So recently after being fucked over once again by San Francisco public transportation, I posted the regrettably unsophisticated status:
“Fuck the MUNI. In fact Fuck all govt programs”
Now what follows is the entire debate that ensued from this. Names have been left out to protect the identities of those involved.
R: YEAH! Fuck Pell grants! And stupid social security!
Me: You really should do some research on said programs before you post sarcastic nonsense on my status. Both of these things in the end cause more harm than good. “government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everyone else” - Frederic Bastiat. in other words if u want retirement save money, if you want school grants ask for and earn them. You or I have no right to demand these things from others at gun point
D: “You or I have no right to demand these things from others at gun point”
What about roads? Can we demand roads?
“in other words if u want retirement save money”
That seems very similar to telling a homeless person “if you want food, work for it.”
“if you want school grants ask for and earn them.”
Can you elaborate on this? What do you mean by ask for them? Are you referring to private grants? Those aren’t available for everyone. And when you say earn them, what exactly do you mean? Did someone born into a rich family who doesn’t need a grant “earn” their way through college?
As for the MUNI, I don’t think anyone is calling it perfect or even good, but we need public transportation. It can obviously be improved but you seem to be implying get rid of government funded transportation.
Me: Unless you produce it you have no right to demand it from others. You can earn it by trading something of value for it’s use, or you can ask them to be charitable and give it for free. Bastiat’s take on the Law was that state and private individual must be subject to moral law. If this is not so than the state has ultimate and complete authority to violate the freedom of individuals.
Consider this, if me and a majority of my friends took a vote and decided that you make more money than all of us (let’s just assume you do for the sake of argument) so you should pay more for said road, do we now have the right to come take it from you by force? It was a democratic process and it will “help the people” but if it is done by coercion (force, which taxes are) than how is it more moral than if I decided this on my own and robbed you? Just because a lot of people believe something should be done doesn’t make it moral or right and the only way taxes are decided are through representative we elect.
Private scholarships and grants are very available to EVERYONE. They have stipulations obviously but this isn’t a bad thing in fact it offers people the ability to support the industries/knowledge bases they value. You just need to know where to look, I’m on many email lists for these kind of opportunities, and they range the spectrum of fields and availability in terms of income means (some care some don’t). With govt grants and loans anyone who wants to get an expensive education does so on the dime of everyone else, regardless of whether the society values it or not. This is probably the biggest reason for such insane student debt. Students racking up mountains of college debt to study sociology are kidding themselves (for the most part) if they think they can get a job that will pay the kind of salary for them to pay it off. The govt has no incentive to care whether the student pays it back or not because in the end they can just ask for more from tax payers to “save education”. The govt loans create distortions in the market for loans making private loans much harder to get since they usually have higher interest rates or more stipulations to attaining them (requiring a parent cosign) to make up for the loss in demand due to govt spending on schools.
Public transport or MUNI has fucked me several times and that night was one of the worst so part of this status is emotional frustration. BUT there are ways to make public transportation more affordable and better serve the peoples needs. One way is to lower the amount of publicly funded MUNI cars and allow private business to start operating some perhaps eventually most cars. This way not all MUNI cars are bound to the routes dictated by bureaucrats but by the desires of customers. Again the govt has no incentive to solve the problem of routes with too many cars for one route and continual crowding and under appropriation to certain routes because they have a monopoly and if you don’t like the way they do things you have to pay asinine amounts at a parking garage or your screwed. Which is honestly how I feel half the time riding that thing which is quite often since I work 30+ hours a week downtown. Govt is always the easy solution, but it rarely is ever the right one
It sounds like “if you want food work for it” because it is. My dad worked on a farm from the time he was twelve till he left for college. Do you suppose he should have had the obligation to give away the food he grew, cultivated, picked, processed, and cared for simply because someone “needs” it? Just because someone needs something doesn’t mean they should get it from someone else who took it by force from a third person. I’m not against charity if you want to feed the homeless man do it, but don’t come here telling me that you forcing me or anyone to do that is somehow morally superior.
