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Presidents: leaders or beggars?

This is a discussion on Presidents: leaders or beggars? within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; I take his removed post as extreme back-pedaling. Fact is if you do not have a better solution you are ...

  1. #31
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    I take his removed post as extreme back-pedaling. Fact is if you do not have a better solution you are more a part of the problem than those using the current system.

  2. #32
    Registered User xentaka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VirtualAce View Post
    I take his removed post as extreme back-pedaling. Fact is if you do not have a better solution you are more a part of the problem than those using the current system.
    It was not back pedaling.

    You people did not want to discuss anything I said, but rather you just wanted to denigrate my integrity without even bothering to say why you disagreed.
    I would gladly answer respectful questions, but I will not respond to flippant posts.

    Economic Theory - Keynesian

    Capitalism - Social market economy ( rather than an unfettered free market ).

    Tax the rich, end all wars and stop with the free market.
    I thought this was funny since it was an insult.

    * Yes I would review taxation on the rich since they pay much lower percentage than the middle class.
    * I would end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as they are a drain on our economy. Also American troops are dying which I do not find funny in the least.
    * Revert to a Keynesian model, or something closely related to it. They discarded it due to enormous stagflation, but our current system has shown that it is much weaker in a shorter amount of time.

    I will gladly discuss any of this, but you must get over your fears and try to be civil. I look forward to it actually.
    Last edited by xentaka; 05-30-2011 at 12:57 PM.
    "The people don't want war, but they can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and for exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country." - Hermann Goering.

  3. #33
    Registered User xentaka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmdv View Post
    I do not live in the US nor I know much about its economy, but since the topic became more generalised I will say a word too.

    Reading your posts I hear from you something pretty much similar to what Mario F. has said.
    To be honest, it sounds to me like a piece of socialistic you know what.

    Let me get back to your previous example of two girls, A being richer and B being poorer. From my point of view these are two separate individuals. There are no relationships between them. They live on their own, work on their own, and do not know each other.

    You can state that B worked much harder that A and still does not have as much as A has from her parents. This can be true indeed, but you are a bit injust, since you miss one important part, the origin of the money:

    If person A is rich, he must have some source of income, which allowed him to get this amount of money. What if he does not have such an income? Then probably, he got it from his parens. Wait, what if his parents do not have such an income too? Then we can get yet deeper to his grandparents, great-grandparents and so forth. Money has not appeared from nowhere. Someone worked HARD to accomplish this. Whether this was the girl or not, someone is the owner of the whole money and it is HIS decision who he will give HIS property. So, it does not matter whether the girl A earned this money on her own or not. Someone has done it before and noone has right to take any part of it (oh god, the inheritance taxes!).

    So, since we have the owner of the money, why are we talking about justice at all? The owner can be just or not and this is his choice and his moral decision. He could have given it as well to a welfare organization, noone has any right to make decisions for him.

    Another important fact is that such public services will be more expensive. In your model of education, this poor GirlB also pays for school, but probably much less that the GirlA. The problem is more visible when we look at them as a whole. The money has to travel from both girls A and B to the budget and then, from the budget, back to the schools. Everyone can notice that there is a loss, since these operations also cost.

    It is not that I see it black and white. I know that this is a problem, but why should we enhance somebody's life on someone's else expense?

    EDIT:
    I'm sorry, I started writing this before xentaka removed his post.
    We bailed out our "too big to fail" banks and corporations when the market failed. The American taxpayers funded their failures, and I would see that as us enhancing their life at our expense.

