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State Killing

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2015 at 14:23
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Sister Helen said he expressed some regret, and  Does anyone know whether Tsarnaeyev ever testified?  I think the court system usually works on a duty ethics (deontological), not a utiltarian ethics (greatest happiness, greatest number).


He never testified and he remained "stoic." Jury took it worse than he did. But at least we have a note-

“The US government is killing our innocent civilians,” Tsarnaev wrote. “We Muslims are one body. You hurt one, you hurt us all.”

“Now I don’t like killing innocent people,” he continued. “But due to said [word obscured by bullethole] it is allowed.”

"who doesn't flip off cctv cameras?"
-Remorseful people don't. People who come from a sh*thole in Russia but manage a state paid education, a family home and plenty of money and time to build bombs apparently do flip us all off.

Edited by Vanuatu - 16 May 2015 at 14:26
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2015 at 14:25
Originally posted by wolfhnd wolfhnd wrote:

<span style=": rgb231, 228, 216;">"I think the court system usually works on a duty ethics (deontological), not a utiltarian ethics (greatest happiness, greatest number)."</span>
<span style=": rgb231, 228, 216;">
</span>
<span style=": rgb231, 228, 216;">The question of how laws are formulated is dependent on the world view of their authors.  What is our world view relative to the discussion? </span>


Maybe the world view is increasingly weary of fighting and dying.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2015 at 02:34
It's undeniable that some people, by virtue of the horrendous crimes they commit, surrender the right to live. In many societies around the world though, the death sentence is used to eliminate political opponents or comparatively minor criminals.
 
In China, for example, people convicted (?) of serious fraud have been executed.
 
I continue to oppose the death penalty, generally, as I believe that it is a far worse punishment to know that you're never going to be free-ever!
 
 


Edited by toyomotor - 17 May 2015 at 02:35
I often wonder why I try.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2015 at 03:04
"I continue to oppose the death penalty, generally, as I believe that it is a far worse punishment to know that you're never going to be free-ever!"

I just don't see the point of punishment.  What we need is prevention not revenge.  I reject the idea that being practical leads to moral apathy.  I'm against the death penalty for the practical reason that there is evidences that the courts and juries are unreliable.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2015 at 04:12
I am not sure what you mean by "unreliable."  Does that mean you don't get the results you want?
Crime has gone down, (and I venture to say, paranoia has gone up).  One complaint in urban poverty areas, is the police spend too much time on prevention (harassing the locals) and not enough effort on solving crimes.  Sort of the opposite of what you say.  Of course, we could restrict movement through checkpoints and official papers, and have curfews, that would prevent some crimes.  But, of course, that is silly, but what do you mean by prevention?

Talking about death penalty, I am reminded of Draco of Athens (Draconian Laws).  Someone once asked Draco why he gave the death penalty for so many crimes, he said, 'because I couldn't think of anything worse.'
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2015 at 04:59
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

I am not sure what you mean by "unreliable."  Does that mean you don't get the results you want?
Crime has gone down, (and I venture to say, paranoia has gone up).  One complaint in urban poverty areas, is the police spend too much time on prevention (harassing the locals) and not enough effort on solving crimes.  Sort of the opposite of what you say.  Of course, we could restrict movement through checkpoints and official papers, and have curfews, that would prevent some crimes.  But, of course, that is silly, but what do you mean by prevention?

Talking about death penalty, I am reminded of Draco of Athens (Draconian Laws).  Someone once asked Draco why he gave the death penalty for so many crimes, he said, 'because I couldn't think of anything worse.'

By unreliable I mean too many innocent people are convicted by overzealous prosecutors and corrupt police and too many guilty people are set free by biased juries.  The cases in which guilt is sufficiently demonstrated for me to agree with execution are so few as to be of little practical concern.

I think we can agree that violence has declined and I was going to refer to Steven Pinker but alas the scholarship is wanting.  The question is really what happens if conditions change but that is another topic.  In any case violent crime continues to effect our lives in many ways.  You may call it paranoia but fear degrades our experiences and quality of life.  You can not reduce the impact to statistics on crime directly.

When I think of prevention I don't think of the police as much as reducing poverty both physical and spiritual.  Crime prevention is something that requires community commitment and certainly the police have a role but they can only significantly effect the behavior of existing criminals not future criminals.  I have no doubt that minorities are spiritually impoverishing themselves by not taking responsibility for reporting crime and turning to drugs to escape the pain of poverty.  The question of who is to blame is not really rational but understandable from an emotional perspective.  Considering the disportionate number of minorities in prison solving more crimes in minority communities and putting more in prison seems like a finger in the dike.  

The only reason I support the death penalty is that life imprisonment that involves solitary confinement is cruel and unusual.  There are other reason of course to support execution such as the inequitable distribution of resources that could be more fairly devoted to other lives.  These practical consideration I'm not sure are insurmountable. 

The threat of punishment is perhaps effective in lesser crimes but for those crimes that warrant the death penalty I'm not convinced that the effect is significant.  It's hard for me to believe that life in prison is not almost as frightening.  We approach these problems philosophically but realistically we need to focus on the greatest good while doing what we can to protect individual liberties.       
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2015 at 17:39
Statistically, most poverty in the United States is white and rural.  It is just the spin that is placed on it makes it look like solely an intercity phenomena.  "Finger in the dike"? most people who suffer from crimes in minority communities are minorities.  Do they not deserve justice?

