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  1. #11
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    I feel your pain.
    "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."

  2. #12
    FRACTALICIOUS phobik's Avatar
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    To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
    ~ Elbert Hubbard

    Music provides one of the clearest examples of a much deeper relation between mathematics and human experience.

  3. #13
    deplorable basketcase Tellenbach's Avatar
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    Amazing Graphic Shows Chicago’s Middle Class Disappear Before Your Eyes

    This animated gif shows the disappearance of the middle class in Chicago from 1970 to 2012. What happened? This is what 40 years of lefty rule looks like.
    Senator Rand Paul is alive because of modern medicine and because his attacker punches like a girl.

  4. #14
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rail Tracer View Post
    The standard reaction is that when government does not intervene, money will naturally flow in one way, towards the top. We already see this happening, whatever your standard of middle class is, the 1% contains the vast wealth compared to the vast majority of the U.S.
    The devil is in the details as we must ask how the wealth will be distributed upwards. Would it be done through the transactions of the market? That's rather unlikely, it is normally distributed upwards through cronyism and government "intervention" that grants special privileges to the elites.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rail Tracer View Post
    The reason why there is a middle class is because the government decided to step in and make people who live in lower conditions more comfortable.
    That is demonstrably false, the Middle Class in the U.S and Britain of the 19th century did not emerge because of any government intervention. The same holds true for the emerging Middle Class and of China and India: in all four cases, the income of the average worker increased because the demand for higher paid work increased. To put it simply, nobody enters the middle class by relying on government programs and almost always, one must obtain a reasonably lucrative skill to do so. The demand for such skills is created by industrialization or economic growth, not by government programs. At best, the welfare programs diminish the incidence of extreme poverty and that is one thing they do very well. I am not saying they shouldn't do so because we need more extreme poverty, but we should abandon the illusion that these programs create the middle class.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  5. #15
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Are you sure? I would read this as saying that the division of wealth will grow ever larger without empowering government...and it's not control the economy (production/consumption) as much as influence (wealth taxes, income taxes, consumption taxes).

    It feels like you are knocking down a strawman.
    He made it clear that the government must "create" the middle class, which implies that it is not merely contributing to its emergence, but plays a central, if not a sole role in this process. So, "control" seems to be a fitting word to describe the process in question.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  6. #16
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    He made it clear that the government must "create" the middle class, which implies that it is not merely contributing to its emergence, but plays a central, if not a sole role in this process. So, "control" seems to be a fitting word to describe the process in question.
    I don't see it. You are clearly debating in bad faith(*) and I see no reason your interpretation would deserve the benefit of doubt. You are also using very selective examples (eg: "emerging middle class", historical examples) while omitting others (eg: the strongest US middle class was done under extremely high marginal income taxes).

    If you wish to debate the issue, ask yourself if a completely unregulated market would develop into over-reaching monopolies/concentrated wealth. If the answer is anything but "no", then the government is required - and however you wish to define "create", its presence will therefore "create the middle class". This may help you reach the first common understanding with your friend. You can ask yourself what you think should be done, then ask him, and there you can work on your differences.


    (*) References in your original post illustrate this;

    An inveterate leftist...

    Ad hominems aside, this claim reveals stark ignorance...

    The grown child explained...


    But even without that, you are casting his argument in the worst light.

  7. #17
    deplorable basketcase Tellenbach's Avatar
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    There is nothing wrong with concentrating wealth as long as the prosperity is shared. A rising tide raises all boats but some boats are raised higher. The lefty approach is to sink all boats.

    "No American is ever made better by pulling a fellow American down, and every American is made better off whenever any one of us is better off. A rising tide raises all boats." JFK (notice how the Democrat party has changed; JFK actually sounds like a conservative)
    Senator Rand Paul is alive because of modern medicine and because his attacker punches like a girl.

  8. #18
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    If you wish to debate the issue, ask yourself if a completely unregulated market would develop into over-reaching monopolies/concentrated wealth.
    This is completely irrelevant to my argument, I've never mentioned anything about a completely unregulated market nor did I imply that the government plays no role in economic development.

    My issue was with his word choice, specifically that of "created" which implied that the government didn't just play a role in the process, but that it should emerge as a leader in it. Generally, the term "create" is reserved for entities that do not merely participate in the process, but play a leading or a primarily role in it.

    For example, when Christians say that God created the universe, they mean that He was the sole producer of it and not just a contributor. Similarly, when the anarcho-capitalists maintain that the businessmen are the job-creators, they don't mean that they play a role in the process of creating jobs, they mean that the businessmen are the primarily economic actors on whom production of jobs depends almost entirely.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  9. #19
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    This is completely irrelevant to my argument,
    Yours, yes, but maybe not his. If {a} causes a phenomenon which would otherwise be absent in {b} there are grounds for using the word "create" in reference to {a} creating {b}. This is more than just semantics - either its presence creates the phenomenon or it doesn't.

    (Using God as an example is a rhetorical trap because only God can create in that context - everything that is and will be was created by God. There are no easy analogies because "middle class" talks about an emergent social property. It'd be like saying that humans created murder, which is true only because it is a social construct.)

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    Once again, do you genuinely think that Harvard, Princeton, Berkeley, Yale or the MIT are managed by would-be fascists?
    Not fascists, just academics. Not quite as dumb, but frequently just as useless.

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