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This is a discussion on Occupy cprogamming.com! within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Originally Posted by Elkvis if I made a customer wait for a half hour for service while I play solitaire, ...

  1. #16
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elkvis View Post
    if I made a customer wait for a half hour for service while I play solitaire, I would be fired. government employees get a pass on this sort of behavior. like I said, I see it every single day.
    And yet many large private corporations are notorious for their poor customer service, via farming out call centers half way across the world to people who barely speak whatever language and cannot provide any real help, etc.

    This may seem contra the logic that "private enterprise is self-correcting", because many people naively believe this means that competition improves the quality of service. Unfortunately, what trumps that is cutting costs. If you can provide crappy service at a minimal cost, people will tend to settle for less. I think a very large percentage of private industry succeeds because of this.

    I agree that many government employees (or employees of government contractors) can seem counter-productive, if I consider myself as their customer. However, on average I do not see a substantial difference between government agencies and private businesses -- sometimes they are good, sometimes they are bad.

    The question then is, when the service is crappy, is the government paying too much for it? I agree that that may often be the case. Politics is a lot about: "What do you want to pay for, and how much do you want to pay for it?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Elkvis View Post
    you are using drug control policy and law enforcement as a very broad brush to paint the right side of the aisle. as a libertarian, I'd be in favor of more open drug policy
    That's great, but I think the width of my brush here is appropriate. You are in a small minority on the US right, most of which scream wolf at the hint of reducing spending on the drug war or of abandoning the thing all together.

    So I am a very cynical about the idea that they want a smaller government or that they want to reduce spending. They do not; what they want to reduce spending on are left wing policies; they are quite happy to run a colossal deficit on eg, military spending, and they seem very happy about running a substantial police state*. Again, what kind of "small government" is that?

    my garbage man is an employee of a private contractor, whom I pay directly. many cities are going to this sort of setup.
    I think that is good idea, and I agree there are many more areas the government should get out of (such as education). My original beef was with this:

    but the further left you go, the more they seem to want the government to control everything
    Yet from my perspective, it is mostly people on the right who are determined to control everything. Eg, the free enterprise system is a very contrived thing which would be impossible without a large and powerful government. Notice who creates and underwrites your currency. The right wing seem to think that is the most important role of government (to underwrite and protect an economic system).

    You can claim that is not a form of control, but then we are just arguing semantics.

    * isn't that just a form of work/welfare for cops and prison guards?
    Last edited by MK27; 10-25-2011 at 10:30 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Yet from my perspective, it is mostly people on the right who are determined to control everything. Eg, the free enterprise system is a very contrived thing which would be impossible without a large and powerful government. Notice who creates and underwrites your currency. The right wing seem to think that is the most important role of government (to underwrite and protect an economic system).

    You can claim that is not a form of control, but then we are just arguing semantics.
    I don't disagree that it's a form of control, but a nation certainly has to have a single standard for currency, at least within its own borders. Who is going to provide that, apart from the government? the federal reserve bank (which is not a part of the government) has far too much power, and that is because the congress has given it that power. it can choose to print money any time it chooses, raise or lower interest rates at will, and has great influence over the national economy in general.

    on the subject of total control, I'll provide an example. the left wants to federalize all health care, which studies show will cause an increase in cost and a decrease in quality, while raising taxes on everyone. many americans already have affordable health care, and there is no reason to get the government involved for those people. for those who are not covered, the coverage could be handled by a private healthcare provider, and the government agency that interacts with that provider could consist of a handful of people who simply pay the bill and perform periodic audits to prevent fraud. they certainly don't need to take over the whole system. some on the left have even gone so far as to suggest that the government should be able to dictate what we eat and drink, and whether we are allowed to smoke or drink alcohol. as I'm sure you can imagine from my previous self-description as a libertarian, I have a big problem with this. I don't smoke, and I don't drink a lot of alcohol, but I certainly would not make it illegal for those who choose to do so. they are certainly in the minority, and the additional medical costs they incur would be insignificant when considered against the whole.

    the left talks about redistributing wealth, but what they really want to do is take control of all of it and give some of it to the people they think "need" it.

