homepage
  roll on christmas  
click here to find out more about ship of fools click here to sign up for the ship of fools newsletter click here to support ship of fools
community the mystery worshipper gadgets for god caption competition foolishness features ship stuff
discussion boards live chat cafe avatars frequently-asked questions the ten commandments gallery private boards register for the boards
 
Ship of Fools


Post new thread  Post a reply
My profile login | Register | Directory | Search | FAQs | Board home
   - Printer-friendly view Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
» Ship of Fools   » Community discussion   » Purgatory   » The social-progressive mindset (Page 12)

 - Email this page to a friend or enemy.  
Pages in this thread: 1  2  3  ...  9  10  11  12  13  14  15 
 
Source: (consider it) Thread: The social-progressive mindset
Karl: Liberal Backslider
Shipmate
# 76

 - Posted      Profile for Karl: Liberal Backslider   Author's homepage   Email Karl: Liberal Backslider   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
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.

Do that and they'll stop your benefits as you're meant to spend your time looking for work.

That someone can work 40 hours a week and have barely subsistence income is part of the problem. This is exactly what I mean by challenging the systems which keep people poor, which seems a better solution than threatening them with starvation and destitution if they don't take whatever slave wages they're offered.

--------------------
Might as well ask the bloody cat.

Posts: 17724 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
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.

Nobody has said that. Quite the reverse. It is you who are trying to explain away these words by claiming that the gospel is only about the spiritual hereafter.

quote:
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...
And if you want to object to words spoken by Catholic theologians and endorsed by successive Popes, never mind the actual words written in scripture, then it is hard to take your criticisms of others seriously when you claim that they're heretics and unChristian.

I put it to you that you don't actually know what you are talking about.

--------------------
arse

Posts: 10332 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Karl: Liberal Backslider
Shipmate
# 76

 - Posted      Profile for Karl: Liberal Backslider   Author's homepage   Email Karl: Liberal Backslider   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
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...

Bollocks. Go back and read what people actually wrote.

--------------------
Might as well ask the bloody cat.

Posts: 17724 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
Do that and they'll stop your benefits as you're meant to spend your time looking for work.

That someone can work 40 hours a week and have barely subsistence income is part of the problem. This is exactly what I mean by challenging the systems which keep people poor, which seems a better solution than threatening them with starvation and destitution if they don't take whatever slave wages they're offered.

It's even worse than this, isn't it. The employers who pay poverty wages can do so because (a) the minimum wage is set below the amount anyone needs to earn to live on (b) so the government tops this up and (c) is now using various nefarious ways to avoid giving the working poor the top-ups that they need to live on.

The reasons for this are pretty obvious: the corporations make massive profits from paying large numbers of workers at or near the minimum wage. The government doesn't want to address this - or the phenomena of corporate tax-avoidance, which so often goes hand-in-hand with low pay - because this would suddenly make the employment numbers look really bad, would make all those pension pots built upon investments in predatory low-paying employers look bad and so on.

This whole system is supported because middle class people want to force poor people to work, even when it doesn't actually pay. The truth is that it is highly likely that all of the complexities of tax credits and benefits could fund government-led job-creation schemes to do useful things in society, but the corporations are the pay-masters of the political parties and political classes, so we continue with the ridiculous situation whereby the poorest are thrown to the corporate wolves - and then the Tory bastards continue to punish them as slackers.

Only in the 21 century, and possibly only in the UK, could people be making money for some of the biggest corporations and the pensions of the elderly-and-wealthy (given that the poorest often have no pension) whilst the government beats them with a stick for having to go to a food bank to eat and for daring to claim benefits that they're entitled to.

And then, to top it all, wealthy bastards claim that saying this system is demonic is somehow not what Christianity is about.

WTF is it about then?

[ 28. November 2017, 07:35: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

--------------------
arse

Posts: 10332 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Curiosity killed ...

Ship's Mug
# 11770

 - Posted      Profile for Curiosity killed ...   Email Curiosity killed ...   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
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.

But this doesn't work in real life either - people who murder are often treated differently, depending on the amount of provocation, whether the act is in self-defence and also the nature of the murderer: those people who cannot control themselves are often detained in secure hospitals with treatment, rather than going to prison. (Not withstanding that we are poor at not recognising mental health issues incarcerating those people in prisons too.)

--------------------
Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

Posts: 13603 | From: outiside the outer ring road | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged
Kwesi
Shipmate
# 10274

 - Posted      Profile for Kwesi   Email Kwesi   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Russ
quote:
A universal morality is not the same thing as a level playing field.

Russ, I find your image of common rules on a sloping field, where presumably there is no turning round at half-time, has little to commend it. Not only does it lack a basic notion of fairness, but has nothing to commend it to the team kicking upfield. The team playing up the slope are likely to stop playing or, if they are more numerous, to call a meeting to change the rules. A credible ethical system needs to command general acceptance, otherwise it will lack credibility and invite the adoption of another code commanding a greater general approbation.
Posts: 1572 | From: South Ofankor | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Kwesi
Shipmate
# 10274

 - Posted      Profile for Kwesi   Email Kwesi   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Russ
quote:
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.

