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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Mortality rate rises for middle aged, high school educated white men (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Mortality rate rises for middle aged, high school educated white men
Pete at Home
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I'm still not ebtirely convinced that Al Wessex is not one of G#thing's personas. There are uncanny resemblance in both the public postxs and the emails. But then subversion%^Containemt theory might account for those similarities.
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D.W.
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When your audience is like 2 dozen people I can't see orchestrating anything that elaborate.

I mean could you see being bored enough to make up another persona with contradicting views and then painstakingly entering in posts with your phone on that one to avoid signature typos and autocorrects?

Sounds exhausting. [Smile]

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Seriati
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I'm going to be really ticked if you are all just figments of one person's imagination.
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AI Wessex
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How do you know *you're* not just a figment of my imagination? What if I'm not just an evil twin, but one of triplets, quadrupeds, pentangles or hexagons? I try not to be one-sided about things, but who knows about anybody on the internet?
quote:
I'm still not ebtirely convinced that Al Wessex is not one of G#thing's personas. There are uncanny resemblance in both the public postxs and the emails. But then subversion%^Containemt theory might account for those similarities.
Who knows, but at least I can tupe.

[ November 04, 2015, 02:57 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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D.W.
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quote:
Who knows, but at least I can tupe.
That made me smile. [Smile]
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
But even though this produces the same kind of responses trolling can I wouldn't really call it trolling outright.
Why wouldn't you? What do you believe differentiates "Why does it upset you and the others that they are exercising their right to die?" from a straight-up troll attempt, and instead constitutes a "legit" meta-post that just happens to be a "non-discussable" point?
This particular post of his seemed trollish, more so than other ones that you've called trolling but where I could kind of see what he was getting at. I'm just trying to be charitable and Al is right that I haven't been around long enough to have the experience with him that you do.

You, yourself frequently ask people motive-related questions when they post rather than addressing the details of the post itself. Sometimes this is in the form of "why should you care about that?" or other kinds of personal inquiry beginning with "I'm curious..." I think that kind of post is legitimate, so long as the inquiry is not purely sarcastic and will help elaborate on the topic in some way. I see some of Rafi's posts as pointing at ways in which people discuss topics, rather than adding something substantive to the topic itself, and I also think this is a legitimate way to deal with a subject (i.e. to address the form discussion takes).

The reason I think that's different from outright trolling is that I see trolling as bad faith; having no intention to add to the topic or no real interest in it. But contributing to a topic by calling out what one sees as hypocrisy in how topics are dealt with - this is definitely vexing to read and will attract responses just like a troll post would, but the difference is that it's not off topic whereas I think a real troll post is in a sense designed to derail the topic. For all the things he says that I disagree with I think Rafi seems to have a genuine interest in some of these topics. That's just my opinion, anyhow.

If things were worse in the past and this iteration of G# (which makes me laugh when I pronounce it in my head as "gee sharp", since I'm a musician) is the same person, maybe it's better than it was before?

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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
I'm just trying to be charitable and Al is right that I haven't been around long enough to have the experience with him that you do.

Don't sell yourself short, even assuming it is G#, they're still using it as short hand to avoid answering valid criticisms. Doesn't matter who makes a comment if you're evaluating the comments themselves.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Doesn't matter who makes a comment if you're evaluating the comments themselves.
Strictly speaking, this is not true. Content matters, but so does context.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
The relationship between currency and resources is at best a tenuous one; it might be more accurate to suggest that it's correlated to work done, rather than resources, and even then it's only a correlation because currency is an artificial construct no longer based in anything real.
It has never been based in anything more than what it's based in now. Money has always simply been a marker of promise of credit in the future; an IOU for goods or services not hedged against the ability to provide something in return later. Monopolizing the supply of rare materials to print currency on prevented forgery, but didn't change the nature of what actually gave it value.

quote:
. Ownership/employment based economics is simply obsolete, due mostly to technology as others have mentioned, but also due to what is happening to national borders. If 'the market' is now construed as being the whole planet, then one is competing with the lowest common denominator at all times, simultaneously with the highest common denominator. In other words you have to compete against those who can do better than you and also against those who can undercut you for cheap results. This is not a functional model if we are to still believe in the idea of nations (which the CFR suggests we should not) and a nation's own interests have to be protected to ensure its population has access to jobs and therefore to income. When jobs are slowly becoming an insufficient source of income the model must be redone to distribute resources in some other way.
That competition has always been there. Adam Smith pointed out that Scotland could absolutely compete with France in wine production and use subsidies and tariffs to prop the industry up. But the answer now is the same as it was then- it would be absurd to do so, because it would be trying to fight that natural feature of the market- that some areas will have different resources and specialties than others, so unless there is a compelling external reason to protect a given industry (defense, domestic self-sufficiency for critical resources, etc...) Then the right answer is to not fight to do poorly what others are better at, but instead to figure out what they need in exchange for it that you can do more efficiently and provide that in trade instead.

