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posted by Fnord666 on Saturday January 20 2018, @10:26PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the eat-the-rich dept.

Donald Trump and Angela Merkel will join 2,500 world leaders, business executives and charity bosses at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland which kicks off on 23 January. High on the agenda once again will be the topic of inequality, and how to reduce the widening gap between the rich and the rest around the world.

The WEF recently warned that the global economy is at risk of another crisis, and that automation and digitalisation are likely to suppress employment and wages for most while boosting wealth at the very top.

But what ideas should the great and good gathered in the Swiss Alps be putting into action? We'd like to know what single step you think governments should prioritise in order to best address the problem of rising inequality. Below we've outlined seven proposals that are most often championed as necessary to tackle the issue – but which of them is most important to you?

  • Provide free and high quality education
  • Raise the minimum wage
  • Raise taxes on the rich
  • Fight corruption
  • Provide more social protection for the poor
  • Stop the influence of the rich on politicians
  • Provide jobs for the unemployed

https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2018/jan/19/project-davos-whats-the-single-best-way-to-close-the-worlds-wealth-gap

Do you think these ideas are enough, or are there any better ideas to close this wealth gap ? You too can participate and vote for the idea that, you think, works best.


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  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 20 2018, @10:31PM (196 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 20 2018, @10:31PM (#625360)

    This is about inequality in the world. If the median income in the USA
    moves closer to the median income elsewhere, that hurts Americans.
    It isn't possible to bring the rest of the world up without hurting
    Americans. While it isn't exactly a zero-sum game, outsourcing and
    the mass-migration of low-value workers are devastating to the
    typical American.

    An interesting oddity is that reducing worldwide inequality would
    greatly increase inequality in the USA. The median income plunges,
    but that isn't going to hurt the rich. The rich love their cheap
    immigrant workers and their outsourcing.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @12:14AM (95 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @12:14AM (#625417)

      Allowing the rest of the world to build wealth and improve their standard of living doesn't preclude solving our inequality problems here at home. Citizens of the USA deserve access to healthcare services without placing their savings in jeopardy.

      • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday January 21 2018, @12:50AM (94 children)

        Why?

        --
        My rights don't end where your fear begins.
        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday January 21 2018, @01:19AM (93 children)

          Fuck off, mod. If someone genuinely believes that stealing hundreds of billions of dollars a year from hard-working Americans under threat of imprisonment or death is justified, they should be able to articulate their reasons.

          --
          My rights don't end where your fear begins.
          • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @02:01AM (91 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @02:01AM (#625471)

            Because we are sophisticated civilized people. Well WE are, you're something else.

            Since logic and reason might work better than appealing to basic decency: a healthy population is less of an economic drag, lower costs of healthcare are obviously a benefit, and redirection of massive insurance industries into more beneficial enterprises would be better than simple middle managers who suck out wealth and contribute only suffering.

            • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Azuma Hazuki on Sunday January 21 2018, @02:37AM (24 children)

              by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 21 2018, @02:37AM (#625480) Journal

              Uzzard's another idiot Mammon-worshiper who knows the price (or so he thinks...) of everything and the value of nothing.

              Mark that post of his well: it's "fuck you, got mine" with a pretended veneer of sympathy for *other* people who are getting "stolen from." That tells you everything you need to know about him. Read everything he ever posts with this in mind; remember the kind of person it's coming from.

              Perhaps the worst part is that he genuinely thinks he's an intelligent, deep thinker with his finger (wing?) on the pulse of modern society's ills. Dunning-Kruger-itis is a cruel disease, a kind of pseudo-dementia if you ask me, which comes with built-in anosognosia.

              --
              I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
              • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @02:43AM (17 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @02:43AM (#625481)

                Damn that guy for being well educated, successful and intelligent! Everybody knows all the best people are stupid and poor and generally useless! That's how we know how great they are!

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @02:59AM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @02:59AM (#625494)

                  Yeah! Zero out of three is not bad! Though, I guess he might be "successful" by some definitions, so one out of three ain't bad!

                • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Azuma Hazuki on Sunday January 21 2018, @03:05AM (15 children)

                  by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 21 2018, @03:05AM (#625500) Journal

                  You really don't get it, do you? He's not intelligent outside of a couple of narrow domains, his "education" apparently didn't stick, and his success, while real, is both small and vulnerable to the same market forces as the rest of us. It can all be taken away in an instant, through no fault of his own.

                  Tell me, if that happens, say his business is destroyed by a fire and he gets sick and ends up on welfare or disability...is he suddenly any more or less intelligent? Has anything about him changed? No. But I guaran-god-damn-tee you society will consider him useless trash then.

                  Again: price of everything, value of nothing. There is more to life than dollar signs.

                  --
                  I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
                  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @03:11AM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @03:11AM (#625501)

                    ^ the "being human" aspect that we, as naturally quite selfish creatures, often are bad at realizing extends beyond the situations we have personally encountered. These are the concepts that we learned through the evolution of our societies, and they are quite evidently similar across world cultures. Capitalism and Natural Selection have resulted in some warped mindsets that glorify greed and hurt the larger community.

                  • (Score: 5, Informative) by bzipitidoo on Sunday January 21 2018, @07:17AM (3 children)

                    by bzipitidoo (4388) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 21 2018, @07:17AM (#625549) Journal

                    I've noticed a topic like this brings out very loud flapping from the right wingers. They seem to know they're in the minority and are trying to compensate by being louder, and damn the facts. Rant and rave about fake problems, cherry pick data, and employ pretty much every fallacy there is, such as "trickle down", to try to justify their otherwise unjustifiable positions.

                    There's plenty of evidence that the US is too harsh and unfair, and that this costs us all. I mean, holy smokes, what does it cost to raise a child? 12 years of education is surely over $100k per child. And we're going to throw that educational investment away because we suddenly cheap out on health care? What kind of idiot does that? Rich idiots who inherited more wealth than can be spent in 10 lifetimes and didn't have to do a day of work in their lives, that's who. They're the sort of people who can just shrug off massive losses. Ranchers care more about their cattle and give them better health care than Republicans give our children.

                    Yes, there is a large wealth gap-- few understand just how ridiculously large the gap is-- and yes, it hurts us all. It would help immensely to stop mindlessly worshipping wealth. Many Americans seem to have Prosperity Gospel thinking burned into their brains, way too readily accept the mental shortcut that wealth is a good measure of virtue, intelligence, competence, and divine favor therefrom. Too many respect President Trump and Wall Street for that reason alone.

                    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Monday January 22 2018, @07:12PM (2 children)

                      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday January 22 2018, @07:12PM (#626189)

                      To me, the real wealth gap starts at the discretionary income level.

                      So many Americans live from paycheck to paycheck, they've got what they've got, but they have no savings or spare money at all. Some of this they do to themselves with new cars and bad financing decisions, but even if they were to "smarten up," there's not very much discretionary income left after you pay taxes, housing, healthcare, food, utilities, etc.

                      If you reach down into the poverty level, arguably they have zero discretionary income, and the rich are infinitely more wealthy than they are. Even at "middle class," discretionary income is amazingly small - if people save for retirement and their children's college, etc. there's not much left over. Then, as you start to enter the top 20 percent or so, discretionary income explodes - money just so you can make more money with it, real-estate investments, stocks, bonds, not just as a 401(k), but piles and piles of money that can do things like buy political favors, and what is the most commonly purchased political favor? A way for the purchaser to make even more money, I mean, why bother to buy a politician unless there's a profit in it, right?

                      --
                      John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 22 2018, @10:03PM

                        by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 22 2018, @10:03PM (#626261)

                        Agreed. I have a decent salary and it is taking years to come close to even a home down payment! My dog getting a broken leg was the only massive unexpected cost. Throw in some kids and I wouldn't be able to save anything almost guaranteed.

                        The idea that most people are just idiots who do not know how to save is one of the worst ideas pushed by the People's Republic of Personal Responsibility. Do people make bad decisions? Yes. Is that the primary cause of our social ills? No.

                      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bzipitidoo on Tuesday January 23 2018, @12:05AM

                        by bzipitidoo (4388) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 23 2018, @12:05AM (#626347) Journal

                        "A fool and his money are soon parted", but America labors especially hard to trick and trap people into losing their money. One factor that encourages reckless spending is the sense that rapacious forces will take whatever money you didn't spend fast enough.

                        Like, all those fees with which banks ding their customers, predatory law enforcement of which Civil Asset Forfeiture is its purest form, and if you thought a 20% to 30% annual interest rate that many credit cards levy was exorbitant, how about the 10x worse rates which payday loan sharks and pawn shops charge? That's right, I've seen 240% annual interest charged on the money received for pawning an item, and hear of other jurisdictions that have 300% or even higher rates. There's the insane medical pricing system prevalent in the US, ready and waiting to clean out your savings should you be so unfortunate as to suffer an injury that requires medical care. Insurers are so bad that often the claims department is cynically called the claims prevention department, and the only option to get them to pay a perfectly legit claim is to sue. Most of the time the threat of a lawsuit is enough, but not always. Naturally, the lawyers love that. Debt collectors are unscrupulous scum who don't give a crap whether a debt is legit, and will keep harassing as long as they can. Speaking of debt, the whole idea of student loans has perverted higher education into a means of extracting wealth from the age bracket who has the least, for the simple crime of being too young. Then there are employers who cheat their workers of pay, press them to work off the clock, or drag their feet and slide further and further behind in paying their employees on time and then go bankrupt when they owe everyone more than a month of pay. The Intellectual Property rent seeking thieves cheekily call all of us thieves as part of their audacious propaganda campaign that for decades now has been trying to equate copying with stealing, and way too many people fall for it. And certainly not least, let's not forget Too Big To Fail financial businesses.

                        Marketing is adept at selling people products that they would be better off without, drumming up fake needs for which a useless product happens to be the answer. The worst are the ones that play upon our instincts, such as lawn care. I keep hoping this fad that decrees women must shave off all their body hair would just die. It's costly and unhealthy. Sugary drinks are another-- we are hardwired to crave sugar. We also have way too much artificial lighting. Baby toys are yet another. Babies will very happily play with empty milk jugs and cardboard boxes, no need to blow a fortune on stupid scam toys that dangle the hope that they might be able to turn your child into the next Einstein. You might think that's too bad, and it should be "buyer beware", but the deception is many layers deep and few penetrate all the way.

                  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @09:27AM (8 children)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @09:27AM (#625582)

                    say his business is destroyed by a fire and he gets sick and ends up on welfare or disability

                    Now might be an apt time to mention that Ayn Rand died while on Medicare and Social Security.

