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How Rich is Too Rich?  Has Sam gone off the deep end?
Posted: 05 September 2011 08:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 76 ]  
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rabbit - 31 August 2011 02:34 PM

Her ideas, when put to use, like those of the tea-baggers lead to disaster.

Let’s see.  The T-Party was formed to protest the bailouts by Bush and Obama.  In other words a response to a response to the disaster.


So I guess you believe they have a time machine.


As for blaming Rand for the economic mess.  Well, Greenspan was definitely the main cause.  However, he had abandoned Objectivism as a kid.  Nothing he did since bears any resemblance to what Rand actually taught.


Rand was against the Fed,  bailouts (the Greenspan Put), government backed loans and mortgages, crony capitalism, fiat currency, price controls (like the below market interest rates that lead to the disaster), etc.


Greenspan has long been seen as a bad actor by both Libertarians and Objectivists.  The entire time both Democrats and Republicans were talking about what a genius he was, and look the government CAN fine tune the economy.


No dopes, you can’t fine tune the economy through governmental action.  Especially not via price controls.  Price controls always distort the economy.


You are just plain ignorant of all this.  You’re claim about the T-Party is not just plain ignorant but inexcusable.  It’s like blaming the T-Party for slavery or something.  Which is really not far from what has actually been attempted.

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Posted: 05 September 2011 11:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 77 ]  
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Bonnie - 26 August 2011 10:09 AM

Those who have succeeded have a responsibility to help others along the way.  It shouldn’t be a zero-sum game.

Free markets are not a zero sum game even without charity.  In a free market system those poor people benefit from the rich people.  You are woefully uneducated if you think otherwise.

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Posted: 05 September 2011 11:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 78 ]  
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I don’t know where Sam Harris and the rest of you got the idea that punitive taxation on the most wealthy individuals is altruism, it isn’t.  It’s selfish behavior.  You are making someone else pay for your guilty conscience, values, envy, or whatever.  Nor does forcing other people to pay for your social programs in any way make them charitable.  Nor can it possibly make them feel good about themselves.  If the ultra-rich wanted to be altruistic they don’t need the government, and a substantial portion of the most reviled capitalists gave the majority of their wealth to charity.
 

They have to give it away when they die in the first place.  Maybe not to who you want it to go to but it is in fact not going to be spent on themselves.    Plus there is inheritance taxes.


It a big non-problem. 


However when you start taxing the most productive at punitive rates while they are actually producing that means less for everyone.  Because the only way to earn such vast quantities honestly in a free market is via trade.  If you are concerned about the dishonest then you should be looking at criminal law and our court systems, not taxation.


Setting up yet another punitive tax system will only lead to more government failure.  The government is vastly more subsceptible to the kinds of failures that people complain about with free institutions.


So what you are proposing will only cause some of the rich (the politically connected ones who didn’t earn their wealth via free markets) to hire lobbyists to use the new punitive laws against the truly productive rich, and more likely the middle class.


Just like Obamacare was supposed to make the rich pay for a greater proportion of the health care costs, it has turned out that before the ink was dry Obama and his cronies were handing out exceptions for political donations.

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Posted: 05 September 2011 02:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 79 ]  
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SAM’S GREAT FALL FROM LOGIC INTO MYSTICISM!  THE LAST STRAW OF REASON

LUCK n.  1.  That which happens to a person; an event, good or ill, affecting one’s interests or happiness, and which is deemed casual; a course or series of such events regarded as occurring by chance; chance; hap; fate; fortune; often, one’s habitual or characteristic fortune; as, good, bad, ill, or hard luck. Luck is often used by itself to mean good luck; as, luck is better than skill; a stroke of luck.
If thou dost play with him at any game,
Thou art sure to lose; and of that natural luck,
He beats thee ‘gainst the odds.

I am still perplexed and shocked at Sam’s use of the term ‘luck.”  Is there such a thing as ‘luck’ in the objective physical world?  Can it be scientifically weighed and measured?  Does it exist?  Does he mean ‘statistical odds’?  For someone who doesn’t believe in ‘Free Will’- how can luck exist or be defined in the context of reality?  Does anything in the universe happen due to luck?  Does he mean ‘randomness?’  Is Sam experiencing personal stress and just dropping the ball in his usually logical, rational ideas?  If so, I forgive him for his slip up.

I won’t be surprised if any real economist has still not responded to his original post.  The idea of a one-time tax ‘levied’ by the government?? (or voluntarily pooled by the rich???  He seems unclear?) on the wealthy would ever be seriously entertained by anyone with a high school level comprehension of economics as even a step toward a solution.  But a solution to what?  We’re all for the right of equal opportunity but the right of equal outcome is highly debatable and controversial.  It’s been tried but it requires coercion and severe penalties to enforce it.  I’m shocked that Sam is shocked!  What planet is he living on all of a sudden?  Can’t Sam’s premise be scientifically tested on the macro level in a gambling casino?  It should be tried and observed.  Someone wins the jackpot and someone or something will access if it was won ‘fairly’ and if the winner deserves it by some set of arbitrary standards (perhaps established by Sam, the Pope, Deepak Chopra, Oprah and others who have a mystical sense of human nature?) and then the pot will be evenly split by the whole casino.  Of course, the distribution committee will take a sizeable cut for their highly technical work as well as the security guards needed to levy the necessary physical force to persuade the winner and others to play fair.

All Sam has to do is open up the chapter “Created Equal” in Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE (Friedman was a Nobel Prize economist) and refute it sentence by sentence.  That would be a first step.

I’m also sick of everyone and their uncles proclaiming themselves to be a ‘Libertarian.’  Sam is not a Libertarian by any definition of the word.  Maybe relatively compared to lesser Libertarians?.  Self proclaimed athiests are beginning to be a bad joke too.  The majority of them are as mystical as the common voodoo doctor.  At this point in our civilization, I am pessimistic- reason is dead and well in the advanced stages of rigor mortis.

