4 of 5
4
Interesting Statistics
Posted: 15 June 2013 03:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4142
Joined  2008-08-14

LogicMan-I am no expert, but I think part of the problem here is the inability to discipline students these days.

The problems with education, if there really is any problems(after all we’re going on Cloaks anecdotal evidence about some of his peers not being able to spell),
are a little more complicated than discipline.
As we subjectively evaluate the quality of education based on the models we experienced 10,15, 20 or more years ago we create a false sense of value for what we want education to be. The key word is value.
I’m firmly convinced that good education doesn’t create a better economy/society. It’s the other way around. A good educational system is a direct result of
economical market forces having a need for good education.
The educational system we have right now for better or worse is the one the market demands. If innovation and growth were stronger, there would be
a greater impetus for more robust education.
It’s like a big blast furnace that get’s going…it needs more coal.  And that coal is new graduates and quality educational systems.
We are seeing the old system slowly pull into port like a big ship.  It went full reverse years ago, but the ship still coasts forwards for a bit.
It’s no accident we have thousands and thousands of people with degrees that aren’t being used, or made a poor choice in their educational field.
They keep on doing it though…that’s the big ship slowly coasting to a stop.
As for your discipline thing-that was a byproduct of that value we had years ago. It was effective then. It was part of a roaring blast furnace. Just one part.

 

LogicMan-Why is it then that we see riots breaking out in the much more “equal” societies, such as the UK, France, Sweden, etc…over the past decade. We don’t see this happen in the supposedly much more unequal America. If one counts the 1992 Los Angeles riots, that had to do with rage on the part of blacks over the Rodney King police officers getting off, because the LAPD has a history of being racist.

2 points here.  Since when are riots a leading indicator of a particular areas level of violence. Point of fact, violence is a very broad term. It means lots of things.
It covers emotions, specific crimes, genres in movies etc etc…
Anyways the correct way to determine if “violence” (or more specifically, reported types of specific crimes) is correlated with economy is to do it by district. Not nation. Not nation.
To determine socio-economic correlations we look at specific districts in big cities that are effectively demographed for income, race, unemployment and Crime Rates.  The evidence is overwhelming…the poorer people in poor neighborhoods live in neighborhoods with more crime(the violent kinds of crime..from domestic battery to armed robbery etc etc…)

[ Edited: 15 June 2013 03:13 PM by VYAZMA ]
 Signature 

Row row row your boat gently down the stream.  Merrily Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 June 2013 05:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  180
Joined  2013-05-17
TimB - 15 June 2013 02:39 PM

I don’t know why I bother to respond to some of your assinine declarations.  I guess it is that I am simply overwhelmed by the audacity of some of the statements that you come up with.  And that I am concerned as I have heard that the really big lies are the ones that people are most likely to believe.

I could say the same thing about oversimplified concepts such as income inequality and supposed wealth inequality. You think pointing out the flaws with such claims is “audacious” because these are core pillars of Progressive liberal thought. It’s taken as a given that things like “income inequality” exist by Progressives. Challenging such notions blows a hole through the entire base of many Progressive ideas. 

It is a real phenomenon that wealth is becoming concentrated in the hands of a decreasing percentage of the population.  It is, also, a real phenoenon that REAL income in the US has stayed the same for 90% of the population since 1968 and that REAL income for the top 10% has tripled since the early 80’s.

Define “wealth.” Wealth is the goods and services produced by society. And the number of goods and services that have become available to the average person has only increased over the years and continues to increase. Never before in the history of humanity have so many goods and services been available to so many. The more goods and services that become available, the more equal society becomes.

Regarding wealth concentration, you are over-simplifying it:

1) As I said, there is relative wealth inequality and absolute wealth inequality. Relative wealth inequality is not a problem. A problem is if absolute wealth inequality occurs. If society consists of a population that is unequally wealthy, that is not going to cause social instability. In terms of absolute wealth inequality, this has only been decreasing.

2) You say that wealth is becoming more concentrated in the hands of a decreasing percentage of the population. But what you are confusing is what are statistical brackets with being fixed classes of people. Talk of things like the “top 1%,” “the poor,” “the middle-class,” etc…do not refer to flesh-and-blood human beings, they refer to statistical brackets. Take the highway system for example. At any one time, there is always a fastest 5% of cars on the highway. Now the statistic itself will always remain, but the actual physical cars that make up that fastest 5% is always changing.

3) This also applies to income. Any claims about real income for the “bottom 90%” versus the “top 10%” are irrelevant, because it has nothing to do with fixed classes of people, but statistics. It’s also flawed. Real GDP Per Capita has consistently increased since the 1960s: http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/USARGDPC You also ignore the commoditization of various goods and services, thus making available today far more things to the average person than were available in the 1960s.

