Author Topic: Foreigners  (Read 63627 times)

jim

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Re: Foreigners
« Reply #45 on: March 17, 2012, 06:33:09 PM »
requerent, thank you for the post. I felt my IQ inching up a few points as I read it. This has been a depressing thread on the whole (I did nothing to elevate it), and you stepped in gracefully with some nuanced observations. I am curious, however, as to how Keynesian economics specifically enter into the picture. Are you talking about government intrusion into the private sector's ability to capitalize effectively on the unwashed masses, immigrant reliance on the extremely stressed social safety nets, or a suboptimal economic structure in general...? What would you like to see instead?

Krice

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Re: Foreigners
« Reply #46 on: March 26, 2012, 05:47:23 AM »
Why can't foreigners be like the rest of us? They are always getting into trouble. Then they try to avoid it by moving to some other place, just to repeat all the mistakes they made in the first place. Why can't they be smarter?

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Re: Foreigners
« Reply #47 on: March 28, 2012, 03:41:22 AM »
  As an American I find the basis of these questions a bit hard to understand. Our country is an amalgam of tons of different waves of immigration. Each group with it's own story. It causes great conflict and strife at times but we do our best to live and let live. We are sometimes not successful.

  Crime is usually a poverty/equality issue. Not at the individual level, but at the macro level. So in there, somewhere, is the answer to your questions.

  By the way the question "Why can't foreigners be like the rest of us?" answers itself. It's in the definition of 'foreign'. But I understood what you meant. You meant 'why can' they adapt and integrate?'

  I think it's mostly because people see value in their culture. You obviously do. So do they.

  Holy shit Krice. I just looked up the demographics of Finland. I think you're Finnish, right?

Finn 93.4%
Swede 5.6%
Russian 0.5%
Estonian 0.3%
Romani 0.1%
Sami 0.1%

  I fail to see a big enough group here for there to be any problem at all. Perhaps some sort of local diversity has shocked you? Perhaps there are politicians playing on fear and intolerance?

  Your country has no problem when compared to others. Look at the UK dealing with Muslims, or the US dealing with Blacks (12%), Latinos (15%), etc...Many of those populations form local majorities. I live in a town that is 60% latino and 30-40% Spanish speaking.

  So I guess I'm saying you got it easy.

Krice

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Re: Foreigners
« Reply #48 on: March 28, 2012, 12:00:28 PM »
I fail to see a big enough group here for there to be any problem at all.

Not yet. There is a growing pressure to get more foreigners which is always a bad thing. Well, except estonians. Have you seen estonian women? Jesus.. we need more of them!

Anyway, trying to stuff people with different cultural background in one country has always been a really bad idea. Why can't people just stay in their own country and be what they want to be?

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Re: Foreigners
« Reply #49 on: March 29, 2012, 12:02:10 AM »
  Well...the cynical answer is that immigrants are easy to exploit. The money men love that. But philosophically I dunno. I guess it is the moral thing to do to offer shelter. Power players will play off the general goodness of mankind in order to exploit the weak.

  As for the Estonian women comment. Holy bajeezus! Too right friend. I've heard it said that Estonians have the greatest differential between female and male size. Meaning small women...goddamn. You really hit on something there. The majority of women in the US, especially here, are overweight. Fat and awful.


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requerent

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Re: Foreigners
« Reply #50 on: March 30, 2012, 07:21:03 AM »
requerent, thank you for the post. I felt my IQ inching up a few points as I read it. This has been a depressing thread on the whole (I did nothing to elevate it), and you stepped in gracefully with some nuanced observations. I am curious, however, as to how Keynesian economics specifically enter into the picture. Are you talking about government intrusion into the private sector's ability to capitalize effectively on the unwashed masses, immigrant reliance on the extremely stressed social safety nets, or a suboptimal economic structure in general...? What would you like to see instead?

I used 'Keynsian Economics' a bit too freely. I'm really referring to the mindset that finds Keynsian Economics attractive. Since Keynsian Economics is strictly political misdirection, it follows that a 'Keynsian Mindset' is either stupid or deceitful. This is just my humble opinion, but if I could direct you to www.mises.org - a search on the site for 'Keynes' or 'Keynesian' should yield a plethora of articles that more directly address why the concept is brilliantly idiotic. The broken window fallacy is also another thing to look at, as it can very easily be applied to anything Keynesian: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_window_fallacy.

A good metaphor or example is the cozy triangle and its many manifestations. Say... McDonalds begins to use a new preservative that is approved by the FDA. 20 years later, a causal link between this preservative and some terrible deformity in newborns is discovered. Who is financial responsible for the damages? The FDA creates this sort of obligatory social contract that reads, "We represent you, we approve of this preservative, so you also have approved of this." As a result, McDonalds can't be successfully sued. What if there was no FDA? What would happen? McDonalds would get sued and have to pay a lot of a money (sometimes people do win, but that's not the point). The cost of damages has to be factored into their business model- the fewer the regulations there are, the more organically courts can function, the more liable MD is for producing a wonderfully delicious product. We clamour for the government to protect us, but it already does! The entire judicial branch is meant to serve that purpose. To be fair, there are probably even more problems with the Judicial branch than with the bureaucracy- but this sort of general example of corruption is incredibly counter-productive. It's no surprise that the FDA does more to protect big Pharma and the Fast Food industry than it does to protect people-- just enough so that nobody knows to complain... at least that much.

