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#362232 - 08/11/04 08:51 PM Re: My philosophical test
Bror Jace Offline


Registered: 05/27/02
Posts: 4852
Loc: Saratoga, NY
Actually Gary, I think Dan’s original question is a perfectly fair one. The problem is we have a lot of liberal politicians (both Republicans and Democrats) who talk about the government “giving” things to people or “helping” the citizens ... but rarely any mention of where that money is coming from. That’s not fair and not right. Dan’s question was actually fair and truthful because if we all want these benefits, we better know we are going to pay for them. And I do mean “we” and not “some rich guy across town.”

Gary, I’m sorry positions like the one you held aren’t as plentiful or as lucrative as they once were … but there are other good jobs coming along (yes, in the US) which replace it. So far, there always have been new opportunities to replace ones lost due to technological change. That hasn’t stopped people from crying “the sky is falling, the sky is falling” every time there is economic/technological change in this country.

Socialism (where no one has any motive to do pretty much of anything) is not the answer to this country’s problems ... and every step we take in that direction is putting us on the wrong path.

And on the tax issue, conservatives want a simpler, flatter tax ... but the poor and the (liberal) politicians wouldn’t be able to play their games offering some people shelters and loopholes at the expense of others. And even with loopholes, like the acquiring of real property, along with that comes overhead and property taxes. It’s one of the many “opiates of the masses” to believe that there are loopholes allowing the rich to get out of paying any taxes.

The middle class are actually shouldering most of the burden? That’s simply not true.

Oh, and I am a very secular, conservative person. Please stop with the bible references and equating “conservative” with “preachy extremists.” [Roll Eyes] But even I know that Jesus wouldn’t tolerate perfectly able people sitting around all day doing nothing productive. Charity has its limits ... and no one has a “right” to charity.

brianl703, that was pretty funny, but I think Pablo had the best post here so far. [Wink]

--- Bror Jace

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#362233 - 08/12/04 09:13 AM Re: My philosophical test
MarkC Offline


Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 9461
Loc: Not Seattle, but close.
Does the 'no one has a right to charity' thing include corporations and industries propped up by government subsidies, or is it just for indiviudals?

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#362234 - 08/12/04 09:28 AM Re: My philosophical test
Gary Allan Offline


Registered: 09/28/02
Posts: 39806
Loc: Pottstown, PA
quote:
Guess this thread has legs.......
[LOL!]

Yes, it sure does (somewhat guilty blush on face)


Yes, Frank, the taxation that we experience has a rather poor apparent rate of return ..in most things. The problem I see more as one of perception than it is of substance. That is, even if we had the finest educated and most leading edge population on the planet (everyone of us) ..due to a number of immutable bylaws of capitalism and a maturing global economy you are still going to have losers ..and more of them. Like I said ..it's like the life cycle of a forest .and we're a very mature society.

We are NEVER going to regain our former status as middle class "gainers". This is absolutely assured. The existance of this class was only a result of a massive boom in economic expansion via having the only intact industrial base after the near destruction of the entire planets economy due to war. These effects are long over and the rest of the world, that we fostered, are also maturing and are, effectively, population managment "partners". We employ their people ..they employ ours (in one form or another) ..as this managment technique is adopted more and more throughout the world ..the "common denominator" is devaluated.

Think about it. Do you think that you would actually "earn" your status as a middle class or upper middle class person in a totally even playing field of the entire world's population? That is, if the entire world was matured and socialized and had adopted capitalism (regardless of which political-social managment modality was employed) ..do you think that there are enough economic resources to maintain that many people in this nation at that level of lifestyle??? There's just no way that they can "earn" that status ..period.

Since we all know that the playing field is getting "evened out" and the resignation to the fact that you aren't just going to "disappear" a bunch of un-needed members of your global population (unless you're in favor of global warfare) ...you just kinda gotta get used to that sinking feeling of "losing ground". In the true capitalists models you're only getting what you deserve ..or rather what you've earned out of the pie. As the competition for the pie increases ..your slice is smaller.

This is why the only thing you can do for "population mangement" is establish a minmum standard of living and let the desire to rise above it prevail. In a modern industrial civilized soceity, that base line will be funded in one manner or another.

Do you think that it is ever going to get any easier?

