Wealth inequality in the USA.

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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby Glimmerjim » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:01 pm

cartervj wrote:
Glimmerjim wrote:You find this to be a compelling argument on the disparity of liberals to conservatives in the arts, yet you insist I'M the one who's statistically challenged? Yikes!! :eek: :eek:

Well, jeez, BDD2. He didn't even use Ted Nugent. That would have irreparably rended the arms of the balance beam! :lol3:



I'll give a John Lennon a closet Reagan fan :lol3:

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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby Glimmerjim » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:12 pm

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.
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby assateague » Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:49 pm

Not to invoke Godwin so early in this discussion, but by that definition Hitler qualifies.
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby Indaswamp » Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:52 pm

blackduckdog2 wrote:
Glimmerjim wrote:In its most basic form, the concept that ANY form of control over business or its most "successful" participants be eliminated, leaving those for whom a good hand has been, in most cases, rather arbitrarily dealt to live in splendor, and those less fortunate, for a myriad of reasons, be left in squalor. The rationale for this is that the "best" will ultimately provide for the most benefit to the society, while the "least" are not worth consideration. Which proposes essentially that the value of a man resides in his/her personal accumulation of whatever is considered in the society as symbolic of "value". This is with complete indifference in most cases to the method of accumulation, such as say the Kennedy family. While Rand tries to shroud this in terms of the benefits being rightully accorded to the most productive and beneficial to society at large, the fact is that often times those in possession of the most wealth and power are the same ones that are responsible in many ways for the decline of a society. From a group of individuals attempting to improve the lot of the masses and raise the concept and perception of "civilization", it devolves into a miniscule proportion of the society working to obtain more power and wealth, ie control, at the obvious and inhumane expense of the vast majority.

Well said, Jim.......and I just have to add that even if you absent the effects of inherited wealth, 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. We have a nation run by people who exhibit an uncanny genius for making money, but not necessarily for making THINGS we actually need. Of course in Rand's alternate universe, those are one and the same. You'd think she never strolled down Wall Street

No BDD2, the current system rewards financialization, i.e. financial games that build no wealth, only strip wealth from transactions and speculation. You can thank the repeal of Glasse-Steagall for that. Investment banks are now just glorified Hedge Funds with Government back stops.....
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby blackduckdog2 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:54 am

Thanks Inda...that's basically what I meant but you articulated it better than I could. Bottom line being that a mad rush to deregulate has produced some nasty side effects.
In other news, no way I'm discussing the philosophy of art in a hostile forum. Waddya think I'm French or something?
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby SpinnerMan » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:53 am

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.
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby beretta24 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:06 am

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.
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby SpinnerMan » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:39 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.

I don't. I think that is a pretty reasonable practical definition and can be used to help identify the lines between scientist, engineers, and what they create.

Artists - visceral
Scientist - intellectual
Engineer - practical

Now there are many people in these professions that are not part of the creative process. That's a tough line between worker/performer versus those in the creative process.

For a very short one sentence definition, I think it works pretty well. Where does it fail?
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby blackduckdog2 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:55 am

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 beretta24 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:00 am

SpinnerMan wrote:
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.

I don't. I think that is a pretty reasonable practical definition and can be used to help identify the lines between scientist, engineers, and what they create.

Artists - visceral
Scientist - intellectual
Engineer - practical

Now there are many people in these professions that are not part of the creative process. That's a tough line between worker/performer versus those in the creative process.

For a very short one sentence definition, I think it works pretty well. Where does it fail?

Why does the method or degree have to be new to make it art?

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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby SpinnerMan » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:16 am

beretta24 wrote:Why does the method or degree have to be new to make it art?
Because your kids finger paintings does not make them an artist.

And Jim wasn't saying that the method matters, but that they created a new methodology. You may be bad at applying your method, but if others take it and run, you have created something significant.

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. Now off to write and solve some equations for another idea that I have. Methods whether art, science, or engineering are a big part of the creative process.
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby beretta24 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:03 am

SpinnerMan wrote:
beretta24 wrote:Why does the method or degree have to be new to make it art?
Because your kids finger paintings does not make them an artist.

And Jim wasn't saying that the method matters, but that they created a new methodology. You may be bad at applying your method, but if others take it and run, you have created something significant.

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. Now off to write and solve some equations for another idea that I have. Methods whether art, science, or engineering are a big part of the creative process.

I don't think you can be that restrictive with an art definition...the whole "in the eye of the beholder" and all.

If my kids were finger painting I'd be scared schitless...pretty sure I don't have any...

And yes, I get that your comment was hypothetical.
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby SpinnerMan » Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:21 am

beretta24 wrote:
SpinnerMan wrote:
beretta24 wrote:Why does the method or degree have to be new to make it art?
Because your kids finger paintings does not make them an artist.

And Jim wasn't saying that the method matters, but that they created a new methodology. You may be bad at applying your method, but if others take it and run, you have created something significant.

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. Now off to write and solve some equations for another idea that I have. Methods whether art, science, or engineering are a big part of the creative process.

I don't think you can be that restrictive with an art definition...the whole "in the eye of the beholder" and all.
But Jim's definition actually had that in it. The beholder defines what is art and not the creator. If it doesn't have an affect on others (aka the beholders), it cannot be art. I would add affected in the intended way, whatever that may have been. Someone seeing the Virgin Mary in worm dipped in paint on canvas is not the intent of the so-called artist.

Of course, this is ultimate an opinion anyways, so I can be any way I want :yes:
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby Glimmerjim » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:55 am

assateague wrote:Not to invoke Godwin so early in this discussion, but by that definition Hitler qualifies.

