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» Ship of Fools   » Community discussion   » Purgatory   » The Myth of Compassionate Conservatism (Page 2)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: The Myth of Compassionate Conservatism
Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:

At any rate, claims of compassion on the part of those extracting profits from a situation should be treated with heightened skepticism.

True. You will note that nowhere in my post did I mention, let alone advocate, for-profit education.
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ThunderBunk

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Compassionate conservatism? From Theresa May.

Words fail me. The bunch in power in the UK will rip the country apart and impoverish it beyond the depths of the Depression to save themselves. That is the face of UK conservatism.

[ 17. January 2017, 21:10: Message edited by: ThunderBunk ]

--------------------
Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

Foolish, potentially deranged witterings

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
It's rather the need to make the economy sound (according to their lights), and that the Big Society idea is the best they can do to plug the gaps.

That is what they say, hard to belive them when this appears to be the real why.

quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by mark_in_manchester:
I agree with your last point - the shit doesn't hit the fan quite so quick for Lord Snooty with his head in a bag of coke, and in $$ terms he can of course blow a much, much bigger pile.

Of course, the other major consideration is that Lord Snooty is wasting his own resources, not public ones. His poor choices aren't being funded by the rest of us.

[Killing me] right [Killing me]

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:

This is being brought home to me at the moment because I am heading up for some surgery (no rude speculative comments as to its nature, please!),

I pride myself on having one of the grubbiest minds here and regularly channeling Finbarr Saunders onto the Ship, but that had not occurred to me until you suggested it.
Sounds to me as if you're not really trying.
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anteater

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I see many sides to this state-provision vs individual/group provision, and to only focus on compassion (under-emphasizing freedom - unless compassion means giving freedom) can produce a very paternalistic attitude (poor you - how can you be expected to cope).

Take an example. When I was in Spain working (admittedly many years ago) people were appalled by the extent to which oldies were shunted to state institutions. And a lot of the reason why was simply that the state provided this, so a lot of people used it. Not all but a lot.

In Spain (at that time) it was not a state provision for old people with surviving relatives, as I understand it, and the culture of the country is that this is not something you should delegate to the state.

Now there's always two sides, but I think the system where people did it at family level was more compassionate, and the people I knew in Spain agreed, though they admitted it could be a pain in the arse.

And I think education is another. I don't see it as compassionate to try and force everybody through a state controlled education system, and I agree that here, nobody is forced. But many on the Left would like to force the issue, and again that, to me is not compassionate.

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Schnuffle schnuffle.

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mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
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quote:
to only focus on compassion can produce a very paternalistic attitude (poor you...)
You've a sunny view of fatherhood!

I'm OK with paternalism in the sense of 'here's some of my cash, which I intend you to spend like this, because I'm your Dad and I've more experience in keeping you out of the shit than you do at the moment. If you want some cash to spend some other way, then OK, feel free to earn some'.

This goes for folks on benefits as well as bankers, in my book.

But what do I know. I have no influence on the situation with the bankers, and my only influence with folks on benefits is in wiping off some of the shit, before next time.

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"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by mark_in_manchester:
I agree with your last point - the shit doesn't hit the fan quite so quick for Lord Snooty with his head in a bag of coke, and in $$ terms he can of course blow a much, much bigger pile.

Of course, the other major consideration is that Lord Snooty is wasting his own resources, not public ones. His poor choices aren't being funded by the rest of us.

[Killing me] right [Killing me]
We are talking about individual choices here, in the context of the old chestnut that if we don't care about rich people doing drugs/gambling/etc then we shouldn't care about benefits recipients doing the same.

The difference being, of course, that rich people are doing it with their own money and benefits recipients are doing it with ours.

I simply fail to see the link to the global financial crisis, which was caused by a series of group decisions and policies made by economists, governments and companies the world over.

I also find it interesting that you seem to be assuming I was/am in favour of the bank bailouts. My preferred course of action at the time would have been to simply let the banks fold and use the money to compensate those who lost their savings as a result. Not only would it have kept the cash in circulation, it would probably have been cheaper as well.

