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  1. #251
    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    Yes, we agree on that. I don't know why my definition of straw man if "weird" to you, though.
    I think part of it is that we're hearing the debate from different contexts. Heck, a large part of the debate is conflicting contexts. One can regard things from a primarily moral or primarily economic perspective. The kid is primarily moral, Friedman primarily economic. The kid doesn't think he's debating the cost, Friedman thinks he is.

    I see nothing straw-man-ish, here, because in my perspective the kid's question is asking, "Why do your ideas not work here?" and Friedman's answer being, "You're looking at it wrong: the ideas work, but you would have made a different choice. My ideas don't address whether the choices are good or bad, but that Ford had the right to choose what it would do, and gain/suffer in the marketplace as a result." [I'm very much paraphrasing the exchange, of course, from my point of view.]

    To me, an answer along the lines of "You're looking at it wrong" does not comprise a straw man argument. Yes, it's reaching outside the narrow confines of what the student was asking, but it was on-topic and it did not attribute any sort of easy-to-knock-down argument to the kid. In a more concrete discussion, say about quantum mechanics or relativity, and a kid asks a question about one of the many "paradoxes" in either of these fields, it is not a straw-man argument to say, "You're looking at it wrong," and provide a new framework.

    Note that, when arguing frameworks, a lot of the arguments can seem to have classical logical flaws because it is the underlying principles that are being challenged. Logic can only prove things to others within a shared framework.
    An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.

    A discussion is two people sharing their understanding, even when they disagree.

  2. #252
    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    Unfortunately, the Gov. is one of the most inefficient organizations in existence. If the Gov. was a company it would have gone under LONG ago.
    The problem isn't the relative efficiency or lack thereof of the Government. Rather, it's necessarily only one entity. If it makes a mistake, unlike a private company, we can't just let it go bankrupt, because that would bankrupt everyone. Therefore, the main reason for the government to largely stay out of private enterprise is that the government should be responsible for enforcing that private entities are honest, and let private entities succeed/fail. To have the government monitor its own honesty is a conflict of interest, one which the government will always win.
    An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.

    A discussion is two people sharing their understanding, even when they disagree.

  3. #253
    Senior Member Wanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Critical Hit View Post
    Written by John Adams and passed unanimously by the Senate at the time.
    So long as we're throwing John Adams quotes around..

    "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
    ~John Adams
    Coincidence that we've largely abandoned the constitution in recent years? I think not. Which also points to the other issue; the founding fathers expected Christian Charity (or, at the very least, a strongly Judeo-Christian ethic) to take care of the less fortunate. @Marmie Dearest, I believe you mentioned this earlier?

    The problem is that America is by no means a Christian nation. The god of the average American is the Dollar bill, and consumerism is the religion of the day.

    So, either we're going to live in a nation full of scrooges who don't care, with the occasional do-gooder group trying to get people TO care (I've done blanket and meal distribution to the homeless for a while now) or the Government will continue increasing taxes and extending welfare until we're all at about the same level of poverty.

    I just would like to know; We've seen many European attempts at welfare, and we've seen lots of European welfare states as well; We've also seen what happens when the government is in charge of the healthcare system in other countries. ...and none of it is good. At best it's inferior to our current system.

    Why, exactly, do we want our health system to look like any other country's?

  4. #254
    Senior Member Critical Hit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    I could also mention Public Law 97-280 which officially acknowledges: "Biblical teachings inspired concepts of civil government that are contained in our Declaration of Independence and the constitution of the United States."
    A joint resolution authorizing and requesting the President to proclaim 1983
    as the "Year of the Bible

    A joint resolution authorizing and requesting the President to proclaim 1983

    1983

    * Proclamation 5018 was the resulting action by President Reagan.
    [YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvdf5n-zI14"]Reagan =/= Founding Father[/YOUTUBE]
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  5. #255
    Senior Member Critical Hit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    Coincidence that we've largely abandoned the constitution in recent years? I think not.
    So Jesus = Constitution. Im not following your logic, at all. If you look at the full quote it says:

    While our country remains untainted with the principles and manners which are now producing desolation in so many parts of the world; while she continues sincere, and incapable of insidious and impious policy, we shall have the strongest reason to rejoice in the local destination assigned us by Providence. But should the people of America once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another, and towards foreign nations, which assumes the language of justice and moderation, while it is practising iniquity and extravagance, and displays in the most captivating manner the charming pictures of candour, frankness, and sincerity, while it is rioting in rapine and insolence, this country will be the most miserable habitation in the world. Because we have no government, armed with power, capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. Oaths in this country are as yet universally considered as sacred obligations. That which you have taken, and so solemnly repeated on that venerable ground, is an ample pledge of your sincerity and devotion to your country and its government.
    He clearly isnt stating any kind of metaphysical thing that belief in God is required for the Constitution to work, rather that morality is. He then equates religion with morality, a common belief of Unitarians such as himself.

