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Author Topic: The root of corruption
The Drake
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quote:
Power corrupts.
Money is Power.
Take away the money,
take away the power,
take away the corruption.

Look to NH for a model of how this works at a state level. State politicians make $100. Annually.

The general court is bigger than the US Congress, representing less than 1% as many people. Small districts mean less power per politician. It also makes third party candidates or independents more viable.

Meanwhile, the tax burden is only $1000 per capita - giving the politicians less to spend.

Of course, people would have to learn to live as free people again, so I guess nobody's going to go for that one. We wuvs our Nanny, yes we do!

This was from another current thread, where some responses and challenges have already been given. I thought this topic deserved its own home, instead of stealing time from another discussion.

The biggest challenge, IMO, has been against my assertion that paying dirt to representatives is a good idea. To me, career politicians are much more likely to be corrupt. The length of time they spend in the system eventually warps their perspective.

Among the benefits are a legislature that wants to wrap up business and go home - no temptation to over-legislate. Second, you tend to be retired, or a business owner, or a land owner. By not paying legislators, you guarantee that your legislators will work to prevent rising taxation since it hits them just as hard (if not harder, in a year where they spend time away from work).

A point was made in the other thread that this limits who can run for office. Yes, it limits it to people who have been successful at something more than taking and spending money earned by others. That's not a bad thing.

Any failure to summarize views correctly above is strictly unintentional, and I invite clarifications as necessary.

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Daruma28
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Power corrupts.
So we need a government that doesn't have enough power to lend itself to the kind of wholesale corruption that is now endemic.

The original framework of the Federal government was desinged specifically to be de-centralized, weak, beholden to the State's and concerned only with a few Constitutionally designated roles...and this was done precisely to try and prevent the massive, wasteful, corruption-laden behemoth that is our Government today.

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Rallan
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There's a problem there Daruma. If power is transferred to the big businesses that'll be picking up the slack, how do you avoid the pitfall of privatising corruption?
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Power corrupts.
Money is Power.
Take away the money,
take away the power...

I think it falls apart on your second step.
Money is not power. Money can be exchanged for power, and power can be exchanged for money. But as with all exchanges, there is a rate of exchange that means the two are not freely transferable.

If you remove money from the equation, the kind of people who are corrupted by power will still be corrupted by power.

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Daruma28
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quote:
Originally posted by Rallan:
There's a problem there Daruma. If power is transferred to the big businesses that'll be picking up the slack, how do you avoid the pitfall of privatising corruption?

"Big Business" can only really get that way through collusion with governmental power. That is the very basis for how they "get that big" in the first place.

They lobby the government to give them an otherwise unattainable market advantage to their competitors.

For example, the giant meat packing corporations were able to lobby the Federal Government to impose rigorous inspection standards that had prohibitively high costs for small time meat producers, but were only a fraction of overhead for the large corporations that had the advantage of economies of scale.

Yes, I'm aware of the argument for "meat inspectors are necessary for public health." Whether it's justified or not, the fact remains that the power of Government was used to gain a market advantage for the big business that would not have existed prior to Governmental intervention.

And that example goes across the board in just about every industry in every instance.

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edgmatt
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A friend of mine, when discussing a similar subject, pointed out that I do not want a weak government, we want a very powerful government that is very limited what it is has power over. For instance, we don't want a "weak" government when it comes to the military. We do not want a "Big Brother" government however. ( at least most of us don't )

The government has its place...building roads, enforcing laws, protecting its citizens, among others. But I am 100% with you, Drake, on your entire opening to this thread.

How do things work out in NH by running it that way?

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RickyB
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"They lobby the government to give them an otherwise unattainable market advantage to their competitors."

mmm hmmm. Unattainable because...?

"For example, the giant meat packing corporations were able to lobby the Federal Government to impose rigorous inspection standards that had prohibitively high costs for small time meat producers, but were only a fraction of overhead for the large corporations that had the advantage of economies of scale."

Right, because meat from "The Jungle" was better, right? There was no real problem, and Sinclair was just a tool of big business agitating for the changes they wanted, right? And the inspections was the crucial aspect of economies of scale? If not for that, the little guy could have competed for box cars and real estate and heads of steer just like the big boys? Because back then there was no big meat business...

