Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Word On Marketing

Capitalism has deception at it's very root.  It's not about the fact that individual people within a capitalist society are bad.  The entire incentive structure is set up to reward deception.

I think that's part of the reason you get this kind of hostile comedic routine from Bill Hicks (warning, there are plenty of F-bombs).



There's a pretty good movie on Youtube about the obsession in the US with being fit and it's relation to steroids called "Bigger, Faster, Stronger".  There is some discussion with people that do photos for the purpose of selling supplements.  These producers talk about how virtually every page you'd ever see in a magazine is a lie.  Here's a clip from that movie where they shoot the before and after photo in the same day.  Prior to that there's a person that makes lots of money selling supplements by means of such advertising.  He mixes some flour and sugar, caps it, and sells a bottle of supplements that cost about $1.40 for $60.  This is all thanks to Republican efforts from a few years back to deregulate these markets.  This occurred thanks to people like Milton Friedman, who argued that the FDA is the problem.  How many people are dying because of drugs the FDA has blocked from appearing on the market?  Get government out of the way and let's see how great things will be.  Take a guess at who it is that likes that kind of logic.  Profit seeking scammers.



Socialism could be prone to the same criticism.  Socialists want profits too.  But the difference is on socialism you want to maximize profit per worker.  On capitalism you want to maximize profit.  Full stop.  So there's a disincentive to increasing output for the socialist.  The more you make the more you work.  This disincentive doesn't exist for the capitalist.  If he doubles output and doubles his profit his workload hasn't changed.  He's not designing and building the parts.  He just takes the money after others do the work.  So the capitalist has a greater incentive to lobby Congress to suppress the kinds of regulations that inhibit increased production, or take that next step towards deceptive advertising.  They always want more because it's all up side (more money) and no down side (workload unchanged).

63 comments:

Jonathan said...

Jon,

I completely disagree with your first premise “capitalism has deception at it’s very root”.

You’re falsely claiming that deception is a necessary component of passive income / leveraged production, and this simply is not the case.

While it is true you *can* use deception to try and increase sales, and the level of potential increase does not necessarily experience the downward pressure of the economy of scale, at least from a corporate level, this does prove that deception is an integral part or even requirement for capitalism to function.

Also, the fact that you could scale a system without imparting additional work burden on the owner, and that this can lead to further abuses, or a sustainable yet immortal scenario is a separate issue to the question of if deception practices are employed.

You could achieve this type of system with or without deceptive means.

To validate your statement, it must be true that a scenario devoid of deception is not truly capitalism, or in other words, if one were to adhere to capitalistic principles but not use deceptive tactics, by definition this would not be capitalistic. Is this what you believe? This is huge step beyond arguing that it allows for or even encourages deception.

If you want to argue that capitalism has a tendency to lead to immoral and oppressive behavior, and therefore you are opposed to it on the net, that’s one thing – heck, even try and make the case that it encourages deception and therefore you are against it, but your claim that deception is at it’s root is completely unfounded.

Your statement “They always want more because it's all up side (more money) and no down side (workload unchanged).” I don’t understand your argument by why this is a critique on capitalism.

Is it intrinsically bad for people in any system to attempt to maximize revenue without increasing the workload? Isn’t your beef with the *abuse* of maximizing revenue your real issue? You’ve previously stated that you had no problem with the owner of a business no longer exchanging money for time as long as he is not abusing or taking advantage of the workers or otherwise leading to a detriment to society as a whole.

Do you feel that capitalism intrinsically must lead to abuse, or that since it happens so frequently that on the whole, it is better off a system abandoned?

Examinator said...

Jon, Jonathan
Have a look at thishttp://www.abc.net.au/iview/#/view/31678

Examinator said...

Jon, Jonathan
Have a look at thishttp://www.abc.net.au/iview/#/view/31678

Examinator said...

Jon, Jonathan
Have a look at thishttp://www.abc.net.au/iview/#/view/31678

Examinator said...

Jon and others
Seeing that its Sunday take an hour and watch this
http://www.abc.net.au/tv/bigideas/browse/video_popup.htm?vidURL=/tv/bigideas/stories/2013/03/11/3708085-mediarss-full.xml&vidTitle=Pavan%20Sukhdev%20on%20Corporation%202020:%20Transforming%20Business%20for%20Tomorrow%27s%20World&vidLength=Full

Note the mind set of the 1920 corp and advertising

Chad said...

Jonathan - in order for the lie and deception that Jon would like to sell (socialism) he/they need an enemy, but you know that and your well placed counter punch - an over hand right to the jaw just severely staggered or more likely knocked JC's arguement to the canvass - good ob sir.

Being stupid or gullible - especially in today's world - is not a crime. The use of deception happens on a daily basis outside of advertising and pretty much everywhere, but If a consumer does not do the appropriate amount of research prior to laying out cash then shame on them to start. It's that damn personal responsibility thing again - aw shucks.

At the same time, there is an equal opportunity created by such deception. Not only will a competing company who actually does offer 'something' have a leg up, but by virtue of the fact that deception is real - reviews, magazines and industry police are created to assist the consumer - all happening in the private sector today FYI to protect or at least guide consumers.

Same is happening in industry as well - employees talk and companies/CEO's gain a reputation of which the ripple effects are felt by those companies. Going through a situation like that right now - a principal mill has continually lost talented upper management employees for several years now - complaint being that they pay poorly while requiring long hours. Now they are finding it very difficult to attract the type of talent this industry demands while losing their most talented and trained employees to the competition along the way.

Point being - the great thing aout Capitalism is that if you don't like how it's being done, you have the ability to go out to start your own and to do it better. Or if talented you can take our talent to another company who pays better or has better bene's. Point again - competiton and the world wide web is a great equalizer.




Jon said...

I think the way I stated it, with capitalism having deception at the very root, is poor. I agree with you that you don't have to be deceptive to be a capitalist. Heck, I'm a capitalist. I save money and buy stocks in a 401k plan, so I get the revenue created by others as the stock price goes up and dividends are paid. My goal is to save enough that the income generated from the stocks will pay my living expenses and grow such that it doesn't diminish. I've read that if you save enough that you can draw 4% per year you can do that idefinitely. Draw 4%, inflation eats 3%, and then your investments grow 7%, so you're unchanged at the end of the year. That's capitalism. I'm not lying to anyone as I strive for this goal.

What I mean is that the incentive structure within captialism, combined with the natural tendency for power to become more concentrated, leads to the world we see, which is advanced deception which is everywhere around us. It's so prevalent that everyone takes it for granted. In fact we know we are being lied to constantly, with every commercial we see, but we just accept it like it's normal.

Is it intrinsically bad for people in any system to attempt to maximize revenue without increasing the workload?

Not at all. But on capitalism, unlike socialism, there is always (or almost always) a preference for increased production. You need people to buy more. How to acheive that? Though you don't technically HAVE TO deceive people into thinking they need your product (maybe your product is just that good and people need to be honestly aware of it), that temptation is always there for the capitalist. Not so for the socialist.

So take a worker on socialism. He comes up with a method to cut production time in half. Who benefits from that change? All the workers. Now they can make more parts in the same time allotment. Or they can work half as much and get the same pay.

Switch to capitalism. A worker on the factory floor figures out a way to cut production time in half. What happens? Either half the staff is fired or they work half as much and are paid half as much, or they make more and keep working. The owner wants more profits, so if he can do the same amount of work with less people he's the one that enjoys the benefit of that, not workers.

So in the former case since people want to keep their jobs and can't afford to make half as much by working half as much the whole group of people would be inclined to pursue the route of deception. Their survival depends on it. And it's a doubling of profits for the owner so he wants it too. This is a major difference between socialism and capitalism.