    Which also points to the other issue; the founding fathers expected Christian Charity (or, at the very least, a strongly Judeo-Christian ethic) to take care of the less fortunate. @Marmie Dearest, I believe you mentioned this earlier?
    Do you have some kind of source for this? Its quite a logical leap from "The Country needs moral people and morality comes from religion" to "Jesus will take care of healthcare."

    The problem is that America is by no means a Christian nation. The god of the average American is the Dollar bill, and consumerism is the religion of the day.
    As the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion

    So, either we're going to live in a nation full of scrooges who don't care, with the occasional do-gooder group trying to get people TO care (I've done blanket and meal distribution to the homeless for a while now) or the Government will continue increasing taxes and extending welfare until we're all at about the same level of poverty.
    Are you in one of the top income brackets? I was unaware of any new major taxes being suggested that target the middle/lower classes.

    I just would like to know; We've seen many European attempts at welfare, and we've seen lots of European welfare states as well; We've also seen what happens when the government is in charge of the healthcare system in other countries. ...and none of it is good. At best it's inferior to our current system.
    1 France
    2 Italy
    3 San Marino
    4 Andorra
    5 Malta
    6 Singapore
    7 Spain
    8 Oman
    9 Austria
    10 Japan
    11 Norway
    12 Portugal
    13 Monaco
    14 Greece
    15 Iceland
    16 Luxembourg
    17 Netherlands
    18 United Kingdom
    19 Ireland
    20 Switzerland
    21 Belgium
    22 Colombia
    23 Sweden
    24 Cyprus
    25 Germany
    26 Saudi Arabia
    27 United Arab Emirates
    28 Israel
    29 Morocco
    30 Canada
    31 Finland
    32 Australia
    33 Chile
    34 Denmark
    35 Dominica
    36 Costa Rica
    37 United States of America
    38 Slovenia
    39 Cuba

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WHO%27s...thcare_systems

    Clearly you, or whatever right wing pundit/blogger you follow knows more about healthcare than WHO.

    Why, exactly, do we want our health system to look like any other country's?
    Yeah. Why adopt a EUROPEAN(*shudder*) system that actually works when weve got a perfectly American failure of a system right here? God dammit, when I die penniless and uninsured of a preventable illness I want to know that I died the American way.

    [YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CMyxB-CKMs"]Fuck Yeah[/YOUTUBE]

    I want you to repeat after me.

    The Greatest Nation on Earth cannot make the system that works for every industrialized nation on earth work.


    Also, to refute your claims that somehow charity can fill the gap of the government:

    http://www.portfolio.com/news-market...re-to-Charity/

    The poor are the biggest donaters to charity.

    In this shit economy and with the prices of food and living in general rising this income bracket will not be able to donate as much.

    Therefore charities are unable to do even a fraction of what the government can do with tax money. Hell, the war in Iraq could have insured everyone 12 times over by now.
    +10% Crit Chance

  6. #256
    Senior Member Critical Hit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    I've already addressed this issue before, and if anything it was to demonstrate that our dispute with the Barbary Pirates was not one of religion.
    As even a casual examination of the annotated translation of 1930 shows, the Barlow translation is at best a poor attempt at a paraphrase or summary of the sense of the Arabic; and even as such its defects throughout are obvious and glaring.
    Did the senate speak Arabic at the time? Im willing to bet that they signed and read aloud the English version. Just because a translator fucked up his Arabic doesnt change the fact that the senate and John Adams agreed with the English version, including Article 11.
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  7. #257
    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Critical Hit View Post
    Are you in one of the top income brackets? I was unaware of any new major taxes being suggested that target the middle/lower classes.
    Taxes on "the rich" and on businesses have a nasty side effect of inhibiting start-ups and business expansions, which leads in turn to higher unemployment. It would not be unfair to depict this as a near-100% tax on the unemployed.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WHO%27s...thcare_systems

    Clearly you, or whatever right wing pundit/blogger you follow knows more about healthcare than WHO.
    #1 on the list (France) currently has a higher rate of unemployment than the US, and the Eurozone has some severe financial issues, especially with respect to Greece, Spain and Portugal. But at least their "health care systems" are "better."

