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  1. #71
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    We are the only superpower in the world and we have geographical position on them. You have yet to prove that Cuba's problems are more related to its socialistic policies than to the embargo. Only that you assume that is the case. Please, pure, have some respect for my intelligence. The only reason you want to call it settled is because you know you can't prove it either way.
    It is willful ignorance to claim that the American embargo has impoverished Cuba. You have to understand that. You have a rational mind; I've seen it in action before. You cannot buy the embargo argument. Castro used it for decades to explain away the lack of growth in the country that he ruined economically. Look at the richest countries in the world. Do they trade all over the world? Yes. Do they have large, relatively free private sectors? Yes. Do they have people trying to escape in row boats, hulls of ships, and inner tubes? No, they do not. Come on, Kiddo. Don't be disingenuous. There is 50 years of evidence disputing the embargo fairy tale.
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  2. #72
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I am just going to have to disagree with you in general here. The worst socialist leaders have NOT always produced some good results.
    I could probably argue that there are always some positive notes.
    Regardless of that, the problem you are describing is not at all unique to Socialism. The worst practitioner of any system is going to be lacking in positive impacts. Hence the label of being the "worst".

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Poor Americans would NOT prefer to be in Cuba (ask them, seriously). Many businesspeople are NOT power-hungry, bullying liars (some are, but it's certainly not a job requirement, as it is in politics).
    I'm going to reject that last comment flat-out. You have no rational justification for asserting that business owners do not have to be power hungry bullies but politicians do. They are all humans. The way you characterize politicians is just fantifully demonic.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    And most importantly, government DOES NOT make society what it is. That it does is such a mind-boggling statement, I don't know where to start. Individuals don't make society? Families? Churches? Volunteer organizations? Businesses?
    Let us say that society is specifically referring to civilized society.
    Businesses, churches, and large organizations of the like do not exist without there first being the establishment of civilization. The existence of the civilization never happens without the establishment of rule of law.
    The rule of law, is inevitably implemented through the government, even if it is a very simplistic government. So basically, you can point out all the little components that comprise a whole society, but the government is the big knot that holds it all together. Take away the government, and all the businesses and churches and families scatter, and greater society no long exists.

    This is an oversimplification of the explanation for why government is mandatory, but it would take a really long time to give the detailed explanation.


    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    That is absolutely shocking. Government has a more "encompassing interest?" They want to win elections.
    That's right. And you can't win an election if you piss everyone off.
    Anyone who seeks to be elected is going to be more concerned with giving people what they want than someone who doesn't have to be elected.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    They want to appeal to the lowest common denominator of a politically-illiterate populus, and to stay in power.
    I think that's not true. The advanced minorities may be minorities, but they often have powers in their grasp that makes them prime concerns for people seeking political support.
    But even if your assesment of the electoral base was true, I'd still say it's better than nothing. People who run major corporations these days have powers comperable to a president, but they don't really have to answer to hardly anyone. Not even the "lowest common denominator of a politically-illiterate populus"... That also makes you sound like you kind of hate Democracy, by the way.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Most politicians don't even get things of importance produced. If you honestly believe that the government has a benign, altruistic nature, I am just going to have to believe that you are completely naive.
    I wouldn't call it altruistic, I'd call it pragmatic. The establishment of and participation in government is the most pragmatically advantageous path.

    Also, your comment about me being completely naive seems like a double-standard. Again, I'm failing to see why I am crazy for advocating government be you are sane for advocating big business.
    Last edited by Magic Poriferan; 06-15-2008 at 12:11 PM. Reason: Added Something
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  3. #73
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    It is willful ignorance to claim that the American embargo has impoverished Cuba. You have to understand that. You have a rational mind; I've seen it in action before. You cannot buy the embargo argument. Castro used it for decades to explain away the lack of growth in the country that he ruined economically. Look at the richest countries in the world. Do they trade all over the world? Yes. Do they have large, relatively free private sectors? Yes. Do they have people trying to escape in row boats, hulls of ships, and inner tubes? No, they do not. Come on, Kiddo. Don't be disingenuous. There is 50 years of evidence disputing the embargo fairy tale.
    Oh, and how many capitalistic countries have we embargoed and they have done well? I think it is dishonest and disingenuous to pretend that the United State's embargo has played no role in Cuba's lack of growth and poverty. But if you want to pretend that it is all due to socialistic policies then go right ahead. If you had the evidence to prove that it was due to the socialistic policies and not the embargo, then you would have posted it. So far all I have seen is your assumptions and speculations.