You’ve previously stated that you had no problem with the owner of a business no longer exchanging money for time as long as he is not abusing or taking advantage of the workers or otherwise leading to a detriment to society as a whole.

No, I don't think I said that.

Jon said...

Point being - the great thing aout Capitalism is that if you don't like how it's being done, you have the ability to go out to start your own and to do it better. Or if talented you can take our talent to another company who pays better or has better bene's. Point again - competiton and the world wide web is a great equalizer.

Chad, did you see the second video I provided? Supplements made of flour and sugar sold for $60? If the system worked like you advertise would we expect people to be spending all this money on gluten free, essential oils, concentrated Vitamen E fish oil, and whatever other snake oil being sold today that is a HUGE industry? Why do you think the snake oil business has been so successful over the last 30 years and was largely inhibited prior to that?

Chad said...

JC - Are you saying that it is the job of government or another group for that matter to protect the dumb people from themselves? Individual responsibility to understand what your buying is what we are talking about here nothing more and you can't police that no matter how much you try JC. Are you going to make a law forbidding 'deception' in advertisements with the threat of jail time or maybe just a fine?

"So take a worker on socialism. He comes up with a method to cut production time in half. Who benefits from that change? All the workers. Now they can make more parts in the same time allotment. Or they can work half as much and get the same pay."

Whoa - your example here simply proves exactly why socialism requires complete government/centralized control to even have the most remote possibility of working.

The first person who steps out of that thinking - who says I am going to use my new idea, start my own company and produce more parts for less and sell more than the competition - which will happen -will destroy any chance of socialism working hence the required control of a big brother to stop that from happening.

Your also then assuming that competitors in certain markets will not utilize new cost savings to expand their market share thus reducing the market share of said competitor who may have to lay off workers because of a lack of sales. Your also assuming that a socialist company will always continue to hire more an more people equal to the number of employees fired in the market as well.

Just a million and one holes in that theory.

The best thing that person can do for all of us is to take that new idea and start their own company - reduce the cost of the good/service in that market. If a competitor can't hang they fold and maybe a new market starts for something else. This idea that socialism practices will not involve business like decisions which may include job cuts or extended working hours, competitive salaries is just foolishness. Only if the ultimate control is gained by a central authority to oversee all business activities could utopia be born and that is just not going to happen.

Jon said...

Let's focus on the point at hand. You made a claim about how on capitalism you get all this competition that drives away the crappy products and you're left with great stuff. Competition is the great equalizer. I'm saying let's step outside of your theoretical world and look at the world as it really is. Does it conform to your theory?

Take the multi billion dollar scam supplement industry. Let's not get ahead of ourselves and talk about what I would offer as a solution to the problem, but instead let's first at least acknowledge the problem. Did you see the video I provided? Photoshop and lies to sell flour and sugar for $60 per bottle to unsuspecting people. Call them dumb if you like. I don't agree with that characterization, but regardless of that, why are we not seeing the competition you refer to producing great products that aren't scamming people out of billions?

I'm asking you to stop just spinning tales in your own head that talk about competition and how the cream rises to the top, instead take of the blinders and look at the world we live in. Has the cream risen to the top? Is that why Hydroxycut and these other companies are making so much money? They offer an amazing product?

Jon said...

In fact, Chad, if you watch the entire movie you come away with an interesting conclusion. Steroids actually produce the advertised results. In fact the people shown in the images advertising the supplements are really using steroids. Steroids work and (according to this movie) don't really hurt you. Why do you think it is that people are spending tons of money on crap (flour and sugar) and meanwhile they barely use a cheaper product that actually does the trick? Why are we all scared into thinking steroids don't work? We're driven away from an effective solution and towards an ineffective rip off solution. How does your theory about competition and the wonders of capitalism explain this?

I want you to look at the world as it actually is instead of just reading conservative arguments that again and again have nothing to do with the real world.

Chad said...

My point is very well made here I think - as long as stupid people buy stupid things then there will be a competing market for those stupid people.

The market takes care of these things when A) Those who make a false claim are sued and they are forceed to pay damages and possibly/most likely are forced to close their doors. B) When a quality publication proves that the product is a fraud and they are forced out of business or they lose whatever customer base they had. C) When the stupid people stop buying stupid products.

Again - what your saying to me and every other red blooded human with a heart beat that buys a product without researching it first is that it is not your fault - you were scammed by some deceptive marketing ploy. Once again ignoring personal responsibility and laying blame at the feet of others versus what is really the case here and that is that a stupid person bought a stupid product.

What your also telling people is that you or a group of you's know what is best for everyone else. Come my child I will protect you from the bad bad marketing men who steal your money from under your pillow whenever their commercial comes on and decieves you in the name of capitalism.

Jon said...

Set the question of blame aside and just respond to this one thing. Do we agree that the market is not today solving the problem? People are throwing tons of money at ineffective supplements, snake oil, rather then small money at effective solutions. Whoever is to blame, can we agree the market is not working here? You say the market solves it under conditions A, B, and C. OK, so those conditions obviously aren't being met, right? So the market is not solving the problem. Right?

Examinator said...

What Chad et al don't want to admit to is that Capitalism as it's practised in in fact exploitation of the disequalibrium between people.
AKA slavery 2.0
What I am uncomfortable with and one of the reasons I walked from a seminary is that the 'capitalist Christian' strive to institutionalise this disequity in order to take advantage of "others" (anybody that doesn't conform to MY WORLD VIEW) this raised the obvious conflict with the basic premises underpinning Christian ethics.
i.e. "Do unto others et al" and "we are our brothers keepers "
The 'Christian ethic' doesn't read only those who are of intellectual,knowledge, circumstantial, religious parity with us.
Take abortion and Christianity I, as Godless individual don't seek to make first mandatory nor the latter illegal; because I reason that they are not my world view.
I find it ironical that many so called Christians are 'libertarian' (sic) but want to ENFORCE their comfort/ emotional world view on others and they call that 'democracy' (sic). More than that they vilify “bear false witness” against those who don't share their world view/emotional priorities/ cultural preferences et al.
Chad believes not complete disclosure calling it ' nanny state' he also accuses those who aren't as knowledgeable as he deserving of “smarties” (corporations who understand chemistry etc and the average people who don't) who LIE (albeit by OMMISSION) for advantage.
As the professor in my second vid put it … the information we the non professionals need to make 'an informed decision' .
This is reflected in the world today. It's not that we or the USA aren't aware of it Franklin D. Roosevelt said "the present international situation is dangerous"; "wondered how such a state of affairs had come about"; "eternal truths will be neither true nor eternal unless they have fresh meaning for every new social situation"
I do wonder if God will be as sanguine about the state of affairs and selectivity when following his dictum.

Examinator said...

What Chad et al don't want to admit to is that Capitalism as it's practised in in fact exploitation of the disequalibrium between people.
AKA slavery 2.0
What I am uncomfortable with and one of the reasons I walked from a seminary is that the 'capitalist Christian' strive to institutionalise this disequity in order to take advantage of "others" (anybody that doesn't conform to MY WORLD VIEW) this raised the obvious conflict with the basic premises underpinning Christian ethics.
i.e. "Do unto others et al" and "we are our brothers keepers "
The 'Christian ethic' doesn't read only those who are of intellectual,knowledge, circumstantial, religious parity with us.
Take abortion and Christianity I, as Godless individual don't seek to make first mandatory nor the latter illegal; because I reason that they are not my world view.
I find it ironical that many so called Christians are 'libertarian' (sic) but want to ENFORCE their comfort/ emotional world view on others and they call that 'democracy' (sic). More than that they vilify “bear false witness” against those who don't share their world view/emotional priorities/ cultural preferences et al.
Chad believes not complete disclosure calling it ' nanny state' he also accuses those who aren't as knowledgeable as he deserving of “smarties” (corporations who understand chemistry etc and the average people who don't) who LIE (albeit by OMMISSION) for advantage.
As the professor in my second vid put it … the information we the non professionals need to make 'an informed decision' .
This is reflected in the world today. It's not that we or the USA aren't aware of it Franklin D. Roosevelt said "the present international situation is dangerous"; "wondered how such a state of affairs had come about"; "eternal truths will be neither true nor eternal unless they have fresh meaning for every new social situation"
I do wonder if God will be as sanguine about the state of affairs and selectivity when following his dictum.

