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  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,787 Senior Member
    bisley said:
     How do I explain to my grand children that they have to succeed at twice the level I did, if they simply want to maintain the standard of living that their parents provided for them?


    Forget everything else, this is the key point that I think all of us are fighting against and want solved.

    Our economy on average (as measured by real GDP) is massively larger, even accounting for inflation than it was a generation ago. Contrary to Republican talking points our overall tax burden (on average as a % of GDP) not especially higher than it has been historically, and compared to most other developed nations our tax burden is significantly lower (and yes I can back all these facts up with sources, but no one will read them and other will ironically somehow use the fact that I supported my argument with hard evidence as an excuse to dismiss it). So why is the middle class and working class struggling so mightily? What polices have made this so? It's probably more than just one or two. What sorts of polices will help reverse this trend? These are difficult questions that don't have easy answers. That said I can guarantee that very little being offered by the majority of talking heads or establishment politicians is part of the answer. Primarily because very few of them actually want to solve it.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 19,880 Senior Member
    ...compared to most other developed nations our tax burden is significantly lower...
    This much is completely true - and if I wanted a "tax burden" that was higher, I'd go live in another "developed nation".
    I'm tired of people - both Liberals and Conservatives - trying to justify their particular agenda by comparing us to other countries. I've said it before: If its all so great in that other country - PLEASE move there. Especially that ever touted and beloved Sweden, that Liberals love to crow about even though they have ZERO idea what's its like there because they've never been there.
    If I had my druthers, I'd go live in Greece - but they're yet another European Socialist Hell hole unfortunately. Talking to the Greeks, many have *never* had a vacation or even a day off in many years - all to feed the Socialist agenda. No thank you.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 3,801 Senior Member
    edited February 8 #64
    Unless Im misunderstanding, people are contuing to site extraordinary personal effort and achievement as evidence that academic attainment is readily available to everyone that's desirous enough to apply similar extraordinary effort.
    There by insinuating that the current system of higher education remains viable and adaquate to propel our society to competitive global standards.

    Am I understanding this correctly????
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 978 Senior Member
    Just about anyone that wants to succeed in todays world, can if they choose to.  Some have more opportunities afforded to them than others.  In the end, a persons choices will have the biggest impact on their situation in most cases.

    I have met some very successful people that came from some very rough areas.  These people made the effort to use the opportunities offered to them so that they could better themselves.  These same people also do not visit their family anymore due to breaking the status quo in their neighborhood, and being shamed by those same people for doing it.

    While we do need some social programs to help others, we also dont need programs that reward being unproductive just because its easier to get a government handout than it is to work.  Im all for hepling someone get on their feet and becoming a productive member of society.  I am also all for taking care of those that truly can not provide for themselves.  I am not okay with keeping people on a perpetual handout when they are more than capable of providing for themselves.

    While Social Security is a social program, it is a tax that I pay from every check (unless you earn over a specific amount and then the tax stops levied for the year) with the premise that I will get at least some of it back when I am older and probably no longer productive in the work force.  I honestly do not expect it to be around by the time I reach the age where I can collect it.


  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 3,801 Senior Member
    If the discussion is condensing to one consensus claiming current educational opertunity is available to all that are willing to earn it versus a majority can't attain it because of unreachable opertunity. Then some means to quantify the two opposing numbers of people supportive of each contention needs to be found for a conclusion.

    Also if there is a failing of educated people in our society, and that failing is due to significant individual failing. Then it begs a question of how did our society become globally inferior? Assuming that bold presumption is even correct?
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,726 Senior Member
    .
    Unless Im misunderstanding, people are contuing to site extraordinary personal effort and achievement as evidence that academic attainment is readily available to everyone that's desirous enough to apply similar extraordinary effort.
    There by insinuating that the current system of higher education remains viable and adaquate to propel our society to competitive global standards.

    Am I understanding this correctly????
    Some are saying that, but we all know that there are winners and losers at every level of the economic ladder. Success is always tied to the level of opportunity that is available, and the level of ability and determination that each individual can muster, and there are always other factors that get thrown into the mix that further complicate the issue. Some folks have more obstacles to overcome than others, and just cannot rise to the level they want for themselves. That is just a fact, and everyone has seen it. But, it helps nothing to focus on those failures, because shifting the focus onto failure makes it a 'norm' that quickly becomes an excuse not to try.

    A moral society is going to try to lift up the poor and the disenfranchised, and failing that, such a society will still try to make it possible for them to, at the very least, continue to exist. But, being a moral society does not equate to providing enough money to actually encourage failure. Lending a helping hand is a moral obligation that everybody quantifies in his own way, and a government that tries to quantify the amount of morality that is due from each citizen is eventually going to destroy the human spirit of both the 'giver' and the 'receiver.' The giver is being forced, and the receiver is getting his mentoring from someone who has to be paid to care.

