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Source: (consider it) Thread: The social-progressive mindset
Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Nor is wealth any kind of measure of how hard you've worked or "earned" it.
[..]
I don't think I work that hard. I just happen to have a brain that is good at certain things that are sought after.

All that is true. But on the other hand, I have been presented with several points in my career so far where I could make a choice - to work hard, or work less hard, with the "work hard" option attached to promotions, more money, and so on. I haven't always chosen that option.

But I don't begrudge the person a bit like me who did make that choice the extra money he makes...

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Ohher
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Coming late to this discussion, I have to say this concept --

quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
The ideal I'm putting before you is one of impartiality - of a framework of moral rights and duties that are the same for everyone, black or white, male or female, rich or poor. Not setting out to favour anybody. No special pleading.

-- is one students (usually male, white, poorly-informed, and very young) often want to posit.

This mythical level playing field blatantly ignores reality. We're material as well as spiritual beings, and even if we could somehow magically erase inequality from our present, we would all still bear wounds, both spiritually and materially deforming, inflicted by the egregiously unfair and unequal pasts which we carry into this present.

Extreme poverty leads to poor nutrition, damaging both physical and mental health and cognition. Suddenly putting the chronically malnourished 16-year-old on a level with the well-nourished peer is unlikely to help the malnourished one. Putting the spoiled-rotten brought-up-by-maids-and-butlers heir to wealth on the level field with the youngster who's learned to listen, cooperate, compromise, and respect others will not produce equivalent results.

The connection made by the gospel between the material and the spiritual is both immediate and extremely practical: we all benefit spiritually when those with substantial resources use them to alleviate the suffering of others.

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From the Land of the Native American Brave and the Home of the Buy-One-Get-One-Free

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
All that is true. But on the other hand, I have been presented with several points in my career so far where I could make a choice - to work hard, or work less hard, with the "work hard" option attached to promotions, more money, and so on. I haven't always chosen that option.

But I don't begrudge the person a bit like me who did make that choice the extra money he makes...

Some lazy people make a whole lot of money doing basically nothing. A whole load of others works long hours for very little.

It isn't possible to predict which course of action necessarily will earn the most.

And it is a total lie, usually proposed by the very rich, to suggest that they've somehow "earned" their wealth. Some have worked for it, some haven't.

But they've obviously not been rewarded for hard work. There are always people who work harder for less reward.

Usually for the company which made the rich person rich.

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arse

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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
The problem is that it ignores how wealth is generated.
"Oh people, just be happy and nice" does nothing to redress social inequities and nicely ignores that the wealthy are rich from the exploitation of the poor.

I started this thread about an observed cluster of social attitudes, but it seems to keep drifting back to economics.

I'm glad you have an interest in how wealth is generated. Far too many progressives are only interested in distribution. And you know that countries which prioritise distribution over generation tend to be poor countries...

I've argued above that exploitation exists - as abuse of monopoly power.

But your identification of wealth with exploitation seems to me obviously false. Not all disparities in wealth result from exploitation.

The tradition of the Christianity I was taught is the tithe; that 10% of one's income should go to relieve the suffering of the sick and the extremely poor.

If you have political aims that go beyond relieving that suffering, it is your right to desire those aims, and to devote your own resources (money, time, effort) to that cause.

But you're kidding yourself if you think that those aims are Christianity.

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

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Golden Key
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Russ--

Sincere question:

Is there any reason that anyone anywhere *shouldn't* have enough of basic food and housing?

(Putting aside questions about who would pay for it, and how it might be done.)

Thx.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
The problem is that it ignores how wealth is generated.
"Oh people, just be happy and nice" does nothing to redress social inequities and nicely ignores that the wealthy are rich from the exploitation of the poor.

I started this thread about an observed cluster of social attitudes, but it seems to keep drifting back to economics.

I'm glad you have an interest in how wealth is generated. Far too many progressives are only interested in distribution. And you know that countries which prioritise distribution over generation tend to be poor countries...