I don't understand how your mind works.

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Rallan
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quote:
Originally posted by Daruma28:
quote:
Originally posted by Rallan:
There's a problem there Daruma. If power is transferred to the big businesses that'll be picking up the slack, how do you avoid the pitfall of privatising corruption?

"Big Business" can only really get that way through collusion with governmental power. That is the very basis for how they "get that big" in the first place.

They lobby the government to give them an otherwise unattainable market advantage to their competitors.

For example, the giant meat packing corporations were able to lobby the Federal Government to impose rigorous inspection standards that had prohibitively high costs for small time meat producers, but were only a fraction of overhead for the large corporations that had the advantage of economies of scale.

Yes, I'm aware of the argument for "meat inspectors are necessary for public health." Whether it's justified or not, the fact remains that the power of Government was used to gain a market advantage for the big business that would not have existed prior to Governmental intervention.

And that example goes across the board in just about every industry in every instance.

What about antitrust laws intended to prevent dominant companies from using their clout to become monopolies? Doesn't that sort of clash with your model of government as an enabler of monopolistic behavior?

Alternatively, what about the almost complete lack of responsibility demonstrated by the private sector when it comes to environmental issues? Not just airy fairy recent stuff like greenhouse gas emissions (Ornery really doesn't need another thread dedicated to debating whether global warming is real or not), but on tangible things like lead poisoning and toxic waste disposal? Given the appalling track record of heavy industry throughout the western world until environmental regulation was imposed, I'm just the teensiest bit dubious that market forces would've been better equipped than the government to solve the problem. Especially since you can still see the same horrible mistakes being repeated across the third world today, with the countries least able to or least interested in imposing environmental regulations being the ones with the nastiest problems.

[ June 19, 2009, 08:29 AM: Message edited by: Rallan ]

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The Drake
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I believe that the government has its place in meat packing - but that it probably went too far. All the government should do is make sure that consumers receive information. If you want a "grade A" sticker, then the company should be paying an outside NGO for those ratings. This is how it works for UL (electronic safety), for example.

If you live next door to a local cattle farm, and you know the guy, maybe you don't care about the sticker. Maybe your company builds up a safety record.

Much of what the government does is antiquated, based on dynamics prior to the information age. Now, we hear immediately about a restaurant or supermarket that sold tainted meat and they take an immediate, massive economic hit from it.

IF you dig into the reality of the FDA inspections, you'll find meat isn't that much safer. Look at what big company processing has done to ground beef. What would have been a few bad steaks now turns into a 19 million pound Con Agra recall, because the tainted cow is mixed with a few thousand good cows. This risk of centralized agriculture was created by the regulations Daruma references.

quote:
How do things work out in NH by running it that way?
Quite well in general. NH tends to be last in adopting nanny policies - it is the only state that does not have a seat-belt law that applies to adults, and one of only four states that does not have a motorcycle helmet law. Live Free or Die is not the state motto for nothing!

Schools are highly functional. NH consistently rates in the top quartile according to most state-by-state rankings. Neighboring MA and VT score slightly higher, but at a much higher cost.

NH Universities and Colleges are among the most expensive state schools, preferring to levy fees on students that attend rather than taxing everyone.

Roads are maintained, crime is relatively low.

The only caveat is that NH is not a fast growing state. It is not having to build many new roads, infrastructure, prisons, or schools.

Another negative is that with property tax the main way to raise money, it can fall somewhat more heavily on pensioners who own their own homes.

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edgmatt
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quote:
All the government should do is make sure that consumers receive information
Ah music to my ears! I wonder why this concept is lost on so many?

NH sounds like my kind of state. I am contemplating moving, depending on how my job works out. If I do move out of state, NH might be the way to go.

Why aren't other states adapting policies that mirror NH? Obviously each state has its own unique set of factors to deal with, but if NH is clearly ahead of the curve on the certain things you have mentioned, it would seem prudent to at least attempt a similar approach.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by The Drake:
I believe that the government has its place in meat packing - but that it probably went too far. All the government should do is make sure that consumers receive information. If you want a "grade A" sticker, then the company should be paying an outside NGO for those ratings. This is how it works for UL (electronic safety), for example.