So now we get to illegal immigration-- from a strictly economic point of view, what's wrong with it? If we had a totally free market system (it's simpler as far as ceteris paribus is concerned), immigrants represent labor that is willing to work for less and, as a result, more likely to spend money. This potentially results in unemployment for members of the local citizenry. However, it's common for immigration to occur in waves, allowing one generation of immigrants to be more educated than the next, allowing them to occupy more specialized roles. The citizens that actually do become unemployed only do so because they're unwilling to compromise their own wages (in a free market, they don't have to worry about this because there is no minimum wage, they elect to become unemployed)- they now have the opportunity to become more specialized or to engage in entrepreneurial activity or whatever. This is generally a good thing- you don't want to waste the potential of your citizenry on menial tasks. What happens when the government provides job security (by supporting Unions, for example)? Or minimum wage? Everyone is less flexible- the market no longer represents how much a society values certain activities. Compounded with other forms of exploitation, it can be very difficult for subsequent generations to appropriately carve out their own financial niches-- immigrants are an easy scapegoat. The problems, however, aren't caused by them.

This is significant because we've created problems where they don't normally exist. There shouldn't be anything wrong with cheap labor, but somehow there is- and it's the result of arbitrary legislative ideology that I like to regard as being very 'Keynesian.' For any complaint that a person may have of illegal immigration, there is some shitty legislation that creates the problem. A strain on social services? If there was a legal way to employ these people then they would pay taxes (but that would mean minimum wage-- problem, yes)! Of course, poorly utilized tax revenue will not solve the problem of incapable first generation citizens, but we have 10th generation citizenry that is inept... so it isn't genuinely the fault of the immigrants. It just exposes our own internal failures and symptoms more explicitly. It's easy to create a correlation, but it wouldn't be valid.

This point of view is VERY libertarian. "If marijuana wasn't illegal, then there'd be no marijuana associated crime- no black market, less arbitrary DEA activity, more taxes, etc." Same idea, apply it to illegal immigration. In many ways, the two ideas are related because our own legislation creates the black market for them. Eliminate minimum wage and and legalize marijuana-- suddenly we would have less problems. Are these solutions? No, but they're fun to think about. Socialization (not socialism) is the real blanket solution- properly indoctrinating (still not socialism...) the citizenry so that they are maximally productive (again, not socialism...) deters inefficient behavior. Control demand by controllng minds, not money.


This libertarian approach, to me, is more sensible given the current state of things, but it isn't necessarily what I would do. I prefer nationalized medicine, energy, and education- I'd just prefer that they are run in a way that works with the market, instead of using it. I'm really just anti-corruption. Any system is likely to work and work for me so long as it is not corrupt. If all are corrupt, then I will go with the one that has the least poverty.

I jumped around quite a bit-- the topic is of infinite interest to me, but I don't have much free time (at the moment) to spruce up my thoughts in coherent manner.

edit: Mises.org link had a hypen in there.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2012, 03:54:06 AM by requerent »

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Re: Foreigners
« Reply #51 on: March 30, 2012, 06:23:48 PM »
  That sort of thinking tends to ignore several things.

1. It is the tendency of wages to fall so low as to become exploitative. This is at major cost to humanity, and the economy should be molded to serve humans. Not the other way around.

2. While it is true that the government screws things up for the market, they are supposed to. The market is an unthinking and unfeeling tyranny that is entirely apathetic toward human suffering. Just as it should be. It is the job of government to smooth it's edges and protect the population from it's unthinking malice. ["The market is Cthulhu" --Me, 2006]

3. The notion that unions are an artificial construct standing in the way of progress has many problems, and is likely false. They are a result of the failure of government, and they are organic. They stand in the way of the market, but they do not stand in the way of human progress.

4. Equating prohibition on marijuana (or other drugs, porn and prostitution) is a metaphor that can only go so far. As I'm sure you are aware.

Finally: The essential issue is that humans are not treated well by the market. Humans, and their labor, are best not to be bought and sold like chattel on the alter of the free market. The market is not the best mitigator of human suffering. When our government gets into to bed with the captains of industry, when the democracy is bought off and subverted by the big financiers, that is where the major problems come.

  It is market pressure itself twisting the purpose of government that keeps a second class illegal immigrant population around to be exploited. It is not government meddling in the market that is the issue here, it is the market meddling in government.


requerent

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Re: Foreigners
« Reply #52 on: March 31, 2012, 04:00:12 AM »
  That sort of thinking tends to ignore several things.

1. It is the tendency of wages to fall so low as to become exploitative. This is at major cost to humanity, and the economy should be molded to serve humans. Not the other way around.

