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05:44 pm: Observation based on political ads
Liberal Democrats are outraged at the prospect of people who have vast personal fortunes receiving even more money and subsidies to their extravagant lifestyles at the expense of all other taxpayers without working for it.

Conservative Republicans are outraged at the prospect of people who are impoverished receiving barely enough money to survive on at the expense of all other taxpayers without them working for it.

Comments

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From:chibiabos
Date:August 19th, 2012 01:31 am (UTC)
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Careful, such observations might get you branded a socialist ... and you know, McCarthyism is coming back into vogue.
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From:kakoukorakos
Date:August 20th, 2012 01:15 pm (UTC)
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Only among those who are so delusional they think they'd win the election with a McCarthy clone on the ticket!
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From:gabrielhorse
Date:August 21st, 2012 05:01 pm (UTC)

:P

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You wish.
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From:invader_tak_1
Date:August 19th, 2012 09:19 pm (UTC)
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I'm in a building where I'm one of the few people who has working legs. We are NOT leading the life of Riley.

We are told we must spare the "job creators" but which jobs? The ones in China, or the ones in India.
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From:kakoukorakos
Date:August 20th, 2012 01:20 pm (UTC)
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We are told we must spare the "job creators" but which jobs? The ones in China, or the ones in India.

Why, that depends! Let's see...do we want to outsource more customer service jobs, or more manufacturing? I'm sure a certain factions answer is that it doesn't matter, we should spare them all! The tide of all that money and hope flowing out of the US will certainly raise the global standard of living and civilize everyone. It's like trickle-down, on a global scale, so we will soon be able to see the rich in China getting richer, too!
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From:invader_tak_1
Date:August 20th, 2012 04:44 pm (UTC)
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I've had my life saved by the heath cacre that republicans feel is unnecessary three times now.........

I paid social security my whole life but I'm a scrounger, but corporations who get massive taxpayer bailouts to fix their bad decisions are just swell fellas apparently.

Edited at 2012-08-20 04:44 pm (UTC)
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From:gabrielhorse
Date:August 21st, 2012 05:04 pm (UTC)

:/

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Nothing like learning your true place on their totem pole, eh? You are allowed to exist in "the system" for a reason- and now you know what it is.
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From:hastka
Date:August 24th, 2012 02:51 am (UTC)
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Conversely, a bunch of greedy people who can't read fine print got partially bailed out of penalties on their "predatory" home loans, whereas those of us who chose to live within our means in the first place get jack. So. :)
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From:chibiabos
Date:August 20th, 2012 06:10 pm (UTC)
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And certainly, if the Chinese get richer off production from forced, unpaid labor ... well, its time to deregulate slavery in the U.S. so our rich can get a piece of the laogai pie too!
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From:gabrielhorse
Date:August 21st, 2012 05:05 pm (UTC)

WTF

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"Our rich"? Do you invite them over for coffee once a week, Chibi?
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From:hastka
Date:August 24th, 2012 02:51 am (UTC)
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He does, I was there.
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From:gabrielhorse
Date:August 24th, 2012 01:07 pm (UTC)

I knew it! I KNEW it!!

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I wish he had your sense of humor, Hastaman. Then he'd be fun to talk to instead of at- you know, like a wall with paranoid scribblings on it.
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From:gabrielhorse
Date:August 21st, 2012 05:10 pm (UTC)

Idle chatter of the Unrealistic.

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Hope goes where there is the room for luxury, K. Some believe money provides for luxury and in tsaid luxury they will find satisfaction and a sense of peace. "They" are fooling themselves. BTW if you can see the Chinese getting richer from where you are located, maybe you should hook up with a branch of government surveillance... I suspect you'd make quite a buck in that racket.
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From:kakoukorakos
Date:August 22nd, 2012 12:15 am (UTC)

Re: Idle chatter of the Unrealistic.

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There are some elements in China, I'm not sure if they're primarily Party friends & family, who are bringing in such riches that they simply don't have enough things in China to invest the money into, which is why they are becoming real estate barons in the USA. The Chinese equivalent of the yuppie, I guess.

Money is one of those things that certainly can't buy happiness, but without enough to live because someone lost his/her job or can't work, life gets pretty frustrating and hopeless for most folks.

While I wouldn't go so far as to say that folks are entitled to jobs, I would say that it's foolish to let our economy suffer because we're willing to let another country that isn't on a level playing field with our labor laws and human rights outcompete our industry on a price point. If China and the array of 3rd world countries that make most shoes, clothes, and other products for American consumers were simply outcompeting us on technology, efficiency, or economies of scale, it would simply suck to be us. But it's not that, they're certainly efficient and agile, but they also save so much money on labor costs that they're outpricing domestic goods even after theirs have to be shipped halfway around the world. Something just isn't right about that picture...
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From:gabrielhorse
Date:August 22nd, 2012 02:03 pm (UTC)

Re: Idle chatter of the Unrealistic.