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

The problem is that you cannot separate “the framework of moral rights and duties” from the individuals who set them and the interests they represent, together with the means of their enforcement. It is a difficulty which goes back to Plato and his Philosopher Kings. What constitutes impartiality in relations between male and female, black and white, employer and employee, is not obvious across time and space. The history of the US Supreme Court, both in the manner of its composition and renewal and its judgements, is replete with examples of the partiality surrounding the definition of even natural rights and duties. It’s not that the winners are more virtuous it’s just that they are able to set the angle of the slope and make sure they are playing down it.
Posts: 1572 | From: South Ofankor | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Dafyd
Shipmate
# 5549

 - Posted      Profile for Dafyd   Email Dafyd   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
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...

As opposed to those who think that Jesus' teaching skips his words about the rich and the poor?

There appears to be a logical confusion here between reducing Christianity to the teachings on the rich and the poor, and including within Christianity the teachings on the rich and the poor.

You say that you're objecting to treating only that part as authoritative. But that's not true. You're objecting to treating that part as authoritative at all with no 'only' about it.

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

Posts: 10430 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

 - Posted      Profile for orfeo   Author's homepage   Email orfeo   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
I've said nothing against welfare recipients.

Excuse me, but you clearly have. You've suggested that there are people who exaggerate their difficulties in order to fall on the welfare side of the line.

I responded accordingly. I pointed out that every time there is a bureaucratic effort to get people off welfare on the grounds that there are people who ought not be on welfare and we'd all save money if there was a crackdown to remove such people from the system, it fails.

[ 28. November 2017, 09:16: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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

Posts: 18151 | From: Under | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
Dafyd
Shipmate
# 5549

 - Posted      Profile for Dafyd   Email Dafyd   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
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.

It's easy to say that when the people with whom you sympathise are playing down the slope.

One might think that one of the rules of the game is that the playing field shall be as close to level as practicable. If someone accuses those who assert that rule of sympathising with the people playing up the slope the suspicion arises that they don't make the accusation of sympathising out of impartial concern.

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

Posts: 10430 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Dafyd
Shipmate
# 5549

 - Posted      Profile for Dafyd   Email Dafyd   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
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.

I feel that merely because doing a bit of gardening for someone who'd appreciate is non-economic doesn't mean it's not an urge to contribute.
Why should the only contributions that count be economic? After all it appears people are taking seriously the idea that driverless cars will soon be making the economic contributions on behalf of certain sectors. Why should we have to find other ways of making economic contributions if those sectors are making economic contributions for us?

But also are you similarly concerned by rent-seeking behaviour? Making money off rising property prices is equally non-economically productive.

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

Posts: 10430 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Kwesi
Shipmate
# 10274

 - Posted      Profile for Kwesi   Email Kwesi   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Russ
quote:
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.
Performing a service without charge is not non-economic, it's just that it's free to the consumer. There is a great deal of such activity in the community, of which child-rearing and housework are very significant. As I'm sure you would want to point out, Russ, nothing is for free.
Posts: 1572 | From: South Ofankor | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

 - Posted      Profile for orfeo   Author's homepage   Email orfeo   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
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.

It's easy to say that when the people with whom you sympathise are playing down the slope.

One might think that one of the rules of the game is that the playing field shall be as close to level as practicable. If someone accuses those who assert that rule of sympathising with the people playing up the slope the suspicion arises that they don't make the accusation of sympathising out of impartial concern.

Russ' conception of how rules work stops at the point where rules are applied. There is no feedback loop to consider the question of whether the rules should be changed if they are not producing desirable outcomes. The rules are immutable. If the rules are favouring one group of players over another, this is not a problem with the rules that needs to be addressed but an innate feature of the game.

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

Posts: 18151 | From: Under | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

 - Posted      Profile for orfeo   Author's homepage   Email orfeo   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
ADDENDUM: This is not, of course, actually true of any real set of rules.

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

Posts: 18151 | From: Under | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
As I'm sure you would want to point out, Russ, nothing is for free.

I'm not sure this is true. We'd often talk about "free" things actually being camouflage for something else - the whole phenomena of "if you're not paying for it, you are the product."*

But there are genuinely things which are free. There absolutely are.

Here are two things:

I spend quite a lot of time in my allotment. Quite often my neighbours (who are better at growing things than I am) give me vegetables. I usually don't have much to give back in return - but the "trade" isn't about that. These people value community, they like growing vegetables, they have more than they can eat and they sometimes give the excess away. The only thing they're looking for in return is the development of an ongoing vegetable growing community.

Another example is the Welsh language club I attend. We give a small amount of change every week to pay for the room (I know, so it isn't free - and yet it is clear that others would subsidise anyone who really couldn't afford it) and we chat and practice speaking in the language.

Nobody makes anything from it. Nobody's job depends on it. The point is not "economic", once again the purpose is to build community.

Both are examples of things that have value and are free.

*incidentally, I just read a fantastic novel on this topic called I hate the internet which does a masterful job at pointing to the difference between what "the internet" promises and actually delivers. It is a novel and it is silly, but it is also amazing - even though it isn't saying anything particularly new.

--------------------
arse

Posts: 10332 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Crœsos
Shipmate
# 238

 - Posted      Profile for Crœsos     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
I'm not asserting a level playing field. I'm asserting that the rules of the game are the same regardless of the incline.

For reference, in the past Russ has claimed racial discrimination is an acceptable "incline" and that the rules of Apartheid fall within the requirement that the rules be the same for everyone.

--------------------
Humani nil a me alienum puto

Posts: 10506 | From: Sardis, Lydia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Kwesi
Shipmate
# 10274

 - Posted      Profile for Kwesi   Email Kwesi   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Mr Cheesy
quote:
But there are genuinely things which are free. There absolutely are.

