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  1. #11
    girl with a pretty smile Honor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    Do not forget that it is the public good that allows you to live... it provides the water you drink, electricity you use to see, it safeguards the food you eat, the air you breathe, it paves the roads you take to your workplace... the public good provides you laws to protect you and keep you alive long enough to save your money. It provides you with a market and a common language for communication and people who labor to uphold the world whose resources you manipulate for personal gain.

    It is easy to dismiss, but none of us would survive for long if not for the support of one another, and it is only for the existence of the system that the billionaire may rise to his wealth. To deny that is more than selfish; it is a betrayal.
    I agree. Not to start a doomed political argument, but tell me how much you want other people to be concerned with the public good when you're getting mugged and your house is on fire, ElfBoy.
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  2. #12
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    Do not forget that it is the public good that allows you to live... it provides the water you drink, electricity you use to see, it safeguards the food you eat, the air you breathe, it paves the roads you take to your workplace... the public good provides you laws to protect you and keep you alive long enough to save your money. It provides you with a market and a common language for communication and people who labor to uphold the world whose resources you manipulate for personal gain.
    It is easy to dismiss, but none of us would survive for long if not for the support of one another, and it is only for the existence of the system that the billionaire may rise to his wealth. To deny that is more than selfish; it is a betrayal.
    1) I'm not dismissing public good, I'm just saying that receiving help does not obligate you to return help (I help people all the time without expecting a reward. I give because, in the moment, I feel like it. plenty of people have not appreciated it, but that doesn't bother me. they're free to take it as they like).
    2) people already give back to society in the form of taxes (in my opinion, it's sort of like you receive a loan as a child and taxes are a way of paying that back). if you are giving more than you are consuming, then that's good enough.
    3) I am me, not the rest of society, so I live my life primarily for my own ends, as I believe most people should.
    4) you don't choose which society you are born into, so feeling obligated to give back in excess doesn't make sense to me.
    5) apart from taxes, employed individuals contribute productive labor and spending which keeps the markets moving, so you're already contributing to the "public good" by a) paying taxes, b) working and c) spending
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  3. #13
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    This is a very common mindset in America, but surely you know there are many people out there who disagree.
    and when the alternative is collectivism and believing that you are the servant rather than the master, I'm glad it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Honor View Post
    I agree. Not to start a doomed political argument, but tell me how much you want other people to be concerned with the public good when you're getting mugged and your house is on fire, ElfBoy.
    when that occurs, I will be grateful to have contributed to the insurance policy which is the government.

    PS: I don't consider myself anti-society or counterculture, but I am, first and foremost, an individualist who believes that people have the right to reap what they sew and do what they want with their lives as long as they aren't hurting others or stealing their resources (which is what people who don't pay taxes do). no one has the right to limit your potential. if you want to make a billion dollars a year and hoard the money, you need no further justification than your own desires
    naturally, I understand the concept of taxes. I have a responsibility to pay fees because I am consuming services (albeit it's a choice less of the time and it inevitably can't work as efficiently as the free markets), but when you are paying almost (if not more than) half of your income to support the "public good"....no. something is off and things are wanton with corruption and or inefficiency (probably a little bit of both)
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    1) I'm not dismissing public good, I'm just saying that receiving help does not obligate you to return help (I help people all the time without expecting a reward. I give because, in the moment, I feel like it. plenty of people have not appreciated it, but that doesn't bother me. they're free to take it as they like).
    But that is a rather different situation - it is conscious, chosen, willing altruism. Most people's giving in terms of their economic contribution is a functioning part of the social contract, which is giving for everyone's benefit.

    2) people already give back to society in the form of taxes (in my opinion, it's sort of like you receive a loan as a child and taxes are a way of paying that back). if you are giving more than you are consuming, then that's good enough.
    Do you think it is realistic that you are giving more in taxes than you are consuming? Consider every single public facility and service you rely upon every day.

    3) I am me, not the rest of society, so I live my life primarily for my own ends, as I believe most people should.
    As do most, I think. I try to help others because it makes me happy. Ultimately that is somewhat selfish.

    4) you don't choose which society you are born into, so feeling obligated to give back in excess doesn't make sense to me.
    I am not asking for excess - I am saying that those who earn more income than they can feasibly even use be obligated to put that back into the economy. That includes Oprah's $38,000 handbag - I'm not even begrudging her that, though it makes my skin crawl. But whatever she earns beyond what she can use should, in my opinion, go into lifting the living conditions of the poorest of the poor.

    5) apart from taxes, employed individuals contribute productive labor and spending which keeps the markets moving, so you're already contributing to the "public good" by a) paying taxes, b) working and c) spending
    Right, and for 99.99% of the population, a cap would have absolutely no impact on their daily life. It would only be the hyper-wealthy .001% who are affected.

    Again, this has nothing to do with limiting people's self-sufficiency or ability to be successful. It only has to do with limiting the amount of publicly harmful financial hoarding and outsourcing that the tiny super-rich minority engages in, which has absolutely zero net effect on their quality of life.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Honor View Post
    I am in lockstep agreement with you on this. And everything else you said in that post, really. Btw, @skylights, have you seen this study that people stop reporting increases in happiness once they make $75,000/year?

