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The Wealth Divide.
Posted: 15 April 2014 03:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Fuzzy Logic - 15 April 2014 11:58 AM

I don’t agree that 90% of people out there are just waiting their turn screwing it to the rest of us. I think wealth and power don’t just have a corrupting effect, they attract the corruptible.

It’s not just a political problem it’s sociological one, to a degree the ultra-wealthy are a symptom of a deeper imbalance in our species that does include us all I think. But that still doesn’t absolve them of responsibility for their actions, and if they’re working hard to deny the rights and even the very future of millions of other people then they are acting in a sociopathic manner.

First. Do you see the direct conflict between your two statements here?

Second. Wealth and power attract most people.(I said I was guessing when I said 90%. I’ll retract that and hold at 75% for the sole benefit of your scrutiny.)
Ever heard of Lotto, for one? The TV shows “Who want’s to be a Millionaire”, or “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”(and obviously it’s modern counterparts…which television is festooned with.)
Crime? Crime! The more disparity in income equality, the greater there is crime. Which in actuality can be an extreme attraction to wealth and power. Not all cases, but many.


....and if they’re working hard to deny the rights and even the very future of millions of other people then they are acting in a sociopathic manner.

No. I know it sounds good. But no. Do you want to treat these people?

[ Edited: 15 April 2014 06:45 PM by VYAZMA ]
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Posted: 15 April 2014 04:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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First. No, I don’t see.
Second. TV shows as evidence. I can see you are really doing your homework.
And no, I don’t want to treat anyone. You have provided no counter narrative to what Tim, Fuzzy and I have posted.

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Posted: 15 April 2014 06:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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Honestly, as far as whether it is best to try to categorize some ultra-wealthy folks as sociopathic or simply as dysfunctional to our political and economic systems,... I don’t know. 

I am open to looking at the problem from different directions. 

Also, as far as the percentage of people who are overly motivated to seek wealth and power, I don’t have a clue as to what that might be.  I just know that I am not motivated to seek extraordinary wealth.  But if someone handed it to me, I wouldn’t refuse it.  I would use whatever portion necessary to maximize the security and comfort of myself and those I am close to.  With the rest, I would feel obliged to put to use in some way that would contribute to the greater good for the rest of humanity.

But I know that not everyone shares my particular inherent proclivities nor similar historical life-shaping contingencies.  If all the uber-rich were like Bill Gates, this issue would probably not be particularly concerning to me.  But since some are like the Koch bros., it is.

Probably, I would come down on the side that says, it doesn’t matter, so much, how we categorize the trouble-makers, as it does to put in place contingencies that will change their behavior, (or at least change the negative impact of their behavior.)  OTOH, it is critical to know one’s enemy.  But does viewing them as sick or sociopathic give us more information as to who they are? Perhaps, if the assumption is correct, (which it may or may not be).  But, I think that, anyway, the information that it suggests is too limited, too general to be of effective use, at this point.

(BTW, I have learned to overlook Vyazma’s sometimes abrasive communication style, so as to be able to take in the rational points that he often makes.)

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Posted: 15 April 2014 06:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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It’s been said that the wealthy (individuals and corporations)  privatize their profits and socialize their losses.

I think that’s true. A different kind of communism, called corruption.

Lois

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Posted: 15 April 2014 06:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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Lausten - 15 April 2014 04:42 PM

First. No, I don’t see.
Second. TV shows as evidence. I can see you are really doing your homework.
And no, I don’t want to treat anyone. You have provided no counter narrative to what Tim, Fuzzy and I have posted.

Those questions weren’t directed at you. I quoted Fuzzy Logic.
That was a dialog we were having. Those were responses to Fuzzy’s points.

Bill, Mary, John and I could all see that.

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Posted: 15 April 2014 06:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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Lois - 15 April 2014 06:39 PM

It’s been said that the wealthy (individuals and corporations)  privatize their profits and socialize their losses.

I think that’s true. A different kind of communism, called corruption.

Lois

Yes a type of corruption no doubt. But it’s a corruption that’s allowed to fester in the mainly legal confines of political/economic structure.
It doesn’t take a sociopath or any pathology to take advantage of this. It’s legalized corruption.
It takes intelligence, money, cunning, charisma, a little luck, sometimes inheritance, sometimes connections.

Anybody who is smart enough to game that legal political/economic system and has the drive to do it is no fool.
We don’t look at the gamers of this system and decide what’s wrong with them. There’s nothing wrong. This is how it has always been.

We look at the system and change it.

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Posted: 15 April 2014 06:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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TimB - 15 April 2014 06:27 PM

(BTW, I have learned to overlook Vyazma’s sometimes abrasive communication style, so as to be able to take in the rational points that he often makes.)