Here are two things:

I spend quite a lot of time in my allotment. Quite often my neighbours (who are better at growing things than I am) give me vegetables. I usually don't have much to give back in return - but the "trade" isn't about that. These people value community, they like growing vegetables, they have more than they can eat and they sometimes give the excess away. The only thing they're looking for in return is the development of an ongoing vegetable growing community.

Another example is the Welsh language club I attend. We give a small amount of change every week to pay for the room (I know, so it isn't free - and yet it is clear that others would subsidise anyone who really couldn't afford it) and we chat and practice speaking in the language.

Nobody makes anything from it. Nobody's job depends on it. The point is not "economic", once again the purpose is to build community.

Both are examples of things that have value and are free.

The argument would be that what you are purchasing is a sense of community. There is, however, a cost to your neighbour in giving you vegetables rather than selling them; and there is also the question as to whether the allotment land could be more financially profitable to the owners (local authority?) by being sold or rented for office development, or employed more usefully by building a school or clinic on it. Furthermore, your time and those of your community members on the allotment comes at a cost of any paid employment in which you might otherwise be engaged. Similar criteria might be applied to your cultural group. Might a greater sense of community be created by a more efficient use of the resources involved? If so, then your enjoyment comes at a cost not only to others but, perhaps, also yourselves.

What I was more concerned about, however, was to point out that economic goods should not be confined to matters which involved financial transactions, nor that acts for which no charges are made should be undervalued, free domestic labour is an extremely critical element in the economy of most societies, and to point out that ‘life is more than meat, and the body more than raiment.’ One might suggest that a contented and fulfilled life cannot be measured solely by the amount of money an individual earns, but also that the sense of community gained by working on an allotment, of participating in a cultural group, of performing charitable acts, of going to church (even), and enjoying the company of family are of inestimable value. Indeed, it might be suggested it is the ability to realise these non-material benefits that is the object of economic activity.

Posts: 1572 | From: South Ofankor | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Soror Magna
Shipmate
# 9881

 - Posted      Profile for Soror Magna   Email Soror Magna   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
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.

You might want to go back and read your OP ...

quote:
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...

Again, that's not what you said you wanted to discuss in your OP... You said we were discussing whether social-progressive ideas were "anti-Christian" .... we told you, some are, some aren't ... now you want to discuss whether progressives are cafeteria Christians ...

--------------------
"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"

Posts: 5399 | From: Caprica City | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:

The argument would be that what you are purchasing is a sense of community.

Possibly, but that's a daft idea.

quote:
There is, however, a cost to your neighbour in giving you vegetables rather than selling them;
No there isn't. As I've said before, there is a legal requirement upon allotment tenants not to sell produce.

quote:
and there is also the question as to whether the allotment land could be more financially profitable to the owners (local authority?) by being sold or rented for office development, or employed more usefully by building a school or clinic on it.
Again, this is only partly true. Many allotments are statutory provision. If the landowner was to sell the land, then the local authority has a statutory requirement to provide suitable land elsewhere.

quote:
Furthermore, your time and those of your community members on the allotment comes at a cost of any paid employment in which you might otherwise be engaged.
That's an odd thing for you to say given that you know nothing about me nor about other who tend vegetables in my allotment.

You are talking about negative hypotheticals in terms that I don't accept. Nobody I know at my allotment is actually available to do paid work and instead is tending their allotment.

quote:
Similar criteria might be applied to your cultural group. Might a greater sense of community be created by a more efficient use of the resources involved? If so, then your enjoyment comes at a cost not only to others but, perhaps, also yourselves.
This is utter bunk. Nobody spends all their time at work. Some choose to spend their time watching television, or reading books in the library, others choose to attend a welsh conversation group.

quote:
What I was more concerned about, however, was to point out that economic goods should not be confined to matters which involved financial transactions, nor that acts for which no charges are made should be undervalued, free domestic labour is an extremely critical element in the economy of most societies, and to point out that ‘life is more than meat, and the body more than raiment.’ One might suggest that a contented and fulfilled life cannot be measured solely by the amount of money an individual earns, but also that the sense of community gained by working on an allotment, of participating in a cultural group, of performing charitable acts, of going to church (even), and enjoying the company of family are of inestimable value. Indeed, it might be suggested it is the ability to realise these non-material benefits that is the object of economic activity.
I just don't think that you're addressing anything substantial other than insisting that things can only be understood from your philosophical and economic position; whereas I simply do not accept that there are no activities which cannot be considered a transaction. I disagree with this language.

--------------------
arse

Posts: 10332 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
quetzalcoatl
Shipmate
# 16740

 - Posted      Profile for quetzalcoatl   Email quetzalcoatl   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
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.

You might want to go back and read your OP ...

quote:
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...

Again, that's not what you said you wanted to discuss in your OP... You said we were discussing whether social-progressive ideas were "anti-Christian" .... we told you, some are, some aren't ... now you want to discuss whether progressives are cafeteria Christians ...

Is there anyone who claims that socialist Jesus is AOK, and non-socialist Jesus is persona non grata? Well, there may be, but I haven't met many, or in fact, any.

Or is it, (a shocking thought), a straw man?

--------------------
the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

Posts: 9708 | From: UK | Registered: Oct 2011  |  IP: Logged
Kwesi
Shipmate
# 10274

 - Posted      Profile for Kwesi   Email Kwesi   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Kwesi: There is, however, a cost to your neighbour in giving you vegetables rather than selling them;

mr cheesy: No there isn't. As I've said before, there is a legal requirement upon allotment tenants not to sell produce.