    We know that the United States can contribute substantially to economic growth via trade as is evident by China, so I can't imagine why you would try to convince me that it can't contribute to substantial economic deficit via embargo.

    Oh wait. I can imagine. Because of your silly ideology and the reality that you will only accept information that supports it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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  4. #74
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Also, your comment about me being completely naive seems like a double-standard. Again, I'm failing to see why I am crazy for advocating government be you are sane for advocating big business.
    He's not advocating big business.

  5. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Oh, and how many capitalistic countries have we embargoed and they have done well? I think it is dishonest and disingenuous to pretend that the United State's embargo has played no role in Cuba's lack of growth and poverty. But if you want to pretend that it is all due to socialistic policies then go right ahead. If you had the evidence to prove that it was due to the socialistic policies and not the embargo, then you would have posted it. So far all I have seen is your assumptions and speculations.

    We know that the United States can contribute substantially to economic growth via trade as is evident by China, so I can't imagine why you would try to convince me that it can't contribute to substantial economic deficit via embargo.

    Oh wait. I can imagine. Because of your silly ideology and the reality that you will only accept information that supports it.
    Look at the statistics! I posted them. World poverty has fallen dramatically. Countries with relatively free economies like the United States and South Korea are 3-4 times richer than they were 50 years ago. I never said that the embargo didn't have negative effects (trade embargos and tariffs make all nations involved worse off). What I AM saying is that their command economy is the #1 factor as to their current level of poverty. I've stated why that is, but you will not accept it. It seems as if you want a mathematical proof, and there is none. There is only comparative economic data of the last five decades. This data points to one conclusion, but it is a conclusion you cannot or will not make.
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  6. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I could probably argue that there are always some positive notes.
    Regardless of that, the problem you are describing is not at all unique to Socialism. The worst practitioner of any system is going to be lacking in positive impacts. Hence the label of being the "worst".
    Evading the argument. You "probably could" but you didn't. Instead, you use the "well, everyone else does bad things, too" argument, which does nothing to refute what I said. That doesn't work.


    I'm going to reject that last comment flat-out. You have no rational justification for asserting that business owners do not have to be power hungry bullies but politicians do. They are all humans. The way you characterize politicians is just fantifully demonic.
    Again, no argument, just hot air. I have every justification for asserting a difference between businesspeople and politicians. They are two different group of people (with some overlap), and even though they are both humans, there are demonstrable differences. Politicians employ force to achieve their ends. This is almost always illegitimate, if you believe in individual liberty.


    Let us say that society is specifically referring to civilized society.
    Businesses, churches, and large organizations of the like do not exist without there first being the establishment of civilization. The existence of the civilization never happens without the establishment of rule of law.
    The rule of law, is inevitably implemented through the government, even if it is a very simplistic government. So basically, you can point out all the little components that comprise a whole society, but the government is the big knot that holds it all together. Take away the government, and all the businesses and churches and families scatter, and greater society no long exists.

    This is an oversimplification of the explanation for why government is mandatory, but it would take a really long time to give the detailed explanation.
    Nonsense. Human society existed before governments. There were societal norms and acceptable/unacceptable behavior before the nation-state. The rise of the rule of law came AFTER the rise of governments, which had originally relied upon personality cults and brute force. It is a relatively new idea to the human scene. And to claim that only the government can cohere society just flies in the face of human nature. I simply disagree with every point here.




    That's right. And you can't win an election if you piss everyone off.
    Anyone who seeks to be elected is going to be more concerned with giving people what they want than someone who doesn't have to be elected.
    Wow, this IS naive. "Giving the people what they want" does not equal "being a good leader." That is crazy. The vast majority of people in the United States wanted to invade Iraq. What that the right thing to do? The government exists to protect our natural rights; not as a muscle of force to flex when a politically tone-deaf electorate decides "something must be done!" That isn't democracy; that's demagoguery.