    I know that life isn't fair, and completely understand what you are saying. My contention is that without social programs that allow the poor to have access to higher education we would become an aristocracy. The poor would become virtual slaves with no recourse. This is something that a moral society has to wrestle with, and I can only hope that we make the right decisions.
    "The people don't want war, but they can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and for exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country." - Hermann Goering.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmdv View Post
    You can state that B worked much harder that A and still does not have as much as A has from her parents. This can be true indeed, but you are a bit injust, since you miss one important part, the origin of the money:

    If person A is rich, he must have some source of income, which allowed him to get this amount of money. What if he does not have such an income? Then probably, he got it from his parens. Wait, what if his parents do not have such an income too? Then we can get yet deeper to his grandparents, great-grandparents and so forth. Money has not appeared from nowhere. Someone worked HARD to accomplish this. Whether this was the girl or not, someone is the owner of the whole money and it is HIS decision who he will give HIS property. So, it does not matter whether the girl A earned this money on her own or not. Someone has done it before and noone has right to take any part of it (oh god, the inheritance taxes!).

    So, since we have the owner of the money, why are we talking about justice at all? The owner can be just or not and this is his choice and his moral decision. He could have given it as well to a welfare organization, noone has any right to make decisions for him.
    So you want to base every american's chances of completing an education and getting a decently paid job, on how much money their ancestors earned? Land of the free indeed, as long as you're not born in the slums.
    How I need a drink, alcoholic in nature, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics.

  5. #35
    Registered User xentaka's Avatar
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    Not to turn this..

    How many African American families in the US came from old money?

    Another reason why a lack of social programs would be a moral travesty.
    "The people don't want war, but they can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and for exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country." - Hermann Goering.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by xentaka View Post
    We bailed out our "too big to fail" banks and corporations when the market failed. The American taxpayers funded their failures, and I would see that as us enhancing their life at our expense.

    I know that life isn't fair, and completely understand what you are saying. My contention is that without social programs that allow the poor to have access to higher education we would become an aristocracy. The poor would become virtual slaves with no recourse. This is something that a moral society has to wrestle with, and I can only hope that we make the right decisions.
    Firstly, you are talking about Americans while my post was referred to the general.

    Secondly, please, do not say "us enhancing", "at our expense", and "our decisions". Maybe you wish to maintain lazy/non-productive people, but me not. Say "me enhancing", "at my expense", and "my decisions", can you see the difference?

    My contention is that without social programs that allow the poor to have access to higher education we would become an aristocracy.
    Do you know what is the result of everyone having degree? In my country you can study whatever you want. There are really non-productive majors, like 'Knowledge about Europe' (I honestly do not know how to translate it). Such people are pseudo Masters of Art. Here, everyone can have highest level of degree possible.
    What is the result? After sociology, linguistics, psychology, economy you have NO job. Well, if you want to, you can sweep. But the problem is that someone who is MA does not want to earn the minimum wage. The goverment wastes money on teaching these people absolutely nothing. Sometimes people study 2 or even 3 majors simultaneously (!) having no job either (which is pretty obvious through).

    You cannot have a society where everyone is equal and educated. There will always be classes, the richer, the poorer, the wiser. Yet forcing people to participate in this bizarre game is not only crazy, but hits freedom of man.

    There are two primary things that goverment could teach in my opinion:
    * Arithmetic, so the individual can count change (in fact he needs only addition and subtraction).
    * Reading/writing, so the individual can read and sign the agreement (so in fact he needs only reading).

    Anything else is optional. This may sound strange, but it is true.
    Last edited by kmdv; 05-30-2011 at 03:58 PM.
    I never put signature, but I decided to make an exception.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmdv View Post
    You cannot have a society where everyone is equal and educated. There will always be classes, the richer, the poorer, the wiser. Yet forcing people to participate in this bizarre game is not only crazy, but hits freedom of man.
    This is true, the question you should ask though are 1) "if we allow anybody to educate themselves as much as they want, will they all go for the top educatinal level"? and 2) "should the level of education available to a person be determined by the amount of money he (or his parents) can afford to spend"?

    In my country all university education is free, no tuition fees or anything, yet we have no shortage of car mechanics or construction workers.

    And I strongly disagree with what you think should be taught. Do you really think we (as in humanity) would be where we are (in terms of technological advancement) without a functional education by some of the biggest nations? I don't think we would have computers (and thus not having this discussion) if it weren't for education.