OK, your friend gives you some vegetables for free, but that doesn’t make the gift costless, a free lunch, because there is the cost of renting the land on which they are grown, the cost of seeds, the cost of fertiliser, and the cost of labour involved in their production. Isn’t the point of gifts that they are free to the recipient but not to the giver, one of the most notable being that of the woman who poured nard over Jesus (Mark 14: 3)?
quote:
Kwesi: Similar criteria might be applied to your cultural group. Might a greater sense of community be created by a more efficient use of the resources involved? If so, then your enjoyment comes at a cost not only to others but, perhaps, also yourselves.

mr cheesy: This is utter bunk. Nobody spends all their time at work. Some choose to spend their time watching television, or reading books in the library, others choose to attend a welsh conversation group.

You have a point: the Welsh language group does not seem to take up much resource so the costs are minimal. My wider point is that activities that are not normally considered in economic terms are not costless, and it is worth asking the question as to whether the cultural or communal benefits could be better achieved for more people if resources were differently employed.

For example there might be a number of possible uses for a piece of land, particularly if it’s in an urban area. The question then is how is that land best deployed. If the decision is that the choice be restricted to community development, then there may be a number of options: site for a clinic, a school, a library, a community centre, a park, playing fields etc and, of course, an allotment. Allotments tend to benefit a rather small number of people, who are often resistant to proposals to lessen the size of existing plots to bring more people in. Consequently, while the benefits of allotments are great to those privileged to rent them, it might be at the cost of a greater community gain were the land put to another use.

Posts: 1572 | From: South Ofankor | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
OK, your friend gives you some vegetables for free, but that doesn’t make the gift costless, a free lunch, because there is the cost of renting the land on which they are grown, the cost of seeds, the cost of fertiliser, and the cost of labour involved in their production. Isn’t the point of gifts that they are free to the recipient but not to the giver, one of the most notable being that of the woman who poured nard over Jesus (Mark 14: 3)?

Friend, give up with this train of thought: you are wrong. The produce is excess, therefore there is no "cost" to the allotment holder. In fact it is wastage that otherwise would be thrown away.

It is nonsense to allocate costs to something which would otherwise be wasted as the natural part of growing vegetables.

There are deeper levels of truth here (for example comparing the various costs and benefits of composting vs consuming excess vegetables), but this goes way way beyond your over-simplistic point - and isn't actually obvious either way.

quote:
You have a point: the Welsh language group does not seem to take up much resource so the costs are minimal. My wider point is that activities that are not normally considered in economic terms are not costless, and it is worth asking the question as to whether the cultural or communal benefits could be better achieved for more people if resources were differently employed.
And my point is that there are a bunch of activities which cannot be measured in this way and that it is nonsense to claim that they can only possibly be considered to have a value if they're a transaction or considered to have a cost. That's just a screwy way of thinking.

quote:
For example there might be a number of possible uses for a piece of land, particularly if it’s in an urban area. The question then is how is that land best deployed. If the decision is that the choice be restricted to community development, then there may be a number of options: site for a clinic, a school, a library, a community centre, a park, playing fields etc and, of course, an allotment. Allotments tend to benefit a rather small number of people, who are often resistant to proposals to lessen the size of existing plots to bring more people in. Consequently, while the benefits of allotments are great to those privileged to rent them, it might be at the cost of a greater community gain were the land put to another use.
Again, this is nonsense. How are you determining the "value" of the land as an allotment versus the "value" of it as a block of flats?

There is no way to do so. One might be able to say that this bit of land has worth more as building land than an allotment, but that is (fairly obviously) only one way to measure value of anything.

It's not a transaction. The wider community would be weaker without allotments, whether or not someone can produce a piece of paper showing that it would be a good place to build a lot of flats and make someone a lot of money.

--------------------
arse

Posts: 10332 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Russ
Old salt
# 120

 - Posted      Profile for Russ   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
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.

Russ' conception of how rules work stops at the point where rules are applied. There is no feedback loop to consider the question of whether the rules should be changed if they are not producing desirable outcomes. The rules are immutable. If the rules are favouring one group of players over another, this is not a problem with the rules that needs to be addressed but an innate feature of the game.
Yes, exactly.

What do you call someone who wants to suspend the rule against murder because it isn't producing the outcome they desire ?

Christians believe that God set the rules of morality. That people cannot change them because they'd prefer a different outcome.

And that - to the extent that some people are "favoured" thereby - it is not unjust to those who find keeping those rules an uphill struggle. Because God will judge us on our effort (and our contrition when we fail), rather than on our success as such.

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

Posts: 3077 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ohher
Shipmate
# 18607

 - Posted      Profile for Ohher   Author's homepage   Email Ohher   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:

What do you call someone who wants to suspend the rule against murder because it isn't producing the outcome they desire ?

Christians believe that God set the rules of morality. That people cannot change them because they'd prefer a different outcome.

And that - to the extent that some people are "favoured" thereby - it is not unjust to those who find keeping those rules an uphill struggle. Because God will judge us on our effort (and our contrition when we fail), rather than on our success as such.

Russ, I do wish you'd stop bringing up murder as an example of God's -- or anybody's --
morality. Nobody here is arguing that some people should be able to get away with murder while others should be punished for it (though arguably our imperfect human justice systems produce such results sadly often).

Back to God's morality, we have a commandment to turn to: Thou shalt not kill.