[ Edited: 05 September 2011 02:45 PM by mormovies]
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Posted: 05 September 2011 04:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 80 ]  
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mormovies - 05 September 2011 06:42 PM

  The idea of a one-time tax ‘levied’ by the government?

Sort of like those “one time” accounting adjustments the government now allows, and that seem to happen every fiscal year. 

Sam is short sighted in that he doesn’t realize that accepting such a thing sets a precedent.  It also sets up incentives.  That’s how Greenspan got into the mess of repeated bailouts, the Greenspan Put.  If you bail out the losers that sets a precedent which incentivizes irresponsible risk taking.  Heads I win, tails the taxpayer loses.

Part of the reason why unemployment is staying high is that it is quite obvious that someone is going to have to pay for all the bailouts and stimulus programs.  A “one time” screw-over, until it happens again.  Why risk your capital on marginal projects if you expect to be taxed to death?

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Posted: 05 September 2011 04:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 81 ]  
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mormovies - 05 September 2011 06:42 PM

Self proclaimed athiests are beginning to be a bad joke too.  The majority of them are as mystical as the common voodoo doctor.  At this point in our civilization, I am pessimistic- reason is dead and well in the advanced stages of rigor mortis.

I’d agree if you said rationalist.  There is nothing inherent in not believing in gods that would necessarily make one rational.  Isn’t Buddhism an atheistic irrational religion?

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Posted: 05 September 2011 06:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 82 ]  
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Exactly!  Taking the supernatural out of a religion or secularizing it does not make it rational and ‘ok.’  I don’t know a religion (yet) that is perfectly rational if you just let the supernatural residue evaporate.  They are based on a basic premise of fallacy.  Can you throw out the bath-water and still keep the baby?

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Posted: 05 September 2011 07:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 83 ]  
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I don’t know of any ideology that is fully rational.  They all seem to have stuff they take on faith and refuse to examine critically.

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Posted: 05 September 2011 09:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 84 ]  
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Of course, there is no perfect ideology.  But we should be progressing, moving toward more, not less, rationality.  If that’s our goal, we can work together but when that is the great conflict, I don’t know…  that’s not good.

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Posted: 07 September 2011 05:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 85 ]  
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mormovies - 06 September 2011 01:22 AM

Of course, there is no perfect ideology.  But we should be progressing, moving toward more, not less, rationality.  If that’s our goal, we can work together but when that is the great conflict, I don’t know…  that’s not good.

I didn’t say perfect.  I said rational.  I try to be very careful in my wording.  Of course I make mistakes because I’m fallible.  Rationality does not result in perfection.

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Posted: 11 September 2011 07:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 86 ]  
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Blaming Rand for the current economic mess?  What are you smoking Mucker?  Try reading what i actually said.


I repeat, because it’s accurate, that the implementation of her ideas would (Do you know what the use of that word in the context of this sentence means?  I implies a hypothetical situation, not one that currently exists.) be a disaster.  And the tea-baggers are dangerous because they’re too stupid to see the real and disastrous outcome of their agenda should they be permitted to pursue it any further.  They are nothing less than traitors, bigots, and fools, i.e. proto-nazis.


I can’t wait to vote for Obama again.

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The road of excess leads to the palace of Wisedom
-William Blake, “Proverbs of Hell”

Life, what is it but a dream?
- Lewis Carroll, “A boat Beneath a Sunny Sky

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Posted: 11 September 2011 07:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 87 ]  
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Whether we agree with them or not, I’m glad the tea party freaks are around…  I personally don’t see a need for a rigid consensus by the majority and will always happily vote to disrupt and challenge the status quo.

“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive.  It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all.  I like a little rebellion now and then.  It is like a storm in the atmosphere.” - Thomas Jefferson

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Posted: 11 September 2011 09:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 88 ]  
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rabbit - 11 September 2011 11:41 PM

\ Try reading what i actually said. I repeat, because it’s accurate, that the implementation of her ideas would (Do you know what the use of that word in the context of this sentence means?  I implies a hypothetical situation, not one that currently exists.) be a disaster.

But you didn’t write “would”.  You actually wrote: “Her ideas, when put to use, like those of the tea-baggers lead to disaster”.

That’s present not future tense.  “Would lead to” is future tense as you are obviously aware but you said “lead to”.

You seem to be just some wacked out troll.  I won’t bother with you any more.  You are intellectually dishonest.  You came to your beliefs via irrationality and rationality isn’t about to sway you.  There is zero reason to discuss anything with you.  Period.  Being a potty mouth little troll doesn’t help your arguments either.

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Posted: 12 September 2011 05:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 89 ]  
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“I can’t wait to vote for Obama again.”

You should be sad if there’s no better choice than to continue with the failed Bush-Obama agenda.  Somehow Rand’s never-tried philosophic ideas are bad but somehow proven disastrous pragmatic/mystical based policies are good?  Okay…

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Posted: 13 September 2011 12:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 90 ]  
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Never said it wasn’t relative.  Naturally if i thought the green party had a chance i’d vote for them.  But can you seriously picture any of the bible-kissing fakes running for the republican nomination as anything but another Bush-style fiasco?


Point of grammar, in the context it was used, ‘lead to’ is NOT present tense, it’s perfect tense.  It indicates a potential rather than an extant condition.  And as for your half-baked concept of logic, it’s comical at best.

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The road of excess leads to the palace of Wisedom
-William Blake, “Proverbs of Hell”

Life, what is it but a dream?
- Lewis Carroll, “A boat Beneath a Sunny Sky

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