If we can't fight cheap, low quality labor, then we should focus on our better strengths- high quality, technologically enhanced labor; arts, education, and entertainment; research and engineering; etc...

The point of trade isn't trying to beat other countries, but rather to meet them in kind so that we can both walk away better off.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Although this is still a tangent, the question of what to do to rectify the job situation is a tough one. It's not popular to say but I think more protectionism is needed to ensure employment in America.
There's more than enough potential for jobs here without trying to artificially protect ones that are well suited here.

quote:
Absent these trade deals things would already be better, as production could resume in America.
Production hasn't stopped here. Production has steadily increased here. There's nothing to resume, just a need to acknowledge that we need to stop trying to pretend that we need to force people to work in it as a primary economic pillar instead of broadening the filed of baseline jobs that provide a livable income and access to the educational resources that may be needed to make people effective in whatever areas are needed.

quote:
When fully automated factories become a standard thing it may well return to America anyhow, but this won't create jobs so it's moot on that score.
That's not moot, that's a benefit, because it increases the overall value of US labor. It's moot because the factor job is the modern horsewhip maker. Instead of artifically impoverishing everyone so that we can fight to keep the horsewhip market vital, we shoudl instead more to the production of metaphorical cars. Forget clinging to factories and instead invest in more forward looking markets which require more human input and for which overall demand runs much deeper. Health, education, and entertainment are huge areas that we could help ramp up enough demand in to keep many, many more people employed than we ever hope to by wasting them on factory jobs that machines can do better.
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Fenring
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That sounds really nice, except that apparently the jobs America is good at by your definition are McDonalds jobs and high-tech or professional jobs. What if, hypothetically, America wasn't the best at anything? Should we allow 100% of Americans to be unemployed because this is the way the market rolls? The point of trade is absolutely to beat other countries, to establish a sustainable balance of trade, to control the value of one's currency, to have employment in one's own nation that yields acceptable income, and to not be exporting wealth abroad for short-term gains. When income is based on employment the government absolutely has to ensure that the employment opportunities are there and not outsourced.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
This is my favorite line of yours, because it sums up your entire argument style, which is to point at what ever you disagree with and claim it won't work because... well, because nothing...

Amusing, yet I back my claims up, while you you rest on a false assertion that you proclaim as an axiomatic truth without any evidence to support it (and despite the fact that all real world evidence contradicts it)


quote:
But of course, you ignore that racial prejudice was more omnipresent at the blue collar level and longer lasting than at others, both because the more educated groups adopted race neutral policies faster and because there were less educated minorities to compete for higher end jobs. Union jobs were the premium job opportunities for low educated men and they were aggressively, even violently defended.
And? You still haven't made a point here. The racism was completely incidental. This would have been better without it, certainly, but Unions still succeeded despite it. Unless you're bizarrely claiming that it was a factor in their success, it's completely irrelevant here.

quote:
They significantly improved conditions for workers because they came about at a time when the government had been negligent of workers rights but was ready and willing to listen and improve. They caught a cultural moment and made a big change. However, the important change was to the law and how we perceive workers' rights. That's why they've been in decline ever since.
they've been in decline because of an outright war on them by those whose power and political control was threatened by them. And as a result, we've lost most of the baseline benefit they managed to gain, and the middle class that was allowed to exist while they held the line against the kind of exploitation that's destroying it now.

quote:
It's not a fantasy, just because it didn't happen everytime. You understand very little about how companies work if you don't think employee costs have forced closures and outsourcing.
They've been blamed for it, but have only forced it if you count a bully's statement of "stop hitting yourself" as equally honest. Such statements are thrown up because they refuse to let employees be exploited in order to pad executive and shareholder profits at their expense. It's not the cost of employees that cause the problem but the destructive practice of putting profits over product and responsibility to employees that is actively at fault.