                    Next time you encounter a Randian, be sure to mention this early and often in the conversation.

                    -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

                    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by khallow on Sunday January 21 2018, @03:10PM (7 children)

                      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 21 2018, @03:10PM (#625652) Journal

                      Now might be an apt time to mention that Ayn Rand died while on Medicare and Social Security.

                      Because that is relevant how? This is a classic case of whataboutism or appeal to hypocrisy. Ayn Rand is a hypocrite therefore we don't have to think about her ideas. What is missed in such an insipid observation is that Ayn Rand tried to avoid being on Medicare and Social Security. From here [openculture.com], we have:

                      One problem with Rand’s reasoning is this: whether “parasite” or titan of industry, none of us is anything more than human, subject to the same kinds of cruel twists of fate, the same existential uncertainty, the same illness and disease. Suffering may be unequally distributed to a great degree by human agen you, but nature and circumstance often have a way of evening the odds. Rand herself experienced such a leveling effect in her retirement. After undergoing surgery in 1974 for lung cancer caused by her heavy smoking, she found herself in straitened circumstances.

                      Two years later, she was paired with social worker Evva Pryor, who gave an interview in 1998 about their relationship. “Rarely have I respected someone as much as I did Ayn Rand,” said Pryor. When asked about their philosophical disagreements, she replied, “My background was social work. That should tell you all you need to know about our differences.” Pryor was tasked with persuading Rand to accept Social Security and Medicare to help with mounting medical expenses.

                      I had read enough to know that she despised government interference, and that she felt that people should and could live independently. She was coming to a point in her life where she was going to receive the very thing she didn’t like.... For me to do my job, she had to recognize that there were exceptions to her theory.... She had to see that there was such a thing as greed in this world.... She could be totally wiped out by medical bills if she didn’t watch it. Since she had worked her entire life and had paid into Social Security, she had a right to it. She didn’t feel that an individual should take help.

                      Finally, Rand relented. “Whether she agreed or not is not the issue,” said Pryor, “She saw the necessity for both her and [her husband] Frank.” Or as Weiss puts it, “Reality had intruded upon her ideological pipedreams.” That's one way of interpreting the contradiction: that Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism, “has no practical purpose except to promote the economic interests of the people bankrolling it"---the sole function of her thought is to justify wealth, explain away poverty, and normalize the sort of Hobbesian war of all against all Rand saw as a societal ideal.

                      Rand taught “there is no such thing as the public interest,” that programs like Social Security and Medicare steal from “creators” and illegitimately redistribute their wealth. This was a "sublimely enticing argument for wealthy businessmen who had no interest whatever in the public interest.... Yet the taxpayers of America paid Rand's and Frank O'Connor's medical expenses." Randians have offered many convoluted explanations for what her critics see as sheer hypocrisy. We may or may not find them persuasive.

                      Let us note at this point, that Rand was born in 1905. So when she was persuaded to Social Security and Medicare around 1976, she had already voluntarily relinquished a considerable portion of the money that she could have obtained from the two programs (somewhere in excess of five years of Social Security and perhaps two years of medical bills from the lung cancer). Keep in mind she only lived till 1982.

                      Nor do we see how well she would have done in the absence of such programs. After all, if she didn't have to pay into Social Security, maybe she and her husband would had enough retirement money to cover her final years.

                      This is typical of the mean streak directed toward libertarian philosophies. Sure, the ideology is somewhat unrealistic, but it doesn't deserve this sort of contempt. Here someone tried hard to live by their ideals and succeeded to a considerable degree. Yet all we hear about is about the deathbed confession.

                      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 22 2018, @10:10PM (6 children)

                        by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 22 2018, @10:10PM (#626265)

                        Yes actually it does deserve contempt, the libertarian philosophy has become mired down in naivety and claims to base itself in reality which is just beyond not true. It justifies feelings of greed for many people and erodes empathy for people in need of help.

                        I don't believe that is what libertarian ideas are meant to be about, but that seems to be the end result. It has many evil anti-human aspects to it, primarily because most believers take the ideology to ridiculous extremes. The same thing happens with proponents of some welfare programs (to give you a more palatable analogy) who get so focused on fixing social problems that they don't realize their solutions are more harmful than good.

                        If Rand was serious about her ideas she would not have accepted welfare, and yes that shoots a massive whole in her followers beliefs. If that doesn't show you how necessary social safety nets are, then you're beyond hope.

                        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday January 22 2018, @10:57PM (5 children)

                          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 22 2018, @10:57PM (#626309) Journal

                          Yes actually it does deserve contempt, the libertarian philosophy has become mired down in naivety and claims to base itself in reality which is just beyond not true. It justifies feelings of greed for many people and erodes empathy for people in need of help.

                          Utter nonsense. First, that complaint holds for most beliefs. They tend to be naive and based on personal self-interest. So nothing special for libertarianism there. Second, no it doesn't justify feelings of greed as you noted in your second paragraph.

                          It has many evil anti-human aspects to it, primarily because most believers take the ideology to ridiculous extremes.

                          What doesn't? You already mentioned welfare-based belief. I'll point out that science and religion both have this problem as well.

                          If Rand was serious about her ideas she would not have accepted welfare, and yes that shoots a massive whole in her followers beliefs.

                          And she did. She just didn't do it as long as you would have liked.

                          If that doesn't show you how necessary social safety nets are, then you're beyond hope.

                          If I force cannibalism via harsh restrictions on diet, does that prove how necessary cannibalism is? Just because one has to play the game in order to survive doesn't mean the game is necessary or desirable.

                          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @12:13AM (4 children)

                            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @12:13AM (#626350)

                            Sweet jesus you are such a troll. Do you have scripts set up that notify you when an AC responds to you? Or you just use the "new" functionality? Either way you are either a) worst employee ever or b) unemployed.

                            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday January 23 2018, @01:07AM (3 children)

                              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 23 2018, @01:07AM (#626369) Journal
                              Rational argument often looks like dark magic to someone who isn't prepared for it.
                              • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday January 23 2018, @03:12AM (2 children)

                                by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 23 2018, @03:12AM (#626404) Journal

                                From this I can assume you're multiclassing Bard and Jester then?

                                --
                                I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
                                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @05:48PM (1 child)

                                  by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @05:48PM (#626663)

                                  At least it is amusing how blind khal is to criticism. Must be slightly autistic or something to so drastically misconstrue criticism.

                                  • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday January 23 2018, @08:38PM

                                    by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 23 2018, @08:38PM (#626739) Journal

                                    Don't conflate mad and bad, please. There is evil in this world, there are people who have given themselves over to it (to what end I don't know), and we are sometimes confronted with it. Mr. Hallow is almost certainly not autistic; he is merely an asshole, and a particular type of asshole that would sell his momma to Satan for a bag of Doritos if he thought Grand High Inquisitor Rand would approve of it.

                                    --
                                    I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
                  • (Score: 3, Funny) by https on Monday January 22 2018, @06:26PM

                    by https (5248) on Monday January 22 2018, @06:26PM (#626169)

                    Uh, no. Only he will consider himself useless trash then.

                    I'd welcome him to Canada, except I think he'd have an aneurysm when he realized that nobody here (except for a few American-funded fringe groups) thinks taxes are theft.

                    --
                    Offended and laughing about it.
              • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @08:46AM (5 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @08:46AM (#625567)

                You misunderstand republicans. You are putting them in two groups: the rich and the misinformed. This is because you struggle to understand why lower-middle-class people would be republican.

                These are people with fundamentally different values. To them, accepting help that you don't desperately need is WRONG. When they are in poverty and struggling to pay the bills, accepting government help is something they MIGHT do, and they will feel bad if they do. They don't want the help even available, because that would be a temptation for both them and others. They take pride in being independent.

                Your preferred policy cuts into that independence. You would take away self-esteem, self-respect, pride, and hope. You would make them feel like children, inmates, beggars, parasites, and thieves. Of course they won't vote for that.

                • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @01:13PM (3 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @01:13PM (#625627)

                  Yes, and this is why a UBI should be framed as a "dividend". It is the earned amount from participating and contributing to a society that is rich enough to afford a UBI.
                  The only way someone can own billions of dollars worth of wealth is if everyone respects their right to own it.

                  If society collapses, do you think we are going to respect foreign ownership of millions of acres of property and billions worth of assets? Fuck no, it will be "I've got a rifle and me and my friends are confiscating this lot. Eat the Rich!!" .

                  So the choice is UBI or increasing inequality until we do kill the rich and violently redistribute wealth.
                  And yeah, I've heard all the arguments about violent regime changes are always for the worse. Maybe so, but that will be cold comfort for the 1% who are now a head shorter.

                  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday January 22 2018, @10:59PM (2 children)

                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 22 2018, @10:59PM (#626310) Journal

                    Yes, and this is why a UBI should be framed as a "dividend".

                    No, don't "frame" it as such, make it be such. I have yet to see UBI advocates propose a good mechanism though.

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @10:08PM (1 child)

                      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @10:08PM (#626797)

                      It is very simple, incremental tax brackets that effectively reduce a person's UBI up until a person earns $X / year at which point they get zero benefit from UBI. This fixes the idiotic argument of "how will you fun it? It MAKES NO SENSE!!!?!?!" Of course it makes no sense when you stick to math you can do on your fingers :P

                      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday January 23 2018, @10:13PM

                        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 23 2018, @10:13PM (#626800) Journal
                        Umm, we were talking about it as a "dividend" not this separate issue. For example, what's the set point for this UBI?
                • (Score: 3, Informative) by Azuma Hazuki on Monday January 22 2018, @06:00AM

                  by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 22 2018, @06:00AM (#625963) Journal

                  Well, buddy, THEIR preferred policy cuts into basic survival for those that aren't as stupidly prideful and self-centered. And at some point you need to make a...hah...realz or feelz decision. Thanks for admitting it comes down to delusional self-aggrandizing fantasies for the Rs in the end, though!

                  --
                  I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
            • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Sunday January 21 2018, @04:01AM (18 children)

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 21 2018, @04:01AM (#625513) Journal

              Since logic and reason might work better than appealing to basic decency:

              Among other things, those are actually civilized behavior.

              a healthy population is less of an economic drag

              You ought to examine the assumption that health care means a healthier population. In practice, it's often the reverse with considerable resources devoted to keeping sick people alive (an economic drag).

              lower costs of healthcare are obviously a benefit

              Except when they're higher costs of healthcare and hence, not a benefit.

              and redirection of massive insurance industries into more beneficial enterprises

              Like paying taxes on that health care?

