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    Default Political compass split

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Economic and social freedom go hand-in-hand. Separating the two doesn't make sense.
    Ah, but how free are you when you are forced to live and work in a polluted and unsafe environment, for wages that are just barely livable, for corporate monopolies that would just as soon sell you down the river for a fractional margin on behalf of their shareholders? Slavery is all the same, even if you are the one selling yourself into it. What makes sense is to to restrain the beast of capitalism so a select few don't gather the necessary economic power to subjugate everybody else. The market can be just as inherently evil as the government.

    (What do you think? Do I wear my new lefty libertarian shoes well? )
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Ah, but how free are you when you are forced to live and work in a polluted and unsafe environment, for wages that are just barely livable, for corporate monopolies that would just as soon sell you down the river for a fractional margin on behalf of their shareholders? Slavery is all the same, even if you are the one selling yourself into it. What makes sense is to to restrain the beast of capitalism so a select few don't gather the necessary economic power to subjugate everybody else. The market can be just as inherently evil as the government.

    (What do you think? Do I wear my new lefty libertarian shoes well? )
    Your premise is flawed, which naturally results in a flawed conclusion.

    Cigarette smoking is an example where the government reduces economic freedom (cigarette taxes), which interferes with social freedom. Do you disagree?
    "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."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Your premise is flawed, which naturally results in a flawed conclusion.
    What is my premise? How is it flawed? Simply stating that my points are flawed does not make it true. I can look to history and even present examples to prove the point I illustrated in my post.

    Cigarette smoking is an example where the government reduces economic freedom (cigarette taxes), which interferes with social freedom. Do you disagree?
    As opposed to the extraordinary health costs that fall on the taxpayers because of their product?

    When individuals choose to use a product that is more harmful to the health of those around them than themselves, are they not violating other's freedom?

    Economic restriction can level some of the costs that are imposed on others as a result of that particular capitalistic venture, and as such, return some of the freedom that was stolen by the cigarette corporations and the individuals who choose to smoke around others through reparations (taxes). Of course, in a just society, those taxes would be used purely for that purpose and not on roads and such.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    What is my premise? How is it flawed? Simply stating that my points are flawed does not make it true. I can look to history and even present examples to prove the point I illustrated in my post.
    That we work for wages that are barely livable (American standard of living continues to rise). Corporate monopolies? Those monopolies are enabled by government. Without government interference, there would be no monopolies. Slavery is not a voluntary exchange. The employer/employee relationship is voluntary. You can quit your job whenever you want.

    The 'market' is only as evil as the government enables it to be. It's frustrating that left wingers don't see how the very programs they institute to make everything 'fair' actually makes it easier for those in power to exercise that power.

    As opposed to the extraordinary health costs that fall on the taxpayers because of their product?
    How about making people pay for their own medical costs.

    Your solution will only lead to MORE restrictions. Trans fats are already prohibited in New York city. Most people, right now, consider that to be ridiculous, but the next generation won't, because they'll be born with trans fat restriction in place. No, the next generation will be more easily duped into allowing more government interference than the current generation.

    When individuals choose to use a product that is more harmful to the health of those around them than themselves, are they not violating other's freedom?
    How many people have gotten cancer from second-hand smoke? Is there more than a handful of cases? Your statement asserts that there are MORE people with cancer from second-hand smoke than first-hand.

    Economic restriction can level some of the costs that are imposed on others as a result of that particular capitalistic venture, and as such, return some of the freedom that was stolen by the cigarette corporations and the individuals who choose to smoke around others through reparations (taxes).
    The economic restriction is far more costly, both economically and socially, than the costs imposed on others by smokers.

    The current government stance toward smokers has created an adversarial relationship between smokers and non-smokers. It's socially divisive.
    "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."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    That we work for wages that are barely livable (American standard of living continues to rise).
    Have you not seen the distribution of wealth? The top 1% owns 33% of the wealth of this nation, and since the 1970's the top 1% has seen 91% of the income growth. The standard of living is going up, but not for the poor. This has resulted in a vastly widening gap between the rich and poor, and a shrinking of the middle class.