If government wer to exist as an agent whose express purpose is to curtail corruption, then there shouldn't be exploitation. Minimum wage does not stop corruption, it just stops poverty. I would argue that corruption causes poverty. Addressing poverty is a way to try and preserve corruption and make the 'slave'-class whine less or not know to whine. If socialization methods actually resulted in capable citizenry, then exploitation would be impossible and minimum wage would not be necessary. I'm obviously talking about an 'ideal' state. Suddenly eliminating minimum wage would cause lots of problems. However- with legitimate education reform and maybe some civil standards (liberty violation, but it is worth it), we could get rid of minimum wage in 5-10 years and be the better for it. In my humble opinion, the ideal government relies on its own citizenry to be self-governed. That's more or less how the US government was conceived, but now inividuals have greater financial independence (IE land-owners historically represented the voting majority- they were responsible for the local economies), making them more liable. With an increased quantity of 'governers' and a very limited formal standard, the local economy of the individual is too unpredictable, resulting in the apparent necessity for more intervention. Addressing the symptoms is stupid, but it's easier and produces more voters.


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2. While it is true that the government screws things up for the market, they are supposed to. The market is an unthinking and unfeeling tyranny that is entirely apathetic toward human suffering. Just as it should be. It is the job of government to smooth it's edges and protect the population from it's unthinking malice. ["The market is Cthulhu" --Me, 2006]

The market is an expression of the society. Healthy society has a healthy economy. Ours is on a wide range of medications (but not as bad as other places)... As far as American history is concerned- Government is the agreement of land-owners to adopt principles of financial activity. Government is a fantastic and wonderful thing, when it does what it is supposed to do. Ours isn't doing too poorly...

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3. The notion that unions are an artificial construct standing in the way of progress has many problems, and is likely false. They are a result of the failure of government, and they are organic. They stand in the way of the market, but they do not stand in the way of human progress.

I love unions. Government, however, should not back them- that's where my problems lie. They destroy commerce when they become lobbying entities. The Teacher's Union, for example, is the greatest and perhaps ONLY barrier to education reform.

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4. Equating prohibition on marijuana (or other drugs, porn and prostitution) is a metaphor that can only go so far. As I'm sure you are aware.

What's your point? I don't think I went so far as to 'equate' or create an umbrella precedence for analyzing failures of human cooperative activity....

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Finally: The essential issue is that humans are not treated well by the market. Humans, and their labor, are best not to be bought and sold like chattel on the alter of the free market. The market is not the best mitigator of human suffering. When our government gets into to bed with the captains of industry, when the democracy is bought off and subverted by the big financiers, that is where the major problems come.

Corruption is bad, poverty is worse, the market is just an expression of how humans have been nurtured into a society. Healthy humans => healthy market => less need for government.


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  It is market pressure itself twisting the purpose of government that keeps a second class illegal immigrant population around to be exploited. It is not government meddling in the market that is the issue here, it is the market meddling in government.

Market pressure twists the purpose of government? Vacuous. Corruption is an arrangement between two parties to cooperatively exploit others. Money doesn't spontaneously cause corruption-- people do it against others. It is, quite simply, a moral issue. A thing that courts are, as a branch of the government, supposed to take care of.

I wouldn't call illegal immigrants 'exploited.' They are in the case of businesses trucking them in for industrial purposes, but for petty labor (the majority) they are treated fairly well. Companies tend to hire them NOT because they are cheaper labor, but because they actually do work. My father, at one point, regularly employed 200 people-- his own personal observation was that black americans and naturalized mexicans (second generation and beyond) are the worst workers to have around-- they're entitled, lazy, and regularly steal equipment. This is as true as a generalization or stereotype can be (he did have several hard working black/naturalized mexican employees).

Psiweapon

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Re: Foreigners
« Reply #53 on: March 31, 2012, 04:30:25 AM »
 That sort of thinking tends to ignore several things.

1. It is the tendency of wages to fall so low as to become exploitative. This is at major cost to humanity, and the economy should be molded to serve humans. Not the other way around.

If government wer to exist as an agent whose express purpose is to curtail corruption, then there shouldn't be exploitation. Minimum wage does not stop corruption, it just stops poverty. I would argue that corruption causes poverty. Addressing poverty is a way to try and preserve corruption and make the 'slave'-class whine less or not know to whine. If socialization methods actually resulted in capable citizenry, then exploitation would be impossible and minimum wage would not be necessary. I'm obviously talking about an 'ideal' state. Suddenly eliminating minimum wage would cause lots of problems. However- with legitimate education reform and maybe some civil standards (liberty violation, but it is worth it), we could get rid of minimum wage in 5-10 years and be the better for it. In my humble opinion, the ideal government relies on its own citizenry to be self-governed. That's more or less how the US government was conceived, but now inividuals have greater financial independence (IE land-owners historically represented the voting majority- they were responsible for the local economies), making them more liable. With an increased quantity of 'governers' and a very limited formal standard, the local economy of the individual is too unpredictable, resulting in the apparent necessity for more intervention. Addressing the symptoms is stupid, but it's easier and produces more voters.

"Getting rid of the minimum wage" . One has to assume you're nowhere near minimum wage, and as such isn't your problem.

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2. While it is true that the government screws things up for the market, they are supposed to. The market is an unthinking and unfeeling tyranny that is entirely apathetic toward human suffering. Just as it should be. It is the job of government to smooth it's edges and protect the population from it's unthinking malice. ["The market is Cthulhu" --Me, 2006]

The market is an expression of the society. Healthy society has a healthy economy. Ours is on a wide range of medications (but not as bad as other places)... As far as American history is concerned- Government is the agreement of land-owners to adopt principles of financial activity. Government is a fantastic and wonderful thing, when it does what it is supposed to do. Ours isn't doing too poorly...