I do wish to thank you, Frank. Many would just have left the thread die and not engaged in continued dialog. None of my statements or assertions are meant to be "pointed" ..but they do tend to assault some's perceptions to the point of irritation. Keep in mind that no politician would ever get elected if they told you the probable truth of the future.

[Cheers!]

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#362235 - 08/12/04 09:54 AM Re: My philosophical test
XS650 Offline



Registered: 12/21/03
Posts: 12385
Loc: Northern CA
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Allan:
quote:
Guess this thread has legs.......
None of my statements or assertions are meant to be "pointed" ..but they do tend to assault some's perceptions to the point of irritation. ....

[Cheers!]

Gary, please keep it up, even when if a person doesn't agree with what you say, it's easy to admire your well thought out posts. You are easily the most rational person in the OT forum.

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#362236 - 08/11/04 11:14 PM Re: My philosophical test
Not the Autorx Frank Offline


Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1094
Loc: So Cal
Gary,

I never take any dialog personal so no worries..Sometimes I do get a little excited though!

I actually do think I would do well in a world wide level playing field. As it is now I work harder and more efficiently than my competitors. I do dominate my field so to speak I could change hats tommorow to a different venue and still whoop the compitition in the end. God that sounds arrogant? In fact whenever I travel to europe or some island somewhere I look around and think to myself, "I could make a fortune here". I see for the most part that there is no desire to move upward. No motivation to put in those extra few hours a day or buy the latest equipment to be better than the next guy at what you do.

Very stimulating stuff!

BTW, you ever listen to or read Walter E Williams?

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#362237 - 08/12/04 12:05 AM Re: My philosophical test
Bror Jace Offline


Registered: 05/27/02
Posts: 4852
Loc: Saratoga, NY
MarkC: "Does the 'no one has a right to charity' thing include corporations and industries propped up by government subsidies, or is it just for indiviudals?"

You betchya! [Big Grin] Real conservatives don't believe in corporate welfare. The idea is to let the private sector go along as much as possible without gov't intervention ... positive or negative. It's liberals (both Republican & Democrat) who want to fool around with the tax code and find other ways of propping up their corporate buddies (friends, family, contributors, etc ...).

Of course, this shows that even very few Republicans are true conservatives. [Wink]

--- Bror Jace

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#362238 - 08/12/04 11:03 AM Re: My philosophical test
Gary Allan Offline


Registered: 09/28/02
Posts: 39806
Loc: Pottstown, PA
quote:
Dan’s question was actually fair and truthful because if we all want these benefits, we better know we are going to pay for them. And I do mean “we” and not “some rich guy across town.”
Well, don't you really think that in this forum that most of the people here don't NEED those benefits and that's "why" they don't want them?? ..or more directly ..want to pay for them???

I kinda put this in the same perspective as a retired person resenting school taxes. They don't have children in the system ..don't see why they should pay. Naturally they didn't complain when their kids were in school ..NOW it's "different".

In the same slant ...most here are not on the loser end of life. Hence, they resent the unfavorable side effects of a system that allows them this "advantage". You never get a front without a back ..a left without a right ..an up without a down ..and you're not going to have any type of "privilege" without a liability. It's just a balanced equation.

The odd ball thing that I can't figure out is what you would expect to see as an alternative. We've got a finite amount of viable economic oportunities for the mass majority of our nation. Sure new opportunities are always opening up ..but what about the masses? Do you suggest public works programs (more socialism) ..poor houses (more public funds) ..."work for welfare" (another program) ...hmmmm....??????

...let them eat cake????

This encompasses all the "issues". The advantaged people with a conservative flare ..tend to want to increase the gap and assure more of a feudal/caste system of social managment (vouchers etc.). This will allow the advantaged to rise further above ..and will have the recipricol effect of "dumbing down by free choice" of the rabble. The liberal advantaged take a more methodical approach ..they want to fund the society and merely "program" the "dumbing down" of the masses ..and therefore get the advantage of "social-terra forming" ..enabling the passification of the masses into mediocrity.

quote:
Socialism (where no one has any motive to do pretty much of anything) is not the answer to this country’s problems ... and every step we take in that direction is putting us on the wrong path.
Perhaps not. But here's something you haven't even considered ...suppose there is no solution to this "problem"? Suppose it just happens to be an unpleasent side effect of the natural progression of a society in our contemporary global economy? Just suppose for a moment that there is never going to be a "better" on a national level..and the future is full of tough choices and compromises. What will your conservative slant on it yield? The same result with harsher consequences for many ..while leaving you alone? Kinda like, "Hey ..the going is getting tough ..I have to get going!"?????