It is also a real phenomena that where these disparities are increasing that social problems, health problems and violence are increasing.

Note the following from wikipedia on Income Inequality:

Among the effects of inequality researchers have found include higher rates of health and social problems, and lower rates of social goods,[83] a lower level of economic utility in society from resources devoted on high-end consumption,[84] and even a lower level of economic growth when human capital is neglected for high-end consumption.[85]...
British researchers Richard G. Wilkinson and Kate Pickett have found higher rates of health and social problems (obesity, mental illness, homicides, teenage births, incarceration, child conflict, drug use), and lower rates of social goods (life expectancy, educational performance, trust among strangers, women’s status, social mobility, even numbers of patents issued) in countries and states with higher inequality

Do they define “inequality?” Drug use in the United States has only gone down since the 1960s. It used to be much higher in the supposedly more “equal” 1960s and 1970s. Women’s status and life expectancy have also greatly increased since the 1960s and 1970s. Obesity, especially amongst the poor, has increased due to how cheap food has gotten.

Regarding social mobility, are they talking generational social mobility or the ability of a person born poor to rise up the ladder?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 June 2013 05:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  180
Joined  2013-05-17
Cloak - 15 June 2013 02:45 PM

Consumerism is not a product of human nature. It’s a product of the psychological manipulation of marketing and advertising. And like I said, sure capitalism has helped in the past, but that is no longer the case. Concentration of wealth and power is always the ultimate outcome of such systems, because some people are just better than others at competing. A system that is based completely around free-trade will inevitably lead to human exploitation and social stratification.

Disagree completely. All people like to consume goods. That has even been proven with tribal peoples. It is part of what led to the downfall of the Native Americans, because when they experienced the much higher-quality European goods, they used them so much that they forgot their own craft making skills that they had relied on for survival historically, and as a result, became completely dependent on trade with the Europeans for survival. This has also been found with other tribal peoples. It’s just human nature to want things.

And capitalism has helped in the past but no longer? For one, this notion that market capitalism always leads to concentration of wealth and power is very flawed. You want to look at real concentration of wealth and power, look back to the 19th century, when as I explained in an earlier post, you had men like Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Morgan each worth the modern equivalent of hundreds of billions of dollars and controlling huge portions of the economy (Rockefeller controlled one third of the U.S. economy at one point). There is nothing like that today. And two, market capitalism is the same today as it always has been—-characterized by booms, busts, recessions, and constant innovation. The innovations in computer technology, medical technology, oil drilling and energy technology, etc…are revolutionizing things. Even space technology (Elon Musk and SpaceX).

Free trade is necessary for an economy to function. However, market capitalism will lead to exploitation of people if there are not appropriate regulations in place where required. Safety nets are also important, and laws against things like trusts and businessman buying politicians. But market capitalism continually increases the standard of living for people.

No, it’s a combination of today’s modern public education methods being grossly outdated and the increasing focus on testing and rote memorization above all else. Even libertarians like yourself recognize this, which is why they want to privatize education as they believe it would increase efficiency.

I’m not a libertarian in that sense (I am I suppose in other senses). I do not think education needs to be privatized though. I do think vouchers to create competition are an idea however. Is focusing on testing and rote memorization really bad though? I mean if you have to learn mathematics, then take tests on it, learn history and geography, and take tests on them regarding memorization of facts, and read important books, and then write reports on them or take tests about them, well I mean the resultant person isn’t going to be stupid.

The reason they break out more in countries outside of America is because 1) most people in the US don’t recognize what is happening as clearly as the rest of the world does. They are still stuck arguing about secondary issues like gun control and which party is more evil. They have successfully been polarized. 2) They still believe that the “American Dream” (work hard and you’ll succeed) is still possible, and that there is some kind of way to “fix” this govt to work for them, so they choose to just wait until the next election.

And I’m not saying that inequality is the only cause. I’m saying that it is one of the chief causes for a violent society.

Absolute inequality is a chief cause for a violent society. But the U.S. has relative, not absolute, inequality. 99% of Americans are still rich by global and historical standards. I don’t make much money right now, but still can buy fresh fruit and vegetables, have air conditioning, heating, running hot and cold water, computer with high-speed Internet, basic cable, ability to access many books (and thanks to Amazon I can now find many obscure books and read reviews of books by lots of people before purchasing them), lots of free quality knowledge available on the Internet if you know where to look, instant access to all of the great works of music, etc…by historical and even current global standards (people who live in squalid poverty on less than a dollar a day), I am rich. A poor man’s meal in America is a McDonald’s Big Mac with fries. To a person eating rice three times a week, that would be an extreme luxury. 

