Wealth inequality in the USA.

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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby blackduckdog2 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:17 pm

assateague wrote:As are you, with visions of Utopia springing from government regulation. Something which has never, ever, never happened. Hell, it hasn't even come close.

Please show me where I have said anything like this..........it's really frustrating tying to argue with you guys when all you ever do is project a position on the opponent and then demagogue like mad
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby assateague » Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:39 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong, but you believe that in the absence of government regulation, we would have hell on earth, and that the only way we can approach heaven on earth (or Valhalla, whatever floats your boat) is through government regulation.

I dispute that. If I'm wrong, I apologize.
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby SpinnerMan » Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:41 pm

blackduckdog2 wrote: I want as much government as we need to protect us from the sorts of gaming Wall Street typically marshalls against the average American.
The government takes around $20,000 from every man, woman, and child living legally and illegally in the U.S. and you are arguing for them to be bigger because you are worried about the gaming of Wall Street. :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3:

Nose, you got to go, because I'm pissed at my face.

If you made a good living over your lifetime, the government has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from you and thrown it away in the form of social security and medicare. Bernie Madoff investors didn't lose ALL of it, so they should focus on what they got back and not what they should have gotten back, right?

The government waste dwarfs the Wall Street corruption, but the politicians need a good boogeyman and the most effective lie is a true statement. It can't be refuted will it totally misleads you.

blackduckdog2 wrote:Oh, I know, they'll all play nice and there'll be nothing like collusion if we just drown the government in a bathtub.
Well there would be know collusion with crooked politicians in that case. However, I have never said that, so nice try at the irrelevant statement.

How big is too big and how small is too small? Have you never seriously contemplated this? Are you embarrassed by what you believe? Do you simply have no desire for a debate on the subject?

I thinks $10,000 from every man, woman, and child living legally and illegally in the U.S. is probably still widely more than the government can manage efficiently. If half of that goes to Washington, that is about $2,900,000,000 per Congressman. Do you think each Congressman can oversee a bureaucracy that has a revenue of almost $3 billion annually? It is absurd to think they can do this. So that means that how our money is being spent will have inadequate oversight by our representatives. They cannot do it. Which is why I would like to see the Senate double in size and return to representing the interests of the state and the House to increase by at least a factor of 5. And even then there is probably inadequate numbers of representatives in Congress for the size and scope of the government.

First step is we create a national retirement system that is completely and totally out of the hands of the politicians and bureaucrats. A necessary condition for success is one in which people voluntarily put in more than legally required. Those under a certain age (maybe 30 are put in this and they cease paying into social security and medicare). Those over a certain age get 100% of what was promised (maybe 60) and keep paying 100% of the SS & medicare taxes). And then we have a prorated system in between. The shortfall comes out of regular income tax. Or something along those lines so that within a couple decades we have a fully solvent system that rewards savings and investment and you can give what is left when you pass away to your gay lovers, disabled child, cat, or whomever you want without the politicians interference. That alone would almost cut the federal budget in half.

Second is that I would like to see a constitutional amendment that gives every American 1/4th of the 4 person household poverty rate in 12 monthly payments, treat it as taxable income (obviously, this would be below the standard deduction and not taxed if the only source of income) and bans ALL welfare at the federal, state, and local level. This would literally end stastical poverty in America. The Obama's get 4x this value since there are four of them and it doesn't matter that they make multiple millions. They do however have to give back a fraction of it in taxes. While this would have no impact on the spending, and may raise it some, it would remove all the disincentives to earning more money created by means tested welfare benefits. And it would eliminate all the government power associated with dependency on welfare. It would free up a tremendous amount of time for the politicians to do what they should be doing because it would simultaneously end statistical poverty, it would also ban so much of the foolish and destructive things they do.

These two combined would greatly reduce the power of government while achieving the goals that politicians claim they seek. They are lying for the most part, which is why they would never give up the power and never endorse something that would work.
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby beretta24 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:44 pm

SpinnerMan wrote:
blackduckdog2 wrote:So I guess we can all agree that we never needed that silly old Glass–Steagall thingy anyhow. Glad we got that cleared up

I'm guessing you know as much about the details of that law as I do and have read it as many times.

A good law with incompetent enforcement can be worse than no law at all. A bad law is always bad.

Have you ever said whether we currently have a big government or not?

How big is too big for you?

Are you saying Glass-Steagall was not good?

