Are there dangerous ideas?

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This topic contains 369 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Unseen 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 346 through 360 (of 370 total)
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  • #34620

    Unseen
    Participant

    You’ll definitely want to turn up the realism dial on Socialism.  Adding tax- and debt-financed “gimmies” on top our existing tax- and debt-financed “gimmies” and laying it on top of a Culture War is a very explosive mix.

    Oh that old saw about socialists spending money. The GOP talks a good game when it comes to financial restraint, but in truth neither party shows a lot of interest in it. They just spend money on different things and work to benefit different income demographics. The GOP throws money into the military black hole and treats the super-wealthy and major corporations as if they are a welfare class. The Dems spend money on the middle- and lower-class segments, where it’s sorely needed.

    The last time we had a balanced budget was under a Democratic president, Clinton.

    One thing is for sure, the pandemic has put the country into a situation where a lot of spending is going to be required to help the unemployed survive long enough to become employed again and some government spending will be needed to create those jobs.

    There are times when we don’t need budget hawks and we are in such a time now.

    What do you think of Andrew Yang’s UBI? If we can end most poverty, he argues, the program should pay for itself through savings in the health area, but allowing people the leisure to start small businesses (the backbone of the economy), and by keeping money circulating through the economy generating taxes. Money in circulation is what an economy is built on.

    #34622

    Kristina
    Participant

    What do you think of Andrew Yang’s UBI? If we can end most poverty, he argues, the program should pay for itself through savings in the health area, but allowing people the leisure to start small businesses (the backbone of the economy), and by keeping money circulating through the economy generating taxes. Money in circulation is what an economy is built on.

    I haven’t seen Yang’s proposal, specifically, but if done right, UBI could also help free up capacity for volunteerism and community improvement/ service. Contrary to popular opinion, lost of people like to work; they just don’t like to work in demoralizing conditions where every day feels like they are a hair’s breadth from financial disaster.

    As things stand, politicians put in a lot of effort to draw in companies to get employment numbers up. How long have we spent fearing automation, or living under the threat that the largest employers will just up and move to another state or country if they don’t get the sort of preferential treatment they want? While we wouldn’t be able to completely get away from that–states and nations still need revenue drivers, we can lessen the shock of localized regions being wiped out by factory closures and the like.

    There is also less of a barrier too people getting further skills training to enter new fields as technology, demand and markets change.

    Personally, I don’t think UBI is a complete answer to anything. There is a question of why our psychology is so okay with inequity where it doesn’t make sense. That said, UBI, hypothetically, could restore some negotiating power back to the employee side of the equation in a number of job-types which have long had depressed wages.

    #34624

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    There is a question of why our psychology is so okay with inequity where it doesn’t make sense.

    There are different kinds of fairness, which can conflict: e.g., equality, proportionality, or charity.

    #34625

    Unseen
    Participant

    You’ll definitely want to turn up the realism dial on Socialism.  Adding tax- and debt-financed “gimmies” on top our existing tax- and debt-financed “gimmies” and laying it on top of a Culture War is a very explosive mix.

    Okay, the topic is dangerous ideas but one topic seems so dangerous that I’m moving over to the pre-existing topic: Socialism: Threat or Menace?

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  Unseen.
    #34626

    Kristina
    Participant

    There is a question of why our psychology is so okay with inequity where it doesn’t make sense.

    There are different kinds of fairness, which can conflict: e.g., equality, proportionality, or charity.

    It’s not fairness which concerns me so much as the amount of mental gymnastics required to preserve a dysfunctional system. I worked for a business where the CEO tanked it. That’s not speculation. Either by incompetence or inability to rise to the challenges of a changing marketplace, the strategy he adopted shifted the company from a successful model to financial straits. Year over year, the only way his model balanced out was that falling below projection on margin was balanced with reducing spending. His salary increased under the rationalization that CEOs need to be paid competitively (though admittedly, his salary wasn’t that high by national standards). The lowest paid staff who were having their wages stagnate as living expenses rapidly ballooned.