An expression of society whose defendants are pressing hard to make the only expression of society.

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Quote
3. The notion that unions are an artificial construct standing in the way of progress has many problems, and is likely false. They are a result of the failure of government, and they are organic. They stand in the way of the market, but they do not stand in the way of human progress.

I love unions. Government, however, should not back them- that's where my problems lie. They destroy commerce when they become lobbying entities. The Teacher's Union, for example, is the greatest and perhaps ONLY barrier to education reform.

There are way, way worse lobbysts that represent the powerful and privileged, which by this reasoning should be much more of a concern.

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4. Equating prohibition on marijuana (or other drugs, porn and prostitution) is a metaphor that can only go so far. As I'm sure you are aware.

What's your point? I don't think I went so far as to 'equate' or create an umbrella precedence for analyzing failures of human cooperative activity....

granted

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Finally: The essential issue is that humans are not treated well by the market. Humans, and their labor, are best not to be bought and sold like chattel on the alter of the free market. The market is not the best mitigator of human suffering. When our government gets into to bed with the captains of industry, when the democracy is bought off and subverted by the big financiers, that is where the major problems come.

Corruption is bad, poverty is worse, the market is just an expression of how humans have been nurtured into a society. Healthy humans => healthy market => less need for government.

Free, regulated market is a solution for several needs of society and human beings, but not (by far) for them all, and not necessarily the best for them all.

Quote
Quote
 It is market pressure itself twisting the purpose of government that keeps a second class illegal immigrant population around to be exploited. It is not government meddling in the market that is the issue here, it is the market meddling in government.

Market pressure twists the purpose of government? Vacuous. Corruption is an arrangement between two parties to cooperatively exploit others. Money doesn't spontaneously cause corruption-- people do it against others. It is, quite simply, a moral issue. A thing that courts are, as a branch of the government, supposed to take care of.

I wouldn't call illegal immigrants 'exploited.' They are in the case of businesses trucking them in for industrial purposes, but for petty labor (the majority) they are treated fairly well. Companies tend to hire them NOT because they are cheaper labor, but because they actually do work. My father, at one point, regularly employed 200 people-- his own personal observation was that black americans and naturalized mexicans (second generation and beyond) are the worst workers to have around-- they're entitled, lazy, and regularly steal equipment. This is as true as a generalization or stereotype can be (he did have several hard working black/naturalized mexican employees).

What about lazy, stealing locals? Weren't there any?

EDIT: Oh sorry, those *are* locals. What are you supposed to be? a "wasp" ?

Market will twist everything because of the following, simple reasoning

1 - Market players want to make money
2 - Market players want to make ever more money
3 - Making money is the top goal of a successful market player
>3b -Therefore, all other goals are secondary
5 - Changing the rules of the game can help you make money

3b throws ethics out of the window, 5 means that players instead of sticking to playing will try to cheat, 2 turns it into an ever degenerating downward spiral.

QUIT BEING SO DAMN GREEDY
« Last Edit: March 31, 2012, 04:38:09 AM by Psiweapon »
The invisible hand is a lie, the fiendish dogma of the market cultists. Lest the apostasy grows strong, their blood god will devour each and everyone, pious and infidel alike.

requerent

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Re: Foreigners
« Reply #54 on: March 31, 2012, 07:59:21 AM »
This is getting fun  ;D. Please please please don't take anything I have to say without lots of salt (or however the saying goes). I'm mainly engaging in this dialog for fun (though there is also potential for it to be enlightening).

 That sort of thinking tends to ignore several things.

1. It is the tendency of wages to fall so low as to become exploitative. This is at major cost to humanity, and the economy should be molded to serve humans. Not the other way around.

If government wer to exist as an agent whose express purpose is to curtail corruption, then there shouldn't be exploitation. Minimum wage does not stop corruption, it just stops poverty. I would argue that corruption causes poverty. Addressing poverty is a way to try and preserve corruption and make the 'slave'-class whine less or not know to whine. If socialization methods actually resulted in capable citizenry, then exploitation would be impossible and minimum wage would not be necessary. I'm obviously talking about an 'ideal' state. Suddenly eliminating minimum wage would cause lots of problems. However- with legitimate education reform and maybe some civil standards (liberty violation, but it is worth it), we could get rid of minimum wage in 5-10 years and be the better for it. In my humble opinion, the ideal government relies on its own citizenry to be self-governed. That's more or less how the US government was conceived, but now inividuals have greater financial independence (IE land-owners historically represented the voting majority- they were responsible for the local economies), making them more liable. With an increased quantity of 'governers' and a very limited formal standard, the local economy of the individual is too unpredictable, resulting in the apparent necessity for more intervention. Addressing the symptoms is stupid, but it's easier and produces more voters.

"Getting rid of the minimum wage" . One has to assume you're nowhere near minimum wage, and as such isn't your problem.