That only happens when people play by the rules. Market economics is more theory than reality. If you want to see how things really work in the market, ask a professor in Business, not an economist. Market manipulation tactics are nothing more than just good business. Right now, we are watching the increasing power of monopolies, oligopolies, and cartels happen right before our eyes. You can blame govt all you want, but the reason govt doesn’t work for us is because they have also been monetized and turned into another market commodity. This is the true reality of capitalism.

Market economics is both theory and reality. Which monopolies and oligopolies and cartels are you speaking of? BTW, just as a side issue, one reason why libertarians and conservatives are often skeptical of regulation of industries is that regulation, if heavy enough, creates cartels and oligopolies, because such regulation makes it very difficult for smaller businesses to operate in the industry, and thus allows the big businesses to dominate. It is an irony of many on the political Left who rail against oligopolies and cartels and so forth, but yet then often push for policies that create the conditions for such things to form.

[ Edited: 15 June 2013 06:05 PM by LogicMan ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 June 2013 06:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  180
Joined  2013-05-17
VYAZMA - 15 June 2013 03:08 PM

The problems with education, if there really is any problems(after all we’re going on Cloaks anecdotal evidence about some of his peers not being able to spell),
are a little more complicated than discipline.
As we subjectively evaluate the quality of education based on the models we experienced 10,15, 20 or more years ago we create a false sense of value for what we want education to be. The key word is value.
I’m firmly convinced that good education doesn’t create a better economy/society. It’s the other way around. A good educational system is a direct result of
economical market forces having a need for good education.
The educational system we have right now for better or worse is the one the market demands. If innovation and growth were stronger, there would be
a greater impetus for more robust education.
It’s like a big blast furnace that get’s going…it needs more coal.  And that coal is new graduates and quality educational systems.
We are seeing the old system slowly pull into port like a big ship.  It went full reverse years ago, but the ship still coasts forwards for a bit.
It’s no accident we have thousands and thousands of people with degrees that aren’t being used, or made a poor choice in their educational field.
They keep on doing it though…that’s the big ship slowly coasting to a stop.
As for your discipline thing-that was a byproduct of that value we had years ago. It was effective then. It was part of a roaring blast furnace. Just one part.

That’s an interesting point, but I think it would only apply to those educational institutions that are tied to industry, i.e. the universities. The public education system is not tied to industry (at least from my understanding) and thus its output of students has little to do with industrial demands.

[2 points here.  Since when are riots a leading indicator of a particular areas level of violence. Point of fact, violence is a very broad term. It means lots of things.
It covers emotions, specific crimes, genres in movies etc etc…
Anyways the correct way to determine if “violence” (or more specifically, reported types of specific crimes) is correlated with economy is to do it by district. Not nation. Not nation.
To determine socio-economic correlations we look at specific districts in big cities that are effectively demographed for income, race, unemployment and Crime Rates.  The evidence is overwhelming…the poorer people in poor neighborhoods live in neighborhoods with more crime(the violent kinds of crime..from domestic battery to armed robbery etc etc…)

True. But my point on riots is that these European countries are often touted as being more “egalitarian” or “equal” than the United States which is always touted as having such a “massive” level of “inequality.” And supposedly, social stability is tied to equality. So if countries like Sweden (considered the model for how to do a nation by many on the Left) and France (a quasi-socialist country) and even the U.K. (far larger welfare state than the U.S.) are experiencing riots, and are supposedly more equal than the U.S., then one would think that the United States would have experienced far worse riots, yet this isn’t the case.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 June 2013 09:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4142
Joined  2008-08-14

Logicman-That’s an interesting point, but I think it would only apply to those educational institutions that are tied to industry, i.e. the universities. The public education system is not tied to industry (at least from my understanding) and thus its output of students has little to do with industrial demands.

I didn’t mean industrial applications-although that is a large part of it. Even Kindergarten is tied to the broader sense of “industry”.  Industry being loosely used to define growth and innovation dynamics.
If the system that is going to use these educationally finished graduates is slowed down or stagnate, then that stagnation is directly proportioned in the efficiency
and quality of education. But we are still pumping kids through the system.(naturally of course, in the case of K-10)
And in the case of Higher education the impetus is ingrained.  Going on to higher education is almost a rite. An automatic rite.
So in both cases it’s an automatic feed system that is filling schools that are clogged with many who will never fill their intended roles.
Case in point, many kids don’t even know what profession they want to explore, but they go to school anyways. It’s a mill.
In the past that didn’t matter much, because economic growth was such that “industry” pulled them into careers.
I’m not saying this is even 50% of the case. But an uptick of say just 10-20% in this stagnation would give rise to some of the dysfunction that is being bandied
about.  bandied about as if there was a problem with education!  That’s my whole point.  The educational system is all set up and ready to go, it’s not broken.
The need for an educational system is what’s broken. And this dynamic is the same one that existed 1000s of years ago regarding education. It doesn’t change. The Industrial Revolution is what turned the educational system worldwide into a roaring blast furnace. That’s wearing out around here.
Necessity is the mother of invention and innovation.