If you live next door to a local cattle farm, and you know the guy, maybe you don't care about the sticker. Maybe your company builds up a safety record.

If you live next door to the guy and he's directly butchering and selling it to you, he's operating under direct health deparment codes anyway, and not those that apply to slaughterhouses packaging it for resale.

And even for the big guys, there are no requirements to pay for any kind of third party inspections (they're mostly internal with an occasional pass from the governmnet)- the costs involved are basically just those that come rise from actually making sure the process is done right and meeting the necessary sanitary levels to the satifcation of occsional USDA inspections.

That they don't address the farming conditions that help give rise to the danger in the first place is problematic and needs to be addressed. (And regualtion there would also only affect the large players and not the small ones, because the problematic conditions are those inherent to large-scale factory farming and are easy to avoid completely on smaller scales)

The big bugger in this is that it's pretty much an all or nothing deal. Remove the requirments for the standards, and the companies that hold to them will, by and large, end up pricing themselves out of the market. The entire reason that the regulations were passed in the first place is that the industry as a whole refused to clean up its act, even after the abuses were revealed. They categorically denied that their processes were unsafe and tried to sweep the whole matter under the carpet. Being able to take your business elsewhere only works if there's an elsewehere to take your business, otherwise your only choice is what businesses choose to offer.

Even in the best case, if there are some high priced providers that maintain basic standards and low price ones that are categorically unsafe, the problem is just shifted to those who can't affort the higher priced product; again, they can't vote agaisnt dangerous products easily if they can't afford the safe ones, and the overall fallout from that higher risk would end up costing more across the baord in terms of lost productivity and public health risks.

There absolutely has to be a saftey baseline for foods, without it natural market forces will push the most commonly available products down well below levels that are remotely acceptable, because the largest portion of the consumer base is that to which lowest price is the only practical selection factor. Food is a need market, not a want one, so it's impossible for the buyer to choose to walk away, necessitating a balancing factor to keep the market free.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"a) All the government should do is make sure that consumers receive information

b) Ah music to my ears! I wonder why this concept is lost on so many?"

I wonder why you assume it is "lost on so many". In the fairness of turnabout fair play, I'll assume that it is lost on you that all you are doing is placing the same problem on a different stratum.

Whether or not government merely provides information or whether or not government *enforces* certain standards, we are still relying on the government to make our basic consumer decisions for us.

In a truly free market, we would learn through trial and error, yea, the hard way, who provided reasonably safe and nutritious food and who didn't.

But we the people SUCK at managing our own affairs, which is why there is government in the 1st place. If this weren't so, all we'd have to do is form regional militia to protect ourselves from marauders. But because we SUCK at governing ourselves, we allow power-mongers to take control of those militia and... the rest is history.

So, since we SUCK at governing ourselves, government evolves to try and protect us from our worst (and, ironically, to protect us from government's worst, since government is, after all, primarily an expression of the fact that we SUCK at governing ourselves) tendencies.

With this in mind, government finds it more efficient to not only try and hold things like food protection to certain baseline standards of decency, but also to protect us and it from our standard tendency to throw caution to the wind and go for the cheapest we can since bad things (like salmonella) happen to other people, not us.

Either way, corruption will intrude as it always does, whether the regulatory agency in question merely stamps the meat a given grade or mandates that only given grades of meat shall or can be sold. ('shall' is how it works in totalitarianism; 'can' is how it works in democratically modeled government)

If you dislike all the tort craziness we see in consumer lawsuits, imagine how much more you;d see if consumers were merely given a range of grades to choose from and allowed to decide wisely for themselves. (We all remember the famous McDonalds hot coffee decision.)

While I am very much in favor of democratic function, I see it as something evolving from traditional authoritarianism and totalitarianism. Why, universal suffrage is this radical new thing we've applied in the West. No gender restrictions, and all we ask is you be a citizen and be of an age most of us think is old enough to start getting involved in the plebiscite.