I think when a young man grows up being taught that he should resent everybody, he often grows up resenting everybody, and therefore, all kinds of crimes are justified in his eyes.  He is not "acting like a deliquent" he is "striking back at the Man."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2015 at 18:33
Enter Edward Bernays, the father of propaganda

And there's one more connection here. Wasson was friends with Edward Bernays, the father of propaganda and spin, who was also a friend of Henry Luce and, as it turns out, was a major influence on Goebbels, the man in charge of Nazi propaganda.


The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. ...We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. ...In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons...who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.[30]
~ Edward Bernays


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uG0BpS6AUZ4

Seven Pinker, "The Better Angels of Our Nature" talks to Charlie Rose about positive future of humanity. I doubt some of his evidence since so much of it is prehistoric.
I also disagree that people rarely kill out of a sense of honor. Worth watching only 16 minutes. Others may appreciate some of his points.

And Wolfie, before you throw in with the anti police puppets remember, as previously mentioned, that the poor and ethnic people rely on the police more than any other group. What's going on now with the mass media developing this "reality" will hurt poor people long before it hurts International Banking. Those are the real criminals.   

Edited by Vanuatu - 17 May 2015 at 18:42
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 2015 at 04:30
While I agree the more significant criminals sit in offices the ones I'm personally confronted by sit on apartment steps by day and break into houses at night.  There is very little the police can do about this sort of thing without breaking the law themselves.  The criminals in this case happen to be minorities but spiritual poverty is not just a minority problem nor a direct result of poverty.  Poverty is just one factor in addressing crime but it is the readily visible symptom of social dysfunction and demoralizing for society as a whole.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 2015 at 06:49
One thing I am thinking about doing is a ride-along, talking with an officer, I would, 1) ask them about security issues in general, 2) ask them what kind of a response one could expect for different scenarios.  Also, I'm a philosopher, so I could talk to them on that basis, all day, anyways.


Bankers do work that is very important for the economy, which takes quite a lot of intellectual attention and is god-awful boring.  As re-imbursment they get to make obscene amounts of money.  Philosophers get to think deep thoughts and play with ideas all day, but don't get paid that much.  I, for one, could not tolerate banker's work, and I think that it is better for someone to do it, rather than to have no-one to do it.  But, I do think there is a level of abstractness to a banker's personality and they are hard to sympathize with.  And they make great scapegoats, don't they?  ;)


Edited by franciscosan - 18 May 2015 at 06:50
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 2015 at 09:43
"Bankers do work that is very important for the economy, which takes quite a lot of intellectual attention and is god-awful boring.  As re-imbursment they get to make obscene amounts of money."

Bankers do not get paid for their "intellectual attention" they get paid for great responsibility and trustworthiness.   The most lucrative way to steal is to gain someone's unwavering trust.  Fortunately for both the bankers and the rest of us we have regulators who insure that our trust is not violated.  The problem we face is evident in the recent housing loan crisis in that we cannot trust either the bankers nor the regulators.  

Part of the social contract is that if you accept great responsibility you cannot claim you are a scapegoat for someone else's failings.   In the case of the banking industry it is not clear where responsibility begins or ends.  Is the stockmarket part of the banking industry?  With derivatives exceeding the resources of all the national banks and falling outside those banks control the situation is dramatically different than it was in the past.  What is clear is that whether you considered the "too big to fail" institutions to have been criminal negligent or not they have exceeded their intellectual competency repeatedly to the detriment of society.  As a philosopher you must surely recognize that the greatest crime someone employed in an intellectual profession can commit is to claim knowledge you don't possess.  In the case under discussion our randroid ex federal reserve chairman is an excellent case in point.  Crying in front of congress he admits that everything he believed in was wrong and personally I found the display disgusting and his intellectual credentials suspect. 

The great intellectual revolution that science ushered in was not the result of better logic but the humility to question everything especially yourself and to rely on evidence not intellectual academicism.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 2015 at 13:52
Originally posted by wolfhnd wolfhnd wrote:

While I agree the more significant criminals sit in offices the ones I'm personally confronted by sit on apartment steps by day and break into houses at night.  There is very little the police can do about this sort of thing without breaking the law themselves.  The criminals in this case happen to be minorities but spiritual poverty is not just a minority problem nor a direct result of poverty.  Poverty is just one factor in addressing crime but it is the readily visible symptom of social dysfunction and demoralizing for society as a whole.


I've had the same experience years ago, being afraid of the people right outside the door, for good reason. You get a heaviness in the atmosphere where there are lots of people living close together who are stressed, broke and spiritually poor.

I do make the connection between the Bernie Maydoffs of the world. Harry Markopolis went to the Securities and Exchange Commission for a solid decade with stacks of evidence against him and no one would act against Maydoff. Most(documented)people on the Commission were well aware of his activities. Without getting so far off topic, just thinking that the crumbs from Maydoff's table would have lifted up entire neighborhoods.
The root of all desires is the one desire: to come home, to be at peace. -Jean Klein
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 2015 at 14:11
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Statistically, most poverty in the United States is white and rural.  It is just the spin that is placed on it makes it look like solely an intercity phenomena.  "Finger in the dike"? most people who suffer from crimes in minority communities are minorities.  Do they not deserve justice?

I think when a young man grows up being taught that he should resent everybody, he often grows up resenting everybody, and therefore, all kinds of crimes are justified in his eyes.  He is not "acting like a deliquent" he is "striking back at the Man."