    I understand that is quite anecdotal, and no one here can actually verify it. But the point is illustrating where my concern is. I don’t expect a perfectly fair scenario with regard to wages as it is difficult to even define what that means in the first place. But as the iniquity grew, and there was no real semblance of it being due to performance or contribution, it was strange how okay we all were with it. Not just in a fatalistic “Well, it beats starving to death on the street” sort of acceptance, but a lack of revulsion to a dysfunctional scenario. That strikes me as a dangerous idea, that this sort of shit is not only okay, but seemingly a natural order of things we should accept.

    #34629

    Unseen
    Participant

    How dangerous is UBI?

    #34630

    Kristina
    Participant

    I do get why Joe might be resistant. Personally, I grew up with a world view where working was the ethical–if not moral–thing to do. It wasn’t just about the product of your work, but rather working itself held virtue. It was an expectation and a duty to be employed. The one aspect of UBI that grates on me is not working feels unethical while I am capable and well below retirement age.

    But what if the product of your work wasn’t useful or needed?

    What if the product of your work was actually harmful?

    In our desperation to be productive, to stimulate economic activity, we generate a lot of activity which may be harmful. Look at fast fashion. While it may satisfy a desire people have for novelty in clothing, the reality is, we’re producing inferior quality products (in terms of longevity) which often are difficult or impossible to recycle, upcycle or even donate, and there is a huge associated carbon footprint. It. Has. To. Stop. But it can’t because we need that economic activity, and short term, that’s the priority.

    There is a profound sickness to it. Even in nations with considerable resources, no shortage of potable water, food production capacity, energy, space, security, we still get stuck in this fucked up mess where if we don’t sell jeans that will disintegrate after being worn five times, our economy will tank and people won’t be able to buy food without debt and poorly structured assistance programs. What the actual fuck?

    Part of my support for UBI also stems from the idea that we need people working less, at lest in terms of revenue driving labour. Instead of trying to create products and services which range from unnecessary to problematic, create a community garden, volunteer, spend time with the socially isolated who no longer have connections in their life, do a skill share, fix up your property/ residence, order your latte with a smile instead of a “FUCK YOU I’M LATE” face.

    #34631

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    But as the iniquity grew, and there was no real semblance of it being due to performance or contribution, it was strange how okay we all were with it.

    Learned helplessness, maybe.

    #34633

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Yeah so we undress the believers. Or at least their beliefs.. Debates about ontology and mythology, contemptible apologists..

    When we are idle it may occur to you as it has to me that it is all about nothing. Shakespeare had it spot on. Sound and fury signifying jack fucking shit. In a sense we are all full of shit.

    So unless the vicissitudes shoot ya in the proverbial nuts..don’t take it seriously.

    The starkness and brevity of life without levity is dangerous and bordering on being an idea.

    #34635

    Davis
    Moderator

    The number of people who don’t end up working even though they can’t when social services are provided (and there truly is work to find) is quite low in Europe. The perspective my most non-reactionary conservative types (most people) is that there will always be a small number of people who cannot work (highly disabled or have mental problems that are sufficiently problematic to make full time proper salary work difficult), are temporary unable to work (many reasons including personal problems, dependency issues, recent traumas, long term medical problems) or just plain don’t want to. Regardless of whether you offer them assistance or not they will not have work. The question is do you want them to suffer or rot in the gutter or let them fall into a hole that becomes increasingly more difficult to dig yourself out of or not? For many short term assistance is the difference between an economic recovery and a long period of pointless struggle. When you allow people to become destitute it also creates extremely toxic byproducts which you will easily note when you visit American states that have poor social assistance. Just walk through Detroit or Baltimore and you will see the deranged effects of those who are left to their own devices without assistance. Poverty and homelessness leads to further economic problems, violence, familiar misery, increased substance dependency, sex work and so on. In reality a basic income costs very little more than the social programs that are already offered (if it is a “top up system”) that ensures those who don’t meet a minimum income get funding to not fall below a poverty line. It pays off in decreased need for policing, social services and can lead to a higher educated citizenry and a healthier economy. And remember, life on a minimum income is still no picnic. It is barely higher than subsistence living.

