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  2. Well, I think we all need a break from the constant bickering the political threads cause. So, for the next few weeks we'll be removing all new political threads. Hopefully you'll all remember that we're all here because of the Cavs and that this is a sports forum first and foremost.

    - Ben

Venezuelan seize General Motors factory

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Huber., Apr 20, 2017 at 4:01 PM.

  1. Randolphkeys

    Randolphkeys Admittedly Pompous Staff Member Administrator

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    For the record, it was a right-leaning topic to break the silence. That said, the pro-corporate crowd is totally right. There will be action, there's more reason for the U.S. to get involved here than Syria. It's going to happen. Gotta wonder how thin we might get spread if there's multiple continents testing U.S. priorities.
     
  2. King Stannis

    King Stannis The One True King

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    That sweet, sweet oil.
     
  3. Whittaker

    Whittaker Rookie

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    You're reading me wrong on this one gouri.
    I was trying to use Orwell's quote to say one can't judge socialism based on Venezuela any more than one can judge Christianity based on Jimmy Swaggart or Jim Bakker or some of the vile Popes.
    I meant the quote in the same way that I perceived Orwell meant it.
    My fault for posting a quote without further comment.
    FWIW I still think capitalism is better than socialism in general, while acknowledging that both are often corrupted by the people in power.
     
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  4. The Human Q-Tip

    The Human Q-Tip War is Hell

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    Socialism usually looks good in the short term - it's free money for lots of people.

    Long-term....the further you get from actual socialism, the better it works. And when socialist economies get in trouble, they inevitably have to increase economic liberty to survive.

    That dynamic should really tell you all you need to know about socialism.
     
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  5. Cavatt

    Cavatt All-Star

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    To me socialism and capitalism should follow incentives to get it right for the people.

    Prisons and health care make the most sense to me. Prison for profit incentivizes more prisoners so they lobby for mandatory sentences and longer sentences. This is no good for society.

    With health insurance you make money based on denying claims, not getting healthy. Both are examples where the money incentive is not in line waiting the the needs of the consumer. That is aajor problem and why the state should handle it.

    When money is in line with the needs of the consumer cool privatize it. When the money incentive is in not in line with the needs of the people it should be run by the state.
     
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  6. The Human Q-Tip

    The Human Q-Tip War is Hell

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    Honestly, I don't think the "prison industry" has the clout to get mandatory/longer sentences. There are other interest groups far more powerful that affect that more, and there's just not enough money in the prison industry to drown all that other stuff out.

    Well, that's certainly one way to look at it. But there isn't agreement on "the people" even means, much less what "the needs of the people" even are. So while I understand what you mean by that coming from the left, a lot of us on the other side don't accept that as the proper metric for what should be done.

    To be honest, I think liberty -- the lack of government interference/compulsion - is itself an independent moral good that outweighs pure utilitarianism. It's obviously a continuum, but a continuum does mean that both utilitarianism and individual liberty should be taken into account.

    "Whatever 'works'" doesn't work for me.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017 at 1:23 PM
  7. David.

    David. .

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    I know, and i hear it all the time, but im weary of straw men. Id rather hear it from a proponent of the system and decide.

    I think its unethical to take more money from people who do better, to a point. I do think if someone extravagantly benefits from this country consistently, you could justify they pay a little more back to the country that theyre benefitting from. I dont think they should be forced to and i think the government sucks at spending. But if there are different types of socialism, im open to hearing them out.

    If its a dressed up argument of the same thing as the rest, then its the same as the rest. But ive seen too many instances of the left and the right not giving what theyre taking on a fair shake. Id rather steel men be defeated. I know, equity vs equality, etc. Talking points. I think people on the right may not be honestly representing what theyre opposing. Oversimplification. And I've seen definitions of socialism that dont appear to be about wealth distribution or state control of means of production. If it is in fact those things, im against it. Youll need an incredible argument to reason me away from that position.

    Id be hard to be swayed away from the idea that capitalism is not the answer in general. Its a poverty killer and even those whoe are struggling live better than the best in countries without it. I just want to see it represented by an adovate. And no system is perfect. To imply that mentally retarded people should just "work harder" if they want their fair share is insane. You've got 6 million americans with iq so low they wont ever be literate. You have 50 million with an iq of less than 85 and their jobs are being destroyed quickly and on many fronts. I am so opposed to welfare programs its acidic, but "just work harder" isnt going to work for some. Especially when we're losing jobs to automation, computers allowing people to do their own skilled work for themselves, and outsourcing, and illegal immigration. Im undecided about h1s impact. I have no problem with making america better by importing skilled workers. But its going to kill american citizens and drive down wages even further. And put more people on welfare, never to return.

