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Social Security: A Monstrous Truth
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Sergio Stefanuto



Joined: 14 May 2009
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unposter wrote:
First of all, I don't understand why these are the only choices people have.


Suggest some alternatives, then

In the Third World, I propose that there are but two choices: performing drudgery in the sweatshops of the evil rich, or conditions that are even worse.

Is this incorrect?

Unposter wrote:
Now, the first problem with Sergio's strawman argument here is that in reality "wicked" and "good" are not static but dynamic qualities. People are sometimes "wicked" and sometimes "good." And, people change. Sometimes the "wicked" become "good" and sometimes the "good" (maybe in times of weakness) do "wicked" things or even just become "wicked."


If some men are good and some men are wicked, or all men are a little bit good and a little bit wicked, government is, again, unavoidably wicked. Unless we have some method for ensuring that only the saintly become government officials, they are unlikely to be any less wicked than the things for which government was deemed necessary in the first place.

Unposter wrote:
So, yes, there are reasons why good men may choose to have government.


That's great, but it doesn't have anything to do with what I said, and nor does it challenge my assertion that, since humans are flawed, government is thereby unavoidably flawed.

Quis ipsos custodiet custodes?

Unposter wrote:
So, once again, we see people blinded and biased by their assumptions they quickly jump on any sophistry that agrees with their highly subjective world view.


So, once again, Unposter has shown that what he learned in his state-run school and his worthless liberal arts degree was political advocacy parading as education. He has spent x number of years wrapped in the warm embrace of the state and advocates its value, oblivious to the obvious fact that his moral and political convictions converge - entirely by coincidence, of course - with his self-interest. He even has the cheek to say that his opponents are blinded by bias - the implication being that he is not and his liberalism nothing more than rational.

Johnnyenglishteacher wrote:
You can't separate actions from consequences. If a system leads to slavery, then it is either (a) inherently wicked or (b) not inherently wicked, but in need of reform.


Of course you can. Millions of people invest their own personal capital every day. Inevitably, since humans are relentlessly selfish, some men will invest money into things which, while profitable for him, cause direct harm to others and indirect harm to those who experience the feeling of moral revulsion. This does not in any way suggest there is some action we must take against producers of capital, any more than the fact that many people who are victims of murder are killed with a knife suggests we must take action against the producers of knives.
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visitorq



Joined: 11 Jan 2008

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnnyenglishteacher2 wrote:
In which case, Sergio's reply to mine makes little sense. I was not talking about people entering into a sweatshop out of choice, I was talking about forced labour. That is why I chose child labour as an example - because slavery is a reality for many, many children throughout the world.

That's debatable. "Many, many children"? Child labor may not be a savory notion, but just because they are from poor families, in poor communities, in poor countries, and need to work for a living does not make it slavery. Slavery is being physically forced to do something. Now some children (not many, many) no doubt are forced to engage in hard labor, but again this sort of thing exists entirely independently from capitalism and has no causal relationship with it in principle. To say otherwise is to be disingenuous.

If anything, these children have no future without the wealth generating powers of capitalism. Over time their lives are improved, investment in technology increased, and their children and children's children will not have to even consider working such jobs. Regardless, if you could somehow show that capitalism could not exist without child or slave labor and that it is inherent, then that might be a matter worth discussing. But I have no doubt you cannot.
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johnnyenglishteacher2



Joined: 03 Dec 2010

PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

visitorq wrote:
johnnyenglishteacher2 wrote:
In which case, Sergio's reply to mine makes little sense. I was not talking about people entering into a sweatshop out of choice, I was talking about forced labour. That is why I chose child labour as an example - because slavery is a reality for many, many children throughout the world.

That's debatable. "Many, many children"? Child labor may not be a savory notion, but just because they are from poor families, in poor communities, in poor countries, and need to work for a living does not make it slavery. Slavery is being physically forced to do something. Now some children (not many, many) no doubt are forced to engage in hard labor, but again this sort of thing exists entirely independently from capitalism and has no causal relationship with it in principle. To say otherwise is to be disingenuous.


No, but I'm talking specifically about the ones who are forced into it. They are slaves.