The problem isn't that employee compensations is to high, it's that Unions tend to block short term tactics to pump share prices and executive compensation up so that the people at that top can extract the most financial value from in in the shortest amount of time, before jumping ship and letting the employees suffer from the collapse of the business since they don't have the same golden parachutes that the executives do, which exist to encourage this process.


quote:
And like I said on manufacturing jobs the US workers literally priced themselves out of the market, both machines and non-US labor get the same results at lower cost.
Machines are what _make_ the US workers more valuable. They're not something in opposition to them, they're the tools that allow US workers to be more valuable. You're making the mistake here of pretending that we actualyl want to uselessly hold onto manufacturing jobs instead of transcending them and funding employment in a wider variety of higher value fields that can't be automated.


quote:
quote:
No it's not. It's actually cheap for its value, however the global economy is so starved for money that it it's forced to pass up that value in favor of somewhat lower prices for much lower value.
It's only cheap for value in your imagination. I can say with complete confidence that you've never seen any actual company's analysis of the cost of labor or you wouldn't make such a claim.
You said as much above when you pointed to automation adding a huge amount of value. It's note really a point that's in dispute here.

quote:
By whom? Seriously, who do you think it benefits to intentionally starve the consumer class of the ability to consume?
[/qb]
Anyone that makes a short term profit by doing so, since it does't impact their ability to consume. And especially anyone that makes a profit by lending to the consumer class- they actively want that starvation because it opens up the path to selling credit and loans to make up the difference and trapping people into what's effectively permanent indenture. They gain political power, economic control, cheap goods and labor, while everyone else suffers, even them in the end, because they would have gained much more wealth in the long term, even if they would have enjoyed far less overall power, if they hadn't been so busy gaming the short term for immediate profit.

quote:
In my view what's going on here is not intentional, its a classic prisoners dilemma run amok. Every company is better off if it's competitors stay in the US while it goes overseas, they are all worse off if none of them stay. Yet that's where we are, we've exported and consolidated jobs regionally and internationally, leaving no need for labor in the local communities.
There's plenty of need for labor; we're jsut not properly funding it. Infrasturcture everywhere needs labor. Medicine and hospitals need labor. Research needs plenty of labor- all things that are much more valuable than factory work aside from the baseline that we might need for military production if we go to war with other countries that currently make goods for us, which we already have in spades anyway, because our output, aside from a dip caused by the recession has continued to increase. We could easily guarantee ever person a baseline living wage job if we wanted to, but we don't on the excuse of wanting to use unemployment to keep wages low in the false and foolish goal of racing other cheap labor countries to the bottom.


quote:
]No, it actually has to be handcrafted. Machines are already able to produce more durable and better quality products. Personal service can be a dead-end, the "service economy" has focused on no skill low paying jobs for the most part.
They are capable of doing so, but doing so still costs more. And, again, you're blaiming the effect on th cause. Those jobs are low wage and dead end because people can't afford to pay for better (and even that's not quite right, as companies like CostCo prove that it actualyl costs less for better value to pay employees well, but it only does that because it's owner actively fights the attempts of shareholders to gut the company for short term profits.)

quote:
quote:
There are many, many forms of value that people are being forced to eschew because suppressed income being forced to take on debt to compensate force sticker price to be the prime driver.
Which is quite a mouth full and boils down to the same thing I said with a whole bunch of ideological blame thrown in. The middle class needs its income to increase, period.
Absolutely- even more to the point, it needs to get dividend on the overall increase in productivity that technology has brought so that it can continue to support consistent growth.
quote:
Handing out money will decrease its value faster than it increases the income,
And here we're back to you throwing up an ideological lie as an axiomatic truth, despite all evidence that exists contradicting it. Because nothing. There's no truth to that assert, it's just a myth that's been propagated to increase financial and corporate power.

quote:
and unless you change how our consumerist economy works will do nothing but put more money back in the hands of those who already have it.
Aside form the financial industy, which will suddenly lose an easily exploitable makre for credit and loans as the need for them disappears, absolutely. With the difference being that everyone will be wealthier across the board, so those at the top that end up with more money won't be so much wealthier than everyone else that they can control the market anymore, instead the demand from consumers across the board will have the largest voice in helping allocate resources.