D:All of this assumes or disregards opportunity. I don’t think it’s fair to tell someone “if you want food, work for it” when not everyone is required to do so. Things like circumstance, ability or disability, gender, race, and orientation all create an unequal world. There are government programs in place to try (not always successfully) to make the world more equal. I think asking those that can to help support those who can’t is more fair than “if you want food, work for it.”
Me: Who is not required to work for food? If you mean those living off others in a voluntary arrangement (children in a family for example) then that is not a fair comparison because no one is being forced. Asking people to give more is completely fine like i said its about choice, but that’s not what your doing. You are forcing them and coercion is never a justified cause for redistributing wealth. This is something you are choosing to ignore
D: If you’re born into a very rich family you could potentially never have to work for your food. And even people born into privilege (in all it’s forms, like race or gender) aren’t required to work as hard. I see that as unfair. You don’t get the choice of what circumstance in which you’ll be born, so you don’t get to choose whether you will help those who can’t by contributing to a government that helps you, as well as others.
Also, briefly, privately funded public transportation basically means transportation for the upper class. Similar to the privately funded fire department that watched someone’s house burn down. I don’t know why being dependent on a company would provide more freedom than being dependent on a government.
K: Inequalities exist in every facet of existence, and vain attempts at correcting them are more likely to shift the balance in someone else’s favor/against someone else’s wishes than they are to ultimately “correct” the situation
The world is unfair, life is unfair. Do you really think everything can just be “made fair” according to a few people’s personal feelings and ideas of what fair is? Especially by taking things forcibly from other peaceful people? Is Communism fair?
Can you define for me what fair is, and how it works?
D: Dropping the communism bomb already?
If you think the existence of taxes or the use of tax dollars to help the very poor (which is what seems to be in question) is unfair, I would say a form of capitalism in which people are allowed to use the fruits of their parents labor is horribly unfair. Fairness is obviously different for everyone, but when fairness is in question I tend to skew toward people who don’t have inherent financial or cultural advantages (rich parents, or being white/straight/male/Christian).
Me: You haven’t answered a single question i posed. you completely ignore the moral implications of using force to redistribute wealth. You also make a brazen assumption that uses the straw man argument of natural monopoly which doesn’t exist if you have multiple companies operating cars competing for customers driving prices down and quality up. Simply because someone is born better off than another doesn’t give anyone the right to “equalize” it through force. Again you refuse to acknowledge this.
D: I totally think its fair to equalize in inequalities through taxes.
Me: Poverty justifies brute force to correct, that’s what you should say, but alright hide behind the taxman. so what does equalize mean to you? What is a fair tax rate and who determines what is fair for whom?
K: The only definition I got was “fair is different for everyone.”
So…. how do we decide what a fair use of guns and force is without a clear definition of what fair is?
I only dropped the C-bomb because I want to see how far you’ll take “equalizing in favor of fairness” thing.
D: I know you think I’m using language to aid my point but I think you’re doing the same thing.
I would say fairness is equal opportunity. If government (our) money is needed to create that system that’s totally fine with me.
Fairness would change due to the situation. Right now I would say it’s unfair to have a very comparatively low tax rate for the very rich when opportunity to become very rich is unequal. If opportunity were completely equal than an equal tax rate might be justifiable.
What I really want to know is what is your ideal system that has no or very limited government programs?
I know to many people this is ridiculous but I don’t completely dismiss communism. I know individuals can’t be trusted to not take advantage of the system, but the free hand of the capitalist market can’t be trusted to root out companies that take advantage of that system. I’m yet to see a perfect form of government, so I think it’s unfair to dismiss most forms automatically.
So basically, I don’t care if I sound communist.
K: I don’t care if you sound Communist either.
Anyway, fairness and inequality are concepts of things that make you feel. You think fairness is right because it makes you feel good while inequality is unfair because it makes you feel bad.
Is it unfair that living things have to kill each other to subsist? Is it unfair that some animals have it easier than others when it comes to survival? Can you point out any place in the universe where things are “fair” according to your amorphous definition of what fairness is? Why should we strive to achieve a state of being which flies in the face of everything else that exists, as far as we can tell?
