Do or Die
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04-10-2016, 03:56 AM
RE: Do or Die
(04-10-2016 03:40 AM)Stevil Wrote:  
(04-10-2016 12:06 AM)morondog Wrote:  Spoken like a true privileged kid.
I paid my own way through university.
I took up a job doing seasonal work while I was at school and saved up money.
When I got to university I qualified for the maximum govt assistance because my parents didn't make enough money.
Is that privileged to you?

I applied myself at school (a rural public school), I worked and my achievements are due to my application and my work, where is the privilege?
I apologise. Just that in my experience the attitudes that you have expressed are most commonly held by well-off people who've never experienced hardship. I would count myself among those people - the well off.

Quote:Not everyone applies themselves at school. Those that do, get decent enough grades to be ahead of the pack. Doesn't matter about your socio-economic background. At least that is my experience.
Correct. I have certainly met my fair share of lazy people. The question is, if they fall on hardship is it really OK to just leave them because they're lazy.

Quote:Not everyone takes up those opportunities, not everyone applies themselves. Some people dream of being pop stars, dream of being sport stars, some people just want to get quick money without having to put in much effort, Some people want to do a trade rather than a corporate job, or perhaps run a business or a farm or orchard, for whatever reason there are many people not applying themselves in school and not getting the grades. That doesn't have to be you. You can apply yourself and get the grades and get the corporate job. The opportunity is there. It is upto you to take it.
How about those who're born into poverty and don't catch a break? Not everyone *has* equal opportunities.

Quote:
(04-10-2016 12:06 AM)morondog Wrote:  And it wouldn't be for lack of effort, it would be because once someone is a little bit rich it becomes easier to get a little bit more rich.
This kind of thinking means a person assumes they are underprivileged and then they give up.
I have no idea how you drew that conclusion from what I said. I said that underprivileged people *do* try *very* hard. No one wants to starve or to have a shit life. But frequently despite putting in all the effort they're still fucked.

Quote:
(04-10-2016 12:06 AM)morondog Wrote:  You seem to think that the best way to do things is to have a free for all resources grab and everyone must be happy with whatever resources they get, and if they happen to get less it's because they didn't grab hard enough.
There are limited resources and we must compete for them. That is a fact of life. It makes no sense to assume we are all entitled to the same amount regardless of the effort that we put in. Reality doesn't work like that and it never will.
Might makes right in other words?

Quote:Where have I ever said that there should be no rules on corporations?
So if one proposes to raise taxes on corporations... you've got no problem with that right?

Quote:I'm not saying that at all. I'm saying, if you are fortunate to live in a country that provides free quality education then make the most of it, create opportunities for yourself.
A statement that no one would disagree with. You in addition have said (at least as I read it) that if the state provides education and health care that's *enough* and all the rest is up to individuals.

Quote:This all started because I was saying that encouraging businesses creates jobs, rather than supporting a system reliant on taxing the rich and giving to the poor, or artificially raising wages.
Encouraging businesses does create jobs, but I can't see the issue with taxing the rich and distributing wealth a little more equitably.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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04-10-2016, 03:57 AM
RE: Do or Die
(04-10-2016 12:15 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(03-10-2016 01:53 AM)morondog Wrote:  I'm going to perform a thought experiment. Let's say that there's a big old deposit of diamonds under the desert in Botswana. Let's further say that the De Beers company geologists identify it and De Beers buys the mining rights from the government of the day. They set up two huge mines and begin extracting diamonds of incredible quality and quantity. The diamonds are sold for vast sums. Some of the money comes back to Botswana and is used to improve the mines, and the local economy does grow because there's a knock on effect of mining jobs - local tribesmen are hired as unskilled labour, there's food markets etc.

Now the profits from this mine are stratospheric. There's an incredibly rich deposit down there. De Beers executives rub their hands in glee. It's gravy train all the way.

Tell me something: is this completely fair? De Beers developed the mine, sure, but the diamonds were just *there*. They bought the mining rights, sure, but actually the government of the day didn't realise the value that would be extracted, nor were they in fact a legitimate government since they were a colonial occupying power. The local economy improved, sure, but relative to the profits from the mine, it was just pig swill. The only people who really profit from the mine are De Beers investors who apart from putting up the money to set up the mine initially don't life a finger in the day to day generation of profits. They just sit while the entire country of Botswana pumps their bank accounts full of diamond profits, and a tiny trickle of money is allowed back to keep the pump running.