Do you see what you're saying? I'll paraphrase my take on the hard core conservative view:


I believe in the things that made this country great. Well, things aren't so great anymore ...but leave me to enjoy it as though it was. The not so great part is for everyone else ..at least if I can get away with it.

Granted ..it's a nasty spin on it ...but isn't it essentially correct?? I mean after you peal off the "graphed in heraldry" type rhetoric?? You know ..the stuff that make you feel better about the shunning? [I dont know]

Sorry ..I'm tired ... [Frown]

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#362239 - 08/12/04 07:54 PM Re: My philosophical test
Not the Autorx Frank Offline


Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1094
Loc: So Cal
Gary, awnser me this then...


I started very poor in life. I have no education beyond my high school diploma. I remember times when I wasn't sure where my next meal for my family was coming from. I managed to climb my way out of poverty. Are you saying that I am super human or is it maybe that I had decided (and I did) there is no way in **** I'll ever be poor again. I bagged groceries, mowed lawns, washed cars, whatever it took to feed my family. It was not pleasant. I think part of it is attitude. If your (not you) attitude is " I'll never amount to anything" well then thats probably how you'll end up. I think PART of the shift in the last 50 years is mental. The poor have been convinced that its not worth trying. And the ones who do, get accused of selling out. I still see hope in some kids today though, the go getters, and it has nothing to do with a larger pie or a declining economy. I just know by watching that they are going to succeed because of how they are eager to tackle the next project.

Why is it also that we have immigrants who come here with $20 to there name and in 5 years they own a chain of retail stores, a resturant, a liquer store, a car wash, a shoe store, or some other service. They seem to be able to climb out poverty?

I fully understand that there will have to be to a degree someone on the bottom if there is someone on top. I also agree that its not a perfect system. The only thing I can say is, If it was so bad why are people moving here from all over the world vs leaving? Because we still have more promise here.

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#362240 - 08/13/04 09:01 AM Re: My philosophical test
Gary Allan Offline


Registered: 09/28/02
Posts: 39806
Loc: Pottstown, PA
quote:
I actually do think I would do well in a world wide level playing field. I do dominate my field so to speak I could change hats tommorow to a different venue and still whoop the compitition in the end. God that sounds arrogant?
No ..I'd term it rather confident .. [Smile] More power to you!! I'm not out of the world market by any means. There are situations that I could get into that are quite lucritive ..but I don't want to "run" anymore. My "obligations" as a parent are nearing the end of the contract. I've done my best to provide all that I should and am looking forward to having a life less burdened by maximum performance. I've had a good run. Was it all that it could have been? [I dont know]

Let me offer you an alternative view of "advantaged".

After the fall of South Vietnam to the communist north ..sometime later..journalists toured some of the villages. An interview of one chief was quite informative. He displayed his non-functional Citreon and his shed/garage that housed it. He, with confidence, assured the interviewer that he was indeed a wealthy and powerful man.

Right now we perceive "advantaged" as towering like the Rockies over Death Valley ...

In the future, however, I have a feeling that your "hill" will be more like those described in Midland Texas.

That is, although you may be the "king of the hill" so to speak ..indexed for saturated global economy your "step up" will not be all that substantial. I already see that you think that it is not as high as it should be. You are married to the rabble in one form or another...just like a metropolitan urban environment is a loser fiscally ..yet represents such a tremendous economic force that it can't be abandoned. Try and read into what I'm trying to communticate here.

We've got a planet/nation with xxx # of people on/in it. This is much like wildlife managment. You have to, in some manner, condition the enviroment or the behavior of the population to exist in some form of equalibrium. Look at most of your "hot spots" in the world. They are places of unstable or non-existant economy. Where a sound economy exists ..civilization wins. Where there is economic turmoil ...chaos reigns. It's hard to start a war or a riot when people are fed and housed in relative comfort.