    Corporate monopolies? Those monopolies are enabled by government. Without government interference, there would be no monopolies.
    That is usually true but government and the market are inevitably intertwined and it is therefore necessary to restrict the market so monopolies can't form. Only neoliberals assume that market can be separated from the government.

    Slavery is not a voluntary exchange. The employer/employee relationship is voluntary. You can quit your job whenever you want.
    Not in a blacklisting system as was imposed during the industrial revolution or indentured servitude, both of which have since been eliminated through market regulation. And of course, there is the increasing working poor.

    Working poor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The 'market' is only as evil as the government enables it to be. It's frustrating that left wingers don't see how the very programs they institute to make everything 'fair' actually makes it easier for those in power to exercise that power.
    It's frustrating that right wingers don't realize that enabling religious and corporate interests accomplishes the same feat.

    How about making people pay for their own medical costs.
    In a perfect world, we could.

    Your solution will only lead to MORE restrictions. Trans fats are already prohibited in New York city. Most people, right now, consider that to be ridiculous, but the next generation won't, because they'll be born with trans fat restriction in place. No, the next generation will be more easily duped into allowing more government interference than the current generation.
    I haven't even proposed my solution. Hence, it is very presumptuous of you based solely on my political position to assume what my proposed solution would be. From what I have read of your posts in the past, your solution requires an imposition of the concept of private property on others, a concept which has historically allowed people to forcefully obtain that which is in the possession of others. And you would of course impose "nonaggression" principlles on those who don't agree to your concept of property despite the "legal" expolition of the resources in their possession.

    How many people have gotten cancer from second-hand smoke? Is there more than a handful of cases? Your statement asserts that there are MORE people with cancer from second-hand smoke than first-hand.
    It is not unlikely that more people have gotten cancer from second hand smoke than from first hand smoke considering it is up to 10 times more dangerous to inhale second hand smoke.

    The economic restriction is far more costly, both economically and socially, than the costs imposed on others by smokers.
    That is your assumption.

    The current government stance toward smokers has created an adversarial relationship between smokers and non-smokers. It's socially divisive.
    Or perhaps it is the choice of some individuals to endanger the health of other individuals that is the divisive issue.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Have you not seen the distribution of wealth? The top 1% owns 33% of the wealth of this nation, and since the 1970's the top 1% has seen 91% of the income growth. The standard of living is going up, but not for the poor. This has resulted in a vastly widening gap between the rich and poor, and a shrinking of the middle class.
    Bullshit.

    How many color televisions did the 'poor' have in 1970? How many do they have today? How many vehicles? Internet access? What about the size of their living quarters? (hint: median square footage of 3/2 homes has doubled in the last few decades, from around 1000 sq ft to 2000 sq ft, the same trend exists with all types of housing). I could go on, but I think I've made my point.

    Across the board, the standard of living of the 'poor' has improved.

    You say the income of the top 1% has increased by 91% since 1970. Were those in the top 1% in 1970 the same people who are in the top 1% in 2008? That's very important, because you're implying that the system protects the top 1%. But if the top 1% has changed, then your statistic is completely meaningless. Bill Gates is in the top 1% now, but wasn't in 1970. Where was he in 1970?

    That is usually true but government and the market are inevitably intertwined and it is therefore necessary to restrict the market so monopolies can't form. Only neoliberals assume that market can be separated from the government.
    And you still don't get it. Restricting the market is CAUSES monopolies to form. The reason the US had domestic monopolies in the 1800s is because of tariffs. If there were no tariffs, those domestic companies (like Standard Oil and Carnegie Steel) would have been forced to compete with international companies on equal footing.

    Not in a blacklisting system as was imposed during the industrial revolution or indentured servitude, both of which have since been eliminated through market regulation. And of course, there is the increasing working poor.

    Working poor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Blacklisting isn't voluntary exchange (it's also economically inefficient). Indentured servitude would actually be fine, as long as the contracts weren't allowed to be extended due to accrued debt.