LogicMan-
True. But my point on riots is that these European countries are often touted as being more “egalitarian” or “equal” than the United States which is always touted as having such a “massive” level of “inequality.” And supposedly, social stability is tied to equality. So if countries like Sweden (considered the model for how to do a nation by many on the Left) and France (a quasi-socialist country) and even the U.K. (far larger welfare state than the U.S.) are experiencing riots, and are supposedly more equal than the U.S., then one would think that the United States would have experienced far worse riots, yet this isn’t the case.

There are way too many blurry areas here. Riots are quick flash “protests” that can snowball from some minor incident usually.
What are they rioting about in Sweden anyways? France and Britain too…I know they riot.  It’s race, or Labor Politics, or Sports even!
The United States, as I’m guessing you know, has a long, long history of riots.
In any case, I made my point..riots are not a predictable, common event, that can be easily demographed like crime statistics by district.
I would say social stability, as you mention right above here, is the same as equality for all intents and purposes of this discussion. Equality is such an amorphous term. What does that mean? Nothing.
You state “..one would think the US would experience far worse riots…” Why would one think that? Rioting over what? Name a reason for a riot first off.

 Signature 

Row row row your boat gently down the stream.  Merrily Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 June 2013 01:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  582
Joined  2010-04-19
LogicMan - 15 June 2013 05:52 PM

Disagree completely. All people like to consume goods. That has even been proven with tribal peoples. It is part of what led to the downfall of the Native Americans, because when they experienced the much higher-quality European goods, they used them so much that they forgot their own craft making skills that they had relied on for survival historically, and as a result, became completely dependent on trade with the Europeans for survival. This has also been found with other tribal peoples. It’s just human nature to want things.

What happened to the Native Americans in your situation is that they passed the same lifestyle onto their children, and so on. The point is: this was a learned behavior that was passed down, and could have been unlearned, just like most other behaviors. Saying that “people just want things” doesn’t explain the ridiculous rate that we consume at today. This behavior is directly perpetuated by our parents, our education system, and the rest of the culture. If this wasn’t the case, then there wouldn’t be examples of modern communities/cultures that live perfectly happy sustainable lifestyles, because they “just wouldn’t be able to control themselves” (according to your theory of human nature). In fact, there wouldn’t be examples of people who are not addicted to overconsumption. Everyone would be completely out of control, which is not the case. It has been clearly accelerated by the culture, and you cannot separate your culture from your economic system.

Free trade is necessary for an economy to function. However, market capitalism will lead to exploitation of people if there are not appropriate regulations in place where required. Safety nets are also important, and laws against things like trusts and businessman buying politicians. But market capitalism continually increases the standard of living for people.

At least you understand that “pure capitalism” is an illusion as long as humans are involved. Yet, regulations only work until the guy who has the most resources and is smarter than the rest learns how to use regulations to his advantage. They only work until you figure out how to buy a politician, or a president. Then comes the human exploitation part I was talking about earlier.

But to be clear, it is scientific and technological advancement that raises the standard of living. Capitalism is merely the vehicle, and it’s helped a great deal to democratize access to such advancements. I’m very thankful for that. However, we are living in an age where capitalism is having trouble replacing the jobs that it now automates, and this trend is only increasing. Yet, because of the way capitalism is designed, the capitalist only sees one thing: profit, and surges forward. Foxconn doesn’t care about the 1 million workers that it vows to replace with robots, 10,000 at a time. Not even cheap outsourcing can beat the robot.

My point is that capitalism was a great companion at one point, but it is now overstaying its welcome.

I’m not a libertarian in that sense (I am I suppose in other senses). I do not think education needs to be privatized though. I do think vouchers to create competition are an idea however. Is focusing on testing and rote memorization really bad though? I mean if you have to learn mathematics, then take tests on it, learn history and geography, and take tests on them regarding memorization of facts, and read important books, and then write reports on them or take tests about them, well I mean the resultant person isn’t going to be stupid.

I never said that testing and memorization is bad. It has it’s place. I’m saying that when your entire educational system is centered around it, you develop citizens that have little to no critical thinking skills, just people that remember “what was on the test”, and then forget it as soon as they move to the next grade. Critical thinking is extremely crucial to healthy intellectual development, and thus your entire society, otherwise you get a society that is easily manipulated like we have today.