It's not a zero sum game despite the implications behind your nonsensical assertion that we need to starve the economy of money to make it healthy. Everyone comes out better off if you actually push in enough money to ensure full employment and a fully expressed demand for goods and services, such that he only controlling factors on price are scarcity of resources and innovation, not scarcity of income.

quote:
Here I thought you might remember the hundreds of pages of argument that we've already had on the topic.
I do, and you're still clinging to and repeating the same false assertion despite all the ways that it's been shown to be nonsensical.

quote:
I can point to the problem, I can point to solutions. I just can't make you agree that we can't solve it by having a magic money fairy handing out free cash.
What magic money fairy? Are we getting to the part where you make up things that I haven't said and then claim that they're what I've claimed? LEt's get head of that- I'm not saying that we should create arbitrary, unlimited amounts of money. I'm saying we should float enough money to maintain full employment and keep consumer debt negligible; at a point where credit is only used for income leveling and loans are only really used as a baseline for risky investment that would consume a disproportionate amount of resources. Private debt/credit obligations are nearly triple private savings (public debt). That ration should, if anything, be reversed.

quote:
Close, the consequence is a lack of income. The problem is a lack of value.
There is no lack of value. We're losing vast amounts of potential wealth and value to to lack of sufficient income to drive its production.

quote:
Very little one human can do, is as valuable to another human, as what it costs the first human to produce. I mean honestly, if you have 3 guys working on your house for a week, you need to pay them - at least - their entire cost of living for 3 man-weeks (including their family, their healthcare, their savings/retirement/education) not to mention extra for the times they're out of work. That's easily a month of income, if you make as much as they do, more if you make less.
And the value they provide you is more than you probably could have created in a year of your own effort (nevermind the return on that investment as measured in the number of years that it lasts after the fact) so you all come out ahead in the end. For the price of one month of your own efforts you get one year of value which they can create in a week. Both sides win out.

They've turned something low value to them (effectively the cost of materials) plus a week of their time into something of high value to you (an improvement to your house that you will benefit from for decades) for something of much higher value to them (a net month worth of pay) than the product the provided to you. It only becomes a false zero sum situation when you leave out the wealth created and transferred in the process.

quote:
When you consider taxes (which some of us already spend 4-5 months a year on) and COL who can afford to do that? No one but the wealthy on a regular basis.
Because we're starving the economy of income. If median income had kept up with productivity and wages were not being suppressed by artificial unemployment and federal underspending, then the average person would absolutely be able to afford it, and being able to afford it would, in turn, enable everyone else to better afford similar transactions, instead of the workers and resources needed being left unused, as they are now, at a net loss to everyone.

quote:
]I agree with you that we're dumping it in through bank loans. But what I think we're seeing is exactly the impact I say will occur, pumping cash into the system for nothing is devaluing money, leading to real wage losses in the middle and lower classes.
The cash isn't being pumped in for nothing. The cash is being pumped in for consumption, and it's propping up consumption so long as it keeps rolling over. The problem isn't the cash, it's the need to pay back the private loans, which is starving the middle class. That need to pay down the loans cuts into spending, which means that less value is created and fewer people are paid.

If it was income and not loans, there would be no problem.

quote:
You're seeing inflation without real wage growth because of excess currency.
If we were seeing inflation, that would be true, but right now we're throwing everything in that we can to stave off deflation ,and it's not working, and we'll go right back into collapse as soon as we stop trying to push as many loans as possible to keep the deflationary collapse that we're still teetering at the edge of from kicking back in. The Fed keeps backing away from raising rates because the US government refuses to spend enough money to let them have any choice but to ride the bottom and hope that enough new borrowers can be found to keep enough money creation happening to prevent collapse (and that those borrowers won't eventually hit a point of universal default again before Federal spending picks up enough to displace loans as the primary source of new money.)

quote:
The solution is not to dump more currency in a different way, it's to get rid of the free money banking system.
The free money system only exists because we're not putting enough Federal money in. If it goes away first, we'll dive head first into a depression. Once we start circulating enough money from federal spending to actually drive growth, the Fed can raise rates and put a better price on loans (and better reward for savings at the same time)
quote:
Actually agreed, except for the part where I'm putting the cart before the horse, or of course for where your interpretation leads you. People with more income will look for higher quality goods, unfortunately, they'll still be getting them from the same system that's providing them now, and the money will end up in the same places its going now.
Indeed- that's the point. The system that we have now will happily provide higher quality goods if people have the money to spend for it, and it will hire exactly as much labor as is needed to do so. And to the degree that money ends up in the same place, that's the entire point, that;s how consumer markets work, the difference will be that everyone ends up with more wealth and more freedom to choose what the market will be motivated to provide for them instead of being at the whim of those willing to provide them enough credit to afford the bare minimum. (The wealth of the people at the top won't change all that much because they already can effectively buy anything they want. They may have a little more money, but as far as meaningful consumption goes, they're already saturated, so more money won't increase their real wealth, while more real wealth for everyone else will mean that they'll have less overall power)