--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:

I also find it interesting that you seem to be assuming I was/am in favour of the bank bailouts. My preferred course of action at the time would have been to simply let the banks fold and use the money to compensate those who lost their savings as a result.

On that specific point; and adopting your particular mindset - it's hard to see savers should be compensated, after all shouldn't they face the consequences of their actions too? Compensating them - adopting your frame of reference - just increase moral hazard.

Secondly, it wasn't just savers that were compensated - the bailouts amounted to asset price protection for anyone with assets.

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anteater

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Mark:
In most conversation, paternalism and fatherhood are not synonymous, indeed "being paternalistic" is hardly, if ever used as a compliment.

It normally refers to treating people as children inappropriately, similar to infantilizing, which is ok with infants, but not with adults.

At least that is the sense I was using it. Just to be clear.

But then again I didn't get along with my Dad, so there may be truth in what you say.

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Schnuffle schnuffle.

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
On that specific point; and adopting your particular mindset - it's hard to see savers should be compensated, after all shouldn't they face the consequences of their actions too? Compensating them - adopting your frame of reference - just increase moral hazard.

People who are trying to be responsible with their savings but lose them all through no fault of their own are not morally comparable to companies who take big risks and come out on the losing side.

Compensating the former will incentivise people to be responsible with their savings. Compensating the latter will incentivise companies to take big risks. Only one of these things is an increased moral hazard.

--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
People who are trying to be responsible with their savings but lose them all through no fault of their own are not morally comparable to companies who take big risks and come out on the losing side.

Compensating the former will incentivise people to be responsible with their savings. Compensating the latter will incentivise companies to take big risks. Only one of these things is an increased moral hazard.

Moral hazard isn't waved away by assertions of opinion. All savings are a form of investment with risk attached to them. The government recognises that there is a common good in promoting a certain amount of saving, which is why there is insurance for bank deposits. Equally it recognizes that any such program should have limits both to limit government exposure and allow proper pricing of risk, so under normal times there is a limit on such insurance. Uninsured savings beyond that limit do bear a risk, as does chasing yield and saving in bonds issued by a bank whose business model is to borrow on the overnight markets to lend out for 30 years. The real effects of such moral hazard can be seen in the distinct lack of any serious political pressure to regulate the banks.

.. and it goes beyond that, it was generalized asset price protection for everyone invested in the stock and housing markets - overinflated by financialization. Everyone who would have had to suffer the consequences of negative equity for the past few years benefited as a result. The real effects of *that* moral hazard will be a reluctance to raise interest rates for the foreseeable future, no matter what the economy looks like.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
We are talking about individual choices here,

How many decision making individuals involved in the 2008 crises were held accountable for their actions?

quote:

I simply fail to see the link to the global financial crisis, which was caused by a series of group decisions and policies made by economists, governments and companies the world over.

Then I'm not certain you understand economics well enough to continue this conversation. Those groups were composed of individuals. But your reasoning is daft anyway. One person gambling away 40 quid of taxpayer money is bad, but another gambling away 40 Billion is OK because he had help?

quote:
My preferred course of action at the time would have been to simply let the banks fold and use the money to compensate those who lost their savings as a result. Not only would it have kept the cash in circulation, it would probably have been cheaper as well.

And this sort of supports my conclusion about your understanding.
No one knows what would exactly happen if the banks were not bailed out.
But given the massive, labyrinthine financial system, it would have been a mess for certain.

[ 19. January 2017, 05:09: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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That 8 people own and have as much as half the world's population, according to info from Oxfam, seems relevant. I haven't seen them identified yet. Nor how compassionate they are.

--------------------
Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

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Brenda Clough
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Does it particularly matter, their level of charitableness? That they have amassed such a fantastic proportion of the world's wealth is appalling in itself.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
We are talking about individual choices here,

How many decision making individuals involved in the 2008 crises were held accountable for their actions?
Not enough. But it's still of minimal relevance to this thread.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Does it particularly matter, their level of charitableness? That they have amassed such a fantastic proportion of the world's wealth is appalling in itself.

The only thing about it that bothers me is that I'm not one of them. It must be such a wonderful life...