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No country is entitled to anything, any more than any person is entitled to anything, that's a uniform absolute people attempt to find ways around with concepts, rules and words. In the end, the way things are always trumps their efforts and they are forced to accept their hubris. The sad truth is the lofty ideals our country has fostered under the wing of secured places to ramble incessently about nonexistent intangibles is now doomed to come crashing down... that is perhaps the hubris of America. We are not great or free. I don't say this with a particular sense of vindictive satisfaction or pride, merely observing what I feel is an unavoidable truth, like saying someone who has passed is dead- with sadness and a feeling of emptiness.

Foolish or not, this is the trend and people aren't doing anything to reverse it. A nation of gullible fatted calfs is doomed to becoming prey for more agile and aggressive predators. This is the overall way of things for all life forms, why should humans or a nation called "America" be any different? Because were "special"? Hah. Places like Egypt have their shit together, starting revolutions that take politicians out. America? Acting like Piglet from Winne the Pooh, hiding under the bed the moment the revolution gets underway, then trying to look all calm and composed after it's over and done. The moment WW2 ended, we as a nation began to grow soft, complacent and preoccupied with playing silly games. Our President has become a symbolic representation of our gradual regression since Ronald Reagan took office, maybe even further back with Jimmy Carter. Now presidents pretend to be accepting to whatever the new set of norms are just in time for re-election, a trick they learn while being senators.

Money buys goods and services, but they are based upon a person's needs. If they monetary system falls, people will still needs things. People will still seek things they have deemed a need. The only things we're losing are things that never really existed in the first place, except in our minds. Life goes on. I can't help but feel most people are all hung up on things that don't actually exist- like concepts of America, human rights and privileges, and the so-called but nonexistant thing, "economy". If these are along the lines of your concerns, K, you've still got some things to learn and a level of wisdom you haven't yet reached or sought out for. Like Fleetwood Mac said, yesterday's gone.
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From:kakoukorakos
Date:August 25th, 2012 03:54 am (UTC)

Re: Idle chatter of the Unrealistic.

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I merely believe that some less tangible things are worth paying for. One such thing is the well-being of my community and of my country, my neighbors and my countrymen. They were my primary customers when I was in business, and they still pay my salary rather indirectly. I'm talking about a mutualism, as soon as folks start worrying more about saving a buck in their own wallet than the livelihood of the neighbor down the street, that cooperation begins to fall apart.

I'm not saying the neighbor's goods or services don't need to be competitive, they should be priced fairly. I'm saying that it utterly destroys communities and folks lose their livelihoods when the industries that anchor those communities fail because consumers thoughtlessly go to Wal^Mart to save a couple bucks on stuff made far away.

I'm not being completely altruistic by any stretch, I just realize that when those factories keep people employed, those people then have money to buy shit from me or send their kids to college, one of which I happen to work for.

"Economy" is just a technical way of explaining how money, goods, and services circulate. Money is nothing more than means to store or transport value above and beyond a really basic barter system. If you're so prideful that you think you're surviving completely on your own, well do it-- don't accept a penny from anyone else, don't eat any food you didn't grow or raise yourself, live in your own vacuum.

If that doesn't sound so appealing, realize that you're part of the community. The pull of that community does decrease with geopolitical distance. People have slipped into the delusion that the globalization that money facilitates means that the "community forces" are no longer relevant or needed, but I'm saying they most definitely are still both relevant and needed. The more money each person uses in areas in which the community force is strongest have the greatest potential to provide a value that exceeds the tiny amount of money saved by importing an item from across a great distance, beyond the reach of the community force. That money has a much greater chance of coming right back, not in the form of a paltry savings, but in the form of actual earnings.

I don't know the precise demographic breakdown, but the university I work for is probably somewhere around:

70% in-state tuition
24% out-of-state US citizen tuition
6% out-of-state foreign student tuition

If I spend money within my locale or region, how likely is it to come back to me, and make sure my services continue to be required compared to if I spend that money elsewhere in the US, or in China?
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From:gabrielhorse
Date:August 26th, 2012 05:30 pm (UTC)

Re: Idle chatter of the Unrealistic.

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I merely believe that some less tangible things are worth paying for.

Well, enjoy ;)

One such thing is the well-being of my community and of my country, my neighbors and my countrymen.

I thought you lived out in the woods- how close is your nearest "neighbor" anyway?

I'm not saying the neighbor's goods or services don't need to be competitive, they should be priced fairly. I'm saying that it utterly destroys communities and folks lose their livelihoods when the industries that anchor those communities fail because consumers thoughtlessly go to Wal^Mart to save a couple bucks on stuff made far away.

I just go because they take EBT. If Ma and Pa Kettle can hook me up, I don't care where I shop.

I'm not being completely altruistic by any stretch, I just realize that when those factories keep people employed, those people then have money to buy shit from me or send their kids to college, one of which I happen to work for.

If you work for a college, what do you sell, as you see it?