Were talking level of mind here. Then once you are in trouble with the law, fines and lawyers add to the pressure. Next there's a warrant for not paying those fines. No driver's license renewal so you couldn't get to work even if you had a job. Yes there are busses but in poor communities there are limits to operating hours.

Then if you are father, child support starts to add up. The worst part is that everyone around you lacks the coping skills and critical thinking needed to get yourself out of legal trouble. Snowball effect, next it's armed robbery or selling dope. Very easy to see how this all leads to life in prison.

For the very unfortunate with mental illness that inevitably comes with a lifetime of crime and drug use you might just commit a capital crime.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 2015 at 14:16
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:






It's undeniable that some people, by virtue of the horrendous crimes they commit, surrender the right to live. In many societies around the world though, the death sentence is used to eliminate political opponents or comparatively minor criminals.
 
In China, for example, people convicted (?) of serious fraud have been executed.
 
I continue to oppose the death penalty, generally, as I believe that it is a far worse punishment to know that you're never going to be free-ever!
 
 



Do you see capital punishment in the United States as having any effect on the death penalty around the world?

Or does the U.S. influence places like Indonesia who now may impose the death penalty for drug trafficking?
The root of all desires is the one desire: to come home, to be at peace. -Jean Klein
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 May 2015 at 11:08
Originally posted by Vanuatu Vanuatu wrote:

Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Statistically, most poverty in the United States is white and rural.  It is just the spin that is placed on it makes it look like solely an intercity phenomena.  "Finger in the dike"? most people who suffer from crimes in minority communities are minorities.  Do they not deserve justice?

I think when a young man grows up being taught that he should resent everybody, he often grows up resenting everybody, and therefore, all kinds of crimes are justified in his eyes.  He is not "acting like a deliquent" he is "striking back at the Man."



Were talking level of mind here. Then once you are in trouble with the law, fines and lawyers add to the pressure. Next there's a warrant for not paying those fines. No driver's license renewal so you couldn't get to work even if you had a job. Yes there are busses but in poor communities there are limits to operating hours.

Then if you are father, child support starts to add up. The worst part is that everyone around you lacks the coping skills and critical thinking needed to get yourself out of legal trouble. Snowball effect, next it's armed robbery or selling dope. Very easy to see how this all leads to life in prison.

For the very unfortunate with mental illness that inevitably comes with a lifetime of crime and drug use you might just commit a capital crime.

I once was complaining about the crime in my neighborhood and used the term "those people" which angered a liberal friend of mine to no end.  Unless you have experience the hopelessness of "those people" first hand I think it is hard to grasp the frustration that dealing with them leads to.  I'm not sure that spiritual poverty is even curable because as you point out it is akin to mental illness. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2015 at 14:45
Originally posted by wolfhnd wolfhnd wrote:

I once was complaining about the crime in my neighborhood and used the term "those people" which angered a liberal friend of mine to no end. Unless you have experience the hopelessness of "those people" first hand I think it is hard to grasp the frustration that dealing with them leads to. I'm not sure that spiritual poverty is even curable because as you point out it is akin to mental illness.


Its very difficult to know how to approach openly angry people. Do you engage them to try to help? Do you avoid them for your own self preservation? Do you try to be friendly? That can be like blood in the water at the shark tank. Maybe its about expectations and knowing when to cross the street.
The root of all desires is the one desire: to come home, to be at peace. -Jean Klein
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2015 at 16:26
I was a police officer for over thirty years, and during that time was confronted by angry people fairly often. I didn't have the luxury of crossing the street.
 
In some cases, the people could be calmed down, in others they couldn't.
 
But living and working in a peaceful little island like Tasmania (getting back on topic) where there is no death penalty, very little serious crime like murder and rape, we could only wonder at the problems faced by our American colleagues.
 
Having said that, our approach to people, suspects included, is very different to American police, mainly due to the fact that only one police officer has been shot while on duty in the past 100 years-and he survived, and the public have respect for the police, that is most of the time.
 
Our police don't go to work expecting to face armed confrontation, which is made all the more unlikely due to out strict gun laws. So, while I've been somewhat critical of American police when bashings and continued death of African Americans have resulted in no prosecution, I also understand why some police feel beseiged.
 
 
I often wonder why I try.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2015 at 17:14
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:





I was a police officer for over thirty years, and during that time was confronted by angry people fairly often. I didn't have the luxury of crossing the street.
 
In some cases, the people could be calmed down, in others they couldn't.
 
But living and working in a peaceful little island like Tasmania (getting back on topic) where there is no death penalty, very little serious crime like murder and rape, we could only wonder at the problems faced by our American colleagues.
 
Having said that, our approach to people, suspects included, is very different to American police, mainly due to the fact that only one police officer has been shot while on duty in the past 100 years-and he survived, and the public have respect for the police, that is most of the time.
 
Our police don't go to work expecting to face armed confrontation, which is made all the more unlikely due to out strict gun laws. So, while I've been somewhat critical of American police when bashings and continued death of African Americans have resulted in no prosecution, I also understand why some police feel beseiged.
 
 


I appreciate the outrage at the deaths of civilians during police actions. I'm glad you made it out alive.

I have worked in a system designed to help people and was often the target of misplaced rage. I did need a protective escort a number of times and I did indeed fear for my life on more than one occasion.

I had my personal property vandalized, I was threatened and assaulted. All while trying to help people keep their children from being placed in state care.