    Regarding formal education, it is useless to anyone that has not first learned how to think in a realistic way. Parents provide most of that, in 'whole' families. Lacking parental guidance, a child has to seek out other mentors, and local communities can help with that, but giant bureaucracies cannot. They can provide money to pay willing 'substitute mentors,' and buildings, and educational materials that can assist in teaching the basic ability to think. But they cannot instill the determination needed to achieve success. There have been programs that have achieved a reasonable amount of success, but the best ones were operated by charitable organizations, and manned by volunteers.

    When politicians become involved in charitable functions, everything is eventually measured in dollar amounts, and that corrupts the entire process. It takes human contact to shape young characters, and dollars will not buy the human qualities needed to help shape a young person's character.
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 3,801 Senior Member
    Assesment relies on a clear unobstructed view of reality. Including any and all failure. Assuming it coexists with success.

    We're either raising, producing, growing, an intelligent educated society or we are achieving some portion of that less than the whole.

    The question remains as to how much success and how much failure is happening???

    Im niether advocating or condemning. Only asking.

    The citizenry of the USA finances a giant juggernaut of financial global supremacy. They've a right to demand some effort on the part of the government for a navigable infrastructure in return. 

    If I see groups of disenchanted people saying there is no road. I take it as a possible indication of just that.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,726 Senior Member
    That is a fair argument, early, and I can't argue against your point, assuming that I understand it correctly. I believe that you mean that if a large number of people are in the streets complaining that the government is not living up to its commitment to deliver equal opportunity, there must be something to it. In other words, where there is smoke, there must be fire. Is that correct?

    To me, it means that there are huge problems that need to be addressed. Even if you cancel out the parts of that outcry of disenchantment that is being generated and organized by a political party that depends upon disenchantment for its livelihood, much of the disenchantment will remain. I believe that the genuine disenchantment that actually does exist is in response to government solutions that are achieving poor results. I believe that is so, because I believe that the government's response to genuine disenchantment is to throw money at the problem, and that corruption and incompetence encourages the government to further compound their initial failure to help the problem is to demand that even more money be thrown down the drain. One side argues that government solutions would work, but the opposition won't let them provide enough funds to get it over the top. The other side argues that there is no evidence to justify what has already been spent. Nobody is auditing the programs for value, and no new ideas can be tried, because if they do work, they will expose the folly of the last fifty years.

    Believing the above, I contend that huge reform is needed within the government...not more taxpayer funds that only make it easier to obscure a continuing failure. The disenfranchised have been encouraged to believe that some new form of American socialism will be a panacea, and that a government with a long list of of failures in this department can still be their salvation, if they simply will confiscate the surplus wealth and distribute it to government bureaucracies.

    We have no evidence, in at least the last fifty years, that the government is even capable of solving social problems. The only thing we know, for sure, is that tax breaks for businesses result in more jobs and higher wages. Yes, it results in higher profits for businesses, too. But that results in new wealth being created, not theft from the poor of anything that already existed. Are there more things that can be done to help lift up the poor? Maybe. Probably. But we can't even have that logical discussion, because both sides have to fight each other, tooth-and-nail, to either continue/increase the funding for the status quo, or to scrap the failed plans.
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,787 Senior Member
    These discussions always seem to devolve into arguments between more government vs less government. The answer often requires better government. 



    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 19,880 Senior Member
    Less gov't *is* better gov't.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 3,801 Senior Member
    edited February 14 #72
    Yes Im saying that where there's smoke there's fire.

    It's unfortunate that the push for socialism has caused all social programs to be so classified in rebuttal. The spin and falsehood comes from both sides. I do not see programs like social security and medicare as failures. I see them not only as a success, but an outstanding success. I base this on the amount of elderly receiving these benifits and the quality of life said benifits contribute versus the bleak alternative. These programs and similar are not government free stuff, and in my opinion less susceptible to corruption than alternative private sector old age security for profit schemes, because of transparency.
    Edit.
    And the arguments in opposition always demand the embracing of hypothetical conjecture in disregard to the many decades of successful fulfilment of original intent.

    Better government would be preferable to more government. However more people require more government as a matter of simple math. All regulation is not bad. It has brought us many enhancements. Like LEOs no longer required to fish mutilated infant remains from under car seats as routine duty just to name one as an example.

