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Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)

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My sentiments exactly.

 

Besides, accumulated wealth isn't in and of itself Evil.  To my mind, it's a sort of ability.  And as a wiser man than myself---Albus Dumbledore--once said, “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are far more than our abilities.”

 

Trump, to my mind and the minds of others, has chosen poorly.  Thing is, it's always others who suffer, and will continue to suffer for his choices.

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Well, I'm told that J. K. Rowling is a billionaire because she wrote some books that a lot of people liked, and had the luck or foresight to insist in the copntract that she get a cut of any spin-off profits from merch and movies. I don't see how she robbed or cheated anyone.

 

An unusual case to be sure, but it's an "existence proof." If one can exist, so can others.

 

It's why I no longer feel outrage at high-paid athletes or entertainers, when so many obviously more worthy people toil for modest wage. Consider everyone who enjoys watching, say, LeBron James play basketball. Millions ever game. Imagine each one of them could pay ten cents directly to him in appreciation. Clearly, he soon becomes a very rich man. And can one say that each of those millions did not receive ten cents' worth of pleasure? Repeat for actors, musicians, etc.

 

I am willing to extend this exercise to providers of other goods and services, dividing profit gained by the value gained by others. BUT... In such cases, everyone in the supply chain for providing those goods and services has a right to a share as well. If the business model that makes a few people very rich depends on keeping most people's wages artificially low, there is certainly unfairness that should e corrected. Or if the wealth comes from rent-seeking rather than honest competiton for customers.

 

Returning to J. K. Rowling, it is likely she would not be as wealthy as she is if all the people making the Harry Potter merch in Third World countries were paid a share rather than, well, Third World factory wages. But she would still be very rich.

 

I see the problem as less that some few people are so very rich as that so many are so very poor. And that their poverty is not an unfortunate natural event, but deliberately created by those who would rather extract wealth than create it.

 

Dean Shomshak

 

 

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I always say, from a monetary standpoint, something or someone is "worth" whatever someone else is willing to pay. That doesn't necessarily reflect their intrinsic quality or magnitude of contribution to society.

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I also wonder at the inclusion of Bill Gates in there -- yeah, he's a billionaire...but he and his wife have committed a huge amount of their fortune toward helping others...and I think I read that he's dedicated over 90% of whatever is left to go to charities when he passes.  He's always struck me as the Jimmy Carter of CEOs.

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18 minutes ago, csyphrett said:

People always get this wrong. Money isn't the root of all evil. Greed is

CES

 

Yeah, the bible verse speaks of the LOVE (or desire/want etc)  of money, not the money itself being the root of all manners of evil. Translations vary, but it's the greed for it, and coming to value it over people that brings the evil about.

 

 

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50 minutes ago, Simon said:

I also wonder at the inclusion of Bill Gates in there -- yeah, he's a billionaire...but he and his wife have committed a huge amount of their fortune toward helping others...and I think I read that he's dedicated over 90% of whatever is left to go to charities when he passes.  He's always struck me as the Jimmy Carter of CEOs.

Perhaps it's to atone for all the horrible stuff he did as CEO of Microsoft?

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4 minutes ago, megaplayboy said:

Perhaps it's to atone for all the horrible stuff he did as CEO of Microsoft?

 

I was just going to say, Gates was infamous for predatory business practices while he was building his empire.

 

 

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Gates also possesses more wealth today than he did six years ago when he retired.

 

Examples like Gates and Rowling are kind of the exceptions that prove the rule.

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Also, earlier this year, Gates said that if Elizabeth Warren was nominated he would have to think about whether to support her or Trump.  Bill Gates total wealth increases by more than 2% a year.  So if Warren was elected and got her 2% billionaire wealth tax, his total wealth would not go down on a year by year basis.  It would merely increase less quickly.  Still, despite not Bill Gates not liking Trump and all the many good things Warren was proposing to do with the proceeds of the wealth tax, the thought of having his wealth increase less quickly was enough to give Gates pause. 

 

He didn't say that he wouldn't support Warren, just that he would have to think about it.  I like to think ultimately he would done the right thing for the right reasons.  Yet, that pause, left me wondering how much of Gates' charity work is out of love for his fellow man and how much is to be the big man who gets to write the big checks.

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On 5/17/2020 at 2:15 AM, Old Man said:


Melanin. 

Technically, its lack.

 

On 5/17/2020 at 11:55 AM, Pariah said:

Good. Lock the b@st@rd up and toss the key.

Could we bring back throwing convicts in stocks? I don't feel that something as abstract as prison sentences will deter these sorts of people. Maybe seeing their poster boy open carrying a pillory and being pelted with rotten food would get through their thick skulls.

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Well, I believe our society needs to act civilized, even if some members of it don't. Abusing those whom we perceive as deserving it feels emotionally satisfying; but if we let them drag the rest of us down to their level, that diminishes us. Plus it increases the likelihood of the same abuse being applied to us.

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16 hours ago, Hermit said:

 

Yeah, the bible verse speaks of the LOVE (or desire/want etc)  of money, not the money itself being the root of all manners of evil. Translations vary, but it's the greed for it, and coming to value it over people that brings the evil about.

 

 

That suggests those jealous of the billionaires may be the evil ones, doesn't it?

