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Old 07-30-2009, 03:02 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by BVS View Post
I have to laugh when conservatives speak the shit you do...

so for you to tell me I have a self serving agenda is just down right fucking laughable...
Tone it down, BVS.
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Old 07-30-2009, 08:55 PM   #77
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The 'welfare state' for all its faults is an enlarged version of those community values you want to get back to, Financeguy.
Well, that's where we'd disagree. I see no evidence that the welfare state enhances community values.
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:07 PM   #78
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Well, that's where we'd disagree. I see no evidence that the welfare state enhances community values.
We're probably talking at cross purposes anyway, but I have no expectation of agreement, so it really doesn't matter.

Actually, no, I will clarify.

What do you mean when you say 'the welfare state', financeguy? Because I get the sense it's nothing but layabout immigrants on the dole, or something.

I'll tell you what I mean when I say 'the welfare state'. I mean unemployment benefits, certainly. I also mean the old age pension. I mean public hospitals and bulk billing medical services through a local GP (not every GP by any means, but at least the prospect of one nearby who offers in effect, a free consultation, if let's say you're not terribly well off and suddenly get sick). Those a few of the things I mean. I could add the caveat that I am referring to my own Antipodes, not the UK, but you know that already.

We could argue over the specifics, but on the principle, if you think all of that is somehow evil or against humane society, then by all means enlighten me.
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:22 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Kieran McConville View Post
We're probably talking at cross purposes anyway, but I have no expectation of agreement, so it really doesn't matter.

Actually, no, I will clarify.

What do you mean when you say 'the welfare state', financeguy? Because I get the sense it's nothing but layabout immigrants on the dole, or something.

I'll tell you what I mean when I say 'the welfare state'. I mean unemployment benefits, certainly. I also mean the old age pension. I mean public hospitals and bulk billing medical services through a local GP (not every GP by any means, but at least the prospect of one nearby who offers in effect, a free consultation, if let's say you're not terribly well off and suddenly get sick). Those a few of the things I mean. I could add the caveat that I am referring to my own Antipodes, not the UK, but you know that already.

We could argue over the specifics, but on the principle, if you think all of that is somehow evil or against humane society, then by all means enlighten me.
markets freedom...competition...personal responsibility entrepreneurial spirit...small business...taxes real conservatives...far left marx...adam smith social mobility bureaucrats premarital sex...abortions immigrants savings...trickle down business cycles

does that clear things up, xed?
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:26 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by Kieran McConville View Post
We're probably talking at cross purposes anyway, but I have no expectation of agreement, so it really doesn't matter.

Actually, no, I will clarify.

What do you mean when you say 'the welfare state', financeguy? Because I get the sense it's nothing but layabout immigrants on the dole, or something.

I'll tell you what I mean when I say 'the welfare state'. I mean unemployment benefits, certainly. I also mean the old age pension. I mean public hospitals and bulk billing medical services through a local GP (not every GP by any means, but at least the prospect of one nearby who offers in effect, a free consultation, if let's say you're not terribly well off and suddenly get sick). Those a few of the things I mean. I could add the caveat that I am referring to my own Antipodes, not the UK, but you know that already.

We could argue over the specifics, but on the principle, if you think all of that is somehow evil or against humane society, then by all means enlighten me.
Ah. Well then, we are indeed, talking at cross purposes. When I talk of the welfare state, I really mean the specific variant of it that we have in Ireland and the UK, which funds the (almost exclusively native, non-immigrant) 'chav' underclass, gives them grants for having kids, funds their drug habits, and allows them to pursue a dependent lifestyle - for year after year after year - of never getting jobs, or even making an attempt to do so.

In other words, nothing to do with funding hospitals or immigration. I know plenty of Asian immigrants in Ireland, and all have jobs and none commit crimes. Crime in Ireland is almost entirely commited by natives. (For example, there are around 200,000 Chinese immigrants in Ireland. Precisely one of them has committed a murder.)
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:29 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by Se7en View Post
markets freedom...competition...personal responsibility entrepreneurial spirit...small business...taxes real conservatives...far left marx...adam smith social mobility bureaucrats premarital sex...abortions immigrants savings...trickle down business cycles

does that clear things up, xed?
Pithier than REM's version for sure.