    A single 21 year old working at McDonalds is, statistically speaking, a member of the working poor. I wouldn't exactly consider that person poor, especially when you consider the fact that it's likely they're either living with their parents or attending school. But when you have an agenda, why worry about accuracy with statistics?

    It's frustrating that right wingers don't realize that enabling religious and corporate interests accomplishes the same feat.
    Enabling corporate interests? That just shows how little you understand. Protectionism strengthens corporations at the expense of the consumer. Automobile tariffs save a few jobs in the US, while costing American consumers billions. Imagine how quickly the Big Three would improve the gas mileage on their vehicles if they had to compete with foreign automakers on equal footing.

    Regulations make it more expensive for new businesses to be created in a number of industries. This serves to reduce competition for the established corporations, which ends up increasing the possibility of a monopoly and costing consumers. Some regulations make economic sense, but not all. And economic viability is rarely the litmus test, political viability is. It's all about what feels right, how people think the world should be, not what it actually is.

    In a perfect world, we could.
    And you believe that the solution is more government intervention, when government intervention is what created the situation, in the first place.

    I haven't even proposed my solution. Hence, it is very presumptuous of you based solely on my political position to assume what my proposed solution would be. From what I have read of your posts in the past, your solution requires an imposition of the concept of private property on others, a concept which has historically allowed people to forcefully obtain that which is in the possession of others. And you would of course impose "nonaggression" principlles on those who don't agree to your concept of property despite the "legal" expolition of the resources in their possession.
    Your philosophy naturally leads to increased government interference in the day-to-day lives of individuals. You stated that cigarette smoking imposes a cost on society, so that justifies government interference. Trans fats are unhealthy, imposing a cost on society, so New York city feels it's justified in banning them. What's next? Or do you honestly believe this is where it will end? Why not just have the government create a diet for each individual, forcing them to eat healthy (what a bureaucrat believes to be healthy), thereby (supposedly) improving the efficiency of the health care system? That sounds ludicrous, now, but so did banning trans fats 30 years ago.

    It is not unlikely that more people have gotten cancer from second hand smoke than from first hand smoke considering it is up to 10 times more dangerous to inhale second hand smoke.
    Up to 10 times more dangerous?

    It took me about 5 seconds using google to find smoking cancer statistics. According to the American Lung Association, second hand smoke causes 3400 cancer deaths per year. According to the CDC, 168,000 people died from lung cancer in 2004, 90% of which are likely to be smoking related. But 90% is still over 150,000. It looks to me like there are more than 40 times as many incidents of cancer due to smoking than second hand smoking.

    Are you still going to say that it's 'not unlikely'?

    That is your assumption.
    Force is always more costly than voluntary cooperation. Always.

    Or perhaps it is the choice of some individuals to endanger the health of other individuals that is the divisive issue.
    Government intervention changes an individual problem into a much larger social issue. Instead of dealing with rude smokers on a case-by-case basis, now all smokers are labeled. It's just another form of class warfare, instigated by the government.
    "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."

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Bullshit.

    How many color televisions did the 'poor' have in 1970? How many do they have today? How many vehicles? Internet access? What about the size of their living quarters? (hint: median square footage of 3/2 homes has doubled in the last few decades, from around 1000 sq ft to 2000 sq ft, the same trend exists with all types of housing). I could go on, but I think I've made my point.

    Across the board, the standard of living of the 'poor' has improved.
    Bullshit. The Bill O'Reilly argument may work for far right idiots, but it won't work on me. Show me the stats of how many impoverished Americans have color television, cable, more vehicles, internet access, etc. You can't because the stats they use are for all Americans. They let people assume that those who are genuinely impoverished have those luxuries, when anyone who knows the least bit about statistics could tell you it is an illogical argument to make. And as far as living quarters, you realize that for someone living at minimum wage, the rent of the average living quarters cost around 40% of their income as opposed to around 25% in the 70's. So don't try pushing off the idea that living quarters are getting cheaper and bigger because the rich have gotten so much richer that they can build more large homes and distort the stats so it looks like everyone has gotten a boost.

