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Author Topic:   American Budget Cuts
Coyote
Member (Idle past 184 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 316 of 350 (607095)
03-01-2011 11:30 PM
Reply to: Message 315 by Phage0070
03-01-2011 10:54 PM


Re: simple
That brings up the second part of the joke:

Think dirty: shower with an archaeologist.

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Off-topic banner.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 315 by Phage0070, posted 03-01-2011 10:54 PM Phage0070 has not yet responded

xongsmith
Member
Posts: 1871
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009


(1)
Message 317 of 350 (607097)
03-02-2011 12:18 AM
Reply to: Message 312 by RAZD
03-01-2011 10:36 PM


Re: simple
RAZD writes:

Hi Phagee0070

WTF do I do with my money?

Retire, give to charity, fund hospitals, create scholarships to schools for disadvantaged kids that can make use of a good education, etc etc etc. I could fill a page.

Nobody says you need to keep making money, instead you can ...

Enjoy.

Enjoy indeed.

In order to keep it, you have to give it away.


- xongsmith, 5.7d
This message is a reply to:
 Message 312 by RAZD, posted 03-01-2011 10:36 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 318 by RAZD, posted 03-02-2011 12:32 AM xongsmith has not yet responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19758
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.7


Message 318 of 350 (607099)
03-02-2011 12:32 AM
Reply to: Message 317 by xongsmith
03-02-2011 12:18 AM


Re: simple
Hi xongsmith,

In order to keep it, you have to give it away.

I would say "in order to benefit from it you have to give it away."

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 317 by xongsmith, posted 03-02-2011 12:18 AM xongsmith has not yet responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 19758
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.7


Message 319 of 350 (607100)
03-02-2011 12:38 AM
Reply to: Message 313 by Phage0070
03-01-2011 10:50 PM


still simple
Hi Phage0070,

But again, gifting money would have to be off limits to avoid concentrating wealth. Suppose Grandpa Hilton only funds the hospitals owned by Father Hilton, Mother Hilton, Son Hilton, etc... Not quite what you were after was it?

Always amusing to see how people try to twist things around, attempting to make their position seem more tenable than it really is. Certainly those would not be the ONLY choices.

So you are relying upon these people who already tend to give massively to charity to become much more altruistic based on being able to retire from being so filthy rich they didn't need to work anyway.

I'm just pointing out several rather mundane and OBVIOUS replies to your question -- or did you forget what that was? Message 312 You asked, I answered: simple.

Enjoy,


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 313 by Phage0070, posted 03-01-2011 10:50 PM Phage0070 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 320 by Phage0070, posted 03-02-2011 7:46 AM RAZD has responded

Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 320 of 350 (607122)
03-02-2011 7:46 AM
Reply to: Message 319 by RAZD
03-02-2011 12:38 AM


Re: still simple
RAZD writes:

Certainly those would not be the ONLY choices.

Its not the only choice *now*. You didn't provide a plausible explanation for why people should take risks with their money simply to be more charitable than they already were, and you specifically ignored my points about giving away wealth being problematic.

RAZD writes:

You asked, I answered: simple.

I haven't expected you to ever be more than simple RAZD, but I do wish you had added something to the topic.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 319 by RAZD, posted 03-02-2011 12:38 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 323 by RAZD, posted 03-02-2011 8:59 AM Phage0070 has responded

Taz
Member (Idle past 1369 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


(1)
Message 321 of 350 (607123)
03-02-2011 8:03 AM
Reply to: Message 313 by Phage0070
03-01-2011 10:50 PM


Re: simple
Phage0070 writes:

But again, gifting money would have to be off limits to avoid concentrating wealth. Suppose Grandpa Hilton only funds the hospitals owned by Father Hilton, Mother Hilton, Son Hilton, etc... Not quite what you were after was it?


First of all, you need to stop with this what-if bullshit. This is little better than creationist tactics of what-iffing something to death.

Rich people tend to have the tendency to spend some money on charity and then twice that amount to publicize it. I'm not saying that all rich people do this, but at the same time you seem to be idolizing them quite a bit here.

I'd have to agree with jesus on this one. If I have 60 billion dollars and I give 2 million to charity, that's just pocket change for me. Besides, I have people like you idolizing me so that I can feel better for myself.

You're ignoring all the altruistic efforts by simple folks who give way way way more than rich folks. Perhaps they don't have the monetary values to show for it, but they certainly give a whole shitload more.