Chad said...

Ex - slavery 2.0 is taxes taken from one group to hand to another. Not a voluntary action to buy a non essential consumer product.

Chad said...

This product line IS solving a problem. They are providing products that certain consumers want and desire.

When you ask to set aside the most important part of the discussion which is personal responsibility that is difficult to do, but if your asking if every single product works as advertised - of course they don't - especially when it comes to health and beauty products. Yet - again - I ask you a simple question - what right is it of yours to question how a consumer spends his/her money? Nobody is being forced to purchase these products - it is an individual with money who makes a choice to buy a product.

Chad said...

"You say the market solves it under conditions A, B, and C. OK, so those conditions obviously aren't being met, right? So the market is not solving the problem. Right?"

When there are consumers willing to buy products what is there to solve exactly? Your making the assumption that of the 110 million consumers buying these products, all 110 million are dissatisfied consumers which is wildly false. Like the takers - there are many consumers who think if they pop a pill magically in 10 days they too will look like the after photo - they are just plain idiots is all.

If the consumers out there - all 110 million felt scammed, felt they got no benefit then A, B and C would be in full swing then in a short period of time the entire market would disappear. The problem for your arguement is that many of these people are finding some benefit - even if only in their head - so they become repeat customers and also they become street marketers of the product. Visit any gym in America - go buddy up to the most in shape guy there and I bet you that 95% plus of those guys are on a supplement of somekind - even if they are on the juice I bet they also take some type of supplement. I know of many many people looking to shed a few pounds who swear by certain products like Xenedrian or Hydroxycut. They pop these pills - go to the gym to do work and for whatever reason they think that when they lost those 5 lbs that only 3 lbs would have happened without the magic pill but in reality their hard work and diet control caused the weight loss. Personally I am a big fan of 5-hour Energy drinks. For me - they give me the boost that I am looking for when I am looking for it. When I get that little bit of extra energy I feel like I can get a couple more reps in or run for an extra 2 minutes.

Since 5-hr energy is a dietary supplement than I must assume that I am part of your umbrella that you wish to change - but I don't want nor need you to change it. When I pull out my wallet and pay for a 5-hr energy drink I realize that I am essentially buying caffine in a shot - thank you may I have another.

Jon said...

OK, so I take you to be saying there is no market failure here? People spend big money on ineffective solutions (flour and sugar) and don't spend money on effective solutions (steroids). This is an ideal functioning market. OK, so this is where we disagree. I don't think this is efficient at all. It's highly inefficient. But with that settled, let's move on to this separate topic you want to discuss.

what right is it of yours to question how a consumer spends his/her money

It's my right as a human and a moral agent to object to manipulation and thought control.

You say that the company is providing a product that people want and desire. Why do they want and desire it? The company itself has created the want and the desire.

Imagine a child raised by parents that condition that child to be their slave. It's very much possible. Suppose ever since they were an infant they were conditioned to believe that their worth and their eternal salvation was dependent on them of their own free will accepting a slave life. No physical force is used. The child turns 18 and that child is presented with a contract that they can sign. They are asked to freely commit from now until their parents die to do exactly as they are commanded. When the child freely signs that contract do you say "Well they are just stupid. Let them make their own free choice. Who are you to interfere."

There's a reason that in some countries advertising directed at children is illegal. There's a disparity in resources between you and a corporation. Relative to you a corporation has infinite resources. What they purchase with those resources is propaganda. Efforts to condition you to desire what they sell, even if what they are selling is in fact harmful. And like Ex points out, it doesn't necessarily require a lie. Lies by omission are just as effective. Their billions spent on chemical research lead to knowledge that you simply cannot have. Knowledge is power. They know and you don't, they know how to manipulate (they spend billions figuring out how to do it) and you don't. So they are at an incredible advantage in terms of persuasive ability.

Jon said...

The problem is always the same. Concentrated power. They have enormous concentrated power, which they use to their advantage. One way to combat that is to pool our own collective power somehow. One way to do it is government. Collectively we can demand that a supplement can't be sold unless it is proved to be effective. This is what the FDA used to do until Milton Friedman and the right wingers effectively declawed them. This method DID IN FACT WORK. Now the whole industry has gone straight down the crapper. Snake oil everywhere, and extremely sophisticated propaganda conditioning you to buy it. No, it's not "stupid people" that fall for it. It's normal people, like you and me. We've both spent plenty on wasted purchases because this propaganda works (they wouldn't spend billions on it if it didn't.)

Gluten free, bottled water, essential oils, nutritional supplements, fish oil, diamond engagement rings, ridiculous exercise equipment, large house, another computer when a perfectly good one now sits unused. Have you bought any of these things? If so, does that make you stupid?

"But my wife likes her engagement ring." Sure she does. And if Debeers conditioned you to think wearing a turd bracelet meant your spouse really loved you and you forked over 2 months salary for that bracelet and she liked it would this change the fact that you were manipulated and conditioned to want that and drop a ton of money on it? Diamonds are abundant. They are dug up in buckets. They shine like many other shiny things. And we buy them like idiots.

Chad said...

Although your child slavery scenario is compelling it is ultimately very extreme so I would say this specific to that. If no laws were broken (as you outlined) then I must say so be it. To assume the responsibility of deciding if that parent/situation is morally wrong - well how can you determine that and by what standards? Is it fair to that child in my personal view - hell no, but why should my views trump theirs? Are you prepared to go after the Amish who raise their children (in some cases) without power, no TV? They are living in a brain washed society as well. How about the Liberal leaning education system - are you prepared to then hold teachers accountable if they endorse a specific view?

Far too slippery of a slope here and nothing - absolutely nothing that should involve government.

What if - since a far far majority of people believe in God - what if my group decided that Atheist have a view contrary to society and that is detremental to a child and they took it upon themselves to seek out and remove children from that environment - you okay with that? Of course you wouldn't be - same applies with your scenario. Until a law is broken then you must not go down that slippery slope otherwise you will open your house to interpretation by precedent.

Jon said...

I think this is good. We've boiled it down to some core disagreements.

People buy sugar and flour to build muscles thanks to deregulation and photoshopped advertising. In your view this is an example of an efficient market since people are getting what they "want". I say no.

If people turn their children into slaves you say our society should allow it. I say no. I say good, just keep expressing your view, the louder the better. People can now clearly see the kind of ethics you subscribe to and make their own judgments.

Yeah, you're right that I'm not OK with people preventing atheist parents from raising atheist children. Preventing parents from raising children as slaves? Yeah, I'm OK with preventing that. The differences are obvious enough, I don't think I need to bother stating them. I do find it sad that you struggle to see the difference. I regard that as a result of conditioning you've been subjected to.

Chad said...

I figured the pointy end of the stick was headed my way.

Its okay to judge others and to make societal rules that your okay with, but when the all powerful eye is pointed in your direction (ie atheisism as a minority position) then we are out of bounds now?