This is a bit of a fairy story. It did actually happen in Botswana but perhaps not quite as I described. The mines exist but I didn't fact check the history. But the purpose of the fairy story is to illustrate that there's a lack of fairness in the system. I can't see how the diamonds should be the exclusive property of De Beers even though to all intents and purposes they bought the mining rights and everything fair and square.

Anyway, to me that's a microcosm of the relationship of the rich and poor today. In Botswana the democratic government actually decided that this was not a right thing and they forced De Beers into a profit sharing agreement which has benefitted the entire country so that it is now one of the shining lights in Southern Africa, possibly the sole place in the region where genuine good governance is practiced. Something that would not be possible without the diamond profits which otherwise would just be making a fat businessman fatter.

Stevil did you see this post and the two subsequent? 'Cos I'm sorta semi-proud of it.
No, I missed it, actually.

I don't have all the answers and sense of fairness is a subjective thing.

If a person makes profit off working the land, is it fair that the profit goes to the land owner, who made the investment, took the risk and did the work, or should it be shared amongst the people belonging to the country?

I think if you own the property, make the investment and do the work then the profit is yours. If the country provides water and power and hospitals and roads which you use then it makes sense to pay some tax towards that also.

With regards to mining for diamonds, if you own the mining rights, then it depends on the contract you signed in order to get those rights. You are doing the investment, putting in the work, taking the risks. You are bound to the conditions of the contract, if you come up on the positive side of it, then it is your own rewards to keep. If those that wrote up the contract said that you had to give up a certain percentage of the profits, and if you agreed to that in signing the contract, then that is what you are obliged to do.

Of course if there is a dispute regarding whose rights it was in the first place to sell, then that complicates things. I live in NZ, I am an NZ citizen. I don't think this qualifies me to automatically gain a profit from the gold in the Martha hills.
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04-10-2016, 04:06 AM (This post was last modified: 04-10-2016 04:10 AM by morondog.)
RE: Do or Die
(04-10-2016 03:57 AM)Stevil Wrote:  
(04-10-2016 12:15 AM)morondog Wrote:  Stevil did you see this post and the two subsequent? 'Cos I'm sorta semi-proud of it.
No, I missed it, actually.

I don't have all the answers and sense of fairness is a subjective thing.

If a person makes profit off working the land, is it fair that the profit goes to the land owner, who made the investment, took the risk and did the work, or should it be shared amongst the people belonging to the country?

I think if you own the property, make the investment and do the work then the profit is yours. If the country provides water and power and hospitals and roads which you use then it makes sense to pay some tax towards that also.

With regards to mining for diamonds, if you own the mining rights, then it depends on the contract you signed in order to get those rights. You are doing the investment, putting in the work, taking the risks. You are bound to the conditions of the contract, if you come up on the positive side of it, then it is your own rewards to keep. If those that wrote up the contract said that you had to give up a certain percentage of the profits, and if you agreed to that in signing the contract, then that is what you are obliged to do.

The post was a toy example. It is based on real events though. What I was trying to draw attention to was how there's an enormous wealth difference created even though a. the rich people aren't working hard b. the poor people are working their butts off. ETA: and this is what I see more or less the world over. You see wealth created by rich people working hard and contributing to the economy. I see wealth created by rich people skimming off the top and exploiting poor people.

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If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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04-10-2016, 06:22 AM
RE: Do or Die
(04-10-2016 04:06 AM)morondog Wrote:  You see wealth created by rich people working hard and contributing to the economy. I see wealth created by rich people skimming off the top and exploiting poor people.

Both are true.

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04-10-2016, 07:42 AM
RE: Do or Die
(04-10-2016 12:06 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(03-10-2016 02:09 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Everyone should be aiming at education yes. Especially if they want to earn enough money to get by.

If you aspire to be a toilet cleaner then sure, don't bother applying yourself in school. But also don't complain later in life that the system is rigged for the rich. It's your own choice, whether to apply yourself or not.

...

Spoken like a true privileged kid. For fuck's sake man. There are not enough high wage jobs that everyone can have one. You can't have an entire nation of banking executives. Even if everyone got exactly the same opportunities in life some people would be poor. And it wouldn't be for lack of effort, it would be because once someone is a little bit rich it becomes easier to get a little bit more rich. The system is inherently unstable. There are X resources to go round and Y people, and the way we do things X is not simply divided by Y so that everyone gets an equal share. You seem to think that the best way to do things is to have a free for all resources grab and everyone must be happy with whatever resources they get, and if they happen to get less it's because they didn't grab hard enough.