    I think that's not true. The advanced minorities may be minorities, but they often have powers in their grasp that makes them prime concerns for people seeking political support.
    But even if your assesment of the electoral base was true, I'd still say it's better than nothing. People who run major corporations these days have powers comperable to a president, but they don't really have to answer to hardly anyone. Not even the "lowest common denominator of a politically-illiterate populus"... That also makes you sound like you kind of hate Democracy, by the way.
    The President of the United States has WAY too much power over both domestic and international events. Warren Buffett has a ton of money, but he hasn't bombed any villages full of women and children recently. Your assertion that a CEO is comparable in power to the POTUS is laughable. Also, the United States IS NOT a democracy. It's a constitutional republic. We have a rule of law (as you mentioned earlier), not a rule of men. Our elections are democratic, but the Constitution is the ultimate law in our society, and it is there to constrain both the electorate and our representatives. As I've said numerous times on these boards, democracy has been fetishized to an absurd degree in the last century or so.

    I wouldn't call it altruistic, I'd call it pragmatic. The establishment of and participation in government is the most pragmatically advantageous path.
    I still don't think that the government is a positive influence in the majority of endeavors it takes on in the modern era.

    Also, your comment about me being completely naive seems like a double-standard. Again, I'm failing to see why I am crazy for advocating government be you are sane for advocating big business.
    It's not much of a double standard when I did no such thing. But good try, guy.


    Wow, that felt good.
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  7. #77
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Look at the statistics! I posted them. World poverty has fallen dramatically. Countries with relatively free economies like the United States and South Korea are 3-4 times richer than they were 50 years ago. I never said that the embargo didn't have negative effects (trade embargos and tariffs make all nations involved worse off). What I AM saying is that their command economy is the #1 factor as to their current level of poverty. I've stated why that is, but you will not accept it. It seems as if you want a mathematical proof, and there is none. There is only comparative economic data of the last five decades. This data points to one conclusion, but it is a conclusion you cannot or will not make.
    No, i just refuse to make the conclusion you are making, because it is an illogical conclusion to make with the available information. You can't provide proof that Cuba's economic woes are not primarily the result of the trade embargo, and so you continue to post irrelevant information. What does South Korea have to do with Cuba? Can I not make the argument that improved trade relations with the United States have been the greatest benefit to South Korea's economic success? If you wish to manipulate the data to suggest that "freer" countries do better in comparison to Cuba then you are going to need to separate trade from the equation, otherwise it is an irrational argument to make. We have an embargo against Cuba and you simply cannot prove that is not the primary cause of its economic woes. Whereas other socialistic countries that we have no such embargo against, such as China and many Western European nations, are doing very well economically. Your assumption that Cuba's socialistic policies are to blame for its slow economic growth are rejected on the grounds that it seems much more likely from the available information that the trade embargo has been far more devastating. Of course, I would love to see you provide proof that says otherwise, but I think if you had it, then you would have posted it half a dozen posts back instead of making such irrational assumptions based on the limited information.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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  8. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    No, i just refuse to make the conclusion you are making, because it is an illogical conclusion to make with the available information. You can't provide proof that Cuba's economic woes are not primarily the result of the trade embargo, and so you continue to post irrelevant information. What does South Korea have to do with Cuba? Can I not make the argument that improved trade relations with the United States have been the greatest benefit to South Korea's economic success? If you wish to manipulate the data to suggest that "freer" countries do better in comparison to Cuba then you are going to need to separate trade from the equation, otherwise it is an irrational argument to make. We have an embargo against Cuba and you simply cannot prove that is not the primary cause of its economic woes. Whereas other socialistic countries that we have no such embargo against, such as China and many Western European nations, are doing very well economically. Your assumption that Cuba's socialistic policies are to blame for its slow economic growth are rejected on the grounds that it seems much more likely from the available information that the trade embargo has been far more devastating. Of course, I would love to see you provide proof that says otherwise, but I think if you had it, then you would have posted it half a dozen posts back instead of making such irrational assumptions based on the limited information.
    There is a major difference between "socialism" and a welfare state. These "socialistic" countries in Western Europe that you mention are hypercapitalistic and have gigantic transnational corporations in them. They are not similar to Cuba's governmental command economy. You cannot be so blind as to see no difference between Sweden, China, and Cuba. Also, I've provided a mountain of evidence in this thread. A large portion of economics and political economy is the interpretation of data. You have the data, but you are not interpreting it. Cuba has access to more than 80% of the world's economic markets, but it's still appallingly poor for a country of its size and with its literacy rate, health expectancy, access to education, etc. We could end the embargo tomorrow and Cuba would not become rich. Certainly not with the vast and inefficient public sector-based domestic economy they have. If you TRULY believe otherwise, you lack a fundamental understanding of economics. Sorry, but that is the truth.
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  9. #79
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Evading the argument. You "probably could" but you didn't. Instead, you use the "well, everyone else does bad things, too" argument, which does nothing to refute what I said. That doesn't work.
    It didn't seem worth mentioning, but fine. Mussolini was a horrible fascist, but he also ran a very efficient a country. Every single train was on time.
    Usually, if there is anything good to say about fascists and authoritarians, it's that they clean up the country and set it straight. It's a really good starting over point for any revolutionaries that might want to do something.
    Of course, my awareness of this does not me that I endorse Fascist dictatorships.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Again, no argument, just hot air. I have every justification for asserting a difference between businesspeople and politicians. They are two different group of people (with some overlap), and even though they are both humans, there are demonstrable differences. Politicians employ force to achieve their ends. This is almost always illegitimate, if you believe in individual liberty.
    This is so repetitive. Businessman employ forces of their own to acheive their ends. You seem to be severly underestimating how much corporations boss people around, including other corporations. Corporations often run in a way comperable to a government. I still return to my point that they are very similar.