Pfft- I'm poor as dirt. My highest aspirations for financial success, at the moment, is getting a job as a teacher. But the sentiment is flattering ^__^. I've lived off of minimum wage a few times-- there's a lot of time to think about why minimum wage exists and what it actually means. As I'm a fairly industrious individual, my persistent requests for COLs (Cost of Living adjustments) almost never get denied. In three separate cases in three very distinct living arrangements (NYC, Dallas, Portland), I've gone from minimum wage to $12.50+ an hour in 3 months with overtime whenever I wanted it. It's funny when you hit the 44+ hour mark and your boss comes to you and says, "Well, I can send two people home or I can send you home- what do you want?" All of this is, of course, delusions of mediocrity, but my own little testimonials indicate to me that companies are more than willing to pay you what you're worth.

Anyways, minimum wage- It looks real good on paper, but the effect isn't so clear.

Say.... we're in retail. Shelf-time of a product is a cost factored into the upkeep of the property. Having employees service customers is a component of the per product upkeep. That is, the cost of keeping any item on a shelf increases with the cost of property and labor. Cost of property increases with the cost of maintenance. Then there's also the cost of the actual product and shipping it to the storefront.

Labor costs get factored in at multiple stages of a product life-cycle. We've got manufacturing, shipping, retail (which includes property maintenance, the production of construction materials, etc) etc etc etc. The cost of a product is a reflection of the cost of production, which includes the cost of labor (from the labor that builds the manufacturing plant to the labor that stocks the shelves).

Arbitrary flooring of wages has a compounding effect on the cost of production. This results in an increased cost of living for EVERYBODY! Including the minimum wage earners! Minimum wage is also a disincentive to hire...

The hope is that minimum wage keeps more people out of the dregs than it puts in the dregs, but there's no way to prove whether it does or not. Minimum wage looks very good on a political platform, but it's just a multitude of patches to avoid some basic central problems. It's a Keynesian-esque non-solution that gets votes.


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2. While it is true that the government screws things up for the market, they are supposed to. The market is an unthinking and unfeeling tyranny that is entirely apathetic toward human suffering. Just as it should be. It is the job of government to smooth it's edges and protect the population from it's unthinking malice. ["The market is Cthulhu" --Me, 2006]

The market is an expression of the society. Healthy society has a healthy economy. Ours is on a wide range of medications (but not as bad as other places)... As far as American history is concerned- Government is the agreement of land-owners to adopt principles of financial activity. Government is a fantastic and wonderful thing, when it does what it is supposed to do. Ours isn't doing too poorly...

An expression of society whose defendants are pressing hard to make the only expression of society.

Vacuous, but I'm not sure there's anything particularly wrong with that. In application maybe, but not in principle. An enlightened society, imo, is morally obligated to improve the quality of life of others by introducing ideology that does as such....... It's just a shame that an enlightened society would never engage in such behavior (implying that the inverse is true, of course). Regardless, I don't really know how to properly address your non-sequiter... I agree? I mean, pressing hard? I guess, I kind of like that.


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Finally: The essential issue is that humans are not treated well by the market. Humans, and their labor, are best not to be bought and sold like chattel on the alter of the free market. The market is not the best mitigator of human suffering. When our government gets into to bed with the captains of industry, when the democracy is bought off and subverted by the big financiers, that is where the major problems come.

Corruption is bad, poverty is worse, the market is just an expression of how humans have been nurtured into a society. Healthy humans => healthy market => less need for government.

Free, regulated market is a solution for several needs of society and human beings, but not (by far) for them all, and not necessarily the best for them all.

I'm not directly opposed to intervention or regulation.

Deregulation and privatization of certain markets typically results in a lot of sudden and unmanagable problems. Ever notice how we have some kind of economic crisis directly after a president deregulates an industry before leaving office? I include pharmaceutical ads on TV as one of these crisis. Energy in the 90s, housing/banking in 00's, and lots of other stuff throughout history.

I'd just rather judges be responsible. I think it'd be more resistant to corruption than appointed positions (regulatory commisions and cabinet positions). A judge can drive immoral commerce into the ground with threat of total liquidation of a company's assets-- but a case with such consequences cannot reach a court because regulations more often than not protect those companies from paying appropriate damages. McDonalds should be afraid of being completely obliterated every time they invent a new form of chicken...

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 It is market pressure itself twisting the purpose of government that keeps a second class illegal immigrant population around to be exploited. It is not government meddling in the market that is the issue here, it is the market meddling in government.

Market pressure twists the purpose of government? Vacuous. Corruption is an arrangement between two parties to cooperatively exploit others. Money doesn't spontaneously cause corruption-- people do it against others. It is, quite simply, a moral issue. A thing that courts are, as a branch of the government, supposed to take care of.

I wouldn't call illegal immigrants 'exploited.' They are in the case of businesses trucking them in for industrial purposes, but for petty labor (the majority) they are treated fairly well. Companies tend to hire them NOT because they are cheaper labor, but because they actually do work. My father, at one point, regularly employed 200 people-- his own personal observation was that black americans and naturalized mexicans (second generation and beyond) are the worst workers to have around-- they're entitled, lazy, and regularly steal equipment. This is as true as a generalization or stereotype can be (he did have several hard working black/naturalized mexican employees).

What about lazy, stealing locals? Weren't there any?

EDIT: Oh sorry, those *are* locals. What are you supposed to be? a "wasp" ?

In many southern communities, the "lazy stealing locals" that are available to hire at low-wages is mainly comprised of black or mexican citizens. White people don't really do much suburban chattle labor in the south. They don't do it because they elect not to, not because people won't hire them.