    your assertion that conservatives are in the minority in the US is incorrect. most americans believe in traditional values, personal responsibility, and limited, inexpensive government. those who vote otherwise do so because they have often been brainwashed by their labor unions and/or the press. the left likes to use expressions like "social justice" to justify their positions. it's really just a way of covering up their real intentions, which is to have control over every aspect of everyone's life.
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  3. #18
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elkvis View Post
    on the subject of total control, I'll provide an example. the left wants to federalize all health care, which studies show will cause an increase in cost and a decrease in quality, while raising taxes on everyone.
    That's a big debate, but as a Canadian I still find it hilarious. I've lived here, with federalized public health care, and in the United States, with private health care. In total, it costs much less here, and I did not experience a significant difference in the quality of care. The things we don't cover cost me here about $100/month in extra insurance. The total package in the US was 5-6 times that.

    According to this:

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/indust...ce-costs_N.htm

    from a few years ago, the average cost per household for health insurance in the US is > $13, 000.

    And according to this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari..._United_States

    Total health care costs per capita are almost double in the US. In, fact, looking at the graph, the US has by far the most expensive health care system compared to France, Germany, the UK, Switzerland, Japan, and Australia. All of which, I believe, have some form of "socialized" medicine.

    the left talks about redistributing wealth, but what they really want to do is take control of all of it and give some of it to the people they think "need" it.
    "They" don't want to take control of all of it. Of course, there may still be a few people who advocate totalitarian communism, but the whole political spectrum has a lunatic fringe.

    You are fighting a straw dog.

    And, as I already said, right wing conservatives are certainly not against taking a big share of the pie and doing the (excessive, unnecessary, counter-productive) things they think are important. Ie, they are at least as eager as anyone else to waste money and run a deficit.

    your assertion that conservatives are in the minority in the US is incorrect.
    I did not say that at all*. I said that libertarians (certainly, the kind of true libertarians that agree the drug war is a massive waste of money and life) are a small minority of the right, because they are.

    There are many very substantial, very expensive government programs that the vast majority of the Republican party very staunchly defend. Libertarians may often identify as conservatives, but conservatives are by and large not libertarians.

    the left likes to use expressions like "social justice" to justify their positions. it's really just a way of covering up their real intentions, which is to have control over every aspect of everyone's life.
    I certainly don't believe that, but I do believe that many many Republicans are in fact closet fascists (who very consciously, given the right balance of forces, would like to see the economy and/or government collapse so they could establish a totalitarian regime). I also very firmly believe that most (as in, 95%+) of religious fundamentalists (in the US, closely aligned with the far right) don't actually believe in God; they are playing a game of realpolitick.

    So there's a polemic, lol.

    * altho "You are in a small minority on the US right, most of which scream wolf..." is ambiguous. I meant most of the right do this, while you are a small (probably more rational) minority amongst them that does not.
    Last edited by MK27; 10-25-2011 at 12:25 PM.
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    Current ISO draft standard
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elkvis View Post
    the left likes to use expressions like "social justice" to justify their positions. it's really just a way of covering up their real intentions, which is to have control over every aspect of everyone's life.
    The right likes to use expressions like "personal responsibility" to justify their positions. it's really just a way of covering up their real intentions, which is to hoard wealth while half of the population is in poverty.

    You see what i did there?
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    all of that aside, the original issue raised by this thread was corporate greed and the protests against it, no?

    the simple explanation is that businesses exist to produce revenue, and make a profit. providing jobs and benefits is a side effect. a business is responsible to its owners and shareholders first, and to its customers second. employees and everyone else come somewhere after that. a business cannot survive under any other conditions. many businesses claim to put customers first, but if they truly did that, they would sell their products and services at cost, with no markup, and therefore, generating no profit. from a business standpoint, that would be utterly pointless.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elkvis View Post
    all of that aside, the original issue raised by this thread was corporate greed and the protests against it, no?

    the simple explanation is that businesses exist to produce revenue, and make a profit. providing jobs and benefits is a side effect. a business is responsible to its owners and shareholders first, and to its customers second. employees and everyone else come somewhere after that. a business cannot survive under any other conditions. many businesses claim to put customers first, but if they truly did that, they would sell their products and services at cost, with no markup, and therefore, generating no profit. from a business standpoint, that would be utterly pointless.
    I think the protests are not so much about the corporations themselves, rather the greed of the people in charge of most of them.