I can't imagine what its like for police with lethal force available to them. I have witnessed remarkable restraint and compassion from police officers. Maybe that makes me biased. But we are what we experience, at least that's my view.
The root of all desires is the one desire: to come home, to be at peace. -Jean Klein
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2015 at 03:04
Originally posted by Vanuatu Vanuatu wrote:

Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:





I was a police officer for over thirty years, and during that time was confronted by angry people fairly often. I didn't have the luxury of crossing the street.
 
In some cases, the people could be calmed down, in others they couldn't.
 
But living and working in a peaceful little island like Tasmania (getting back on topic) where there is no death penalty, very little serious crime like murder and rape, we could only wonder at the problems faced by our American colleagues.
 
Having said that, our approach to people, suspects included, is very different to American police, mainly due to the fact that only one police officer has been shot while on duty in the past 100 years-and he survived, and the public have respect for the police, that is most of the time.
 
Our police don't go to work expecting to face armed confrontation, which is made all the more unlikely due to out strict gun laws. So, while I've been somewhat critical of American police when bashings and continued death of African Americans have resulted in no prosecution, I also understand why some police feel beseiged.
 
 


I appreciate the outrage at the deaths of civilians during police actions. I'm glad you made it out alive.

I have worked in a system designed to help people and was often the target of misplaced rage. I did need a protective escort a number of times and I did indeed fear for my life on more than one occasion.

I had my personal property vandalized, I was threatened and assaulted. All while trying to help people keep their children from being placed in state care.

I can't imagine what its like for police with lethal force available to them. I have witnessed remarkable restraint and compassion from police officers. Maybe that makes me biased. But we are what we experience, at least that's my view.
 
Could not agree more.  Smile
I often wonder why I try.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2015 at 09:42
My main complaint with police is that they are over confident.  When they say they have your back what it really means is they will do their best to accomplish the impossible.  My guess is that having an abundance of confidence is a required trait to be a police person.

The police are there to keep things from getting out of control.  It's up to the rest of us to prevent crime and on that score I'm definitely not winning.  Diminishing poverty and providing opportunity is just a finger in the dike in terms of preventing street crime.  As for white collar crime I can't even bring myself to participate with the losers behind occupy wall street. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2015 at 21:40
Sorry to discourage you, but there will always be poverty.
But there need not always be poverty for you, you, whomever you are, can do something about it.
LBJ launched the "war against poverty."
and guess what, poverty won, 
or at least proved extremely recalcitrant from 
retreating beyond a certain point.
But, you don't hear that because the media won't address it 
(the war on poverty) directly.  We haven't "won," we haven't "lost."  
It (LBJs program) just kind of does what?
Do you feel we have no poverty left?
Also, the goals of such a "war" have changed since the war was launched, 
so of course we have what we intended! 
(we just didn't advertise this goal from the start)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2015 at 01:59
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Sorry to discourage you, but there will always be poverty.
But there need not always be poverty for you, you, whomever you are, can do something about it.
LBJ launched the "war against poverty."
and guess what, poverty won, 
or at least proved extremely recalcitrant from 
retreating beyond a certain point.
But, you don't hear that because the media won't address it 
(the war on poverty) directly.  We haven't "won," we haven't "lost."  
It (LBJs program) just kind of does what?
Do you feel we have no poverty left?
Also, the goals of such a "war" have changed since the war was launched, 
so of course we have what we intended! 
(we just didn't advertise this goal from the start)

The war on poverty has been won, but only in those states subscribing to a reasonably honest social democracy. Western Europe, for the most part, Australia, a few others. Wealth has increased in the world in lockstep with technological improvements, scientific research, and accumulating infrastructure in recent years, and so wealth, in large parts of the world, is not a problem. The only problem is in political norms and entrenched social attitudes that tend to urge the populace towards defensiveness and selfishness. 

Poverty is significant in America, because it is there that the voracious demands of the well healed and elite are most felt. The "market place" must reign, they say, meaning: we want to keep and/or increase our wealth, at the expense of the peons below us, and the fiction of a global market place is one that seems to work, so, let's use it to the max!

There is no such market. At least not the one so described and held dear as the extreme right. Even in the US, more than half the "market", the economy, is under government control. This is more so in most other major  jurisdictions. 

Poverty today is in fact easy, much more so than say, one or two hundred years ago. Then, it was a problem. Today, we could just give everyone what they needed....but of course the devil would be in the details, ones distorted by myriad sociological problems, in this part of the world at least.

The distribution wealth is one of the major social questions facing us today in the early 21st century. I think it is an issue of education, not economics.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2015 at 04:48
Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Sorry to discourage you, but there will always be poverty.
But there need not always be poverty for you, you, whomever you are, can do something about it.
LBJ launched the "war against poverty."
and guess what, poverty won, 
or at least proved extremely recalcitrant from 
retreating beyond a certain point.
But, you don't hear that because the media won't address it 
(the war on poverty) directly.  We haven't "won," we haven't "lost."  
It (LBJs program) just kind of does what?
Do you feel we have no poverty left?
Also, the goals of such a "war" have changed since the war was launched, 
so of course we have what we intended! 
(we just didn't advertise this goal from the start)

The war on poverty has been won, but only in those states subscribing to a reasonably honest social democracy. Western Europe, for the most part, Australia, a few others. Wealth has increased in the world in lockstep with technological improvements, scientific research, and accumulating infrastructure in recent years, and so wealth, in large parts of the world, is not a problem. The only problem is in political norms and entrenched social attitudes that tend to urge the populace towards defensiveness and selfishness. 