I believe the reasons for our failing education systems are complicated, not necessarily tied to economic issues, as we pour billions into the system without addressing some of the key problems that’s causing it to fail in the first place. And yes, I’ll admit that a little controlled competition could likely make a significant difference.

Absolute inequality is a chief cause for a violent society. But the U.S. has relative, not absolute, inequality. 99% of Americans are still rich by global and historical standards. I don’t make much money right now, but still can buy fresh fruit and vegetables, have air conditioning, heating, running hot and cold water, computer with high-speed Internet, basic cable, ability to access many books (and thanks to Amazon I can now find many obscure books and read reviews of books by lots of people before purchasing them), lots of free quality knowledge available on the Internet if you know where to look, instant access to all of the great works of music, etc…by historical and even current global standards (people who live in squalid poverty on less than a dollar a day), I am rich. A poor man’s meal in America is a McDonald’s Big Mac with fries. To a person eating rice three times a week, that would be an extreme luxury. 

Again, you may not fit this category, but most of these people are in extreme debt just to keep up such lifestyles. And those are the ones who still have a job. Outsourcing and technological advancement will likely finish the rest off too.

 Signature 

Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

- Bruce Lee -

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 June 2013 01:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7641
Joined  2008-04-11
LogicMan - 15 June 2013 05:52 PM

Disagree completely. All people like to consume goods. That has even been proven with tribal peoples. It is part of what led to the downfall of the Native Americans, because when they experienced the much higher-quality European goods, they used them so much that they forgot their own craft making skills that they had relied on for survival historically, and as a result, became completely dependent on trade with the Europeans for survival. This has also been found with other tribal peoples. It’s just human nature to want things.

Spoken like someone who knows nothing of American history. The ‘Downfall’ of the Native America was caused in part by the removal of their lands, being placed on the most useless land the government could find, far away from their tribal lands, where they had no means of supporting themselves. Then, they took the children away from their families, sending them to boarding schools rife with abuse, and punished them for speaking their native languages or attempting to express their culture. Stripped of culture, language, lands, and susceptible to diseases brought by Europeans. Treaties broken over and over. Laws favoring Americans who could go on NA lands and abuse the reservation people with impunity…including rape and murder…
Your statement speaks of gross ignorance. hmmm

 Signature 

Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 June 2013 12:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  180
Joined  2013-05-17
VYAZMA - 15 June 2013 09:11 PM

There are way too many blurry areas here. Riots are quick flash “protests” that can snowball from some minor incident usually.
What are they rioting about in Sweden anyways? France and Britain too…I know they riot.  It’s race, or Labor Politics, or Sports even!
The United States, as I’m guessing you know, has a long, long history of riots.
In any case, I made my point..riots are not a predictable, common event, that can be easily demographed like crime statistics by district.
I would say social stability, as you mention right above here, is the same as equality for all intents and purposes of this discussion. Equality is such an amorphous term. What does that mean? Nothing.
You state “..one would think the US would experience far worse riots…” Why would one think that? Rioting over what? Name a reason for a riot first off.

Because supposedly the U.S. has far higher “inequality,” so there should be a lot more simmering rage in the populace supposedly. And yes, the U.S. has a long history of riots, but most of that was back when there was a lot of absolute inequality and racial tensions and so forth. In modern America, riots are very rare. But they are not as rare in other modern industrial democracies.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 June 2013 12:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  180
Joined  2013-05-17
Cloak - 16 June 2013 01:17 AM

What happened to the Native Americans in your situation is that they passed the same lifestyle onto their children, and so on. The point is: this was a learned behavior that was passed down, and could have been unlearned, just like most other behaviors. Saying that “people just want things” doesn’t explain the ridiculous rate that we consume at today. This behavior is directly perpetuated by our parents, our education system, and the rest of the culture. If this wasn’t the case, then there wouldn’t be examples of modern communities/cultures that live perfectly happy sustainable lifestyles, because they “just wouldn’t be able to control themselves” (according to your theory of human nature). In fact, there wouldn’t be examples of people who are not addicted to overconsumption. Everyone would be completely out of control, which is not the case. It has been clearly accelerated by the culture, and you cannot separate your culture from your economic system.

People who live “sustainable” lifestyles still live a life of wealth and luxury by global and historical standards. Also, at least in my experience, usually people who often live “sustainable” lifestyles are those who have not suffered through squalid poverty and had to go without things for a long time. They have always had things in abundance, and thus don’t have a problem downscaling their lifestyle. But almost all humans desire to live rich, it’s just what level. The middle-class person who says they have no desire to become rich, what they are really saying is that they have no desire to become rich by First World standards. But by historical and global standards, they already are rich.

