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Old 06-01-2014, 08:53 PM
 
7,846 posts, read 5,318,020 times
Reputation: 4025

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayrandom View Post
You argue as is if there's a right answer, when I argue that there isn't. You claim that those who disagree with you make some error in logic, when I claim it's possible they argue using a different basis for utility. Until you address those issues, you'll be arguing at cross-purposes. I think a better start for the arguments would be to establish a common starting point and then move forward. I think you'd find considerably more success convincing someone of your ideas or at least find out while you'll never agree.

Also, don't make the mistake of thinking that because some conservatives use "fictional power fantasies of Ayn Rand" that all conservative thought is equally shallow. There are plenty of right-leaning intellectuals, especially in economics.
There is a right answer. Inequality is natural. HOWEVER, policy should not promote inequality. It is supposed to mitigate inequality to a ratio beneficial to society as a whole.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Paolella View Post
Perhaps because wherever we see collectivism implemented, we see mediocrity, failure, weakness, corruption, a lack of innovation, a lack of achievement, worship of the least common denominator, and an overall miasma of failure. And those are the good points. Ultimately, we see collapse, as in Greece and Spain and soon, all of Europe.
And conservatism fails. Populism always win. Liberals have always won. Don't you read history?

Greece and Spain has nothing to do with this conversation. If you are referring to finances, their financial situation is fundamentally different than the United States.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Paolella View Post
Do you think punishing people who are better than you will make you better? Or happier? Or more effective? Or more valuable? No, you probably don't. But you probably don't care about that. You've written off your life, now it's time to write off the lives of others. Correct?
In the mind of a simpleton, money is a measure of a man. Sane people know that is a fallacy.

It is also irrelevant to public policy.

 
Old 06-01-2014, 08:57 PM
 
7,846 posts, read 5,318,020 times
Reputation: 4025
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
How is it fair to tax him at a higher rate than you or I, just because he is more financially successful?
It actually seems more fair to charge people without any income a minimum tax since they are still getting the benefits of the government services, in fact usually more of them.
How would someone without income pay a tax?

My goodness, apply some critical thinking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trance750 View Post
I know this is an old post, but it speaks truth.

Why should those who work for a living be forced to share the fruits of their labors with those who choose not to work?
....because everyone who receives some sort of assistance chose not to work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SportyandMisty View Post
I agree. EVERYONE has a stake in the government, so EVERYONE should pay.
That isn't how it works. Pay has nothing to do with rights. This is already outlined in the constitution (why we can't charge people to vote).
 
Old 06-01-2014, 09:28 PM
 
Location: Westwood, MA
3,610 posts, read 4,696,539 times
Reputation: 4649
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankMiller View Post
Well, I think an important part of the issue is, how much should leverage be compensated? If you buy a plot of land in town, and it turns out that your plot contains the only source of fresh water in the community, does that entitle you to ownership of the town, or to enslave everyone around you? If you buy land that needs to be worked, do you have the right to employ people at slave wages, or with literal contracts of slavery, to work that land? I think that society doesn't really work, if you allow property rights to be superior to human rights. Everything just devolves into an undemocratic might-makes-right scrum.

I find it very curious, furthermore, that conservatives have no problem with wealthy people making laws left and right to take wealth from society at large and funnel it into their private prisons or police protection for their mansions or army expeditions to force their way into new export markets. Yet, for some reason using laws to move wealth in the other direction or even just to prevent wealth thievery is suddenly unethical. What it boils down to is "whatever I want to do is ethical and what you want to do is unethical because I said so nyeh nyeh." The whole edifice of civilization is built on laws to say who gets what, it's not suddenly unethical when it doesn't go your way.

But anyway, I've clearly put more thought into conservatives' arguments than they have. There was a time in my life when I tried very hard to be a conservative, but like most high school libertarians I eventually realized that numerous inconvenient facts made my position untenable.
And by leverage, you essentially mean property. You're asking if it's acceptable for the means of production to be owned for the benefit of a select few and to what extent they should be extended that benefit. The idea of a single owner of a basic necessity represents the extreme of that question. Take the opposite extreme of your argument and imagine someone who creates a product or idea that everyone is willing to pay a considerable amount of money for but is not in any way coerced in to doing so. Using the money they were freely given by others, they invest and develop more ideas and products, getting more money, and growing a company from the ground up. Why should that person not be entitled to the benefits of their labor and ingenuity?

I agree that allowing total ownership of all the means of production by a select few can lead to extremely negative consequences. I also think that the cost of society should be borne by those in the society and in some proportion to their ability to pay. I disagree with the notion that capital is inherently leverage or that all those with considerable capital didn't earn it. Certainly there are many who have abused or broken laws, workers, or social norms in earning their capital, but I think it's better to take specific issue with those specific acts rather than the concept of capital entirely.

Finally, I think you need to more re-evaluate your notion that you've put more thought into conservative arguments than all those espousing them. You might have put more thought than what those on this thread appear to have, but there is a great depth in both conservative and liberal thought and neither side has given up and declared the other side correct.
 
Old 06-01-2014, 10:09 PM
 
Location: Northern NJ
7,953 posts, read 7,962,972 times
Reputation: 11183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Opin_Yunated View Post
Ptf!!! Get over yourself!

I don't give a damn how much money anyone makes. The income on the tax return does not make the man. There are people in this world who don't care about being wealthy. They simply want to live a comfortable, middle class life. The issue is the American Dream of a comfortable middle class life is evaporating. It was stolen by greedy right wing plutocrats.