How can you say that there is no causal relationship when the goal is to maximise profit? If the goal is to maximise profit, for example children who are forced to act as soldiers for the LRA, then it isn't a consequence of capitalism. If the goal of slavery is to cut production costs on the t-shirt that you or I might buy in a shop, then it is a consequence of capitalism.

visitorq wrote:
if you could somehow show that capitalism could not exist without child or slave labor and that it is inherent, then that might be a matter worth discussing. But I have no doubt you cannot.


I never made such a claim.
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johnnyenglishteacher2



Joined: 03 Dec 2010

PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sergio Stefanuto wrote:
Johnnyenglishteacher wrote:
You can't separate actions from consequences. If a system leads to slavery, then it is either (a) inherently wicked or (b) not inherently wicked, but in need of reform.


Of course you can. Millions of people invest their own personal capital every day. Inevitably, since humans are relentlessly selfish, some men will invest money into things which, while profitable for him, cause direct harm to others and indirect harm to those who experience the feeling of moral revulsion. This does not in any way suggest there is some action we must take against producers of capital, any more than the fact that many people who are victims of murder are killed with a knife suggests we must take action against the producers of knives.


Well, obviously you wouldn't take any action against those who conduct their business in a legal way, but seeing as slavery is illegal in nearly every country in the world, it just requires the application of law. Which is, admittedly, easier said than done.
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johnnyenglishteacher2



Joined: 03 Dec 2010

PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ontheway wrote:
Government Infrastructure programs must end. They have caused some of the greatest long-term economic disasters ever seen. They are so large and so crippling that it will take generations, centuries actually, to overcome the most deleterious effects. Yet, they are too big for most people to even see. It's like seeing the Earth while standing upon it.


This is where I must take a separate path from the libertarians. Who do you propose maintains roads, railways, bridges, dams? Who should make sure that your air isn't being poisoned?

ontheway wrote:

At the same time, we must not neglect issues of personal liberty. All laws that infringe on personal liberties must be repealed and the political prisoners released and present and past victims of these laws pardoned. Laws that regulate drugs, gambling, prostitution, alcohol, tobacco, gun ownership etc must be repealed. The death penalty ended. Tax evaders pardoned.

The US empire and wars must be ended. All troops brought home in an orderly manner from around the globe. All alliances terminated. The US should maintain a modest defense force and let the world take care of its own problems.

These are a few of the immediate actions that need to happen.


I would agree on these except the issues of tax evaders and gun ownership.


ontheway wrote:
Over a medium term, we must reduce total government spending at all levels of the government: Federal, State and Local to a constitutionally capped 10% combined with a single tax on consumption shared by the three levels. We must finish the process of recinding and repealing entitlement obligations and eliminate the unfunded national debt and use government assets to retire the remaining bonded indebtedness. Government ownership of property beyond basic land, buildings, equipment, furnishings, monuments etc needed to carry out the core functions of government should be prohibited. Government must be removed from all areas of education and strict separation of education and state established - this is more essential than the need for the separation of church and state. Strict prohibitions on the government interfering in the personal lives of individuals, spying on or collecting information about individuals must end - unless specifically supported by criminal search warrants. Constitutional guarantees must secure these liberties.

From there in the long term we can finally reduce the government to appropriate levels and rely on voluntary funding and end taxation altogether. Government must be reduced to police, courts and national defense roles. These issues are already serious enough and difficult enough to demand the full attention of elected officials. Everything else belongs in the free market which will do the best possible job that can be done by human beings in all areas. In all areas, including education and providing services for the needy, the socialist system of government programs has failed. The free market has proven that it can take care of these same problems better and cheaper without coercion or taxation. Both in theory and in the real world socialism always fails - there are no exceptions. Both in theory and the real world the free market works.


Again, I would definitely disagree with this. While the USA and the UK are undoubtedly struggling with primary and secondary education, there are many countries which educate their citizens to a very high level.
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daskalos



Joined: 19 May 2006
Location: The Road to Ithaca

PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Because I have an actual life, as opposed to a Dave's Message Board Life, it's been nearly a week since I checked in. And I've cut and pasted the juiciest idiotic bits from the [Ad-Hominem Language] in this thread (you know who you are) into a file that I either will or will not specifically respond to, depending on how much idle time I have on my hands in the coming several days.