You have this ridiculous infatuation with holy profits but why the fuck should profits matter? Why are you so hell bent on giving corporations money with no rules?

And the fact of the matter is that the system *is* rigged for the rich. They're the ones with power and they sure as fuck aren't giving it away. Now you're saying to those who're unfortunate enough not to have as much "it's your fault you're poor anyway, don't complain that the system is rigged".

Dodgy I have zero hope that you'll understand any of this.

He has a short-sighted view of the profit motive. Not every businessman shares that sort of perspective. Some understand the interplay of a good economy and their continued prosperity.

We have to remember that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning ~ Werner Heisenberg
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04-10-2016, 07:53 AM
RE: Do or Die
(04-10-2016 01:53 AM)morondog Wrote:  The other thing that hacks me off is that the elite are so goddamn short-sighted. I don't know about elsewhere but definitely over here there is a small elite class, a small middle class and a vast gaping void of poor. Especially in Zim, there's not a lot of money to go around and all of it goes to keeping the rich happy. Zim is an extreme case, but the point is, the country could easily support a much larger class of rich people. No one there *needs* to go hungry, but they do. The rich who are there aren't super rich by global standards and if they let the economy grow without playing silly buggers there'd be enough for everyone and more left over, and they'd still be at least *as* rich as they are now. They just wouldn't be *more* rich than 99% of the population. It seems to me that they prefer to be rich in a nation of poor people than wealthy in a nation of people with nearly equal weath, despite that they'd probably be even better off then. I see it in Zim but I don't hold out any hope that rich people are different elsewhere.

Zimbabwe and a good chunk of sub-Saharan Africa has what I have heard referred to as a vampire state. It's basically an entity, usually a small group at the top, that holds an entire national territory hostage, and rents it out to the highest bidder, be it for mining or drilling, tourism etc as personal property.

They have gotten filthy rich from the spoils and it's pretty common for them, their offspring and relatives to splurge their ill gotten wealth in the West, exacerbating the state of poverty back home.

We have to remember that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning ~ Werner Heisenberg
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04-10-2016, 08:40 AM
RE: Do or Die
(03-10-2016 11:26 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I'd be voting for someone that campaigns on providing better schools rather than worrying about gun laws, abortion laws, building walls, or taxing the rich more in order to support bigger social benefit payouts. But then again, I don't really know what goes on in USA, all I know is that free schooling and free health (especially for young and for those in desperate need for medical treatment) is pretty essential.

I would just like to make two points here:

(1) Who pays how much tax, and what that money gets used for, are two completely independent issues. Income tax goes into a big pool of money that gets used for all kinds of stuff. If the rich (or anyone else) pay more taxes, it just goes into that pool. It is not mandatory that it be used for "social benefit payouts" -- it is much more likely to go into the military budget.

(2) "Social benefit payouts" includes things like free health and free schooling (both of which you appear to support, and neither of which we have here in the US).
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04-10-2016, 01:23 PM
RE: Do or Die
(04-10-2016 03:57 AM)Stevil Wrote:  
(04-10-2016 12:15 AM)morondog Wrote:  Stevil did you see this post and the two subsequent? 'Cos I'm sorta semi-proud of it.
No, I missed it, actually.

I don't have all the answers and sense of fairness is a subjective thing.

If a person makes profit off working the land, is it fair that the profit goes to the land owner, who made the investment, took the risk and did the work, or should it be shared amongst the people belonging to the country?

I think if you own the property, make the investment and do the work then the profit is yours. If the country provides water and power and hospitals and roads which you use then it makes sense to pay some tax towards that also.

With regards to mining for diamonds, if you own the mining rights, then it depends on the contract you signed in order to get those rights. You are doing the investment, putting in the work, taking the risks. You are bound to the conditions of the contract, if you come up on the positive side of it, then it is your own rewards to keep. If those that wrote up the contract said that you had to give up a certain percentage of the profits, and if you agreed to that in signing the contract, then that is what you are obliged to do.