At least you understand that “pure capitalism” is an illusion as long as humans are involved. Yet, regulations only work until the guy who has the most resources and is smarter than the rest learns how to use regulations to his advantage. They only work until you figure out how to buy a politician, or a president. Then comes the human exploitation part I was talking about earlier.

Yes, that is called “regulatory capture,” whereby you have for example industries that create a very close, cozy relationship with the government agency that is supposed to be regulating them, that kind of stuff. That is why conservatives and libertarians are skeptical of regulations as well.

But to be clear, it is scientific and technological advancement that raises the standard of living. Capitalism is merely the vehicle, and it’s helped a great deal to democratize access to such advancements. I’m very thankful for that. However, we are living in an age where capitalism is having trouble replacing the jobs that it now automates, and this trend is only increasing. Yet, because of the way capitalism is designed, the capitalist only sees one thing: profit, and surges forward. Foxconn doesn’t care about the 1 million workers that it vows to replace with robots, 10,000 at a time. Not even cheap outsourcing can beat the robot.

Almost all humans see profit. Market capitalism is just the system that takes advantage of that in a system of incentives whereby the mass of individuals each seeking their own self-advancement ends up working out better for the whole of the population. However, robots I am guessing will end up creating a lot more jobs.

My point is that capitalism was a great companion at one point, but it is now overstaying its welcome.

What would you replace it with?

I never said that testing and memorization is bad. It has it’s place. I’m saying that when your entire educational system is centered around it, you develop citizens that have little to no critical thinking skills, just people that remember “what was on the test”, and then forget it as soon as they move to the next grade. Critical thinking is extremely crucial to healthy intellectual development, and thus your entire society, otherwise you get a society that is easily manipulated like we have today.

There is a very interesting book called The Underground History of American Education: A School Teacher’s Intimate Investigation Into the Problem of Modern Schooling. Basically he argues that if you study the way the public education system in the U.S. was created, that it was not designed to instill critical thinking skills, but rather to stifle them, and to create a population that is easily malleable for business and industry and government. Much of it was based off of the Prussian system of education which was very good at producing soldiers and employees.

However, with the onset of the Space Race, suddenly this changed and the focus became on trying to educate everyone in engineering, mathematics, science, etc…today’s public education system has the remnants of many of the original features however. For example, having children change classrooms for each class via a bell was a social conditioning method (in private schools, each grade has its own permanent classroom).

Again, you may not fit this category, but most of these people are in extreme debt just to keep up such lifestyles. And those are the ones who still have a job. Outsourcing and technological advancement will likely finish the rest off too.

As said though, some causes of the debt are the rising costs of higher education because of how we subsidize it, and also excessive credit card debt on people’s part.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 June 2013 12:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  180
Joined  2013-05-17
asanta - 16 June 2013 01:35 AM

Spoken like someone who knows nothing of American history. The ‘Downfall’ of the Native America was caused in part by the removal of their lands, being placed on the most useless land the government could find, far away from their tribal lands, where they had no means of supporting themselves. Then, they took the children away from their families, sending them to boarding schools rife with abuse, and punished them for speaking their native languages or attempting to express their culture. Stripped of culture, language, lands, and susceptible to diseases brought by Europeans. Treaties broken over and over. Laws favoring Americans who could go on NA lands and abuse the reservation people with impunity…including rape and murder…
Your statement speaks of gross ignorance. :-/

I am fully aware of all of that. But a major blow to the survival of the Native Americans was their becoming dependent on the European goods.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 June 2013 09:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  582
Joined  2010-04-19
LogicMan - 16 June 2013 12:16 PM

People who live “sustainable” lifestyles still live a life of wealth and luxury by global and historical standards. Also, at least in my experience, usually people who often live “sustainable” lifestyles are those who have not suffered through squalid poverty and had to go without things for a long time. They have always had things in abundance, and thus don’t have a problem downscaling their lifestyle. But almost all humans desire to live rich, it’s just what level. The middle-class person who says they have no desire to become rich, what they are really saying is that they have no desire to become rich by First World standards. But by historical and global standards, they already are rich.

Right, and such people are now able to do so without being addicted to consumerism and conspicuous consumption. That’s my point.

Yes, that is called “regulatory capture,” whereby you have for example industries that create a very close, cozy relationship with the government agency that is supposed to be regulating them, that kind of stuff. That is why conservatives and libertarians are skeptical of regulations as well.

Yes, and my point is that capitalism cannot be regulated, at least not in the long-term, because it will eventually monetize the regulations themselves, just like now.