I remember when princess diana was touring the world. I was still in middle school when she was doing this. Despite the reports that she spent 10 times as much on her make-up and dresses everyday than what she gave to charity, people like you were idolizing her up and down. She took a picture with some poor kid and OMG she's a goddess! Please, someone that spends thousands of dollars each day to make herself look good is hardly someone worth you idolizing. So, stop with this bullshit.

When I had just graduated college and was still struggling to stabilize my life, I once ran across a runaway kid who wanted a ride. It was obvious he had not been eating well, so I took him to a restaurant. Talked to him for an hour or two and convinced him to go home. I then drove several hours out of my way to take him home. Once I saw him go inside to his parents I just left. Never once did I try to preach him about my personal beliefs like certain people here with their church coup kitchen (ahem).

That's how you help humanity, not spend $5k a day on make-up or give to charity $10k and then spend $2 million to tell people about it.

Some might accuse me of saying these things because I'm poor and I hate rich people. You know that Obama's tax plan that would tax rich people more? Half of my family fall under that catagory. I'm not saying don't try to be rich. But please spare me the bullshit that comes with it.

Edited by Taz, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 313 by Phage0070, posted 03-01-2011 10:50 PM Phage0070 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 322 by Phage0070, posted 03-02-2011 8:21 AM Taz has responded

Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 322 of 350 (607125)
03-02-2011 8:21 AM
Reply to: Message 321 by Taz
03-02-2011 8:03 AM


Re: simple
Taz writes:

First of all, you need to stop with this what-if bullshit. This is little better than creationist tactics of what-iffing something to death.

First of all, this is hardly a far-fetched "what if" scenario. Second, we are talking about "what if" we limited the total wealth an individual can accumulate; if you wan't to stop with the "what if" then this particular thread of discussion just dies.

Taz writes:

I'd have to agree with jesus on this one.

Its this sort of non sequitur which really puts spice into discussions. I thought that I was debating the benefits and costs of hard maximum wealth limits in a capitalistic free market as it applies to society overall, but apparently Jesus has an opinion and Taz can tell it to me!

Taz writes:

You're ignoring all the altruistic efforts by simple folks who give way way way more than rich folks. Perhaps they don't have the monetary values to show for it, but they certainly give a whole shitload more.

Ok... I haven't even approached any sort of moral judgment on the topic of charity, mainly because its irrelevant. Non-monetary altruism is completely off topic which is why its being ignored.

Taz writes:

You know that Obama's tax plan that would tax rich people more?

How about you make an effort to stay with the topic?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 321 by Taz, posted 03-02-2011 8:03 AM Taz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 327 by Taz, posted 03-02-2011 10:22 PM Phage0070 has responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 19758
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.7


Message 323 of 350 (607129)
03-02-2011 8:59 AM
Reply to: Message 320 by Phage0070
03-02-2011 7:46 AM


still simple, still off topic
Hi Phage00700,

... but I do wish you had added something to the topic.

Says the poster who is the most off-topic member on this thread (74 posts, almost all off topic). Of course insult is the best answer when you have no other answer.

You didn't provide a plausible explanation for why people should take risks with their money simply to be more charitable than they already were, and you specifically ignored my points about giving away wealth being problematic.

but you only made up the problems post hoc, which don't really limit what you could do. Curiously, it's not a risk to give money away. Unless it's in your fantasy world, so

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 320 by Phage0070, posted 03-02-2011 7:46 AM Phage0070 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 324 by Phage0070, posted 03-02-2011 9:07 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 324 of 350 (607132)
03-02-2011 9:07 AM
Reply to: Message 323 by RAZD
03-02-2011 8:59 AM


Re: still simple, still off topic
RAZD writes:

Curiously, it's not a risk to give money away.

But you do have to have risk involved in an investment to make money. And yeah, some of those objections are going to be post hoc unless you expect me to read your mind about what inane comments you are going to post next.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 323 by RAZD, posted 03-02-2011 8:59 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

Straggler
Member
Posts: 10284
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 325 of 350 (607163)
03-02-2011 10:37 AM
Reply to: Message 308 by Phage0070
03-01-2011 7:58 PM


Re: inequality widens, gets worse for the workers
Phage writes:

Straggler writes:

Is there any concentration of wealth that you think would be socially divisive or economically unsustainable enough to warrant intervention? 1% of the population owns 90% of the wealth? 95%? 99%?