Well thank you Tim. I’m glad to see you around here again. I’m also glad you wrote “sometimes”. LOL

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Posted: 15 April 2014 08:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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VYAZMA - 15 April 2014 06:56 PM
TimB - 15 April 2014 06:27 PM

(BTW, I have learned to overlook Vyazma’s sometimes abrasive communication style, so as to be able to take in the rational points that he often makes.)

Well thank you Tim. I’m glad to see you around here again. I’m also glad you wrote “sometimes”. LOL

I imagine that you have learned to overlook the faults (or I would euphemistically say “irregularities”) in my communication style, as well.

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Posted: 16 April 2014 06:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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VYAZMA - 15 April 2014 06:40 PM
Lausten - 15 April 2014 04:42 PM

First. No, I don’t see.
Second. TV shows as evidence. I can see you are really doing your homework.
And no, I don’t want to treat anyone. You have provided no counter narrative to what Tim, Fuzzy and I have posted.

Those questions weren’t directed at you. I quoted Fuzzy Logic.
That was a dialog we were having. Those were responses to Fuzzy’s points.

Bill, Mary, John and I could all see that.

You understand that your posts are public right? And I can read them? And if I want to, I can respond to them? Okay, just checking.

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Posted: 16 April 2014 06:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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VYAZMA - 15 April 2014 06:54 PM
Lois - 15 April 2014 06:39 PM

It’s been said that the wealthy (individuals and corporations)  privatize their profits and socialize their losses.

I think that’s true. A different kind of communism, called corruption.

Lois

Yes a type of corruption no doubt. But it’s a corruption that’s allowed to fester in the mainly legal confines of political/economic structure.
It doesn’t take a sociopath or any pathology to take advantage of this. It’s legalized corruption.
It takes intelligence, money, cunning, charisma, a little luck, sometimes inheritance, sometimes connections.

Anybody who is smart enough to game that legal political/economic system and has the drive to do it is no fool.
We don’t look at the gamers of this system and decide what’s wrong with them. There’s nothing wrong. This is how it has always been.

We look at the system and change it.

That attitude is part of the problem. This idea that if it is legal, and you do it, you’re no fool. Besides ignoring a sense of morality, it ignores that the people who make the laws are the ones we are talking about. Look at the revolving door of politicians and “consultants” to major corporations. Not to mention how easy it is to get around the rules about investing in things that they are making laws about. And so what if this is “how it’s always been”. Should peasants have said that about the Kings? I’m sure many of them did. Lucky for you enough of them said they had enough with that and made the world you now live in.

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Posted: 16 April 2014 08:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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Lausten - 16 April 2014 06:13 AM

... This idea that if it is legal, and you do it, you’re no fool. Besides ignoring a sense of morality, it ignores that the people who make the laws are the ones we are talking about. Look at the revolving door of politicians and “consultants” to major corporations. Not to mention how easy it is to get around the rules about investing in things that they are making laws about…

You seem to be suggesting/implying, here, that 1) if enough of the general population see what people like the Koch brothers are doing, and recognize it as immoral, then, this may lead to the general population, potentially, doing something to hold them (Koch-bros-like-persons <KBLPs>) in check.  And also, 2) you point out the problem of the KBLPs currently having pervasive control in political, legal and business organizations.

I would add that KBLPs, to a large degree, have control of “the message”, thru mass media such as Fox News, and thru politicians and other social leaders (e.g., some authors, some religious leaders, most radio talk show hosts)  who advance their message.  Thus much of the general population will not be inclined to view what KBLPs do as immoral, at all, but rather will hold what they do as a positive value.

So it seems to me, that it is a very ingrained problem that is not readily amenable to change.  But by the same token, it is a target rich environment, by which I mean the problem could be addressed on multiple fronts.  I think the important question is on which front/s, if any, is there a good chance that something can effectively be done to hold the KBLPs in check or to diminish their power.

[ Edited: 16 April 2014 08:06 AM by TimB ]
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Posted: 16 April 2014 08:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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Lausten - 16 April 2014 06:13 AM

That attitude is part of the problem. This idea that if it is legal, and you do it, you’re no fool. Besides ignoring a sense of morality, it ignores that the people who make the laws are the ones we are talking about. Look at the revolving door of politicians and “consultants” to major corporations. Not to mention how easy it is to get around the rules about investing in things that they are making laws about. And so what if this is “how it’s always been”. Should peasants have said that about the Kings? I’m sure many of them did. Lucky for you enough of them said they had enough with that and made the world you now live in.

Lausten. Your just blathering now. You’re falling into the argument trap. This is when a thread moves along and somewhere along the way
someone’s point(s) get challenged.  Rather than looking openly at the counterpoint, the person begins putting up counter measures and the debate becomes less and less about substance and more and more about opposition for the sake of opposition.