Poverty is significant in America, because it is there that the voracious demands of the well healed and elite are most felt. The "market place" must reign, they say, meaning: we want to keep and/or increase our wealth, at the expense of the peons below us, and the fiction of a global market place is one that seems to work, so, let's use it to the max!

There is no such market. At least not the one so described and held dear as the extreme right. Even in the US, more than half the "market", the economy, is under government control. This is more so in most other major  jurisdictions. 

Poverty today is in fact easy, much more so than say, one or two hundred years ago. Then, it was a problem. Today, we could just give everyone what they needed....but of course the devil would be in the details, ones distorted by myriad sociological problems, in this part of the world at least.

The distribution wealth is one of the major social questions facing us today in the early 21st century. I think it is an issue of education, not economics.


I do love you, CV, but... wow. You may interpret that however you like.

-Akolouthos
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2015 at 06:23
Yes, a lot has been done with technological advancements, but at the same time, community has suffered.  I would say that, "the only problem is in political norms and entrenched social attitudes that tend to urge the populace" to _learned_helplessness_ and _dependency_.  We tell everybody to go to college, but at the same time don't know how to "teach a man to fish."

When I say "the war on poverty" I am saying in general but also more specifically LBJ's program.

A lot of technology and medicines get developed in the US, they get manufactured in China, but they often originate from the US, or so I am told.  

How much does it cost to hire someone?  Not as much in the US as it does in France, but what is France's unemployment rate these days?  For some reason, 20% sticks in my mind.  It's a socialist paradise
as long as one has a job, and if your trapped in the highrises of the suburbs, where the muslim minorities are, well then it is worse.  Government can heap on all these requirements for businesses to do, and businesses will cut back on employees, or not hire new ones.  The US economy has been anemic since 2007, IMO the reason is Obama whipping up the mob into a frenzy.  Businesses don't know what to think of his rhetoric.  He worries them, but that doesn't solve anything or make them work more.  Instead, they batten down the hatches, and get ready to ride the storm out.

But I agree, there is no such market, or rather it is a half-assed attempt, with a lot of crony-capitalism.  What would happen if we actually tried to have Laissez Faire?  We tried to do communism, and you can see how that worked (100s of millions of their own people dead), I've always thought of socialism as communism lite.  But right now the problem is that power is too centralized, giving big business the incentive to go to Washington and get laws past in their favor.  
There are deep problems with capitalism, but there are huge problems with making big government the leveler of society.  Government has a monopoly on the legitimate use of force, for whatever its society.
Businesses cannot take money, without government consent or assistance, businesses can't even make money, just 'shovel' it from one pile to another (yours to theirs, and visa versa), where government can print away.  Government can take everything you have, can imprison you, and back to the topic, _government_can_kill_you_.  If not through injection, then through shooting you dead for 'trying' to escape.  So if you want to give government more power, I suggest that you think long and hard about, because that is what you are talking about with redistribution, the power to tax is the power to destroy, and I guarantee that it is nobody rich or powerful that goes through imminent domain.

btw, Kansas made death penalty illegal and it is by enough votes that it can override the governor's veto.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2015 at 08:07
Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

 

The war on poverty has been won, but only in those states subscribing to a reasonably honest social democracy. Western Europe, for the most part, Australia, a few others. Wealth has increased in the world in lockstep with technological improvements, scientific research, and accumulating infrastructure in recent years, and so wealth, in large parts of the world, is not a problem. The only problem is in political norms and entrenched social attitudes that tend to urge the populace towards defensiveness and selfishness. 

Poverty is significant in America, because it is there that the voracious demands of the well healed and elite are most felt. The "market place" must reign, they say, meaning: we want to keep and/or increase our wealth, at the expense of the peons below us, and the fiction of a global market place is one that seems to work, so, let's use it to the max!

There is no such market. At least not the one so described and held dear as the extreme right. Even in the US, more than half the "market", the economy, is under government control. This is more so in most other major  jurisdictions. 

Poverty today is in fact easy, much more so than say, one or two hundred years ago. Then, it was a problem. Today, we could just give everyone what they needed....but of course the devil would be in the details, ones distorted by myriad sociological problems, in this part of the world at least.

The distribution wealth is one of the major social questions facing us today in the early 21st century. I think it is an issue of education, not economics.

Wow that is a lot to digest.  Unfortunately there are a few distortions that are common in these discussions involving the way poverty is measured.  Fortunately you gave us something to compare.

In 2010 12.5% of Austrailians lived in households below the most austere poverty line widely used in international research. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_in_Australia

In 2011 extreme poverty in the United States, meaning households living on less than $2 per day before government benefits, was double 1996 levels at 1.5 million households, including 2.8 million children.[13] This would be roughly 1.2% of the U.S. population in 2011

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_in_the_United_States

The most common way poverty is measured is relative poverty and this creates a distortion in the poverty index for the US.  Using this measure 16% of the population lived in poverty.  Under this approach the poverty level for 2014 was set at $23,850 (total yearly income) for a family of four.  This means 64% of the worlds nations have a per capita income less than the US poverty level. 

Is poverty in the US a problem?  I think it is but manipulating the statistic to show that it is more of a problem in the US than the rest of the world doesn't do anything toward solving it.  This anti US attitude is prevalent in many areas of statistical comparison.  One of the more glaring cases would be infant mortality.  I won't go into here but you can research for yourself and see how many countries manipulate the way statistic are gathered to improve their ranking in terms of infant mortality. 