If its unfair that some people have more opportunity than others by no right of their work, but by the work of their parents, is it fair to seize and negate all the accomplishments their parents were responsible for because other people don’t have it as easy? Is it fair to enforce fairness by the point of a gun?
Just for the record, I recognize that the muni can be a bitch but I also love it and don’t think all government programs are necessarily bad. I just feel like they’re poorly managed and are easier to get away with poorly managing because they’re not subject to immediate extinction at the whims of consumer desires.
Natural monopolies are sort of a fact of economics, but who says that human ingenuity can’t overcome their power? It’s very hard to determine what a truly free market would look like because I can’t think of a single one that exists. I do know that deregulated places, such as Hong Kong and Manaus, show massive economic growth to the immediate benefit of all those who live there. I also know that power generation and municipal transport are likely to become natural monopolies because they require absurd amounts of capital to start and maintain.
But if you don’t want to buy power from a monopoly, generate your own. It sounds hard, but it really isn’t as hard as you think. In Tulare, Royal Farms, a pig farm which has been around since 82, produces all of its own energy using its livestock waste and an anaerobic digester, which requires nothing but a gas-tight covering tarp and ambient temperature. Using a 75kW generator, they feed the methane/biogas produced by the covered wastes into a boiler and sell back energy to the grid. They also reroute the heat from the generator back into their buildings to offset energy needed for heating.
You can buy discarded solar panels on ebay and build your own 18volt, 60-Watt plus solar panels for as little as $105. You could alternatively build your own wind turbine, and use these things to charge batteries, giving you self-sufficient, usable power.
In short, it seems that there are always options for solving a problem if you use your thinker and all resources available. If not, cest la vie, we have it better than anything else that lives on this planet and we’d do well to be satisfied with that. If you want your life to be better, make it so. Don’t tell your fellow man that he has to bend over backwards for you when you’ve got an advantage that no other species can claim. Life isn’t necessarily easy or fair, who told you that it has to be? Generosity is good, but guaranteeing it kind of misses the point.
K: inb4 tl;dr :D <— (that little shit would)
Me: So by your definition of fair, it can change simply at the whim of the majority, or a democratically elected official. Just because it seems fair to you doesn’t mean it does to me or anyone else, and imposing your will on others simply because your in the majority does not make it moral or right. But consider in 2007 Californians overwhelmingly voted that illegal immigrants should not be able to access any govt services including ER. This was of course struck down because it didn’t matter what the majority wanted, it was about what was just. Denying someone services (even if they were willing to pay for them) based on their national origin or race is ridiculous.
My ideal government would be massively decentralized. Basically I think the federal government should be responsible for national defense that protects the basic rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights and setting up a national court system to settle cross society disputes and violations to the Bill of Rights but that’s it. What states, regions, even cities or counties would do is set up their own societies as they see fit. Individuals who want to enter into that society would sign a contract that sets concrete guidelines on how the society will be run via taxes, govt interference, etc. (children would have the choice to sign or leave at 18) and those people would then have to abide by those principles or be thrown out (or jailed depending on the crime/society). In this way the only obligation these societies have is to provide a set and EVEN amount of capital to fund national defense and the national court system, through another contract (not that much is needed these days due to our vast nuclear arsenal that already exists). This actually gives people the most freedom to exist as they see fit. If for example some hippie communists wish to establish a collective in Woodstock, NY (assuming they did not forcibly take the land from others) based on their ideals they can do so without having to impose their views on others, and also could not ask others to subsidize them. The beauty of this system is that people will have much more choice in where they want to live and societies will have more incentive to keep their people happy and productive. Also welfare and assistance to the poor would become much more efficient as the funding will be coming straight from the community and free loaders will be more easily spotted and booted from the system (if in fact the society did have a welfare system).
Those who feel disadvantaged in our current format have almost no way of escape. But what if this person was able to leave and form a society with like-minded people? Many societies that propagate racism or homophobia will have to change their act quick to ensure they aren’t deserted, or boycotted by other societies. Providing competition (choices) in the market place has been proven to increase quality and lower prices (increased efficiency) so why should this not work with governments?