The point isn't for anyone to have less money- the point is to increase income to the point where we create and have access to the most possible wealth across the board. Higher incomes will mean lower debt and more money, sure, but wealth is what matters, money is just a tool that we use to drive its creation and help distribute it.

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Rafi
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quote:
I see some of Rafi's posts as pointing at ways in which people discuss topics, rather than adding something substantive to the topic itself, and I also think this is a legitimate way to deal with a subject (i.e. to address the form discussion takes).
I am interested, I wouldn't post otherwise and when I lose interest I stop posting. I can't imagine doing anything else. The rest of what I read from other posters is largely irrelevant dross.

But the point I was making before the trolling is that we are see people in real pain, without real hope. They are self medicating to the point it's killing them or committing suicide. It seems they're killing themselves slowly or quickly but they're killing themselves at a increasing rate. Isn't this he foundation of the right to die movement? In pain, hopeless, no future beyond the continued pain and suffering. We truly are seeing these people exercise their "right to die" in whatever manner the deem appropriate.

Why is this disturbing or saddening? Based on prior right to die efforts, this should be supported.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
s. What if, hypothetically, America wasn't the best at anything?
If we were a banana republic, that might be a relevant question, but even then, as always, the answer is to work to find our niche. If 300 million people, with the vast array of resources that we have at our disposal can't come up with some kind of value to sell to others that might interest them, then there's no hope for us anyway.

As it stands, we have several things that we can and do easily market- education, entertainment, medicine, research. As long as we make sure the baseline income that anyone receives can support middle class status, so that they can consume and invest enough to keep the economy healthy, then the overall market will sort out how to prioritize what we produce and export. That's what it does best, so long as it's constrained from being abusive.

quote:
Should we allow 100% of Americans to be unemployed because this is the way the market rolls?
No. The only unemployment level we should allow is 0%. Even in the worst case scenario, where there is, for some reason, no interest in private trade, we should be able to fall back on hiring everyone to do something needed, then allow whatever private sector arises hire people away from that as the income from that basic work allows them to make it worthwhile for others to seek seek more income by offering goods or services privately.

quote:
The point of trade is absolutely to beat other countries, to establish a sustainable balance of trade,
Those two goals are at odds with each other. A sustainable balance of trade means that neither country beats the other, but rather that both countries support mutual benefit to the other. Any situation where one side is beating the other is imbalanced and unsustainable. Mutual profit is the only possible beneficial relationship.

quote:
to control the value of one's currency, to have employment in one's own nation that yields acceptable income, and to not be exporting wealth abroad for short-term gains.
Non-renewable wealth, to be sure. But we produce so many forms of infinitely renewable wealth, that that should not be a significant concern.

quote:
When income is based on employment the government absolutely has to ensure that the employment opportunities are there and not outsourced.
That falsely implies that there's a magic limit to opportunities. There are always more opportunities that can be created. The important thing is to make sure that even the most basic of them provides a sustainable amount of income to set the proper baseline for everything else and prevent exploitation.

[ November 04, 2015, 06:13 PM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Rafi:
quote:
I see some of Rafi's posts as pointing at ways in which people discuss topics, rather than adding something substantive to the topic itself, and I also think this is a legitimate way to deal with a subject (i.e. to address the form discussion takes).
I am interested, I wouldn't post otherwise and when I lose interest I stop posting. I can't imagine doing anything else. The rest of what I read from other posters is largely irrelevant dross.

But the point I was making before the trolling is that we are see people in real pain, without real hope. They are self medicating to the point it's killing them or committing suicide. It seems they're killing themselves slowly or quickly but they're killing themselves at a increasing rate. Isn't this he foundation of the right to die movement? In pain, hopeless, no future beyond the continued pain and suffering. We truly are seeing these people exercise their "right to die" in whatever manner the deem appropriate.