              • (Score: 5, Touché) by Whoever on Sunday January 21 2018, @05:08AM (5 children)

                by Whoever (4524) on Sunday January 21 2018, @05:08AM (#625520) Journal

                lower costs of healthcare are obviously a benefit

                Except when they're higher costs of healthcare and hence, not a benefit.

                Are you claiming that healthcare costs are higher in countries with different methods of funding healthcare than the USA?

                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday January 21 2018, @11:45AM (4 children)

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 21 2018, @11:45AM (#625609) Journal

                  Except when they're higher costs of healthcare and hence, not a benefit.

                  Are you claiming that healthcare costs are higher in countries with different methods of funding healthcare than the USA?

                  Every developed world country has problems with health care costs growing faster than their economies are. The US is unique in being the leader of high cost health care here, but far from unique in having the problem in the first place.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 22 2018, @10:12PM (3 children)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 22 2018, @10:12PM (#626268)

                    Whataboutism, there are problems everywhere so we should ignore our bigger ones!! They're all the same anyway!!!

                    As usual you are either a total fucking shill or a total fucking moron. I lean towards the former, but then again smart people can still be idiots.

                    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday January 23 2018, @01:05AM (2 children)

                      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 23 2018, @01:05AM (#626368) Journal
                      Since you didn't get what I wrote, let's outline the thread to that point. An earlier AC wrote:

                      Citizens of the USA deserve access to healthcare services without placing their savings in jeopardy.

                      followed later in response to a TMB post:

                      Since logic and reason might work better than appealing to basic decency: a healthy population is less of an economic drag, lower costs of healthcare are obviously a benefit, and redirection of massive insurance industries into more beneficial enterprises would be better than simple middle managers who suck out wealth and contribute only suffering.

                      Note the problems. First, there is this unwarranted assumption that the poster has a fix that is less of an economic drag, lower cost of health care, and redirects insurance industries into more beneficial enterprises. The US and the rest of the developed world wouldn't be in the mess they have been growing into for the past few decades, if that were the case.

                      Second, there is this ill-defined and similarly unwarranted assertion that "citizens" deserve "access" to health care. The weaseling of the phrasing is such that it is already true. Everyone does have access to health care in the US. They just have to pay for it. So ignoring this glaring flaw, we have to instead consider what is meant: namely, that people are entitled to health care paid by other peoples' money. Before in the market example, your health care was restricted by your ability and desire to pay. Now, we have to find some other way to limit health care such as: death panels and similar decision making or standard-setting bodies, long wait times for services (the US Veterans Administration does this a lot with their more overworked hospitals), or simply having society fall apart when it can't meet all the many obligations it has created for itself (such as austerity-driven collapses in the EU today).

                      And notice that the poster speaks of "access" not of actual health care or even more importantly, of good health. That doesn't promise anything useful. That's yet another reason to look on this with a great deal of skepticism.

                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @05:51PM (1 child)

                        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @05:51PM (#626665)

                        "And notice that the poster speaks of "access" not of actual health care or even more importantly, of good health. That doesn't promise anything useful. That's yet another reason to look on this with a great deal of skepticism."

                        As opposed to our current system where you pay exorbitant prices for sub standard care? You are an amazing person, maybe one day you'll retire to a circus tent where you can astound everyone with your block shaped head.

                        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday January 23 2018, @06:42PM

                          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 23 2018, @06:42PM (#626685) Journal

                          As opposed to our current system where you pay exorbitant prices for sub standard care?

                          Yes. Once again, "access" versus actual care. Let us keep in mind that "access" is one of the reasons for exorbitant prices for health care of somewhat lower quality than in much of the developed world. Lots of stuff is mandated to for coverage by insurance - which increases demand - which increases prices. And Medicaid has been cutting back on its services for a couple of decades due to these costs as well.

                          To give a recent example, much has been made of mandated "free" birth control [wikipedia.org] (that is, birth control with no deductible) as part of health insurance per the past decade's Obamacare bill. While court cases involving religious freedom got the news, the real problem is that there already is widespread, cheap birth control. So it created an incentive to consume more expensive birth control procedures and those costs get passed back as higher insurance rates.

              • (Score: 4, Interesting) by deimtee on Sunday January 21 2018, @01:40PM (6 children)

                by deimtee (3272) on Sunday January 21 2018, @01:40PM (#625637) Journal

                The one low-cost thing that the USA could do, that would improve things greatly, would be to de-couple health insurance from employment. Make it illegal for an employer to have anything to do with your health care.
                Everybody who wants health insurance would have to buy their own. It would move things much closer to a true free market. Insurance companies would have to actually compete for customers instead of having cosy deals with employers and hospitals.

                (If you look up the history, employer health care was a way to get around government imposed wage rise limits in the second world war. Surely a true libertarian/republican/free marketeer would not be in favour of something that is a result of government regulation.)

                --
                No problem is insoluble, but at Ksp = 2.943×10−25 Mercury Sulphide comes close.
                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday January 21 2018, @03:16PM (5 children)

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 21 2018, @03:16PM (#625655) Journal

                  The one low-cost thing that the USA could do, that would improve things greatly, would be to de-couple health insurance from employment. Make it illegal for an employer to have anything to do with your health care.

                  It's already done. Health insurance doesn't need to be decoupled, it merely needs to be treated as a taxable benefit. Obamacare snuck that in via its excise tax on "Cadillac plans" which kick in 2020 and aren't adjusted for inflation.

                  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday January 22 2018, @07:19PM (4 children)

                    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday January 22 2018, @07:19PM (#626194)

                    Health insurance doesn't need to be decoupled, it merely needs to be treated as a taxable benefit.

                    The tax issue is moot here, the issues is that employers negotiate big-block insurance deals at rates that individuals simply cannot. Individually sourced insurance is not only more expensive to start, but also subject to discriminatory rate hikes based on profiling.

                    By combining everybody in one insurance pool, we rise and sink together at an equal rate. By only having large pools associated with large employers, those people benefit from the large group effect, while individually insured are discriminated against, higher rates with or without "pre-existing conditions," more drastic hikes in response to claims, etc.

                    If you want to let the weak get culled from the herd, then, sure, keep the system we've got - it's great at singling out people with problems and kicking them while they are down.

                    --
                    John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
                    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday January 22 2018, @08:18PM (3 children)

                      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 22 2018, @08:18PM (#626211) Journal

                      The tax issue is moot here

                      No, it's not. The tax issue allows such companies to buy about 50% more insurance for the same amount of money.

                      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday January 22 2018, @08:34PM (2 children)

                        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday January 22 2018, @08:34PM (#626222)

                        The tax issue is moot here

                        No, it's not. The tax issue allows such companies to buy about 50% more insurance for the same amount of money.

                        I think you lost this particular game of three card monty... Individuals have methods to deduct the cost of healthcare insurance pre-tax. The tax issue is not the reason for the high rate disparity, the lack of negotiation power is the much larger component.

                        One single example from 2001 - my wife's privately sourced health insurance rates tripled after our first baby delivery cost the insurance company $20K - effectively, her rate jumped up $10K per year with our existing provider, and others wouldn't even insure her due to "pre-existing condition." That's got nothing to do with taxes.

                        --
                        John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
                        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday January 22 2018, @08:41PM (1 child)

                          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 22 2018, @08:41PM (#626227) Journal

                          The tax issue is not the reason for the high rate disparity

                          Ahem. [zanebenefits.com]

                          The study found that in 2014 individual health insurance plans offered on the ACA’s exchanges are comparable to, or lower priced than, similar employer-sponsored plans. Additionally, most exchange shoppers have a wider variety of plans than the typical employer-sponsored offering.

                          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday January 22 2018, @09:31PM

                            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday January 22 2018, @09:31PM (#626244)

                            2014 individual health insurance plans

                            Sorry, I'm a little out of touch since I work for a big company now - is this referring to Obamacare?

                            Can't argue with the wider variety thing, any employer sponsored "choices" I have ever had in healthcare insurance have been limited to two, maybe three selections - the cheap plan, and the pay us up front in increased premiums for benefits you may or may not claim plans - which never, ever work out to the ultimate financial benefit of the insured - maybe break-even, on a high claims year.

                            --
                            John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @10:24PM (4 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @10:24PM (#625837)

                Nobody who anyone takes seriously has proposed repealing Regan's requirement that emergency rooms treat the uninsured, so saving money by not trying to keep the dying alive is not an option on the table. Universal health insurance means people get early/preventative care which means a healthier population... the lack of it means people wait until they need much more expensive treatment.

                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday January 21 2018, @11:43PM (3 children)

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 21 2018, @11:43PM (#625875) Journal

                  Universal health insurance means people get early/preventative care which means a healthier population...

                  Unless it means that people get treated for costly problems that wouldn't bother them before they die of something else. There's a reason that insurance companies routinely stay away from early/preventative care.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 22 2018, @10:15PM (2 children)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 22 2018, @10:15PM (#626273)

                    Yes there is a reason, they are greedy fucks. Half the time they won't even pay out for costly problems or only partially cover it. Letting millions of people get preventative care is way more expensive than the occasional massive bill they can fight and not even fully pay.

                    Grow up / get real / stop making horrible arguments to cover your ignorance and sociopath beliefs.

                    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday January 22 2018, @10:17PM (1 child)

                      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 22 2018, @10:17PM (#626275) Journal
                      Greedy doesn't mean stupid. If there were money to be saved with preventative care, they'd all be doing it voluntarily.
                      • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @12:17AM

                        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @12:17AM (#626351)

                        You're right, they greedy and evil. I forgot to add that there. Why save money through preventative care when they can just jack up premiums and deny coverage? Your blind faith in "the market" is staggering.

            • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday January 21 2018, @05:44AM (46 children)

              Lower costs of healthcare? Have you at all been paying attention the past few years? Paying for the poor's healthcare out of my wallet has massively increased the cost of healthcare for everybody.

              And, yes, you'd damned well better have a damned good, logical argument if you want me to roll over for being robbed.

              --
              My rights don't end where your fear begins.
              • (Score: 5, Informative) by Whoever on Sunday January 21 2018, @05:56AM (45 children)

                by Whoever (4524) on Sunday January 21 2018, @05:56AM (#625534) Journal

                Paying for the poor's healthcare out of my wallet has massively increased the cost of healthcare for everybody.

                Citation? "poor's healthcare" is paid for/subsidized out of taxes, not your healthcare bills.

                The current healthcare "system" means that the costs in the USA are the highest of any western country. US governments (I think, including States) spend more per person (averaged over all 300+ million population) than the UK, but only covers 1/4 of the population.

                • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday January 21 2018, @06:58AM (44 children)

                  Citation? "poor's healthcare" is paid for/subsidized out of taxes, not your healthcare bills.

                  Whose hands the dollar bills get touched by on its way to treat Homey the Clown's crack addiction is irrelevant, as is what you care to label it.

                  The current healthcare "system" means that the costs in the USA are the highest of any western country. US governments (I think, including States) spend more per person (averaged over all 300+ million population) than the UK, but only covers 1/4 of the population.

                  That is not a logical argument. That is an emotional argument because the foundational premises are entirely emotional. Would you care to try again? What I'll be looking for is a logical argument as to why I should give a fuck not that "we're not as this or that as Europe" or "you're an heartless bastard if you don't want to give me all your money to spend on my cause of the day".

                  --
                  My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @07:13AM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @07:13AM (#625547)

                    :(
                    no can reason
                    only can take stance
                    simple numerical calcs
                    insufficient

                  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @08:26AM (4 children)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @08:26AM (#625563)

                    What I'll be looking for is a logical argument as to why I should give a fuck

                    1. The US is paying more money, for worse results, than many other nations. The current system is patently less efficient than other implementations. Since the US, as a whole, seems to have decided that everyone should have access to medical care (the political disagreement in government is over how it should be paid for), should we not push for a system which overall requires less tax money?

                    2. You never know where the next great minds will come from. For example, Steven Hawking was not from a very wealthy family, and without support of socialised medicine, he would likely not have survived long enough to make some of his most important contributions.

                    3. People are disease reservoirs. If a large number of people are not able to afford medicine, the likelihood of an outbreak or epidemic of a serious disease is significantly raised, for the entire population.

                    4. High medical costs and uncertainty ("will my insurance cover this?") contribute to a reduction of the appeal of living in the US for valuable skilled workers. Guess who's left in the voting population as the wealthy, educated, people emigrate.

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @08:56AM (2 children)

                      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @08:56AM (#625570)

                      I think the government should pay to stop infectious disease. We should cure those that can be cured, and euthanize the rest.

                      I even think the government should pay when you can't possibly negotiate, for example when you are found unconscious.

                      For the rest though, you need to pay your own way in the world.

                      • (Score: 2) by fritsd on Sunday January 21 2018, @01:55PM (1 child)

                        by fritsd (4586) on Sunday January 21 2018, @01:55PM (#625640) Journal

                        I think the government should pay to stop infectious disease.

                        Well, your government didn't.

                        it reduced the budget of the CDC by 17% [businessinsider.com].
                        (that article I found was from 2017-05-23, I don't know if it has changed again in the meantime)

                        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @05:05PM

                          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @05:05PM (#625701)

                          The CDC does not pay to cure me if I have an infectious disease. They simply aren't involved. They aren't helping, so we should cut their budget.

                    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday January 21 2018, @09:05PM

                      Three's a valid argument. You have my vote on subsidizing immunizations but only if such proves necessary.

                      One and four are solved by not subsidizing healthcare in any way.

                      Two would be far easier and more accurately applied to abortion. Are you sure you want to go that route?

                      --
                      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                  • (Score: 2) by Whoever on Sunday January 21 2018, @05:37PM (37 children)

                    by Whoever (4524) on Sunday January 21 2018, @05:37PM (#625715) Journal

                    Whose hands the dollar bills get touched by on its way to treat Homey the Clown's crack addiction is irrelevant, as is what you care to label it.

                    Yes, it is. You just can't stand that I pointed out that you are wrong.

                    I find it interesting that you attempt to massage your own ego by blaming healthcare costs on the recipient. Perhaps it's easier on you to blame others than to think that there are many hard-working poor who need healthcare through no fault of their own?

                    It's classic "I've got mine, fuck you".

                    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday January 21 2018, @09:06PM (36 children)

                      Look at what you said here...

                      who need healthcare through no fault of their own

                      Now add "through no fault of mine either".

                      --
                      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                      • (Score: 2) by Whoever on Sunday January 21 2018, @09:51PM (16 children)

                        by Whoever (4524) on Sunday January 21 2018, @09:51PM (#625824) Journal

                        As I wrote "I've got mine, fuck you".

                        • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday January 21 2018, @10:55PM (15 children)

                          It has nothing to do with "fuck you". It has to do with "You will not take what is mine from me by force. If you want it, convince me.".

                          --
                          My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                          • (Score: 2) by Pav on Monday January 22 2018, @04:17AM (12 children)

                            by Pav (114) on Monday January 22 2018, @04:17AM (#625943)

                            "You will not take what's mine by force"? Interesting idea. Brazil tried that - no social security, extermination squads for urban poor scum who kept breeding, only taxing for what's "important" for wealthy citizens, and pushing that tax bill downwards etc... etc... It turns out that if enough people are poor you have to spend a lot more resources on keeping what you have. High walled compounds, armed guards etc... are inconvenient and expensive, as is kidnap insurance. Being under constant seige by the poor, and langushing in a stagnant economy with not much wealth to capture at other levels of society, well, life at the top turns out to be less fun even for the super rich. Lula had his problems, but Brazil became much more dynamic, more wealth was created (Brazil became the "B" in BRIC), and became a little less unsafe (which isn't saying TOO much), though apparently crime has shot back up to Syria levels in the last couple of years - I wonder why?

                            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday January 22 2018, @05:06AM (11 children)

                              I'd prefer an honest thief over a communist any day of the week, thanks. At least the proper thief doesn't try to tell me what he's doing is moral. Plus I can shoot thief.

                              --
                              My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                              • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 22 2018, @10:18PM (4 children)

                                by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 22 2018, @10:18PM (#626276)

                                I think I found the problem. The slightly older folks on here are still victims of the RED SCOURGE! Communists? You are a scared little fool.

                                • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday January 23 2018, @05:16PM (3 children)

                                  Anyone who doesn't see communism as an enemy of humanity is either a fool or an enemy of humanity themselves. It has never brought anything except abject poverty and self destruction to any nation that it has touched.

                                  --
                                  My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @05:55PM (2 children)

                                    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @05:55PM (#626667)

                                    Try being less of an idiot mmmkay? No one is advocating a switch to communism, but you're being naive if you think it failed due to it's own failings. The US and co. had an entire covert war against it, not to mention that so far most revolutions have ended up with a dictator in charge. Quite a far cry from what communism is supposed to actually be.

                                    So far the massive destruction has come from the US as we invaded communist countries because they're eeeeevillll. For a libertarian I don't know how you can integrate that fact into your brain. The capitalists literally destroyed other countries for trying out a different system of government. Earth to libertard come in!

                                    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday January 23 2018, @06:11PM (1 child)

                                      Quite a far cry from what communism is supposed to actually be.

                                      Yes, and doesn't the fact that it has failed to emerge every single time it has been tried on any scale clue you in that there might be a fatal flaw in the ideology itself? Here, I'll spell it out for you: Any ideology that requires fundamentally altering human nature to work is never going to work.

                                      --
                                      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                                      • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday January 23 2018, @08:47PM

                                        by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 23 2018, @08:47PM (#626747) Journal

                                        Amen, brother Buzzard. I've been saying that for ages. Communism does not and cannot work, and it does not and cannot work for the same reason laissez-faire capitalism does not and cannot work. You are so close, so, so, SO close, to having the lightbulb moment...

                                        --
                                        I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
                              • (Score: 2) by Pav on Tuesday January 23 2018, @12:19AM (5 children)

                                by Pav (114) on Tuesday January 23 2018, @12:19AM (#626353)

                                It seems you've regressed FAR past even the level of Somalia - even when there is no nation state it will be your tribe demanding that you contribute (if you are able). Even a chimp band will demand you take time out from "earning" (ie. foraging) to keep watch, defend the territory, or pick parasites off your neighbours. If you refuse too much you will be attacked and driven off... how unfair for animals who advanced enough to share your total disregard for others!!! Thieves!!! These kinds of requirements (and responses to shirkers) have been observed in animals as primitive as sticklebacks (small fish). Perhaps you've had an aneurism in your brain stem somewhere.

                                • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday January 23 2018, @05:21PM (4 children)

                                  You really cannot understand the concept of "I will give the shirt off my back if someone needs it but if they try to take it I will shoot them in the face", can you? The people you try to paint as heartless, aren't; they're just sick of finding your hand in their pocket every time they turn around.

                                  --
                                  My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @05:58PM (2 children)

                                    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @05:58PM (#626668)

                                    Universal healthcare would put money back into your pocket with lower costs and better preventative care, along with improving the general economic well being of the country. Y'know, cause sick people have a hard time being productive. But you can't get over the simple intro of "MOAR TAXES!!@!@! mrghbhblbbbllagghaaaf THEFT brakakaka."

                                    Appeals to reason? Don't work.
                                    Appeals to humanity? Make them laugh, no go.
                                    Appeals to greed? Somehow trumped by even stupider greed.

                                    You are a fool.

                                    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday January 23 2018, @06:14PM (1 child)

                                      Like it has everywhere else? There's not a single example of socialized medicine anywhere in the world that I'd take over the US system prior to Obama fucking with it. Thanks all the same but I prefer the days when anyone with a decent job could afford healthcare and receive it in a timely manner.

                                      --
                                      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                                      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @06:30PM

                                        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @06:30PM (#626680)

                                        Ah yes, redefining reality to suit your preconceptions. How astute of you! I wish I'd thought of that first.

                                        It is shocking the number of assumptions you make, and your vast ignorance about other systems. Be ignorant, at least your sharing it publicly so other people can get a dose of reality about who they're "working" with.

                                  • (Score: 2) by Pav on Wednesday January 24 2018, @02:07AM

                                    by Pav (114) on Wednesday January 24 2018, @02:07AM (#626906)

                                    Social animals even down to loosely social insects understand tit-for-tat punishment for shirking social responsibilities (Robert Sapolsky is interesting on this). The wider society defines a shirker (so good luck with your appeals to volunteerism). Given your politics though you've got an excellent deal in the US because your society defines the unemployed and poor as shirkers... kind of like England when it was also in its mass incarceration phase and ejecting undesirables to the USA, then later Australia.

                          • (Score: 2) by Whoever on Monday January 22 2018, @06:48PM (1 child)

                            by Whoever (4524) on Monday January 22 2018, @06:48PM (#626180) Journal

                            "If they would rather die," said Scrooge, "they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population."

                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @09:55PM (18 children)

                        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @09:55PM (#625826)

                        As has been said before, then please return all the benefits you've received through tax funded infrastructure and services. Do it now or shut the hell up you hypocritical piece of crap.