Cooperation could and almost certainly will still exist between societies as humans almost always seek out cooperation to further their goals. The great thing about this would be that the cooperation would be completely voluntary and would foster much more trust between people than can be achieved using force. The idea I’m trying to express is that no human being should be subject to the whims of others unless they make that choice for themselves. We would be able to try a multitude of approaches to governance without forcing people consign to them. I believe that this is the most organic way to achieve the best society possible as the best ones will be examples to the others.
K: ^ hot damn, let’s seize those failing African countries and make this shit happen yo.
T: haha you can’t seize things this has to happen organically from the bottom up
K: DUH, I was joking.
But that is a pretty fucking swell idea.
D: ”it was about what was just.”
Implying just is different than fair as far as it meaning different things to different people.
In that analogy the majority tried to become a tyrannical one, but the point is the courts were there. I would never be in favor of any system without checks and balances. If anything I want more courts in our particular governmental system.
I’ll be back later with more, but I need to do some homework.
As promised the very fascinating conclusion of the statist non statist argument.
D: I have some time so I’m just going to start from the beginning of this thread. Forgive me if I bring up something we already discussed.
“Unless you produce it you have no right to demand it from others.”
Besides that this assumes equal opportunity and obligation to produce, it also assumes that production is equally valued. The family that owns Walmart for example, has no obligation to produce (because they inherited everything). Someone working at Walmart might not make enough to afford even necessities. The owners of Walmart and the workers of Walmart are both dependent on each other, and on public services (like roads) to produce and survive. So I don’t see the worker demanding that the owner pay into taxes for public (for example) healthcare as demanding something they didn’t produce.
“Consider this, if me and a majority of my friends took a vote and decided that you make more money than all of us (let’s just assume you do for the sake of argument) so you should pay more for said road, do we now have the right to come take it from you by force?”
What you’re implying here is that any sort of democratic government is by definition a tyrannical majority. You can also easily flip that question around and say if you and your friends and I all voted (we can pretend I voted no, but the point is I got a vote) to chip in for a road and everyone is going to pay based on how much they make, do I have the right to just not chip in?
If you bring this back to the Walmart analogy, the owners of Walmart use roads way more than the workers. Walmart uses roads to deliver goods, move inventory, as well as get their precious workers to and from work. Does Walmart have the right to give the same amount to the roads as people who use it significantly less than they do?
“Private scholarships and grants are very available to EVERYONE.”
I’m just going to go ahead and totally disagree with this.
Here is a breakdown of college grants according to 2011 article in US News: 44% federal government, 36% colleges, 9% State government, 7% employers, 4% private scholarships (1).
Just on the pure basis of resources available there isn’t enough private scholarship money for everyone. If you take away public money you’re taking away the majority of the money.
There is also the issue of things like race, gender, and other forms of bigotry playing a part in private scholarships. Based on a California Watch article from 2011 white students are more likely to win private and merit based scholarships (2).
I don’t see how you can think that there is enough money, or that private scholarships are equally achievable by all people, to claim that they are available to everyone.
“This is probably the biggest reason for such insane student debt. Students racking up mountains of college debt to study sociology”
I’m going to go ahead and say that doesn’t seem to likely. Of the 10 most popular degrees only political science, psychology, and education could possibly fall under the type of sociological degree you’re referring to (3).
“With govt grants and loans anyone who wants to get an expensive education does so on the dime of everyone else, regardless of whether the society values it or not.”
Here is huge problem with this statement, you’re measuring value strictly in fiscal terms. Yeah, society financially values a business degree or a marketing degree way more than a degree in elementary education, but society still needs teachers. It’s true someone with an education degree is going to have a difficult time paying of their student loans making less than $30,000 a year on average (3), but they are a necessary part of society.
“The govt has no incentive to care whether the student pays it back or not because in the end they can just ask for more from tax payers to “save education”.”
But this isn’t happening. In fact, the government is actually going to double the interest rate from student loans instead of asking for more tax payer money. Regardless of whether you think incentive exists, the money is coming from the people who took out the loans, not tax paters.