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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby SpinnerMan » Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:50 pm

beretta24 wrote:
SpinnerMan wrote:
blackduckdog2 wrote:So I guess we can all agree that we never needed that silly old Glass–Steagall thingy anyhow. Glad we got that cleared up

I'm guessing you know as much about the details of that law as I do and have read it as many times.

A good law with incompetent enforcement can be worse than no law at all. A bad law is always bad.

Have you ever said whether we currently have a big government or not?

How big is too big for you?

Are you saying Glass-Steagall was not good?

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I am saying that I don't know the details of that set of laws nor the real impact of the laws that modified or repealed them and have nothing more than 2nd or 3rd hand claims like BDD2 does. I'm not convinced it would have made much of a difference because there were huge problems that clearly would not have been impacted.

Who were the people that say if left in place, they would have saved the day? How many is it just CYA?

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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby Glimmerjim » Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:39 pm

assateague wrote:
Glimmerjim wrote:
ScaupHunter wrote:I am a hobby blacksmith. Many of my customers rant on about how my tomahawks and knives are art work. Being a member of the American Bladesmith Society and presently an apprentice, I can say that nothing I make is art. To be considered adequate and proficient as a technician I have to pass my Journeymans Tests. To be an artist I will have to pass my Master Smith tests. The men and women who hold that rank are true artists. Each creates their own style and methods.



That is the exact point I am trying to understand, Scaup. In the advancement of your skills as a blacksmith, at what exact point do you transition from a skilled craftsman to an artist? I am afraid I disagree with the concept of once having passed a test you are immediately graduated to "artist" caliber. We have to define "art" and "artist" to be able to determine the difference between a high caliber of skills and a creative, artistic vision. What is the basic difference between Andy Warhol or Van Gogh and Thomas Kincaid? Between Truman Capote or John Steinbeck and James Michener? Between Keith Richards and the rhythm guitar player for say Herman's Hermits? (that was for you AT :lol3: ) It certainly does not boil down to a manual skill with the mediums they choose to express themselves



I don't think you can, really. At least not the way I see it. To me, the definition of an artist is someone who takes the ordinary and makes it beautiful. Doesn't have to be anything grandiose. Heck, it could be a ditch digger who digs ditches like no other ever has. But my definition prohibits any sort of objective definition, because, as they say, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". I despise modern art. Basically all of it. But there are people who love it, and see beauty in it that I see in a Monet. To each their own, and I'll never say that my definition of art should apply to anybody but me. Matter of fact, I have a hammer that I consider a work of art. It is so well made and well designed that it's almost like swinging nothing, yet results in a very solid, satisfying "feel" when striking a nail. The guy who designed it is an artist, as far as I'm concerned, but it doesn't really look tremendously different than any other hammer. Just small, almost intangible details in the lines of the hammer head or something, I don't know.

That's EXACTLY it, AT. The things that make up such vague concepts as artistry, value, beauty, are extremely difficult to define, yet we seem to intrinsically know them when we see them. We may, as individuals, see them in different forms and fashions, but that is a positive in my opinion. I am not sure if we have discussed it previously, but have you read Robert Pirsig's "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"? He discusses, in a very well-written and clever fashion, these very issues. If you haven't read it and and decide to at some point, let me give you a heads up. The novel evolves from a basic and simple premise to a very heady philosophical construct before you are even aware of it. You'll be reading away, thinking "This is a very interesting novel with some great ideas", and all of a sudden you'll go "What? Wait a minute. How'd we get here? A moment ago I had a clear grasp of some interesting concepts and out of nowhere I'm floundering in this morass of heady philosophical abstracts." At least I found it that way.
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby Indaswamp » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:52 pm

blackduckdog2 wrote:
SpinnerMan wrote:
blackduckdog2 wrote:
assateague wrote:Then surely you can answer the simple question:


What is an artist? I'm kind of curious to hear this one myself.
I could expound on the matter, sure. And Spinner could try and nail down exactly what is a scientist too, but the fact is we'd both of necessity get quickly into the area where say, this artist is MORE of an artist than that artist, and this scientist is really LESS scientific than that one, and while the whole point would be interesting and stimulating subject matter for an open minded conversation, I've been around too long on the DHC CIF to think that's what I got going here. What I'm saying is that while such a discussion might be something to argue over, to the undoubted entertainment and enlightenment of all participants and observers, it's nothing to score points with, and Spinner's kind of in full-on scorekeeping mode here. Besides that, the right-out-of-hand notion that actors are not creatives tells me the "debate" is a long ways from being joined in any meaningful way. Ambition should be made of sterner stuff (which is not what the bard had in mind when he wrote it, but I'm being creative here)

Yet, you are the one that started it and you do see the flaw that like any other discussion of statistic, whether it is wealth inequality or who is more likely to be an artist, it's all in crystal clear definitions. Vague terms are notoriously vague and allow people to project their biases. And please remember your point when you cite a scientist. There are a lot of charlatans out there want to claim to be scientists while they do not want to live by the ethics and methods needed to be an honest and true scientist. My guess is I would have a much more strict definition of a scientist than you as well. Broad meaningless definitions are worthless and just calling your self an artist or a scientist or an artist/scientist does not make it so. Trying to be one only means that you are trying. You must contribute something significant which again is still subjective.