Quote:
These bastards stole their power from the victims of the Us v. Them years,
Wrecking all things virtuous and true
The undermining social democratic downhill slide into abysmal
Lost lamb off the precipice into the trickle down runoff pool
They hypnotised the summer, 1979
Marched into the capital brooding duplicitous, wicked and able, media-ready,
Heartless, and labeled. Super US citizen, super achiever,
Mega ultra power doesn't relax.
Defense, defense, defense, defense. Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, ignoreland. Yeah, yeah, yeah, ignoreland
Yeah, yeah, yeah

The information nation took their clues from all the sound-bite gluttons
1980, 84, 88, 92 too, too
How to be what you can be, junk, damn junk in your energy
How to walk in dignity with throw up on your shoes
They amplified the autumn, 1979
Calculate the capital, offer the public my skinny ass
TV tells a million lies. The paper's terrified to report
Anything that isn't handed on a presidential spoon,
I'm just profoundly frustrated by all this. So, fuck you, man (fuck 'em)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, ignoreland. Yeah, yeah, yeah, ignoreland
If they wasn't there we would have created them. Maybe, it's true,
But I'm resentful all the same. Someone's got to take the blame
I know that this is vitriol. No solution, spleen venting,
But I feel better having screamed. Don't you?
They desecrate the winter, 1979
Capital collateral. Brooding duplicitous, wicked and able, media-ready,
Heartless, and labeled. Super US citizen, super achiever,
Mega ultra power doesn't relax.
Defense, defense, defense, defense. Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, ignoreland. Yeah, yeah, yeah, ignoreland
Yeah, yeah, yeah, ignoreland. Yeah, yeah, yeah
I did not do the revolution
Thank you
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Old 07-30-2009, 10:27 PM   #82
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Ok, well it is a wide and complex world out there. I am hesitant to venture too far into what operates in the UK.

I suspect we do disagree pretty fundamentally even so, but I do not know enough to details to ascertain just how different the UK and Australian situations really are. And not really the time to derail what is, after all, a thread about what purpleoscar thinks about cultural deviance.
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Old 07-31-2009, 07:56 PM   #83
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Money isn't freedom. Sending kids off to a pointless war isn't freedom. Denying rights to people who are not like you isn't freedom.

I have to laugh when conservatives speak the shit you do...

Conservatism by definition is about self preservation, it's all about keeping THEIR status quo, so for you to tell me I have a self serving agenda is just down right fucking laughable...
I'll clear things up for you. All people are self-serving. It's part of human nature. Compassion is also a part of human nature. The best thing is to balance it because in history we have been able to see that when people offer short-term charity it is often for their own mental pleasure (self-righteousness). In my studies on meditation and compassion it's shown that people who show compassion get a mental drug of happiness along with it. This is not entirely bad. Now the problem lies in where people don't look at the results of that compassion. Eg. A guy gives an alcoholic homeless person money for food but the addicted person buys alcohol instead reinforcing the habit/addiction. At some point we have to understand that helping people to conquer their habits is the best we can do with our compassion and much of the work of reducing poverty has to do with the mentality and habits of the individual. If the individual is motivated to change they have a much better chance of changing their habits. In order for people to change their habits we need to convince them that they should do the proper virtuous action over and over again until it becomes a habit. Until that moment we are not sure which way the person will turn. Conservatives look at history and see that giving people the necessity to go out and work at least gives people an aim. This is why the 'war on poverty' didn't eliminate poverty. As long as social programs ignore the element of motivation and don't try to get these ideas to sink in to people so they understand their self-destructive behaviours can be changed and how to change we will have lots of failure with these programs. Now do we want to force people in a concentration camp to change their habits? Well no, forcing doesn't work as well because the person is not really making the choice and they may out of spite return to their old habits when released from the prison/concentration camp. So we are left with a strategy of having people making their own choices and paying the consequences of their choices. Some people won't make it that way and we want to at least feed them but we don't want them to actually have equal standards of living to working people otherwise working people will get envious that they have to do effort to get paid and then they will naturally want to join the benefit train. This is already pointed out in Bastiat's quote. "Why hunt when I can just take?" Conservatives feel that through an individual's own self-interest (which is in most people) they get motivated enough so that they don't want to starve and have nothing, and through their desire they work with others in a give and take situation because it's easier (hopefully) than just relying on low paying welfare. It seems to work much better than leveling the playing field and trying to create equal outcomes. If social programs were really more efficient and could get people to produce what they could now irregardless of them being paid the same money then I would be more convinced of the left-wing point of view.