LOL- Wasp? Try Wop. I'm first generation Italian-American. There was additionally no inheritance for me after my father's death. I am as unpriveleged as they come (except for the fact that I'm Italian, there's always an advantage in that).

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Market will twist everything because of the following, simple reasoning

1 - Market players want to make money
2 - Market players want to make ever more money
3 - Making money is the top goal of a successful market player
>3b -Therefore, all other goals are secondary
5 - Changing the rules of the game can help you make money

3b throws ethics out of the window, 5 means that players instead of sticking to playing will try to cheat, 2 turns it into an ever degenerating downward spiral.

Unfortunately, what you have presented is not "reasoning."

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QUIT BEING SO DAMN GREEDY

I'm greedy? Something about you saying that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

AgingMinotaur

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Re: Foreigners
« Reply #55 on: March 31, 2012, 01:43:58 PM »
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QUIT BEING SO DAMN GREEDY
I'm greedy? Something about you saying that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
I think that comment was more directed at society in general, not at you personally. Of course, I could be wrong :)

I see a problem with your arguments in that you return quite often to a notion of "enlightened society", which is a pretty fuzzy concept. To me, it would mean something like Godwinian anarchism or what Marx deemed a communist society (which would also not need any government, so quite a way away from totalitarian socialist states we have seen in modern times). I'd wager your vision is different, but no less unobtainable.

Implementations of extremely "free" markets in the last few decades have yielded some pretty grim results. Premium chaps like Suharto and Pinochet (who took advise from Milton Friedman's cronies) spring to mind. Some people (including international big corps, of course) made shit loads of money, but the consequences were catastrophic for the national economies, not to mention all those people whose bodies had to be lodged in the torture chambers so as to grease the wheels of commerce. History shows that fascism and capitalism is a very effective combination, a truth formalized in the foreign policies of Reagan/Thatcher. We're slightly more civilized today, I guess. I remember Condoleezza Rice's refreshingly candid comment on the 2004 tusnami as a "great opportunity" to go in and reshape the economies of Southern Asia, so that more money could be made off of them. IMHO, a very serious problem with the world today is that international commerce is almost completely free, resulting in such atrocities as Apple's outsourcing to Foxconn, etc. That's just one example that's seen a lot of exposure, of course, but it pretty much goes to show what kind of working conditions tend to arise in "free" markets.

Also note that being poor/dispriviliged is relative. When I'm "as broke as I get" I may go a few days without food, decline social events that entail paying for entry/refreshments, get my phone shut down, etc. That's still a long way from, say, lying around in ditches and dying of elephantiasis. (Comment directed at the thread in general, not so much at you, requerent.)

So … I dunno. What is an "enlightened society"? I guess it's one without sweat shops. But I'm pretty sure that a completely deregularized society becomes a plutocracy, since the rich can always afford more guns than the poor.

Ack, ack. I should be working right now, actually, not jumping into this mess :)

As always,
Minotauros
This matir, as laborintus, Dedalus hous, hath many halkes and hurnes ... wyndynges and wrynkelynges.

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Re: Foreigners
« Reply #56 on: March 31, 2012, 07:49:08 PM »
  Man. I'm gone for a day and then see all of this. I'll not feed into it. Wall of text is baffling. I just find it interesting the fantasy scenarios that are created to justify the people being used by the economy instead of the other way around.

requerent

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Re: Foreigners
« Reply #57 on: March 31, 2012, 07:59:46 PM »
Quote
  Man. I'm gone for a day and then see all of this. I'll not feed into it. Wall of text is baffling. I just find it interesting the fantasy scenarios that are created to justify the people being used by the economy instead of the other way around.

It's an arbitrary distinction-- and justification? I don't think there is any justification going on.

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I see a problem with your arguments in that you return quite often to a notion of "enlightened society", which is a pretty fuzzy concept. To me, it would mean something like Godwinian anarchism or what Marx deemed a communist society (which would also not need any government, so quite a way away from totalitarian socialist states we have seen in modern times). I'd wager your vision is different, but no less unobtainable.

Capitalism is very much a pagan religion. Every god has his own way of doing things and is inconsistent in doing them- they're very dynamic and changing. One of the reasons why monotheistic religions become so very popular so very fast is that they propose ideals that are much more logical and consistent. G-D, for example, is very consistent in his striking down with wrath. If you violate one of his rules, you get punished (in life or after death)- that's that. Living in accordance with static laws is always preferable to living in accordance with dynamic rules. With the second coming- we have both a static and explicit behavioral code of law to get to heaven. As a Catholic, I'm certainly not very Christ-like, but that doesn't make it hypocritical of me to try and determine what that truly means (or perturb it into something that feels less strenuous to pursue  ::)).

I tossed around the word "ideal" and "enlightened" in a relatively incoherent way. Let me explain--

There are three points of reference when looking at an ideal state--
1. The relative ideal-- Given a system, what would be the most ideal state of that system?
2. The absolute ideal-- What is the best state of the best possible system?
3. The pragmatic ideal-- Given a system, which series of states are most likely to lead to a relative or absolute ideal?