So big government, how big makes it big? I think when government control collectively exceeds 20% of GDP, there it is big government. Government controls 1 dollar for ever 4 dollars before we add indirect control via regulation. Currently the government directly control 1 dollar for ever 1.5 it does not. That is an insane level government when you add all the indirect control over that part of life that they don't have 100% direct control.

blackduckdog2 wrote:we have a system that rewards participants not for building and contributing to a better society, in terms of infrastructure and culture, but for the accumulation of wealth
How so? You are free to be a starving artist or pursue gobs of money. I walked away from making a lot more money. People do it all the time. What rewards do you refer? Do you pay people to participate or to provide the best value for your money as you define that value?

Inda's argument is the flaw of big government. Just like there is huge economy of scale for big business when you have a big regulatory heavy government. For government, their is a very large diseconomy of scale as there is for most highly bureaucratic things because the left hand has no clue where the right hand is, let alone what it is doing and it is hopeless to get them working together. This leaves the critical functions of government in disarray because there is no time for the politicians to focus upon them and oversight of the bureaucrats charged with regulating them and no way for the people to oversee what their elected representatives are doing. We are far beyond the point of bigger is better. The margin cost of more government is very negative at our current size. This was made crystal clear with Obamacare where the politicians openly admitted it was ridiculous for them to be expected to even read bill before enacted into law making a constructive debate obviously impossible. So who is writing our law and why and how can this do anything but lead to disaster if the politicians don't read it and give it serious consideration before it is imposed on the people as the law that must be complied with?

But it is a necessary requirement, if you wish to be responsible for yourself, to accumulate wealth over your lifetime. Otherwise, you must live off of someone else's or work until the day you die.

Like government, wealth accumulation should be as much as you need, but no more. Unlike government, you should error on the side of too much because of the uncertainty of exactly how much is enough. I have a goal that would put me at about 4x of the absolute minimum that I could get by with at age 65. I don't plan to work near that long, but the cushion is there.

Nothing drives me more insane than this myopic insistence that any of the natural progressions of capitalism are strictly the result of government interference. It's just such a convenient canard and prevents people like you from understanding that the human element of greed, given a fertile arena in which to go wild, will absolutely do so. Every time. What on earth makes you believe that financialization of the market requires government participation? I honestly can't tell whether you're being obtuse or naive here. Government certainly can and will (just as predictably) become part of the problem, but to state so unequivocally that government causes the problem is nothing more than putting your head in the sand. What happens is that government gets corrupted by the power players in the financial sector, because if they did not, then appropriate controls would prevent such a perversion of the market. If government were not there at all, they would blissfully skip that step and move on to corrupting the market anyhow. I don't know what could be more obvious than this. The Mafia does not NEED the local police force to wreak havoc in the local community, they buy and corrupt it because it was put there to prevent the Mafia from doing just that. If there were no police force, then they wouldn't have to bother, and I don't think they'd be throwing up their hands and moving down the road looking for some municipality that had one, just so that they could corrupt it. I could take the right far more seriously if they could just see their way clear to this one obvious fact.........

Alright, the art thing. I'm guessing you've never heard of Ellen Dissanayake, but she's footnoted in this article by the Stanford Press http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/art-definition/ , and I once spent almost an entire afternoon and most of the evening arguing with her colleagues and a couple of students about what art is, and who is rightfully called an artist. It was wonderful and invigorating, and would have been as lost on you as a similar discussion of the quantum chemistry involved in nuclear fission would be on me.
Jim's definition is pretty workable in a lot of ways, I think, (except I don't think "newness" of the style is necessarily part and parcel of an artistic effort, it's just a byproduct of people becoming inured to what they've seen too many times to be able to react to with an honest feeling. And I don't think the reaction needs to be totally visceral, because all feelings are not "gut" feelings, necessarily. But I'd certainly agree that an artist trades in emotion. Like Hitler, yes. Like Limbaugh, too....he's definitely an artist. Quite a talented one