You use the word slavery because it is a knee jerk hot button term that will get the kind of reaction you want redardless of the scenario. If a law has been broken by the parents then by all means throw the parents in jail and indoctrinate the young lad into the liberal school system straight away sir. If you feel it in your heart to intervene in that child's life because the upbringing does not meet your minimum personal expectations then by all means knock on the door and offer that child an alternative life if you wish. You can lean on a group in your community to enact change if it is that bad and you wouldn't need any government to do so.

The real truth about our differences in reference to this topic is that your position is that you want government (or a all knowing panel of Jon's) to decide what is and what is not acceptable behavior or activities that take place in society. Ranging from parenting views all the way to and including what advertisements are allowed to be produced, the content of and for what products.

My belief is that it is all about Individual Liberty and Personal Responsibility across the board. As long as the activity does not step outside the rule of law then government should have no or very little involvement in it.

Jonathan said...

Examinator,

You've brought up some interesting questions regarding the issue of abortion as it relates to world view, the Christian ethic, and tolerance a few times now, so I'm hoping you could enlighten me on your view a bit. One things I've never understood is the claim that tolerance is some third, and higher alternative between the two extremes of an issue, one being "I think X is wrong" and "I think X is not wrong". I think that notion of having a stance of "tolerance" is illusionary and logically incoherent.

Let me use an example. Suppose I feel that eating hamburgers is one of the truly great pleasures in life, but you feel that killing a cow for its meat is literally the moral equivalent to murder. It literally is no different than to murder another human, and I am morally culpable in the exact same way.

If you and I were to have a dialogue on this topic, and try and arrive at some meeting of the minds, I might attempt to persuade you by reason why this is simply not the case. The fact is though, we have two mutually exclusive views on our expectations on how the other person needs to act. If I were to tell you that I am adopting a live and let live policy of the topic, what I'm really telling you is that "you can think how every you want, but you must act as if you believe just as I do".

At the end of the day, we are all exclusionists - we place the expectation upon others to act in the way that we think is right.

You are right in your objection to force others to conform in their actions to the ways we believe are right, but this is separate from the expectation we all have that everyone else *should* act in a specific way. What do you think?

Jonathan said...

Jon and Chad,

I think you both might find this 4 minute interview interesting regarding research on couching the gun debate in terms of the "greater good" vs "liberty"

http://www.npr.org/2013/03/19/174708597/when-pitching-the-common-good-is-bad

Jonathan said...

Jon,

I think I tend to side with you more when it comes to the question of crap products with false claims on the scale of the supplement industry. I think the self-selection of superior products is powerful, but can be shunted by other factors.

I would be in favor of regulations to prevent this type of abuse - what's wrong this this in terms of a capitalisitc framework?

I think a form or responsible capitalism would be just about perfect. I know you read a lot about the downside of capitalism - have you looked into some of the success with folks like Tony Hsieh is trying to do in Las Vegas, and with his company Zappos? That's a pretty good cream rising to the top example from the marketplace and how to treat employees.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zappos.com

Jon said...

Chad, if the parents did what I suggest it would be illegal. Because it is against the law for people to sign contracts that turn them into slaves. By the way if you don't like the word slave that's fine, you can suggest a different word. That's the best word I know to describe the situation. I'm not trying to be emotional about it. But yeah, it is illegal. Meaning the government steps in and intervenes in the free market. I think that's a good thing. You on the one hand say they shouldn't be prevented as long as they don't do anything illegal. It already is illegal. But then on the other hand you say this should be allowed. Which is it? If you oppose it if it is illegal you should agree with me. The government needs to step in and prevent it.

This is democracy. A democratic government would implement the people's preferred policies, and since in the US I suspect people don't want slavery to be legal (use whatever term you would like) the government enforces that. Democracy does sometimes lead to sub optimal results. For instance democratically people could conceivably vote to prevent others from raising atheist children. That is a real risk, but the alternative to democracy that you advocate, which is that people just do what their money allows, could be called corporatocracy. Corporations have the most money and if we just let them do as they wish then they do the kinds of things you want to permit. Slavery for instance (we know that major US corporations do in fact employ slave labor overseas.) So again, I think the contrast here is worth noticing. You prefer a tyrannical system (corporations are tyrannies after all, not democracies) and I prefer democracy. Your system leads you to advocate policies that lead inevitably to slavery or worse. Mine do not. Your position leads you to conclude that widespread sale of snake oil is what occurs due to the efficiency of markets, and you regard it as optimal. I disagree. Let the readers decide which is correct.

Jon said...

By the way, Chad, hostility to democracy is a typical position amongst conservatives. They hate democracy. It's interesting to consider that liberterians regard themselves as advocates of freedom. What that means is all decisions are made by super powerful and wealthy people, the rest take orders or starve, and that's considered freedom. Open hostility to democracy is freedom. Not 1 person 1 vote. It's $1 dollar, 1 vote. Minorities, women, they don't deserve the same level of say as the rich because they are poor. They should just take orders and have no control over their lives. Conservatives often do not like democracy.

Jonathan said...

Jon and Chad,

Perhaps it would be beneficial to couch the discussion in the term that is most important to you because it still sounds like you guys are talking past each other some. I'll have to put my response to Jon concerning the advantages of capitalism in terms of society as a whole later tonight or tomorrow....

Chad,

To put the argument in terms of individual liberty and responsibility, the problem faced when trying to maximize individual liberties is that we do not live in a vacuum, and our liberties and rights bump into each other. My freedom to try and sell you a poor product and cheat you out of your dollar on the open market begins erode your freedom to make an informed decision on the best product to get. If 9 out of 10 products in front of me are in fact bad choices, and there is only 1 quality product which given all the information you would chose, your ability to discern the good product becomes at the very least more difficult. More difficulty on your part to chose the best product is in fact an impediment on your liberty to make the choice which is best for you.

Taken a step further, of those 9 out of 10 products are actively trying to deceive me, they are in fact, acting like proxy governments, trying to make the decision for me. There comes a tipping point where in fact the decision has been made for me, and I have lost nearly all my liberty. The choices have become so difficult or convoluted to discern, that .

True, the market is quite powerful and can help sort out the wheat from the chaff, but this is a lagging indicator, and until it catches up, we am left with an erroded

When examining the number of choices available, this is an efficient arrangement. When taking into account the quality of the choices, or the amount of resistance to my freedom to make the choice which is best for me, this is an inefficient system.

So I think the question then becomes, what is the ultimate end goal in terms of individual liberty? Is the goal to maximize the individual liberties of society as a whole and have the government or other forces step in and impede the freedom of the deceptive seller to increase the liberty of the consumer, or is the goal to maximize the freedom of the entrepreneur/business owner by not putting regulations in place? Or is it something else?

Jonathan said...

Jon,

Sorry, but I just can't let your liberal high horse quote go

"By the way, Chad, hostility to democracy is a typical position amongst conservatives. They hate democracy."

Really? Answer me this - when the Democrat senators left Wisconsin to stop the voting process after Scott Walker had the votes in the senate to pass his bill which would weaken unions, was that Democratic? If you had the ability, would you have overturned that bill?

I seem to recall you defending their action to subvert the democratic process by claiming that the process was undemocratic, the Koch brother's money was affecting the outcome of the elections, etc. etc, but last I checked, Wisconsin voted to elect Walker, and had voted to give the Senate a 19-14 majority, and then later went on to reaffirm his election in the recall vote.

Everyone thinks their cause and views are right, and when push comes to shove, most of us are willing to take shortcuts or bend the rules to get what we want. Liberals are not immune.

Chad said...

JC - you mentioned in your opening that no abuse had occurred so is your scenario a legal one or illegal one? Is the act of the contract at 18 your problem or the 18 years of brainwashing?