Until then, the topic that interests me is slavery, and the effective rebranding of that concept. I wonder how many of any of the people on this thread have ever lived for more than fifteen minutes in the South of the US. Anyone who has lived for any length of time there can't help but have noticed that virtually every counter employee of any fast food joint is black. That some fair majority of store clerks are also black. Those who look a little deeper will see that those farm workers who aren't migrant hispanics are also black. The only salient difference between these workers and those of 200 years ago is that today they can quit doing the lowest tier labor. But still, they earn only enough to be considered a subsitence wage, which is the effective equivalent of what their labor earned them as slaves, 200 years ago. Really, it's just rebranding, with a benefit or two.

Yeah, unbridled capitalism is King. I'll get back to you all, or not, as my mood suits, on your more idiotic suppositions. For now, discuss ...
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jaykimf



Joined: 24 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big_Bird wrote:


Perhaps because he knows that it is impossible to reason with a 'True Believer.'


Is "True Believer" the new euphemism to describe those people with whom it is a waste of time to argue?
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Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

daskalos wrote:

Until then, the topic that interests me is slavery, and the effective rebranding of that concept. I wonder how many of any of the people on this thread have ever lived for more than fifteen minutes in the South of the US. Anyone who has lived for any length of time there can't help but have noticed that virtually every counter employee of any fast food joint is black. That some fair majority of store clerks are also black. Those who look a little deeper will see that those farm workers who aren't migrant hispanics are also black. The only salient difference between these workers and those of 200 years ago is that today they can quit doing the lowest tier labor. But still, they earn only enough to be considered a subsitence wage, which is the effective equivalent of what their labor earned them as slaves, 200 years ago. Really, it's just rebranding, with a benefit or two.


The most sympathetic and generous interpretation of the above:

you're trolling
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Angry Bird Rios



Joined: 15 Sep 2011
Location: Flinging through the air

PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

^ You beat me to it.
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visitorq



Joined: 11 Jan 2008

PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

daskalos wrote:
Anyone who has lived for any length of time there can't help but have noticed that virtually every counter employee of any fast food joint is black. That some fair majority of store clerks are also black. Those who look a little deeper will see that those farm workers who aren't migrant hispanics are also black.

Yawn.

Quote:
The only salient difference between these workers and those of 200 years ago is that today they can quit doing the lowest tier labor. But still, they earn only enough to be considered a subsitence wage, which is the effective equivalent of what their labor earned them as slaves, 200 years ago. Really, it's just rebranding, with a benefit or two.

Oh really. So black people in the South are still "basically" slaves? Mm'kay... And you were accusing other people on here of being idiots? Smile

Quote:
I'll get back to you all, or not, as my mood suits, on your more idiotic suppositions. For now, discuss ...

How shall we cope with the suspense?
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visitorq



Joined: 11 Jan 2008

PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jaykimf wrote:
Big_Bird wrote:


Perhaps because he knows that it is impossible to reason with a 'True Believer.'


Is "True Believer" the new euphemism to describe those people with whom it is a waste of time to argue?

Nope it's a secret code word for "the Dow Jones will be above 14,000 by next month!" Buy, buy, buy! And sell all your gold!
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visitorq



Joined: 11 Jan 2008

PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnnyenglishteacher2 wrote:
No, but I'm talking specifically about the ones who are forced into it. They are slaves.

How can you say that there is no causal relationship when the goal is to maximise profit? If the goal is to maximise profit, for example children who are forced to act as soldiers for the LRA, then it isn't a consequence of capitalism. If the goal of slavery is to cut production costs on the t-shirt that you or I might buy in a shop, then it is a consequence of capitalism.

No, because free market capitalism has rules. If you break those rules you're supposed to be held accountable, and for serious crimes go to prison. Slavery is a serious crime, but that it exists is not a result of capitalism, but rather of the law not being enforced. In the case of government, however, there is a direct causal relationship: the government enslaves you. Period.

It is theoretically possible to have a complete capitalist system entirely absent of any slavery or any other crimes (the same cannot be said of a system with any amount of government tyranny). Of course in the real world, some people are bad, insane, or corrupt and would rather cheat, steal, or coerce others and break laws than compete fairly. This is why we have basic laws and police to enforce them (and also allow citizens to be armed to protect themselves). Beyond that, capitalism is neutral and cannot in itself be blamed for these problems (which exist independently, and come from a corruption of capitalist principles).