I'm finding it difficult to draw a line due to not having any idea of what danger you are trying to prevent.

The idea that the concentration of wealth at any given point in time is irrelevant in practical terms only makes sense if you think that there is an unlimited amount of wealth in existence at any given point in time. Do you think the amount of wealth in existence at any point in time is unlimited?

Phage writes:

This means that the creation of wealth is an accelerating process and the only way to avoid those sorts of concentration is to simply take it from those who own it, who made it.

Well you say made. But actually the bulk of the wealth acquired by the stratospherically wealthy is simply a direct consequence of the ever increasing concentration of wealth that the economic system you have described inevitably results in isnt it? But I see where you are going wrong more generally. You are conflating the term earnings as defined by and derived from a particular economic system with the concept of earned as applied to some sort of innate moral right to ownership. Can you see that they are not the same thing?

Phage writes:

and give them nothing in return

Well they get to be the incredibly privileged wealthy elite in a society that runs on an economic system that didnt just allow a tiny few to become stratospherically wealthy but which made it practically inevitable. Those who have benefited most are being asked for nothing more than to contribute a bit more to supporting the system that facilitated their stratospheric wealth in the first place and which underpins the society which makes that wealth possible.

Phage writes:

Straggler writes:

Do you think that in order to function capitalism requires the unfettered concentration of wealth?


No, but I understand that wealth aids in creating more wealth.

OK. But creates wealth for who? We choose our economic system dont we? It is not God given is it? To what ultimate purpose do we want the economic system we put in place to generate wealth for? What are we ultimately trying to achieve by implementing a capitalist society? Who ultimately have we selected that economic system to benefit?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 308 by Phage0070, posted 03-01-2011 7:58 PM Phage0070 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 329 by Phage0070, posted 03-02-2011 10:46 PM Straggler has responded

Taq
Member
Posts: 7673
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 326 of 350 (607180)
03-02-2011 12:13 PM
Reply to: Message 311 by RAZD
03-01-2011 10:27 PM


Re: TOPIC REDIRECT: reduce the military budget first if budget cuts necessary
Indeed, and unregulated capitalism has time and again been proven to be disastrous, whenever it is tried. From the recent deregulation of banks, to previous deregulation of the health industry.

The same could be said of democracy. There are some things that are not up for vote, such as basic human rights. Also, there are times when unpopular policies must be enacted.

Personally, imho, the pretense of America serving as a Global Police has done more harm to the values of America than any other program.

I think we need to go back to the origin of this situation. Previous to WWII America took a mostly isolationist position. Until the bombing of Pearl Harbor public sentiment was very much against entering the war in Europe. The common saying was "Europe's problems are Europe's problems". Perhaps this was a bit naive, but that is a different subject for a different time.

After the war America took on a very vital role. It was the only country whose industry was not ravaged by war. America was in the position to supply loans and equipment to rebuild Europe and Japan (i.e. the Marshal Plan). Also, America served as an intermediary between old rivals which allowed for a cooling of hostilities even as the cold war ramped up. Compare this to the period between WWI and WWII where reparations for past transgressions were the rule. The Europe we see today is due in part to the influence of America as a global policeman. The presence of American troops in Germany and Okinawa (and even later in S. Korea) were a "guarantee" of peace, if you will.

After the rebuilding of Europe, America served as a very strong counterweight to the Soviet Union. You could put it in terms of NATO v. Warsaw Pact, but we all know who the heavy hitters were.

In the modern age the US is still seen as the global police when it serves the common good. In the eyes of many, including myself, the UN is too bogged down in bureaucracy and self interest. I'm not saying that the UN is broken, but at times there are too many interests and too much posturing.

There is also one truth that can not be ignored. The military power of America allows it to shape world events in it's favor. It is a source of influence that allows the US to pursue it's national interests. Military is power. We can argue back and forth as to whether economics or moral standing should be the source of influence, but you can not ignore the sway that tanks and aircraft carriers possess. Whenever the the US wants to make their voice heard in hostile situations what is the first thing that happens? The US sends an aircraft carrier to the region.

The question that needs to be asked is if we are paying too high a price for this influence. Can we keep pumping this amount of money into the military while citizens go without health care and a livable pension? What about the basic infrastructure of the country? I really think these things will come to a head in the next 25 years.

