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Thread: Super Tuesday

  1. #121
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FMWarner View Post
    I take issue with the assumption that my statements above can be interepreted as "the only person that matters is yourself". I just think you need to have a compelling reason to take things away from people in the name of equity, and "I have to work harder than you to have the same life" isn't compelling in the least. I certainly wasn't born to privilege and I'm still paying off grad school at age 37...but I don't think anyone owes me something just because their family has had it better. I was always taught that if you want something, you have to work for it.
    Please don't take it as a personal attack. It's just my personal perspective on objectivists. I was raised in much the same way.

    I actually agree with you on a personal level. But I don't believe that it's the government's place to to try to negotiate the choppy waters of redistribution of wealth. I believe that such things should be given freely, not seized. I have a strong belief in personal charity, and I think it's ethically incumbent on the wealthy to give a little back and help his fellow man. I know that sounds ridiculously naive, and maybe it is. But it's the only path that morally makes sense to me on all sides.
    And that was why I disagreed with you. It ultimately comes down to value judgments. Yes, I do think it is a bit naive to believe in the generosity of people who

    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    The fact are:
    (1) a market where corruption is prosecuted, and swindlers are punished is more likely to be efficient and have better liquidity.
    (2) Regulated consumption/production, planned economies, lack of freedom to assemble or speak freely, etc. lead to poorer quality of life and worse living conditions for the population at large. In fact, I would say when individuals are required to submit to the "collective," the tendency is for the collective to actually become a handful of despots.
    Both the market and government are horrible entities. One creates inequality and oppression, and the other creates corruption and graft. To make matters worse, they are inseparable because it is ultimately the government that prints the money and provides the necessary regulation, whereas the free market provides the production and growth.

    IMO Kiddo, if we privatized social work, the social work would likely become more efficient, and you are likely to get paid more (that's the alchemy of a good functioning market, an increase in gross production). The problem however, is that you will need some creative entrepreneurs to come up with proper business models to have social-work businesses be successful in the market place. The government would likely have to come up with a proper way to monetize the externalities of social-work and still have to regulate it to make sure there isn't corruption, human rights violations, or abuses of privileges. A government with fewer things on its plate would be able to eliminate corruption more easily.
    There is private social work. However, it has many of the problems inherent with being private. Mainly, it is expensive and serves only the clients who can afford it. Not to mention, private sector social work is a business and so the primary motivation is to make a profit, not help people. Some individuals even buy up the private practices in an attempt to monopolize an area.

    Objectivists obviously see the Free Market as the lesser of two evils, and Relativists see the Government as the lesser of two evils. Maybe the problem is we are satisfied with existing with two evils.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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  2. #122

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    There is private social work. However, it has many of the problems inherent with being private. Mainly, it is expensive and serves only the clients who can afford it. Not to mention, private sector social work is a business and so the primary motivation is to make a profit, not help people. Some individuals even buy up the private practices in an attempt to monopolize an area.

    Objectivists obviously see the Free Market as the lesser of two evils, and Relativists see the Government as the lesser of two evils. Maybe the problem is we are satisfied with existing with two evils.
    Well, my understanding is that private social work is currently mostly funded by insurance companies, and so only have an interest in improving the lot of the people who buy their coverage, so as to profit from the premiums they collect by reducing risk of defaults and pay outs.

    If the government monetized somehow, the avoidance of prison, the use of welfare, the use of elder-care, and other social justice projects as something they will pay in the future, and paid contract social work to private companies based on traceable bids (like "Pay us X, and we'll keep Y out of jail by rehabilitating him"), how much would the government be willing to pay?

    I don't know, and I am too sleepy to think about it. But I think if people thought more along those lines, we may be able to come up with something.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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  3. #123
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Well, my understanding is that private social work is currently mostly funded by insurance companies, and so only have an interest in improving the lot of the people who buy their coverage, so as to profit from the premiums they collect by reducing risk of defaults and pay outs.

    If the government monetized somehow, the avoidance of prison, the use of welfare, the use of elder-care, and other social justice projects as something they will pay in the future, and paid contract social work to private companies based on traceable bids (like "Pay us X, and we'll keep Y out of jail by rehabilitating him"), how much would the government be willing to pay?

    I don't know, and I am too sleepy to think about it. But I think if people thought more along those lines, we may be able to come up with something.
    I'm sure it would solve some problems, but it would inevitably create others. Whether or not the problems it creates are perceived as better than the ones that were solved is all a matter of who you are.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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  4. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    I saw him in his interview with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show. He seemed pretty convinced of just that. He would completely eliminate the IRS, Department of Education, and maybe even UNICEF. He couldn't get it down to zero but he sure as heck would completely cut out many, many programs.
    Honestly, Kiddo, IRS and DoE are hardly the entire domestic federal budget. Even if one were to throw in UNICEF, it's not even close.

  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Now your argument is that government jobs consume more than they produce. Look at it from a social workers perspective. What happens when the valuable producers of society fall victim to substance abuse, are going bankrupt because of unexpected medical bills, lose their house, can't make enough money to provide food for everyone in their household, are suffering from mental illnesses or disabilities, can't obtain the public and private services they desperately need, are living in abusive homes, are elderly but have no one to care for them, etc. How well are they producing if at all?