I've argued above that exploitation exists - as abuse of monopoly power.

But your identification of wealth with exploitation seems to me obviously false. Not all disparities in wealth result from exploitation.

The tradition of the Christianity I was taught is the tithe; that 10% of one's income should go to relieve the suffering of the sick and the extremely poor.

If you have political aims that go beyond relieving that suffering, it is your right to desire those aims, and to devote your own resources (money, time, effort) to that cause.

But you're kidding yourself if you think that those aims are Christianity.

Oh, my Christianity goes well beyond that. Giving goes only so far. We must challenge the economic and political structures that put people in situations where giving is required. Presumably you're one of those Do. Helder Camara was referring to when he made his famous quote:

"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist"

Bloody liberal-progressive Catholics!

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Russ--

Sincere question:

Is there any reason that anyone anywhere *shouldn't* have enough of basic food and housing?

(Putting aside questions about who would pay for it, and how it might be done.)

Thx.

I want our tithes to be spent on basic food and housing for those who cannot earn the money to pay for these things for themselves. Doesn't everyone ?

(Alongside curing the sick, but park that aspect for now - you're asking about meeting basic needs).

I do not desire that anyone should involuntarily lack these basic necessities. If you think that's what I'm arguing for, then either you're reading it wrong or I'm saying it wrong. Or both...

I don't know why governments are quite so bad at spending the money. How can they spend so many billions on welfare without achieving this obvious aim ? Why are there people sleeping rough and people starving ? In "first world" countries ?

Others here will no doubt be able to answer that better than I can. But I can see a number of directions that such an answer might take.

One is that people aren't farm animals. You can't lock them in a shed and feed them a balanced diet and say "job done". People have to be treated as people, with dignity; they have to be allowed to walk out of whatever arrangements are made for them, unless they've done something to deserve incarceration.

One is the competing needs of the poor in one's own country and the poorer overseas.

One is about the lack of a clear boundary between the needy and the non-needy. About why anyone would work to feed their family and keep a roof over their head if they could get all that provided for them if they just exaggerate their difficulties a little...

And one is about things like building regulations and planning permission and the best being the enemy of the good.

There's a whole new thread's worth of discussion there...

I don't know the answers. I don't know whether you'd consider any of those as a valid reason for someone being homeless or hungry. My sense is that they're not; that those issues ought to be solvable.

Does that answer your question ?

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

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:

I don't know why governments are quite so bad at spending the money. How can they spend so many billions on welfare without achieving this obvious aim ?

They aren't. Because it costs more than they are willing to spend (and 'we' collectively are willing to pay).
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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
I'm glad you have an interest in how wealth is generated. Far too many progressives are only interested in distribution. And you know that countries which prioritise distribution over generation tend to be poor countries...

Norway and Sweden are quite wealthy countries per capita.
I've noticed that libertarians aren't much interested in how wealth is generated. They prefer to attribute wealth creation to magic entrepreneurs as you do. (An entrepreneur is anyone in the private sector in a position to determine their own pay.) An argument that magic entrepreneurs won't use those magic powers unless they're allowed to suitably reward themselves with a share of the profits is a concern with distribution. It's not a concern with production.

quote:
I've argued above that exploitation exists - as abuse of monopoly power.
I pointed out that your argument that exploitation was limited to monopoly power was self-contradictory.

quote:
But your identification of wealth with exploitation seems to me obviously false. Not all disparities in wealth result from exploitation.
Are there any obvious counterexamples?

Under the standard neoliberal economic models, as I have previously noted, any lasting accumulation of wealth can only result from monopoly power. The existence of a competetive market should in theory erode all disparities in wealth away.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
I don't know why governments are quite so bad at spending the money. How can they spend so many billions on welfare without achieving this obvious aim ? Why are there people sleeping rough and people starving ? In "first world" countries ?