    Corporations firing employees with one hand, and handing out million dollar bonuses to the CEO with the other hand.
    Banks receiving multi-billion dollar bailouts (Funny how "personal responsibilty" only applies to poor people eh?), then spending some of it on bonuses for the CEOs that got the bank in trouble in the first place.
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  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo1 View Post
    Corporations firing employees with one hand, and handing out million dollar bonuses to the CEO with the other hand.
    If there is some sort of contract this companies have with the society as a whole, let's hear it. Otherwise, while certainly unscrupulous, I think people should stop complaining against that which they will do in their lives (and have on occasion) on a daily basis if they have an opportunity. Companies and their financial practices have been historically very easy targets of hypocrisy and populism.

    And if those companies have been the subject of government bailouts, one more reason to stop this whole Government-based economy.
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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    If there is some sort of contract this companies have with the society as a whole, let's hear it.
    Unfortunately there is no law that forbids companies or individuals from acting like ..............s, that doesn't mean we shouldn't protest against such behaviour though.

    Otherwise, while certainly unscrupulous, I think people should stop complaining against that which they will do in their lives (and have on occasion) on a daily basis if they have an opportunity. Companies and their financial practices have been historically very easy targets of hypocrisy and populism.
    The thing is, these people don't just make alot of money, they hoard obscene amounts of wealth, more than they could ever spend in a lifetime, while millions of people live in trailer parks and can't afford things like healthcare or education. The way i see it, the protesters are just trying to draw some kind of line, how much more do these people really need? Should we just sit idly by until a few thousand people control 95% of the wealth?

    And if those companies have been the subject of government bailouts, one more reason to stop this whole Government-based economy.
    Agreed. Stop bailing out banks.
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  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo1 View Post
    Agreed. Stop bailing out banks.
    I was trying to draw a line between businesses and financial institutions. Guess it was missed.
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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    And if those companies have been the subject of government bailouts, one more reason to stop this whole Government-based economy.
    some of those companies were bailed out. General Motors and Chrysler were both given HUGE sums of money to help stay alive. that's why I'll buy a Ford if I ever buy a new car.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo1 View Post
    Corporations firing employees with one hand, and handing out million dollar bonuses to the CEO with the other hand.
    what you (and many others) fail to realize is that it's likely that those very CEOs have contracts with their companies, which state that they get a bonus if the company doesn't lose money, or some similar wording. laying off employees is a sure way to cut costs in the short term.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elkvis View Post
    what you (and many others) fail to realize is that it's likely that those very CEOs have contracts with their companies, which state that they get a bonus if the company doesn't lose money, or some similar wording. laying off employees is a sure way to cut costs in the short term.
    Cutting bonuses is another way ;-)
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  13. #28
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    I was trying to draw a line between businesses and financial institutions. Guess it was missed.
    So private "financial institutions" should be underwritten by governments? This sounds like top down socialism for the investor class to me.

    Again, there is a lot of semantics at play on the right here by people who want to wield a "smaller government" stick when what they really mean is: a big powerful government that will look after the interests of wealthy conservatives, and no one else's.* Of course, putting it that honestly would just sound grotesquely selfish so instead, we have to play semantics...

    * the usual justification then is: but the best interests of wealthy conservatives are everyone's best interests, because they are the benevolent dictators of capitalist society, aka. "wealth creators" and "job providers". What a ........ing swindle.
    Last edited by MK27; 10-27-2011 at 08:32 AM.
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  14. #29
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    No MK.

    It means that you should stop trying to identify political ideology in every action or to apply it to every decision. It's just basic common sense these days, I think, that has been exactly the partisan approach to politics that has been slowly driving us down the well. No matter the banner, it is becoming terribly evident that solutions to contemporary problems have to come from doing that which we previously didn't believe in. Political ideology has been the govern of the weak minded, the zealots and the followers of unproven truths. Frankly I'm tired of all the Wealthy Conservatives, Liberals, Socialists, etc nonsense. It's so last century it's not even fun anymore. It's like we are trying to build a new society again on the backs of fear mongering and hollow adjectives. Much like the national socialists did with Bolshevism and the Bolshevist did with the Capitalism. And I'm pretty sure you are too. You just can't seem to be able to once and for all step out of the daftness the northern american society has been imposing on you.