    As for the report itself, its metrics are inherently euro-biased:
    Ultimate responsibility for the performance of a country’s health system lies with
    government
    . The careful and responsible management of the well-being of the population
    – stewardship – is the very essence of good government. The health of people
    is always a national priority: government responsibility for it is continuous and permanent.
    • Dollar for dollar spent on health, many countries are falling short of their performance
    potential. The result is a large number of preventable deaths and lives stunted
    by disability. The impact of this failure is born disproportionately by the poor.
    Health systems are not just concerned with improving people’s health but with protecting
    them against the financial costs of illness
    . The challenge facing governments
    in low income countries is to reduce the regressive burden of out-of-pocket payment
    for health by expanding prepayment schemes, which spread financial risk and reduce
    the spectre of catastrophic health care expenditures.
    • Within governments, many health ministries focus on the public sector often disregarding
    the – frequently much larger – private finance and provision of care. A growing
    challenge is for governments to harness the energies of the private and voluntary
    sectors
    in achieving better levels of health systems performance, while offsetting the
    failures of private markets
    .
    Stewardship is ultimately concerned with oversight of the entire system, avoiding
    myopia, tunnel vision and the turning of a blind eye to a system’s failings. This report
    is meant to make that task easier by bringing new evidence into sharp focus.
    (Emphasis is mine.) This is just a sample from the intro to the WHO report in question. It uses "health system" as a central concept, and presupposes that the government is responsible for making it fair (an arbitrary concept) and responsive (another arbitrary concept), and that the government is even responsible for "harnessing" the private market and addressing its "failures."

    Now, I'm sure this all sounds sensible to you, but basically what this means is that the WHO measure isn't just of "health care", but of "health care systems" and how they address what they regard as problems in such systems. This naturally biases high rankings toward European states with nationally-organized systems. So as impressed as you might be with this approach, all you say by citing WHO statistics is that a prestigious group of people who agree with you a priori happen to agree with you.

    I could go deeper into things like the flaws in how we measure cross-country statistics - e.g., infant mortality, where many countries don't count "preemies" as a live birth unless they actually survive, but the USA does - but it should suffice that if the US is judged with respect to health care based on how socialist it is in several different categories, it's going to rank lower than if it is based solely on the quality of that care.
    An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.

    A discussion is two people sharing their understanding, even when they disagree.

  8. #258
    Senior Member Critical Hit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    Taxes on "the rich" and on businesses have a nasty side effect of inhibiting start-ups and business expansions, which leads in turn to higher unemployment. It would not be unfair to depict this as a near-100% tax on the unemployed.
    Here is a very basic lesson in economics.

    Bob is very very rich.

    He has several million dollars in the bank, not actually going in to anything, but just sitting there collecting interest.

    We decide to give him even MORE money.

    What will Bob do?

    A) Invest the money in this risky economy.

    B) Put the money in the bank and sit on it till the day he dies while living comfortably within his means.


    Trickle down economics does not work, has never worked and never will work.
    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/11/21-2
    ^A Millionaire agreeing with me.

    #1 on the list (France) currently has a higher rate of unemployment than the US, and the Eurozone has some severe financial issues, especially with respect to Greece, Spain and Portugal. But at least their "health care systems" are "better."
    And are we in much better shape? Yeah its a good thing we didnt embrace universal healthcare or we might be deep in debt and on the verge of financial collapse just like them! Oh wait..

    .
    As for the report itself, its metrics are inherently euro-biased:

    (Emphasis is mine.) This is just a sample from the intro to the WHO report in question. It uses "health system" as a central concept, and presupposes that the government is responsible for making it fair (an arbitrary concept) and responsive (another arbitrary concept), and that the government is even responsible for "harnessing" the private market and addressing its "failures."
    Can you provide a source for that list? Because when I looked on the WHO website it gave me this:

    WHO's assessment system was based on five indicators: overall level of population health; health inequalities (or disparities) within the population; overall level of health system responsiveness (a combination of patient satisfaction and how well the system acts); distribution of responsiveness within the population (how well people of varying economic status find that they are served by the health system); and the distribution of the health system's financial burden within the population (who pays the costs).
    http://www.who.int/whr/2000/media_ce.../en/index.html

    Also, I dont know exactly what is so Euro-centric about "Health systems are not just concerned with improving people’s health but with protecting them against the financial costs of illness" Part of what makes a healthcare system work or not is wether people can actually afford it.