    And automation of jobs certainly isnt certain to create more jobs. And minimum wage puts people out of work bc employers cant afford to hire, but without it, people are sometimes too stupid to realize theyre getting worked. What do we do with them?

    I see posts on uber forums that just.. Jesus christ, find a new job. They don't do the math and see when adding in depreciation to their car and calculating net profit per hour, theyre literally making a few dollars an hour. Back when i was doing my moving company, idiots who couldnt figurr out their costs were still getting jobs because theyd set their revenue up to undercut the market and would end up having a negative margin after careful planning. With absolutely unfettered capitalism, i just think people are not savvy enough to figure their own stuff. And yes, thats their own problem. But i think youd be shocked to realize how many people that would actually be. And their consent to fiscal relationships that are costly to them end up being costly to everyone. Youre driving wages down. So i dont think "no regulation" is necessarily the right answer. But i think when you start with one regulation, more and more seem to follow until you've got socialism or communism. But all ideologies have massive blindspots and to assume they dont and that their answer is the best for everybody is just wrong.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017 at 1:26 PM
  8. gourimoko

    gourimoko Fighting the good fight!

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    Gotcha!

    Thanks for the clarification; you're right of course.
     
  9. gourimoko

    gourimoko Fighting the good fight!

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    I tend to agree with you with respect to measuring liberty vs utility. In a general sense, I think you're right in that utility should never override personal liberty. Liberty is an "independent moral good," and I think it's important to acknowledge that fact.

    But with that said, I also think with respect to @Cavatt 's two main arguments, one would be hard-pressed to make a reasonable argument against say, a single or multi-payer health care system using personal liberty as the basis of their argument. I think he's 100% correct about prisons though; I don't see an argument based on personal liberty that would suggest governments should fund private prison systems.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017 at 1:45 PM
  10. CLEistheCITY

    CLEistheCITY GFY

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    Sweden is a perfect example of this.
     
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  11. The Human Q-Tip

    The Human Q-Tip War is Hell

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    The problem is that those promoting socialism often use a version of the "no true Scotsman" argument. "Well, Venezuela isn't really socialism -- you can do it differently and it works."

    But those alternative examples of when socialism "works" often aren't talking about actual socialism. They're really talking about a mixed economy with some socialistic components -- usually in the form of just higher taxes. But that's not socialism. And I think it is important to keep a clear eye on what socialism itself actually is, because then it serves as sort of a lighthouse -- you don't want to get too close to it.

    Well, we obviously already do that to a very large degree in this country. Something around 40-50% of this country pays zero in federal incomes taxes at all, which means they contribute nothing financially towards what it takes to keep the country running. They contribute only (and disproportionately less) to those payroll-funded programs from which they will individually benefit.

    I'm not arguing from a pure libertarian perspective. I was simply pointing out that the left very often defines what is "good" in terms of pure utilitarianism, using a purely Marxist-materialist POV. But there is a moral good, a spiritual happiness that comes from having more liberty, that I think purely utilitarian POV's like Rawls' ignore.
     
  12. Cavatt

    Cavatt All-Star

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    Gonna disagree on the clout of the prison system.

    https://thinkprogress.org/private-p...bying-to-put-more-people-in-jail-58e048bb37dd

    I agree with you that the incentive can be hard to determine and agreeing on that can be difficult. I just don't like a business where the operators can make more money by not doing their job and finding weasely ways not to do it. Money that could go to the consumer instead goes to lawyers to cheat people out of what they are owed.

    Things that are for the public good just shouldn't be run as for profit enterprises. Another good example. Should they have paid the 75$? Of course, but really it should have gone out with the taxes instead of a bill that could be overlooked or disputed.

    https://usnews.newsvine.com/_news/2011/12/07/9272989-firefighters-let-home-burn-over-75-fee-again

    It sucks. Dumb mistake on the part of the homeowner, but when you are deciding what you can and can't afford, sometimes it is the extra protection.
     
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