Here in the UK we've only had people sleeping rough and starving under governments pursuing economic policies similar to those that you're advocating. In the Thatcher-Major years there were lots of people sleeping rough. Under Blair and Brown they vanished. Under Cameron they came back.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Curiosity killed ...

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One of the ironies of Cameron's first Government was that of the Big Society. When he was elected I worked for one of the groups that had inspired him - he came on a visit while in opposition in 2009. His policies and funding cuts meant that that group lost local authority funding for youth work retrospectively (this happened in 2012, the grant awarded in 2011 was cut entirely). They had to rethink their work, laying people off (I volunteered to go) and making it harder for a Big Society organisation to continue working. This wasn't an uncommon result for Big Society initiatives by May 2012.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
About why anyone would work to feed their family and keep a roof over their head if they could get all that provided for them if they just exaggerate their difficulties a little...

Or, under some models of socialism, if they just don't feel like working for it.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
About why anyone would work to feed their family and keep a roof over their head if they could get all that provided for them if they just exaggerate their difficulties a little...

Or, under some models of socialism, if they just don't feel like working for it.
Under our current model of capitalism, there are many people who literally have not done a single day's labour and are still as rich as Croesus.

And yet you seem to resent the ones at subsistence level far more.

--------------------
Forward the New Republic

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
I started this thread about an observed cluster of social attitudes, but it seems to keep drifting back to economics.

Economics is part of your platform in the OP, it is a handy example of social inequities and Social-Regressives (aka Conservatives) tend to use economics as their measuring stick.
quote:

I'm glad you have an interest in how wealth is generated. Far too many progressives are only interested in distribution.

Far to many Social-Regressives are interested in this as well. In ending it, of course.


quote:

But your identification of wealth with exploitation seems to me obviously false. Not all disparities in wealth result from exploitation.

By definition, they must.Wealth is not an absolute, it is relative. Without the poor, there can be no rich. So, unless you believe people are willingly poor so that others may be rich, wealth needs exploitation. That is why I put the word indirect in my earlier post. You can find individuals, and some fields of endeavour, that do not require direct exploitation; but they live in, and are beholden to, a system that exists on it.
quote:

The tradition of the Christianity I was taught is the tithe; that 10% of one's income should go to relieve the suffering of the sick and the extremely poor.

Only an idiot could honestly read Jesus' words and find this sufficient action. The collective we (aka government) has far more power to enact relief and reduce poverty.
Extremely poor. Nice. "You are not actually starving yet? Not yet on the street? You do not deserve my charity".

quote:

But you're kidding yourself if you think that those aims are Christianity.

Yeah, if they were, Jesus would have spoken quite often on the poor. Oh, wait...

--------------------
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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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Under our current model of capitalism, there are many people who literally have not done a single day's labour and are still as rich as Croesus.

And yet you seem to resent the ones at subsistence level far more.

Possibly because nobody is saying that I should give a significant proportion of my income to the rich ones if I don't want to be called a total shit.

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

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
:Is there any reason that anyone anywhere *shouldn't* have enough of basic food and housing?

Perhaps 2 Thessalonians 3 v7-10 gives one such reason:

quote:
For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”


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Hail Gallaxhar

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mr cheesy
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James:

quote:
5:1 Come now, you rich! Weep and cry aloud 1 over the miseries that are coming on you. 5:2 Your riches have rotted and your clothing has become moth-eaten. 5:3 Your gold and silver have rusted and their rust will be a witness against you. It will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have hoarded treasure! 5:4 Look, the pay you have held back from the workers who mowed your fields cries out against you, and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. 5:5 You have lived indulgently and luxuriously on the earth. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. 5:6 You have condemned and murdered the righteous person, although he does not resist you.
Also Luke:

quote:
6:24 “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your comfort 84 already.
6:25 “Woe to you who are well satisfied with food now, for you will be hungry.
“Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep.
6:26 “Woe to you when all people speak well of you, for their ancestors did the same things to the false prophets.



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arse

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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Under our current model of capitalism, there are many people who literally have not done a single day's labour and are still as rich as Croesus.