Which commandment, or other Christian moral teaching, should we be turning to to confirm that your "inclined playing field" (however achieved) is fine with God, and that it's further fine with God that humanity should be careful to maintain that incline?

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

Posts: 282 | From: New Hampshire, USA | Registered: Jun 2016  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

 - Posted      Profile for orfeo   Author's homepage   Email orfeo   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
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.

Russ' conception of how rules work stops at the point where rules are applied. There is no feedback loop to consider the question of whether the rules should be changed if they are not producing desirable outcomes. The rules are immutable. If the rules are favouring one group of players over another, this is not a problem with the rules that needs to be addressed but an innate feature of the game.
Yes, exactly.

What do you call someone who wants to suspend the rule against murder because it isn't producing the outcome they desire ?

Christians believe that God set the rules of morality. That people cannot change them because they'd prefer a different outcome.

And that - to the extent that some people are "favoured" thereby - it is not unjust to those who find keeping those rules an uphill struggle. Because God will judge us on our effort (and our contrition when we fail), rather than on our success as such.

The fact that you got THAT out of what I wrote beggars belief.

Not even the rules of God are immutable, Russ. Your Bible has two testaments in it. TWO.

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

Posts: 18151 | From: Under | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

 - Posted      Profile for orfeo   Author's homepage   Email orfeo   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I mean, seriously, the very essence of Christianity is that it’s a revision and refinement because Judaism doesn’t work. A huge chunk of Romans is all about this.

But all you can come up with is pathetic straw man about suspending the rule of murder. Guess what, mate, God suspended the law about consequences of sin to save your sorry arse.

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

Posts: 18151 | From: Under | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
Golden Key
Shipmate
# 1468

 - Posted      Profile for Golden Key   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Russ--

quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
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 ?

Well, I'm not thinking of tithes. That's a "how". Just whether there's any reason *anyone* shouldn't have basic food and housing.

But yes, there are people don't believe in giving any kind of financial help.

IME, tithes are often given to a person's church, so they don't *necessarily* get to the poor, sick, and homeless.

quote:
(Alongside curing the sick, but park that aspect for now - you're asking about meeting basic needs).
Yes--though I'll stipulate that basic and emergency medical care are in the "basic needs" parameters.

quote:
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...
To me, on this topic, you tend to come across as dry and disinterested in the effects on human beings. That may *not* be what you really think/feel.


quote:
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 ?

--Rich corporations avoid/evade paying taxes as much as they possibly can. Which means that the gov't budget doesn't get the money it should have, which means that money and programs for the needy are basically Band-aids, and not fixes.

--Often, The System isn't truly interested in helping *anyone*. Individuals working in The System may be, but the rules work against them.

--Recipients of some benefits are only allowed to keep $25.00 on hand, so they can't legally save up. Anyone breaking the rules is threatened with everything short of hell. Sometimes, you can even get in trouble for *following* the rules.

--Here, in San Francisco, we have many thousands more homeless folks than there are shelter beds. City gov't sometimes tries to help; other times, it dismantles homeless encampments and throws away belongings, without providing a new place to live. The emphasis, IMHO, is often just on getting them out of the sight of tourists.

--VERY IMPORTANT: People want to believe that they themselves are safe and nothing bad will happen to them. So they unconsciously choose believe that the poor, homeless, and ill cause their own problems.


quote:
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.

I'm not saying treat them like livestock. Just that everyone needs basic food and housing, so everyone should have it. (In a culturally-appropriate way.)

I'm trying to get down to the most basic element of this, to see if we're on the same page about that. *How* to make sure everyone has the basics can come later.


quote:
One is the competing needs of the poor in one's own country and the poorer overseas.
And that is difficult. People often assume that one or the other will turn out ok, if the poor will just work a bit harder on their lives.


quote:
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...
Pride in their work? Not wanting to sit around at home all day? Wanting to see people outside their household?

Here, it isn't easy to be on welfare, food stamps, disability, or even unemployment insurance (UI). There are things you're expected to do, job-hunting reports to turn in regularly, etc. Getting benefits AT ALL is hard, because the Powers That Be assume that everyone is lying, and have to see proof otherwise.

In the novel "The Fifth Sacred Thing", there's been a social/political apocalypse, and everything is upside down and backwards. In one town, they decide to give everyone a basic income. Most people want more than that, so they work.


quote:
And one is about things like building regulations and planning permission and the best being the enemy of the good.
Hmmm. I'm not sure how you mean that. We have a massive, long-running, affordable housing crisis here in SF. There've been efforts to make developers of apartment complexes include some affordable units, but that's a drop in the bucket.


quote:
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 ?

Yes, the issues should be solvable. It's very difficult to find a solution that most people agree on, and will continue to agree on, and that will actually work. ISTM that the solution usually gets damaged, ruined, or taken away--usually due to someone wanting to get their hands on the money/resources set aside for the solution.

Yes, you more or less answered my question. Thanks.

Oh, re solutions: You might take a look at
"Yes" magazine, which is all about positive solutions. YMMV.

[ 29. November 2017, 03:35: Message edited by: Golden Key ]

--------------------
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")

Posts: 18178 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Kwesi
Shipmate
# 10274

 - Posted      Profile for Kwesi   Email Kwesi   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
mr cheesy
quote:
And my point is that there are a bunch of activities which cannot be measured in this way and that it is nonsense to claim that they can only possibly be considered to have a value if they're a transaction or considered to have a cost. That's just a screwy way of thinking.

mr Cheesy, I thought you might throw at me something about knowing the cost of everything and the value of nothing! Thanks for sparing me that. In point of fact, though not a possessor, I rather like allotments, they defy the urban concrete, promote pottering around in a money-grubbing culture, foster human interaction mostly of a positive kind among the tenants, as you demonstrate, and provide places of welcome refuge. I hope they survive the greed of the developer, and other socially beneficial claims on the space - social variety is worth defending as much as diversity in the plant and animal kingdom.