Now if I give all my money (or even most) to the government I'm really working for the government so not being able to control my resources seriously limits my freedom because of my dependence on the state and reducing my responsibilities eliminates the opportunity for responsibility and the opportunity to develop those proper habits to handle responsibilities. I think that's pretty obvious. Secondly if I don't take care of my own financial responsibilities I won't be in the position to even help anyone else. I'll be a charity case myself. It's known that non-profit organizations receive less charity during a downturn in the economy.

Next, kicking out dictators is hardly anti-freedom. If the U.S. annexed Iraq and Afghanistan as part of the U.S.'s on going empire then you would have a point. It may have flaws but definately it's not pointless.

Next, when talking about gay rights I would agree though that has more to do with ignorance. Gays and lesbians can still live together and make a life in practice even if the term "marriage" is being debated still. Once people are convinced that it's really none of their business how people marry it will be hard to defend the term "marriage" when each individual marriage can decide for themselves.

If people focussed on freedom as doing what you ought to do within guidelines of not interfering in other people's freedom then I think we would be on the right track. The debate that goes on is which person is being harmed. I don't think conservatives are perfect but they are hardly wrong all the time. Conservatives don't take bureaucrats seriously as being for the people because we all know they like to get good salaries and pension benefits and feather their nests regardless of the cost to the taxpayer. That's why competition is so important. Government monopolies aren't known for efficiency. In fact all monopolies are inherently inefficient. Bastiat's use of the word "theft" is very apt because we can see today that even capitalists don't want to compete and would prefer to rely on corporate welfare or to work with other companies in "non-compete payments" to stick it to the general consumer because it is easier to do that than to compete and earn a living.

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I object to a lot of things my taxes pay for, but that is not how the game operates. 'Taxation is theft' is the most stupid, irresponsible line of all time. Yeah, go live in fucking Somalia, would be my response.
You need to look at your statement of taxation not being theft and reconcile it with "I object to a lot of things my taxes pay for" so the argument is more convincing. Surely people willfully pay taxes for things they think the government does best and will benefit the most within guidelines of affordability but we have to be watchful and audit the results because most people earn their money and people shouldn't scoff at it since it includes themselves. This is why conservatives didn't like the way taxes were changed and levied on your pay cheque before you received it. It made it feel like that money was not yours but ownership of the government. Psychologically if people kept their pay and paid taxes on tax day (requiring them to save and be responsible for their money) they would be more careful with their votes and how the taxes are spent. The way it is now is "out of sight out of mind" and the government can get arrogant with our money we earned (painfully in many instances).
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Old 07-31-2009, 08:53 PM   #84
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Well thanks for clearing that up for me, purpleoscar.

People pay taxes because that is what government is founded on. And in a modern democracy the government, loosely speaking, exists on the consent of the governed. If the governed choose to forget that and retreat into a 'poor bugger me' mindset, that's not healthy for democracy. You talk about government as though it is some sort of company you bought something from. Big mistake. Taxation is not a commercial transaction, it is a social compact.

Again, the line is stupid and irresponsible because the end result of that line of thinking is not freedom. As I said, see Somalia. See any non-functioning or semi-functioning state on earth. It might look like freedom if you squint but by god I wouldn't want to live there unless I was the biggest, meanest dog on the block.
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Old 08-01-2009, 12:25 PM   #85
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Taxation is not a commercial transaction, it is a social compact.