And yet you seem to resent the ones at subsistence level far more.

Possibly because nobody is saying that I should give a significant proportion of my income to the rich ones if I don't want to be called a total shit.
Except, of course, that far more of your income goes to the rich ones in terms of tax relief and subsidies than to the poor ones.

But you clearly don't have a problem with that.

--------------------
Forward the New Republic

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Soror Magna
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
...
The tradition of the Christianity I was taught is the tithe; that 10% of one's income should go to relieve the suffering of the sick and the extremely poor.

If you have political aims that go beyond relieving that suffering, it is your right to desire those aims, and to devote your own resources (money, time, effort) to that cause.

But you're kidding yourself if you think that those aims are Christianity.

Russ is positing a desiccated version of Christianity that recalls some of the DH arguments about marriage: companionship, love, support, etc. are secondary characteristics of (and thus non-essential to) marriage; what makes a marriage is shoving a penis into a vagina.

As long as you do the specified minimum - tithe 10%, PIV sex - you're a good Christian, you're married, you're saved, and there's no further obligations. Never mind the needs and suffering of others; wanting to do more than just give 10% is a "philosophical end", not the natural outworking of Christian faith. You don't need to love your neighbours (or God, or your spouse) with your whole heart, mind and body; 10% (or your genitalia) is enough.

Pathetic.

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"You come with me to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean." -- Tony Kushner, "Angels in America"

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mr cheesy
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The odd thing is that I thought everyone agreed that one of the major themes of the NT was that the tithe wasn't enough. It is bizarre to hear anyone claim that it is.

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arse

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Soror Magna
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Perhaps 2 Thessalonians 3 v7-10 gives one such reason:

quote:
For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

Nice proof-text. Look, we feed children who can't work. We feed our elders who can't work. We feed the sick when they can't work. A person's ability to work can change. A person's need for food is pretty constant.

There's far more in the Bible about caring for those who cannot care for themselves, than there is about self-sufficient, self-made, self-satisfied people. From God's point of view, none of use are self-sufficient or self-made. While Paul is bragging about being such a great self-supporting role-model, God is thinking, "You do remember you'd be a helpless blind beggar without me, right?"

--------------------
"You come with me to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean." -- Tony Kushner, "Angels in America"

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Soror Magna
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
The odd thing is that I thought everyone agreed that one of the major themes of the NT was that the tithe wasn't enough. It is bizarre to hear anyone claim that it is.

And let's not forget the number of times that Jesus talked about fulfilling the laws of the OT, not just following them. He even said the rules of the OT were created for hard-hearted people.

--------------------
"You come with me to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean." -- Tony Kushner, "Angels in America"

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mr cheesy
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We don't tend to do proof-texting around here; but I think one would have to do some pretty impressive theological gymnastics to go from these instructions (presumably to novice evangelists and church-planters) to a general rule about who gets what in the balance of tax vs social security.

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arse

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Soror Magna
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Not to mention this little textual detail:
quote:
... We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. ...
"Not because we do not have the right to such help" = "We have the right to such help".

--------------------
"You come with me to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean." -- Tony Kushner, "Angels in America"

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Soror Magna
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
... And you know that countries which prioritise distribution over generation tend to be poor countries...

Citation needed.

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"You come with me to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean." -- Tony Kushner, "Angels in America"

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mr cheesy
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It's amazing how often poor countries can find tax funds to pay for the military but can't afford the basic services their people need. Like health, sanitation and education.

ref

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arse

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orfeo

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
I don't know why governments are quite so bad at spending the money.

Part of the reason is because it's much harder to do than simplistic media and its consumers would have you believe.

Another part is that the goals are distorted by constantly pandering to simplistic media and its consumers, because politicians keep having a need to be popular in order to keep their jobs.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Yeah, if they were, Jesus would have spoken quite often on the poor. Oh, wait...