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Albertus
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Goodness no. So much to worry about, so much responsibility, so much to lose. Modest affluence much more enjoyable, I suspect.

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My beard is a testament to my masculinity and virility, and demonstrates that I am a real man. Trouble is, bits of quiche sometimes get caught in it.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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I think the problem with being very wealthy is that invariably you have to be an asshole to get it, or, if you inherited it, an asshole to keep it. And we mustn't be deceived because of the clear relationship of poverty to unhappiness. The relationship does not hold at the rich end.

We must always be suspicious of wealthy people pointing to their rights and merits, as they give lip service to charity.

This might be of interest Overpaid bosses (Walrus magazine). Tax rules must be changed to rein it it!

--------------------
Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

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Brenda Clough
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I once knew a scion of a very rich family; he is now deceased. He was not a happy man, because the dangers of his wealth oppressed him. Friends were to be suspected, because they might be on the make. They would want to borrow money. Women were out to sue for paternity or marry and then clean him out. He had difficulty committing to anything or becoming enthused by any career or cause. In the end his only refuge was the bottle.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
We are talking about individual choices here,

How many decision making individuals involved in the 2008 crises were held accountable for their actions?
Not enough. But it's still of minimal relevance to this thread.
It is very relevant if you lot are going to bang on about the undeserving poor.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
I think the problem with being very wealthy is that invariably you have to be an asshole to get it, or, if you inherited it, an asshole to keep it. And we mustn't be deceived because of the clear relationship of poverty to unhappiness. The relationship does not hold at the rich end.

Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy protection from certain very specific forms of unhappiness.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy protection from certain very specific forms of unhappiness.

I suppose money allows you to sail up along unhappiness in your great big yacht.

--------------------
Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

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Albertus
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But if you have a lot of it it can also open up the door to other kinds of unhappiness. It can take a lot of care and work to manage it properly.

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My beard is a testament to my masculinity and virility, and demonstrates that I am a real man. Trouble is, bits of quiche sometimes get caught in it.

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Alt Wally

Cardinal Ximinez
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
The raising of individual rights in this context is about protecting the assets of those who have more isn't it?

The foundational principle of our government is to assure individual rights and protections with the intention of allowing for the pursuit of happiness. Everything it does – defend the borders, fill potholes, police the streets, verify our food safety, regulate commerce, etc. all comes back to this in terms of purpose.

I don’t think the government can act compassionately. I think it can act equitability and humanely, though clearly imperfectly so. That doesn’t mean that those with more deserve less, or that those with less deserve more. Pragmatically we realize that some must contribute to the support of others, because it is in the best interest of all if we do. How this this happens is up for debate.

Beyond this “compassion” is really personal morals or convictions about who deserves what. Exercised through the government this is ideology. Something both the left and right feel compelled to impress upon us in their own ways and for their own ends.

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
It is very relevant if you lot are going to bang on about the undeserving poor.

Not really. I may not want public money going to the undeserving poor, but I don't want it going to the undeserving rich either.

--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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quote:
Originally posted by Alt Wally:
]The foundational principle of our government is to assure individual rights and protections with the intention of allowing for the pursuit of happiness. Everything it does – defend the borders, fill potholes, police the streets, verify our food safety, regulate commerce, etc. all comes back to this in terms of purpose.

Pursuit of happiness is an Americanism. Very individualistic. Hyper about it from my vantage point.

Canada has "peace, order and good government" in place of pursuit of happiness, elabourated with the idea of a "civil society" where people can pursue their interests but not at the expense or to the detriment of others. With the additional values that "we're all in this life together, we need to support each other, restrain exploitation and pursue collective goals".

This is why we need to restrain unbridled capitalism and commercial activity, make rules to disallow profiteering etc. I like to raise the Regina Manifesto (which has been greatly tempered by the CCF/NDP actually governing several provinces for many years, and (former prime minister) Pierre Trudeau's discussion of a "just society". We think we're middle of road, I get that from a USA perspective and possibly UK that we're lefties re social-economy.

--------------------
Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
It is very relevant if you lot are going to bang on about the undeserving poor.