My defence of ‘no such thing as a free lunch’ does not come from a desire to remove free lunches: a sentiment which is often associated with the phrase, but a desire to ensure that resources, financial and otherwise, devoted to promoting human non-monetary values are wisely and effectively directed.

Posts: 1572 | From: South Ofankor | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Tax is not a tithe. A tithe is not a tax. It's right there in the NT.

--------------------
arse

Posts: 10332 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Kwesi
Shipmate
# 10274

 - Posted      Profile for Kwesi   Email Kwesi   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Russ
quote:
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 ?

How bad are they? Respecting countries that might be referred to as welfare states, I think they do pretty well. You only have to compare them with the condition of the poor in the third world, or, indeed, the social condition of their own societies before welfare reforms were introduced. It’s not the minuscule percentage who are sleeping rough that measure the success of welfare states, but the percentage who have access to health, education, housing and pensions. The billions spent on public goods have achieved their aims pretty well. Problems are largely a function of the need to spend billions more to keep up with improvements in medicines, surgical techniques and the expansion of higher education, and to address the consequences of their own success: the increasing number of elderly.

The most wasteful modern state is the USA where welfare provision is heavily compromised because powerful corporate interests are able to ensure that a significant proportion of tax dollars devoted to the relevant programmes find a way into their coffers.

Posts: 1572 | From: South Ofankor | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Karl: Liberal Backslider
Shipmate
# 76

 - Posted      Profile for Karl: Liberal Backslider   Author's homepage   Email Karl: Liberal Backslider   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
In the UK, this is in part because the government has deliberately cut benefits. Which rather proves the point that welfare does work.

--------------------
Might as well ask the bloody cat.

Posts: 17724 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

 - Posted      Profile for Marvin the Martian     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
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 entirely agree that (most) people need/want to do things in order to give their lives meaning. The problem is that for an awful lot of the things people would like to be doing it's very hard to find someone willing to pay for them to be done.

I recently had three weeks off work for a stress-related illness. I don't think I spent more than a couple of days just sitting in the house - I went out to see people, I visited museums, I went for walks, and just generally did the things that I wanted to do. I also do a lot of volunteer work at church and the cricket club.

These are the sort of things that in an ideal world I would be doing to fill my psychological need to be doing something. And while if I dedicated my life to doing them I'd undoubtedly be much happier, the problem is that I'd be broke and homeless within a year.

quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
Why should the only contributions that count be economic?

Because ultimately, someone has to pay for all the stuff we need to keep us alive. If too many people decide to make non-economic contributions to society then there won't be enough tax income to pay for doctors, teachers, police, firemen, binmen, welfare checks (and people to administer them), roads, medicines, etc.

Society needs a sustainable level of economic activity in order to survive. It follows that society needs as many people as possible to be making economic contributions rather than non-economic ones.

quote:
After all it appears people are taking seriously the idea that driverless cars will soon be making the economic contributions on behalf of certain sectors. Why should we have to find other ways of making economic contributions if those sectors are making economic contributions for us?
There are two schools of thought regarding these sort of technological innovations.

1- That ultimately, they will lead to everyone being free to do the things they find fulfilling, and the robots will provide all our food, power, etc. virtually free of charge.

2- That the robots will indeed be able to provide food, power, etc. virtually free of charge to the people who own them, but that the rest of us will be left unable to buy them due to there being no more jobs for us to do in order to earn money. Essentially, the elites will live lives of luxury on the back of automated labour while the rest of us never get a look in.

Personally, I think 2 is much more likely. Driverless cars, lorries, buses, taxis, etc. will lead to cheaper goods and transport being available, but fewer people will be able to buy them because all the ones who used to earn a living driving cars, lorries, buses, taxis, etc. will be unemployed. It will also make things harder for government, because fewer people being employed means less income tax being paid and higher welfare bills, while cheaper goods mean less VAT income. The main benefit will be to the owners of companies who get to lower prices a little while virtually eradicating their transport costs, thus raking in extra profit.

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

Posts: 29955 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Kwesi
Shipmate
# 10274

 - Posted      Profile for Kwesi   Email Kwesi   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Marvin the Martian
quote:


Dafyd: Why should the only contributions that count be economic?

Martin: Because ultimately, someone has to pay for all the stuff we need to keep us alive. If too many people decide to make non-economic contributions to society then there won't be enough tax income to pay for doctors, teachers, police, firemen, binmen, welfare checks (and people to administer them), roads, medicines, etc.

Society needs a sustainable level of economic activity in order to survive. It follows that society needs as many people as possible to be making economic contributions rather than non-economic ones.

Surely, you are not arguing that people like " doctors, teachers, police, firemen, binmen, welfare checks (and people to administer them), roads, medicines, etc" are not making an economic contribution to society? Because most of them are paid through taxation doesn't make them non-economic.
Posts: 1572 | From: South Ofankor | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

 - Posted      Profile for Doc Tor     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
There are two schools of thought regarding these sort of technological innovations.

1- That ultimately, they will lead to everyone being free to do the things they find fulfilling, and the robots will provide all our food, power, etc. virtually free of charge.

