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  1. #121
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    It's more subtle than that. Think about the recent oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Why did it happen? My guess is that several people made a sequence of decisions to cut corners or not to spend some money somewhere along the line to save money in the goal of short term profit. They didn't sufficiently consider risks. They weren't necessarily bad people. They are part of a system with a value structure and behave in alignment with that value structure.
    Actually, the original incident seems to have stemmed from engineers misinterpreting data that showed unusually high pressure in the rig, which led to the explosion. I am sure there were other options in order to prevent or contain such a widespread disaster, though. In such a situation, BP should bear the full economic brunt of fixing the situation.


    Why would anyone work for a tobacco company? Are they bad people bent on destroying lives? No - they are part of a culture and value structure and are required to fit in to obtain a paycheck.
    I see nothing wrong with working for a tobacco company, unless you are defrauding people somehow, lying about the ingredients, etc.

    And as that documentary you mentioned described - I think you are referring to The Corporation where the sociopath analogy comes from (or is it psychopath - can't remember), companies are not rewarded for doing good for society and there are externalities that may have negative impacts - like people dying from a lifetime of smoking or cancers caused by petrochemicals in our environment.
    Yes, that was the one. And they said "sociopath." What companies do usually is good for society, in that they produce things people want (even cigarettes, which I enjoy, but am quitting). True externalities are trespasses that should be either A) factored into the cost of production and offset; or B) torts that can be sued over.
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  2. #122
    Senior Member BlueGray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Not_Me View Post
    Then why don't I claim it on the basis that I did not inherit it. It's equally arbitrary.


    No. My argument is based on the principles of fairness. There is no reason for one baby to be given more entitlements than the next. Neither did anything to earn it.
    It isn't the baby's choice. It is the owner of the money, likely parent, that chose to give the money to that child. It's simply a person making a decision about their own belongings. Should people be told that they can't use money that they worked to obtain?
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  3. #123
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueGray View Post
    It isn't the baby's choice. It is the owner of the money, likely parent, that chose to give the money to that child. It's simply a person making a decision about their own belongings. Should people be told that they can't use money that they worked to obtain?
    Exactly. Once that child turns 18, the wealthy parent legally owes them nothing.
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  4. #124
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Not_Me View Post
    Then why don't I claim it on the basis that I did not inherit it. It's equally arbitrary.
    Inheritance is based on the institutions of private property and parenthood, which have long-standing recognition and precedent under common law. It's emphatically not arbitrary.

    If your premise is simply that society's rules simply don't apply to you, well, again we have very little hope of ever coming to any significant agreement. And by the way... best of luck with that. You can't be the Ubermensch unless you have the cojones to make it stick.
    Last edited by Oberon; 11-26-2010 at 10:26 PM.

  5. #125
    Uniqueorn William K's Avatar
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    What about copyright laws though? 70 years after the death of the author seems an overkill...
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  6. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    What about rape or genocide?
    Neither is intrinsically wrong. I happen to think they are, but others could disagree. But fairness would dictate that those who support these actions as the aggressor must not change their tune when they are the victim.

  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueGray View Post
    It isn't the baby's choice. It is the owner of the money, likely parent, that chose to give the money to that child. It's simply a person making a decision about their own belongings.
    Each member of society enjoys benefits from the group. Therefore, he is expected to contribute a percentage of his output to the community as compensation. If the society chooses to disallow inheritance, it has the "right" to do so. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with that choice, as long as the rule was applied fairly.
    Should people be told that they can't use money that they worked to obtain?
    They do not have total freedom to use it as they see fit. For example, they are not allowed to spend it on illegal drugs or other activities which harms society. Unrestricted inheritance is unfair to many members of the next generation. Perpetuating an injustice is harmful to society. Therefore, the practice should be discontinued.

  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Inheritance is based on the institutions of private property and parenthood, which have long-standing recognition and precent under common law. It's emphatically not arbitrary.
    Slave ownership was based on long standing institutions also. Institutions are not cast in stone. They can be changed.

    If your premise is simply that society's rules simply don't apply to you, well, again we have very little hope of ever coming to any significant agreement. And by the way... best of luck with that. You can't be the Ubermensch unless you have the cojones to make it stick.
    I'm sure this statement was uttered when they first attempted to ban slavery.

  9. #129

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    I dont think that society should attempt to suppress inheritance but it shouldnt take the great pains it has at times to support it either, in the UK at least while the conservative party has tried to present a face to the public of fiercely supporting personal responsibility it has assisted elite families whose entire holdings where threatened with being wiped out by financial crisis within the country, I've seen TV documentaries about it and its pretty plainly one set of rules for one class and another set for another.

    There's stories from the UK of formerly wealthy and aristo families in which maybe two or three elderly sisters still live in massive estates, in huge homes in which they very possibly only inhabit two or three rooms. This came to light really when the home heating allowances which the government paid to pensioners where attacked as insufficient for these sorts of situations. Most of the time these are presented as sob stories in which people are threatened with losing everything despite living good lives and working hard. The reality is that maybe they worked hard in NGOs or conservative charitable or society organisations, if that and they spent accumulated wealth rather than investing and managing it in enterprising fashion.

    These and other trends have led me to believe that the UK is in a position not unlike that of Russia prior to its revolution, the ruling and middle classes which have accumulated land, property and money, are not dynamic any longer but have developed a pretty vengeful attitude towards subrodinate classes, the country's like a leading example of the Peter Principle.

  10. #130

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    Quote Originally Posted by Not_Me View Post
    Slave ownership was based on long standing institutions also. Institutions are not cast in stone. They can be changed.


    I'm sure this statement was uttered when they first attempted to ban slavery.
    That's true but contrast the abolition of slavery in the US, which mandated wars, instituted discrimination, racisim and futher struggles with the decline of that institution in Europe during Christendom and afterwards in the Briitsh Empire. Pretty different huh?

    Institutions can be good or bad but processes of changing them must be considered carefully, otherwise change will not be sustainable, enduring and desirable. Institutions after all serve a major role in the transmission of learning and experience between generations, proving a vital bridge between the past, present and future. Ignore that at your peril.

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