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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby Indaswamp » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:02 pm

assateague wrote:
blackduckdog2 wrote:
SpinnerMan wrote:
blackduckdog2 wrote:
assateague wrote:Then surely you can answer the simple question:


What is an artist? I'm kind of curious to hear this one myself.
I could expound on the matter, sure. And Spinner could try and nail down exactly what is a scientist too, but the fact is we'd both of necessity get quickly into the area where say, this artist is MORE of an artist than that artist, and this scientist is really LESS scientific than that one, and while the whole point would be interesting and stimulating subject matter for an open minded conversation, I've been around too long on the DHC CIF to think that's what I got going here. What I'm saying is that while such a discussion might be something to argue over, to the undoubted entertainment and enlightenment of all participants and observers, it's nothing to score points with, and Spinner's kind of in full-on scorekeeping mode here. Besides that, the right-out-of-hand notion that actors are not creatives tells me the "debate" is a long ways from being joined in any meaningful way. Ambition should be made of sterner stuff (which is not what the bard had in mind when he wrote it, but I'm being creative here)

Yet, you are the one that started it and you do see the flaw that like any other discussion of statistic, whether it is wealth inequality or who is more likely to be an artist, it's all in crystal clear definitions. Vague terms are notoriously vague and allow people to project their biases. And please remember your point when you cite a scientist. There are a lot of charlatans out there want to claim to be scientists while they do not want to live by the ethics and methods needed to be an honest and true scientist. My guess is I would have a much more strict definition of a scientist than you as well. Broad meaningless definitions are worthless and just calling your self an artist or a scientist or an artist/scientist does not make it so. Trying to be one only means that you are trying. You must contribute something significant which again is still subjective.

So big government, how big makes it big? I think when government control collectively exceeds 20% of GDP, there it is big government. Government controls 1 dollar for ever 4 dollars before we add indirect control via regulation. Currently the government directly control 1 dollar for ever 1.5 it does not. That is an insane level government when you add all the indirect control over that part of life that they don't have 100% direct control.

blackduckdog2 wrote:we have a system that rewards participants not for building and contributing to a better society, in terms of infrastructure and culture, but for the accumulation of wealth
How so? You are free to be a starving artist or pursue gobs of money. I walked away from making a lot more money. People do it all the time. What rewards do you refer? Do you pay people to participate or to provide the best value for your money as you define that value?

Inda's argument is the flaw of big government. Just like there is huge economy of scale for big business when you have a big regulatory heavy government. For government, their is a very large diseconomy of scale as there is for most highly bureaucratic things because the left hand has no clue where the right hand is, let alone what it is doing and it is hopeless to get them working together. This leaves the critical functions of government in disarray because there is no time for the politicians to focus upon them and oversight of the bureaucrats charged with regulating them and no way for the people to oversee what their elected representatives are doing. We are far beyond the point of bigger is better. The margin cost of more government is very negative at our current size. This was made crystal clear with Obamacare where the politicians openly admitted it was ridiculous for them to be expected to even read bill before enacted into law making a constructive debate obviously impossible. So who is writing our law and why and how can this do anything but lead to disaster if the politicians don't read it and give it serious consideration before it is imposed on the people as the law that must be complied with?

But it is a necessary requirement, if you wish to be responsible for yourself, to accumulate wealth over your lifetime. Otherwise, you must live off of someone else's or work until the day you die.

Like government, wealth accumulation should be as much as you need, but no more. Unlike government, you should error on the side of too much because of the uncertainty of exactly how much is enough. I have a goal that would put me at about 4x of the absolute minimum that I could get by with at age 65. I don't plan to work near that long, but the cushion is there.

Nothing drives me more insane than this myopic insistence that any of the natural progressions of capitalism are strictly the result of government interference. It's just such a convenient canard and prevents people like you from understanding that the human element of greed, given a fertile arena in which to go wild, will absolutely do so. Every time. What on earth makes you believe that financialization of the market requires government participation? I honestly can't tell whether you're being obtuse or naive here. Government certainly can and will (just as predictably) become part of the problem, but to state so unequivocally that government causes the problem is nothing more than putting your head in the sand. What happens is that government gets corrupted by the power players in the financial sector, because if they did not, then appropriate controls would prevent such a perversion of the market. If government were not there at all, they would blissfully skip that step and move on to corrupting the market anyhow. I don't know what could be more obvious than this. The Mafia does not NEED the local police force to wreak havoc in the local community, they buy and corrupt it because it was put there to prevent the Mafia from doing just that. If there were no police force, then they wouldn't have to bother, and I don't think they'd be throwing up their hands and moving down the road looking for some municipality that had one, just so that they could corrupt it. I could take the right far more seriously if they could just see their way clear to this one obvious fact.........