2- That the robots will indeed be able to provide food, power, etc. virtually free of charge to the people who own them, but that the rest of us will be left unable to buy them due to there being no more jobs for us to do in order to earn money. Essentially, the elites will live lives of luxury on the back of automated labour while the rest of us never get a look in.

Which is why we need to tax the robots. Literally, that's what we do, and we provide everyone with a UBI.

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

Posts: 8935 | From: Ultima Thule | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Dafyd
Shipmate
# 5549

 - Posted      Profile for Dafyd   Email Dafyd   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
What do you call someone who wants to suspend the rule against murder because it isn't producing the outcome they desire ?

Minister for Defence.
The rule against murder has suspensions built in: self-defence, killing in war, killing by law enforcement agents required for the performance of their duties, possibly abortion, possibly capital punishment, depending on your beliefs on the subject.
The only way for people to resolve disagreements about what suspensions are morally acceptable is to look at the outcomes, either locally or globally.

quote:
Christians believe that God set the rules of morality. That people cannot change them because they'd prefer a different outcome.
Christians believe that the rules of morality were made for humanity, rather than humanity for the rules of morality.
God is love. Love includes sympathy. In so far as God sets the rules of morality, the rules are set on the basis of sympathy for all those affected.

(I think historically most Christians would have said that 'God sets the rules of morality' is an oversimplification. God creates created beings, but a being's nature sets its goods, and those goods set what would count as morality where appropriate.)

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

Posts: 10430 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Dafyd
Shipmate
# 5549

 - Posted      Profile for Dafyd   Email Dafyd   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Society needs a sustainable level of economic activity in order to survive. It follows that society needs as many people as possible to be making economic contributions rather than non-economic ones.

If the robots are making those economic contributions then society doesn't need as many people as possible to make them.

quote:
There are two schools of thought regarding these sort of technological innovations.

1- That ultimately, they will lead to everyone being free to do the things they find fulfilling, and the robots will provide all our food, power, etc. virtually free of charge.

2- That the robots will indeed be able to provide food, power, etc. virtually free of charge to the people who own them, but that the rest of us will be left unable to buy them due to there being no more jobs for us to do in order to earn money.
Personally, I think 2 is much more likely.

I think 2 is certainly more likely if we keep on thinking that we need as many people as possible to make economic contributions and that therefore people who aren't making economic contributions are burdens on those who are, irrespective of what the robots are doing.

[ 29. November 2017, 12:56: Message edited by: Dafyd ]

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

Posts: 10430 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

 - Posted      Profile for Marvin the Martian     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
Surely, you are not arguing that people like " doctors, teachers, police, firemen, binmen, welfare checks (and people to administer them), roads, medicines, etc" are not making an economic contribution to society? Because most of them are paid through taxation doesn't make them non-economic.

No, I'm saying that without as many people as possible making an economic contribution to the government via taxes there won't be enough money to pay for all those people/things.

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

Posts: 29955 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

 - Posted      Profile for Marvin the Martian     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Which is why we need to tax the robots.

On what basis? They won't be getting paid, so income tax and NI won't apply.

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

Posts: 29955 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Erroneous Monk
Shipmate
# 10858

 - Posted      Profile for Erroneous Monk   Email Erroneous Monk   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Which is why we need to tax the robots.

On what basis? They won't be getting paid, so income tax and NI won't apply.
We could tax profit made by businesses (in whatever form) that are using robots at a rate that covers the following:
(1) the PAYE & NI that would have been paid by a human work-force being paid (at least) living wage to do the work being done by AI; and
(2) the employer's NI on said putative workforce

However should we then allow the business to deduct a putative wage (being the amount of wage on which the PAYE & NI and employer's NI referred to above is calculated) before arriving at profits that are subject to corporation tax (or income tax if the business is unincorporated)? I think there could be an argument for that. So we'd need to work through the numbers and see which approach (allowing a deductable or not) generates the necessary tax take for the treasury while still allowing business owners to generate *some* additional profit from using technology (thus encouraging innovation in more technology)

--------------------
And I shot a man in Tesco, just to watch him die.

Posts: 2887 | From: I cannot tell you, for you are not a friar | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

 - Posted      Profile for Marvin the Martian     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Society needs a sustainable level of economic activity in order to survive. It follows that society needs as many people as possible to be making economic contributions rather than non-economic ones.

If the robots are making those economic contributions then society doesn't need as many people as possible to make them.
The robots won't be getting paid, therefore they won't be contributing taxes to the government. So where is the money to fund health, welfare, transport, security, etc. going to come from?

quote:
I think 2 is certainly more likely if we keep on thinking that we need as many people as possible to make economic contributions and that therefore people who aren't making economic contributions are burdens on those who are, irrespective of what the robots are doing.
The only way 2 can be avoided is if we completely ditch the concept of ownership and allow everything the robots create, mine or grow to be available to anyone who wants it. A post-scarcity economy, basically. Although even then, the people who own the raw materials would be able to dominate the economy.

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

Posts: 29955 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
The robots won't be getting paid, therefore they won't be contributing taxes to the government. So where is the money to fund health, welfare, transport, security, etc. going to come from?

I'd have thought the first part of this is fairly straightforward. The robots will be like any other part of hardware in a business - they have a cost to keep running. But they don't have additional costs that would be associated with employees.

So whilst it is true that the robots aren't paying PAYE or NI, they're also not using up normal human resources. They don't need buses to take them home, they don't need feeding, they don't need counselors or days off or maternity pay etc and so on.