Illegal is illegal - I would put the parents in jail just as fast as I would round up every illegal citizen in the US.

Chad said...

JC - as opposed to your version of democracy, take from those who have and give to those who do not have.

I can live with 1 person - 1 vote all day long and twice on Sunday as long as everyone else pays the exact same amount in income taxes, laws are enforced across the board and the constitution is the baseline for every single arguement made in Congress.

Do we have a deal? Until then yes I fully admit that I would absolutely prefer a more jaded version of democracy slanted in the direction of the creators/earners.

Chad said...

And - you know this, but America was founded as a Rebuplic not a democracy?

The Framers of the Constitution were altogether fearful of pure democracy. Everything they read and studied taught them that pure democracies "have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths"

So amazing that such old and dead men could be so accurate when writing about their fears of what gov't might become without limits - amazing men.

Examinator said...

Jonathan,
I'm not sure that I can explain it any clearer. You see it in terms of mutually exclusive sides (absolutes) i.e. eating meat is murder et al. I simply don't limit my thinking in terms of emotional /religious/ ideological or 'cultural' templates .
I would suggest that my view towards 'moral ' issues is a fair bit more complex. From your perspective it is at best dependent on circumstances and yes, my favorite word CONTEXT.
You take the view eating meat, abortions, euthanasia, murder, cannibalism are all WRONG. That judgement is based on the the above quadrella not on logic or reality.
e.g. I fully accept that under some extreme circumstances cannibalism etc maybe the best option if not the only option.
No that doesn't mean that if I were to invite you over tor dinner you would be it. What it means is that while I've never eaten human flesh I can conceive that if I were one of the soccer team who's plane crashed in the Andes I might have eaten the dead to survive. In real terms Nothing exist in absolutes. It is absolutes that causes contradictions .
I guess it's the difference between acceptance and tolerance.
You tolerate which by definition means you disprove but will allow me to have my views under paternal sufferance. It therefore opens the justification in your mind to seek to impose your views (the quadrella) on others. The underlying assumption is that your way superior thus you are right (correct) to impose them it.
From where I sit I question your assertions of superiority/higher/ advancement.
Again it's the absolutes I have difficulty with, I try to look at the context and decide from there i.e. it is difficult for me to automatically say this person or factor is totally at fault/ wrong.
I do however examine YOUR assertions and propensity to want to impose YOUR views on others. This leads me to examine your stated tendency towards 'libertarianism' (sic) and the very apparent contradiction your absolutism. I don't share your degree of exclusionism.
I carry two passports as a dual citizen out of convenience not conviction. I no longer have any reason to carry my US one and it is more appropriate that I keep the Aust one. But if Australia expect me to become nationalistic they are in for disappointment. Reality dictates the citizenship not the quadrella of manipulatable simplistic traits.
The simplest picture I can offer is that your life is set/influenced by a series of snap shots . Mine is open ended a movie (a 'B' grade melodrama at worse. 'The revenge of the killer tomatoes' or “hitch-hiker’s guide to the universe” a totally incomprehensible compote of realities at best).
does that help?

Jon said...

when the Democrat senators left Wisconsin to stop the voting process after Scott Walker had the votes in the senate to pass his bill which would weaken unions, was that Democratic?

Yeah, I think so. Weren't they doing what the majority of people preferred? The process is contrived to serve the interests of the wealthy and powerful. So following the legal process, sure, the Koch's tend to get what they want. Democracy kind of requires violation of the rules set up by the rich.

Wisconsin voted to elect Walker, and had voted to give the Senate a 19-14 majority, and then later went on to reaffirm his election in the recall vote.

This may be a case of talking past each other a bit. For you democracy may be more along the lines of "Who was elected?" I very much reject that assumption. Obama was elected and refuses to prosecute banksters and instead prosecutes whistle blowers. The fact that he was elected does not show that this is some sort of democratic outcome.

But where I think we would agree is that Democrats are more than content to subvert democracy, as Obama does. I say "conservatives" hate democracy, not "Republicans hate democracy". Yeah, Republicans hate democracy, but Democrats often do as well, usually to a lesser degree. But you can read from people like Charles Krauthammer or Bryan Caplan overt contempt for democracy. I recall when Turkey didn't want to be part of the war in Iraq. Like 95% of their population opposed their government supporting US efforts. People were so outraged, like ready to bomb them. How dare they listen to their people instead of doing what they are told by their rich and powerful masters? They didn't even try to hid their contempt for democracy. They actively oppose it, like they block democracy all over the world. So I don't think what I'm saying is really controvertible. It's just a basic fact, whether that puts me on a high horse or not.

Jon said...

Illegal is illegal - I would put the parents in jail just as fast as I would round up every illegal citizen in the US.

So now you support government intervention blocking people from raising their kids as they see fit? I really can't keep your opinions straight.

I can live with 1 person - 1 vote all day long and twice on Sunday as long as everyone else pays the exact same amount in income taxes, laws are enforced across the board and the constitution is the baseline for every single arguement made in Congress.

You can live with democracy as long as the results are exactly what YOU decide they should be and nobody else gets a say. But then that's not democracy.

The Framers of the Constitution were altogether fearful of pure democracy.

No doubt. The society needs to be run according to the dictates of a special class of people. People better than the rest. It happens that of course they consider themselves among the "special class" and everyone else's views should be disregarded. Not surprising or unique in human history. Those presently with the wealth and power want to make the rules so they can retain their wealth and power.

Paul said...

Let me use an example. Suppose I feel that eating hamburgers is one of the truly great pleasures in life, but you feel that killing a cow for its meat is literally the moral equivalent to murder. It literally is no different than to murder another human, and I am morally culpable in the exact same way.

For me what this example shows is that morality, assuming I am interpreting the usage properly, is meaningless.

Morality, as typically applied/used by most people, is subjective. If one wants to get to some kind of "objective" morality, it seems to me that one's own feelings, mostly, need to be taken out of the calculation.

Examples like the one provided, IMO, are actually anecdotes to a discussion that morality is a flawed concept.

I don't know if it applies to you but any concept of morality that is primarily (or solely) based on religious belief I reject categorically.

Religion(s) do not address the objetive/subjective issue. A God or Gods can provide a rule set that is independent of any single individual's feelings but it is still subject to the God's (or Gods') nature. One cannot claim that God's nature is good without making that claim either tautological or arbitrary.

I've digressed from the original topic of this thread. However, now that you've become a regular "commenter" I find the way that you articulate yourself interesting and helpful.

p.s. in case you are curious, my moral code tends to be utilitarian. I am not well learned on it probably something of a Desire Utilitarian. Search for Alonzo Fyfe if you are curious about it.

Paul said...

I think that in Examinator's last post that at a meta level his comments are of similar vain to what I tried to articulate in my previous post.

Ex - agree w/ this?

Jonathan said...

Examinator,

Thanks for the clarification. I think I’m trying to focus in on is not so much the idea of an overarching and absolute moral imperative as opposed to a relativistic one, but rather the fact that at our very core, we all have a set of “non negotiable” beliefs which by definition require us to assert that everyone else must adhere to them. Let me try and explain.

Granting one person might feel that no one at any time should ever eat meat, and another person takes a more nuanced view that based on specific circumstances one could eat meat, or human flesh, etc. it is my position that they *both* have a core set of non negotiable beliefs which the place an expectation of adherence of on the rest of society.

Maybe this hypothetical dialog will help:

Jim: “one should never eat another person, that is morally wrong in an absolute sense! I would rather die than eat the flesh of another.”

Fred: “I do not draw such dogmatic lines in the sand. There could be a time when this is the lesser of two evils, and in that sense would be the best choice, or at least a choice I would make. I would not judge someone who were to do this in certain instances”.