Personally, imho, I don't think any single nation can do this, for then who polices the police?

I think it is a matter of global opinion. As long as the US is seen as a (mostly) just nation they will be allowed to be the police. The election of Obama as president did a lot to earn back some of that respect. It was rightly seen as a rejection of Bush politics as well as a step towards a post-racial America. Now it is up to Obama to win back that respect.

I disagree. I think a strong case can be made for reducing redundant spending in the military: we don't need more atomic bombs for instance, nor do we need to do more testing.

I completely agree with your sentiment, but I think we all know how this can be spun. Any reduction in military spending can be spun in a way to make a candidate look weak. This goes back to JFK's "missile gap" tactic used against Eisenhower.

In addition, I think a strong case can be made for an international approach to Global Police and that many Americans would be relieved to have less of a national exposure to the world violence, especially when it has no apparent benefit to the US. Ask the average person why we are in Iraq.

The UN is too unpopular with Americans to make this work. Not only that, but any presidential candidate that speaks of handing over decisions to the UN is seen as weak. The ethos is that the US does not need to ask the UN to do anything, and any limitations put on the US by the UN is unconstitutional (whether that is correct or not). In politics, perception is reality. In order to change the reality you need to change perception first.

Indeed. Sadly, many Americans do not even have a high school education sufficient to qualify for higher education, so there could also be some remedial (science?) education built in - along with the lessons gained from service in other parts of the country.

This of course would also be like a return to the WPA jobs from the Great Depression (due, of course, to another failure of unregulated capitalism), and it could also provide much more than education.

This could also be a route for new immigrants to take into the country: work for the New WPA for two years, during which you learn the english language and the laws of the land, the provisions of the constitution, etc, so that at the end you are equipped to pass the tests for citizenship.

These types of jobs would pump service back into the country, and benefit the nation more than redundant military spending.

The difficulty here is running these vocational programs without taking jobs away from the public sector. If you have a publically funded auto shop that charges half of what Jim the Mechanic charges then there will be a lot of pissed off people. Even WPA projects would be a tough sell since these jobs are now filled by private corporations through a bidding process. During the Great Depression these corporations were gone and so the government didn't have a problem hiring people directly.

Perhaps a good way around this is to have a vocational education program for basic knowledge of the field and then an apprenticeship program that gives tax breaks to businesses for taking on newly trained workers. We could also send these apprentices abroad to build schools, hospitals, water purification plants, etc. in 3rd world nations.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 311 by RAZD, posted 03-01-2011 10:27 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

Taz
Member (Idle past 1369 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


(1)
Message 327 of 350 (607280)
03-02-2011 10:22 PM
Reply to: Message 322 by Phage0070
03-02-2011 8:21 AM


Re: simple
phage writes:

First of all, this is hardly a far-fetched "what if" scenario. Second, we are talking about "what if" we limited the total wealth an individual can accumulate; if you wan't to stop with the "what if" then this particular thread of discussion just dies.


I don't mind what-ifs. I do mind what-iffing something just for the sake of what-iffing it. Based on my experience, anything at all can be what-iffed to death.

Take capitalism, for example. What if we follow the true path of unregulated capitalism? Then all the wealth in a nation would fall into the hands of a few people who would use the wealth to acquire more.

You can what-if all you want, but please be a little realistic. At least my what-if example is based on historical facts. Your what-if is more like "oh noes, what if the rich won't be able to get rich enough..."

Its this sort of non sequitur which really puts spice into discussions. I thought that I was debating the benefits and costs of hard maximum wealth limits in a capitalistic free market as it applies to society overall, but apparently Jesus has an opinion and Taz can tell it to me!

*Blink* You did not just say that did you? On a forum specializing in debates about these things, you seriously don't get my reference?

Ok... I haven't even approached any sort of moral judgment on the topic of charity, mainly because its irrelevant. Non-monetary altruism is completely off topic which is why its being ignored.

Yes, you have. You've been yapping quite a few times on how good rich people are for giving to charity. Just go back and see for yourself.

How about you make an effort to stay with the topic?

American Budget Cuts. I believe that's the topic of this thread, no? It says so in the title.

Edit.

More to the point. Who do you think pay for the budget cuts? Santa Claus?