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...019628,00.html
    Yes ma'am! I actually first read about its predecessor that placed the number at 40,000, but of course inflation has driven it upwards since then. It is fascinating and an incredibly powerful statistic when it comes to looking at how obsessed with wealth our culture is, and how we tend to assume it necessarily means increased quality of life. I know this myself and still find it hard to remove myself from the earn-earn-earn paradigm.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    and when the alternative is collectivism and believing that you are the servant rather than the master, I'm glad it is.
    Not servant or master, but an interdependent unit in a huge human system geared towards the purpose of synergy, of the whole becoming more than the sum of its parts, of the collective being able to lift each individual to a higher level than they began at. We have more than enough for everyone if we can put aside our fear of one another and trust that we won't let each other down. It's just ironic because we already do trust one another to provide for us, but we force ourselves to treat our resources as if we do not, as if we are "independent" entities despite rampant specialization of labor and government provision of public services. It's time we began treating our web of life as the interdependent macroentity that it is.

  6. #16
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    @skylights
    Do you think it is realistic that you are giving more in taxes than you are consuming? Consider every single public facility and service you rely upon every day.
    currently: no
    once I get my degree and a full time, professional job: absolutely
    society realizes that investing in people like me (college students who will attain high paying positions and have a lot to offer in taxes) are a good investment so, for the time being, I feel no remorse because it's a similar concept (in my mind) to taking out a loan.

    the problem is when society funds bums who refuse to grow up and work toward independence. I don't expect everyone to be able to be independent (I take environmental constraints into consideration more than most libertarian) but I do expect everyone who isn't self sufficient to be working in that direction. that is what I view society as: something that takes the mountain of self sufficiency and creates stairs for those nearer the bottom to be able to climb to reasonable heights).

    Right, and for 99.99% of the population, a cap would have absolutely no impact on their daily life. It would only be the hyper-wealthy .001% who are affected.
    realistically, probably more like 95-98%, but the point remains that this is a perverted use of democracy "they're a really small minority, so it's alright to place more burden on them without providing them more services". the debits and credits of this financial statement don't balance :P

    Again, this has nothing to do with limiting people's self-sufficiency or ability to be successful. It only has to do with limiting the amount of publicly harmful financial hoarding and outsourcing that the tiny super-rich minority engages in, which has absolutely zero net effect on their quality of life.
    irrelevant. this implies that the person needs a justification to make more money. after a certain point, it's not about the money at all. they do it because they like to win and acquire power, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this.
    and, as a side note, this outsourcing benefits the other countries involved greatly by providing employment, spreading industry, increasing demand and providing FAR better alternatives than the jobs they currently have available (if any). over time, increased market demand will cause their wages and standard of living to rise.

    I am not asking for excess - I am saying that those who earn more income than they can feasibly even use be obligated to put that back into the economy.
    Oprah employs tons of people (hundreds? thousands? I dunno the exact number), spreads global awareness of all kinds of issues and gives tons of money to charity. she has done more than enough for the world and her country.

    But whatever she earns beyond what she can use should, in my opinion, go into lifting the living conditions of the poorest of the poor.
    you have no right to tell people what they should do with their money. I realize this is an opinion, but when an opinion like this becomes law, it ceases to an opinion and becomes a mandate.

    That includes Oprah's $38,000 handbag - I'm not even begrudging her that, though it makes my skin crawl
    you totally contradicted yourself with this statement

    what disturbs me about your opinion has nothing to do with the dollar amounts, rather the principle that people continually need to be thinking of the welfare of others. as stated previously, I understand the concept of paying your share in taxes, but helping people is something I allot only so much time for (and not a very large amount). after that, I want to think about myself again and enjoy myself while I can.
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  7. #17
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    Not servant or master, but an interdependent unit in a huge human system geared towards the purpose of synergy, of the whole becoming more than the sum of its parts, of the collective being able to lift each individual to a higher level than they began at.
    this is quite a lofty statement, but it's one I agree with. the question is, do all parties involved benefit more than they give up?. that is when you will have interdependence.


    We have more than enough for everyone if we can put aside our fear of one another and trust that we won't let each other down.
    1) that's a whole different convo
    2) we actually don't. food storages are ungodly low

    It's just ironic because we already do trust one another to provide for us, but we force ourselves to treat our resources as if we do not, as if we are "independent" entities despite rampant specialization of labor and government provision of public services.
    independent, imo, means you are able to live without people giving you survival necessities. when you have walk away power and can get the same services for someone else, in exchange for your in demand skills, you are independent in my book.

    It's time we began treating our web of life as the interdependent macroentity that it is.
    that's the thing, I see it as a large business conference. interdependent individuals (with walk away power) and companies exchange resources with each other for mutual gain. the structure is a bit different (much of it is, inevitably, forced and it's a lot less efficient, but the same principle applies). so, as I would a business conference, I view it as just that, business. you contribute value in exchange for different value and then go back to your family and enjoy your life. that's all it needs to be.