Why is this disturbing or saddening? Based on prior right to die efforts, this should be supported.

The trolling part - or, to my mind, the bizarre part - of what you posted in this thread is that you somehow made it about liberals objecting the right of desperate people to die when to a reasonable person, it was about ameliorating the conditions that cause people to be that desperate. The reaction of a reasonable and compassionate person is to help people not to just allow them to die. It is disturbing and saddening that people are in such pain to begin with. We actually don't think that the best way to deal with poor or ill people is to just let them die.

Your posts come across as trolling - at least to me - because I find it unfathomable - actually not believable - that a functioning human wouldn't get that.

[ November 04, 2015, 06:17 PM: Message edited by: kmbboots ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
But the point I was making before the trolling is that we are see people in real pain, without real hope.
No, we are seeing people who don't _percieve_ themselves as having any real hope, because of fixable systematic flaws, not people that are actually in hopeless, incurable situations.

What's more, even if we were to say that we shouldn't try to prevent people from committing suicide based on such a perception, that is no more an argument for stopping looking for a solution to the economic problems causing it than allowing dying cancer or Alzheimer's patients the right to choose how to cope with their impending death means we should stop looking for a cure to those diseases either.

You're projecting an absurd false implication that the right to die movement is, in any way advocating against or discouraging research into curing terminal conditions

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Based on prior right to die efforts, this should be supported.
It should be noted that very few "right to die" supporters believe that society should support the suicides of those who want to die because they are sad or feel unfulfilled.
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Rafi
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quote:
You're projecting an absurd false implication that the right to die movement is, in any way advocating against or discouraging research into curing terminal conditions

I cannot possibly imagine the convoluted path you took to get to that. What I'm saying has literally nothing to do with medical research. [DOH]
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
When your audience is like 2 dozen people I can't see orchestrating anything that elaborate.

I mean could you see being bored enough to make up another persona with contradicting views and then painstakingly entering in posts with your phone on that one to avoid signature typos and autocorrects?

Sounds exhausting. [Smile]

Oh, I've done it here and there, and it can be exhilarating, but keeping it up for months or years would bore me. Plus I drop hints since for me it's hide and seek; I ultimately want to get caught to congradulate the clever one who saw it.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Based on prior right to die efforts, this should be supported.
It should be noted that very few "right to die" supporters believe that society should support the suicides of those who want to die because they are sad or feel unfulfilled.
I for one support a terrorist's right to die when his sadness and unfulfillment leads him to mass or serial killing. I think we should do the terrorist and putative victims a favor by sending him hastily to clear up his misunderstandings with God.
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philnotfil
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quote:
Originally posted by Rafi:
But the point I was making before the trolling is that we are see people in real pain, without real hope. They are self medicating to the point it's killing them or committing suicide. It seems they're killing themselves slowly or quickly but they're killing themselves at a increasing rate.

That is the weird part, what makes them so much more hopeless than the blacks and hispanics in similar circumstances? Why is it white people killing themselves?
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TomDavidson
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Bear in mind that the article discusses a rise in mortality. It's not that poor white men are more likely than poor black men to kill themselves; it's that poor white men have become more likely to kill themselves (and to die in other ways) in middle age than they were twenty years ago, while all other demographics have become less likely to do so.
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Pete at Home
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't's not that poor white men are more likely than poor black men to kill themselves'

Actually they are, and have been for some time.

Back when I was an employer rather than an unemployed, one of my black paralegals opined as follows:

By the time that a typical black man gets himself into a situation where he wants to ki9ll himself, he is more likely than the typical suicidal white man to have other persons who also want to kill him."

If you like I can invite him to the discussion. An extremely intelligent engineer turned paralegal. We are still on goodt erms. He told me once I was the only attorney employer that had never lied to him or blamed him publicly for one of my own mistakes. [Smile]

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Fenring
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One thing about suicides is the issue of support networks and perhaps the feeling of community. Although much is spoken of about white privilege or white advantage or whatever, something else that's true is that, being both a majority and a plural majority at that (meaning non-homogenous), the 'white community' - even this term sounds ridiculous - doesn't have the same kind of support networks for individuals that minority communities would have on a purely social level, other than religion. Perhaps morale among white people is diminishing as white people no longer think of themselves as being part of the same group; many years ago a white person could at least be sort of proud of his heritage, whereas for 10 years at least it's at best a wash and sometimes a guilty thing to think of oneself as white. There is no 'white community center' to go to, no outreach towards the white community. On an economic level it's obvious why not - because it's not necessary. But on an individual level the lack of these things that less fortunate minorities have may well make the difference between feeling all alone and feeling like one is part of a cohesive group that's looking out for you.