Of course if there is a dispute regarding whose rights it was in the first place to sell, then that complicates things. I live in NZ, I am an NZ citizen. I don't think this qualifies me to automatically gain a profit from the gold in the Martha hills.

FYI In Alaska every resident is entitled to a State check for the profits garnered by the oil companies http://usbig.net/alaskablog/about-the-alaska-dividend, I find that interesting.

On another note, the thought crossed my mind as I read this thread that the assumption is being made that given equal opportunity everyone would be as successful.

Let's be honest and say that individuals are simply too different for generalizations. For the record I think everyone should have access to good public education. Some won't take advantage of it, and some who do will still not be successful (insert here any subjective measure that you feel is justified) for a myriad of reasons.

Equal opportunity does not equate to equal levels of success. Intelligence, support, drive, willingness to take risks, personality traits and luck all play into the equation.

We can all strive for a level playing field but we cannot dictate the results. We run the risk of socialism when people are dicentivized to be productive.

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04-10-2016, 01:55 PM
RE: Do or Die
(04-10-2016 08:40 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  (1) Who pays how much tax, and what that money gets used for, are two completely independent issues. Income tax goes into a big pool of money that gets used for all kinds of stuff. If the rich (or anyone else) pay more taxes, it just goes into that pool.
Taxes can be counter productive.
It's not as simple as "Hey, those rich guys have heaps of money, lets tax them more". There are consequences.
When there are tax breaks and other incentives for businesses, these are used as encouragement for businesses, hoping that those businesses provide other values, such as jobs and skills etc.

I understand that it can seem hugely unfair, why do these rich guys, who really don't need more money, why do they get the tax breaks? Is it because they are being underhanded and bribing govt, or paying for election campaigns, or perhaps govt are trying to give priviledge to all their privileged mates or is it because the govt genuinely believes this will create jobs?


Getting people to pay more tax, takes money out of circulation, it reduces spending and investment. The govt can counter that by spending (running a govt deficit) or by giving assistance to businesses (perhaps fledgling businesses?). I can see that some of you guys consider giving money away to the poor is a way of pumping activity (increased consumer activity) into the economy (but I can't see how that works).

For me, if you are going to pump money into the poor, it would be for the purpose of getting them into schools, getting them into jobs (perhaps by helping them upskill, or getting the assistance in putting together a CV or job hunting etc). Encourage them to save (or pay off debt) rather than encourage them to spend in the hope that consumer spending gets the economy rocking.


(04-10-2016 08:40 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  It is not mandatory that it be used for "social benefit payouts" -- it is much more likely to go into the military budget.
Well, that's America, you guys have a huge war engine.

(04-10-2016 08:40 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  (2) "Social benefit payouts" includes things like free health and free schooling (both of which you appear to support, and neither of which we have here in the US).
I lived in a mixed economy. I support doing sustainable things, like trying to get people onto their feet, get them into jobs. I don't support just giving away money with no end goal for jobs. It is hard to look for jobs, soul destroying, and if benefits gives almost the same amount as what a job does, then why bother? I think people need support and a push towards getting into the workforce. Throwing money at people and leaving them to their own devices doesn't help, it just created dependency. If you were a parent, would you just keep giving money to your kids or would you do other things to help shift them towards independence and sustainability?
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04-10-2016, 02:05 PM
RE: Do or Die
(04-10-2016 04:06 AM)morondog Wrote:  What I was trying to draw attention to was how there's an enormous wealth difference created even though a. the rich people aren't working hard b. the poor people are working their butts off.
Sure, and what I am trying to point out is that there is opportunity (in some countries) for the poor to become well off.

(04-10-2016 04:06 AM)morondog Wrote:  ETA: and this is what I see more or less the world over. You see wealth created by rich people working hard and contributing to the economy. I see wealth created by rich people skimming off the top and exploiting poor people.
I see businesses as creating jobs and providing goods and services at low cost and hence low retail price.

It's upto each individual with regards to how they participate, do they get qualifications and join the rat race? Do they try their own business? Do they go bush and live "The good life"? Do they try get rich quick schemes, do they go the social welfare benefactor route?

If your country provides free quality schools and free healthcare then that is a big step toward "equal" opportunity.

Of course you are still going to get pockets of privilege, rich folks sending their kids to expensive private schools for example. But what can you do about that? Can you outlaw private schools? I mean, if a parent has money and wants to pay for the best teachers and the best school resources, should we stop them from being able to do that?
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