“The govt loans create distortions in the market for loans making private loans much harder to get since they usually have higher interest rates”
The lower interest rate benefits the economy by enabling buying power. This isn’t totally one sided.
“One way is to lower the amount of publicly funded MUNI cars and allow private business to start operating some perhaps eventually most cars.”
There is already plenty of private transportation alternatives that exist. The problem is they are all very expensive compared to public transportation. The reason we need public transportation is poor people need to get to their jobs too.
If you don’t like MUNI, take a cab or buy a car. Wouldn’t that be the free market solution?
“Do you suppose he should have had the obligation to give away the food he grew, cultivated, picked, processed, and cared for simply because someone “needs” it?”
But there is no doubt that this farm utilized public services, like roads. There is also a good chance that this farm was receiving a government subsidy. Public money contributed to the production of that food. Does a farmer who benefited from public programs have the right to refuse to pay back into them?
“Who is not required to work for food?”
Paris Hilton. I’m assuming you get my point, and my implicit distinction between “working for food” and “working.” Paris Hilton obviously works as an actor (or something), but that’s very different than working for food.
“Inequalities exist in every facet of existence”
The existence of inequality doesn’t bring it any type of validity. Slavery exists.
” correcting them are more likely to shift the balance in someone else’s favor/against someone else’s wishes than they are to ultimately “correct” the situation”
I agree. Take slavery in the United States. Correcting that “unfairness” or “inequality” dramatically shifted power away from slave owners and into the hands of former slaves.
“Do you really think everything can just be “made fair” according to a few people’s personal feelings and ideas of what fair is? Especially by taking things forcibly from other peaceful people?”
In those words? Yes. Again, slavery in the United States. People thought slavery was unfair, and they forced (and this is a scenario when using the word force doesn’t seem like hyperbole) through a war the ending of the unfair practice. And it totally worked. Legal slavery in it’s purest form is over. In fact, if most of the plans to force the south to accept former slaves were working before Lincoln’s death, the removal of northern troops from the south, and the following hundred years of Jim Crow laws. In this case it was when force was no longer used that the process of eliminating an unfair practice became less effective.
“Why should we strive to achieve a state of being which flies in the face of everything else that exists, as far as we can tell?”
You’re creating a Natural Fallacy. You also seem to be implying that you want to live in a state of nature.
“Don’t tell your fellow man that he has to bend over backwards for you when you’ve got an advantage that no other species can claim.”
So having an easier life than an animal is reason not to complain? Sorry gays that want to get married in North Carolina but don’t complain about the inequality because it could be worse, you could be a dolphin or a rabbit. By that logic how dare anyone complain about taxes? Paying taxes is nothing compared to being chased by predators.
“My ideal government would be massively decentralized. “
You mean like the United States tried and then abandoned in favor of a strong federal government because there was too much interstate conflict?
“Those who feel disadvantaged in our current format have almost no way of escape. But what if this person was able to leave and form a society with like-minded people?”
But that’s just it, most people can’t just leave. This is very similar to a debate I had on Ron Paul’s stance on abortion. Paul has said that he thinks state’s should decide and that would mean women that want an abortion could simply go to a state that offers it. But this assumes that everyone is capable of doing so.
1 - http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/the-college-solution/2011/02/01/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-private-scholarships
2 - http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/study-white-students-more-likely-win-scholarships-12525
3 - http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/worklife/10/27/cb.what.major.pays/index.html
Me: Wow that was the most ridiculous response ever. You actually think slavery is some sort of freedom in your twisted logic. The entire point of showing you the examples of my dad and the farm was in fact to show you that those who produce are not slaves to those who dont. Changing the dynamic of slaves and slave owners was to take away forced servitude. If someone is being forced by another than aggression is a proper response. But again this has nothing to do with anything other than you obfuscating the point trying to make us look racist.
