your private schools, etc. Last time I heard, the richest people in Norway pay 90% income tax.
This post is intended for information only. Please do not reply to this message as responses cannot be read or acknowledged due to the stupidity of the user.
Moderator

User avatar
offline
 
Posts: 3288
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:41 pm
Location: Zerus
Gender: Male

Re: What the frick?!

Postby BeeAre » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:19 pm

norway: it is really expensive. so yes. i wouldn't be going there. i could try to be ZoulArt's bitch maybe, he lives in Sweden. >_> close.

to RD: you are saying that it is not unreasonable to socially coerce people, as long as it is not strictly mandatory? Can you see how many things about this argument are strange? Companies today don't HAVE to donate to charities, but do for both the tax reasons and good will it can afford them. But how much of their profit margins are charitable donations? 5 or even 10 percent? I'd be curious to see the real numbers! I'm not saying you're wrong, by the way! I am not suggesting that everyone would be unwilling, but if you don't make it mandatory, how is it reliable? How can you count on charity? If you are actually saying that enough people are just GOOD enough to donate, can't you see how that might be interpreted as idealism on your part? o_O

BTW: this is why I disagree with a lot of your arguments, RD. because you're such a good person, esp w/ regards to me, that it is baffling that you make so many arguments that express what seem to be opinions quite distant from your actions. Like, you're great! You are a wonderful human being and a kind soul. But you're talking about things as if the hugely rich are somehow suffering more than poor people by being asked to give away excess money! That's bewildering to me. D:
Snafu Comics' Forum Alpha Bro, Staff Writer, Editor, Image, and Keeper of the Jar Brain of Secret President. RIP Ku Ku Ku \(-^.^-)/ U Wuz A REAL N***A!!!!!!!
"We're quite aware of this. BR is no happy rainbow face man. He is simply our neighborhood best fucking poster." ~ Warbear
最後の撃は。。。切ない。Puff Most Epic.
Ladies and Gentlemen, The:
BR

User avatar
offline
 
Posts: 5644
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:06 pm
Location: Mississippi
Gender: Male

Re: What the frick?!

Postby Rough Giraffe » Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:44 am

Q.U. wrote:
RuffDraft wrote:Seriously, tho, are you implying that no other countries get as drunk as Americans?
And no, other countries can't say that they get drunk less. But few countries can say that they waste more money then the USA. Compare oil and energy consumption per person in USA to those of other countries. Most countries simply cannot afford to be that spoiled.
And... what does that have to do with alcohol, again? Very interesting way to segue into energy consumption.

But it's not something that bothers me, seeing as I don't believe in this whole Global Warming scare. And yet I understand your point about excess. So I'll ignore this one and change the subject.

Q.U. wrote:
RuffDraft wrote:The reason GDP per capita for Norway is higher than the US is because of the relative difference between population and GDP. It doesn't mean that the average Norwegian is richer, and it sure as hell doesn't mean they have a higher standard of living. It's a ratio between the population and GDP. Find me a graph that shows the percentage of Norway's population that meets your alleged standards of wealth and compare it to a similar graph of the US's population and I'll consider your argument.

That's exactly what it means, lol. The average Norwegian is richer than the average American. You take the wealth of the whole nation, divide it by the number of people, and you get the average wealth of a person. Sure there are richer and poorer, like everywhere. but in terms of average Norway is richer. Get over it. And yes, it's because they have fewer people. But think about it this way, an average Norwegian produces and generates more GDP for his country than an average American does for his, doesn't he?
Except that many industries in Norway are owned by the government. GDP includes all services, public and private. About three quarters of all Norwegian savings are controlled by the State; the State's holdings amount to about 40 percent of the total values of the companies listed in the Oslo Stock Exchange. And so, GDP BY ITSELF does not indicate how much the average citizen of a country earns and gets to keep, "after taxes". That's what I'm trying to tell you. Norway is essentially a welfare state, where it assumes ownership of certain highly-profitable industries (such as oil) and uses those profits to augment its taxes and fund their expenditures. So, because of the lower population, GDP per capita seems high. That's what I'm saying.

Q.U. wrote:
RuffDraft wrote:But suppose that the 60% that could donated a proportional amount relative to their economic standing towards education of those that could not? We've already seen Americans helping other Americans less fortunate than themselves. Let's say everyone donated an extra of 10% of their income to those (private) schools so that the poorer population could either attend free or attend at a reduced cost, relative to their economic standing. Base it off the amount of taxes that we got in 2009 and cut it in half (assume the average amount in taxes paid equates to about 20-25%), and calculate how much it would cost for those 40% you mentioned to go to these same private schools. Then, based on a steep curve, figure out how much it would take for those 40% to afford reduced tuition.

My plan is fairly sound, wouldn't you say? It just needs to be able to be put to practice without government intervention.

You know, once you rip money off of tax payers and pump them into a school to allow enrolment free of charge, then that's pretty much what a public school is. So you kinda shot yourself in the leg with this one.
Absolutely not. A non-profit, non-government organization that receives most (if not all) of their funding from individual people is still a private-sector charity; getting funding from the general public does not make it a public-sector organization. And a non-profit organization that uses its funds for a specific purpose (as in the one above) and donates its money to a private school so they can take on more students does not make the school a public school.