But lookit the recent financial crisis, especially the mortgage component. We loosened restrictions and let things run on simple caveat emptor, and what did we get? Too much emptor and too little caveat.

People assume that freedom is some kind of right. (As if anything is a 'right'.) Freedom is something we gradually try and grant each pother as more and more of us jostle elbows. It goes against several of our basic impulses.

Impulse 1: avoid responsibility if at all possible. Pert near universal trait, although we learn to accept a minimal amount of it to be more functional than not.

Impulse 2: mind the other ****er's business whenever you feel like it because hey, you can! It;s a free country!

Thus government:

we have insufficiently learned how to mind our own business and have too much invested in the minding of others' business.

The same logic that drives food sales legislation is that which drives drug sales legislation.

110 years ago, both were pretty much wide open in a virtually unregulated market.

We couldn't handle it.

Temperance movements over here; apathetic meat packers over there... and lo and behold, today we deal with prison reform/regulation. Prison is one helluva meat-packing industry, I tell you, and the biggest surge in that industry is the so-called War on Drugs.

We are funny critters.

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The Drake
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Keenmeer - can you really say that freedom is not a right? Are humans not individual sentient beings?

If I want to have an all-lead birthday cake ornament, it is my right and my responsibility if I lick the frosting off and get stupid. (no speculation please, on whether that has happened already)

The government may have a role in labeling, but they equally may not. Right now, UL "regulates" products. They represent minimum safety standards. Good luck selling a lamp in any kind of volume without UL approval. The government is completely out of that loop. I agree with the government putting labels on food, so that the allergic can avoid having their throats close when all they wanted was a nice milk chocolate treat (that happened to have some peanuts in it).

I don't think peanuts, saturated fat, or sodium should be made illegal, though I agree it would be safer for all those allergic, obese, hypertensive Americans than fending for themselves.

Providing the information leaves the decision almost entirely up to us. But meanwhile, our government balks at labelling GM foods, thanks to agri-business interests and the need for Senators and Congressmen to line their pockets.

So the population gets a double whammy of THINKING that everything they eat is safe because they ENTRUST the government to just eliminate everything that might be bad for them. Senator Fox, here are the keys to the henhouse. Let me know if anything goes wrong.

As far as there being an elsewhere to take your business, there are all kinds of free range, organic food products that hold themselves to a MUCH HIGHER STANDARD than that proposed by the government. A large number of towns have a Whole Foods or other source, farmer's markets, etc.

The need for government to protect us is a fiction.

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PSRT
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"Keenmeer - can you really say that freedom is not a right? Are humans not individual sentient beings?"

These are two unrelated questions, yet you ask them as if a yea answer to the latter necessitates freedom as a right.

You also didn't really bother to define "freedom," or "right." Words that have a variety of meanings dependent upon who is speaking.

[ June 19, 2009, 05:44 PM: Message edited by: PSRT ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"Keenmeer - can you really say that freedom is not a right? Are humans not individual sentient beings?"

Freedom is an abstract concept humans make up. I am not free from gravity, or ten gadzillion real-time molecular actions that intractably make me the physical form in motion that I am. I am not free from my neighbor's dog barking.

I am free to break any law at any time I so desire. (I'ma shoot that dawg.)

It's just a word. In practical political terms, it is defined by the restrictions we place upon each other.

"The need for government to protect us is a fiction."

From what? Anarchy? Emperor Hirohito's Japan? Obnoxco, Inc, dumping raw sewage laden with heavy metals into the local drinking supply?

[ June 19, 2009, 05:41 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by kenmeer livermaile:
In a truly free market, we would learn through trial and error, yea, the hard way, who provided reasonably safe and nutritious food and who didn't.

Actually, no. In a free market, that information would be on the table; the manufacturer would be completely up front about the production and quality of their product. As soon as either party has an information advantage, the market is no longer free and tilts in favor of the person with the information advantage, in the same way that having an uncompromisable need for a product tilts the market against the one with the need.

You can only have a free market when both parties are negotiating on equal footing- both have the same information and either is free to walk away and say "No deal". Those are the most essential, defining characteristics for market freedom.