I think it is a safe bet that the vast majority of wealthy people are not sociopaths. Yeah, that’s a safe bet. No matter what you emote.
Now you want to argue against my point: “Anybody who is smart enough to game that legal political/economic system and has the drive to do it is no fool.” This isn’t my attitude Lausten. It is my observation. It is empirical fact. I’m neither defending it or criticizing it on face value.
Just like I wouldn’t criticize a lion for crouching down in the tall grass, taking advantage of the wind, and choosing a young, old or injured gazelle
for it’s prey.

....it ignores that the people who make the laws are the ones we are talking about. Look at the revolving door of politicians and “consultants” to major corporations.

LOL My points ignored that huhn? 
Anybody who is smart enough to game that legal political/economic system and has the drive to do it is no fool.
We don’t look at the gamers of this system and decide what’s wrong with them. There’s nothing wrong. This is how it has always been.
We look at the system and change it.

Did you not understand this paragraph? I’m trying to keep it short and simple.

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Posted: 16 April 2014 08:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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That you would compare what the Kochs are doing to a lion killing a gazelle just proves my point that you are an extreme moral relativist. Either you are not thinking about what you are saying, or you are, and you think it’s a might makes right world. I’m not blathering, I’m basing what I say on some basic human values of caring for others. Having drive and gaming the system is observed fact, but saying people who do it are foolish or not is an attitude.

There was a study done, trying to figure out the affect of European policies on Africa from 400 years ago. There were no GDP numbers, so he used the population of cities as a measure, assuming you need a decent level of societal organization to support large central cities.

He found basically two types of countries, ones where Europeans couldn’t live because of malaria or other factors, and ones where they settled, like South Africa. If they couldn’t live there, they just extracted the wealth from the country and left. If they could, they built infrastructure and created systems of support. The ones where the wealth was extracted are still the poorest countries and the ones with infrastructure are doing much better.

All of this was legal, it was “just how things were”. Do you believe that all of those people had no thought that they were affecting these large populations for generations to come? Were these caring people who thought of Africans as fellow travelers on our trips around the Sun? Or were they sick bastards who could look at people and treat them like chattel? If there wasn’t something wrong with those people, then why has the world changed? Why are there now laws against treating foreign countries like that? Does everyone in the world get nicer and more benevolent at some slow and steady pace or do some people work for justice while others are exploiting and raping?

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Posted: 16 April 2014 08:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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To quote the great philosopher, Rodney King: “People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along? . . . Please, we can get along here. We all can get along. I mean, we’re all stuck here for a while. Let’s try to work it out. Let’s try to beat it. Let’s try to beat it.”

smile

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Posted: 16 April 2014 08:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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TimB - 16 April 2014 08:03 AM

I think the important question is on which front/s, if any, is there a good chance that something can effectively be done to hold the KBLPs in check or to diminish their power.

Of course there is Tim.  It happened the last election cycle.
They spent $x.xx per vote and got nothing for their money. That’s huge.
There’s a long line of “Kochs”.  This hysteria about them is good…I like agitation/propaganda myself.
But the Kochs, the GOP etc can do nothing to stop the rollout that has been taking place since…Lincoln(and Reconstruction)? FDR? LBJ? Obama?

It is my firm belief that much of the hubbub and loud static, the amped up reactionary crap we witness from Kochs through to FOX News to
“the guy” you work with down at the shop(so to speak) is just that! Reactionary Crap!

Nothing is going to stop the rollout towards a more left leaning society. Towards Progressivism.
This takes time. I know you know this. I’m speaking through you to other folks in this thread.
Alot of time. 2 steps forward, 3 back, 3 steps forward, 1 back etc etc….

I’m starting to see people I would never have imagined 3-5 years ago talking about wealth disparity. I’m serious.
That’s what I pay attention to. And I live and work with ‘Joe Sixpack” etc…

This gross anomoly is not going to hold.  The GOP have been trying to balance an information game while simultaneously trying to hold a handful of water in 2 cupped hands. Eventually the masses they have been placating(with wedge issue propaganda) to vote against their interests are going to get wise. Obama Care is going to be a good test of this. They are going to campaign against this. It might work, it might not.
But if it works for them, and they repeal or change it drastically….then what? Then What? LOL  It’s a slow process but then what?
I think it won’t work personally. I think it’s too late. Obama Care and it’s message have sunk in to enough people.
Let those people realize what the GOP wants to replace it with…. LOL

That’s the GOP’s whole House Of Cards. It won’t last.

The title of this thread is “The Wealth Divide”. The ObamaCare fight is the main arena for this ideological battle. The Main Arena.
Obviously that’s why the GOP have gone Ape Shit in trying to destroy it. ObamaCare is the next big chink in their Armor.

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