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  1. #91
    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    It's bad. The greater the disparity, the closer we are to feudalism.
    Oh, look. A bald assertion with nothing to back it up.

    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    I suspect that modern metrics would measure a much lower disparity for fuedal lords and their serfs than between our own rich and poor. Never mind that our poor are immeasurably better off than ancient feudal lords.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    And? This doesn't refute my statement. Do you have a point?
    There was something to refute? That implies a lot more substance than existed in the first place.

    My primary point is that "disparity" has diddly squat to do with "feudalism", or well-being in general. It's a red herring.

    Let me put it this way: if disparity is bad, what kind of society would have "zero disparity"?

    Here are a few possibilities:

    1) everyone has $10,000. Period. How do they buy anything? What do they buy?
    2) everyone has the 10,000 rolls of toilet paper. I'll give you 10 rolls of toilet paper if you give me 11. No? Why not?!
    3) everyone has $10,000 of something, and now they get to figure out how to redistribute it ... at which point the disparity will disappear ...

    A healthy economy comprised of a largely wealthy people will necessarily have a fairly significant "disparity." Otherwise, there is no reason for people to trade.

    A feudal system might have what is qualitatively (not quantitatively) described as a huge disparity, but the feudal lords' wealth is very much limited by the serfs' poverty.

    There is only one reason that "disparity" can be wrong: that the minority of wealthy people took the money from everyone else. This is the cornerstone of Marxist philosophy. In reality, if a society is wealthy, then the mechanism of "the rich get their money from the poor" is a ridiculous hypothesis, because no one can (or would bother) to create (much) wealth in such a scenario. Only in a free society which respects property rights can private individuals (you know, people not necessarily running the government) become "obscenely" wealthy.
    An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.

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  2. #92
    Senior Member Critical Hit's Avatar
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    A simple diagram for understanding trickle down economics.
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  3. #93
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    "Feudalism" is just one of those pejoratives people throw around without actually knowing what it's about.

  4. #94
    Senior Member Critical Hit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    "Feudalism" is just one of those pejoratives people throw around without actually knowing what it's about.
    I blame Hayek.
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  5. #95
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    My primary point is that "disparity" has diddly squat to do with "feudalism", or well-being in general. It's a red herring.
    Yeah, I have the feeling that you're one of those people who has the typical Libertarian black and white view of force. Guns = force. Starving =/= force.

    Let me put it this way: if disparity is bad, what kind of society would have "zero disparity"?
    Huh? Where did this "zero disparity" thing come from? Did I say anything about "zero disparity"? I don't think it's even possible, in practice.

    I have the feeling you have me pegged as some sort of socialist. You're pretty new to this forum, so I'll just mark that one down as ignorance.

    Here are a few possibilities:

    1) everyone has $10,000. Period. How do they buy anything? What do they buy?
    2) everyone has the 10,000 rolls of toilet paper. I'll give you 10 rolls of toilet paper if you give me 11. No? Why not?!
    3) everyone has $10,000 of something, and now they get to figure out how to redistribute it ... at which point the disparity will disappear ...
    I'm glad you got that (whatever that was) out of your system. Do you feel better now?

    A healthy economy comprised of a largely wealthy people will necessarily have a fairly significant "disparity." Otherwise, there is no reason for people to trade.
    Define significant. Compare that "ideal" disparity to the disparity in the current US economy since that is the context of this thread.

    A feudal system might have what is qualitatively (not quantitatively) described as a huge disparity, but the feudal lords' wealth is very much limited by the serfs' poverty.
    Yes, the feudal lords' wealth was limited by the serfs' poverty because they were independent actors unable to see the bigger picture. They didn't work collectively, at least not on any meaningful scale. I wonder if American business owners can see the eventual limits to their wealth due to them shipping jobs overseas to save a few bucks and (temporarily) increase their profit margins.

    There is only one reason that "disparity" can be wrong: that the minority of wealthy people took the money from everyone else. This is the cornerstone of Marxist philosophy. In reality, if a society is wealthy, then the mechanism of "the rich get their money from the poor" is a ridiculous hypothesis, because no one can (or would bother) to create (much) wealth in such a scenario. Only in a free society which respects property rights can private individuals (you know, people not necessarily running the government) become "obscenely" wealthy.
    Umm, what? Who said anything about "the rich get their money from the poor"? In the US, the rich are raping the middle class.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  6. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    Let me put it this way: if disparity is bad, what kind of society would have "zero disparity"?
    Not relevant. The assertion is that extreme disparity is bad. I have never heard anyone assert that any amount of disparity is bad.

    There is only one reason that "disparity" can be wrong: that the minority of wealthy people took the money from everyone else.
    Untrue. Right or wrong depends on one's arbitrary value system. Even if we restrict our discussion to within the context of typical Western secular values, it is easy to come up with many reasons for why excessive disparity is "wrong".

    Only in a free society which respects property rights can private individuals .... become "obscenely" wealthy.
    Untrue. What about warlords?

  7. #97
    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    I just wish there was really enough 'wealth' in the world to go around for everyone to have decent living standards.

    I don't live in the US so I don't really have an opinion on the US economy -- but I believe most of the 99% will be considered 'obscenely wealthy' in some parts of the world.



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  8. #98
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    Lol are you even seriously asking this?
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
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  9. #99
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Forget studies, its been a known fact since the beginning of the written word, some of the most arresting stories in the old and new testaments are all about this.

    The earliest story which I remember of "conspicious wealth" is from the new testament when Jesus tells people that a rich person and poor person making the same contribution to temple taxes do not sacrifice the same, since one can easily afford it and the other can ill afford it. Jesus would hate a flat tax and he certainly knew it wasnt fair.
    Jesus also would hate usa, because rich dont give to poor(people without jobs) there.
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
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  10. #100
    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Not_Me View Post
    Not relevant. The assertion is that extreme disparity is bad. I have never heard anyone assert that any amount of disparity is bad.
    So investigating what degree of disparity is bad/good is irrelevant to whether any particular degree of disparity is bad or good? "Extreme" is a rather imprecise quantity of disparity in the first place.

    So ... is no disparity good or bad, and why? Is some disparity good/bad and why? At what point does disparity become good/bad, and why? If one doesn't know one's own answers to these questions, at least in a tentative way, one might assert a belief about the OP, but one cannot engage in much of an argument about it.


    Untrue. Right or wrong depends on one's arbitrary value system. Even if we restrict our discussion to within the context of typical Western secular values, it is easy to come up with many reasons for why excessive disparity is "wrong".
    One doesn't win a chess game by insisting that chess is pointless. It's OK to disagree with me and give a value-based reason (even based on different values than mine - it happens all the time!), but the reson you give cannot be valid within the context of this thread, because the thread itself requires one to argue about values.


    Untrue. What about warlords?
    Like those found in Somalia or Afghanistan? Yeah, they're obscenely rich all right.

    Most of the obscenely rich in non-free economies are those who happen to have oil to sell - on the world market.
    An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.

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

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