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  1. #21  
    Our widdle friend. Wei Wu Wei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odysseus View Post
    You act as if one cannot be a leftist/socialist and a plutocrat. In every communist/socialist/progressive state, there has been a pampered elite which lived better than everybody else, by virtue of political connections and power.
    I never implied otherwise.

    Your response to every criticism is to point harder at someone else.

    The failures of a socialist country across the world does nothing to diminish the failures within our own country.

    Pointing out the faults in the Republican party does not explain or erase the faults in the Democratic party. Pointing out the flaws in the Soviet system does not explain or erase the faults in the American system.

    The difference between a bureaucrat who lives large while running a state-owned monopoly and a crony capitalist who benefits from having his pet politician restrict his rivals' access to markets through political machinations is only a matter of semantics.
    What about a regular capitalist like Steve Jobs who gets wealthy off of the slave labor of chinese sweatshops?
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
     

  2. #22  
    Power CUer NJCardFan's Avatar
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    The article lost me with this:
    Herman Cain, a pizza tycoon
    Herman Cain is not a pizza tycoon. If you can't tell the difference between someone who owns a pizza conglomerate and someone who was asked to bring a struggling corporation from the brink of disaster into profitability then you shouldn't be writing news articles. John Schnatter is a pizza tycoon. Herman Cain is not.



    Wait, I thought the Tea Party is racist? Why do I count at least 10 black people in the 2 Tea Party pictures, however, in the 2 OWS pictures all I see are white kids.
    The Obama Administration: Deny. Deflect. Blame.
     

  3. #23  
    PORCUS MAXIMUS Rockntractor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    I never implied otherwise.

    Your response to every criticism is to point harder at someone else.

    The failures of a socialist country across the world does nothing to diminish the failures within our own country.

    Pointing out the faults in the Republican party does not explain or erase the faults in the Democratic party. Pointing out the flaws in the Soviet system does not explain or erase the faults in the American system.



    What about a regular capitalist like Steve Jobs who gets wealthy off of the slave labor of chinese sweatshops?
    Tell those Chinese people you wish they didn't have their jobs, by the way, Chinese communist officials that live very well set those laborers wages.
    The difference between pigs and people is that when they tell you you're cured it isn't a good thing.
    http://i.imgur.com/FHvkMSE.jpg
     

  4. #24  
    Our widdle friend. Wei Wu Wei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockntractor View Post
    Tell those Chinese people you wish they didn't have their jobs, by the way, Chinese communist officials that live very well set those laborers wages.
    I wish they had good jobs at businesses that they had some control over.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
     

  5. #25  
    PORCUS MAXIMUS Rockntractor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    I wish they had good jobs at businesses that they had some control over.
    You have little choice when you have a communist government.
    The difference between pigs and people is that when they tell you you're cured it isn't a good thing.
    http://i.imgur.com/FHvkMSE.jpg
     

  6. #26  
    LTC Member Odysseus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    I never implied otherwise.

    Your response to every criticism is to point harder at someone else.
    No, my response to your criticisms is to point out that you are the occupant of a glass house. You claim to want democratic socialism, but no socialist state has ever been democratic for more than a few minutes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    The failures of a socialist country across the world does nothing to diminish the failures within our own country.
    First, it's not the failure of a socialist country, it's the failure of every socialist country in the world, every single one. Second, your critiques of capitalism are based on several flawed assumptions, one of which is that there is a viable alternative to capitalism, when there isn't. You also claim that the problems in our economy are the fault of capitalism, rather than the policies of the leftists who have been gradually driving our economy and political systems towards socialism. It's like demanding that we breath pure carbon monoxide instead of air, on the grounds that the air in Los Angeles is less than perfectly clean.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    Pointing out the faults in the Republican party does not explain or erase the faults in the Democratic party. Pointing out the flaws in the Soviet system does not explain or erase the faults in the American system.
    Pointing out the faults in both parties, but comparing them objectively, allows you to analyze imperfect choices and pick the less corrupt, less deluded party. Pointing out the inherent flaws in all socialist systems, not just the Soviet system, doesn't erase the flaws in the American system, but it does put them into perspective. By comparing the two, we see that the socialist models that you advocate result in horrific working conditions, gross inefficiencies, poverty, stagnation and societal collapse. I'll take a business cycle over that any day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    What about a regular capitalist like Steve Jobs who gets wealthy off of the slave labor of chinese sweatshops?
    You miss the point. Slave labor exists in China because it is still under the control of a communist party, not because Steve Jobs is a capitalist. A coercive state can cut costs through the use of force, while a free market drives down costs through innovation and competition. Your inability to see the difference is rather scary, considering that you are paid to educate others.
    Last edited by Odysseus; 11-05-2011 at 12:37 AM.
    --Odysseus
    Sic Hacer Pace, Para Bellum.