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kenmeer livermaile
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Pyrtolin, you don't think some amount of trial and error would be necessary to lead up to this ideal state you describe?

I like to be optimistic about my fellow beings too, but experience has taught me that you get that many dogs together there's bound to be at least one sumbitch in the pack.

We are talking about real human society, not idealized abstract constructs such as those used by theoretical physicists who begin with notions like, "First, let us imagine human society as a perfect sphere, and free markets as hydrogen molecules contained within..."

That said, I note that even hydrogen molecules work through trial and error, bouncing this way and that way. Not that they seem to learn fast, but let them bounce long enough and ]you have hydrocarbons and proteins and DNA and...

Free does not mean equal. Free just means unrestrained. Of course, no such thing exists, so it is mea culpa for using that bugaboo 'truly free market' in the 1st place.

But folks throw that expression around so much as if such a thing does or even could exist...

[ June 19, 2009, 07:12 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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edgmatt
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quote:
posted by Kenmeer:

But we the people SUCK at managing our own affairs


I dont. And I don't agree that most people do. You should have a little more faith in your fellow man, and much more in yourself.
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RickyB
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edge, not out individual affairs, our collective ones. And history does not lend itself to much faith.
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rightleft22
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Just read the following and though it worth pondering as it concerns freedom and individuality.

“It is a notorious fact that the morality of society as a whole is in inverse ratio to its size; for the greater the aggregation of individuals, the more the individual factors are blotted out, and with them morality which rests entirely on the moral sense of the individual and the freedom necessary for this. Hence every man is, in a certain sense, unconsciously a worse man when he is in society that when acting alone; for he is carried by society and to that extent relieved of his individual responsibility.
Any large company composed of wholly admirable persons has the morality and intelligence of an unwieldy, stupid, and violent animal. The bigger the organization, the more unavoidable is its immorality and blind stupidity.
Society, by automatically stressing all the collective qualities in its individual representatives, puts a premium on mediocrity, on everything that settles down to vegetate in an easy, irresponsible way. Individuality will inevitable be driven to the wall. This process begins in school, continues at the university, and rules all departments in which the Sate has a hand.” - Jung

We live in the age of individual freedom where it’s often reported that respect for the individual is one of our highest ideals – in reality – individuality in society can only be respected if we are all individually the same. We divide our selves into our groups and in doing so individual “freedom” is forfeited.

[ June 20, 2009, 12:54 PM: Message edited by: rightleft22 ]

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edgmatt
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Thats fine, let the government take care of our collective affairs....protect us from foreign invaders, build us roads, keep hospitals and police functioning, things like that. Don't tell me what to eat, how to spend my money, what I can teach my kids, how much money I'm allowed to earn, what kind of car I have to buy, what I am allowed to watch on TV, what I am allowed to listen to on the radio, or how much I have to give to support other people who are too lazy to work.

History shows that human kind HAS taken GREAT care of its own affairs. Look at what we've created. Look at the jump just in quality of life over the past 20 years...50 years......100 years. If humans were terrible at minding our own affairs, the first colonies would never have survived their first decade. In fact, they tried to manage things as a collective, and when it wasn't working they had to leave things up to the individual...and that turned everything around. HERE.
From that link: "The problem was that all the men who were sent were bonded labourers. They had no stake in what they produced. They were bound by contract to put all they produced into a common pool to be used to support their colony as a whole."

"Jamestown changed course just two years later in 1611 with arrival of the ‘high marshall' Sir Thomas Dale.... Each man received three acres of land and, other than a lump sum tax of 2 ½ barrels of corn, did not have to contribute anything to the common pool. The colony immediately began to prosper.... because each individual directly benefited by his labor and knew that he would also bear the full consequences of any reduction in output.

quote:
individuality in society can only be respected if we are all individually the same. We divide our selves into our groups and in doing so individual “freedom” is forfeited.
I'm not sure I understand... "us being different can only be respected if we are all the same"? What groups? And why is individual freedom forfeited? I am not yet doubting what you say is true, I just don't understand what you are saying .
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kenmeer livermaile
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"I dont. And I don't agree that most people do. You should have a little more faith in your fellow man, and much more in yourself."