    Now, I'm sure this all sounds sensible to you, but basically what this means is that the WHO measure isn't just of "health care", but of "health care systems" and how they address what they regard as problems in such systems. This naturally biases high rankings toward European states with nationally-organized systems. So as impressed as you might be with this approach, all you say by citing WHO statistics is that a prestigious group of people who agree with you a priori happen to agree with you.
    I do not see what is wrong with this. What are you saying its ok if our "Healthcare System" is shit? And saying that its "biased" towards European systems is like saying that a race is "biased" towards the fastest runner.

    I could go deeper into things like the flaws in how we measure cross-country statistics - e.g., infant mortality, where many countries don't count "preemies" as a live birth unless they actually survive, but the USA does - but it should suffice that if the US is judged with respect to health care based on how socialist it is in several different categories, it's going to rank lower than if it is based solely on the quality of that care.
    Once again, health care is useless if no one can afford it. I dont care if we can keep people alive for 300 years. It doesnt mean anything if no one has the means to do it.
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  9. #259
    Senior Member Critical Hit's Avatar
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    Also @Peguy:

    138 Reagan officials were investigated for criminal charges. Resulting in 38 convictions and even more resignations.

    To put this in perspective, Nixon had 8 convictions, Bill Clinton had 1. President Reagen sure was a fine example of biblical morality.
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  10. #260
    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Critical Hit View Post
    Here is a very basic lesson in economics.
    "Basic" is right. Of course, it all comes down to different "basic" premises.
    Bob is very very rich.

    He has several million dollars in the bank, not actually going in to anything, but just sitting there collecting interest.

    We decide to give him even MORE money.

    What will Bob do?

    A) Invest the money in this risky economy.

    B) Put the money in the bank and sit on it till the day he dies while living comfortably within his means.
    Hmm, why is the economy "risky"? It couldn't have anything to do with government actions, new laws, new regulations, new taxes, etc.

    Nawwww. Couldn't be.

    Take the risks out of the economy, and he'll invest. Lowering tax rates (or at least maintaining stable, reasonable tax rates that aren't about to increase in a couple of years) reduces risk, as does being cautious with respect to the extent and speed of implementing new laws and regulations.

    Trickle down economics does not work, has never worked and never will work.
    Now THIS is a straw-man argument. You cannot even define "trickle-down" economics, never mind that isn't my argument. (For reference, my argument is specifically outlined above. Feel free to provide your own.)


    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/11/21-2
    ^A Millionaire agreeing with me.
    (Buffet isn't a millionaire. I'm sure he'd be upset by your downgrade of his finances.)


    And are we in much better shape? Yeah its a good thing we didnt embrace universal healthcare or we might be deep in debt and on the verge of financial collapse just like them! Oh wait..
    ... We did. (See Obamacare.)

    Can you provide a source for that list?
    I read the PDF of the actual report.

    I find myself disagreeing with many of its premises, so I'm not surprised I find myself skeptical of its rankings. You likely agree with its premises, and that's fine.

    Also, I dont know exactly what is so Euro-centric about "Health systems are not just concerned with improving people’s health but with protecting them against the financial costs of illness" Part of what makes a healthcare system work or not is wether people can actually afford it.
    I know you don't. As I said, I'm sure it all sounds really good to you, to the point of being "normal."

    I do not see what is wrong with this. What are you saying its ok if our "Healthcare System" is shit? And saying that its "biased" towards European systems is like saying that a race is "biased" towards the fastest runner.
    Do we even have a healthcare "system" in the US? Pretending that it is a "system" is a large part of the problem. In Europe, there actually are healthcare "systems," though we'd disagree on the quality.



    Once again, health care is useless if no one can afford it. I dont care if we can keep people alive for 300 years. It doesnt mean anything if no one has the means to do it.
    This is a false dichotomy. Your argument hinges upon fairness of allocation, but you don't even begin to discuss the trade-offs. The difference in "fairness" between a market distribution and a more social/welfare distribution is largely a matter of perception and preference. There is no "no one can afford it" nor even an "only the rich can afford it" case, which only leaves the question "how much do you give away for free to the poor?" (which holds in either a market or a government-controlled system). The problem that all of these developed countries face is that subsidizing care for the poor is problematic: on the one hand, it is often considered cruel or unfair to ration "free" care, but on the other, it leads to huge cost overruns if rationing isn't part of the model. In the UK and Canada, they ration. In the US, we have huge cost overruns. Even with rationing, though, it is possible to have cost overruns.
    An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.

    A discussion is two people sharing their understanding, even when they disagree.

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