                        • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday January 21 2018, @10:58PM (17 children)

                          Oh, you mean all the stuff my taxes paid for and I owe zero debt either financial or moral for? Yeah, that's what I thought you meant, dipshit.

                          --
                          My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 22 2018, @05:17AM (7 children)

                            by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 22 2018, @05:17AM (#625953)

                            Your ignorance is pretty epic, but fun to see you triggered.

                            • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday January 22 2018, @05:36AM (6 children)

                              Missed on both clauses. That's some impressive dipshittery you have going there!

                              --
                              My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 22 2018, @10:21PM (5 children)

                                by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 22 2018, @10:21PM (#626279)

                                You keep sticking your head in the sand. I just hope the rest of the country does better than you and in 5-15 years we get to hear your bitching about universal healthcare. Then you'll fall and break your hip and continue bitching. Cause that's all you are, a bitchy entitled little twat.

                                • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday January 23 2018, @05:22PM (4 children)

                                  I think you need to look up the word "entitled" and then rethink which side of the debate are "bitchy entitled little twats".

                                  --
                                  My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @06:01PM (3 children)

                                    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @06:01PM (#626669)

                                    Right, cause wanting universal healthcare for others when I happen to be perfectly healthy is "entitled". It must be a sad life being so selfish all the time, will probably be on your deathbed when the crushing existential weight of your own hubris lets you see your true self.

                                    You want to pretend you're magnanimous, but you're tied down with dogma that is selfish and greedy. We can only point out the inconsistencies, but you have to man up and come to terms with them.

                                    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday January 23 2018, @06:16PM (2 children)

                                      You are a selfish little cunt if you're wanting me to do the paying for it, yes. Charity is giving from your own pocket. Giving from someone else's pocket is "receiving stolen goods".

                                      --
                                      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                                      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @06:32PM (1 child)

                                        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @06:32PM (#626682)

                                        Ah yes, the old "taxes are theft!" bit. It's a big goddamn merry-go-round where you start off at batshit crazy, make various arguments, fail, then just start back at batshit crazy! Capital job my good bloke.

                                        • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday January 23 2018, @08:49PM

                                          by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 23 2018, @08:49PM (#626748) Journal

                                          He's a real piece-a-work, ain't he? But I think you've uncovered something interesting: this is two or three times on this thread that he's been reduced to autism-screeching "TAXES ARE THEFT!!!!!1111ELEVENTYONE" when confronted with reality. In other words, you've exposed one of what amount to his religious beliefs.

                                          --
                                          I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
                          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 22 2018, @03:04PM (8 children)

                            by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 22 2018, @03:04PM (#626087)

                            Oh I see. You must not have been born in a public hospital and you started working right out of the womb. Then you never went to elementary school or high school. Must have been home schooled. Quite the early pull yourself up by the boot strings type. Very commendable.

                            • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday January 22 2018, @04:00PM (7 children)

                              Can you genuinely not tell the difference between parents fulfilling the obligation they took on in having a child and someone actually owing a debt? What a fucking moron.

                              --
                              My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                              • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 22 2018, @10:24PM (6 children)

                                by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 22 2018, @10:24PM (#626281)

                                Every public system works only because you have aggregated enough people into it. The cost of educating you was not carried solely by your parents. Your share of public infrastructure is not carried only by you. You are whining about taxes, then when asked to pay us back for all the services used you switch to "I / my parents paid for it!" So taxes aren't theft when they are useful to you, but they are when you don't like them. You're such a fucking tool, hopefully fewer people argue with you and just mod you down to flamebait when you're being stupid.

                                • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday January 23 2018, @05:25PM (5 children)

                                  Yes, it was. They paid what was asked of them in taxes. When you pay for something you are entitled to it. When you do not pay for something, you are not entitled to it. That's how "entitled" works.

                                  --
                                  My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                                  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @06:11PM (4 children)

                                    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @06:11PM (#626672)

                                    Still the fool I see. Was algebra hard? I'm just asking because you seem to have trouble thinking beyond a single simplistic dimension.

                                    Maybe this will help, "you need to pay back all the services you used at the market rate minus the discounted socially aggregated benefit rate." This also means that you must kill yourself (not saying you should do that, but if you want to square up with your idea of "taxes are theft" then its your only choice) to repay all the dead soldiers that fought for your right to freedom. I mean shit isn't free right? Why should you get "freedom" when you didn't do shit for it? You'll also need to bequeath all your money to slave reparations since a massive amount of infrastructure and wealth was generated by their labor. I mean you're not pro-slavery right? You believe people should be paid for their hard work right? Otherwise how will they ever be not poor?

                                    Oh, anything inherited is totally off limits. I mean why should you get any benefit from the work of others? You gotta earn that shit bro! So donate any inheritance to whatever government agency you love best, along with all the above, and we'll call it even. I mean, you aren't a THIEF right? Cause otherwise you'll just get shot, according to your rules anyway. We may have been able to work in a waiver for the death part, perhaps a lifetime repayment system where you get an extra 20% tax rate, but if you're stealing shit we gotta put you down!

                                    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday January 23 2018, @06:18PM (3 children)

                                      You realize by this insane clown logic that you owe a moral and financial debt to Wal-Mart, Big Pharma, and even Big Tobacco, yes?

                                      --
                                      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                                      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @06:36PM (2 children)

                                        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @06:36PM (#626684)

                                        I'm not the one trying to be a greedy bastard and avoid my responsibilities to my fellow citizens. I'm not the one supporting evil fuckers who play your greed for their own benefit. I am the one advocating for improving society with universal healthcare and higher taxes on the rich, and the data backs me up. Go ahead and cite whatever bullshit you'd like, make excuses, you'll still just be a greedy bastard advocating for an obviously broken system. You are just on the top of the garbage heap at this moment so you don't care what is below you, that is IF we believe your claims of personal success.

                                        • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday January 23 2018, @08:50PM (1 child)

                                          by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 23 2018, @08:50PM (#626752) Journal

                                          He claims he's a small business owner if I remember right. I'd be very interested in knowing which business that was, precisely...

                                          --
                                          I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
                                          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @10:22PM

                                            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @10:22PM (#626804)

                                            Being an idiot he probably doesn't realize that proper tax adjustments wouldn't drown out small businesses, and hopefully would actually lower tax burdens for poor-middle-small-biz by having the megacorps and ultra rich pay their fair share. Guess he's just another temporarily embarrassed billionaire.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @09:02AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @09:02AM (#625572)

            stealing taxing hundreds of billions of dollars a year from hard non-working wealthy Americans

            We are coming for your capital gains, Chuck!

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Sunday January 21 2018, @12:23AM (45 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 21 2018, @12:23AM (#625422) Homepage Journal

      It isn't possible to bring the rest of the world up without hurting Americans.

      Citations needed. I don't believe that for a moment. What DO we have in the US? We have plenty of food, we have clean water, we have free basic education, we have overpriced advanced education, we have electricity, we have leisure time, and we have our technological toys to play with. Many of us have productive jobs, which generally keep all that other stuff going.

      If African tribes somehow attain all of that, how am I hurt? If the most backward tribes in Africa get clean, running water piped into their homes next year, how does that hurt me? If those tribes' children acquire an education equal to Americans and Europeans, how does that hurt me? If the various tropical diseases in Africa are eradicated, how does that hurt me?

      Bringing the rest of the world up to our level, or even higher, does not necessarily hurt any of us who are already living "the good life". The real problem seems to be that various people around the world (including the UN) believe that the only way for Africa to get all that good stuff, is if the US and Europe provide it to them. That whole "wealth redistribution" is a manifestation of jealousy. Taking my stuff won't help Africans, after all. The Africans will never get any of my stuff if it is taken. Rich, powerful SOB's between here and Africa will take the stuff for their own.

      The BEST course of action, is to educate those Africans who need it, help them get clean water, safe schools, hospitals, etc. An educated African is just as capable as I am to keep up his schools, hospitals, government buildings, water system, roadways, etc. But, he doesn't need to take any of my shit to get those things.

      --
      Taking bets: When does Biden's approval rating reach 15%?
      • (Score: 4, Touché) by JoeMerchant on Sunday January 21 2018, @12:38AM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday January 21 2018, @12:38AM (#625435)

        It isn't possible to bring the rest of the world up without hurting Americans.

        Nope, just like anything done to help the poor domestically must somehow hurt the rich. /s

        --
        John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @12:39AM (41 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @12:39AM (#625439)

        Tantalum is a metal that is important for modern electronics. It is found in Africa. Right now, we can have low-wage African workers mine for it, and they are barely able to afford any products containing it.

        If Africa became like the USA or Europe:

        The workers would be expensive. There would be environmental restrictions that might entirely shut down the mines. Another billion people at minimum (likely more due to increased survival) would have the means to buy products containing tantalum, driving up demand and thus driving up the price.

        This hurts us back here in the USA or in Europe. All sorts of electronic devices cost more. We have to upgrade less often and generally accept worse equipment. If we still buy the good stuff, then that money comes out of something else we could have bought instead.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by pdfernhout on Sunday January 21 2018, @12:45AM

          by pdfernhout (5984) on Sunday January 21 2018, @12:45AM (#625442) Homepage
          --
          The biggest challenge of the 21st century: the irony of technologies of abundance used by scarcity-minded people.
        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Runaway1956 on Sunday January 21 2018, @02:26AM (39 children)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 21 2018, @02:26AM (#625476) Homepage Journal

          Well, funny thing about all of that is - our poorest people have all the most modern toys to play with, while relatively wealthy people in backwoods Africa can't afford any of it. So, uhhhh - Welfare Wendy can't afford to upgrade to the Newest Shiny, because Town Mayor in Africa paid a couple dollars more than she can afford? Only 20% of Apple's production comes to the US now, because Africa is buying 25% of their production? Awwwww, tough shit, Wendy. You'll have to save up your money, and wait until NEXT YEAR to upgrade!! And, I'm not hurt one bit. I'm still paying for Wendy's groceries, clothing, housing, etc. But, those poorest of Africans are getting clean, safe, running water in their homes, along with a few toys to play with. Life is good.

          Oh - if Wendy gets impatient, waiting for me to buy her a new phone, she just might go job hunting.

          --
          Taking bets: When does Biden's approval rating reach 15%?
          • (Score: 5, Informative) by Azuma Hazuki on Sunday January 21 2018, @02:44AM (34 children)

            by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 21 2018, @02:44AM (#625482) Journal

            Our poorest people do NOT "have all the modern toys to play with." You have not seen the worst, deepest, dirt-shit poverty in this country. Because of some of the anti-human trafficking work I've done, I have. And unless you consider a tinplate shack with no utilities "modern toys to play with"--and knowing you, you just fucking might--you're completely off the rails.