    And arguing that technological advances are an improvement on the standard of living is a weak argument to make. Yay! We have great things like color television and the internet that they didn't have in the 70's! But did they have the same level of water and air pollution in the 70's? Did they have the same level of obesity and generally poor health resulting from the resulting sedentary lifestyle of those "advances"? I love how you right wingers paint only half the picture.

    You say the income of the top 1% has increased by 91% since 1970. Were those in the top 1% in 1970 the same people who are in the top 1% in 2008? That's very important, because you're implying that the system protects the top 1%. But if the top 1% has changed, then your statistic is completely meaningless. Bill Gates is in the top 1% now, but wasn't in 1970. Where was he in 1970?
    Yes, the vast majority of the top 1% has always been the same top 1%. That is how inheritance works. The rich get to pass on their wealth to their kids, and keep the wealth in the family. You realize that legacy kids are three times more likely to be accepted at an Ivy league school than non legacy kids even though legacy kids score below average on college entrance exams as compared to non legacy kids.

    And you still don't get it. Restricting the market is CAUSES monopolies to form. The reason the US had domestic monopolies in the 1800s is because of tariffs. If there were no tariffs, those domestic companies (like Standard Oil and Carnegie Steel) would have been forced to compete with international companies on equal footing.
    Irresponsible restriction of the market can cause monopolies to form. Just as not restricting at all can cause monopolies to form. Don't make the irrational assumption that just because some monopolies have formed from government involvement, that none form solely based on the market. History makes of fool of you when you make arbitrary judgments like that.

    Blacklisting isn't voluntary exchange (it's also economically inefficient). Indentured servitude would actually be fine, as long as the contracts weren't allowed to be extended due to accrued debt.
    You just argued that it would be alright for people to economically sell themselves into slavery. And if blacklisting had been economically inefficient then it would have never existed, so I think you are contradicting yourself.

    A single 21 year old working at McDonalds is, statistically speaking, a member of the working poor. I wouldn't exactly consider that person poor, especially when you consider the fact that it's likely they're either living with their parents or attending school. But when you have an agenda, why worry about accuracy with statistics?
    Citing one example of the working poor is a rather pathetic debate technique. The majority of working poor are single mothers. In fact, single mothers are statistically the most likely to be impoverished in this country. The numbers don't lie even when you try to distort the facts by overgeneralizing it.

    Enabling corporate interests? That just shows how little you understand. Protectionism strengthens corporations at the expense of the consumer. Automobile tariffs save a few jobs in the US, while costing American consumers billions. Imagine how quickly the Big Three would improve the gas mileage on their vehicles if they had to compete with foreign automakers on equal footing.
    Who argued for protectionism? If you want to talk about automobiles, then lets look to our country where the automobile industry is in increasing trouble because it can't compete against foreign fuel standards. Why buy a Ford that gets 20 miles to the gallon when you can buy a Toyota that gets 40?


    Regulations make it more expensive for new businesses to be created in a number of industries. This serves to reduce competition for the established corporations, which ends up increasing the possibility of a monopoly and costing consumers. Some regulations make economic sense, but not all. And economic viability is rarely the litmus test, political viability is. It's all about what feels right, how people think the world should be, not what it actually is.
    And if you don't have regulations then you get inferior and unsafe products. As is evident from our dogs dieing and our children getting sick from products we imported from the very unregulated business districts of China. Funny how a communist country can have freer markets than America.

    And you believe that the solution is more government intervention, when government intervention is what created the situation, in the first place.
    What has caused the problem is allowing market interests to control the government and not the other way around.

    Your philosophy naturally leads to increased government interference in the day-to-day lives of individuals. You stated that cigarette smoking imposes a cost on society, so that justifies government interference. Trans fats are unhealthy, imposing a cost on society, so New York city feels it's justified in banning them. What's next? Or do you honestly believe this is where it will end? Why not just have the government create a diet for each individual, forcing them to eat healthy (what a bureaucrat believes to be healthy), thereby (supposedly) improving the efficiency of the health care system? That sounds ludicrous, now, but so did banning trans fats 30 years ago.
    Have you considered that the much more socialistic countries of Western Europe have far better health than Americans on average, far lower obesity, and lower infant mortality? And they still have McDonalds there. Funny how that works.