There are some who seem to think that Jesus' teaching on poverty started and ended with "You will always have the poor among you".
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Kwesi
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Russ
quote:
And you know that countries which prioritise distribution over generation tend to be poor countries…

Is this really the case? Are not poor countries characterised by low taxes poor public provision and great inequality? They exhibit minimal concern for the indigent and are dominated by indifferent, kleptocratic and rapacious elites; and are societies in which access to health and education are highly restrictive and unequal. Welfare-oriented states tend to be rich countries with high taxes providing equal access to health and education, the foundations on which prosperous societies with a high level of equality are secured by providing an educated work force. I note that within the USA that poor services are a characteristic of the poorest states, whereas rich states with higher taxes tend to have more generous public provision, more opportunities for more people, and a higher demand for goods and services, the sine qua non of the mass consumption on which capitalist production relies. Successful capitalism needs a high level of consumer equality.

The problem with which progressives struggle is a reluctance to recognise that capitalism beats socialism hands down when it comes to the provisions of stuff, the goods and services which have positively transformed the lives of the masses living in the Western world. The danger for progressivism is when its leaders loose sight of the need for economies to grow if greater levels of equality are to be achieved and sustained; and a danger that populism kills the golden goose, as demonstrated in Venezuela, leading to the rise of greater inequality.

Smart economists in the tradition of Adam Smith and Maynard Keynes have recognised that capitalists are both to be welcomed and regarded with suspicion, and that left to their own devices they will rig the market and engage in irresponsible financial speculation, threatening not only social stability but their own survival. At the end of the day original sin requires more than self-regulation. They recognised that political economy is an art rather than a science, requiring a balancing of conflicting ideas and interests to promote something approaching a common good that optimises benefits to the widest number of people. That seems to me, warts and all, a pretty good ethical creed.

****************
On the question of tithes: Tithes in modern language are taxes, and most tax rates are well above 10 per cent in the modern world, apart from their application to multinationals and their acolytes hiding away in tax havens most sustained by the United Kingdom. That is a specific ethical problem needing urgent attention.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
One is that people aren't farm animals. You can't lock them in a shed and feed them a balanced diet and say "job done".

...

One is about the lack of a clear boundary between the needy and the non-needy. About why anyone would work to feed their family and keep a roof over their head if they could get all that provided for them if they just exaggerate their difficulties a little...

It's kind of amazing how you can write that first part, and then further down the same post completely forget about it.

People work because having meaning and fulfilment is a significant part of the human experience, Russ. They're not farm animals who just need food and shelter. You said it yourself. And then a few paragraphs later you reduce people to those 2 things.

The notion that there are armies of people out there eagerly looking to be welfare recipients is a total lie. Time and again when there are "crackdowns" on such people the savings are vanishingly small, almost always smaller than the expenditure on the crackdown. It's nothing more than a bogeyman designed as someone to blame for one's own ills, because blaming Jews is out of fashion and in some circles blaming Muslims or immigrants is not quite the right button. So let's go after welfare recipients.

[ 26. November 2017, 20:45: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Huia
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# 3473

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Every so often I read a post and think, damn, I wish I could have put that together.

Thank you Orfeo [Overused]

Huia

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Charity gives food from the table, Justice gives a place at the table.

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
People work because having meaning and fulfilment is a significant part of the human experience, Russ. They're not farm animals who just need food and shelter. You said it yourself. And then a few paragraphs later you reduce people to those 2 things.

Only poor people. It's another invocation of the well-known difference between poor people and rich people, namely that poor people are motivated by taking away their money and rich people are motivated by letting them have more money.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:
Nice proof-text.

The question was "Is there any reason that anyone anywhere *shouldn't* have enough of basic food and housing?" Proof text or not, the Bible passage I quoted gives a reason.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Marvin the Martian

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# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
People work because having meaning and fulfilment is a significant part of the human experience

I disagree. Most people work because it's the only way to earn enough money to enable them to do the things that give their life meaning and fulfilment. Nobody on their deathbed says "I wish I'd spent more time at work".