The fact that you are clueless on the crowding effect shows why you don’t understand the scholarship debate. The govt crowds out more private scholarships because they can’t compete. The fact that you see more public scholarships than private proves my point not yours . Study economics before you start preaching the public need for school myth. I’m not measuring purely in fiscal terms in fact I’m doing it on the greatest value of all and that is what individuals value. Not everyone gives scholarships just for making money many scholarships go to religious students and other students interested in certain fields. If we “need” more teachers you don’t think parents will help invest so that their kids can get a good education? Why do you need a govt lackey to force it? If they are necessary than people will pay for them. The vast majority of those loans are going to people we don’t need. How many psychology majors are actually neccessary? Just because you earn a degree does the govt have an obligation to fit you into the work force?
My dads farm never got subsidies quit assuming things you have no idea what your talking about. Which brings me to opportunity. My dad lived in abject poverty his entire childhood with six brothers and sisters, and for much of it lived in very rural settings where govt facilities and programs were no where near. (at least inner city poor have free clinics which he did not) he worked from the time he was twelve on. The family never took welfare or even a food stamp. (there were no offices in cokeville wyoming) He never got a govt loan (at that time especially at UCLA those were reserved for “minorities”) and worked his entire way through college even having to drop out rack credits at a cc and save money to go back and finish. That is how you “produce” without opportunity, by working your ass off and making it happen not by forcing money out of others. Is it fair that the Hilton sisters didn’t need to do shit to earn ten times what he does? No, but going to their house and forcing them to pay isn’t either. That’s not justice or fairness that’s jealousy. if you spent half the time on finding solutions that you do making excuses you would find their is a greater amount of opportunity than you could possibly imagine.
“they use the road more than their employees so they should pay more”. By that logic anyone who didn’t pay taxes on the road shouldn’t be able to use it at all. You create a false equivalency to use and means. I simply said if one has more money it doesnt mean they must chip in due to the majority say so. If that person wants to use the road more than others than yeah why not they pay more, but thats not the same as asking someone to pay more for a road regardless of how much they use it. Again stop making up arguments I never made. at wal Mart aren’t forced to work there so your argument again falls flat on its face.
D: ”You actually think slavery is some sort of freedom in your twisted logic.”
Yeah, that’s totally what I said. I definitely said slavery is freedom. But as long as you bring it up people fighting for the south during the civil war wouldn’t tell you that they were fighting for slavery, they would tell you that they were fighting for their rights (which of course included slavery). My point with the slavery analogy is to show that force can in fact be used to fix an inequality or injustice.
“How many psychology majors are actually necessary?”
Well psychology majors on average are doing pretty well on average going by salary (roughly $46,000, which is on par with computer science majors).
“If we “need” more teachers you don’t think parents will help invest so that their kids can get a good education?”
I didn’t say we need more teachers, but we do need the profession to exist. So is it only parents that are responsible for funding education? What about people that already got a public education? Do they not have to put money back into the system?
“My dads farm never got subsidies”
Did the farm use roads? Subsides, welfare, or food stamps are types of government programs, but that’s not every government program. I think it’s safe to say pretty much everyone benefits from a government program one way or another. Once he did go to school, was it public school?
“My dad lived in abject poverty his entire childhood with six brothers and sisters, and for much of it lived in very rural settings where govt facilities and programs were no where near. (at least inner city poor have free clinics which he did not) he worked from the time he was twelve on. The family never took welfare or even a food stamp. (there were no offices in cokeville wyoming) He never got a govt loan (at that time especially at UCLA those were reserved for “minorities”) and worked his entire way through college even having to drop out rack credits at a cc and save money to go back and finish. That is how you “produce” without opportunity, by working your ass off and making it happen not by forcing money out of others.”
So do you think that everyone living in abject poverty should have to work that hard from age 12 to put themselves through college? It was obviously possible for your dad, and clearly worked very hard, but do you think a system that required him to work from age 12 is the best one?
“Is it fair that the Hilton sisters didn’t need to do shit to earn ten times what he does? No, but going to their house and forcing them to pay isn’t either.”
So Paris Hilton lives in California (I think) and pays taxes (I assume). That means she is contributing to things that she never uses or will ever have to use to help other people. We are forcing her to pay for things to help people. So you’re saying that’s not fair. But one of the things that she is funding in part with her tax dollars is public education. For example, a school like UCLA. She never went there. She will never go there. And she doesn’t directly benefit from it. But her tax dollars in part are what keep the costs relatively low (not as low as they used to be) so that people can go there.