If you're so prideful that you think you're surviving completely on your own, well do it-- don't accept a penny from anyone else, don't eat any food you didn't grow or raise yourself, live in your own vacuum.

Hmmm... I have to say, the idea of raising and slaughtering my own livestock does have a certain theraputic appeal to it... maybe a project to work on down the road.... for now, renting rooms to human cattle will have to suffice. Aside from that, someone who's proud isn't merely satisfied just making it, they'd want to brag about it as well. People aren't so easily satiated ;) Plus I'm mean, so I'd rather rub salt, sand and broken glass into any wounds rather than dispense healing salves. But tha's just me, of course ^_^
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From:kakoukorakos
Date:August 30th, 2012 03:31 am (UTC)

Re: Idle chatter of the Unrealistic.

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My nearest neighbors aren't all *that* far away, but more figuratively speaking, I consider all of the folks living within a 3 mile radius to be my immediate neighbors, it's kind of an economic zone thing.

My college sells knowledge and access to the people and materials that contribute to humanity's knowledge. I help facilitate the transfer of knowledge.

And what I was getting at is that there's an element of pride in the usual delusions of not depending on others. It's possible to withdraw from society and eke out survival, but such complete independence generally comes at the cost of higher risks and lower rewards, the only one of note being that you did it all yourself & didn't need anyone else-- that's pretty basic hubris.
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From:gabrielhorse
Date:August 30th, 2012 01:22 pm (UTC)

Re: Idle chatter of the Unrealistic.

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It's possible to withdraw from society and eke out survival, but such complete independence generally comes at the cost of higher risks and lower rewards, the only one of note being that you did it all yourself & didn't need anyone else-- that's pretty basic hubris.

Okay, then it's time for a little clarification- what do you see as being "higher risks" and "lower rewards"? I mean, what things come to mind, K?
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From:kakoukorakos
Date:August 31st, 2012 12:09 am (UTC)

Re: Idle chatter of the Unrealistic.

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Higher risks: you screw-up your garden, you starve. You have a medical emergency, you probably die. The usual scenarios where the help of strangers or neighbors help each other.

Lower rewards: Life is not going to be quite as comfortable, for the most part, because very few people do enough things well to do everything themselves and do it correctly. "I did it myself!" is great and all, but division of labor makes it possible for folks to trade what they do for what they do well for what other folks do well, so everyone has nice things.
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From:gabrielhorse
Date:August 31st, 2012 01:39 pm (UTC)

Re: Idle chatter of the Unrealistic.

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And how often have strangers helped you in the course of your lifetime- any moments in particular stand out?
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From:kakoukorakos
Date:September 2nd, 2012 02:52 am (UTC)

Re: Idle chatter of the Unrealistic.

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While I'm extremely independent from a working smarter and harder to pull things off myself, there have been a few times when I have struggled and someone just helped. In most cases, I probably could've managed on my own, but the help did make the tasks easier and less hazardous to my well-being in some cases.
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From:gabrielhorse
Date:September 18th, 2012 01:59 pm (UTC)

Re: Idle chatter of the Unrealistic.

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Hmm, that suggests you are aware on some level of trying to skew this towards driving home a point, or I missed something. At any rate, if the goal is making tasks easier, there you are -it to me seems a self-defeating goal because the easier it is to do something, the weaker the body and the resolve in a person becomes- but I geuss that speaks of where my point lies.
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From:hastka
Date:August 24th, 2012 02:50 am (UTC)
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For the sake of playing devil's advocate, the move to offshoring is by no means a new or sudden phenomenon. It was a gradual process by which consumers (i.e. the people complaining about offshoring today) didn't want to pay extra to by American-made goods, despite higher material, labor, and regulatory expenses. Instead, they enabled the economies of China, India, and others. So, here we are.

Around Detroit, there's always been a wealth of bumper stickers along the lines of "Out of a job yet? Keep buying foreign." While I find those to be very narrowminded (there's no equivalent that says "Out of a job yet? Keep asking $50/hr to drive a forklift") there is some validity in the point that if you consider your neighbors, and the community/country as a whole, a charity case, then yes, the local economy will improve. :)
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From:kakoukorakos
Date:August 25th, 2012 03:10 am (UTC)
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Yeah, that's kind of the position I've held for a while, and I do see the additional value of buying USA or at least north-American made stuff, even if it costs substantially more and I can barely afford it. We've lost touch as a society with the way everyone in small towns used to be producers and consumers of each others' goods and services. When that happens, we don't care how faceless corporations treat their faceless employees, we don't think of the indirect costs of those low prices, we just think of ourselves. "Fair trade" just doesn't appear on the radar.

But by the same token, it's all too easy for greedy employees to take advantage of a faceless corporation, which endangers their own jobs if their greed well exceeds the contributions they make. They do that because they want to take what they can through collective bargaining and don't have to look the business owner in the eye and explain how the forklift driving really is worth a $50/hr salary.
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