    Extreme polarisation has muted all moderation and turned middle ground into no man's land. 
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 19,880 Senior Member
    Cradle-to-grave, cradle-to-grave! I for one am *SICK* of the Nanny State.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 3,801 Senior Member
    zorba said:
    Cradle-to-grave, cradle-to-grave! I for one am *SICK* of the Nanny State.
    Then you're sick of bridges, roads, clean water, sewer service, clean air, foreign relations, affordable reliable mail service (comparatively), courts of law, law enforcement, public utilities, national security, food and drug standards, disease control, disaster response and relief, and many other countless promotions of the common welfare.

    Nanny State is a myopic pundit talking point that's blind to reality.
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 19,880 Senior Member
    edited February 14 #75
    That's not what I'm saying, and furthermore, you know that.
    Now with that said, for one, the FDA isn't our friend and isn't particularly working in our favor. Don't get me started about the problems with our so-called "Justice" system, nor what happens when the gov't gets involved with utility service.
    "Night Watchman" or something similar - NOT the Socialist-Liberal Nanny State (tm) that we have now.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 3,801 Senior Member
    Absolutely, lots of fault, bureaucratic failure, graft, corruption and we foot the bill.

    An alternative is privatised infrastructure. 

    With one we get a vote and a bill. With the other just a bill.

    The term nanny state to me is indicative of someone arguing against government intervention, and over sight.

    To me it brings to mind things like rivers that catch fire, soup kitchens, Hoovervilles, child labor, shotty dangerous buildings etc..

    To others things like gun control, economic recession, sufficated economies and other ghastly effects come to mind.

    Pundits play word games that paint debate into inflexible corners. Moderation and compromise get lost in the rhetoric of exclusive agenda. 

    My contention is not with the person of differing perception or even with the phrase. Only with what I percieve as an over reach of its application.
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,787 Senior Member
    zorba said:
    Less gov't *is* better gov't.
    Makes a nice bumper sticker, but not so great as a actual policy. Everyone, even "small government" conservatives have lots of areas where they want more govermemnt. Border security is one recent example where I've been hearing a ton of cries from conservatives for more government.

    The much harder process is trying to effectively give the public as close to as much government as the public demands, in all the areas they demand it, within the constraints of the tax revenues available. 
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 11,031 Senior Member
    zorba said:
    Less gov't *is* better gov't.
    Border security is one recent example where I've been hearing a ton of cries from conservatives for more government.


    Folks on the border would handle some of the load if there were less gov't intervention, probably would be messy though.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 19,880 Senior Member
    edited February 15 #79
    "Night Watchman".
    Google it.
    Yes, its too theoretical to work in the simplistic way presented - but we desperately need to move in that direction.
    Not more Nanny Stateism that both the Left and the Right want to give us.
    But, again, most people don't want true freedom - they just want fair masters. Pick your slavery America, pick your slavery.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 3,801 Senior Member
    edited February 15 #80
    I read what was available on wikipedia about night watchmen and libertarianism. I don't think there's enough information there to gain understanding.

    My first inclination is that the existing system is what's realistically available to work with, and even with majority popular support of adoption of what wikipedia described would be daunting in the extreme.

    I can especially imagine the term intrusive state being spun and manipulated to justify as much exploitation as the current intrusive state is guilty of.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,726 Senior Member
    zorba said:
    Less gov't *is* better gov't.
    Makes a nice bumper sticker, but not so great as a actual policy. Everyone, even "small government" conservatives have lots of areas where they want more govermemnt. Border security is one recent example where I've been hearing a ton of cries from conservatives for more government.

    The much harder process is trying to effectively give the public as close to as much government as the public demands, in all the areas they demand it, within the constraints of the tax revenues available. 
    Nice troll, but I think I will forego writing an essay, just to counter one inflammatory 'bait,' within a sea of others. Instead, I will just comment on the last paragraph, that it was the set-up for.

    You offer a phony conclusion as evidence that government has no choice but to give the people what they want. The phony conclusion is that "the public" demands all of the gifts that leftist politicians offer to a small segment of the population that will pretend to believe anything, as long as the gifts keep coming. The real "public" is the mainstream majority, who mostly take care of themselves, and ignore the political noise, until it bites them in the ass.

    So, I contend that most of the circular reasoning employed by the leftists to sell their narratives are simply meant to increase their political power, and that most of what the right puts forth is simply a reaction, with a similar motive. Somewhere in the mix are a few 'mostly honest' folks who genuinely want to solve a serious problem. There are not enough of them to get the job done, so they simply get whatever they can, from a president who is obsessed with keeping campaign promises, above all else. It is the one positive constant in the whole mess. If nothing else, his behavior does stimulate some debate on relevant subjects.
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 3,801 Senior Member
    edited February 15 #83
    zorba said:
    Cradle-to-grave, cradle-to-grave! I for one am *SICK* of the Nanny State.
    Then you're sick of bridges, roads, clean water, sewer service, clean air, foreign relations, affordable reliable mail service (comparatively), courts of law, law enforcement, public utilities, national security, food and drug standards, disease control, disaster response and relief, and many other countless promotions of the common welfare.