Alright, the art thing. I'm guessing you've never heard of Ellen Dissanayake, but she's footnoted in this article by the Stanford Press http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/art-definition/ , and I once spent almost an entire afternoon and most of the evening arguing with her colleagues and a couple of students about what art is, and who is rightfully called an artist. It was wonderful and invigorating, and would have been as lost on you as a similar discussion of the quantum chemistry involved in nuclear fission would be on me.
Jim's definition is pretty workable in a lot of ways, I think, (except I don't think "newness" of the style is necessarily part and parcel of an artistic effort, it's just a byproduct of people becoming inured to what they've seen too many times to be able to react to with an honest feeling. And I don't think the reaction needs to be totally visceral, because all feelings are not "gut" feelings, necessarily. But I'd certainly agree that an artist trades in emotion. Like Hitler, yes. Like Limbaugh, too....he's definitely an artist. Quite a talented one




You seem to ignore the fact that, in a truly capitalistic system, the very thing which will check greed will be other greed. The greed of a consumer to hold on to a little more of their money. The greed of a start up to get a piece of the pie, by offering better or cheaper service. The greed of the wealthy to have more will ultimately lead to its own "correction" when people get tired of it.

Only in an artificially regulated system does greed have the ability to grow unchecked. The very regulations which you seem to revere are what allows the greed to grow to the level you despise.

1000 points to Assateague!
The FED was created to minimize booms and the busts they created, which caused numerous bank failures. Banks were competing against each other for customers, and deposits....no one bank could grow and gain a huge market share for fear of going bankrupt. The 12 largest banks got together and colluded to create a cartel called the Federal Reserve. They OWN IT! If you didn't know this, you have some reading to do. Now, with the backstop of the FED, and no worry about competition from their competitors, the big banks could manipulate and corrupt at will. Look where we are now, not ONE SINGLE PROSECUTION FROM THE NUMEROUS FRAUDS SINCE 2007. That is not a coincidence my friends.....
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby Glimmerjim » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:41 pm

blackduckdog2 wrote: Alright, the art thing. I'm guessing you've never heard of Ellen Dissanayake, but she's footnoted in this article by the Stanford Press http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/art-definition/ , and I once spent almost an entire afternoon and most of the evening arguing with her colleagues and a couple of students about what art is, and who is rightfully called an artist. It was wonderful and invigorating, and would have been as lost on you as a similar discussion of the quantum chemistry involved in nuclear fission would be on me.
Jim's definition is pretty workable in a lot of ways, I think, (except I don't think "newness" of the style is necessarily part and parcel of an artistic effort, it's just a byproduct of people becoming inured to what they've seen too many times to be able to react to with an honest feeling. And I don't think the reaction needs to be totally visceral, because all feelings are not "gut" feelings, necessarily. But I'd certainly agree that an artist trades in emotion. Like Hitler, yes. Like Limbaugh, too....he's definitely an artist. Quite a talented one

Hey BDD2! How ya doing? I have not had a chance to explore the article you referred to, but I am looking forward to it. I don't think there is anything in life that fascinates me more than attempting to understand abstract, multi-layered, commonly used but rarely if ever defined, philosophical constructs.
In my definition, I was trying to be as succinct, yet as inclusively accurate and expansive as I could at the moment. When I referred to the "newness" of a method establishing it as "art", I simply meant that the creative process is where the artistry resides. You can find those who can duplicate a Rembrandt so as to be indistinguishable from the original. You can get a guy to paint soup cans on a canvas and find nothing but inanity. You can close your eyes and listen to a mediocre guitar player play Keith Richards and not be able to distinguish the artist from the impostor. It is the person that creates the imagery from nothing but his/her vision of the world in which we live and a personality that sees something "new" in it.
I am not trying to avoid the responsibility for, or defend, a less than ideally formed position, I am just wondering if you had that in consideration when you said the "newness" may not be a deciding factor. I am really just curious to learn more about the concept, and where I am on the right track and where I wander.
I wonder also about the concept of all feelings not being of the "gut". If we simply define feelings as emotions, which I think we have no choice in doing due simply to a process of elimination, we have no other choice. Feelings certainly can't be intellectual, because intellectual pursuits in my opinion are simply the quest for data. Now the accumulation of this data can lead to a personally considered successful completion of this quest, which can in turn lead to an emotional reaction to the personally satisfying conclusion of a question. I simply feel that when that happens the intellect has lead to emotion, not become emotion or feelings, and they are still quite separable. My verbosity is simply trying to clarify my opinion that all feelings are of the "gut", though the "gut" can have as many ethereal and personal denotations/connotations as "good".
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby slowshooter » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:30 am

blackduckdog2 wrote:Please show me where I have said anything like this..........it's really frustrating tying to argue with you guys when all you ever do is project a position on the opponent and then demagogue like mad