    Up to 10 times more dangerous?
    Its the truth. Look it up if you don't believe me.

    It took me about 5 seconds using google to find smoking cancer statistics. According to the American Lung Association, second hand smoke causes 3400 cancer deaths per year. According to the CDC, 168,000 people died from lung cancer in 2004, 90% of which are likely to be smoking related. But 90% is still over 150,000. It looks to me like there are more than 40 times as many incidents of cancer due to smoking than second hand smoking.
    I love how you left out the 46,000 heart disease deaths. It doesn't change the fact that people are killed by others who choose to violate their freedom.

    Are you still going to say that it's 'not unlikely'?
    Agreed. I overstated according to those stats. But those stats don't cover the number of people whose health is deteriorated due to second hand smoke that don't develop cancer or heart disease. Far more than 50,000 people are affected each year by second hand smoke. Also you forget that the cigarette companies target young consumers to replace their dieing demographic.

    Force is always more costly than voluntary cooperation. Always.
    Agreed, and economic force as is imposed by an unregulated capitalistic system is no exception. Forcing people to cooperate to survive is just as immoral as a government forcing them to cooperate.

    Government intervention changes an individual problem into a much larger social issue. Instead of dealing with rude smokers on a case-by-case basis, now all smokers are labeled. It's just another form of class warfare, instigated by the government.
    Agreed. I think it would be better to deal with it on a case by case basis, but within the system we have now, government intervention is a necessity.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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    The kiddo/lateralus argument is drifting towards "quote the other person's entire post and nitpick", to warn the members of the argument.


    And arguing that technological advances are an improvement on the standard of living is a weak argument to make. Yay! We have great things like color television and the internet that they didn't have in the 70's! But did they have the same level of water and air pollution in the 70's? Did they have the same level of obesity and generally poor health resulting from the resulting sedentary lifestyle of those "advances"? I love how you right wingers paint only half the picture.
    There may have had more pollution in the 1970's, I'm not actually sure of the statistics, more technology for lower pollution is certainly around today. (Don't forget basics like epidemic diseases though, which technology has helped reduce, plus the fact that people can use as energy intensive stuff today as before.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zergling View Post
    There may have had more pollution in the 1970's, I'm not actually sure of the statistics, more technology for lower pollution is certainly around today. (Don't forget basics like epidemic diseases though, which technology has helped reduce, plus the fact that people can use as energy intensive stuff today as before.)
    True, there are lower emission standards, but there are also more cars and trucks on the road and higher traffic than the 70's. And you have to remember that most of the standards we have were imposed by regulation so it doesn't help lat's argument much to point it out.

    Also, I don't think there have been many great achievements as far as fighting diseases in the last 30 years or so. A few antiviral meds for cancer and HIV, but that is just about it. Pharmaceuticals has been much more interested in things like antidepressants, erectile deficiency meds, blood pressure meds, etc. There just isn't much money in curing diseases when you can treat people for life instead.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "energy intensive stuff".
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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    This is not a post that argues agreement in general with lateralus, just one that talks about technology. (Yes, this post is drifting towards "nitpick the other person's post" style.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    True, there are lower emission standards,
    I'm talking about more energy efficient technology, and pollution reducing technology.

    Also, I don't think there have been many great achievements as far as fighting diseases in the last 30 years or so. A few antiviral meds for cancer and HIV, but that is just about it. Pharmaceuticals has been much more interested in things like antidepressants, erectile deficiency meds, blood pressure meds, etc. There just isn't much money in curing diseases when you can treat people for life instead.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "energy intensive stuff".
    Energy intensive stuff is computers, electric equipment, cars/trucks, water treatment, etc.

    As for diseases, things like sewage treatment, vaccines, ability to produce lots of antibiotics, and the technology that lets people figure out how the diseases work have helped put a dent in diseases.

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