Edited by Taz, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 322 by Phage0070, posted 03-02-2011 8:21 AM Phage0070 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 328 by Phage0070, posted 03-02-2011 10:28 PM Taz has responded

Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 328 of 350 (607282)
03-02-2011 10:28 PM
Reply to: Message 327 by Taz
03-02-2011 10:22 PM


Re: simple
Taz writes:

What if we follow the true path of unregulated capitalism? Then all the wealth in a nation would fall into the hands of a few people who would use the wealth to acquire more.

That doesn't follow. What caused the middle class and poor to start losing real wealth rather than continually gaining it, like what has been historically happening?

Taz writes:

Yes, you have. You've been yapping quite a few times on how good rich people are for giving to charity. Just go back and see for yourself.

Why don't you do that for me? I only recall pointing out that the rich already tend to give to charity and that removing a burden they didn't have in the first place wasn't likely to increase their amount. Thats not a moral judgment or tooting their horn, its just an assessment of what would or wouldn't motivate a change in behavior.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 327 by Taz, posted 03-02-2011 10:22 PM Taz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 330 by Taz, posted 03-02-2011 11:36 PM Phage0070 has responded

Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 329 of 350 (607284)
03-02-2011 10:46 PM
Reply to: Message 325 by Straggler
03-02-2011 10:37 AM


Re: inequality widens, gets worse for the workers
Straggler writes:

The idea that the concentration of wealth at any given point in time is irrelevant in practical terms only makes sense if you think that there is an unlimited amount of wealth in existence at any given point in time.

Look, suppose that there is another planet with aliens on it who have a machine which can churn out real wealth at a stratospheric rate. Since it is just them and us in this scenario, when they switch on their machine the aliens become immensely wealthy very quickly. There is only a finite amount of wealth in the system, but it almost immediately becomes concentrated on the alien's planet.

Why exactly do we care? Progress on our planet continues unabated, everyone increases in real wealth at the same rate they did before. The aliens being super-rich isn't relevant.

Yes, in this example the planets are isolated. But what if they were right next to each other, or we were talking about the same country? What exactly is the interaction thats going to be so horrible?

Straggler writes:

But actually the bulk of the wealth acquired by the stratospherically wealthy is simply a direct consequence of the ever increasing concentration of wealth that the economic system you have described inevitably results in isnt it?

A system which is basically summed up as retaining control of your resources. Do you really think that the wealth yielded from investments is just some sort of strange technicality of our economic system, or is it a deserved kickback for real benefit?

Straggler writes:

You are conflating the term earnings as defined by and derived from a particular economic system with the concept of earned as applied to some sort of innate moral right to ownership. Can you see that they are not the same thing?

Conceptually, yes, but as I have said before if you are going to draw a distinction you need to point out where the economic system diverges from morality. Otherwise you are just asking for miscommunication.

For the sake of expediency I am going to assume that legal economic transactions are at the very least morally neutral until indicated otherwise. I can't read your mind Straggler.

Straggler writes:

Well they get to be the incredibly privileged wealthy elite in a society that runs on an economic system that didnt just allow a tiny few to become stratospherically wealthy but which made it practically inevitable.

They don't "run" a free market. There isn't any "running" to be done, thats what makes it free. People are free not to have anything to do with the rich, but they do so because its in their self interest to borrow their wealth.

Straggler writes:

Phage writes:

Straggler writes:

Do you think that in order to function capitalism requires the unfettered concentration of wealth?


No, but I understand that wealth aids in creating more wealth.

OK. But creates wealth for who?

For everyone, don't you get that? When the rich invest their money the people who take that investment do so of their own free will because it makes them wealthier than they would otherwise be able to achieve. Everyone benefits, otherwise they wouldn't participate.

Is that "OK", or did you have something else in mind other than mutual benefit?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 325 by Straggler, posted 03-02-2011 10:37 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 332 by Straggler, posted 03-03-2011 12:47 AM Phage0070 has responded

Taz
Member (Idle past 1369 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


(1)
Message 330 of 350 (607288)
03-02-2011 11:36 PM
Reply to: Message 328 by Phage0070
03-02-2011 10:28 PM


Re: simple
phage writes:

That doesn't follow. What caused the middle class and poor to start losing real wealth rather than continually gaining it, like what has been historically happening?


Before I go down this path of debatre with you, I need to know if you're genuinely this naive or if you're just playing dumb.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 328 by Phage0070, posted 03-02-2011 10:28 PM Phage0070 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 331 by Phage0070, posted 03-02-2011 11:38 PM Taz has responded

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