Jim: “fine, but that doesn’t make you any more tolerant than me”

Fred: “It absolutely does, people can make their own choices, I will not assert my values on anyone”

Jim: “Very well then, so I assume you have no problem with me actively working to prevent anyone else from ever eating human flesh”

Fred: “But this is wrong, you should not do this – this is not being tolerant and accepting of other’s views – you must let them make their own choices, and not be intolerant”

Jim: “Wait a minute, aren’t you asserting how I should act, and excluding the way I should not act? Isn’t this intolerant?”

Fred: “I’m not being intolerant – I’m simply expressing that it’s better to be tolerant than to be intolerant – this is more inclusive”

Jim: “But your inclusiveness excludes anyone who is being exclusive. If you were truly tolerant of everyone else’s view, you wouldn’t be trying to change my mind, or assert that I am wrong in my intolerance. The fact that you are trying to persuade me to be more inclusive indicates that you are in fact exclusive in your opinion as well.”

The first part of this podcast has an interesting discussion on intolerance and inclusiveness..

http://donjohnsonministries.org/the-large-amount-of-hypocrisy-irony-and-self-refuting-nonsense-in-public-discourse/

Paul said...

Jonathan -

You did not direct it at me so I hope you don't mind me intruding myself.

To your hypothetical conversation -

I had started writing a different response but decided to take a different approach instead.

Tell me how your hypothetical conversation is logically any different than the following (which I am sure you've heard before).

Assuming that the God of Christianity is an omni-max being. Can God create a rock so big that God cannot move it?

Do you accept the above question as a valid question? If not, why not.

Also with regards to the following, perhaps you can elaborate for me -

we all have a set of “non negotiable” beliefs which by definition require us to assert that everyone else must adhere to them

On what basis do you assert that all people have a core belief that requires them to assert that others must adhere to those same beliefs. I am failing to understand this. That is unless the core belief is the belief to assert one's self on others (sounds a bit like a God complex). What if those core beliefs are logically, or factually (, or whatever) wrong?

I am not suggesting that I do not fall into some of these same pitfalls. But I am not, not yet anyway, trying to justify them based on some feeling I may have.

Jonathan said...

Paul,

"Assuming that the God of Christianity is an omni-max being. Can God create a rock so big that God cannot move it?"

"Do you accept the above question as a valid question? If not, why not."

That's a great corollary - the fallacy in that statement has nothing to do with the subject at hand - namely the nature of God, the fallacy is that it is in it's structure logically incoherent. That is to say can something be X and not X at the same time.

Just as we have to look past the topic and look at the structure of the question to solve this quandary, that's exactly the point I'm trying to make with regards to discussions regarding inclusiveness.

We can get caught up in the details of "well you would never eat meat in this case, and are being dogmatic, while I am more nuanced" but no matter how liberal or restrictive one's view on a particular issue, the fact that each person's view is logically exclusivistic. This is self evident the second you being to attempt to persuade someone else that their differing view is inferior to yours.

Here's what a truly inclusive conversation would look like:

Jim: I believe you should never eat meat
Fred: I believe can eat meat, but I'm inclusive in my views.
Jim: I believe your inclusive view is wrong and mine is right.
Fred: I believe that is fine too, my inclusive view includes for the possibility that the exclusive view is correct.

As soon as Fred begins to assert that his inclusive view is superior, he his making logical nonsense - the very reason are are arguing or commenting that your position is better than another position stems from the assumption that A) your view is in some way incompatible with a competing view and B) the competing view is in some ways inferior. Otherwise, you would not feel compelled to make a comment in the first place!

Jonathan said...

Paul,

Let me answer this part more directly:

"On what basis do you assert that all people have a core belief that requires them to assert that others must adhere to those same beliefs. I am failing to understand this. That is unless the core belief is the belief to assert one's self on others (sounds a bit like a God complex). What if those core beliefs are logically, or factually (, or whatever) wrong?"

Any time you ever tell someone their view is incorrect, you are excepting them to adhere to *a* belief of yours.

Conviction one way or another on a specific issue is not required - one person believes red jello should be outlawed - you feel this is absurd. You can argue with them on one of 1000 different lines of thought as to why this is unfounded, but what you may not do is say "I have no opinion on the red jello topic, unlike those narrow minded dogmatic exclusivists. Anyone can feel any way they want on the topic, I am open minded." You have no made an exclusivistic statement yourself.

They might be wrong, ignorant, and mislead, but on the basis of your openmindedness and being inclusive on the subject you have no higher ground to stand. Make sense?

Examinator said...

Jonathan,
It appear that you still don't understand . You are still maintaining a rigid value judgement (non negotiable) .
Again it's the difference between tolerance, a judgemental position and ACCEPTANCE of the reality .

If you read my posts carefully (awful prose excepted) you will find that I tend to state the criteria(context) under/against which I'm making my tentative and context specific assessment. Chad calls it BS waffle and ignores it and as a consequences conversations with him are him saying “now hear this” linear and one dimensional. I have learned from being raised “between multiple cultures” be multi directional in my thinking.

i.e. all my observations (as opposed to moral/value JUDGEMENTS) are neutral in that cultures and therefore morals are different NOT better or worse than.
To go a bit Buddhist on you consider the question “What it's like the sound of one hand clapping? ( as opposed to two). The latter is your judgement Final and absolute, mine is always infinite.

[In logic] I can apply the stated purpose of society (mutual Benefit ….not equality but equitable[fair] ) and then based on that make the logical extrapolation that Vulture (exploitive) Capitalism, Republicanism, national (institutionalised) Christianity are clearly diametrically opposed to both said definition and Democracy. One could also argue that institutionalised Christianity isn't true Christianity in that it doesn't follow the foundation precepts.

You cover that by imposing/ inserting false reasoning by saying that 'there are non negotiable (institutionalised) moral codes beyond which I or you wont go' and 'we are all exclusionary' Both of which are simply projection of your values on everyone else. Your God himself allows free choice.

Frankly without your assumptions of absolutism your entire argument is self defeating (internally inconsistent. But is it better or worse than My view? That is a meaningless question the two views are fundamentally different (Period)
It could be argued that your view seeks to create absolute meaning. Mine simply doesn't, all rights and wrongs are so in specific contexts ( i.e. I live in society as defined above) but don't reflect the absolute ….I accept that that is unknown.
To me life (in the larger species interrelated sense) IS its own purpose but its significance in the cosmic sense who knows? But now we're moving from science as we think we know it into philosophic speculation ...nice for intellectual amusement and mental gymnastics ( beyond which ???
Chad don't bother!

Chad said...

JC - I don't mind losing as long as the voters have as much skin in the game as I do. God knows I have been wrong before and I will be wrong again.

I was pretty clear illegal is illegal - no spinning that one sorry.

Chad said...

If your willing to bust down the door of a household because the parents are breaking the law (slavery) then you must equally accept/support the same when the parents are illegally in the US. You've painted yourself in a corner on this one sir.

Jon said...

If your willing to bust down the door of a household because the parents are breaking the law (slavery) then you must equally accept/support the same when the parents are illegally in the US. You've painted yourself in a corner on this one sir.

It seems for you that you should always do whatever the law requires. Is that right? So if the law says sometimes the free market should be violated by government (like my example of the child willingly embracing slavery) or if the law says a person is in this country illegally the government should impose the various punishments.

But I absolutely do not share the assumption that we ought to always do what the law demands. I'm sure you would agree that following the law during Nazi Germany's rise was wrong. I hope you would agree that civil disobedience from ML King was the right thing to do. So no, I don't agree that we should be exporting illegal immigrants just because the law says we should. And I think slavery should be blocked by the government. Not because it's illegal. But because it's wrong.