And the expression is "shot yourself in the foot."

Q.U. wrote:Really, I strongly believe that it doesn't matter who runs the schools, private investors or government selected bodies, if you pump enough money into them they will become more efficient.
Well then you obviously don't know the story of New York and Utah.

Of all states, New York spends the most money per student on education, at roughly $16,000 (as of 2007). Utah spends the least money per student on education, at just over $5800. And yet their scores are nearly identicial, despite a more than $10K difference.

Part of the problem is the teacher's unions and Tenure, but that's a different discussion entirely.

Q.U. wrote:
RuffDraft wrote:Also, I find it hard to believe that oil companies would simply double gas prices out of spite and expect to make double--or even the same--profits. If Americans could hold out an extra month or two, gas prices would go back down.

They couldn't. You seem to forget that oil is one of them most sought natural resources around. Americans want to increase the taxes for selling oil in their country? It becomes more profitable to sell to China who is willing to pay a tiny bit less, but still more than the taxes would take. Oil companies go sell elsewhere. They are profit oriented, it's simple really.
From what I can tell, China used to subsidize consumer costs for gasoline (meaning gas prices were artificially lower). As of February, they no longer did that, and gas prices went up to roughly 33% above the average price in the US. And seeing as they import more than 5 million barrels per month, I seriously doubt that it would be less expensive for China and more profitable for the American oil companies. Do you have any evidence that says otherwise?

Q.U. wrote:It's one of the reasons why your country went all berserk on Iraq, simply to get their hands on more secured oil production sites. If their troops control the oil fields in Iraq then those who produce oil there are kinda forced to sell it to USA regardless of the taxes and profits.
...sigh... that tired old rumor. The left loves it as a talking point. If only it were true.

Q.U. wrote:
RuffDraft wrote:Once again, I feel like I'm being tag-teamed. Isn't there anyone on here who thinks I'm at least making sense?

All you spout in your last 2 comments is nonsense, so no. I would agree with you in many things, as I did, but not when you make no sense or show off plain disregard to the realities of our world.
As I explained above, you misunderstood what I was saying. But I'm not judging; I probably should have made myself clearer.

Q.U. wrote:
RuffDraft wrote:@BR: Fine, Norway is a hell of a lot better than the United States right now. But seeing as that's true, why was it not your first choice when you decided you wanted to get out of the US? Was the plane ticket too expensive? (lol)

I think mostly because Norway doesn't allow you to stay in for more than 6 months unless you get enrolled into a school, or get a job for which you first need a permission as a foreigner. It's why Norway never joined EU, cause then people could go in there and work freely, and they don't really want to give away all their social care money and jobs to lazy foreigners.
::blink:: First I've heard that. What is your citation?

Q.U. wrote:
RuffDraft wrote:I suppose the two weeks I spent in Norway in 2008 didn't let me see much of the whole country... but I did notice their insane taxes; nearly 20% in sales tax for one.

And that's how they can afford public school that are better than your private schools, etc. Last time I heard, the richest people in Norway pay 90% income tax.
Which means they aren't very rich at all, are they? How in the world does one get rich if the practice of getting wealth is punished in this manner?

Also, it's not 90%. While I don't fully understand it, what I gather from my research, cumulatively it would probably be about 60-70%; as of 2010 there was a 28% flat tax for Income (ordinary and corporate, although they seem like separate taxes), and they have VATs of 25% general, 14% for foodstuffs, and 8% for transportation.

@BR: Persuade =/= coerce. Also, persuading someone to do something is not the same as informing them of a problem and offering a solution that relies on public support. It's like saying "your local Public Broadcast Station is hosting a telethon to raise money for the United Cancer Foundion. All proceeds will go directly towards getting cancer patients the treatment they need at no cost to them." And if no one watched PBS, they wouldn't know this was going on. And along the same lines, if I had never met you, I wouldn't even know what Crohn's was, and I wouldn't be helping anyone with their medical costs or offering them a place to stay.

And as for "How can you count on charity," that question seems at odds with your character; you, who consistently says people can work together indefinitely for a common goal, are asking me how you can count on people to be charitable. I mean, it just seems odd that you question human charity with the ideologies you advocate.

Wasn't there a case in Canada of someone posing as a Cancer patient for two years to get attention, and by the time it was revealed that she did not have cancer, she had received thousands of dollars from the public? This is proof of both human greed and human charity.

And I made no claim that insinuated that the rich suffer more than anyone else by being forced to part with a higher percentage of their income proportional to their financial standing; it seems like we're simply punishing those with more money for having more money--which, no matter how you look at it, it is simply not fair. Imagine if you brought 10 bags of Skittles to school and the teacher made you give one to her, and another kid brought 100 bags of Skittles to school and the teacher made him give her 30. One or both of you is going to feel confused and/or gypped.

Still working on my missing chunk of text to Valhallen. Kinda going back and forth between personal interests, work, friends, and my cat. Personal life at its best.
Image
A little bit Ruff around the edges
User avatar
offline
 
Posts: 1159
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:39 am
Gender: Male

PreviousNext

Return to Central Compton Botanical Gardens

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Senel, ULTRADJ and 2 guests