In practice, the only one that matters is obviously the pragmatic ideal, but we have to know and dicuss what the relative goal and absolute goals are to make progress. This is more or less a distinction between immediate social objectives and long-term ones. The simple fact of the matter is that people tend to have agreements on principles, but not their execution. For example, everybody wants education to be better, but we don't know what the ideal next step is. The ideals only become more tangible as steps are made toward them, so it isn't necessary to try and create a concrete description of what an ideal state would be, but rather determine what the qualities of an ideal state are and make decisions with those qualities in mind. If a society believes that its education sucks and wants to change it, but there is some obstacle in the way- it makes sense to remove the obstacle. We don't do that, therefore we're not following a pragmatic ideal.

When I talk about eliminating minimum wage, I'm talking about a relative ideal. Minimum Wage is a ratcheting patch whose effect is difficult to gauge but most certainly results in arbitrary inflation- there's more intelligent literature against than there is for it. However, society has gotten used to how it works, removing it would cause problems. A relative ideal worth pursuing, then, would be one where minimum wage is not necessary. The pragmatic ideal is the path toward that relative ideal. Selling a series of steps to end minimum wage is NOT a popular idea and not likely to get voted on-- this is one of the many reasons why Plato says that Democracy is the worst form of government-- we need people with a strong sense of "Justice" to be making decisions.

An enlightened government or society is really one that cares about the pragmatic ideal. If we recognize that education reform is important, we shouldn't let anything get in the way of that-- but we do, and that isn't good. Each administration does something: "No Child Left Behind," but, like Minimum Wage, these are handwavian activities designed to get votes. After time, they're either discarded as frivolous or they become a social crutch. Most of the New Deal legislation, for example, was a complete and utter failure, but it was an incredibly effective way to attract voters. They're all now acknowledged gold sinks that make our entire government much less flexible, but getting rid of them would cause even more problems.

Quote
mplementations of extremely "free" markets in the last few decades have yielded some pretty grim results. Premium chaps like Suharto and Pinochet (who took advise from Milton Friedman's cronies) spring to mind. Some people (including international big corps, of course) made shit loads of money, but the consequences were catastrophic for the national economies, not to mention all those people whose bodies had to be lodged in the torture chambers so as to grease the wheels of commerce. History shows that fascism and capitalism is a very effective combination, a truth formalized in the foreign policies of Reagan/Thatcher. We're slightly more civilized today, I guess. I remember Condoleezza Rice's refreshingly candid comment on the 2004 tusnami as a "great opportunity" to go in and reshape the economies of Southern Asia, so that more money could be made off of them. IMHO, a very serious problem with the world today is that international commerce is almost completely free, resulting in such atrocities as Apple's outsourcing to Foxconn, etc. That's just one example that's seen a lot of exposure, of course, but it pretty much goes to show what kind of working conditions tend to arise in "free" markets.

Agreed- however, I think these failures revolve more around the lack of the judicial branch. Companies that exploit people should get torn to shreds- but even "Free" Markets have way too many protections on shady commercial activities. If those protections are lifted and the true purpose of the courts were to be realized, then the fear of getting cut to shreds greatly improves the behavior of these companies. If, for every case of bad beef an entire company was more or less destroyed, there'd be some people who finally do it right (that would be especially possible if we didn't subsidize anything). It's very much a throwback to the British system- their constitution and many of their laws come from a body of court cases-- precedences. It is true that all levels of government are subject to corruption, but judges are typically elected (as opposed to regulatory positions)- a judge that doesn't punish "commerce without conscience" isn't going to keep his office (unless there is some pretty extreme oppression going on).


Quote
Also note that being poor/dispriviliged is relative. When I'm "as broke as I get" I may go a few dayss without food, decline social events that entail paying for entry/refreshments, get my phone shut down, etc. That's still a long way from, say, lying around in ditches and dying of elephantiasis. (Comment directed at the thread in general, not so much at you, requerent.)

This is an interesting video to watch - http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_zak_trust_morality_and_oxytocin.html. What can be deduced from it is that poverty is an epigenetically inherited behavior. Unless there is some great impulse or jolt, generation after generation will continue to suffer from a lack of morality (interest in the well-being of others). It's not far-fetched to say that Africa is the way it is because of mechanisms like these. There are similarly a number of stories about ex-greenpeacers who go back to Africa to see how the Well they fondly remember building is doing, only to find that it had become a lavatory and everyone has dysentery.

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Re: Foreigners
« Reply #58 on: March 31, 2012, 10:57:36 PM »
  When I first became an attorney I used to engage in arguments, trying to get people to think for themselves. I thought of it as furthering the education of the populace. Which is good for society. Then I realized that very few people are actually interested in the truth. Few are interested in the process of critical analysis of any topic. They are more interested in a point of view. Humans very much seem to want to be seen as 'right' more than actually being right. So arguments become debates. Petty, unproductive and self serving for both parties.

  So I quit engaging except in very rare circumstances when I have skin in the game. It must be a substantial reason, something more than general intellectual discourse. I can sometimes be goaded into it over drinks, in person. These instances are rare though, and they never take place over internet forum. This format is not conducive to the courteous back and forth required for discourse.

  Rather what we get in forums is merely an effort to be, or be considered as being, right. Or correct. There is no process involved. Just noise. Now the above group of passages where written by people of obvious intellect. People who can follow the critical process of questioning and coming to something that approximates truth or wisdom. But in this format it just seems like noise. That sucks.