    Nanny State is a myopic pundit talking point that's blind to reality.
    Lol! Really? Good lord. 
    Your post lacks intelligible content. Not that satirical humor is unintelligible or irrelevant. But it does require context.
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 19,880 Senior Member
    I read what was available on wikipedia about night watchmen and libertarianism. I don't think there's enough information there to gain understanding.

    My first inclination is that the existing system is what's realistically available to work with, and even with majority popular support of adoption of what wikipedia described would be daunting in the extreme.

    I can especially imagine the term intrusive state being spun and manipulated to justify as much exploitation as the current intrusive state is guilty of.
    I can agree with this to a point. You certainly can't "drop everything" and do it overnite - 200+ years of gov't growth can't be done away that quick. I'd settle for just moving in that direction - but we never will.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 26,188 Senior Member
    zorba said:
    Cradle-to-grave, cradle-to-grave! I for one am *SICK* of the Nanny State.
    Then you're sick of bridges, roads, clean water, sewer service, clean air, foreign relations, affordable reliable mail service (comparatively), courts of law, law enforcement, public utilities, national security, food and drug standards, disease control, disaster response and relief, and many other countless promotions of the common welfare.

    Nanny State is a myopic pundit talking point that's blind to reality.
    Except for mail service and post roads to facilitate mail delivery, everything you listed used to be done by the states until after WWI, mostly. It wasn't streamlined; it was sort of messy. And i's messier now and definitely not streamlined with the Fed Gov dipping their oar in every puddle that catches their eye.
    If the U.S. Congress was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in under six months.



  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 3,801 Senior Member
    Itennmike said:
    zorba said:
    Cradle-to-grave, cradle-to-grave! I for one am *SICK* of the Nanny State.
    Then you're sick of bridges, roads, clean water, sewer service, clean air, foreign relations, affordable reliable mail service (comparatively), courts of law, law enforcement, public utilities, national security, food and drug standards, disease control, disaster response and relief, and many other countless promotions of the common welfare.

    Nanny State is a myopic pundit talking point that's blind to reality.
    Except for mail service and post roads to facilitate mail delivery, everything you listed used to be done by the states until after WWI, mostly. It wasn't streamlined; it was sort of messy. And i's messier now and definitely not streamlined with the Fed Gov dipping their oar in every puddle that catches their eye.
    Being its tax time, the disparity between state and federal tax is telling. Seems to me the Wilson administration and the  creation of the federal reserve may also coincide with that timing.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,726 Senior Member
    Pundits play word games that paint debate into inflexible corners. Moderation and compromise get lost in the rhetoric of exclusive agenda.
    This is the problem.

    This era of radicalism is 'meat' for the media pundits who would be sorely lacking in the honesty and intelligence that they would need to make a career during more moderate times. As recently as a couple of decades ago, most of the media were already 'liberal leaning,' but most of them had also been adults during WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, or the Cold War, when reality was always encroaching upon lofty ideals. This caused them to temper their reporting towards fairness, much of the time, and they guarded against outright propagandizing. These people knew what real journalism was, and even though they didn't always adhere to its principles, they at least did know what it was, and tried to get their tickets punched, to achieve that status.

    Now, a news junkie has to search far and wide to find unbiased reporting, much less fact based commentary. Often, he has to just sample both extremes, and average it out, in hopes of gaining a reasonably accurate understanding of what is going on. Knowing history helps, when it comes to evaluating a report for accuracy and truthfulness, because the modern media does not know history very well. They know the Cliff's Notes version of it that has been compiled by political operatives with an agenda. Knowing history helps screen out the most obvious attempts to 'sell' a narrative, because it has all been done before.

    Nothing that happens in government, now, is a completely new thing. It has all been done before, in some form or fashion, somewhere in the world. Treating it like it is a new thing enables the same mistakes to be made, over and over again. History does not have to keep repeating itself, but for those who don't know it, it nearly always will.
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 3,801 Senior Member
    edited February 16 #88
    I know you've been saying similar for awhile in many different posts Bisely. We're in total agreement about this media pundit business. I'm finding blatant and obvious bias on every source including NPR and also European news outlets. Im teaching my son how to spot nonsense even when the nonsense supports  my own belief. I'd like to think there's alot of people capable of the same. At least I hope so.

    At one time contrary opinion could be submitted and was printed in editorial newspaper columns. These modern outlets are so big and consolidated, it's muted the voice of ordinary people. Maybe social media offers a replacement??? But even that's a potential quagmire.
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