Do you propose that we let our "useless eaters" fend for themselves? ...and with what resources? Where will they derive their existance from? Shall we "devolve" as a society?

Take the assembly of Mistubishis in Australia. This is a jobs program brokered between the US and Japan ..who are partners in population managment. Australia is a steadfast ally and a very cooperative member of keeping up "their part of the alliance". Their government says "We're running short on resources to maintain our population functional and happy ...can we navigate some resouces over my way?" The US then channels a segment of our economic might via Japan taking a detour through Australia. In exchage, the US maybe gets some military hardware contracts or whatever.

Sounds rather socialistic to me, no??

The race we are in, and are running low on fuel for, doesn't have a finish line. But when the forward momentum slows to a crawl, the goal is to have the "level playing field" as high as possible.

Why do you think Republicans appear more like Democrats and Democrats appear more like socialists? This evolution obviously isn't because of some realignment of coservative doctrin. It has everything to do with necessity due to prevailiing conditions.

Expect more of the same.


visions of Jack Nicholson in "A Few Good Men" (minus the harsh tone):

"You want the TRUTH!! You can't handle the TRUTH!!"

That's why politicians don't give it to you. No one is going to get elected spelling out the inevitable and sensible outcomes of the future.

XS650
quote:
You are easily the most rational person in the OT forum.
You don't know how much the thought of that scares the heck out of me [freaknout] [Big Grin] [Big Grin]

[ August 13, 2004, 12:41 PM: Message edited by: Gary Allan ]

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#362241 - 08/13/04 12:11 AM Re: My philosophical test
Not the Autorx Frank Offline


Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1094
Loc: So Cal
Whew! lengthy awnser on that one!

I'm not suggesting that we ship the poor off to an island somewhere. I would like to see them put the same effort into fishing as they do into begging for fish. I just think we a perpetuating the problem by continuing to enable people to such a low standard. Its kinda like a drug addict, At some point its going to be extremely difficult and painful to kick but it is the "right thing to do". The poor are destroying there lives because we let them. I have guy that asks me for money for charity all the time in front of the grocery store we shop at. I asked him to level with me one day and tell me how much he took in in a day.
He said "well on slow days mabey $20 and on good days around $100." I said to him, "thats around $60 a day average". I said "tell you what, I can get you a job paying $80 a day for labor and you can donate the money to the charity you are collecting for" of course he declined. My point is, no one wants to work!
No one wants to start at the bottom anymore, Everyone wants to get educated for free and then start as a CEO.

Gary, I noticed your occupation, you're not an environmentalist tree hugging wacko are you? sorry, couln't resist! LOL..

[Razz]

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#362242 - 08/13/04 12:14 AM Re: My philosophical test
Not the Autorx Frank Offline


Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1094
Loc: So Cal
BTW I know I've gone so far off the original question asked.

sorry for the hijack ....

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#362243 - 08/13/04 03:34 AM Re: My philosophical test
Gary Allan Offline


Registered: 09/28/02
Posts: 39806
Loc: Pottstown, PA
quote:
Gary, I noticed your occupation, you're not an environmentalist tree hugging wacko are you? sorry, couln't resist! LOL..

No ..I "was" (plant closure) actually a highly regulated toxic waste spewer. [Big Grin]

My wife says that I'm crazy ...and has offered to give me away, free, to a good home. I assure her that there is no escape and that I'm not done with her yet.

She often says "I'm trapped in the vortex of #ell". I say, "Yes, you are dear ...get over it, get used to it, and make the best of it! [Big Grin]


and for the hijack [Frown] I do beg your pardon [Off Topic!]

[ August 13, 2004, 06:49 PM: Message edited by: Gary Allan ]

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#362244 - 08/16/04 07:42 PM Re: My philosophical test
Bror Jace Offline


Registered: 05/27/02
Posts: 4852
Loc: Saratoga, NY
Gary, I stepped away from this sub-section late last week. Need to take a break from this political stuff and actually talk about fun stuff ... like the ultimate brand of oil. [Smile]

Reading back a few posts, your responses pre-suppose that opportunity in this country is over with and there is no future. I can't help but think you are extrapolating too much based on your own experiences. Despite the setbacks I've experienced, I don't believe this at all. For every lost job/profession, there still seems to be new opportunities which take their place: LAN administrators and web page designers still seem to be in demand and many companies which have outsourced jobs overseas (most outsourcing of jobs by American companies is to other American companies, by the way) have run into problems and realize they have to have more of a domestic presence/operation.