    Edit: Regarding the two things you think government should teach: so you want a country full of mindless people that signs agreements without understanding them (remember, you said being able to read, not being able to comprehend what they have actually read or understand the concequences). A country full of uneducated people is a country waiting to be exploited, either by people within the country itself or by people outside the country so yah, I guess I can see where you are coming from; you want to go back to the slave days...
    Last edited by Shakti; 05-30-2011 at 04:08 PM.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shakti View Post
    if we allow anybody to educate themselves as much as they want, will they all go for the top educatinal leve?l
    I have already said that you cannot have everyone being educated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shakti View Post
    should the level of education available to a person be determined by the amount of money he (or his parents) can afford to spend"
    Of course, and this can be achieved by removing education from public services.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shakti View Post
    Do you really think we (as in humanity) would be where we are (in terms of technological advancement) without a functional education by some of the biggest nations? I don't think we would have computers (and thus not having this discussion) if it weren't for education.
    If something is needed, desired, it will not be forgotten. Math has not been required to be taught and it has been fine for thousands of years. If people did not care about technology and science it could be dropped and forgotten. There would be no reason to maintain something that is not needed.
    I never put signature, but I decided to make an exception.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmdv View Post
    I have already said that you cannot have everyone being educated.
    And I said I do not believe it to be an issue to give people a choice, but please prove me wrong with citeable sources.

    Of course, and this can be achieved by removing education from public services.
    I agreed that not everybody should be as highly educated as anybody else, and again I do not think it is a problem. Again I invite sources linking public funded education with this phenomena.

    If something is needed, desired, it will not be forgotten. Math has not been required to be taught and it has been fine for thousands of years. If people did not care about technology and science it could be dropped and forgotten. There would be no reason to maintain something that is not needed.
    And you really believe we would have seen such a rapid advancement in such a short time as we have during the 20th century if it weren't for education? I can give at least one source that holds my view as the correct view in "The Growth Competitiveness Index: Measuring Technological Advancement and the Stages of Development", 2001, John W. McArthur and Jeffrey D. Sachs, Center for International Development at Harvard University we get to hear that "A very poor country with rudimentary levels of health and education will generally not be competing on the basis of technological innovation."

    Edit: Also many economists lists education as one of the keys to economic development (The Primacy of Education, Anne Case, July 2004), so I do not think a worsened public education would benefit any country at all.
    Last edited by Shakti; 05-30-2011 at 04:47 PM.

  10. #40
    Registered User xentaka's Avatar
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    Exactly

    I will start by saying that this has all been in relation to the United States, and I have made no attempt to offer global solutions. When speaking about "us" I am talking about the United States only and will continue to do so since we are one nation.

    Education is key to economic development and I would contend that doing away with social programs that improve it would be disastrous to our economy.

    If the contention is that we can save money by removing social programs meant to further education, but still maintain two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan then I really must disagree.
    Last edited by xentaka; 05-30-2011 at 06:28 PM. Reason: Sentence made no sense.
    "The people don't want war, but they can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and for exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country." - Hermann Goering.

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    I understand. I am talking about my vision of a country, where I would like to live in. Since it is pretty common nowadays to have public education I know that this is impossible to deregulate it completely.

    I do not know any of you, I am yet a student. What I have recently experienced are "social programs", "social education", "social integration", and so forth. And no, I do not live in distict or country. I live in a rather big and developing city and attended one of the best high schools. The problem is that people who talk about public education have absolutely no idea about the reality. The teachers want to keep their jobs and do everything to signal their existance and usefulness. The students in turn do as least as possible, and the slums equivalents do yet less.

    I remember lessons of one of the subjects. There were usually 3 people (out of 30) who were interested in the lecture. My teacher was nice and knew we do not care about it. Hopefully I could sit with notebook on my knees under desk and code. There were some important subjects where I paid attention, but this is about 10% of the whole.