 If you want to compare the US to any other country Russia is the best choice.  The problems associate with size,  total population, and social diversity simply are not faced by other nations of European descent.   Russia and US have also born the blunt of massive defense spending for decades with have funneled away resources from domestic issues.   Moscow-based Financial University says 54% of Russians can't buy more than basic necessities.   Comparing the legacy of communism to capitalism it is clear that if you measure standard of living by material well being Russian communism compares poorly to the US capitalism.

I would say that in reality neither communism nor capitalism have ever actually existed so any real comparison of national policy must be confined to how well socialism has done in providing the needs of society.  Despite the propaganda the US is a socialist society and the real question should be one of policy not ideological rhetoric. 


Edited by wolfhnd - 22 May 2015 at 08:09
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2015 at 10:04
But my point about poverty from which I got side tracked, is that the whole world may be going to hell in an handbasket around you, but you don't have to go with it.  There is a way out of every trap, maybe not one that one wants to take, but that is for the intellect and the imagination to discover.  There is no such thing as historical inevitability.  You are free, but the question is of how to use your freedom in a significant and meaningful manner.  And you are not alone, you have friends to lean on and carry you when you need to be carried.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2015 at 22:59
Originally posted by Akolouthos Akolouthos wrote:

Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Sorry to discourage you, but there will always be poverty.
But there need not always be poverty for you, you, whomever you are, can do something about it.
LBJ launched the "war against poverty."
and guess what, poverty won, 
or at least proved extremely recalcitrant from 
retreating beyond a certain point.
But, you don't hear that because the media won't address it 
(the war on poverty) directly.  We haven't "won," we haven't "lost."  
It (LBJs program) just kind of does what?
Do you feel we have no poverty left?
Also, the goals of such a "war" have changed since the war was launched, 
so of course we have what we intended! 
(we just didn't advertise this goal from the start)

The war on poverty has been won, but only in those states subscribing to a reasonably honest social democracy. Western Europe, for the most part, Australia, a few others. Wealth has increased in the world in lockstep with technological improvements, scientific research, and accumulating infrastructure in recent years, and so wealth, in large parts of the world, is not a problem. The only problem is in political norms and entrenched social attitudes that tend to urge the populace towards defensiveness and selfishness. 

Poverty is significant in America, because it is there that the voracious demands of the well healed and elite are most felt. The "market place" must reign, they say, meaning: we want to keep and/or increase our wealth, at the expense of the peons below us, and the fiction of a global market place is one that seems to work, so, let's use it to the max!

There is no such market. At least not the one so described and held dear as the extreme right. Even in the US, more than half the "market", the economy, is under government control. This is more so in most other major  jurisdictions. 

Poverty today is in fact easy, much more so than say, one or two hundred years ago. Then, it was a problem. Today, we could just give everyone what they needed....but of course the devil would be in the details, ones distorted by myriad sociological problems, in this part of the world at least.

The distribution wealth is one of the major social questions facing us today in the early 21st century. I think it is an issue of education, not economics.


I do love you, CV, but... wow. You may interpret that however you like.

-Akolouthos

Ok,ok. Just let me wipe this foam from my mouth......ah, there we are. Hmmm, this towels ready for the laundry.

Let's continue-
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2015 at 00:14
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Yes, a lot has been done with technological advancements, but at the same time, community has suffered.  I would say that, "the only problem is in political norms and entrenched social attitudes that tend to urge the populace" to _learned_helplessness_ and _dependency_.  We tell everybody to go to college, but at the same time don't know how to "teach a man to fish."

When I say "the war on poverty" I am saying in general but also more specifically LBJ's program.

A lot of technology and medicines get developed in the US, they get manufactured in China, but they often originate from the US, or so I am told.  

How much does it cost to hire someone?  Not as much in the US as it does in France, but what is France's unemployment rate these days?  For some reason, 20% sticks in my mind.  It's a socialist paradise
as long as one has a job, and if your trapped in the highrises of the suburbs, where the muslim minorities are, well then it is worse.  Government can heap on all these requirements for businesses to do, and businesses will cut back on employees, or not hire new ones.

The rate is more like 10% in France, and less in other social democracies in Europe. Whatever the number, there are at least a couple of different ways of looking at the issue of employment/wages.

In today's ultra-efficient economies, full employment is unlikely. The question then becomes, who gets what, and what are the philosophical and economic rationales for said distributions. 

Some jurisdictions have leaned towards the so-called market solution, which is to let business do whatever makes a quick buck, and the chips can fall where they may. This tends to leave many grasping for ever more peripheral activities, in an effort to do something to survive. More workers flooding into the work force, and often ending up in marginal businesses, naturally has a downward effect on wages. We end up- generally- with a lower unemployment rate, lower wages, and societies resources skewing in various directions, often not those with much in the way of socially redeeming features.

Another way to look at it is to place a higher value on quality work, and support those out of the workforce, rather than urge them on to yet another 7-11 on call job, or another door to door sales expedition. More productive work, and less people in the workforce means less downward pressure on wages, more tax revenue, more job certainty for workers, less turnover and retraining costs, and less likelihood of social dislocation and dysfunction, with their attendant costs. 