    PS: the So dom vs So last is sooo fucking obvious in this convo
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  8. #18
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    @skylights

    currently: no
    once I get my degree and a full time, professional job: absolutely
    society realizes that investing in people like me (college students who will attain high paying positions and have a lot to offer in taxes) are a good investment so, for the time being, I feel no remorse because it's a similar concept (in my mind) to taking out a loan.

    the problem is when society funds bums who refuse to grow up and work toward independence. I don't expect everyone to be able to be independent (I take environmental constraints into consideration more than most libertarian) but I do expect everyone who isn't self sufficient to be working in that direction. that is what I view society as: something that takes the mountain of self sufficiency and creates stairs for those nearer the bottom to be able to climb to reasonable heights).


    realistically, probably more like 95-98%, but the point remains that this is a perverted use of democracy "they're a really small minority, so it's alright to place more burden on them without providing them more services". the debits and credits of this financial statement don't balance :P


    irrelevant. this implies that the person needs a justification to make more money. after a certain point, it's not about the money at all. they do it because they like to win and acquire power, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this.
    and, as a side note, this outsourcing benefits the other countries involved greatly by providing employment, spreading industry, increasing demand and providing FAR better alternatives than the jobs they currently have available (if any). over time, increased market demand will cause their wages and standard of living to rise.


    Oprah employs tons of people (hundreds? thousands? I dunno the exact number), spreads global awareness of all kinds of issues and gives tons of money to charity. she has done more than enough for the world and her country.


    you have no right to tell people what they should do with their money. I realize this is an opinion, but when an opinion like this becomes law, it ceases to an opinion and becomes a mandate.
    Three points:

    First, it has been shown through numerous studies that access to resources is exponentially more difficult the lower the level on the socioeconomic scale you start out at. That means that it is much harder for the very poor to climb a single level than it is for the middle class to move up, and so on. What you are saying would be fine if the playing field were level. But the game is stacked against the people at the bottom, so we cannot reasonably expect them to move up as easily, and accuse them of not trying if they do not succeed.

    Second, I am not saying I don't know some welfare queens, but there are corrupt people at every level. There are people who abuse the system throughout, and those who do at the top create more problems than those at the bottom, because their scope of influence is so much greater.

    Third, people like Oprah may create many jobs and donate huge amounts of money, but fundamentally they are misusing the system because the way they live keeps the rich far on the top and the poor far on the bottom. The middle-class person who donates 5% of their income to the poor is doing better because they are closing the gap between their standard of living and others'.

    you totally contradicted yourself with this statement
    No sir, I mean that I don't like her decision, but I don't think it should be legally restricted - much along the lines of "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it".

    what disturbs me about your opinion has nothing to do with the dollar amounts, rather the principle that people continually need to be thinking of the welfare of others. as stated previously, I understand the concept of paying your share in taxes, but helping people is something I allot only so much time for (and not a very large amount). after that, I want to think about myself again and enjoy myself while I can.
    But you would not exist were it not for the sake of many others, and you certainly would not have the quality of living that you do if it were not for them, so you do owe them consideration. If you desire to only think about yourself, you can freely remove yourself from civilization and all the benefits thereof.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    this is quite a lofty statement, but it's one I agree with. the question is, do all parties involved benefit more than they give up?. that is when you will have interdependence.
    That is up to each person to decide, really. Like I said, all people are free to leave civilization as they please. Generally it is not a wise bargain.

    1) that's a whole different convo
    2) we actually don't. food storages are ungodly low
    Human ingenuity and renewable resources are high, though. We need to ease off on barreling towards profit and focus on sustainability.

    independent, imo, means you are able to live without people giving you survival necessities. when you have walk away power and can get the same services for someone else, in exchange for your in demand skills, you are independent in my book.
    Sure, but what about the services @Honor mentioned, like school, police, fire, and medical protection? What about government protection of your rights? Would you prefer a completely free market?

    that's the thing, I see it as a large business conference. interdependent individuals (with walk away power) and companies exchange resources with each other for mutual gain. the structure is a bit different (much of it is, inevitably, forced and it's a lot less efficient, but the same principle applies). so, as I would a business conference, I view it as just that, business. you contribute value in exchange for different value and then go back to your family and enjoy your life. that's all it needs to be.
    But at the same time, you have the current ability to offer your skills and services because society has provided you with protections and resources to grow into a person who can provide that. It's like everyone at that conference donated their money into a mutual pool that helped provide for you and continues to provide for you should something traumatic happen in your life, and you are saying you don't owe them anything. It is your choice... but if you don't want those protections anymore, you should leave the conference, because you are technically mooching!

    PS: the So dom vs So last is sooo fucking obvious in this convo
    You right!

  9. #19
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    @skylights
    I'll get back to this later (it's refreshing to a have a rational debate with someone who keeps a level head and it's trying to turn it into a game of "let's make the other person look like an idiot", so thank you for that)
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