 

Also, let's not forget that, by Third World standards, those of us with computers and online access are pretty wealthy.  Wealth is a very relative thing. 

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16 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

Well, I believe our society needs to act civilized, even if some members of it don't. Abusing those whom we perceive as deserving it feels emotionally satisfying; but if we let them drag the rest of us down to their level, that diminishes us. Plus it increases the likelihood of the same abuse being applied to us.

 

Tolerating the intolerant doesn't make them more tolerant. It only lets intolerance spread faster. They're counting on the opinion above. It lets them thrive worry free as the rest of us won't "reduce ourselves to their level" until their numbers increase to the point where they're the majority. We have to start taking some kind of stand against all these extremist groups. Our passivity (which has really been going on since the end of the Civil War) has stunted our societal progress.

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3 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

That suggests those jealous of the billionaires may be the evil ones, doesn't it?

 

Also, let's not forget that, by Third World standards, those of us with computers and online access are pretty wealthy.  Wealth is a very relative thing. 

 

Careful, Hugh. Michael Bloomberg may call you to join his PR department. :winkgrin:

 

Ain't none of us here breathing the same air as the billionaires club. Yes, wealth is relative, and overall the majority in the First World are very privileged compared to much of the Third World; but we're a helluva lot closer to them than we are to the 1%. Jealousy isn't good, but it's excusable from the many of us struggling to keep our children fed and clothed, when we look at mansions and private jets.

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7 minutes ago, Dr. MID-Nite said:

Tolerating the intolerant doesn't make them more tolerant. It only lets intolerance spread faster. They're counting on the opinion above. It lets them thrive worry free as the rest of us won't "reduce ourselves to their level" until their numbers increase to the point where they're the majority. We have to start taking some kind of stand against all these extremist groups. Our passivity (which has really been going on since the end of the Civil War) has stunted our societal progress.

 

I think that's a different sentiment/action from doling out punishment, however.  And it's an example of 'between two extremes' perhaps

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14 minutes ago, Dr. MID-Nite said:

 

Tolerating the intolerant doesn't make them more tolerant. It only lets intolerance spread faster. They're counting on the opinion above. It lets them thrive worry free as the rest of us won't "reduce ourselves to their level" until their numbers increase to the point where they're the majority. We have to start taking some kind of stand against all these extremist groups. Our passivity (which has really been going on since the end of the Civil War) has stunted our societal progress.

 

Please don't put words in my mouth. I never wrote anything about tolerating intolerance. I was responding to Matt the Bruins' expressed wish (very understandable from an emotional point of view) of putting convicts in stocks and pelting them with rotten food. In other words, making them experience pain and humiliation as punishment for whatever crimes they did.

 

Of course there have to be consequences for misdeeds. Society needs to deter and restrain people who would disrupt it. And I agree that more pro-action to counter extremism is long overdue. But inflicting suffering doesn't teach any lessons -- it just makes the recipient angrier, more resentful, and more likely to lash out. And if you start to condone inflicting suffering as the goal of penalties to anyone, you create the precedent to apply it as a penalty to everyone.

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6 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

Please don't put words in my mouth. I never wrote anything about tolerating intolerance. I was responding to Matt the Bruins' expressed wish (very understandable from an emotional point of view) of putting convicts in stocks and pelting them with rotten food. In other words, making them experience pain and humiliation as punishment for whatever crimes they did.

 

Of course there have to be consequences for misdeeds. Society needs to deter and restrain people who would disrupt it. And I agree that more pro-action to counter extremism is long overdue. But inflicting suffering doesn't teach any lessons -- it just makes the recipient angrier, more resentful, and more likely to lash out. And if you start to condone inflicting suffering as the goal of penalties to anyone, you create the precedent to apply it as a penalty to everyone.

 

Not my intention...so apologies. I guess I just don't see the point of arguing severity of punishment when my contention is that as a country we don't punish at all.  ""shrugs" Don't mind me though...I've gotten disgusted enough with the current state of affairs that most of my 'live and let live" vibes are gone.

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On 5/13/2020 at 12:43 PM, Lord Liaden said:

There absolutely are good and valid reasons for a private citizen to own some kind of gun, and any gun regulation should make allowances for them. Personally I don't think just liking guns is enough reason to have an arsenal in your home.

 

Yet you are allowed to have a computer, a 3D printer, a sack of flour, and at least at present, an encrypted Internet connection, any one of which is capable of creating far more deaths than a a personal firearm. I think it lacks perspective to suggest one nut with a gun presents a real danger to society. What is dangerous are evil people in numbers. If someone wants to produce math deaths, a semi-automatic rifle is a paltry machine. But three hundred people with rifles, or with piles of bricks, can bring down an entire community. I am far more worried about a repeat of the Tulsa Race Riots, in which the weapon of choice was simply starting fires. An entire thriving black community was eradicated in a day.

I think it is actually sufficient justification to own an item that you find it interesting and potentially useful, even weapons. You lose that right when you turn that item for criminal ends. I'm not suggesting you be allowed to own a nuke, or that a .50 Browning should be fired inside the city limits. But if someone wants to take a machine gun and shoot up pumpkins and post the results on Youtube? I think there should be some provision for that be legal. I can't launch a hot air balloon from my front yard. But people can and do make a hobby out of launching hot air balloons, in the proper time and place, with the proper permits.

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