    Not bailing out banks could have the worst effect on ours societies. The sudden bankruptcy of the financial system would throw us into the worst global financial and economic crisis we've ever experienced, throwing billions into poverty and unemployment. Exactly because the economic system has been overruled by the financial system. As a right-winger I don't feel one bit worried in admitting this. I defend the banking system should be protected to the best of our abilities at this point, because not doing so would be simply disastrous. But contrary to the idiots I more often than not tend to represent, I do not for one moment accept that de-regulation of financial and economic institutions is a one road without any signs.

    Once bailed out, I defend the financial system becomes heavily regulated in order to bring it to pre-90s level and no longer allow it to dominate the economic system of a country. Because it was that right-wing approach that compromised our economies. I also defend that regulation of economical institutions (that's the normal businesses) should exist to guarantee no government interferes with their function ever again. Because it was that left-wing approach that strangled our economic models and allowed for the financial system to gain a foothold in the economy.

    Enough with the political ideology crap! That's what I say. Enough with this 20th century way of doing politics that brought us 2 world wars and left us at the turn of the century in a world crisis which is yet to rear its ugly head (it shouldn't be much longer now). It's not your socialist crap or my conservative crap, or anyone's liberal crap that is going to answer the problems we face today. Those words don't even make any sense anymore. They are empty of value or meaning and just reflect a society that is nearing its end if we keep at believing in them. Frankly, only idiots should use those words. The problems we face, whatever their real solution may be, will only be solved by putting aside the embarrassment that the 20th century political thinking was to the history of our race.
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    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. #30
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    No MK.

    It means that you should stop trying to identify political ideology in every action or to apply it to every decision. It's just basic common sense these days, I think, that has been exactly the partisan approach to politics that has been slowly driving us down the well.
    Walks like a duck, talks like a duck, etc. Making the observation does not make the duck. And I am not calling you the duck BTW, or saying the duck is essentially bad or essentially good.

    I agree labels are problematic, but just because language is difficult to use properly does not mean the best way out is to avoid it altogether.

    Note that I do not treat -isms as if they were religions. Eg. I would never say, "This is the correct way because it is a tenant of fooism", or "This is the wrong way because it is a tenant of barism". Except in so far as that might be regarded as a tenant of rationalism, and, being more rational than the inverse, I see it as correct. Are we to chuck that one out too, because rationalism is "so last last century, I'm tired of it"?

    Escaping partisan politics does not mean you say the same old thing, then when I say, "Well that is the same old wealthy conservative capitalist speak", and it is still subject to the same old rational criticisms, you say, "No, those criticisms do not make sense because we want to avoid partisan politics". Being rational may coincide with partisan politics.

    Avoiding what you see to be true because you do not want to seem "partisan" is a path for fools and cowards (tho it may make you popular, lol, at least amongst some mass of other fools and cowards). I would not reject an idea because it is associated with one -ism or another.

    Contra your assertion, nothing new or good will come from a radical re-invention of political philosophy in irrational terms (no up, no down, etc). If you want to deconstruct a criticism, do it with reason, not rhetorical finagling.

    Earlier in the thread I pointed out to Elkvis one of the wasteful, no-good policies traditionally supported by the US right -- the drug war -- and he said he did not really support it. I do agree that people on the right (and left) need to modernize their priorities. I also agree that the terms "left" and "right" easily do more harm than good when discussing specific issues. But you are speaking in very general terms and saying, "let us stop it with the generalizations!". It's oxymoronic.

    Many words/labels, are useful, objective and clear: we do live in a capitalist economy.

    I do not think anyone is going to get out of the right-left spectrum anytime soon, even if they want to incorporate such a fantasy into their rhetoric.

    No matter the banner, it is becoming terribly evident that solutions to contemporary problems have to come from doing that which we previously didn't believe in.
    Ahem. I would agree, but I am very suspicious of who the "we" is in "doing that which we previously didn't believe in". Does it mean "us" or "them" or both? What if, really, truly, and rationally, some people are doing the correct thing and others are not?

    I don't care if in the name of PR and TV the duck figures s/he will win votes by saying "I'm not a duck! I'm something totally new!"

    The swindle continues. It's like the Emperor appearing naked (again), and saying, "Check out these new clothes!".