Anyway, to quote Sergio a few posts back: "This does not in any way suggest there is some action we must take against producers of capital, any more than the fact that many people who are victims of murder are killed with a knife suggests we must take action against the producers of knives."

Quote:
visitorq wrote:
if you could somehow show that capitalism could not exist without child or slave labor and that it is inherent, then that might be a matter worth discussing. But I have no doubt you cannot.


I never made such a claim.

Then I take it you accept the contrary. In which case, what is your point?
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ontheway



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Location: Somewhere under the rainbow...

PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnnyenglishteacher2 wrote:
This is where I must take a separate path from the libertarians. Who do you propose maintains roads, railways, bridges, dams? Who should make sure that your air isn't being poisoned?



The US has far too many roads, bridges and highways. It is precisely because they were built by the government. People have become so socialistic that they expect to drive free of charge - and so the pols have destroyed the environment and created a huge, expensive, polluting infrastructure that has wasted trillions of dollars in resources to build and maintain and uses far too much energy.

The infrastructure should be built, owned and maintained by private entities in a free market. The concept of "private entities" and "free market" and the underlying motivations and purposes and intended "bottom line" results of these economic actors goes far beyond anything the limited socialistic mindset can imagine.

Cities, towns and neighborhoods have all been built for the automobile because of the socialist infrastructure model. Everything has been built wrong: types structures, delivery of water and electricity, sewage treatment, modes of transportation, routes, placement and layout of buildings, parks, open space - the wrong sizes, the wrong mix of uses, the wrong density, the wrong ownership structure - all the decision making has been devastatingly skewed due to the socialist model and the assumptions that roads etc should be free and the automobile should be the primary mode of transport to the exclusion of others more efficient. The concept of "most efficient" has been completely ignored. The idea of "reduce, reuse, recycle" as it applies to transportation should have at least been on the desigers' minds - but, no.

Education is nearly a complete failure in the US because it is handled by the government. The only ameliorating factor has been that responsibility has been divided into school districts, which has allowed some level of independent management and competition. However, the resulting requirement to educate everyone, instead of providing the best possible education for a small number, means that the education system provides a tiny fraction of the actual education that is possible and wastes massive amounts of resources doing it.

Large institutions have been constructed that do little more than house masses of children during daylight hours and require additional busses, traffic, congestion, wasted energy to provide little to no learning. We need to abolish the whole mess and allow small private schools educating small groups in small schools scattered within walking distance throughout every community. These would include thousands low cost operations within walking distance catering to the specific needs of the students and families run by teachers with the useless and bureaucrats eliminated.

Children can learn far more with less classroom time at a fraction of the cost. Of course, a variety of eductional institutions would appear on the market and the variety of materials available would grow beyond anything seen heretofore in the history of man.

Pollution has been caused and allowed by socialism. In a free market organized ongoing pollution cannot exist. There would still be accidents and criminals, although far fewer, but the "legal" pollution of today would be impossible. In a free market, all resources are privately owned. Those private owners would act to protect their property. Pollution of the air, water, groundwater, rivers, lakes, seas and oceans would be illegal.

This is just as today it is illegal and unimaginable that someone would drive up to your land and dump truckloads of trash, day after day, week after week, year after year and you would do nothing. Of course, to understand this, you have to understand that the possible structures of ownership go far beyond the mere individual, business or corporate owner. All kinds of groups of owners could be established to take control of the environmental resources from the government and become their stewards and managers. We need to begin the denationalization of the environment quickly in order to end pollution, conserve resources and preserve the environment.

Socialists live in little boxes. They live in a tiny world of limited knowledge, limited imagination and limited ability to see the devastating failure that has occurred under socialism and the alternative paths that were, are and will be available to develop a world where everyone is free, all the people are able to improve themselves to the level of their natural talents and efforts will take them.

The standard of living of all in the world has been reduced by the socialist model to less than 10% of what it would already be. This loss is getting bigger daily.

The value of the dollar has been reduced by 99% and it continues to fall - other countries' socialist currencies have fared even worse.

The world is polluted due to socialism.