And a completely deregulated market would be an absolute nightmare for the worker class.

Almost all humans see profit. Market capitalism is just the system that takes advantage of that in a system of incentives whereby the mass of individuals each seeking their own self-advancement ends up working out better for the whole of the population. However, robots I am guessing will end up creating a lot more jobs.

No, humans have needs, both actual and perceived. How they attempt to meet those needs can easily be distorted by the environment, just like consumerism does. And we are starting to see what the endgame of a system where everyone “pursues their own self-interests” looks like. And no, robots don’t create jobs. They kill them. That is the very nature of technology, to alleviate labor. Just because some creative people may be able to come up with about 100 jobs for every 10,000 jobs that are taken away, it is simply not enough. It is now a losing battle. The only answer I’ve heard EVERY capitalist give to this is “Well….we will just figure out ways to create new jobs in their place”. In other words, capitalists are in complete denial of these trends, because it doesn’t fit well with their worldview.

What would you replace it with?

Me? Well, I’m just one person, and there are many people much smarter than me who have their own ideas, but in my opinion, any system that leans further towards a more libertarian socialist system would be much better than what we are now dealing with.

There is a very interesting book called The Underground History of American Education: A School Teacher’s Intimate Investigation Into the Problem of Modern Schooling. Basically he argues that if you study the way the public education system in the U.S. was created, that it was not designed to instill critical thinking skills, but rather to stifle them, and to create a population that is easily malleable for business and industry and government. Much of it was based off of the Prussian system of education which was very good at producing soldiers and employees.

However, with the onset of the Space Race, suddenly this changed and the focus became on trying to educate everyone in engineering, mathematics, science, etc…today’s public education system has the remnants of many of the original features however. For example, having children change classrooms for each class via a bell was a social conditioning method (in private schools, each grade has its own permanent classroom).

I’m aware of the work, and am in full agreement with it regarding our education system. It’s why I’ve said elsewhere that critical thinkers don’t tend to make good soldiers or “Patriots”.

As said though, some causes of the debt are the rising costs of higher education because of how we subsidize it, and also excessive credit card debt on people’s part.]

Yes, and as I said, this debt-based society is a product of capitalism itself.

 Signature 

Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

- Bruce Lee -

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 June 2013 09:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  582
Joined  2010-04-19
LogicMan - 16 June 2013 12:17 PM
asanta - 16 June 2013 01:35 AM

Spoken like someone who knows nothing of American history. The ‘Downfall’ of the Native America was caused in part by the removal of their lands, being placed on the most useless land the government could find, far away from their tribal lands, where they had no means of supporting themselves. Then, they took the children away from their families, sending them to boarding schools rife with abuse, and punished them for speaking their native languages or attempting to express their culture. Stripped of culture, language, lands, and susceptible to diseases brought by Europeans. Treaties broken over and over. Laws favoring Americans who could go on NA lands and abuse the reservation people with impunity…including rape and murder…
Your statement speaks of gross ignorance. hmmm

I am fully aware of all of that. But a major blow to the survival of the Native Americans was their becoming dependent on the European goods.

Yet what we are saying is that your interpretation of the situation as “human nature” oversimplifies and ignores many of the complexities of what really happened. As I said, they were literally educated into dependency. There are many Native Americans that are now trying to become more independent of the system again, and are educating their families in such a manner. Like I said, it’s learned behavior, not “human nature”.

[ Edited: 17 June 2013 10:49 AM by Cloak ]
 Signature 

Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

- Bruce Lee -

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 June 2013 11:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  180
Joined  2013-05-17
Cloak - 16 June 2013 09:10 PM

No, humans have needs, both actual and perceived. How they attempt to meet those needs can easily be distorted by the environment, just like consumerism does. And we are starting to see what the endgame of a system where everyone “pursues their own self-interests” looks like. And no, robots don’t create jobs. They kill them. That is the very nature of technology, to alleviate labor. Just because some creative people may be able to come up with about 100 jobs for every 10,000 jobs that are taken away, it is simply not enough. It is now a losing battle. The only answer I’ve heard EVERY capitalist give to this is “Well….we will just figure out ways to create new jobs in their place”. In other words, capitalists are in complete denial of these trends, because it doesn’t fit well with their worldview.

Humans always pursue their own self-interest. All one can do is design a system around this fact. Collectivist systems never work. And yes, robots do create jobs. They destroy jobs, but lead to the creation of new ones. That is what technology has done throughout the history of the entire industrial revolution. We could go back to the 1800s and you be saying, “Machines don’t create jobs, they destroy them.” Yes, they did destroy certain jobs, but they let humans have the freedom to be able to create lots of new ones as well. Then came computers, which also destroyed certain professions, but led to the creation of lots of new ones. The productivity achieved for the overall economy by these things also helps create more jobs. Robots will do the same. They will destroy certain jobs while leading to the creation of wholly new ones.