    You make the argument that government jobs don't provide an economic service, but from the developmental perspective of a social worker, we are providing an incredibly important one. We may not be the pistons, or cogs, or axles, or other necessary parts of the economic machinery, but we are the oil that lubricates the process. We protect the economic machine and keep it from wearing itself out, and I like to think we help it run more efficiently so it gets better mileage.
    Hmm. Now this is an interesting and potentially fruitful line of reasoning. What's best is that it can be empirically tested. One would have to weigh the cost of social services on one side, and find some way to quantify the material benefit of social services to the economy on the other. A potential complication would be assessing the degree to which, in the absence of government-provided social services, families, churches, communities, and nonprofit institutions would take up the slack; however, that kind of study could be done.

    It sounds like a master's thesis in the making; it may in fact have already been done, maybe several times over. I wouldn't know where to begin looking.

    Kiddo, do you have access to a good university library?

  6. #126
    Senior Member nottaprettygal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Galt on anarchism
    The difference is that Objectivists aren't people who would live in a cabin all alone doing nothing. Part of Objectivism is a strong will to DO something.
    I'm not sure where you're getting the idea the anarchism is about running away and living in seclusion. In fact, it's the opposite. If we had an anarchist system, we would have to rely on other people more. True anarchism (which is not anarcho-capitalism) is quite a collective endeavor. That's how it differs from Objectivism . . . it doesn't differ in the sense that one group does something and the other just sits alone and chills all day.

  7. #127
    Senior Member Priam's Avatar
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    WOW is this thread different than the last time I read it. I've got opinions here, but they're conflicted as my political viewpoint is in crisis. I just wanted to give a little historical tidbit...

    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    Herbert Hoover advocated charity to help the poor I don't recall that working all so well..... the same applies to some third world areas that I've been to
    Herbert Hoover successfully organized, fundraised and developed a charity devoted to feeding thousands of people in war-torn Belgium during WWI. In fact, he succeeded in getting millions of people in the USA to ration (or "hooverize") their consumption for the good of the charity and the war effort. The man may have been a flop as a President, but don't overlook his genius as a businessman and a philanthropist that can him noticed in the first place.
    "The subject chooses to sit in shadow and search for wisdom by reflecting upon his trial. The problem is not that he is cold and wet, but that cold and wet seems problematic, so he embraces those hardships in order to best them."

  8. #128
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    I realize that Herbert Hoover's work did fabulous things in other circumstances- Belgium, where he's still well loved, and with the Mississippi flood in 1927 (awesome PBS special on that by the way! ). It didn't do much for ameliorating the problems of the Great Depression though- Poor Hoover was in over his head there- he would have been a good president if given better circumstances, but his focus on the long run as opposed to focusing on the situation AT THAT MOMENT totally fucked him over. He probably would have happily gotten something done with the economy in 10 years or so while thousands of people starved to death.

    [deleted long rant on the wonders of public education- whatever's mom is a teacher ]

    I could rant on plenty of other programs that would be on the slate for removal as well! I'll always beleive that a collection of individuals is a safer group to decide things like pollution standards and where that toxic chemical can be dumped than an individual! :horor: and the whole hard money thing I don't even want to THINK about the effects that would have on our position in the world economy! (and yet I'm thinking of it right now :sad

    Overall, government taxing and spending is good for us It provides us with roads, hospitals, the police and firemen, schools, national parks and museums (and lots of other things)- we can all access these things and enjoy them, no matter who we are. That's more than you can say for privately owned establishments (I studied exclusion of people from private establishments in my horrible Constitutional Law class WAY too in depth )

    The government gives people jobs, so that they can pay taxes, which support other jobs and federal programs that benefit the rest of us as well. Some of these jobs benefit us directly, some indirectly, but they all make our lives easier somehow- I really don't think that the average American ever stops to consider how many governmental functions help make thier lives run as easily as they do! For instance- take out everyone who got where they are in life through the public education system and see how easy life gets Or consider the inconvenience of trying to figure out who to call when someone is breaking into your home without law enforcement! :horor: Not good.

    ok- sorry- that was a long post- I accidentally sat down next to a Ron Paul brochure earlier today and read it it gave me a lot to be annoyed about!
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  9. #129
    Senior Member Mr Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nottaprettygal View Post
    I'm not sure where you're getting the idea the anarchism is about running away and living in seclusion. In fact, it's the opposite. If we had an anarchist system, we would have to rely on other people more. True anarchism (which is not anarcho-capitalism) is quite a collective endeavor. That's how it differs from Objectivism . . . it doesn't differ in the sense that one group does something and the other just sits alone and chills all day.
    I don't know where you got the idea that I was talking about anarchists while talking about the hermits who sit on their shotguns in the middle of nowhere. I believe I said that they're just crazy.
    But sir, your opinion is wrong.
    TANSTAAFL!

  10. #130
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    [much nonsense]
    Whatever you say, whatevs.

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