If they argued they would lose. :lol3:
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby Glimmerjim » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:36 am

slowshooter wrote:
blackduckdog2 wrote:Please show me where I have said anything like this..........it's really frustrating tying to argue with you guys when all you ever do is project a position on the opponent and then demagogue like mad


If they argued they would lose. :lol3:

Ya gotta love a good, old fashioned instigator! :beer:
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby ScaupHunter » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:59 am

More like butt of the joke than instigator.
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby SpinnerMan » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:26 am

slowshooter wrote:
blackduckdog2 wrote:Please show me where I have said anything like this..........it's really frustrating tying to argue with you guys when all you ever do is project a position on the opponent and then demagogue like mad


If they argued they would lose. :lol3:

You guys will never answer questions or get nailed down on a position.

What should the maximum marginal tax rate be on any dollar? I think $1 for the government so you can keep $4 for yourself is about the limit. Maybe $1 for the government to keep $3 for yourself. Is $1 for the government to keep $1 for yourself excessive?

How big is too big for the government? Define it however you like. I think direct control of more than 20% of the economy is probably still too big. $1 directly controlled by government for every $1.50 not directly controlled is ridiculous. I also think a bureaucracy in excess of more than a few 10's of million dollars per representative exceeds the ability of our representatives to have effective oversight. I think a legislature so overloaded that they don't feel it is ridiculous to vote on significant legislation that they have not read at all is wildly over sized and out of control. Every significant piece of legislation should be read cover to cover more than once by every legislator before it is imposed on the people and it should be posted on line for months to give the people time to participate in the process. I also think that $20,000 in government for every man, woman, and child is absurd. Is the average family of four truly geting $80,000 PER YEAR worth of value? :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3:

You don't seek the truth. You are focused on winning because of your blind faith in your politicians while totally disregarding the disaster they leave in their wake when they get absolute control of government.
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby cartervj » Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:16 pm

slowshooter wrote:
blackduckdog2 wrote:Please show me where I have said anything like this..........it's really frustrating tying to argue with you guys when all you ever do is project a position on the opponent and then demagogue like mad


If they argued they would lose. :lol3:



Tell me how? Video proof exist and has been posted numerous times of how the Dems fought to keep Glasse Steagalle repealed. Even John McCain pointed it out :fingerhead:

Yes, the repukes drew up the legislation and then Bill Clinton (the Prez) signed the Bill into Law.



This all comes back to the Fed and Greenspan
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby cartervj » Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:59 pm

“Nothing makes me more certain of the victory of our ideas than our success in the universities” – Adolf H, 1930
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby clampdaddy » Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:42 pm

Glimmerjim wrote: .....You can close your eyes and listen to a mediocre guitar player play Keith Richards......

...it sounds just like Keith. :lol3: Keith is the ultimate rock star but it's not because he's a great guitar player, it because he's "Keef". He doesn't put his fingerprint on notes like great guitar players do. Pick one note on a guitar and have a thousand guys hit that note. Guys like BB King, Carlos Santana, and Angus Young, you'll know exactly who did it. Keith, not so much.
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby Glimmerjim » Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:18 am

clampdaddy wrote:
Glimmerjim wrote: .....You can close your eyes and listen to a mediocre guitar player play Keith Richards......

...it sounds just like Keith. :lol3: Keith is the ultimate rock star but it's not because he's a great guitar player, it because he's "Keef". He doesn't put his fingerprint on notes like great guitar players do. Pick one note on a guitar and have a thousand guys hit that note. Guys like BB King, Carlos Santana, and Angus Young, you'll know exactly who did it. Keith, not so much.

Ya know, cd. As much as I would like to debate that, I just can't bring myself to torment the rest of these guys, AT notably,with my prepubescent blather about a guy I have a crush on! :oops: Sometimes I catch myself feeling like the 11 year old girl in pink, footed pajamas on a sleepover, going through Teen magazine and arguing about who is the cutest Beatle! :lol3: :lol3: :lol3:
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby Glimmerjim » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:00 am

SpinnerMan wrote: My time right now is focused on developing new methods to evaluate complex time varying systems in an informative way. I just can't figure out how the results couldn't misinform under certain likely situations.