    Political ideology has been the govern of the weak minded, the zealots and the followers of unproven truths. Frankly I'm tired of all the Wealthy Conservatives, Liberals, Socialists, etc nonsense. It's so last century it's not even fun anymore.
    Yes, what the world needs now is Pepsi. Unfortunately, there is such a thing as wealthy conservatives, liberals, socialists, etc. If you are saying you would like them to stop being those things, I agree. However, it is not just a matter of saying, "I'm not a duck anymore", and then doing everything else exactly the same.

    It's like we are trying to build a new society again on the backs of fear mongering and hollow adjectives.
    I do not believe more than a very small percentage of westerners are at all interested in "trying to build a new society", rightly or wrongly. There are forms of new society I would support, there are others I would not.

    We communicate with language. You can eschew "hollow adjectives", but I am curious: what will you replace them with? I often shudder at the level of political discussion and the way hollow language and seriously flawed reasoning is spouted as wisdom. I think it is possible to get people to think differently by giving them new words to use, but I am not sure if throwing the baby out with the bathwater is the way to do that. In fact, it is a perverse twist ala Orwell's 1984 (silly old book from the last century).*

    If you can introduce new positive terms, great. But simply trying to negate old ones because they are old is not the same thing at all. You are now engaged in the religiosity I referred to earlier. Maybe you should be "born again".

    Not bailing out banks could have the worst effect on ours societies.
    I am not denying this, but I think we need to have a much harder look at why, and as far as "building a new society" goes, consider means beyond a continuous boom->private profit, bust->public bailout cycle for the future. As if it were all out of our hands. Just, you know, bubbles and stuff. :dumb:

    The sudden bankruptcy of the financial system would throw us into the worst global financial and economic crisis we've ever experienced, throwing billions into poverty and unemployment.
    Ahem, I believe we already have billions in poverty and unemployment. I think developed modern western nations are looking at a tish load of cause-effect karma coming down the pipe, but are in serious denial about how and why that has happened. Hence, we are unlikely to escape from the cycle, and will instead feed it more and more.

    Once bailed out, I defend the financial system becomes heavily regulated in order to bring it to pre-90s level and no longer allow it to dominate the economic system of a country. Because it was that right-wing approach that compromised our economies.
    Eureka.

    I also defend that regulation of economical institutions (that's the normal businesses) should exist to guarantee no government interferes with their function ever again. Because it was that left-wing approach that strangled our economic models and allowed for the financial system to gain a foothold in the economy.
    So you are okay with, eg, scrapping leftist environmental regulations? In the US now, Republicans are talking about eliminating the EPA.

    I do not believe that the game of business and economics is so holy, or such a fundamental force of nature, that it deserves to be enshrined and elevated beyond the reach of democratic governments. Money does not really make the world go round -- but if enough people believe in something strongly enough, it starts to have the weight of truth.

    The bit in purple, BTW, is a complete non-sequitor, on several levels. In what way did leftist regulatory bodies allow for "the financial system to gain a foothold in the economy"??

    It's not your socialist crap or my conservative crap, or anyone's liberal crap that is going to answer the problems we face today. Those words don't even make any sense anymore.
    I agree there is a lot of crap flying in all directions, but I'd include fluff like this. It sounds very appealing: wash it all away! A brand new day! Hoorah! But where is the content for the vacuum you want to create?

    They are empty of value or meaning and just reflect a society that is nearing its end if we keep at believing in them.
    I agree that they may well "reflect a society that is nearing its end", and for that very reason, I do not think they are "empty of value or meaning" Which is not to say I think they are all laden with wisdom and truth, but avoiding mirrors does not make your face prettier.

    If you really believe in all you've said, you would be better to put your efforts into advancing positive terms and ideas, rather than just tautological negations. You know -- go read Nietzsche, he was big on revaluation (so maybe your idea here is, in fact, an old one too. It will have to strangle itself at its own inception, and begin again...doing the same thing ad nauseum. Hmmm, maybe that is the real narrative, lol).

    * but a pertinent one considering, beyond being totalitarian, it is ambiguous who the Official Revaluators are: they might be leftists communists, and they might just as easily be rightist fascists.
    Last edited by MK27; 10-27-2011 at 12:06 PM.
    C programming resources:
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    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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