    After all, freedom of choice is the priority to me. Such people like you force me to learn things I do not need and I do not want. It is time and money too.

    One may consider slavery to be beneficial (from economical standpoint of course). Does this mean that we should introduce it to pay the debt?

    If I need to choose between a higher developed country, where I am a slave and have to learn and do what the government me wants to, and a less developed country, where I am a respected and free individual, I choose the latter.
    Last edited by kmdv; 05-31-2011 at 03:56 AM.
    I never put signature, but I decided to make an exception.

  12. #42
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    I'm not surprised this discussion took a turn to the worse. When it comes to ideology, utopia is just one step away; with very few willing to concede to reasonable and realistic objectives that may not always follow their strict ideological path. I despise ideology.

    Neither I quite understand what's the big deal with education in a country like USA, with very respectable educational standards thorough. Certainly anything can see improvements, certainly anything has its flaws, but pretending to generally attribute poverty in a modern western country to education is entirely wrong and just another typical show of trying to find solutions to problems on all the wrong places.

    In any modern western country, individuals themselves will always be the ones deciding for their own educational level. They are, in fact, in charge. While there may be some structural barriers to education, these will always amount to sporadic cases that, while no doubt true, then get overblown and dramatized by certain sectors of our societies. But in fact, we witness everyday, kids dropping out from school where none of the reasons have anything to do with poverty or lack of ability to overcome structural barriers that may still exist in the educational system. And these are the vast majority of the cases.

    Now, hold on that thought for a moment and let's get back to poverty in western countries. While we may see some cases of structural poverty that are no doubt worrying, the vast majority of our poor are instead of social and cultural causes. The first, the structural poverty is indeed a responsibility of the government; the system has flaws that leads to a type of poverty that lays down a path that becomes unavoidable and, once reached, inescapable. But the second much larger group isn't. It's up to the civil society to try and solve that poverty that is born out of social and cultural contexts.

    Now, going back to education... Education plays a big role in that second larger group of poor in our country, but does absolutely nothing for the former. And it's exactly because of that, education becomes it too a responsibility of the civil society when it comes to deal with the social poor. We see it everyday too, when problematic neighborhoods see organized groups rise within that start promoting education and civic values in order to try and increase the opportunities and lifestyle of their citizens. Conversely, the structural poor will not be "saved" by education. They are caught (were found themselves in) broken clogs of the system that lead them to a path of poverty. I'm talking about the homeless, the mentally or physically inept, the old. Here the government has the responsibility to intervene by removing these people of their otherwise inescapable destiny and to oil the machine to prevent these situations from occurring.

    Poverty in western countries is however largely determined by social and cultural aspects. When I visit a 'hood', for instance, I see youngsters dropping out of college to get into an easy life of crime or being influenced by their friends into dropping out of college. I see folks spending what little they can get on large LCD TV sets, stereo systems for their cars, expensive clothes and hairdos. Even on 3rd world societies the issue of poverty has a strong social context. In Nigeria where net scammers can make something like 4,000 USD with a single victim, go spend their money the next day on bars, chicks, clothes and TV sets. There's a real "mea culpa" here that can and should be attributed to the poor themselves. Make no mistake.

    And our societies will probably always behave like this. Social stratum isn't just something our ruling bodies imposed on the population. Long gone are the days when that was true. Today, on western countries enjoying economic growth, being poor, middle-class, or high-class is mostly a decision left to the individual. We may want to pretend it's the government's fault and demand the government does something about it, but the simple fact of life is that it isn't, and there is nothing the government can do.

    What drives me off the wall is that a certain left sees these issues in the context of their own ideology where the state is the over-reaching branch of our society that controls all and everything. The Big Government. And they propose taxes should be raised, and rich should be taxed more, so these problems go away by throwing money at people that could instead do something about their own lives. It's particularly pernicious because we know very well this type of social poverty never sees it that way; the blame is always on something or someone else. So this left populist demands find a very convenient echo on the minds of these people. "Yeah! It's their damn fault I'm a criminal", "Yeah! it's their fault I'm poor!", "Let the rich pay!".