You've got me more than a little curious about what this is, Spinner. Could you elaborate in terms familiar to the simple-minded? :lol3:
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby Glimmerjim » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:01 am

beretta24 wrote:
Glimmerjim wrote:
assateague wrote:Then surely you can answer the simple question:


What is an artist? I'm kind of curious to hear this one myself.

You got me thinking about that one, AT. I think it's kind of a "Zen and the ART of Motorcycle Maintenance" question, but the best that I can come up with is that an artist is one that creates something that affects others in a visceral manner, with a method, or to a degree, that has not been done before.

I'd say that's a slap to a lot of artists.

How so, beretta?
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby Glimmerjim » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:09 am

assateague wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong, but you believe that in the absence of government regulation, we would have hell on earth, and that the only way we can approach heaven on earth (or Valhalla, whatever floats your boat) is through government regulation.

I dispute that. If I'm wrong, I apologize.

I can't speak for BDD2, AT, but personally I would tend to agree with that statement more than I would disagree. Or at least some form of regulation, and I am not sure what that would be other than governmental. Plus, "governmental" covers a lot of bases, from National to State to Local. Unless you are just saying that we are discussing National at this time, then I apologize for my obtuseness.
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby Glimmerjim » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:19 am

SpinnerMan wrote:
slowshooter wrote:
blackduckdog2 wrote:Please show me where I have said anything like this..........it's really frustrating tying to argue with you guys when all you ever do is project a position on the opponent and then demagogue like mad


If they argued they would lose. :lol3:

You guys will never answer questions or get nailed down on a position.

What should the maximum marginal tax rate be on any dollar? I think $1 for the government so you can keep $4 for yourself is about the limit. Maybe $1 for the government to keep $3 for yourself. Is $1 for the government to keep $1 for yourself excessive?

How big is too big for the government? Define it however you like. I think direct control of more than 20% of the economy is probably still too big. $1 directly controlled by government for every $1.50 not directly controlled is ridiculous. I also think a bureaucracy in excess of more than a few 10's of million dollars per representative exceeds the ability of our representatives to have effective oversight. I think a legislature so overloaded that they don't feel it is ridiculous to vote on significant legislation that they have not read at all is wildly over sized and out of control. Every significant piece of legislation should be read cover to cover more than once by every legislator before it is imposed on the people and it should be posted on line for months to give the people time to participate in the process. I also think that $20,000 in government for every man, woman, and child is absurd. Is the average family of four truly geting $80,000 PER YEAR worth of value? :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3:

You don't seek the truth. You are focused on winning because of your blind faith in your politicians while totally disregarding the disaster they leave in their wake when they get absolute control of government.

Spinner. A problem that I have is that those of conservative ilk always contend that those on the lowest economic rungs of society essentially have too much and would be considered wealthy in many countries. Then you argue that due to taxation rates and control of business everyone is hampered in their attempts at upward mobility. So the part I don't get, is that if the poorest amongst us are "wealthy", then what would you deem the position of the lower middle, the middle, the upper middle, the upper, and the 1% classes? Obscenely wealthy? If so, what reason on earth do they have to complain about their lot in life?
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby ScaupHunter » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:51 am

Jim,

You are intentionally twisting things here. American poor are the richest poor people in the world. They are only poor in comparison to our society. That has nothing to do with their relationship of wealth and living conditions compared to poor people in other parts of the world.

The first part of your argument has nothing to do with the second. They are not effectively tied together. People with money in America and the rest of the world have every right to complain. An ineffective and overspending government wants to tax more of their money. Yes, their money! To pay for it's inability to live within it's own means. The government gets more than enough money. They need to learn to stay under budget. Until they can do that every citizen should be complaining. Not just the rich ones.