            The deepest poverty in this nation is not "Welfare Wendy" and the small but irritating contingent of welfare cheats. It's the abandoned children, the trafficking survivors who never got helped and somehow didn't die within a few years, the street people, the rural poor with o running water...THAT is what this country has for poverty.

            You either didn't know this, in which case now you do and you have no excuse, or you did, and want to hide behind a veneer of artificial outrage at "welfare queens" in order to shield what remains of your stunted, pitiful, impotent conscience from forcing you to face reality.

            --
            I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Sunday January 21 2018, @10:28AM (33 children)

              by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 21 2018, @10:28AM (#625593) Homepage Journal

              Somehow, it doesn't seem quite right to point to victims of human trafficking as examples of our poorest people. Yes, they are poorer than the poorest welfare recipients. But, that isn't because our social nets have exactly "failed". It's because they are victims of crimes - crimes that should rank right up there with "crimes against humanity". The typical welfare mom living in the projects can feed her children quite well, and provide them with cell phones and such. They are only poor in comparison with their peers who work for a living. And, in fact, if the kids really want things that Mama can't provide, they can always get out and do some kind of work, or learn to hustle.

              You need some other term than "poor" to describe the various victims who live in such abysmal conditions. You might also find some numbers for this demographic. Certainly they don't amount to more than 1 percent of the population. And even more certainly, if the authorities are made aware of such people, those authorities make some attempt to rescue those people - especially minor children.

              Meanwhile - if you've rescued even one of these people, then I suppose your life on earth has been justified. Good job.

              --
              Taking bets: When does Biden's approval rating reach 15%?
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @10:50AM (9 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @10:50AM (#625596)

                I like how it's seemingly just assumed that if someone is on welfare, then they don't work, even though the statistics do not show that at all. Also, of the people on welfare who do not work, many of them cannot work due to disabilities or other reasons.

                • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Sunday January 21 2018, @11:28AM (6 children)

                  by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 21 2018, @11:28AM (#625603) Homepage Journal

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_y0OV6y5QFU [youtube.com]

                  Explain the fraud, then we can talk.

                  --
                  Taking bets: When does Biden's approval rating reach 15%?
                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @07:57PM (1 child)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @07:57PM (#625761)

                    No one said fraud doesn't happen, but that is a shit reason that needs to be backed up by data to show it is a real problem. Make healthcare universal and there won't be a problem.

                    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Sunday January 21 2018, @10:29PM

                      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 21 2018, @10:29PM (#625840) Homepage Journal

                      Uh-huh - making healthcare universal will eliminate all fraud. Got it.

                      --
                      Taking bets: When does Biden's approval rating reach 15%?
                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 22 2018, @03:10PM (2 children)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 22 2018, @03:10PM (#626091)

                    As you ignore the fraud of the the wealthy? I guess that fraud doesn't mean we need to crack down across the board on all of the wealthy because a few are fraudulent? It only works one way.

                    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Monday January 22 2018, @11:53PM (1 child)

                      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 22 2018, @11:53PM (#626343) Homepage Journal

                      Ignore the wealthy? THOSE bastards write the laws, and they're pretty much untouchable. Unless we all break out the torches and pitchforks, I ain't doing crap about them. I'll bet you don't even have a torch or a pitchfork.

                      --
                      Taking bets: When does Biden's approval rating reach 15%?
                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @05:01PM

                        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @05:01PM (#626627)

                        My point was how a few bad apples fraudulently using the social "safety net" call for eliminating it. While a few bad apples doesn't elicit the same response from the I got mine F U crowd. Pointing out the hypocrisy was the goal of my comments.

                  • (Score: 2) by Pav on Tuesday January 23 2018, @12:24AM

                    by Pav (114) on Tuesday January 23 2018, @12:24AM (#626358)

                    Some people slack at work, so therefore you don't deserve a job.

                • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Sunday January 21 2018, @11:41AM (1 child)

                  by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 21 2018, @11:41AM (#625607) Homepage Journal

                  Check out this sow, complete with rings in her lip to prevent her rooting under the fence - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m92eEA-XWM4 [youtube.com]

                  --
                  Taking bets: When does Biden's approval rating reach 15%?
                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 22 2018, @02:12AM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 22 2018, @02:12AM (#625918)

                    She (He? It?) equates "work" with "being a retail worker", probably as a cashier. I find this so odd. Her whole view of the world is so limited.

                    She could join the marines. She could work for a lawn care service. She could be a pimp. She could be a janitor.

                    That is just without education. She implicitly claims some ability to be educated, which would open up everything not requiring attractiveness.

              • (Score: 2, Redundant) by Azuma Hazuki on Monday January 22 2018, @05:57AM (22 children)

                by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 22 2018, @05:57AM (#625962) Journal

                There is no such thing as "rescuing" these people and being done with it. It is a continuous rescue, because the system sees them as the absolute lowest of the low. "The authorities" don't give a flying fuck about these people either; in fact, the specific survivor friend I have in mind told me her "worst dates"--please bear in mind, she is recounting what was done to her from ages 12 to 16--were policemen, professors, clergy, and other supposed pillars of society.

                You don't get it, and you deliberately don't get it.

                --
                I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
                • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by Runaway1956 on Monday January 22 2018, @09:45AM (21 children)

                  by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 22 2018, @09:45AM (#626015) Homepage Journal

                  You don't get it, and you deliberately don't get it.

                  That's probably because I'm not as smart as you? Oh, wait, you're only 92nd percentile. ROFLMAO - get over yourself woman. Remember, you're broken? Maybe your perspective is broken as well? Some people can be "rescued", others can't be. Sucks, but that is life. And, I actually "get it".

                  I wonder - how old were you when you realized that the most powerful people are often times the sickest of fucks? Of course the pillars of society are busy fucking everything in sight. And, even if they weren't the sickest of fucks to start with, power, in and of itself, is an aphrodisiac. If/when you find yourself with the power of life and death over other people, you may discover things about yourself that aren't so very admirable. But, you know that already, don't you? Among other things, you're the woman who hopes and prays that I burn in hell. Go, look in the mirror, girl.

                  --
                  Taking bets: When does Biden's approval rating reach 15%?
                  • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Monday January 22 2018, @04:05PM (20 children)

                    by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 22 2018, @04:05PM (#626114) Journal

                    How old was I? Six. Six. Fucking. Years. Old. That is how old I was. Does that answer your question? And I don't hope and pray you're gonna burn, I * know* you will. Hell manifests differently for everyone who's in it, but given you have a Christian background if not actually Christian beliefs, I'd wager money (if I had any to spare) that you'll get the ol' fire and brimstone spa treatment.

                    --
                    I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
                    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Monday January 22 2018, @11:51PM (19 children)

                      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 22 2018, @11:51PM (#626342) Homepage Journal

                      Six. Fucking. Years. Old.

                      Well, don't feel like the Lonely Stranger. I was right there with you.

                      No, we're not going to compare notes, and details. But, I was there. I'm a survivor, alright? I am no longer the victim - nor have I become the victimizer. Had we met in some other venue - I might be willing to talk more openly, but this is the wrong place for that shit. And, I'm not sure that I would want to talk to you very long anyway. You've said many things that suggest that you'd like to stick a knife where it hurts the most, then twist it. So, no, we ain't even going there.

                      I could offer understanding, but you seem to hate all hetero white conservative type males. You want to blame me for that shit? Nahhhh - again, we ain't going there.

                      Hell? That's almost-but-not-really-amusing. You're already there, and the longer you wallow in it, the more you assure yourself that you'll end up in hell in the afterlife. Maybe you should read Dante again . . .

                      Personally, I no longer believe in any lake of fire. I'm not worried about it.

                      Go listen to these funny looking kids a fews times. https://youtu.be/3Vm0BDTJAzs?t=164 [youtu.be]

                      --
                      Taking bets: When does Biden's approval rating reach 15%?
                      • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday January 23 2018, @03:21AM (18 children)

                        by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 23 2018, @03:21AM (#626406) Journal

                        Dante wrote pornography, and I did not know the meaning of the word "pornography" before I read The Inferno...and, if it comes to that, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.

                        Thanks for confirming what I had suspected all along about you but had only about a 75% confidence in my assessment, too. I knew you'd spill it eventually. Everything you say and do tells me. You're the one who keeps pre-emptively accusing me of being "broken." You're the one who's in such a hurry to declare yourself "not a victim" and absolve yourself of being a "victimizer." You are very much still a victim, and you would love to be a victimizer, as evidenced by your politics and your position on other people.

                        Your "asocial" schtick isn't fooling anyone; you're messed up beyond belief, and instead of trying to at least kintsukuroi yourself back together like I did, you WALLOW in it. THAT is why I have no respect for you and would happily break your fragile psyche over my knee to prove a point: you have become what evil was done to you. I haven't.

                        And THAT is the essential difference between us. I will never, ever, become what you have.

                        --
                        I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
                        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday January 23 2018, @08:14AM (17 children)

                          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 23 2018, @08:14AM (#626452) Homepage Journal

                          Ho-hum. Same boring shit.

                          --
                          Taking bets: When does Biden's approval rating reach 15%?
                          • (Score: 2, Informative) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday January 23 2018, @03:41PM (16 children)

                            by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 23 2018, @03:41PM (#626581) Journal

                            When you reply with things like this, it becomes obvious you are both annoyed and frightened. And feeling weak, else you wouldn't have this compulsive need to get the last word in. Runaway, really, it doesn't take a licensed, degreed psychologist to figure out that something is wrong with you and to make a broad guess as to what it is.

                            --
                            I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
                            • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @06:16PM

                              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @06:16PM (#626678)

                              It oozes out with his military recollections, I'm guessing abuse in the military is much more widespread than people let on. I mean really, who wants to be the sodomized soldier? Better to keep the "shame" in :( It is no excuse for becoming an amoral dipshit that pushes regressive republican politics. Progressive if you're rich though!

                            • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday January 23 2018, @10:54PM (14 children)

                              by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 23 2018, @10:54PM (#626837) Homepage Journal

                              Uhhhh - yeah. This, in a day and age, when half the schoolkids in America are diagnosed with SOMETHING. You go ahead, and assemble some "dream team" of psychobabble creatures to analyze me. Doesn't much matter what they have to say, I'll be laughing at them. Do you have any idea how much harder I laugh at some amateur psychologist who makes her analysis based on posts to the internet?