OK, real wages may have not increased since 1973 (not sure if that's true but I'll assume it is). The two and a half decades after WWII were a golden age for this country (and Canada). We came out of the devastation with no damage to our country, relatively low casualties and a highly motivated workforce in an expanded industrial base. We were in a unique position to perform spectacularly for almost three decades. Is it wrong for the rest of the world to finally catch up some? Just because we aren't totally kicking everyone's @$$es doesn't mean it's all over and now we have to surrender to socialism.

You equate education with the welfare state. Well, we need education (but because of liberals/Democrats we spend too much on it and don't get enough out of it) but do we need a permanent underclass that is unmotivated and continually content to mooch off the productive part of society? The fact that we have programs which promote dependency is already a problem for our society. Expanding those programs will only make the problem worse. [Eek!]

"Why do you think Republicans appear more like Democrats and Democrats appear more like socialists?"

Because our spoiled population is far too susceptible to pandering. They have forgotten what built this country, have it pretty good right now but still want more ... and have a bunch of lying politicians tell them they can have everything they do now PLUS prescription drugs PLUS more money spent on education PLUS local pork projects masquerading as homeland security PLUS, PLUS, PLUS. And it's all for FREE!! Well, it's not exactly free but don't worry, we'll get Bill Gates and a few of his ultra-rich friends to pay for it all!! Doesn't that sound GREAT?? [Big Grin]

After listening to decade or more of Wal*Mart commercials featuring a smiley face kicking the cr@p out of prices, the masses actually believe this kind of nonsense propaganda. [Roll Eyes]

What conservatives want to do is to replace the welfare state with the opportunity state. Everyone should have the opportunity to work hard and better themselves ... and provide greater opportunity for their children. I still see that America. I'm sorry you think that sort of thing is well past us.

Once we move to a more socialism-like economy like most of Europe has, it's game over. We'll perpetually have double-digit unemployment nationwide, rationed healthcare, low productivity and a fraction of the standard of living we now enjoy.

--- Bror Jace

[ August 17, 2004, 11:36 AM: Message edited by: Bror Jace ]

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#362245 - 08/16/04 08:53 PM Re: My philosophical test
Gary Allan Offline


Registered: 09/28/02
Posts: 39806
Loc: Pottstown, PA
quote:
your responses pre-suppose that opportunity in this country is over with and there is no future.
No ..I'm pointing out that we were riding on an artificial high. The eventual reality of an even playing field with the rest of the world has everyone scrambling to find excuses why "they" don't have to pay for it.

There is no way to reverse this trend. The costs of this society are coming due. No one within the society should be exempt from paying for it commensurate with the living that they derive from it.

Simple enough???

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#362246 - 08/17/04 12:31 AM Re: My philosophical test
Bror Jace Offline


Registered: 05/27/02
Posts: 4852
Loc: Saratoga, NY
"I'm pointing out that we were riding on an artificial high."

OK, I already agreed that we were on an artificial high in the post WWII era.

"The costs of this society are coming due. No one within the society should be exempt from paying for it commensurate with the living that they derive from it."

I don't see a correlation between the playing field across the world leveling out some (they still have a way to go) and "paying for it" as you say. As was pointed out, the rich already pay an overwhelming share of the government's burden in this country.

And if that burden was tilted even further out of balance from where it is now, the incentive to produce wealth would diminish and there would be less taxed wealth to spread around and the United States as welfare state would fail ... as they are all over the world. The Soviet Union is gone. Cuba is in the crapper and Western Europe has a non-motivated workforce, double digit unemployment, rationed healthcare and they're loaded in debt.

And now you want the US to follow in those footsteps? [Confused]

Look around the world, we still have the highest standard of living of any country. We may not be economically head-and-shoulders above every country forever, but adopting their worst habits isn't going to help matters much.

You still haven't made the case for ruining capitalism and replacing it with socialism (of a degree) where there is little incentive to (legally) work and produce wealth. Without welath, the welfare state has no free goodies to give away to the rest of the citizens.

--- Bror Jace

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