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
People work because having meaning and fulfilment is a significant part of the human experience

I disagree. Most people work because it's the only way to earn enough money to enable them to do the things that give their life meaning and fulfilment. Nobody on their deathbed says "I wish I'd spent more time at work".
I will. Pretty certain most of my colleagues will, too.

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Forward the New Republic

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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When I die I will certainly not say, "I wish I had spent more time at the office proofreading copy." But I will very probably be grumbling, "I need to finish writing this book."

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Nobody on their deathbed says "I wish I'd spent more time at work".

I will. Pretty certain most of my colleagues will, too.
There's always one [Roll Eyes] .

I suppose there are a lot of professional sportspeople, actors, musicians and so forth who would say it as well. But apart from the lucky few who happened to be good enough at doing something fun to earn a living from it, my comment stands.

I can't imagine anyone getting meaning and fulfilment out of pushing numbers around spreadsheets all day. I know I don't.

[ 27. November 2017, 14:54: Message edited by: Marvin the Martian ]

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Hail Gallaxhar

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Nobody on their deathbed says "I wish I'd spent more time at work".

I will. Pretty certain most of my colleagues will, too.
There's always one [Roll Eyes] .

I suppose there are a lot of professional sportspeople, actors, musicians and so forth who would say it as well. But apart from the lucky few who happened to be good enough at doing something fun to earn a living from it, my comment stands.

Thought they mightn't utter that sentence on their deathbed, there are a number of people for who there careers are their life, even outside of entertainment. Some of them love their jobs, but some have no other motive force.
I agree that they are in the minority of people, however.

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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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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
There's always one [Roll Eyes] .

I suppose there are a lot of professional sportspeople, actors, musicians and so forth who would say it as well. But apart from the lucky few who happened to be good enough at doing something fun to earn a living from it, my comment stands.

I can't imagine anyone getting meaning and fulfilment out of pushing numbers around spreadsheets all day. I know I don't.

I do appreciate the sentiment, but I think it says more about the nature of modern labour than it does about the labourer.

I ran some rough figures over the weekend. The UK welfare budget (of which unemployment is about 1%) is sufficient to give - no questions asked, and at a significant saving of admin - everyone over 16 around £4000 pa.

That's close to being a Universal Basic Income. Given that you could adjust the tax system so that higher earners lost some of their privileges (tax relief at 40% for example), a UBI of £8-10k is well within the bounds of the economy as it already stands.

And people will still want to work. They just won't be as exploitable.

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Forward the New Republic

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
There's always one [Roll Eyes] .

I suppose there are a lot of professional sportspeople, actors, musicians and so forth who would say it as well. But apart from the lucky few who happened to be good enough at doing something fun to earn a living from it, my comment stands.

I can't imagine anyone getting meaning and fulfilment out of pushing numbers around spreadsheets all day. I know I don't.

I do appreciate the sentiment, but I think it says more about the nature of modern labour than it does about the labourer.
I'm not convinced that the average historical farmer, miner, miller, factory worker, labourer, butcher, baker or candlestick maker would have felt particularly different.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
I'm not convinced that the average historical farmer, miner, miller, factory worker, labourer, butcher, baker or candlestick maker would have felt particularly different.

I know farmers (one of whom does her own butchering) and bakers and millers and cheese makers and those who craft for a living, and actually you're wrong.

Labourers, it depends how close to the craft they are. I've worked with some drystone wallers who took immense pride and satisfaction in their creations, and yes, plumbers, chippies and brickies.

Factory workers I'll concede. There's very little craft in an assembly line.

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Forward the New Republic

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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There have always been people who enjoyed their work and people who did whatever they could to survive but cared little for it.
The reality has always been between what the two of you propose.
The difference being, perhaps, that in the modern era we feel we should have more choice.

--------------------
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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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:

Factory workers I'll concede. There's very little craft in an assembly line.