                              Give it a break.

                              https://www.cdc.gov/childrensmentalhealth/data.html [cdc.gov]

                              Parent-reported information from the 2011-12 National Survey of Children’s Health showed that 1 out of 7 U.S. children aged 2 to 8 years had a diagnosed mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder (MBDD). Many family, community, and health-care factors were related to the children having MBDDs.

                                      Children with the following characteristics were more likely to have a MBDD:
                                              Boys
                                              Children age 6 to 8 years
                                              Non-Hispanic white children
                                      Children were more likely to have a MBDD if they were from
                                              poor families (those living at less than 100% of the federal poverty level) and
                                              families that spoke English in the home

                              If I really want to get serious about finding numbers, there are even more shocking numbers being thrown about. I remember reading that one in five adults are fucked up somehow.

                              First, the numbers are less than credible. Second - being abnormal appears to be normal. Third - who in the FUCK decided what "normal" even means? Fourth - you people who dabble in psychobble are probably the craziest people there are! Why should any of the rest of us listen to you?

                              Go ahead though - if being a part time amateur psychoanalyst amuses you, so be it.

                              --
                              Taking bets: When does Biden's approval rating reach 15%?
                              • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Wednesday January 24 2018, @03:47AM (13 children)

                                by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 24 2018, @03:47AM (#626952) Journal

                                Runaway, you don't get it...I don't need to expose you or your problems. You do a fine job of that on your own. Your dumb ass has some kind of compulsion to keep posting even when it would do you much more good to just shut up and take your lumps, and it's gotten to the point that completely anonymous commentators are starting to remark on how messed-up you seem to be.

                                tl;dr: every time you post you reveal how screwed up you are.

                                --
                                I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
                                • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday January 24 2018, @08:07AM (12 children)

                                  by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 24 2018, @08:07AM (#627046) Homepage Journal

                                  I'm a hetero white male - what is to expose? I'm exercising my privilege. You, on the other hand, don't get the same privileges that I do. Amirite?

                                  --
                                  Taking bets: When does Biden's approval rating reach 15%?
                                  • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Wednesday January 24 2018, @09:41PM (11 children)

                                    by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 24 2018, @09:41PM (#627401) Journal

                                    Um, are you sure you haven't lost the thread here? That response was a complete non-sequitur. You're seriously starting to make me wonder if you have early-onset Alzheimers. I rather hope you do, as it would be some excuse for your complete lack of human decency.

                                    --
                                    I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
                                    • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday January 24 2018, @10:41PM (10 children)

                                      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 24 2018, @10:41PM (#627435) Homepage Journal

                                      Nope, haven't lost the thread. I'm mocking you, and having fun. I kinda wish you were somewhere near, so that you could break me over your knee, LOL. Still waiting for you to put me in my place, like you did the carrion chicken guy, too.

                                      Maybe I should mention that I have sisters, and female cousins, and second cousins, etc ad nauseum. I've played this stuid game with them, you see. You go ahead, post meaningless shit at me, make accusations, maybe cry and whimper a little for third party sympathy, on and on it goes - and I can feed it right back at you. Most guys will get sick of it, and allow you to have the last word - just walk away from some stupid argument, in disgust.

                                      But, I can tolerate the smell of shit. You stir, and I'll stir, between us, we can raise a stink that very few others can bear to be near.

                                      Your turn. Post some more meaningless bullshit about how fucked up I am in the mind, and that I'll roast in hell, and you're the only person here qualified to comment on abused children - there's so much more. Keep it rolling!!

                                      Thread? There is no thread, because half of everything you post is absurd, and the rest is incredible. And, you can't figure out why you're labeled an SJW? You really need to read "SJW's Always Lie".

                                      --
                                      Taking bets: When does Biden's approval rating reach 15%?
                                      • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Wednesday January 24 2018, @10:56PM (9 children)

                                        by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 24 2018, @10:56PM (#627440) Journal

                                        Ye gods, I'm just going to stand back and let you continue wharrgarbl'ing yourself into a frenzy. You're insane.

                                        --
                                        I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
                                        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday January 24 2018, @11:54PM (8 children)

                                          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 24 2018, @11:54PM (#627464) Homepage Journal

                                          At least I'm not suffering from insanity. It is kinda cute, how you prompt a reply - any reply - then promply moderate it as flamebait or whatever. But, you have previously posted that you pride yourself on downmodding people with whom you agree. (again, that comment was in reference to the carrion chicken) Obviously, you take things far more seriously than you ought to.

                                          As an aside - how sane do you think you are? And, how do you determine that your are fit to judge sanity? And, what if reality changes - will you still be fit to evaluate a person's sanity?

                                          And, lastly - would you mind posting your psychobabble degree from an accredited liberal arts institution? I feel that I have a right to know how qualified my online psychobabblist is to babble at me.

                                          --
                                          Taking bets: When does Biden's approval rating reach 15%?
                                          • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Thursday January 25 2018, @03:26AM (5 children)

                                            by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 25 2018, @03:26AM (#627531) Journal

                                            You missed the part where I said I'm not a degree'd or licensed psychologist, didn't you? If you believe my sheepskin I'm a geologist, not that I've touched a bloody rock since graduating the exact year the entire economy went to shit. I fix/build computers and sling Chinese food for a living...well, half a living each.

                                            You know, you're not fooling anyone with these attempts to deflect the attention off yourself. What you say, how you say it, and the fact that you KEEP REPLYING TO THESE POSTS is what's making you look bad on here, not anything I said or did :) And you, like Uzzard, don't seem to be smart enough or enough of an adult to figure this out.

                                            Do yourself a favor: make like an ABit Socket 754 mobo and stop posting.

                                            --
                                            I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
                                            • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday January 25 2018, @07:17AM (4 children)

                                              by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 25 2018, @07:17AM (#627582) Homepage Journal

                                              I missed nothing of the sort. You pretend to understand psychology, and you pretend to shoehorn people into your preconceived categories. What's the matter - when someone takes your own words, bends them out of shape, and posts them back at you, you don't like that? But - that's exactly what you do to people.

                                              --
                                              Taking bets: When does Biden's approval rating reach 15%?
                                              • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Thursday January 25 2018, @08:40AM (3 children)

                                                by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 25 2018, @08:40AM (#627600) Journal

                                                Oooookay, you've officially lost the thread. I'm sitting here watching you Taz-spin yourself into a self-righteous frenzy wondering when you're going to stop and listen to a word I've been saying. Not forecasting that for any time soon though. You really do not seem to understand that you are your own worst enemy...

                                                --
                                                I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
                                                • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday January 25 2018, @11:07AM (2 children)

                                                  by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 25 2018, @11:07AM (#627635) Homepage Journal

                                                  It's you who don't "get it". You talk nonsense, just like a sister, I stick my thumbs in my ears, waggle my fingers, and chant back the nonsense you've been spewing. Worked up? Maybe one of us is, but it isn't me. The question is, how long do you want to continue your silly shit?

                                                  And, when was the last time you laid on the shrink's sofa,telling him/her about your various delusions?

                                                  --
                                                  Taking bets: When does Biden's approval rating reach 15%?
                                                  • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Thursday January 25 2018, @08:09PM (1 child)

                                                    by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 25 2018, @08:09PM (#627830) Journal

                                                    "I know you are but what am I" hasn't worked since second grade, Runaway. Do you really not understand the damage you're doing to yourself by continuing not only to reply to these posts but to do it in the most puerile, ineffective possible way?

                                                    Don't get me wrong, I'm all for letting my enemies hang themselves, but this is starting to make me feel guilty. Just a little, though.

                                                    --
                                                    I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
                                                    • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by Runaway1956 on Thursday January 25 2018, @11:14PM

                                                      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 25 2018, @11:14PM (#627933) Homepage Journal

                                                      Well, if it hasn't worked since second grade, why don't you act like a third grader at least?

                                                      Don't worry about my self abuse, either. I haven't gone blind, and there is no hair growing on my palms. The priest lied to you!

                                                      --
                                                      Taking bets: When does Biden's approval rating reach 15%?
                                          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 25 2018, @08:34AM (1 child)

                                            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 25 2018, @08:34AM (#627598)

                                            At least I'm not suffering from insanity.

                                            All the evidence, and the entire content of this seriously off-topic sub-thread, strongly suggests you are. Seek professional help. The VA should pay for it.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @04:09PM (3 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @04:09PM (#625681)

            Oh - if Wendy gets impatient, waiting for me to buy her a new phone, she just might go job hunting.

            No, welfare Wendy will convince her boyfriend crackhead Chuck to take your shiny new phone away from you by force.

            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Sunday January 21 2018, @04:38PM (2 children)

              by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 21 2018, @04:38PM (#625690) Homepage Journal

              The joke is on them, then. I don't have a phone that anyone wants - just a stupid feature phone, without all the shiny that everyone likes. I do, however, have a 1911.

              --
              Taking bets: When does Biden's approval rating reach 15%?
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @10:29PM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @10:29PM (#626807)

                Damn, you're older than I thought! And quite the innovator. Did you get the phone directly from Alexander Graham Bell?

                • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday January 23 2018, @11:00PM

                  by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 23 2018, @11:00PM (#626841) Homepage Journal

                  The quote at the bottom of the page says, "The bogosity meter just pegged." You must be bog?

                  --
                  Taking bets: When does Biden's approval rating reach 15%?
      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @08:53AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @08:53AM (#625569)

        we have free basic schooling, we have overpriced advanced schooling

        Fixed. Don't equate schooling with education. You can receive an education from a school, but the quality of it will almost certainly be abysmal since most of our schools are abysmal. You have people graduating from colleges with Computer Science degrees who can't even write a FizzBuzz program. You have people - in this case, I would say the overwhelming majority - graduating from high schools who don't understand why any of the math equations they memorized (assuming they even still remember them, which they usually don't) even work. Don't buy into the propaganda that schooling equals education, or that someone with more schooling than someone else is necessarily more educated or more 'deserving' of a job. A motivated person can, in the vast majority of cases, attain an education with or without schooling.

        We live in an age where nearly every job is starting to require that people have a piece of paper, and that harms not only education, but results in unqualified employees being hired while qualified people are overlooked.