Well you've certainly shown a willingness to mind the business of others in this post, for sure.

ANyway, I reads me a bit of history and stand by my 'we suck at...' position.

"History shows that human kind HAS taken GREAT care of its own affairs. Look at what we've created. Look at the jump just in quality of life over the past 20 years...50 years......100 years. If humans were terrible at minding our own affairs, the first colonies would never have survived their first decade."

We'll overlook the world wars, the genocides, not to the previous millennia in which rule by brute force and things like trial ordeal were our standard for dispensing justice.

History looks pretty decent if you only read its successful highlights, it's true.

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kenmeer livermaile
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""Jamestown changed course just two years later in 1611 with arrival of the ‘high marshall' Sir Thomas Dale.... Each man received three acres of land and, other than a lump sum tax of 2 ½ barrels of corn, did not have to contribute anything to the common pool. The colony immediately began to prosper.... because each individual directly benefited by his labor and knew that he would also bear the full consequences of any reduction in output. "

YOu will notice, I hope, that a BOSS made this happen. LIke I said, individual humans will strive to create communal circumstances rather than individual ones (which is, by the way, how we function: we're SOCIAL creatures), and then discover they need a BOSS to manage it for them.

I do wish you would attempt some holistic nuance in your analyses and interpretations.

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RickyB
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" Don't tell me what to eat, "

Nobody is

"how to spend my money, "

Nobody is

"what I can teach my kids,"

Nobody is

"how much money I'm allowed to earn, "

Nobody is

"what kind of car I have to buy, "

Nobody is

"what I am allowed to watch on TV,"

Nobody is, unless you're pining for hardcore porn on other than ppv

"what I am allowed to listen to on the radio,"

Nobody is

"or how much I have to give to support other people who are too lazy to work."

That's a problem, jimbob. We've "collectively" decided that it's better than picking corpses off the street and putting down riots. Go ahead and take to the streets over it...

[Roll Eyes]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by edgmatt:
or how much I have to give to support other people who are too lazy to work.

To slightly modify Ricky's responce here- no one is asking you to support unicorn preserves either, given that they contain beasts that are nearly as mythical.
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rightleft22
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quote:
I'm not sure I understand... "us being different can only be respected if we are all the same"? What groups?
Current society exhorts the value of the individual; every individual is special, unique… created equal… But do we value the individual, or is that just specific individuals? What do we really mean when we use the word individual?

What happens when the individual becomes an ‘other’ when an individual’s individuality interferes in our own individual sense of being - most often defined by the groups we belong to?

Groups we identify ourselves with, nationality, State, city, school, religion, church, sport team, political party. Each group expects and needs its individuals to be individually the same in their general thoughts and beliefs, in the why that individual is expected to contribute. Those individuals that don’t fit become the ‘other’ and in a kind of paradox are used to help define the group identity and the individuality of the individuals that belong to the group.

Assuming we make ‘free choices’ every choice we make also represents choices that we will no longer make, often are not free to make. Each choice is a sacrifice of choices that we will no longer make. A value judgment is assigned; the good of the one choice is deemed a higher value then the choices that that choice must exclude - Security over the rights of the individual for example. The word sacrifice more often then not has a negative connotation even as it’s an expression of the exercise of freedom.

As a species we group and bond for survival, we sacrifice personal individual desires for the good of the many and strangely doing so we can become more individuated. We lean that individual desires and uniqueness does not define an individual.

[ June 22, 2009, 09:12 AM: Message edited by: rightleft22 ]

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Mormegil
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quote:
Keenmeer - can you really say that freedom is not a right? Are humans not individual sentient beings?
"Freedom is the right of all sentient beings." Who here dares argue with Optimus Prime?

quote:
quote:
Originally posted by edgmatt:
or how much I have to give to support other people who are too lazy to work.