Then, of course, there's the economy which is worse than it used to be. Perhaps we could argue that white culture values economic success and having a good job more than some other cultures like black and Hispanic do? That's not to say that they don't have standards of their own for success, but I get the impression that measuring one's worth based on one's job is a white Protestant thing. In a bad economy this would tank morale among people for whom that's true.

Another guess I can offer is that a people who is taught from a young age that one is part of an oppressed class (for example blacks, even Jews) will probably cope with bad things happening better than someone who grew up in an environment with few cares and nothing but hopeful looks towards the future. Even if events such as a bad economy or wartime hit everyone evenly it might be those that had been previously oppressed who would come out unphased compared to those unprepared for it.

We might also look into relative drug use between people of different ethnic background, although this might possibly be a symptom as much as a cause. And by drugs I don't so much mean things like heroine and meth, but more things like prescription drugs where perhaps culturally some groups are more medicated than others.

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kmbboots
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There are German community centers, Irish community centers, Jewish community centers, Catholic community centers, Polish community centers...
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
There are German community centers, Irish community centers, Jewish community centers, Catholic community centers, Polish community centers...

Yes, and how many 2nd and 3rd generation descendents of white German immigrants identify as "Germans"? It's not like it was a century ago when people from some European country thought of themselves as being of that nationality but living in America. With Catholic you're right, which is why I specified that religious community centers are probably the last vestige of 'white community' there is left on a common basis for people who think of themselves as Americans and nothing else.
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AI Wessex
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There is still an active German community in my town that is in its 5th or 6th generation by now. I've seen similar ethnic and social associations elsewhere.
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Rafi
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quote:
Originally posted by philnotfil:
quote:
Originally posted by Rafi:
But the point I was making before the trolling is that we are see people in real pain, without real hope. They are self medicating to the point it's killing them or committing suicide. It seems they're killing themselves slowly or quickly but they're killing themselves at a increasing rate.

That is the weird part, what makes them so much more hopeless than the blacks and hispanics in similar circumstances? Why is it white people killing themselves?
What could remove their hope? They're white. They are the source of all evil in America. There'll be no "white live matter" movement - that's racist. Being in severe pain and berated as the cause of all the bad things occurring tends to wear one down after 20 or 30 years when they were never given the tools to figure out its bull****. After a couple of decades of wearing them down with how terrible they are, they are in deep physical and emotional pain and unable to see a way out.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
They're white. They are the source of all evil in America.
It's only people coming from the actively dishonest position that you're advocating that make that false claim. So, if that's a factor, maybe you should stop spreading that lie.

quote:
There'll be no "white live matter" movement - that's racist.
There doesn't need to be a movement, since that's a point that society already clearly accepts. Movements are for points that need to be made, and things that need to be changed, a movement that simply repeats the status quo is pretty useless except as a tool to prevent needed changes from happening for others.

[ November 05, 2015, 09:16 AM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Then, of course, there's the economy which is worse than it used to be. Perhaps we could argue that white culture values economic success and having a good job more than some other cultures like black and Hispanic do?
Actually you mostly hit it on the first point. The economy has weakened, that means many, many more white people are having to deal with a level of economic hardship that's pretty much already baked into most minority status. The disproportionate affect on white people is a direct result of disproportionate economic control.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Rafi:
quote:
You're projecting an absurd false implication that the right to die movement is, in any way advocating against or discouraging research into curing terminal conditions

I cannot possibly imagine the convoluted path you took to get to that. What I'm saying has literally nothing to do with medical research. [DOH]
Ah, so then you really were just trolling and didn't have a point, since research is the metaphorical equivalent of the conversation here about how to prevent the economic conditions that are driving these deaths.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
There are German community centers, Irish community centers, Jewish community centers, Catholic community centers, Polish community centers...

