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Thread: Elysium

  1. #71
    Senior Member Evil Otter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    What makes us superior to them? That we have a stronger military? Does that make North Korea superior to these countries too?
    The US economy makes us better than them. The fact that I own the products of my mind makes us better than them. And the ideal that I shouldn't have to pay for your food makes us better than them. Who said anything about the military? Rational egoism limits the use of force or threat thereof to strictly defensive purposes to be used only against the aggressor.

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    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lucky13 View Post
    The US economy makes us better than them.
    In what way is our economy better when the U.S GNP is actually lower than that of many "socialist" countries, our system of education is vastly inferior to theirs and our health-care system leaves much to be desired.

    Quote Originally Posted by lucky13 View Post
    The fact that I own the products of my mind makes us better than them.
    I have no idea what you meant there. You own the products of your mind? You're saying that in America, you can be a self-made man and in a socialist state you cannot be?

    Quote Originally Posted by lucky13 View Post
    And the ideal that I shouldn't have to pay for your food makes us better than them.
    Let me take it a step further for you, I bet you'd support a policy that terminates all social services including the unemployment benefit. Guess where this has been tried before: Bangladesh. In 2001, the nation achieved a 98.5% employment rate at the expense of massive brain-waste: a sizable portion of the population was looking for work by all means necessary. Hence, highly skilled professionals were compelled to forsake their careers to maintain a steady flow of income by accepting menial jobs. The consequences for the economy were disastrous and this is the direction we will be heading in if we continue to cut back social services. To achieve economic growth, we must exploit our human capital to the maximum and driving a substantial portion of the work-force into less productive work will undermine the prosperity of this nation. The welfare system must be restructured, not done away with: it must aim to put its beneficiaries back into the work-force in occupations that are the most likely to engender growth.




    Quote Originally Posted by lucky13 View Post
    Rational egoism limits the use of force or threat thereof to strictly defensive purposes to be used only against the aggressor.
    That's obviously not the way the U.S military operates today and there is no doctrine of rational egoism. The term you were probably looking for was enlightened self-interest and most people find it in their interest to serve the public good. A sizable percentage of business and government leaders are psychopaths and that's a well documented fact, they'd like you to believe that you should focus exclusively on your own interests, but most people tend not to be satisfied with that. The psychopath leaders will then need to take a step back and sell the invisible hand demagoguery by thoroughly misconstruing Adam Smith's doctrine who in fact argued that government intervention was often needed in order to achieve as much of a perfect competition within the economy as possible.
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  3. #73
    Senior Member Evil Otter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    In what way is our economy better when the U.S GNP is actually lower than that of many "socialist" countries, our system of education is vastly inferior to theirs and our health-care system leaves much to be desired.

    I have no idea what you meant there. You own the products of your mind? You're saying that in America, you can be a self-made man and in a socialist state you cannot be?

    Let me take it a step further for you, I bet you'd support a policy that terminates all social services including the unemployment benefit. Guess where this has been tried before: Bangladesh. In 2001, the nation achieved a 98.5% employment rate at the expense of massive brain-waste: a sizable portion of the population was looking for work by all means necessary. Hence, highly skilled professionals were compelled to forsake their careers to maintain a steady flow of income by accepting menial jobs. The consequences for the economy were disastrous and this is the direction we will be heading in if we continue to cut back social services. To achieve economic growth, we must exploit our human capital to the maximum and driving a substantial portion of the work-force into less productive work will undermine the prosperity of this nation. The welfare system must be restructured, not done away with: it must aim to put its beneficiaries back into the work-force in occupations that are the most likely to engender growth.

    That's obviously not the way the U.S military operates today and there is no doctrine of rational egoism. The term you were probably looking for was enlightened self-interest and most people find it in their interest to serve the public good. A sizable percentage of business and government leaders are psychopaths and that's a well documented fact, they'd like you to believe that you should focus exclusively on your own interests, but most people tend not to be satisfied with that. The psychopath leaders will then need to take a step back and sell the invisible hand demagoguery by thoroughly misconstruing Adam Smith's doctrine who in fact argued that government intervention was often needed in order to achieve as much of a perfect competition within the economy as possible.
    Sure GNP not the best in the world at 41st (using the stat that helps your argument, that's a just tactic by the way), GDP however is #1. Go figure.

    And yes I do support ditching all government sponsored social services, I'm not from Bangladesh, I don't feel like researching it and based on your demonstrated bias toward details that benefit your argument while ignoring others I'm going to go ahead and assume you're doing the same here. There's no reason that a doctor shouldn't be working as a doctor unless A) he can be paid more doing something else or B) there are more doctors than available positions and the employed doctors are better at it than he is. What it does do is eradicate this notion that someone can sit on their ass and have the "government" take care of them. But it's not really the government doing anything, rather it's the tax payer being forced to pay said worthless welfare redneck so he can do nothing but watch Judge Judy and drink some piss beer

  4. #74
    Senior Member Evil Otter's Avatar
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    @SolitaryWalker
    Also you're number 1 and 2 countries for GNP are Yemen and Iraq, so I guess you should live there

    And I'm using rational egoism as it has been presented by a few different philosophers who I agree with on the subject. I'm not looking for any other term. And I'm not arguing that the U.S. military is perfect or that my ideal is the system it uses. Why this obsession with the military though? I don't see the relevance to anything I've said.