    But the so-called rich... they are the principal agents of a country's economic opportunities, by directly or indirectly supplying it with businesses, jobs, and financing.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  13. #43
    Registered User xentaka's Avatar
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    OK

    And our societies will probably always behave like this. Social stratum isn't just something our ruling bodies imposed on the population. Long gone are the days when that was true. Today, on western countries enjoying economic growth, being poor, middle-class, or high-class is mostly a decision left to the individual. We may want to pretend it's the government's fault and demand the government does something about it, but the simple fact of life is that it isn't, and there is nothing the government can do.
    I disagree on that point, and will list why:

    Americas Growing Aristocracy

    http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w...ychart-1-1.jpg

    Wealth Gap in America

    Notice the area between 1940-1980 and then deregulation from 1980-2011. I would contend that the government can do something, and it would involve banking regulation and progressive tax rates just like after the depression.

    Think bringing corporations under control is a new idea?

    Speaking of Theodore Roosevelt:
    Roosevelt kept McKinley's cabinet and promised to continue McKinley's policies. One of his first notable acts as president was to deliver a 20,000-word address to Congress asking it to curb the power of large corporations (called "trusts"). For his aggressive attacks on trusts over his two terms he has been called a "trust-buster."
    Here is the link if anyone is interested in reading about this great man.

    The big joke being played on the American people is the idea that we can truly be successful if we just work hard for our masters.
    Last edited by xentaka; 05-31-2011 at 01:12 PM. Reason: Wealth Gap
    "The people don't want war, but they can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and for exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country." - Hermann Goering.

  14. #44
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xentaka View Post
    The big joke being played on the American people is the idea that we can truly be successful if we just work hard for our masters.
    And you think many haven't? Success is evaluated many ways. And rarely it means getting higher than a comfortable middle class. Keep that in mind. And on that level, your country is in fact an example to follow. It still promotes and rewards people wanting and doing something to increase their lifestyle. You remind me of this couple friend of mine that the more they pamper their child, the more he's becoming an impossible brat never fully appreciating their parents efforts. A clash with reality is perhaps what you are missing (whereas on the case of the kid, I'd solve it with a well placed spank).

    But please don't let any of your country achievements get in the way of your "rich are evil" tirade. Proceed to degrade your country -- and take the part for the whole -- in the name of your ideals of a Marxist society, no doubt as you type them from behind your comfortable middle-class computer.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  15. #45
    Registered User xentaka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    And you think many haven't? Success is evaluated many ways. And rarely it means getting higher than a comfortable middle class. Keep that in mind. And on that level, your country is in fact an example to follow. It still promotes and rewards people wanting and doing something to increase their lifestyle. You remind me of this couple friend of mine that the more they pamper their child, the more he's becoming an impossible brat never fully appreciating their parents efforts. A clash with reality is perhaps what you are missing (whereas on the case of the kid, I'd solve it with a well placed spank).

    But please don't let any of your country achievements get in the way of your "rich are evil" tirade. Proceed to degrade your country -- and take the part for the whole -- in the name of your ideals of a Marxist society, no doubt as you type them from behind your comfortable middle-class computer.
    Social Democracy

    Does it matter what you think I believe?

    I already know what you believe: ( from Wikipedia )
    Right-wing politics involves in varying degrees the rejection of egalitarian objectives of left-wing politics, claiming either that equality is artificial or that the imposition of social equality is detrimental to society.
    You accept the idea of a plutocracy since it is the next obvious step for people that think like you.

    I will take no offense at your insult since I realize you really do think I am degrading my country by not agreeing with you ( narcissism).
    "The people don't want war, but they can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and for exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country." - Hermann Goering.

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