And I've known factory workers who took pride in a product well made, working as part of a team and such. And many who hated the whole thing.
As well as artisans who felt trapped in their craft.

--------------------
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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mr cheesy
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I think there are a whole lot of people who will get to the end of their lives and think "I wish I'd spent more time at work" because they never really had a job.

There will be a whole lot of people who will think "I wish I'd been able to be..." because they never really had a chance to develop to be the people they wanted to be.

And, no doubt there will be a whole load of people who will think "I wish I'd been rich, famous and popular."

And that, right there, is all that is wrong with our world. The world values things that don't matter. The world doesn't value things that do matter. The world tells people that they're only "successes" if they do well within a narrow band of things, that they can't possibly "enjoy" working as a factory worker, that they can't possibly be a successful baker unless you are making artisan sourbread rather than working in Tescos.

Unsurprisingly, depression is extremely high and suicidal thoughts are common amongst those who cannot possibly live up to society's wonky image of the successful life.

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arse

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

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We're talking generalisations. But I wanted to challenge the "no one" part of Marvin's statement.

It's not no one, by a long stretch.

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Forward the New Republic

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Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
I disagree. Most people work because it's the only way to earn enough money to enable them to do the things that give their life meaning and fulfilment. Nobody on their deathbed says "I wish I'd spent more time at work".

Even if what you say is true, I'm not sure your conclusion follows. I can see a lot of people regretting an extended period of unemployment eating up their house, their kids' college fund, their ability to live with any kind of dignity in old age, etc. Your claim sounds like the pitch of a fairly inept corporate hatchet-man laying off a bunch of fifty-something industrial workers he knows will probably never get a comparably paid job. "Nothing you've done working here has mattered, and you should be thanking me for freeing up your time!"

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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orfeo

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# 13878

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Marvin there is ample evidence that psychologically people need to do things. Not sit around being Russ' caricature of a welfare recipient who just wants to lounge around all day and watch TV. People WANT to contribute.

That was the point. I wasn't making a commentary on whether you personally manage to get out of bed with a smile on your face.

And for the record I'm passionate about my own job. Doesn't mean that I enjoy it every day (yesterday, for example, was a royal pain in the arse), but yes, it does mean it gives me a strong sense of fulfilment and doing something meaningful. And I'd happily do it for considerably less money than is currently on offer, because it's not the large amount of money that motivates me.

[ 27. November 2017, 20:02: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
There are some who seem to think that Jesus' teaching on poverty started and ended with "You will always have the poor among you".

This thread is more about those who seem to think that Jesus' teaching started and ended with His words about the rich and the poor.

If you see Jesus as authoritative when His words can be taken as supportive of your socialist ideas but not in anything else that He said, then your claim to be a Christian seems to me on shaky ground...

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

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Marvin there is ample evidence that psychologically people need to do things. Not sit around being Russ' caricature of a welfare recipient who just wants to lounge around all day and watch TV. People WANT to contribute.

I've said nothing against welfare recipients.

I merely suggested that one of the reasons why it's a bit more complicated is the issue of what happens at the boundary.

I agree that many people do want to contribute something. But I struggle to imagine anyone wanting to work a 40-hour week for the same money that they could get for doing nothing.

I for one would be tempted to channel my urge to contribute into non-economic activities. Maybe doing a bit of gardening for someone who'd appreciate it.

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

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Ohher:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
The ideal I'm putting before you is one of impartiality - of a framework of moral rights and duties that are the same for everyone, black or white, male or female, rich or poor.

This mythical level playing field blatantly ignores reality.
A universal morality is not the same thing as a level playing field.

Obeying the commandment not to murder may be harder for me than for you. Maybe I have a worse temper, a disposition with less self-control. Maybe you're a particularly annoying person. That doesn't make it OK for me to defenestrate you if I feel like it.

Right and wrong do not depend on whether you sympathize with someone. That's corruption.

I'm not asserting a level playing field. I'm asserting that the rules of the game are the same regardless of the incline.

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

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