Even with the more market oriented approach of the US, the unemployment rate is still north of 7%, and underemployment is more of an issue there than in places like France. The labour force participation rate is declining in western countries as the hyper efficiency of the digital age, and outsourced labour takes its effect. Which means those unemployment numbers are not likely to go down any time soon. 

Ultimately, despite all the self-serving hype about market places, it comes down to a political decision: what type of society do we want to live in? The business community cannot answer this. We must.

Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

 The US economy has been anemic since 2007, IMO the reason is Obama whipping up the mob into a frenzy.  Businesses don't know what to think of his rhetoric.  He worries them, but that doesn't solve anything or make them work more.  Instead, they batten down the hatches, and get ready to ride the storm out.

Business is sitting on a lot of money, it's true, but this has nothing to do with aggressive black politicians, or getting whipped. They're not spending on new plant or production because demand is low, and it is low because workers have less income. The setup of the world economy today favours capital over labour, and the few over the many. Hence corporations do not want to put out a lot of product, if it is only for the few well healed. Better to speculate in the stock or bond markets, invest in the developing world, or, just sit on it and wait for the supposed better times. And that's exactly what we are seeing today, with one bubble after another in real estate, stocks, and other assets.


Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

But I agree, there is no such market, or rather it is a half-assed attempt, with a lot of crony-capitalism.  What would happen if we actually tried to have Laissez Faire?  We tried to do communism, and you can see how that worked (100s of millions of their own people dead), I've always thought of socialism as communism lite.  But right now the problem is that power is too centralized, giving big business the incentive to go to Washington and get laws past in their favor.

If you are not going to give power to "government", then who are you going to give it to? Bill Gates? The Walton family? Dick Cheney? Because if you take power from the citizen at large, you can be sure there will be those who will work strenuously to retrieve it, and use it for their own purpose. When we have states of tens or hundreds of millions, then those citizens must  organize and have representatives to administer things, despite what Rand Paul and his looney-tune notions might say. What's the best way to do that? Coming around in a circle now, are we not?

Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

 There are deep problems with capitalism, but there are huge problems with making big government the leveler of society.  Government has a monopoly on the legitimate use of force, for whatever its society.
Businesses cannot take money, without government consent or assistance, businesses can't even make money, just 'shovel' it from one pile to another (yours to theirs, and visa versa), where government can print away.  Government can take everything you have, can imprison you, and back to the topic, _government_can_kill_you_.  If not through injection, then through shooting you dead for 'trying' to escape.  So if you want to give government more power, I suggest that you think long and hard about, because that is what you are talking about with redistribution, the power to tax is the power to destroy, and I guarantee that it is nobody rich or powerful that goes through imminent domain.

btw, Kansas made death penalty illegal and it is by enough votes that it can override the governor's veto.


Redistribution happens all the time. Every time someone walks into a Wal Mart, and spends a dollar, it is redistributed in a certain way- towards the Walton family, to sweatshops in China, to minimum wage employees in the US, etc., and away from other possible uses. 

Money is privately created all the time. When a loan is granted by a bank, it creates money out of thin air. It most definitely does not send an employee down to the vault, to see if there are enough dollars to cover Mr Smith's prospective mortgage. It is a paper transaction, although of course one done under certain strict parameters- those laid down by government aka. the people.

Government does not take money, but merely redistributes it. Your tax dollar becomes, say, a bit of a hospital or school. 

So if all these resources are in continual movement and flux, would you rather have at least a modest say in things (ie a vote), or rather leave things to the Waltons?


Edited by Captain Vancouver - 23 May 2015 at 00:17
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2015 at 03:42
Actually, I think that religion moderates both politics and economics.  It is a soft power, which in a state that believes in separation of Church and state (which is not the same as religion and politics), is not mandatory for anyone.  It is kind of like a rock, scissors, paper, [lizard, Spock?], I haven't totally thought it out, but one beats the other, beats the other, beats the one.  Where would Martin Luther King be without the pulpit of religion, taking on both state and business?  The reason why the Muslim world is so full of religious feeling right now is for quite some time the only place free from the secret police was the mosque.  It has been because of the oppressive environment of regimes that has pushed many to extremes.  Some say the muslim world is going through its own reformation.  It will be bumpy, but in the long run things will work out, and it will be better.  Of course, not everybody 'likes' religion and we would hate to impose on their feelings.  I wish the Bible would be taught in school _as_literature_, some say that is the real purpose of fundamentalists bringing up creation, a backdoor to get the Bible in.  I would also love to hear the Bhagavadgita or Rumi, or the Higher Criticism.  
On the other hand, in a brave new world (lower case), where science is everything, religion need not be regarded.  Instead of community built on strong ties of tradition and feeling, this brave new world will rely on force to bind people together.  Another name for that is fascism, or national socialism, which is the cousin of international socialism.  Of course, what we have is diluted from what existed in WWII, we have a kinder and gentler fascism.  But I wouldn't worry about the average person complaining about the encroachment of the state, propaganda is quite sophisticated these days.
I like what GK Chesterton said, he said he was a democrat and he believed in tradition which meant that the (the vote of the) dead (through tradition) should be considered as well.