I don't owe the 1% a thing.
You are fixating on wealth, probably because it is something you lack, but you owe the 1% everything you have and everything that makes your life comfortable and even doable. The 1% in terms of talent and work ethic are responsible for everything that makes life great, including art, medicine, discovery, philosophy, industry, science, business, wealth, and all the rest. In fact, without the 1% through history doing their thing and achieving their greatness, you are basically a bacteria or a neanderthal. The 1% are the people that we all need to thank, especially those who are mediocre and just "want to live a middle class life" and soak it all in without adding to the achievements. So yes, you can say thank you and be glad there is a small percentage of your fellow men who aspire to greatness and achieve greatness in the just world that a free society creates and protects.
 
Old 06-01-2014, 10:12 PM
 
Location: Northern NJ
7,953 posts, read 7,962,972 times
Reputation: 11183
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankMiller View Post
Is that your argument? That Bill Gates is the most talented person at Microsoft by a factor of a billion? He's not taking advantage of any systemic issues or leverage advantages, he's just super-talented?

Edit: P.S., you aren't one of the talented genius ubermench, you're a schlub like us (except that you're an apologist).
I knew you were a schlub, at least your introspection has been successful. I told you we live in a just world.
 
Old 06-02-2014, 05:23 AM
 
3,569 posts, read 2,390,961 times
Reputation: 2729
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayrandom View Post
And by leverage, you essentially mean property. You're asking if it's acceptable for the means of production to be owned for the benefit of a select few and to what extent they should be extended that benefit. The idea of a single owner of a basic necessity represents the extreme of that question. Take the opposite extreme of your argument and imagine someone who creates a product or idea that everyone is willing to pay a considerable amount of money for but is not in any way coerced in to doing so. Using the money they were freely given by others, they invest and develop more ideas and products, getting more money, and growing a company from the ground up. Why should that person not be entitled to the benefits of their labor and ingenuity?

I agree that allowing total ownership of all the means of production by a select few can lead to extremely negative consequences. I also think that the cost of society should be borne by those in the society and in some proportion to their ability to pay. I disagree with the notion that capital is inherently leverage or that all those with considerable capital didn't earn it. Certainly there are many who have abused or broken laws, workers, or social norms in earning their capital, but I think it's better to take specific issue with those specific acts rather than the concept of capital entirely.
To the first paragraph, the notion of getting investment from others means the "talent" is already beholden to the capitalists in order to implement their ideas. What usually happens is that the talent fails and the wealthy capitalist who has the necessary connections steals the idea and implements it for a profit. The dot-com internet booms have enabled a certain number of low-capital innovative ideas to succeed, but most innovation is not low-capital.

If you live in the midwest, you might be aware of the Koch Brothers or Rex Sinquefield. These are wealthy capitalists who know nothing in particular about politics or public policy or urban planning. But because they made lots of money on investing / having rich parents, they basically run the local governments. Even if you believe that they did such a great job of oil drilling that they deserve to live like kings, how does that translate to them telling other people if they should have buses in their communities? That's a big part of the problem I have with wealth: nobody deserves to stroll into a state they don't even live in and declare a law forbidding carpool lanes just because they personally don't like them. If it were possible for wealthy people to be forbidden from undue influence on society, I'd be more sympathetic, but as it stands people get wealth, and then declare laws that preserve their monopoly on wealth.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Paolella View Post
I knew you were a schlub, at least your introspection has been successful. I told you we live in a just world.
Why do you even think we live in a just world? Do you honestly think that all poor people are undeserving of wealth? That doesn't make sense.

And if you don't own at least three houses you're a definitely schlub too, don't fool yourself.
 
Old 06-02-2014, 08:00 AM
 
7,846 posts, read 5,318,020 times
Reputation: 4025
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Paolella View Post
You are fixating on wealth, probably because it is something you lack, but you owe the 1% everything you have and everything that makes your life comfortable and even doable. The 1% in terms of talent and work ethic are responsible for everything that makes life great, including art, medicine, discovery, philosophy, industry, science, business, wealth, and all the rest. In fact, without the 1% through history doing their thing and achieving their greatness, you are basically a bacteria or a neanderthal. The 1% are the people that we all need to thank, especially those who are mediocre and just "want to live a middle class life" and soak it all in without adding to the achievements. So yes, you can say thank you and be glad there is a small percentage of your fellow men who aspire to greatness and achieve greatness in the just world that a free society creates and protects.


I don't owe the 1% anything. Everything they create I either choose to consume or not consume. If they provide a valuable product or service, I pay for it. I don't owe them a shred more of anything; especially not my rights as a citizen.
 
Old 06-02-2014, 10:43 PM
 
Location: Northern NJ
7,953 posts, read 7,962,972 times
Reputation: 11183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Opin_Yunated View Post


I don't owe the 1% anything. Everything they create I either choose to consume or not consume. If they provide a valuable product or service, I pay for it. I don't owe them a shred more of anything; especially not my rights as a citizen.
Oh yes, because consuming is noble, while producing is nothing special. And THAT is what collectivism is really all about.
 
Old 06-03-2014, 05:19 AM
 
3,569 posts, read 2,390,961 times
Reputation: 2729
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Paolella View Post
Oh yes, because consuming is noble, while producing is nothing special. And THAT is what collectivism is really all about.
Well, you need consumers to justify producers.
 
Old 06-03-2014, 09:47 AM
 
7,846 posts, read 5,318,020 times
Reputation: 4025
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankMiller View Post
Well, you need consumers to justify producers.


I guess in his 1% worship he forgot that minor detail.
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