  As an aside: The religious analogy above is full of errors. So many the analogy falls apart. Not that I care, but if you were trying to be persuasive there'd be a huge hole there. I giggled a bit when you said that monotheism became popular very quickly, I thought you were joking. I'm sure that's not the response you were going for. When speaking with intellectuals it is best to stay away from analogy and metaphor when possible. We are all very wary of it. It is overused by demagogues trying to distract and obfuscate instead of illuminate.

EDIT: Linking a TED talk is always awesome!

EDIT2: Here are some raps about economics that I really like, you here may be nerd enough to appreciated. They are epic rap battles between Keynes and Hayek (the economists)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0nERTFo-Sk&feature=relmfu
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTQnarzmTOc


requerent

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Re: Foreigners
« Reply #59 on: April 01, 2012, 12:16:35 AM »
Quote
When I first became an attorney I used to engage in arguments, trying to get people to think for themselves. I thought of it as furthering the education of the populace. Which is good for society. Then I realized that very few people are actually interested in the truth. Few are interested in the process of critical analysis of any topic. They are more interested in a point of view. Humans very much seem to want to be seen as 'right' more than actually being right. So arguments become debates. Petty, unproductive and self serving for both parties.

That's a petty and unproductive generalization.

Quote
So I quit engaging except in very rare circumstances when I have skin in the game. It must be a substantial reason, something more than general intellectual discourse. I can sometimes be goaded into it over drinks, in person. These instances are rare though, and they never take place over internet forum. This format is not conducive to the courteous back and forth required for discourse.

Why is it not conducive? I think your distaste for it probably lies in the fact that Forums are an uncomfortable combination of dialog and written text. In an essay (or a court), for example, it's important not to leave any backward pawns in the presentation of your ideas. In dialog, backward pawns make up 99% of what you say. Whether or not it is pertinent to back that pawn up depends upon whether its important to the conversation (as your partner or rival can temporarily concede any contention to let the conversation continue). In an argument or debate (where 'winning' actually matters), it is advantageous to nitpick every possible misstep to gain some kind of advantage-- in a forum, every potential misstep is highly exposed. It's up to the parties involved what they take away from it and whether or not they are courteous.

Ideas are the only thing that is important- it doesn't matter what they come from or how they come to be. Rustling up the dust is a fun and stimulating way to expose yourself to a variety of new ideas. Every perspective from every individual is unique and thus there is something in them that you are ignorant of. Devaluing that because "Humans very much seem to want to be seen as 'right'" is a lost chance. If your true intention is to get people to think, you shouldn't care whether they yield or not!

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Rather what we get in forums is merely an effort to be, or be considered as being, right. Or correct. There is no process involved. Just noise. Now the above group of passages where written by people of obvious intellect. People who can follow the critical process of questioning and coming to something that approximates truth or wisdom. But in this format it just seems like noise. That sucks.

Forums are the most relaxed environments to have discussions! I'm always happy to 'lose,' so long as the battle was thrilling. Don't be so picky, I personally find forums to be a place where ideas can very quickly spin out of control in a direction that may or may not be fruitful. Whether it is or not never reflects on how much fun it can be.


Quote
As an aside: The religious analogy above is full of errors. So many the analogy falls apart. Not that I care, but if you were trying to be persuasive there'd be a huge hole there. I giggled a bit when you said that monotheism became popular very quickly, I thought you were joking. I'm sure that's not the response you were going for.

I don't see anything wrong with my analogy. Monotheism is expressly more logical-- the distinction between dynamic bodies and static ones is as old as Socrates. The role of this distinction in the course of motivating and inspiring humans is, as far as history is concerned, very profound. I'm not making a point with this conjecture, I am establishing a framework with which to consider the text that followed. As such, the value of the analogy doesn't depend upon its truthfulness.

That said- the way I've presented the idea is absolutely awful. Just terrible- but that doesn't mean it isn't... a little useful...

If we start with the Evangelists, the point in which monotheism becomes most interesting, we see a lot of conversions or acknowledgements take place-- particularly amongst intellectuals and the poor. The fact that it would explode into the cultural standard of interaction for the western world is, I would say, a credit to its fast-spreading popularity. This doesn't mean that everybody loved it all hunky-dory, but that its persistence was very powerful and successful. Such a powerful ideology would be a great thing to base a military or society on... oh look, that's what happens. Twice: in Europe and the Middle East.

Is this all because of the static property of the major monotheistic religions? Yea, actually, it probably is. It's what gives them so much fanatical appeal and power.

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When speaking with intellectuals it is best to stay away from analogy and metaphor when possible.

Woah- I use sophistry for fun, not to generate arbitrary standards of BS~ing. I don't consider myself an intellectual nor do I care whether I'm talking to an intellectual or not.

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We are all very wary of it. It is overused by demagogues trying to distract and obfuscate instead of illuminate.

I don't care about the intentions of parties, I just like conversations to be interesting. If I personally think something is interesting, I'll include it vacuously as a potential tangent for further discourse (backward pawns...). It is NOT about right and wrong, it is just about bringing in new elements to think about (if the partner chooses to expand upon it...). The style of prose I'm using and have used is for the express purpose of inviting discussion. It has nothing to do with claims to truthfulness.