Yes, and how many 2nd and 3rd generation descendents of white German immigrants identify as "Germans"? It's not like it was a century ago when people from some European country thought of themselves as being of that nationality but living in America. With Catholic you're right, which is why I specified that religious community centers are probably the last vestige of 'white community' there is left on a common basis for people who think of themselves as Americans and nothing else.
Lots. My sister and her husband and kids - 3rd, 4th, and 5th generation - are all active in the local German club. I spend a lot of time at the Irish Heritage Center - quite a busy place - and I am 4th generation. The Copernicus Center (Polish) is huge.
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Fenring
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The question is not whether anyone belongs to such clubs, but whether the majority of white people self-identify based on European (or other) descent. While it seems understood that it is standard for black people to self-identify as black (not African, mind you, but 'black' is itself a cultural affiliation) whether out of necessity or just mores, one of the explicit points of people discussing white privilege is that white people have the luxury of not thinking about their own skin color, which necessarily means they don't self-identify as white. So unless they belong to some specific group such as "Polish" or "German" - and I would suggest that the majority of white people in American do not - or to a religious organization, one is sort of alone in terms of group identity. I'm not saying this is the biggest factor in Greg's numbers (I'm inclined to suppose along with Pyr that the economic factor is significant) but I was just trying to list possible contributing factors.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
. So unless they belong to some specific group such as "Polish" or "German" - and I would suggest that the majority of white people in American do not - or to a religious organization, one is sort of alone in terms of group identity.
Normal/default is a group identity in and of itself. It's not that the group identity doesn't exist, but rather that those that have it tend to be ignorant of it because it's not society doesn't constantly remind them that they've been assigned a non-default identity.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
. So unless they belong to some specific group such as "Polish" or "German" - and I would suggest that the majority of white people in American do not - or to a religious organization, one is sort of alone in terms of group identity.
Normal/default is a group identity in and of itself. It's not that the group identity doesn't exist, but rather that those that have it tend to be ignorant of it because it's not society doesn't constantly remind them that they've been assigned a non-default identity.
If you're ignorant of it then it's not something that's going to make you feel better when you think about it!
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kmbboots
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Fenring, I am not sure what you are saying. Are you saying that the problem is that white men don't have access to clubs and organizations where they they can get together. Because there are a lot of clubs and organizations that white men can join and that are, in fact, mostly populated by white men. Historically, it was all the clubs. Or are you saying that they need clubs that are exclusively for white men based on skin colour rather that any type of ethnic heritage? I think that those exist, too; they even have fun costumes!

[ November 05, 2015, 02:52 PM: Message edited by: kmbboots ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
If you're ignorant of it then it's not something that's going to make you feel better when you think about it!
Having it is what makes you feel better, not thinking about it. Being in the normal/default group means you're getting a constant benefit from it every day, unless you specifically make an effort to detach yourself from it. That's part of why it's easy to remain ignorant of it.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
If you're ignorant of it then it's not something that's going to make you feel better when you think about it!
Having it is what makes you feel better, not thinking about it. Being in the normal/default group means you're getting a constant benefit from it every day, unless you specifically make an effort to detach yourself from it. That's part of why it's easy to remain ignorant of it.
Again you're saying things that make sense to you on paper, but we're talking about people who are suicidal and these people are going to be thinking about what they have in life going for them. This is a conscious deliberate (if skewed) process and if they are unaware of something that affects them it won't help their morale when they consider their options. And that's granting fully that what you say is accurate, which I certainly think it isn't.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Fenring, I am not sure what you are saying. Are you saying that the problem is that white men don't have access to clubs and organizations where they they can get together. Because there are a lot of clubs and organizations that white men can join and that are, in fact, mostly populated by white men. Historically, it was all the clubs. Or are you saying that they need clubs that are exclusively for white men based on skin colour rather that any type of ethnic heritage? I think that those exist, too; they even have fun costumes!

I'm not addressing a problem at all. Why do you consider my outlining a potential contributor to low morale among middle aged whites as being a complaint? I'm not talking about whether physical premises exist where white people can go to be with other white people. Obviously there are, everywhere. I'm talking about the sense of group identity and my suggestion is that white people - absent a religious or foreign-descent cultural pull - probably feel less cultural identity than do than people who self-identity on racial lines. This is a psychological point and not anything to do with available facilities. It is about one's sense of support structure, which is actually entirely a different matter than actual support structures that may exist. For people who feel alone in the world it's always about the sense of being alone, since few people are literally alone. The perception is everything.
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kmbboots
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So what are you suggesting?
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