You operate on the assumption that the law is like God, like it's the highest moral authority. Law says these are illegal immigrants so this MUST be enforced. But don't you agree that there have been many immoral laws, and the right thing to do in the past when people were subjected to immoral laws was to violate those laws. Susan B Anthony was arrested for voting, since women weren't allowed to vote. Bradley Manning is in prison because he wanted us to know about the crimes our government was committing. Daniel Ellsberg did the same with the Pentagon papers. Violating the law is sometimes the right thing to do. Right?

Chad said...

There is plenty of history to support that - some laws or social situations were bad - I agree with that, but being an illegal citizen is not one of them.

To mentioned illegal citizens in the same paragraph as slavery, voting rights or the civil rights movement is a shame on you moment. It's not even in the same stratosphere.



Jon said...

Do you see how someone might be confused with your various statements? First you say the state should not intervene if a child freely chooses slavery. But then I point out raising a child the way I described and thereby enforcing a freely signed slavery contract would be illegal, and you say now the state should intervene. So even though you think that what the state is doing is wrong the state should do it anyway because that's the law. Then you say some laws are bad. OK, so some laws should not be followed? It seems you are back to your prior position. The state should not intervene if a child signs a contract to enter slavery. I'm having trouble making sense of what you think.

Chad said...

I'm not sure why your confused - you've tried spinning, but I keep dragging you back on course kicking and screaming (lol).

If you look back I asked a simple question or made a simple statement - was your child scenario legal? Was a law broken and you said no force was used and at 18 the child then freely signs a contract. For 18 years no law was broken and depending on the language of the contract I suspect that there may not be any laws broken at 18 - point being for the first 18 years of brainwashing NO gov't has no place. You may not like the subject matter, but no force and no laws broken means no gov't for age 0 to 18. Focus on the contract - is it a legally binding slavery document? If yes then the legal system can get involved. There's no confusion there.

Some laws were bad, but I didn't agree that they should be ignored if broken.

Chad said...

Don't get me wrong JC - I like challenging authority, gov't and in some cases certain laws that do not line up with my personal beliefs, but there are no real social injustices worth breaking the law in protest any longer mainly because their are no longer any causes that are universal like voting rights or racism. What is left on the table are highly charged and highly divided topics.

This is why I am such an enormous fan of taking away the power from a Federal Overlord and giving it back to the individual states. Then the collective voices of the State can adopt/make laws that fit them and the opposition can leave for a State more condusive to their beliefs.

We left Illinois because it is a Liberal sess pool that is headed for bankruptcy at best, but when I go to Chicago and am in the city limits, I follow their idiotic gun laws because I have to respect their decision as a city. Then I get the hell out of that disater the as soon as possible.

Laws are important and they should be upheld.

Jon said...

but there are no real social injustices worth breaking the law in protest any longer mainly because their are no longer any causes that are universal like voting rights or racism.

I don't know what universal has to do with it. The laws for rounding up Jews in Germany weren't universal. They only applied to Jews. But breaking them was still the right choice.

It's kind of easy for privileged white people to say "Hey, everything is great, there are no laws worth resisting." As we sit in our comfy homes. Meanwhile throughout the world our government is torturing and murdering. Within country our prisons are straight gulags. People incarcerated for nothing are routinely abused beyond measure. Wink wink, you pissed off the warden so we'll just put you in a cell with this guy that likes to rape his roommates. And worse actually. If you were on the other end of the stick you might think differently about civil disobedience.

Examinator said...

Jon,
I'm sorry to say that Chad is suffering from acute privileged white anosegnosia (PWA)and consequently lives in an self referential echo chamber.
He sees the world in terms of he's made it so everyone else can.
He can't get his head around the reality is that current Capitalism is based on restrictions and scarcity.
i.e. scarcity defines "value".
take India one University alone turns out 30000 IT graduates PA consequently they earn Peanuts by comparison to anywhere in the west. Hence they get the support, research tasks... Hence the USA is falling behind in IT technological research. LESS JOBS. Less chance for paying back student loans .... ergo less Choice for American Children.

This is only one Industry.
How long do you think it will be before Americans are all driving Chinese Vehicles? Logic dictates that they have a market several times bigger than USA thus advantages of scale are greater they also have more liquidity.
Advantages of scale is holy writ in corporate capitalism.
Have you any idea how many Top engineers are graduating in Sth Korea? same story.

Like it or not the US is being beaten by sheer mass numbers and money invested in PRODUCTIVE enterprises. US is cash cowing i.e. low investment high returns on previous investments.

What we are seeing in the US economy today with the widening of the gap between productive wealth and paper wealth doesn't bode well for Chad and his ilk (low in skill set flexibility read educational basics) . Opportunities for Americans not in the 10% academically/ intellectually top of the world are going to find it harder to compete with the hoards being trained today.
My logical question to Chad and ilk is out side of 'faith alone' how are the 2/3+ of Americans of the future who simply don't have the ability to or opportunity to have top degrees going to compete?
Under his model of economics they can't!

Examinator said...


Part 2
Fact: all the will in the world won't on its own make anyone succeed. In his terms. i.e. what's he gonna do if one of his children is unable psychologically/ emotionally/ intellectually able to complete a honors Degree and Doctorate. Contrary to their assertions nothing in the Republican philosophy guarantees anything.

A childhood friend of mine a life time conservative did what Chad's doing , extra tutoring , private schools even sent them to a ivy league uni ...guess what one is a (finger) nail technician the other is a sometimes actor and cab driver.

He and his ilk simply refuse to see the reality writ large on the wall.
We still have the problems of yore i.e. discrimination, racism (xenophobia) voting rights, Rule of law etc.

Chad confuses method with cause. i.e. I think 'slut walk' emphasises the otherness of women rather than Human rights. Republicans are fearful of change in that they may lose power, prestige, privilege, and certainty (sic) .
“ Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity” MLK jr.

Since the American / Mexican war 1820 the USA has been engaged in a long term ( extraordinary expensive) hegemonic wars that lead to dragged out counter insurgent wars in other countries (and at home) for its commercial interests about every 20 years … and ultimately to their detriment or lost . Check history.

Surely its time to look for a better option. Other wise the fate of Sparta beckons only in a much much shorter time frame because of technology
Come on Republicans stop hiding behind faith or belief and prove my facts wrong ... if you can.

Examinator said...

Jon,
Some how I'm getting duplicates of my posts Please bomb them off I swear I don't know how this is happening.
Might have something to do with sticky keys (a function I use)

Chad said...

Ex - took me a minute to clean up my nose after shooting out snot bubbles - appreciate the laugh.

Since you were supposedly a counselor - somewhere and somehow - I am just curious how many kids you completely screwed up with your ideals and theories, guess we'll never know the true damage but I suspect it is a long list in my humble opinion. You wouldn't last a month in my community. Probably would do well in Chicago, San Fran, New York and Detroit though.

Thankfully no private school is required here, the public school here receives the highest honors and ranking in the State (beside being ranked in the top 50 cities to live in). The State hates it, but we have a group that makes sure the school hits the benchmarks to get the high marks even though we are extremely conservative. What the school is producing from quality individuals and what they have become as adults proves your thoughts totally wrong specific to this community. Of course we can only lead by example and can't help those who refuse to put in the work to success. It is probably correct that American's are not getting the right degrees, but you understand of course that is because you have the Liberal movement telling kids its okay to suck (collective okay because of counselors like you) at everything and that it is okay to get a degree in the Arts of understanding women in the 1870's. Internationally they are getting the degrees that matter and make money, but there are still quality individuals getting those degrees here. On the other hand - we (Republicans and conservatives) will embrace the international community of hard working, smart enterprising young men and women - we hire them and if necesary will bring them to America - legally. Unfotunately once they get here they will find out that they have to pay for all the sludge, but the good news is that when they have children they will teach them the way (as I am) to be successful. Unfortunately for us the successful group of people are not creating babies at the rate of the sludge. One thing your right about is that it is up to the individual so no parent can be certain how their kids will turn out, but when you give them the skills/path it will prove more positive vs negative.