    Before you can do things for people, you must be the kind of man who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing, not the people!
     

  7. #27  
    LTC Member Odysseus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    I wish they had good jobs at businesses that they had some control over.
    Oh, you wish... A few thoughts on wishing instead of thinking:

    If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride.
    Anonymous
    A wish is a desire without an attempt.
    Farmer Digest
    Industry need not wish.
    Benjamin Franklin
    Let us act on what we have, since we have not what we wish.
    Cardinal J. Newman
    Men try to run life according to their wishes; life runs itself according to necessity.
    Jean Toomer
    Some people develop a wishbone where their backbone should be.
    Anonymous
    Stop the mindless wishing that things would be different. Rather than wasting time and emotional and spiritual energy in explaining why we don't have what we want, we can start to pursue other ways to get it.
    Greg Anderson
    The wishing gate opens into nothing.
    Charles Haddon Spurgeon
    --Odysseus
    Sic Hacer Pace, Para Bellum.

    Before you can do things for people, you must be the kind of man who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing, not the people!
     

  8. #28  
    Senior Member Zathras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odysseus View Post
    Oh, you wish... A few thoughts on wishing instead of thinking:

    If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride.
    Anonymous
    A wish is a desire without an attempt.
    Farmer Digest
    Industry need not wish.
    Benjamin Franklin
    Let us act on what we have, since we have not what we wish.
    Cardinal J. Newman
    Men try to run life according to their wishes; life runs itself according to necessity.
    Jean Toomer
    Some people develop a wishbone where their backbone should be.
    Anonymous
    Stop the mindless wishing that things would be different. Rather than wasting time and emotional and spiritual energy in explaining why we don't have what we want, we can start to pursue other ways to get it.
    Greg Anderson
    The wishing gate opens into nothing.
    Charles Haddon Spurgeon
    You forgot one Ody....

    Crap in one hand and wish in the other and see which one fills up first.
    Solve a man's problem with violence and help him for a day. Teach a man how to solve his problems with violence, help him for a lifetime - Belkar Bitterleaf
     

  9. #29  
    Best Bounty Hunter in the Forums fettpett's Avatar
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    "Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings..." Patrick Henry
     

  10. #30  
    Our widdle friend. Wei Wu Wei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odysseus View Post
    No, my response to your criticisms is to point out that you are the occupant of a glass house. You claim to want democratic socialism, but no socialist state has ever been democratic for more than a few minutes.
    Social Democracy exists in many nations, with better healthcare, education, social mobility, general happiness, wealth distribution, labor support, crime rates, and more.

    They aren't perfect by far, but they seem to be doing some things better than we are. They blend elements of capitalism and socialism. Nations like this are Norway, Sweden, Germany, Finland, Denmark, and more.




    First, it's not the failure of a socialist country, it's the failure of every socialist country in the world, every single one.
    We don't need to go back to Soviet-style socialism, I agree. That doesn't mean we can't look at them more objectively, within proper historical context, and without chest-thumping jingoism in order to learn a thing or two.