I am not sure how capitalists are “denial” as there is no hard evidence that robots are causing more jobs to be destroyed than replaced right now.

What would you replace it with?

Me? Well, I’m just one person, and there are many people much smarter than me who have their own ideas, but in my opinion, any system that leans further towards a more libertarian socialist system would be much better than what we are now dealing with.

The problem though is that every attempt at socialism ever tried has failed. And there never will be a shortage of “smart” people who have grand plans on how they can create a better society than what we have now. What you need to keep in mind is that creation of any utopian “perfect “society will never happen, because of human nature. All we can do is create the systems that function the least badly, whether government (democratic government) or economy (market capitalism). Corruption, crime, poverty, etc…will always be problems that plague society. The issue is how well a society is able to manage them.

I’m aware of the work, and am in full agreement with it regarding our education system. It’s why I’ve said elsewhere that critical thinkers don’t tend to make good soldiers or “Patriots”.

I do not personally see patriotism as something only adhered to by lesser minds (if anything, I think sometimes it’s the opposite, a lot of people who look down on the concept of patriotism only do so because they think of themselves as being a lot more intelligent than what they actually are). That said, blind patriotism is not a good thing. Regarding soldiering, the kind of soldiering you are thinking of that was mindless was back when you had the officers (who themselves had to be highly educated) commanding the soldiers in formations marching with muskets, and the soldiers just had to blindly follow the orders without any critical thinking. The modern military is much different.

Yes, and as I said, this debt-based society is a product of capitalism itself.

People choosing to go into credit card debt to buy things they don’t need is to a good degree their own choice. It is a lack of personal responsibility. University and college used to be a lot cheaper, where one could work and pay their way through them. The problem is that with the drive to get “everyone” to go to university, and thus all of the subsidies that were started up, it has caused a great deal of inflation in the cost of higher education as a result.

Cloak - 16 June 2013 09:13 PM

Yet what we are saying is that your interpretation of the situation as “human nature” oversimplifies and ignores many of the complexities of what really happened. As I said, they were literally educated into dependency. There are many Native Americans that are now trying to become more independent of the system again, and are educating their families in such a manner. Like I said, it’s learned behavior, not “human nature”.

Yes, lots of things were done to the Native Americans, but one of the things that contributed to their downfall was their becoming dependent on the fine goods of the Europeans and settlers and forgetting their own survival and craft skills that they had relied on previously. The reason they became dependent on those goods is because they were of such better quality. And like all humans, they liked them as a result.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 June 2013 12:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2245
Joined  2012-10-27
Cloak - 15 June 2013 02:49 PM
Lois - 15 June 2013 02:45 PM
Cloak - 14 June 2013 09:13 PM
Lois - 14 June 2013 08:01 PM

Stay in Canada.

I don’t think you’re understanding my point though. If the real issue is inequality, then just trying to remove guns doesn’t solve the issue. Violence will still increase. Has not Canada enjoyed a lot more equality than the US until recent years? If so, then those numbers still support my point: inequality makes societies more violent. All this talk about guns, in my opinion, is really beside the point.

The US is one of the most stressed and unequal countries in the developed world. Violence is going to happen. Knowing this, I’d rather have something to protect my family with.

Please explain what you mean about equality increasing in Canada.

We’ve had similar rates of gun deaths in the US for decades.  Is keeping guns available to almost anyone going to fix that problem or is it likely to make it worse?

Again, as I’ve said over and over again, placing further restrictions on responsible gun owners in a society with increasing inequality, border problems, and easy access to millions of firearms is not going to solve the problem. It is going to compound it.

And I never said that “equality is increasing in Canada”. I said that Canada’s equality levels have been higher than the US’ for decades, and that the gap/disparity is only recently starting to close.


Why doesn’t placing restrictions on easy access to guns compound the problem in other countries? Why does it cause fewer deaths in other countries instead of compounding the problem as you claim it would here?  Name one country with strict gun controls that had anywhere near the number of gun deaths the US has had per capita. Is there something inthe water in the US that causes vastly different outcomes from the same conditions in other countries?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 June 2013 12:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  337
Joined  2008-09-10

According to Slate Magazine and @GunDeaths, there have been 101 gun-related deaths since this thread began on June 13, 2013.

 Signature 

“Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain.” 
—F. Schiller

http://theblogofciceronianus.blogspot.com

Profile
 
 
   
4 of 5
4