In reference to my kids - I would make the bet that they have what it takes. Already in advanced classes, excel in sports/dance at a young age and they understand discipline and hard work is good since they are rewarded when achieving goals. They are far more likely to own the cab company or be in front of the camera than the reverse, but time will tell.

I read once that the average height of male CEO's, Presidents and Business owners in America is about 6'2" - doctors peg's my son will be between 6'4" and 6'6" - the sky will be the limit for him I have a feeling. Same with my daughter she is still at the 100% percentile for height. Wish I could say it was 100% by chance, but during the time I was on the hunt for a wife to start a family I was being very selective - looking for a tall date with good genetics and brains.

Found a 5'11" ex athlete with a master's degree. I would say that I did a pretty good job reaching my goal on that one.


Chad said...

Leads me to a funny story happened last week I wanted to share, I am sure you'll find a clinical reason that it will lead to the demise of my kids, me and the world.

I was traveling for biz so when I got back on Friday to pick the kids up at the after school I got asked to visit the Directors Office (very liberal FYI). Anyhow she proceeds to tell me that my son was in a bit of trouble because they teacher caught a money/food exchange between my son and another. When investigating the matter the teacher found out that my son was betting other children that he could beat them in a foot race, computer game, basketball or in arm wrestling for money or food (candy).

Of course the Director didn't approve, but I thought it was awesome - it was a fun discussion and I am pretty sure she was unprepared for my position on the subject.

When we got home he showed me his stash of $18 and another 15 candy bars he had earned. Although I had to unplug the exchange at school, I let him know that I would give him a $1 for every win during the day.

Good compromise I think - he earned and additional $11 thus far so it is working out well (no supposed rules being broken at school).

He is a little man with a big entrepreneurial spirit.

Examinator said...

Chad,
This proves how little you know. Some times you really are a numb nut. I have never been or want to be a school counsellor.
As a CRISIS intervention counsellor. I was involved in getting people through a specific crisis. I've been involved in grief counselling, suicide threats counselling , battered wives and Children. Abused children, People who were lonely and even help someone in a hospice come to terms with dying. I sat there talking to them while they died.
Oh yes some children who were concerned about bullies, failing at school and even rape and assault victims.
One thing you DON'T do is sprout your views or gratuitous bull shit or platitudes. You use a technique called Non directive Counselling.
The first thing you do is help the person deal with their issue on THEIR terms. Then arrange for them to get professional support or help IF THEY ASK.
I.e.I remember a mother whose hubby bashed the crap out of her and she and her children had to leave ...I arranged medical treatment for mom and one of the children then emergency housing, appointments with a lawyer and a social worker.
Another time I called an ambulance and the police and eventually her parents for a girl in a call box who had been slipped a drugged drink. I kept her talking on the phone so she wouldn't pass out before the ambulance arrived.
Then there was the case of the little old lady who fretted because she couldn't find he medical alert dog. We found it and took it to her.

As a matter of record We have 4 children. One is a Jewish hippy and High School teacher.
One is an electronics engineer and manager.
One is a double degree Science and environmental planner for a coal mine.
one is Structural drafts person and is now working on an environmental engineering degree
Seems We haven't done too bad.

Proselyting is your bag of fish not mine.

Jon said...

Chad, your betting story sounds a little fishy. Kids that are slower than your son are repeatedly betting him that they can beat him in a foot race? When we were in school everyone knew who was fast and who wasn't, so bets would probably be rare, much less repeated. And it sounds a little strange that the "liberal" director has a problem with a friendly bet and would get involved to "punish success". Frankly this whole thing kind of sounds like the contrived conservative narrative. I wonder if there's a truthful core that you're not communicating very well.

Overall, that's a lot of boasting, even for you, with the amazing genes your wife has, kids at 6'6", CEO, swindling the others out of their lunch money, beating them at everything. It's almost like everything you touch turns to gold. Reminds me of Homer Simpson, who said "Everyone is stupid except me." But being proud of your family is cool.

Chad said...

I blame it on the scotch and my ego - a bit out of character I agree, but I felt that I was challenged (not by you).

Story is true, but I focused too much on the physical stuff - I don't know exactly what events took place, but he was caught during the foot race so that was my focus. According to my son they bet on computer games, marbles, rolling cars to the end of the table so many many different things - I guess this betting thing started with a couple of the older kids and my son picked up on it.

It was over the top though.

Examinator said...

Jon,
Ya children amazing little buggers at times.
'Moneybags' number two son,( a child of few words)used to hoard his allowance and spend it on his bigger brother and little sister. We often had to intervene as number one son would try to take advantage of this.
One occasion that comes to mind when Number 1, a technical wiz discovered that his Xmas computer game would run better with a Video accelerator... costing more than their allowances.
So No1 convinced No2 to invest his stash of allowance in Candy bars from the wholesaler next to the wholesaler butcher we patronised. What we later discovered was that they were selling the candy bars at school undercutting the PTA run canteen! Yup we were summonsed to the school... "inform" us of the school's displeasure. I asked the school why they simply hadn't stopped them and confiscated the candy...She told me that before our family had arrived in the area another child had been doing similar the goods were confiscated and ea note sent home ... but the note didn't arrive ... and the child complained the parent then started legal proceedings! really?
I offered to compensate the canteen and gave the school specific instructions in writing that is this occurred again confiscate and ring us.
When we got home the two were busy up grading the children's shared computer.
We then had a discussion on ethics with our budding consumerists and entrepreneurs .
A. No1'staking advantage of his brother was not on as it was unfair exploitation of his brother's nature and generosity.
B. undercutting the Canteen whose profits helped all the students rich and poor was being a vulture and selfish.
c. No2 was to have 1 hour per day ho play No1's game as payment for his investment in the venture.
d . selling candy at school was a bad idea undermining other parents wishes etc.
E. if they (he No1) wanted to additional money he had to earn it.
Subsequently No1 tried selling his time on their computer to other children in the neighborhood (Context: at that time they were the first in the neighborhood to have a computer solely for the children others had to use their father's work computer).
After that was vetoed by mom as it encroached on the other children's times. No 1 son started building cheap computers to sell locally.
As we agreed it is one thing to compete with a business whose purpose is to make money for one's self but another thing entirely to compete and to disadvantage .
See my last post to see where they finished up
No 2 son did gardening for neighbors.

Examinator said...

PS
I forgot Number 2 son was 8 ish and no1 was going on 10. 18 months difference.
No 1 son when he went to high school worked part time with a computer networking and repair company until he was graduated high school and went to university.
No 2 bred reptiles and sold them and traded in Anime videos he bought through contacts he made in Hong Kong when we were there.

Examinator said...

PPS she of the internal affairs and finance has just reminded me No2 son had a fascination and grew carnivorous plants Only Zoroaster know what that might signify.

Jon said...

Cool stuff, Ex. It is exciting to watch these kids grow, as I get to do now (mine are now 13 and 10).

Oh, and Jonathan thanks for that info. You have to be really ready to commit to it if you are around 50 apparently, because you aren't going to get out of it for 10 years (unless of course you want to pay that penalty). What a pain. A 5 year commitment to not work is certainly different from the 10 year or longer commitment. Still, I'll be considering it.