“[People at] Wal Mart aren’t forced to work there so your argument again falls flat on its face.”
I disagree. People need to work. No one is putting a gun to anyone’s head and forcing them to work at Wal Mart, but economic duress isn’t much different (in fact you have been equating the two this whole time). If Wal Mart is your town’s biggest employer (and it is the United States’ biggest employer) and you need a job and they are the only ones hiring, you really are forced to either work there or not work.
“If that person wants to use the road more than others than yeah why not they pay more, but thats not the same as asking someone to pay more for a road regardless of how much they use it.”
But my point is that everyone is benefiting from public programs in one form or another. Maybe I never use a certain road that my tax dollars are in part funding, but I do go to a public university that everyone else around me is helping to fund so I can afford it. Not everyone goes to SF State, or even college in general, but everyone who pays taxes in California is helping keep the costs low so I can go here. I don’t see anything wrong with that, but you’re saying that it is unfair to force people that don’t use public education to pay taxes that fund it.
K:Inequality is ubiquitous and pervasive. Some things will always have more or less ability, resources, or whatever, than others, and I think the fact that things have ALWAYS been this way and ALWAYS will be lends it some sort of validity. Inequalities are steps on the road to equilibrium, which all things tend towards.
And just because that worked favorably in the decisively extreme example of slavery doesn’t mean it will always work for what is right. Imperialists have more or less banked on the argument that “not uplifting the native populations of the world from a state of ‘savagery’” is “unfair” to them, so we should make every effort to intervene. Intentions aren’t as important as effects — people who intend to “make things fair for everyone” are often times the same people who intend to misuse the trust and power the public gives them for personal gain, or some sort of exploitative action — like so many politicians in the past, present, and I’m certain in the future as well.
Also, I’m not creating a natural fallacy, I’m describing a universal phenomenon which you choose to ignore for whatever reason. Speaking of fallacies, you’re misappropriating the meaning of my statement to bolster your arguments, which is in fact a logical fallacy. I’m not talking about living in a state of nature, I’m talking about acknowledging and respecting a natural law or tendency which everything is bound to, whether or not it chooses to recognize it.
Maybe that example was too much for you, and I admit it’s too abstract. The point I was trying to get across was far more eloquently put by Travis: “if you spent time thinking about ways to solve problems instead of making excuses for how everyone else should be mitigating them, you’d realize a world of opportunities” or something to that effect. And I don’t recognize gay marriage as a useful counterexample because I don’t believe marriage has any place in government — if you want to get married, fine, that’s a religious matter, don’t get my hard-earned money involved in it. No, I don’t believe married people should receive any sort of different treatment in regards to taxation or anything else. That’s unfair, I’m not married, why should I be treated differently than they? They’re just people who decided to bind themselves by some ridiculous religious ritual, why should I have to pay for that? That creates an inequality that I think is unfair.
And LOL UCLA’s tuition alone is $32,281, you consider that a relatively low cost? Add costs of living in the LA metro area and you’re looking at something close to 50k+ per year to live and go to UCLA, and this is for in-state applicants. I personally think 50,000 per year all-inclusive is not relatively low cost, in fact I’d say it’s prohibitively expensive to the vast majority of people anywhere in the world. Is that fair? Does it matter?
As for the Wal-Mart example, you could alternatively move to the next town over. You make it seem like it’s impossible for people to emigrate for better economic opportunities/conditions. People from around the world have been emigrating with fractions of the capital that any American has for well over a century. So I think it’s fair to say that emigrating to a new city or state for better opportunities isn’t as hard as you make it. You just subscribe to the notion that people are entitled to better conditions according to THEIR preferences, and what is easiest for them. I don’t.
Also, I’m pretty sure all of us agree that taxes have their place as organized society at this juncture clearly relies on SOME form of central authority to provide certain basic necessities. What we disagree on is the extent to which this authority should be required to provide. I don’t think people should eat what they didn’t work for, and I don’t think they should receive money they didn’t work for either. People need to stop feeling entitled to things they had no part in producing, in my opinion.