    You are right that in some sense they are two different kinds of people, so they can be presumed different in their behavior, but you have not actually justified your conclusion. You have not explained why or shown how they would be different in the particular way that you assert.
    What case do you have to prove that businessmen don't have to be selfish power-mongers, but politicians always do?


    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Nonsense. Human society existed before governments. There were societal norms and acceptable/unacceptable behavior before the nation-state. The rise of the rule of law came AFTER the rise of governments, which had originally relied upon personality cults and brute force. It is a relatively new idea to the human scene. And to claim that only the government can cohere society just flies in the face of human nature. I simply disagree with every point here.
    Tribal customs are, needless to say, a bit different from rules concerning societies of thousands, to hundreds of thousands of people. Became impossible for people to maintain the tribal system once populations became that large. Law in some simplistic sense has existed for as long as there have been civilizations. There is a collect of rules, they are outlined, you are expectd to follow them, and in case you don't, they are enforced. That's pretty much all it takes. These rules, as well as officials to define and enforce them, were established because populations and territories became too large for things to be operated on entirely interpersonal basis.
    You now had a situation where two people in society may never have even met. A goverment, even if a simple one, was necessary to hold it together.
    Government not an foreign artifice. Government is a part of human nature. It is the by-product of our social habits when our population exceeds tribal sizes. Tribe becomes Chiefdom, Chiefdom becomes nation. It is inevitable. It is intuitive.



    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Wow, this IS naive. "Giving the people what they want" does not equal "being a good leader." That is crazy. The vast majority of people in the United States wanted to invade Iraq. What that the right thing to do? The government exists to protect our natural rights; not as a muscle of force to flex when a politically tone-deaf electorate decides "something must be done!" That isn't democracy; that's demagoguery.
    Well, Democracy is a system where everyone casts and opinion on policy or law, and the majority has priority. That's basically it. What is your alternative?

    Suppose th government just protects your rights. What rights are they going to protect exactly? Who gets to decide what rights these are? Not the people who's rights are supposed to be protected? And who keeps these watchers from being abusive? Not the people who are being watched over?
    You are basically saying that the majority opinion can't be used to decide the rule of leadership. Well who will?