    Second, your critiques of capitalism are based on several flawed assumptions, one of which is that there is a viable alternative to capitalism, when there isn't.
    I think this is a key point that keeps coming up. This is the point where thinking comes into place. Some people only know how to choose between options that are given to them in advance, but in reality that's often not enough. In reality, often times the options you get are all shitty.

    Countless times in history, great innovations of thought and technology came because someone realized there were no other existing alternatives, and they sought to create them. They found new directions in thought, asked questions that were previously always assumed, or found entirely new ways for things to be used or combined.

    I like to use the example of Ptolemy and Copernicus:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei
    Ptolemy was working on a geocentric model of the universe, and kept noticing the orbital patterns of the planets had weird inconsistencies to them, at times they even appered to change direction multiple times in their orbits.

    Because Ptolomy was absolutely certain that the Earth was the center of the universe, and because he was measuring these weird inconsistencies in the data, he had to account for it the only way he knew how: by making his geocentric model way more complex to account for the odd motions.

    He kept the earth at the center, but added epicycles to the orbits of the planets, so that they moved in little circles within the path of the larger circle of their orbit, sort of like those old toys where you use your pencil within two circles to make patterns:

    The resulting orbital model was something like this:



    this is clearly WAY more complex and unnecessarily elaborate, given our knowledge of the relatively simple orbits of our Heliocentric Solar System.


    The problem was his inability to look past his assumptions, and what was needed was a Copernican Revolution. From the perspective of a Sun-Centered solar system, the changing directions of the planets in the sky is easily accounted for by the relatively different speeds of the planets within their orbit, which pass each other and loop back around when viewed from earth.
    What you are saying is like Ptolemy saying "you cannot criticize my epicycles because there's no other alternative." He was right about one thing, there was no alternative for one and a half thousand years. However, the lack of an alternative did not mean that Ptolemy's system was above criticism. What it took was a revolution in thought, which questioned the previously unquestionable starting assumptions (namely, that Earth was the center of the solar system).

    Today, we cannot simply say "you cannot criticize capitalism because there is no better system". That is like Ptolemy. We should look at the good and the bad about capitalism, the successes and failures of 20th century soviet socialism, and think forward towards something better.


    It's ultimately not a question of whether or not things will keep on going the way they have before. That's over, capitalism as we've known it ischanging whether we like it or not. Capitalism is either going to collapse or evolve into something like they have in Singapore.


    You also claim that the problems in our economy are the fault of capitalism, rather than the policies of the leftists who have been gradually driving our economy and political systems towards socialism. It's like demanding that we breath pure carbon monoxide instead of air, on the grounds that the air in Los Angeles is less than perfectly clean.
    This is a good discussion to have. I think a systemic analysis of capitalism will show that the problems with capitalism are not problems from some external force interfering with it, but inevitable problems that arise from the antagonisms within it.

    I think this part is tricky and needs some back and forth discussion, but this is precisely the sort of discussion we should be having.


    Pointing out the faults in both parties, but comparing them objectively, allows you to analyze imperfect choices and pick the less corrupt, less deluded party. Pointing out the inherent flaws in all socialist systems, not just the Soviet system, doesn't erase the flaws in the American system, but it does put them into perspective. By comparing the two, we see that the socialist models that you advocate result in horrific working conditions, gross inefficiencies, poverty, stagnation and societal collapse. I'll take a business cycle over that any day.
    These are good things to compare. I might come to some different conclusions, but again this is a good sort of discussion to have.



    You miss the point. Slave labor exists in China because it is still under the control of a communist party, not because Steve Jobs is a capitalist. A coercive state can cut costs through the use of force, while a free market drives down costs through innovation and competition. Your inability to see the difference is rather scary, considering that you are paid to educate others.
    China is part of the global capitalist system. It's precisely innovation and competition that has apple producing cutting-edge technology for pennies an hour in chinese sweatshops.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
     

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