In much of the world a middle class American is filthy rich. Until you take into account taxes, cost of living, etc.... Stop with the apples and oranges comparisons. They don't work here.
Last edited by ScaupHunter on Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby blackduckdog2 » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:47 am

Glimmerjim wrote:
blackduckdog2 wrote: Alright, the art thing. I'm guessing you've never heard of Ellen Dissanayake, but she's footnoted in this article by the Stanford Press http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/art-definition/ , and I once spent almost an entire afternoon and most of the evening arguing with her colleagues and a couple of students about what art is, and who is rightfully called an artist. It was wonderful and invigorating, and would have been as lost on you as a similar discussion of the quantum chemistry involved in nuclear fission would be on me.
Jim's definition is pretty workable in a lot of ways, I think, (except I don't think "newness" of the style is necessarily part and parcel of an artistic effort, it's just a byproduct of people becoming inured to what they've seen too many times to be able to react to with an honest feeling. And I don't think the reaction needs to be totally visceral, because all feelings are not "gut" feelings, necessarily. But I'd certainly agree that an artist trades in emotion. Like Hitler, yes. Like Limbaugh, too....he's definitely an artist. Quite a talented one

Hey BDD2! How ya doing? I have not had a chance to explore the article you referred to, but I am looking forward to it. I don't think there is anything in life that fascinates me more than attempting to understand abstract, multi-layered, commonly used but rarely if ever defined, philosophical constructs.
In my definition, I was trying to be as succinct, yet as inclusively accurate and expansive as I could at the moment. When I referred to the "newness" of a method establishing it as "art", I simply meant that the creative process is where the artistry resides. You can find those who can duplicate a Rembrandt so as to be indistinguishable from the original. You can get a guy to paint soup cans on a canvas and find nothing but inanity. You can close your eyes and listen to a mediocre guitar player play Keith Richards and not be able to distinguish the artist from the impostor. It is the person that creates the imagery from nothing but his/her vision of the world in which we live and a personality that sees something "new" in it.
I am not trying to avoid the responsibility for, or defend, a less than ideally formed position, I am just wondering if you had that in consideration when you said the "newness" may not be a deciding factor. I am really just curious to learn more about the concept, and where I am on the right track and where I wander.
I wonder also about the concept of all feelings not being of the "gut". If we simply define feelings as emotions, which I think we have no choice in doing due simply to a process of elimination, we have no other choice. Feelings certainly can't be intellectual, because intellectual pursuits in my opinion are simply the quest for data. Now the accumulation of this data can lead to a personally considered successful completion of this quest, which can in turn lead to an emotional reaction to the personally satisfying conclusion of a question. I simply feel that when that happens the intellect has lead to emotion, not become emotion or feelings, and they are still quite separable. My verbosity is simply trying to clarify my opinion that all feelings are of the "gut", though the "gut" can have as many ethereal and personal denotations/connotations as "good".

Yeah, the gut feeling thing is a bit of a misnomer.........I think artists play to a range of emotional response, and when you denoted "visceral" as the qualifier, I thought it was a little limiting. Some feelings are actually fairly intellectual, like Oppenheimer's description of the Manhattan Project as "technologically sweet" . There's an art to science and a science to art, and Spinner's desperate need to mark out a thin bright line of demarcation (without which an engineer is lost) is basically what makes the issue impossible to debate in here. Although I've definitely had some pretty interesting give and take with Carter, VP and AT, all of whom have a more subtle grasp of things like this. And of course the few indefatigable liberals in here, but we expect that, don't we? I mean, that's how this whole thing got started, with Clampdaddy claiming that liberals are more hung up on money than conservatives and my countering that liberals are far more likely to opt for lives as financially struggling artists, where they pursue a dream before a dollar.
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby blackduckdog2 » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:54 am

assateague wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong, but you believe that in the absence of government regulation, we would have hell on earth, and that the only way we can approach heaven on earth (or Valhalla, whatever floats your boat) is through government regulation.

I dispute that. If I'm wrong, I apologize.

Well, I'd say the devil's in the details here, and that you've mischaracterized my position as far more extreme than I would ever dream. But I was using a fair bit of hyperbole myself with the "drown the government in the bathtub" jab too, so maybe I had it coming. I was chiefly reacting to your Gordon Gecko greed hypothesis, which I think is simplistic and dangerous, at best. The Robber Barons were certainly some greedy mofos, but that didn't stop them from working together at times to subvert the market when they thought it was to their advantage. I love me a free market. But freedom isn't free, and this seems to be the only place you right wingers refuse to understand that
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby Glimmerjim » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:00 am

ScaupHunter wrote: In much of the world a middle class American is filthy rich. Until you take into account taxes, cost of living, etc.... Stop with the apples and oranges comparisons. They don't work here.

Scaup. How can you define someone as "filthy rich"..."Until you take into account taxes, cost of living, etc"? Taking EVERYTHING into account they are still filthy rich compared to a large segment of the world's population. Taxes do not make paupers of the well-off. Do taxes have an effect on their purchase ability or level of lifestyle? Of course. But that is still within the parameters of the society that has produced all these "filthy rich" people that you have described.
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