Not really. I may not want public money going to the undeserving poor, but I don't want it going to the undeserving rich either.
The "undeserving" poor is typically an excuse not to give at all, or at least not support public assistance.
As to the undeserving rich, your taxes pay for those, whether or not you wish. Though it would appear by your own admission that your main problem is that you are not one of them.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Ricardus
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Isn't this just another 'How can you condemn X if you don't condemn Y?' argument?

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
The "undeserving" poor is typically an excuse not to give at all, or at least not support public assistance.

This discussion would be much more productive if you were responding to what I'm actually saying rather than what you think the stereotypical right-winger/Tory would say.

quote:
As to the undeserving rich, your taxes pay for those, whether or not you wish.
Well duh. Everyone who opposes a particular element of government spending is in a position where their taxes are paying for it anyway.

quote:
Though it would appear by your own admission that your main problem is that you are not one of them.
Mate, if I was one of the eight richest people in the world I would neither need nor want government handouts.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
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quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
Isn't this just another 'How can you condemn X if you don't condemn Y?' argument?

Yes, but with the added twist that the argument is still being used despite the fact that I am also condemning Y.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Sioni Sais
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# 5713

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
It is very relevant if you lot are going to bang on about the undeserving poor.

Not really. I may not want public money going to the undeserving poor, but I don't want it going to the undeserving rich either.
The undeserving rich have no need for public money. Christ never made a judgment about who deserves sustenance or salvation for that matter.

--------------------
"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

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chris stiles
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# 12641

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
Isn't this just another 'How can you condemn X if you don't condemn Y?' argument?

Yes, but with the added twist that the argument is still being used despite the fact that I am also condemning Y.
No. You defined a subset of Y as Y (dividing bankers from the ultimate beneficiaries of the bailout), in order to exculpate that subset.

The cost of fraudulent benefit claims is about 1% of the benefit budget (about 1bn pounds, compared to 20bn in tax fraud)

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goperryrevs
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Of course, the other major consideration is that Lord Snooty is wasting his own resources, not public ones.

There's the historical question of how those resources came to be his in the first place. Lord Snooty's resources could well have been public ones before they were stolen.

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"Keep your eye on the donut, not on the hole." - David Lynch

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
The cost of fraudulent benefit claims is about 1% of the benefit budget (about 1bn pounds, compared to 20bn in tax fraud)

Which would be a valid point if I'd said tax fraud wasn't something that should be dealt with.

Also, one billion pounds is a very big number regardless of whether bigger numbers exist or not.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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goperryrevs
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Which would be a valid point if I'd said tax fraud wasn't something that should be dealt with.

It's a relevant point in terms of what public perception is. Given the above, the media & the public should be kicking up a stink and complaining about tax fraud 20 times more frequently than they do about "benefit scroungers". Instead, it's the other way round. Maybe in part because people are ignorant of the statistic Chris quoted.

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"Keep your eye on the donut, not on the hole." - David Lynch

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
The cost of fraudulent benefit claims is about 1% of the benefit budget (about 1bn pounds, compared to 20bn in tax fraud)

Which would be a valid point if I'd said tax fraud wasn't something that should be dealt with.

Also, one billion pounds is a very big number regardless of whether bigger numbers exist or not.

All organizations concentrate on the "low-hanging fruit" when they want to make a gain, but the focus on benefit fraud and welfare cuts has got to the stage where the law of diminishing returns must be kicking in. Then again, maybe it hasn't, but that would be because those who are sailing close to the wind regarding tax can afford comparatively better professional advisors, such as lawyers and accountants, than benefits claimants. .

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"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Which would be a valid point if I'd said tax fraud wasn't something that should be dealt with.

The tax fraud comparison was an incidental remark. The main point was that you defined a subset of Y as Y (dividing bankers from the ultimate beneficiaries of the bailout), in order to exculpate the rest.

The bank bailout saved the banks, it was also generalised asset price protection for everyone with assets - paid for out of the public purse.

[ 20. January 2017, 13:25: Message edited by: chris stiles ]

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:

Also, one billion pounds is a very big number regardless of whether bigger numbers exist or not.