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    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lucky13 View Post
    Sure GNP not the best in the world at 41st (using the stat that helps your argument, that's a just tactic by the way), GDP however is #1. Go figure.

    I am not down-playing the accomplishments of the U.S economy, just saying that in many respect, they are often matched and even surpassed by countries with mixed politico-economic infrastructures such as Germany, Sweden or Finland. All of this goes to show that your claim that the U.S economy is superior to theirs is rather dubious.


    Quote Originally Posted by lucky13 View Post
    There no reason that a doctor shouldn't be working as a doctor unless he can A) be paid more doing something else
    There is more to the human picture than the desire to maximize profit, if there wasn't, low-paying service jobs would have been notoriously understaffed as the highly capable people working them would have sought out employment elsewhere. Think of how many intelligent and capable individuals prefer to work as teachers rather than as the substantially better paid accountants or lawyers? We're not going to entice more young people to become doctors, the salaries are already two to three times as high as they are in other countries. If a salary of over a million dollars is insufficient of an incentive for someone to take up a profession and that person settles for a much lower paying job, odds are that raising the salary to five million won't lead him to become a physician. We need to broaden our understanding of what motivates people to pursue occupations that are vital to the public good and economic growth. That is, we need to look for non-pecuniary methods of enticing more people to become doctors because financial rewards are merely a necessary but an insufficient condition for solving our physician shortage problem.





    Quote Originally Posted by lucky13 View Post
    What it does do is eradicate this notion that someone can sit on their ass and have the "government" take care of them.
    We can eradicate that notion by minimizing government hand-outs and providing the welfare beneficiaries with the training that will equip them with marketable skills. If a recipient of the training fails to re-enter the work-force after a certain period of time, they should be deprived of all financial and training benefits. Removing the welfare system altogether will only create a Thai-style blossoming black-market economy. Do you want your welfare barnacle entering the illicit drug or sex market instead of freeloading off the tax payers? Why not give him the opportunity and the incentive to stand on his two feet? The welfare reform that I've proposed does exactly that.


    Quote Originally Posted by lucky13 View Post
    @SolitaryWalker
    Also you're number 1 and 2 countries for GNP are Yemen and Iraq, so I guess you should live there
    Moot point, there are other ways of showing that the superiority of the U.S economy to that of the Germany is questionable.

    Cite your source anyways, I want to take a look.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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  6. #76
    Senior Member Evil Otter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Moot point, there are other ways of showing that the superiority of the U.S economy to that of the Germany is questionable.

    Cite your source anyways, I want to take a look.
    Be my guest...
    GNP - http://www.tradingeconomics.com/coun...tional-product
    GDP - http://www.tradingeconomics.com/country-list/gdp

    Germany by the way comes in at 46th for GNP and 5th for GDP, behind the U.S. in both categories.

  7. #77
    Senior Member Evil Otter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    There is more to the human picture than the desire to maximize profit, if there wasn't, low-paying service jobs would have been notoriously understaffed as the highly capable people working them would have sought out employment elsewhere. Think of how many intelligent and capable individuals prefer to work as teachers rather than as the substantially better paid accountants or lawyers? We're not going to entice more young people to become doctors, the salaries are already two to three times as high as they are in other countries. If a salary of over a million dollars is insufficient of an incentive for someone to take up a profession and that person settles for a much lower paying job, odds are that raising the salary to five million won't lead him to become a physician. We need to broaden our understanding of what motivates people to pursue occupations that are vital to the public good and economic growth. That is, we need to look for non-pecuniary methods of enticing more people to become doctors because financial rewards are merely a necessary but an insufficient condition for solving our physician shortage problem.
    Your right, humans want more than just to maximize profit. We want to maximize happiness and some very smart individuals are satisfied with low paying teaching jobs and the like. No issue there. But again the whole system should be at it's most competitive state. Why hire some third-rate teacher if Albert Einstein wants to teach your physics class and is better at it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Arendee View Post
    No but I did go to the US Naval Academy and am the owner of a Gym.
    That's what I said: we do not belong to the same world.

    Reaching a status similar to mine is almost impossible without a good network, a good family, and very good studies. But you can still dream if you want.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lucky13 View Post
    Be my guest...
    GNP - http://www.tradingeconomics.com/coun...tional-product
    GDP - http://www.tradingeconomics.com/country-list/gdp

    Germany by the way comes in at 46th for GNP and 5th for GDP, behind the U.S. in both categories.
    Just one question:

    Have you ever been to Germany or to Sweden?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    The problem with those places is not fundementally that they are poor as poor is to some extent a relative term. In fact the poor around the world own trillions of dollars in assets. The problem is they live in countries with poor legal systems and corrupt governments so those assets are locked up and they are not able to make the best use of a market system. Thus only the rich in those countries and multinationals have the means to access the government so that they profit off of the property they own.
    It's not that simple unfortunately.

    Basically, even with the best legal system, when you're born poor, chances are you will stay poor your entire life.
    There are lots of other factors involved, and most of them aren't that "local": We live in a global system. The way rich countries interact with poor countries also matters a lot.
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