    The thing really standing in the way are people who simply refuse to believe many people suffering problems are there through little fault of their own and/or a refusal to allow a program that will make things over all better just because a few fuck-ups will take advantage of it. A pilot study in Ontario and Finland showed that very few who had the chance to not work just lazed about taking the money and the benefits to people near the poverty line were enormous. It exponentially improved people’s lives. In other words some who fully well know a minimum income program could even pay for themselves would still simply impose it over the outrage that even a few people simply won’t follow the virtuous duty of “work”.

    #34636

    Davis
    Moderator

    People who dismiss socialism (in all its forms) are ignorant and cannot distinguish between:

    communist socialism (soviet, maoism, cuban)

    bolivarian socialism (Venezuela and for a time a few other Latin American countries)

    facist socialism (Nazi Germany)

    European modern socialism (mixed system of capitalism and generous social programs).

    If you lump them all together and paint them all the same then you’re highly difficient in world history and basic political ideologies. I highly recommend learning about them.

    Almost all of Europe, Canada, Australia, NZ, Japan, S Korea, Singapore, Taiwan have modern socialist systems (even when they have right wing conservative governments). It is not a threat to capitalism it simply provides universal healthcare and social services to assist the people who inevitably suffer from the weaknesses of capitalism (which are many). It does not attack capitalism, it simply mixes the best of capitalism and socialist ideas without the problems of totalitarianism or decreasing freedom that would come from a centrally governed economy or single party rule. The benefits are enormous. America is the only western democracy that doesn’t use this system (or barely does) and it is obvious when you see the high levels of poverty, those needing assistance and not getting in and utterly out of control homelessness plus the social problems and violence that comes along with an indifferent government (not to mention people dying pointlessly cause they don’t have healthcare). Countries in the West which are slowly eroding their social programs (like the UK) show increasing signs of the same problems.

    #34637

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Yeah i am coming around to Eco’s thinking on trickery. UBI is just another trick law. I am a one trick pony. As aforementioned there is a natural order. A tiny tiny minority contributes a wee little yet takes the lion’s share. Lions with those big manes will let a jackal starve until he has had his fill. There is the natural order in economics. Wealthy get wealthier while the rest get babies and the lowest echelon is mired in cycles of poverty, ignorance and hopelessness. There is a natural social order as well. Lets see. The Jews are to blame for everything. Yes everything. The Blacks are indolent but show their teeth with a shit kicking grin and say, “yes master” And the faggots are deviants who make me sick.

    Point is we can not afford any trickery in our laws. Preserve the natural order. When the hammer falls on the lowest echelon that is how it always was and how it will remain. Hell, we had a blackish president. What more do they want? Those people are so uppity! Lets punish crimes motivated by hatred and hatred alone, the same as we punish crimes motivated by greed or envy. A crime is a crime whether it is kristallnacht or stealing a candy bar. We have laws to punish transgressions so the fact that there are only hated groups subject to the hatred of time immemorial is no reason to select those lower echelon groups with favoritism. Favoritism is reserved for the chosen groups. As long as the hatemongers can say what is in their heart and it is not directly causing the untermensch to be persecuted then those people should have nothing to say. We have a principle so sacrosanct in free speech that we prefer to give full authority to the hatemongers to dehumanize the untouchables. Ultimately it leads to persecution but that is besides the point. It is the natural order. The government can restrict commercial speech but it is not free to restrict the most vile and reprehensible hate speech. This message is brought to you by me channeling Eco.

    #34638

    Unseen
    Participant

    To me it’s not a waste of money to pay some people to stay home, tend to their house plants and pets and go out to buy food. Their “job” will be to spend their UBI, which creates jobs and generates taxes. You almost certainly won’t get it back that way, but as people become more able to care for themselves, we’ll spend less on dead end services that are a drag on the economy like unpaid ER visits, food stamps, incarceration. No magic bullet, but it’s better than sticking our head up our ass and ignoring the huge changes in the workforce economy that are happening in plain site (automated this and that, Amazon, Wayfair, Chewy, etc.). The new jobs will not be taken by ex-truck drivers, ex-salesfolk, or ex-file clerks, and there will be far fewer new jobs than jobs obviated by tech.

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  Unseen.
    #34642

    Ahmad
    Participant

    Without levity, as in no hope or happiness

    #34647

    Unseen
    Participant

    Socialism doesn’t work? What about capitalism?

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