To slightly modify Ricky's responce here- no one is asking you to support unicorn preserves either, given that they contain beasts that are nearly as mythical.
I have met quite a number of people too lazy to work. Unless you count grifting charities with sob stories to be work. Which it sort of is, I don't know why people don't just get real jobs, from the amount of hours they spend trying to scam little old ladies out of their social security.
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edgmatt
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Ricky -

Ban on Trans fats - tax disincentives on cigars, cigarettes, soda etc - public schools - pay cap on CEO'S - car czar - fairness doctrine. The last one...I don't have a problem with society taking care of the its WORST OFF citizens. I think its swollen well past that. When a co-worker of mine complains about her pay because she only works 25 hours a week, and says shes going to get a new job in September, not right now, because she "wants to take the summer off", but collects unemployment , I get a little.....antsy.

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edgmatt
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rightleft, I think your waxing philosophical. I'm pretty sure I agree with all that, or at least it makes sense on the surface, but I'm a bit lost on what your point was in context to this thread?
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The Drake
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quote:
Originally posted by RickyB:

" Don't tell me what to eat, "

Nobody is


Trans-fats banned in NYC, and other banned food.


quote:

"how to spend my money, "

Nobody is

Prostitution is illegal. In many places, you aren't allowed to conduct business on Sunday. You are further influenced in a myriad of ways to buy some things (solar tech) and not others (tobacco).

quote:

"what I can teach my kids,"

Nobody is

Many states have strict laws governing homeschools, stipulating required curricula as well as the number of hours of instruction in each subject. The state of Massachusetts can reject any homeschool application shown to be unequal "in thoroughness and efficiency, and in the progress made therein, that in the public schools in the same town."

quote:

"how much money I'm allowed to earn, "

Nobody is

You are not free to work for less than minimum wage, if you so desire.

quote:

"what kind of car I have to buy, "

Nobody is

Should I even bother? there are so many regulations... I'll just pick one. I'd like to buy a car without seatbelts and heavily tinted windows, please. Request denied.

quote:

"what I am allowed to watch on TV,"

Nobody is, unless you're pining for hardcore porn on other than ppv

Once again, where to start? You're not allowed to watch Schwarzeneggar movies if he's running for office. You're not allowed to watch anything on your analog tv anymore. You're not allowed to see a glimpse of a woman's buttocks on NYPD blue.

quote:

"what I am allowed to listen to on the radio,"

Nobody is

Then why did Howard Stern have to move to Satellite services? Obviously, the FCC picks and chooses what you can broadcast, and therefore listen to. And it is attempting to find a way to regulate Satellite subscriber radio as well.


----

As far as my assertion - IF the natural state of a human being is sentient, then he or she is imbued with the ability to make their own decisions. The opportunity to exercise that ability is what we call freedom, as opposed to slavery at the other end of the spectrum, where everything you do is dictated by someone else.

If you do not believe that freedom is a right, then by extension, you must admit that slavery is not wrong. Now, freedom is not an all-singing all-dancing trump card on all activities human. You don't have the freedom to shoot your friend in the face, unless you are Dick Cheney.

But it must be the default state, and other human beings or collections of human beings must only abridge that right if some other right is threatened. Like the right to life. So, it is well and good that the Government defends you from attackers (foreign or domestic). It is fitting that they stop companies from dumping toxic waste into the kiddie pool.

But as far as most of the items above are concerned? Not needed and not wanted by people who yearn to be free. My request - there are plenty of nations to enslave you. Just leave one for the rest of us to remind you what you're missing.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by The Drake:
But as far as most of the items above are concerned? Not needed and not wanted by people who yearn to be free. My request - there are plenty of nations to enslave you. Just leave one for the rest of us to remind you what you're missing.

So, just to pick one from the list above, you believe the freedom to broadcast signals on whatever frequency you choose should supercede ensuring that wireless technology is at all useful?
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kenmeer livermaile
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"...no one is asking you to support unicorn preserves either, given that they contain beasts that are nearly as mythical."

UNICORN PRESERVES NOW!!!! WRITE YOUR CONGRESSPERSON!!!!

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The Drake
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
So, just to pick one from the list above, you believe the freedom to broadcast signals on whatever frequency you choose should supercede ensuring that wireless technology is at all useful?

Not entirely. Again, when your freedom intersects with another's freedom there may be a role for government.

Yet ICANN does the much more complicated job of keeping domain names matched to IP addresses, and it is an NGO working with millions of service providers running autonomous DNS services.