The SS Ponzi scheme and the associated medicare and medicade Ponze schemes have prevented the creation of more than 500 million good jobs for people around the world.

The infrastructure has been developed in the wrong places and with the wrong focus due to socialism.

The educational system is a near total failure due to socialism.

The wind power and solar power industries were devastated by FDR's socialism.

The use of petroleum products multiplied far beyond the real free market demand level due to socialism resulting in war, pollution, traffic, wasted time, death on the highways, and contributing to anger, tension, obesity

... the deleterious effects of socialism are so disasterous and far reaching it amounts to a planetwide catastrophy.


This board is full of socialist true believers - such as BigBird and Yata - who have never actually studied economics, although they think they have. To do so requires proper textbooks and a proper professor who can take you through the anaysis of the causes and effects of our problems today. You have to follow the laws and take the path of development that results and compare the alternatives.

Unfortuately, these socialist true believers have never questioned the lies they were fed in the government controlled education system. Education, the environment and infrastructure - development, design, management - all are best handled by the free market (not capitalism - the free market) but they are clueless, totally clueless about this topic. They have no idea what this statement means. They only parrot what they have heard from the fascist-socialist politicians and their lackeys who pose as economic advisors.

It would take an open mind, ten years of full time study and hundreds of proper texts and journals to illuminate each of them individually. And this may be the reason that humanity eventually meets its demise - because democracy lets the socialists' greed dominate society, which leads to ignorance and economic destruction, pollution and war.

The only political system that can allow mankind to flourish is a system of liberty - beyond democracy - that guarantees the liberties of the people and prevents the establishment of coercive institutions that constitute both the means and ends of the evil, greedy, fascist-socialist system that dominates the US and most of the world today.
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johnnyenglishteacher2



Joined: 03 Dec 2010

PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

visitorq wrote:
johnnyenglishteacher2 wrote:
No, but I'm talking specifically about the ones who are forced into it. They are slaves.

How can you say that there is no causal relationship when the goal is to maximise profit? If the goal is to maximise profit, for example children who are forced to act as soldiers for the LRA, then it isn't a consequence of capitalism. If the goal of slavery is to cut production costs on the t-shirt that you or I might buy in a shop, then it is a consequence of capitalism.


No, because free market capitalism has rules. If you break those rules you're supposed to be held accountable, and for serious crimes go to prison. Slavery is a serious crime, but that it exists is not a result of capitalism, but rather of the law not being enforced. In the case of government, however, there is a direct causal relationship: the government enslaves you. Period.

It is theoretically possible to have a complete capitalist system entirely absent of any slavery or any other crimes (the same cannot be said of a system with any amount of government tyranny). Of course in the real world, some people are bad, insane, or corrupt and would rather cheat, steal, or coerce others and break laws than compete fairly. This is why we have basic laws and police to enforce them (and also allow citizens to be armed to protect themselves). Beyond that, capitalism is neutral and cannot in itself be blamed for these problems (which exist independently, and come from a corruption of capitalist principles).

Anyway, to quote Sergio a few posts back: "This does not in any way suggest there is some action we must take against producers of capital, any more than the fact that many people who are victims of murder are killed with a knife suggests we must take action against the producers of knives."


As I keep pointing out, the problem is that governments, as we both accept, are operating on behalf of the elites. So to say that governments are either enslaving people or turning a blind eye, you have to look at who is controlling that government, correct?

visitorq wrote:
Quote:
visitorq wrote:
if you could somehow show that capitalism could not exist without child or slave labor and that it is inherent, then that might be a matter worth discussing. But I have no doubt you cannot.


I never made such a claim.

Then I take it you accept the contrary. In which case, what is your point?


My point is the one I've already made about 10 times
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johnnyenglishteacher2



Joined: 03 Dec 2010

PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ontheway, sorry, I cannot summon up the energy to reply to such a long post, but picking out one thing, the infrastructure:

I would agree with you that the transport (especially road) network in the USA is a sprawling, highly polluting mess. I, like you, would like to see more efforts to build up local communities and reduce reliance on the car, but you've got it and now you've got to live with it. You can't go back in time and undo all the road-building, so now somebody has to maintain it. Otherwise this happens:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I-35W_Mississippi_River_bridge
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