I think you meant to type contract? It is a social contract where one party weighs the odds in its favour.
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Old 08-01-2009, 12:26 PM   #86
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Now do we want to force people in a concentration camp to change their habits? Well no, forcing doesn't work as well because the person is not really making the choice and they may out of spite return to their old habits when released from the prison/concentration camp.
I think there are better arguments against concentration camps than that the inmates 'may out of spite return to their old habits' upon release.
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Old 08-01-2009, 01:28 PM   #87
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I think there are better arguments against concentration camps than that the inmates 'may out of spite return to their old habits' upon release.
This is out of context to what I'm talking about. Since social engineers have often used concentration camps and reeducation camps to change peoples habits (which is extreme to say the least and not tenable) then we are left with people figuring out their own problems on their own most of the time instead of believing some Godly human bureaucrat can solve it for us. Social programs have to have evidence that they work and to provide what we can't provide for ourselves when we are making the right decisions, otherwise we should decide what we want to do with our money that is not needed in the failed program.

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Again, the line is stupid and irresponsible because the end result of that line of thinking is not freedom. As I said, see Somalia. See any non-functioning or semi-functioning state on earth. It might look like freedom if you squint but by god I wouldn't want to live there unless I was the biggest, meanest dog on the block.
It's is not stupid and irresponsible. What I'm talking about is that work needs effort therefore motivation to happen. If we denigrate what taxpayers do to earn their income forgetting that government bureaucrats can get arrogant with our money it becomes a situation that veers towards slavery. If unearned bonuses in the private sector is considered thievery then unearned benefits in government should be considered the same. Creating rights that are affordable is reasonable but creating rights that are unaffordable will eventually be rejected. So those who keep dreaming utopian dreams will be constantly disappointed whereas those who dig in and create habits and plans that respond to real results will experience fullfillment and happiness more often because their expectations are realistic, therefore expectations are met more often.

Somalia is just an extreme example that fits anarchy more than classical liberalism and it ignores my Bastiat quote on thievery and law. Bastiat is not anti-law. Somalia is not a place where thievery is punished and work rewarded. Somalia is not even like the 1700's or 1800's. Certainly a point of view of the 1800's needs to be updated to today but being respectful of taxpayers is smart since if you over tax them you get less tax revenue hurting the very programs you want. "Don't kill the goose that lays the golden egg" would be an appropriate maxim. It's known that when the tax rate gets around 40 - 50% that production and real growth can slow which means there will be less money than expected to redistribute on the programs you want. This is usually when government starts rationing all kinds of programs and even left-wing governments are forced to make cuts disappointing those who had delusions that government social programs would satisfy them the way they want it to. Government makes all kinds of promises they can't keep (unfunded social security liabilities) and when taxes go up precipitously and benefits get watered down people will complain and they have a right to because they sacrificed something to earn the money in the first place.
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Old 08-01-2009, 08:20 PM   #88
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I think you meant to type contract? It is a social contract where one party weighs the odds in its favour.
Yeah contract is another fair word, certainly, I don't disagree. But no it wasn't a typo: I meant compact. Of course my vocabulary might be slipping away from me, it does that sometimes, but I had something more than just a contract in mind.

Taxation in and of itself is just a means to an end: I tend to sympathise with that quote about it being the price of civilisation. The price of civilisation; not special favours owed in return for money exchanged.

Now we can argue over the specifics and over how and where the load is spread (for example, I am not a fan of placing significant reliance on sales based taxes as they tend to be regressive, and you can forget about flat taxes), but 'taxation is theft' will always receive my undying contempt.
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Old 08-02-2009, 05:28 AM   #89
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And purpleoscar, if you can feel free to go on about fucking concentration camps and who knows what-all at the drop of a hat, I will feel very free to mention Somalia, an extreme but not unique example of life under a weak state.
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Old 08-02-2009, 11:47 AM   #90
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It's known that when the tax rate gets around 40 - 50% that production and real growth can slow which means there will be less money than expected to redistribute on the programs you want.
I want to know who here is paying 40-50% in their effective tax rate? Anyone? Bueller?

Hell, how many are even in the 40-50% marginal tax rate?

It's like a friend of mine who said to me "it's so frustrating when they take half my pay for taxes!" and in reality her effective tax rate is something like 28%.
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