Since ICANN has no other agenda than to prevent interference between domain owners, then it does not get out of control. It does not regulate content, crusade against spam, or vow to eliminate porn.

[ June 22, 2009, 02:06 PM: Message edited by: The Drake ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"a))"how much money I'm allowed to earn, "

b) Nobody is

c) You are not free to work for less than minimum wage, if you so desire."

Talking points like c) are prime examples of how the Republican party has come to enjoy its current august majority....

"a) Don't tell me what to eat, "

b) Nobody is

c) Trans-fats banned in NYC, and other banned food."

Only in restaurants, which have been sued extensively over trans-fat related health issues. So there is a larger social effect upon us and the 'free' market to consider. That said, I'm sure a boot-strapping conservative like you can buy some ****ty margarine or fake lard and cook your own fries... me, I'll buy lard. Tastes way better and way healthier. And it's the ONLY way to fry chicken.

"Prostitution is illegal. In many places, you aren't allowed to conduct business on Sunday. You are further influenced in a myriad of ways to buy some things (solar tech) and not others (tobacco)."

I totally sympathize with your objection to these silly laws prohibiting consensual commerce. I want legal weed yesterday! That said, I'll note your original language:

"how to spend my money"

Then I'll ask you to distinguish prohibitive from mandatory, and then I'll ask you to state your positions more clearly or, lacking that, at least *read* them for what they say?

And so on...

[ June 22, 2009, 02:12 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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The Drake
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It is misleading to describe me a conservative, ken. I do not self-identify as one, nor do I accept such a restrictive label as a good description of my politics. I am most assuredly not a Republican.

I don't have to come up with all possible examples to refute a foolish series of blanket statements about how "nobody" is trying to tell others how to live their lives and restrict their choices.

For instance, instead of the minimum wage, I could have pointed out how collective bargaining agreements restrict how much someone can earn, or how they will negotiate their salary. Or I could point out how HMO legislation has made it impossible for most employees to take cash in lieu of health insurance.

Mandatory spending is basically called "taxation", and there's plenty of it. When I pay property taxes that pay off a bond used to refurbish an "historical site", that's telling me how to spend my money on some crappy old building that I don't own, live in, or work in.

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rightleft22
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"but I'm a bit lost on what your point was in context to this thread?"

I agree with Jung
“Hence every man is, in a certain sense, unconsciously a worse man when he is in society that when acting alone; for he is carried by society and to that extent relieved of his individual responsibility.”

What if it’s not power, money, sex that corrupts but the “group”.
In almost all wisdom traditions there is a warning against settling in one place. The nomad feels the land while the city dweller loses touch….

The rhetoric of ‘the individual’ and ‘freedom’ as used today is an illusion.

Is it power or the group that corrupts?

Enron, AIG, Nationals Socialist Party come to mind as examples of the group corrupting.

[ June 22, 2009, 04:50 PM: Message edited by: rightleft22 ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"It is misleading to describe me a conservative, ken. I do not self-identify as one, nor do I accept such a restrictive label as a good description of my politics. I am most assuredly not a Republican."

Mea culpa, w/ Vicodin from this morning's dental work as slight excuse.

"I don't have to come up with all possible examples to refute a foolish series of blanket statements about how "nobody" is trying to tell others how to live their lives and restrict their choices."

Well, I don't think anyone here is pretending that we don't live under rule of law. Did someone state such a thing?

The refutations made were, at least most of them, accurate. They were replying on the basis of your rather sloppy rhetoric.

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The Drake
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My rhetoric is never sloppy. [Smile]
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kenmeer livermaile
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...all over my nice clean kitchen floor... [Smile]
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kenmeer livermaile
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ctually, the rhetoric in question is edgmatt's, who is whom I thought I was responding to, but then you inserted yourself in edgmatt's position and, under the lovely fog of opods, I;d assumed i was addressing the wrong person.

Guess I wasn't. That conservative/Republican comment I made was directed at edgmatt and you, for some reason, took it as applying to you.

Edgmatt is the fellow who said things like: "Don't tell me what to eat," et cetera.

Sloppy name badges?

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