I don't trust government very much, and the twentieth century has not been the best for government behavior.  Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Stasi, Franco, etc.  I'm just talking about leaders killing off their own people.  It probably started with the French Revolution.  Why exactly do you trust government?  I mean, I trust the government, in a sense, in the sense that it can mean well and do bad, especially when it is far away, indifferent about the efficacy of what is doing, and has a lot of other people's money to through around.  I trust people to spend their own money fairly wisely on themselves, spending other people's money on still other people is not conducive to thriftiness.  Yes, capitalism compliments the selfishness of the age, but I don't see big government as an answer. 
So I am wrong about France? okay, I don't always remember numbers correctly, how about PIGS, I mean of course Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Spain?  Also, I am not sure if Iceland has recovered.  The Euro is hemorrhaging, and it is worrying the rest of the Euro zone.

BTW Obama is black and a politician, I don't know if I would consider him "a black politician," he operates on a much larger stage that "just" black politics.  He is President, not the "black" President.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2015 at 07:10
Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

Originally posted by Akolouthos Akolouthos wrote:

Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Sorry to discourage you, but there will always be poverty.
But there need not always be poverty for you, you, whomever you are, can do something about it.
LBJ launched the "war against poverty."
and guess what, poverty won, 
or at least proved extremely recalcitrant from 
retreating beyond a certain point.
But, you don't hear that because the media won't address it 
(the war on poverty) directly.  We haven't "won," we haven't "lost."  
It (LBJs program) just kind of does what?
Do you feel we have no poverty left?
Also, the goals of such a "war" have changed since the war was launched, 
so of course we have what we intended! 
(we just didn't advertise this goal from the start)

The war on poverty has been won, but only in those states subscribing to a reasonably honest social democracy. Western Europe, for the most part, Australia, a few others. Wealth has increased in the world in lockstep with technological improvements, scientific research, and accumulating infrastructure in recent years, and so wealth, in large parts of the world, is not a problem. The only problem is in political norms and entrenched social attitudes that tend to urge the populace towards defensiveness and selfishness. 

Poverty is significant in America, because it is there that the voracious demands of the well healed and elite are most felt. The "market place" must reign, they say, meaning: we want to keep and/or increase our wealth, at the expense of the peons below us, and the fiction of a global market place is one that seems to work, so, let's use it to the max!

There is no such market. At least not the one so described and held dear as the extreme right. Even in the US, more than half the "market", the economy, is under government control. This is more so in most other major  jurisdictions. 

Poverty today is in fact easy, much more so than say, one or two hundred years ago. Then, it was a problem. Today, we could just give everyone what they needed....but of course the devil would be in the details, ones distorted by myriad sociological problems, in this part of the world at least.

The distribution wealth is one of the major social questions facing us today in the early 21st century. I think it is an issue of education, not economics.


I do love you, CV, but... wow. You may interpret that however you like.

-Akolouthos

Ok,ok. Just let me wipe this foam from my mouth......ah, there we are. Hmmm, this towels ready for the laundry.

Let's continue-


If you were drunk when you posted it, that explains it. Wink

My problem, and the point at which I stopped paying serious attention to your post, was your first sentence.

As someone who deals with poverty on a daily basis, and who communicates with people around the world who deal with it, I think that your declaration of victory has the ironic distinction of being both the most hilarious and most tragically illustrative statement I have ever heard, and your designation of the problem as an American one is absurdly counterproductive. My experience dealing with the poor forces me to believe in their reality. My experience dealing with reality forces me to designate as a delusion your implied assertion that the problem is exclusively American.

And as for your attacks on "the extreme right", I would submit to you that they are really no different than "the extreme left" as far as the poor are concerned. Their methods may be different, but the result is generally the same: perpetual poverty. Look at the great socialist paradises today, and you will find that their poor are in much the same situation there as elsewhere. Indeed, the only thing that is sure about earthly wealth and power is that it is transient. You and I would, I imagine, share many opinions as far as modern conceptions of capitalism, as it is generally conceived in the West, go; what we do not share is a sense of privileged, leftist naivety. And we do not share a faith in material wealth to satisfy anyone, but that is a conversation for the Philosophy/Theology subforum. That said, I do find a sad sense of amusement in the inability of materialists to improve the material situation of those whom they claim to care about.

Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:



Poverty today is in fact easy, much more so than say, one or two hundred years ago.


Spoken like a man who has had no true experience with poverty. I felt the need to quote you directly here. I would suggest to you that you go out and meet the poor, and ask them if any political philosophy ever provided them with shelter, sustenance, or warmth. You are correct that the distribution of wealth is the problem. But no amount of political zeal will fix that. And, frankly, there is no party platform that addresses the problem. If you think the left is any less concerned with power, or more concerned with or able to bring about proper distribution than the right, then well... I'm sorry. I cannot help you.

The issue is, indeed, one of education, and not of economics. I would suggest, at this point, that we all go back to school.

Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:


Government does not take money, but merely redistributes it. Your tax dollar becomes, say, a bit of a hospital or school. 

So if all these resources are in continual movement and flux, would you rather have at least a modest say in things (ie a vote), or rather leave things to the Waltons?


I quoted this in its entirety too, to show you that we do not disagree on everything. My problem, as I have mentioned before, is naive approaches to modern politics, that oversimplify serious issues. And this is especially so when they are presented in a grandstanding manner.

I do apologize for the bluntness of my observations, but I deal with poverty on a daily basis. It is very real, and it is ever prevalent in all parts of the world. To suggest that the problem is geographical or political is extremely destructive to those of us who are actually trying to help the poor. And it is so often done because those doing so either a) feel that their politics are more important than people, or b) that their egos are more important than the polis. You may now take your towel to the laundry; please try to clean it properly this time.

-Akolouthos


Edited by Akolouthos - 23 May 2015 at 07:24
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