All organizations concentrate on the "low-hanging fruit" when they want to make a gain, but the focus on benefit fraud and welfare cuts has got to the stage where the law of diminishing returns must be kicking in.

A good example of this are the DWP health assessments - which currently cost more to the government than they actually recover. These assessments were brought on the back of political noise that there was a huge amount of waste (in percentage terms) in the benefit system.

In reality it has proved hard to eliminate the 1% of actual waste - and the main effect of attempting to do so has been to deny benefits to genuine claimants.

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Jolly Jape
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Where does the £1bn figure for benefit fraud come from, 'cause I suspect it's very much on the high side, and definitely dwarfed by the £12-15bn of underclaiming on benefits. 'Cause if it comes from government sources, there might be a certain incentive to over-estimate.

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To those who have never seen the flow and ebb of God's grace in their lives, it means nothing. To those who have seen it, even fleetingly, even only once - it is life itself. (Adeodatus)

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Jolly Jape:
Where does the £1bn figure for benefit fraud come from, 'cause I suspect it's very much on the high side, and definitely dwarfed by the £12-15bn of underclaiming on benefits. 'Cause if it comes from government sources, there might be a certain incentive to over-estimate.

Yes, it comes from government sources here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/118530/annual-fraud-indicator-2012.pdf

As you say, it's likely to be on the high side, and is lower both than the amount unclaimed and the amount paid out in error. It's dwarfed by things like tax fraud and the bailout. Thus to the extent that people rail about the welfare state rather than any of these other things, they rather undermine the claim that they care about each source of fraud/waste equally.

[ 20. January 2017, 17:05: Message edited by: chris stiles ]

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PaulTH*
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quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
And I agree that lack of compassion is the danger faced by right of centre governments, but unlike you I see nothing inevitable. Just like the danger of left of centre governments is lack of prosperity and over-interference in people's lives. Again, not inevitable

I fully agree with this. But it annoys me that in forums like this, the general consensus is that a Christian must always be a socialist. It's true that Christ told the rich young man to sell everything and follow him. But it doesn't appear that he said that to Nicodemas of Joseph of Arimathea. Condemnation of wealth is much more about stewardship than it is about money. A compassionate rich person could do a lot for the disadvantaged. A wealthy society could eliminate poverty.

That this usually doesn't happen is because of the sickness of human nature. But I would rather be a poor person in a rich country than poor in a poor country because there will always be some trickle down, and poor in poor often has meant starvation. So the ideal would be to create wealth but use it wisely. Most socialist societies in history have stagnated through levelling down. They've also usually been repressive towards religious freedom. I find nothing attractive in them.

Greed makes most humans poor stewards of resources, but the lesson to be learnt is always stewardship rather than oppressive destruction of all wealth creation.

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Yours in Christ
Paul

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ThunderBunk

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He hath shewed strength with his arm : he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat : and hath exalted the humble and meek.
He hath filled the hungry with good things : and the rich he hath sent empty away.

Not the actions of a God comfortable with the concentration of obscene wealth in few hands.

The resources of creation are for everyone, by right, because of their status as beloved creatures. Not to be amassed under the possession of greed.

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Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

Foolish, potentially deranged witterings

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Russ
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Maybe the compassionate people are those who will compromise on their own ideology for the sake of the happiness of other people.

So the compassionate right are those who believe in an ideology of capable independent self-reliant individuals, and yet compromise on that in the way of allowing a certain amount of government help for those who fail to live up to their ideal.

And the compassionate left believe in an ideology of State-enforced equality and yet compromise on that to allow people a certain amount of freedom to earn money and spend it in ways that they choose.

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:

So the compassionate right are those who believe in an ideology of capable independent self-reliant individuals, and yet compromise on that in the way of allowing a certain amount of government help for those who fail to live up to their ideal.

THe myth isn't that compassionate conservatism can exist in individuals but that it can exist politically.
quote:

And the compassionate left believe in an ideology of State-enforced equality and yet compromise on that to allow people a certain amount of freedom to earn money and spend it in ways that they choose.

[Roll Eyes]

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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