:lol3: I know. I thought about that and possibly certain mass murderers, etc. I came to the conclusion that they are/were indeed great artists in their field of endeavor. I am not sure that artistry encompasses morality, at least in its most basic definition. I am not sure. To further define my attempts, I would add that an artist must create that which causes others to contemplate. But under that definition, would the creator of the Mona Lisa be an artist or a very skilled craftsman? What is the difference? How would you define it?
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby ScaupHunter » Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:49 pm

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.

Herman Goebel was one of the greatest artists in our worlds history. He was simply amazaring at the art of advertising and mass media. I doubt there is another person who has ever achieved his level. Now if you roll morals into his art, you have to talk about mass murder, attacking the world, and manic behavior patterns.
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby assateague » Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:50 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




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.
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby ScaupHunter » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:26 pm

So far I have not delved into this argument because quite frankly it is silly beyond recall. Historically, every society that has full government control of the people has had ridiculous levels of corruption. No one, and I mean no one, can sucessfully argue that more government is a good thing. History is clear that it is not.

We already have the regulations in place to prevent the corrupt acts that are occurring. We don't need more government, or more laws. We need far less of both, along with actual enforcement of the laws that are pertinent. Nuf said!
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby SpinnerMan » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:41 pm

assateague wrote: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.
That is not greed. Self-interest is NOT greed. Greed is wanting for the sake of wanting even though it costs more than it is worth. Greed is harmful. Self-interest is beneficial. A greedy husband harms himself and his family. A self-interested husband helps his family. Greed is not good. Taking care of yourself is not greed and it is good. But other than the semantics, it is obvious that each side looking out for their own interests is the check on the other side.

He also conveniently neglects that the free market means just that freedom. Freedom cannot exist without equality. Some cannot be more free than others and claim freedom exists. He is correct that evil exists. He is correct that greed exists. But the free market does not mean murder for hire is permitted if their is a market for it. It is clearly not a free market if you can murder your competition.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/capitalism
an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market

If all these aspects do not exist it is not capitalism.

Decisions are made freely and competition is fair.

Theft is not capitalism. Fraud is not capitalism.

Maybe it is just that liberals think so little of themselves and how easily they are corrupted and cannot be trusted with freedom to make their own decisions that they project it on everyone.

Without morality, no system of government, no society, no progress is possible. If people in general are not good, it is hopeless.

No perfect system will exist because greed and all other human failings will never be eliminated. The best system is the one that minimizes the potential harm of human failings. The free market system does just that, but it does not eliminate the need for a police force to prevent fraud and all other crimes. As well as a need for national defense. The need for regulations where the costs are born by those that do not receive the benefits (e.g., pollution). The need for government intervention where the benefits exist even if you wouldn't bear the costs (e.g., national defense, police force). And then some limited scope for the general welfare (e.g. public education), but they need to be done with great caution so that the greed of the politicians, employees, suppliers, workers, etc. lead to a horribly suboptimum system like for example the Chicago Public School.

ScaupHunter wrote:Historically, every society that has full government control of the people has had ridiculous levels of corruption.
BDD2, claims the national progression of free market capitalism is corruption, yet where is his real world example where government stayed within it's bounds of protecting the rights of the people to be free. Sadly history says that the natural progression of society is not to freedom and it is not contingent on being based on free market capitalism. Free market capitalism is not the natural state. It is quite unnatural. Great power in a very few hands used in horrible ways is the natural order of things. Hopefully as knowledge is spread to greater fractions of the population, the tendency toward this state is reduced and free market capitalism will become more uniform around the globe. Of course when you live in a corrupt society whether it is Egypt or Chicago, the idea of free market capitalism is foreign and cronyism is normal. To avoid this natural progression, smaller decentralized government is the answer. As Detroit spirals, the population is free to leave and the suffering is minimized. Had those that stayed behind received the knowledge they should have from a solid K-12 education, there would either be a ghost town or the death spiral would have never been tolerated. With centralized government, you cannot escape and violates the most common sense argument of not putting all your eggs in one basket.
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby assateague » Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:11 pm

SpinnerMan wrote:
assateague wrote: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.
That is not greed. Self-interest is NOT greed. Greed is wanting for the sake of wanting even though it costs more than it is worth. Greed is harmful. Self-interest is beneficial. A greedy husband harms himself and his family. A self-interested husband helps his family. Greed is not good. Taking care of yourself is not greed and it is good. But other than the semantics, it is obvious that each side looking out for their own interests is the check on the other side.




You're right, and I guess that's what I meant. While I generally don't try and put words in peoples' mouths, it does seem as though liberals often use "greed" as a synonym for "self-interest". Actually, pretty much all the time, whenever some mythical wealth threshold has been crossed, which they deem "excessive" or "not fair". I was trying to address that, not necessarily the "evil" Webster's "greed".
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby blackduckdog2 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:19 pm

So I guess we can all agree that we never needed that silly old Glass–Steagall thingy anyhow. Glad we got that cleared up
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby Glimmerjim » Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:23 pm

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
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby SpinnerMan » Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:43 pm

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?
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby blackduckdog2 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:52 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?


Glass–Steagall is pretty basic in it's concept, if I can trust what Inda's told me over the years. I want as much government as we need to protect us from the sorts of gaming Wall Street typically marshalls against the average American. These days that's plenty. Oh, I know, they'll all play nice and there'll be nothing like collusion if we just drown the government in a bathtub. You guys are so massively naive when it comes to real world, actual human motivation
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby assateague » Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:02 pm

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.
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Re: Wealth inequality in the USA.

Postby assateague » Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:07 pm

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.
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