So, assuming they're actually cost effective (which is probably a big if at the moment), they ought to be adding more value to the business than a human employee would be to do the same job. In theory, therefore, it ought to be possible to tax the business on the extra profits they're making from having robots.

The second part of your question is more complicated. But then surely is no different to any other occasion in human history when mechanisation took over jobs from humans.

People used to make ribbons by hand. The jobs were lost when machines did the job. The jobs changed and money was made (for the individual and the taxman) in new and different ways.

--------------------
arse

Posts: 10332 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

 - Posted      Profile for Doc Tor     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Which is why we need to tax the robots.

On what basis? They won't be getting paid, so income tax and NI won't apply.
On the basis that we'll go the way of working horses in 20th century Britain.

Either we do that, or the capitalists exterminate us, or we have a bloody revolution and send them to the wall instead.

Being a peaceable sort, I'd chose option 1 over 2 or 3. But if pushed, option 3 over option 2.

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

Posts: 8935 | From: Ultima Thule | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Which is why we need to tax the robots.

On what basis? They won't be getting paid, so income tax and NI won't apply.
On the basis that we'll go the way of working horses in 20th century Britain.

Don't be silly. They need people to buy things. So increased poverty, not complete redundancy, is the future.

--------------------
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

Posts: 17134 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

 - Posted      Profile for Marvin the Martian     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
On the basis that we'll go the way of working horses in 20th century Britain.

Yes, I rather think we will. Whether alternative means of earning an income spring up to replace those we will lose to automation remains an open question, especially if we ever get to the point where robots can do any conceivable job far more efficiently and cheaply than humans. A few artisans will continue to make a living by selling "human-made" items as novelties or luxuries, of course (as they do now with many products that are already largely machine-made) - and there will always be a market for professional sports, entertainers, singers, comedians, etc. - but the rest of us will be shit out of luck.

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

Posts: 29955 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:

People used to make ribbons by hand. The jobs were lost when machines did the job. The jobs changed and money was made (for the individual and the taxman) in new and different ways.

This is true. But it is unlikely to be true in the future. The growth potential isn't there as it was in the past. For one, people went from one unskilled/semi-skilled labour to a different unskilled/semi-skilled labour. There isn't a new unskilled/semi-skilled task around the corner. The new semi-skilled/skilled tasks need fewer people by a significant factor more than in the past and many of the semi-skilled/skilled positions have the requirement (though not always need) of a degree.
What this means that if the current trend continues, there will be a few rich, a fewer more skilled workers of much lesser wealth and lots and lots of poor.
Yea the future

--------------------
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

Posts: 17134 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Kwesi
Shipmate
# 10274

 - Posted      Profile for Kwesi   Email Kwesi   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Following on from recent posts the question that intrigues me is how an economic system in which the demand for labour has been greatly reduced is going to sustain the high level of consumer demand necessary for the maintenance of a system of mass consumption. How are the owners (private and public) going to solve that one?
Posts: 1572 | From: South Ofankor | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

 - Posted      Profile for Doc Tor     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Which is why we need to tax the robots.

On what basis? They won't be getting paid, so income tax and NI won't apply.
On the basis that we'll go the way of working horses in 20th century Britain.

Don't be silly. They need people to buy things. So increased poverty, not complete redundancy, is the future.
They won't need us. They don't need us now. They don't need us to buy things - most of the people we're talking about are already so rich that if no one bought anything ever again, their bank balances wouldn't so much as quiver. The rich already live in a post-scarcity society.

(obligatory 'wake up sheeple!')

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

Posts: 8935 | From: Ultima Thule | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Which is why we need to tax the robots.

On what basis? They won't be getting paid, so income tax and NI won't apply.
On the basis that we'll go the way of working horses in 20th century Britain.

Don't be silly. They need people to buy things. So increased poverty, not complete redundancy, is the future.
They won't need us. They don't need us now. They don't need us to buy things - most of the people we're talking about are already so rich that if no one bought anything ever again, their bank balances wouldn't so much as quiver. The rich already live in a post-scarcity society.

(obligatory 'wake up sheeple!')

Their wealth is tied to the economy and the economy needs drivers. Purchasing is the main basic unit of economy that feeds the rest.

--------------------
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

Posts: 17134 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

 - Posted      Profile for Doc Tor     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Nope. In this future, there will be exactly two kinds of jobs.

Guarding the rich. Programming robots.

That's it.

The 'economy' is what we, the little people, need. The rich increasingly don't. Their wealth is becoming divorced from actual things, as they already have more than they can spend in a lifetime. They might keep some of us around, as pets - much like horses - but otherwise, their robot servants and labourers will do everything that's required.

The best we can hope for in such a scenario is a quick death.

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

Posts: 8935 | From: Ultima Thule | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Dafyd
Shipmate
# 5549

 - Posted      Profile for Dafyd   Email Dafyd   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Nope. In this future, there will be exactly two kinds of jobs.

Guarding the rich. Programming robots.

Why can't the robots guard the rich?

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

Posts: 10430 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged



Pages in this thread: 1  2  3  ...  9  10  11  12  13  14  15 
 
Post new thread  Post a reply Close thread   Feature thread   Move thread   Delete thread Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
 - Printer-friendly view
Go to:

Contact us | Ship of Fools | Privacy statement

© Ship of Fools 2016

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.5.0

 
Check out Reform magazine
sip of fools mugs from your favourite nautical website
 
  ship of fools