D: This is getting really circular.
“People need to stop feeling entitled to things they had no part in producing”
I think this is where the real disagreement is. We don’t really disagree on anything in this statement except the definition of producing. I see anyone who contributes to an economy and a society as producing, where as you believe (and correct me if I’m wrong) that to produce something you must directly work for it (farming a crop for example).
“And LOL UCLA’s tuition alone is $32,281, you consider that a relatively low cost?”
Yeah, it’s all fucked now (in my opinion of course because there aren’t enough taxes). That actually is relatively low if you measure it by value, but practically that’s very expensive.
“You make it seem like it’s impossible for people to emigrate for better economic opportunities/conditions.”
I think it’s much more difficult than you’re making it out to be, but these are opinions. I also think the obligation to move shouldn’t be there. Forcing someone to move from their home is no small deal.
“Also, I’m not creating a natural fallacy”
That’s exactly what you did. You asked why we should change something that exists in nature. An appeal to nature was being made, but because something exists in nature does not mean that it should be adapted or maintained.
“Speaking of fallacies, you’re misappropriating the meaning of my statement to bolster your arguments”
I don’t see how you could take what I said as an argument as opposed to seeking a clarification.
“Wow that was the most ridiculous response ever. You actually think slavery is some sort of freedom in your twisted logic.”
I reread that part again, and I can kinda see how you could have read that in that way, but to clarify I’m pointing out that power shifts aren’t inherently bad, which is what was being implied by the statement I was responding to.
“And I don’t recognize gay marriage as a useful counterexample because I don’t believe marriage has any place in government”
You may not think this should be the case, but there is no denying that it is currently the case. But it really doesn’t matter, you can substitute in anything there. The point is that just because life is easier as a human doesn’t mean nothing in life should ever be changed.
“if you spent time thinking about ways to solve problems instead of making excuses for how everyone else should be mitigating them, you’d realize a world of opportunities”
I can’t tell if this is directed at me personally, or people in general. If it’s me personally, I hope you don’t think any of this is the result of me forming opinions from my own life. Due to circumstance I have had a relatively easy life, and will continue to do so. Almost none of what we’re talking about will affect me directly (other than paying taxes of course, for which I have little complaint).
But I suspect this was directed towards people in general. I don’t think it’s really possible to tell other people how much opportunity they have. You only know how much opportunity you have, and what you can accomplish based on your own circumstance and life experience. But
“That’s unfair, I’m not married, why should I be treated differently than they? They’re just people who decided to bind themselves by some ridiculous religious ritual, why should I have to pay for that? That creates an inequality that I think is unfair.”
The fact that you wrote this is hilarious. It is actually an interesting thing that I’m definitely going to consider (if married couples should have any sort of economic benefits). But that’s just really funny the way you said it given the whole rest of this conversation.
And on that note I don’t think I’m going to venture back here. The difference in opinion has been revealed and nothing new is being added. I really appreciate how well thought out both of your opinions are (I’m saying that with 100% sincerity), even though we completely disagree and it’s unlikely we will ever agree.
Me: yeah this has been interesting.
My final conclusion is this, Dylan: You see it as necessary to use some kind of force to mitigate inequalities to a certain extent, which is actually a fair point. People have been doing it this way for thousands of years, under different systems. This one is far more civil and rational than the vast majority of others, which actually is no small feat. I believe, and it’s clear we disagree, that the state does not have any right above the laws of man. This I admit is a radical concept as all governments that have ever existed whether they be religious (Church/Pope is above moral law), Dictator (Qaddafi or Hussein above moral law), or Socialist/communist/ “capitalist” (more like mixed economy) Democracy (Representatives of the State above moral law, elected or appointed). My basic view is that we can do better than this. We CAN live in a world where the state has no legal right or power against its citizens that other citizens don’t have against each other, it’s just a far way off. For now we basically do need taxes and govt authority, but certainly not to this extent and not in the way they do it (gigantic subsidies, endless wars, disastrous public infrastructure projects ie bridge to nowhere).
Great debate guys never thought such an unintelligibly belligerent status could turn into something so thought provoking.