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    The President of the United States has WAY too much power over both domestic and international events. Warren Buffett has a ton of money, but he hasn't bombed any villages full of women and children recently. Your assertion that a CEO is comparable in power to the POTUS is laughable. Also, the United States IS NOT a democracy. It's a constitutional republic. We have a rule of law (as you mentioned earlier), not a rule of men. Our elections are democratic, but the Constitution is the ultimate law in our society, and it is there to constrain both the electorate and our representatives. As I've said numerous times on these boards, democracy has been fetishized to an absurd degree in the last century or so.
    Oh, pshaw. The president and the legislators act on business interests. It's getting to a point where they need to worry more about their favorability to the corporate world than they do the voters. If you get on a businesses good side, then they can make sure you win an election.
    Corporations have their direct power plus whatever power they can get through puppeting politicians. That's what happens where you have a country where the government starts bending over backwards for monopolies.

    The point about people with money not bombing villlages is funny. Do you think that war and clandestine operations have never had anything to do with big businesses? Hello? War is business these days. I am absolutely, dead sure that businessmen influenced going to war with Iraq. And just about every time the Reagan administration funded some savagely brutal para-military organizaion in Latin-America, business interest was involved.
    The corporate world doesn't give a damn about "good" or "bad" rule. The only reason it ever pushed against Communists and Socialists is because they weren't useful to business.

    Now, you are right about this country's law, and even the obsession with Democracy to some extent, but if this country was not supposed to be run by common masses, it was certainly not supposed to be run by businesses. Rule of law was put in the hands of three branches of government. Government is intended to do the job.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I still don't think that the government is a positive influence in the majority of endeavors it takes on in the modern era.
    Yes. You can simply return to that as a stand-alone argument, as if it were a priori truth. Like Descartes declaring that he thinks, therefore he is.


    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    It's not much of a double standard when I did no such thing. But good try, guy.
    No, that seems to be exactly what you were doing. You were telling me that putting faith in government was naive and out of touch, while in the mean time, you are putting still unvalidated faith in private organizations.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Wow, that felt good.
    That's nice, but it didn't get you anywhere.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  10. #80
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    There is a major difference between "socialism" and a welfare state. These "socialistic" countries in Western Europe that you mention are hypercapitalistic and have gigantic transnational corporations in them. They are not similar to Cuba's governmental command economy. You cannot be so blind as to see no difference between Sweden, China, and Cuba. Also, I've provided a mountain of evidence in this thread. A large portion of economics and political economy is the interpretation of data. You have the data, but you are not interpreting it. Cuba has access to more than 80% of the world's economic markets, but it's still appallingly poor for a country of its size and with its literacy rate, health expectancy, access to education, etc. We could end the embargo tomorrow and Cuba would not become rich. Certainly not with the vast and inefficient public sector-based domestic economy they have. If you TRULY believe otherwise, you lack a fundamental understanding of economics. Sorry, but that is the truth.
    Your "mountain" of evidence does nothing but show that Cuba has slow economic growth and some capitalistic countries that aren't under embargo have good economic growth. That in no way proves that Cuba's slow economic growth isn't the result of the embargo, but its socialistic policies. Even when I put it so clearly, if you still can't figure out the illogicalness of your arguments, then I'm afraid I can't help you.

    As far as your ideological arguments...if you haven't figured it out, there is no such thing as pure socialism or pure capitalism. There is only degrees to which those economic policies are utilized in each situation. The United States has many socialized policies in effect, such as in its police and school systems. I am not blind, I'm just very aware that when your vendetta is to attack socialistic policies, you should be careful to heed the "governmental command economy" argument. Because you just made the case for me that Cuba's slow economic growth could also be the result of being ran by a dictator, which would make little difference if it were socialistic or capitalistic (fascism). So now I have two arguments to make. One, Cuba's slow economic growth could be the result of the embargo and two, it could also be the result of being under a totalitarian regime.

    And you have still failed to provide evidence to dismiss the first argument.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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