      • (Score: 1) by bobthecimmerian on Monday January 22 2018, @12:24PM

        by bobthecimmerian (6834) on Monday January 22 2018, @12:24PM (#626045)

        I think the argument - which is reasonable - is that as the rest of the world gets better education and infrastructure more and more will move to other countries. In some hypothetical world where the entire planet has the same education level as the US, the next Google, Intel, General Electric, Tesla Motors (except profitable), Apple, Pfizer, Merck, and so forth could do all of their research and manufacturing elsewhere. So the demand for American labor drops. There would still be medical jobs, teaching jobs, police, firefighters, mechanics, plumbers, electricians, landscapers, road maintenance, and so forth and a tourism industry. But a tourism industry can only be the major industry of an area if the amount of tourism is huge. Otherwise you need major employers that make something. The area where I grew up in nowhere Pennsylvania had coal mines, plastic manufacturing, paint manufacturing, chemical manufacturing, truck production, and a few farms as the heart of the economy forty years ago. All of those companies and most of those farms are gone now, and the area is falling apart. They have a Walmart and an Amazon warehouse, but those doesn't employ even 5% as many people as the companies that closed - and the pay isn't as good, either. (Well, Amazon pays well but the work is seasonal - they cut most of the staff in mid-January and then go on a hiring spree in October.)

        I'm still in favor of better conditions for the rest of the world. But I think the core problem that is incredibly difficult to address is that production is becoming more efficient. As the whole world moves up to the same level of technology and infrastructure the US has today, worldwide labor demand will drastically exceed supply. I don't see any way to deal with that except greater social welfare programs for millions of people who would be thrilled to have a meaningful job but can't find one.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Sunday January 21 2018, @12:35AM (52 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday January 21 2018, @12:35AM (#625432)

      I'll bite here:

      Provide free and high quality education - seems necessary, both for increasing the opportunity for wealth and for population control. Increasing teacher salaries would seem to be a necessary first step in most US public schools, if you want to retain motivated high quality teachers.

      Raise the minimum wage - meh, I'd prefer a liveable, but far from luxurious Universal Basic Income. Get that and you can abolish minimum wage.

      Raise taxes on the rich - only if you can get global buy-in, otherwise you're just asking the money to run and hide.

      Fight corruption - sure, because we actively encourage corruption today?

      Provide more social protection for the poor - what, exactly, are we trying to say? Healthcare? Shelter? Food? See above re: UBI.

      Stop the influence of the rich on politicians - seems unlikely, though it's clearly a major contributor to increasing wealth inequality. I have written elsewhere about the idea of sponsoring citizens to audit the political process, demand transparency, bring political actions to account, etc.

      Provide jobs for the unemployed - how about we stop trying to make work for people and start focusing on accomplishing the things that need to be accomplished? If everything that needs doing is getting done, and half the population is laying about idle, that seems like an opportunity to reduce the workload for the employed by allowing the idle who want the opportunity to step up and participate. If we've got excess skilled unemployed, I'd say that's time to reduce the standard workweek hours, not time to make up new jobs for them to do.

      --
      John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
      • (Score: 4, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @02:44AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @02:44AM (#625483)

        Fight corruption - sure, because we actively encourage corruption today?

        Yes you do! When you constantly reelect 95% of your corrupt congress for a bigger handout or a tax cut (same thing). The corrupt politicians are only reflecting the voters' disinterest. If the voters cared this wouldn't be a problem. It's that simple. Apathy breeds more corruption. That includes apathetic voting for candidates being spoon fed by your mass media because people are too content and lazy to seek out anything better!

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by qzm on Sunday January 21 2018, @05:31AM (48 children)

        by qzm (3260) on Sunday January 21 2018, @05:31AM (#625524)

        [fwiw most of what I am writing supports what you say..]
        1 - paying teachers more without SACKING THE BAD TEACHERS is simply stupid - the problem with teachers is a lack of reward for performance - not the base pay (although the destruction of the male teacher is a larger problem, and the removal of the techical institute and apprenticeships/journeyman systems, whilst trying to force everyone through universities are arguably worse).
        2 - raising minimum wages is a class and dangerous social game played by the left on the basis that out of work people vote for them - and therefore they like more out of work people! it has been well proven that raising minimum wage is damaging to the poor.
        3 - raising taxes on the rich simply doesnt work as they often dont have much money or income - it lives in trusts and companies - I am astounded how many people dont realise this. THAT is why company tax must be made functional - and right now it is not. it is HILARIOUS when people argue to lower company tax to 'help' people - it only helps the right protect their money, unfortunately.
        4 - Yes, we do actively encourage corruption today - in many ways, however mostly by allowing collaboration between the political, legal, and corporate systems to make rich/powerful untouchable. The media is part of the problem here of course. Especially in the USA it seems to be 'ok' to slap the rich gently on the wrist for things that would imprison the middle classes (look at the mass of people defending Ms Clinton
        for things that would have sent a normal state employee straight to prison, for a long long time).
        5 - Protection for the poor is a hugely double edged sword, as it can also remove motivation to work, and therefore not be poor. THIS is the major failing of most support packages targetted at the poor - without that effort, you are just helping them dig their hole deeper (and, often, that of generations ahead).
        6 - Actually it is quite easy, through a combination of the public demanding laws be applied evenly, political spending being strictly limited (ie: NO funding of election advertising, promotion, etc), and LIMITED TERMS OF OFFICE. Go and learn about greek democracy - it is very VERY different from what we call democracy today.
        7 - Sorry, simply doesnt work. Why should I work if my neighbor isnt, and how can they live to the same standard as me if they dont. The only 'solution' is to throw away the stupid artificial viewpoint that the only 'fair' system is when everyone gets a nice house, playstation, new car every few years, and plenty of holidays. People who try harder MUST be allowed to succeed harder, and what they earn must not then be taken from them.

        UBI however is a great idea - but it must be REAL UBI, which is rarely what is discussed by either the left or the right.
        Real UBI is a centralist/slightly right concept linked to small government.
        Real UBI involves abolishing payments for such things as unemployment, sickness, housing, old age (note: not medical, thats very separate), etc as well as the jobs and organisations that administer those things. You then take all the money saved, divide by the population above a certain age, and give everyone a monthly equal payment.
        That way UBI funds from the savings that are made (and the savings are HUGE, because you remove a large amount of the government staffing, as well as costs).
        After that, it becomes sink of swim.
        The other factor in UBI of course is that it can help in the re-starting of actual local social support structures - which have been demolished by state intervention. Churches, Family, Town Organisations, etc need to be kicked back in to their function of helping people deal with unexpected financial problems - LIKE THEY USED TO.

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Whoever on Sunday January 21 2018, @05:59AM (18 children)

          by Whoever (4524) on Sunday January 21 2018, @05:59AM (#625536) Journal

          1 - paying teachers more without SACKING THE BAD TEACHERS is simply stupid

          So is sacking the "bad teachers" without paying the remaining teachers more.

          Many posters here seem to think that there is a pool of unemployed teachers who would do a stellar job of teaching, if there were vacancies. There isn't.

          Why would anyone go into teaching? It's probably the lowest paid job for the level of qualifications required.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @09:11AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @09:11AM (#625576)

            My brother is into teaching. Science.

            I thought it was bad in Aerospace when the Executive/Management layer seemed to completely disconnect with physics.

            The same lunacy runs through teaching as well. Teacher gets all set up, often teaching from a basic science book for a few years. After several runs of students, he learns exactly where all the misprints, and misleading statements are in the book, after having previous generations of students stumble in it.

            Now, his latest crop of students finally benefit from the experience garnered from their predecessors, just as an audience benefits from several rehearsals...

            So, what does the tie-guys do? Change the book! Same friggen stuff! But different. Did the basic science change? No... someone is gonna get paid because everyone has to go out and BUY a NEW book. Hands emerge from suit jackets, extend, and are shaken, and students and school systems are shackled with yet another expense for something they did not need.

            The school system refuses to calculate the Total Cost of Ownership of hiring their leadership layer. Even though the cost of his salary is astronomical compared to those doing the work, the cost of his handshakes is even worse.

            I wonder how much more efficient the school would work, if the handshaker was removed, kinda like wondering how much efficient my radiator would work if I removed all the dead bugs.

            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @10:21AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @10:21AM (#625592)

              So, what does the tie-guys do? Change the book! [after all the mistakes have been identified in the old book]

              Richard Feynman was once on a committee that judged/recommended textbook.
              In his book "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!", he adds another piece of the puzzle.
              From pages 294-295: [textbookleague.org]

              they asked me what I thought about [a certain book].

              I said, "The book depository didn't send me that book, but the other two were nice."

              Someone tried repeating the question: "What do you think about that book?"

              "I said they didn't send me that one, so I don't have any judgment on it."

              The man from the book depository was there, and he said, "Excuse me; I can explain that. I didn't send it to you because that book hadn't been completed yet. There's a rule that you have to have every entry in by a certain time, and the publisher was a few days late with it. So it was sent to us with just the covers, and it's blank in between. The company sent a note excusing themselves and hoping they could have their set of three books considered, even though the third one would be late."

              It turned out that the blank book had a rating by some of the other members! They couldn't believe it was blank, because [the book] had a rating. In fact, the rating for the missing book was a little bit higher than for the two others. The fact that there was nothing in the book had nothing to do with the rating.

              I believe the reason for all this is that the system works this way: When you give books all over the place to people, they're busy; they're careless; they think, "Well, a lot of people are reading this book, so it doesn't make any difference." And they put in some kind of number -- some of them, at least; not all of them, but some of them. Then when you receive your reports, you don't know why this particular book has fewer reports than the other books -- that is, perhaps one book has ten, and this one only has six people reporting -- so you average the rating of those who reported; you don't average the ones who didn't report, so you get a reasonable number. This process of averaging all the time misses the fact that there is absolutely nothing between the covers of the book!

              -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @01:16PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @01:16PM (#625631)

            Many posters here seem to think that there is a pool of unemployed teachers who would do a stellar job of teaching, if there were vacancies. There isn't.

            Its not just posters here.

            There is another major problem - teaching unions cannot accept that some teachers are better than others. Its perfectly OK to agree that some
            football players are better than others, but its not socially acceptable to say that some teachers are better than others. Teachers are committed to Communism or
            Christianity or something, and consequently they are all equal.

            The only solution is to send them all to Venezuela ... or something.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday January 21 2018, @03:34PM (14 children)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 21 2018, @03:34PM (#625661) Journal

            It's probably the lowest paid job for the level of qualifications required.

            They could always lessen those qualifications. They obviously aren't working.

            Many posters here seem to think that there is a pool of unemployed teachers who would do a stellar job of teaching, if there were vacancies.

            I know a fair number of ex-teachers. They don't stay unemployed. My bet is that if schools were more pervasively to come up with non-dysfunctional work environments and incentives to hire and keep good teachers, then some of those ex-teachers would come back.

            • (Score: 2) by Whoever on Sunday January 21 2018, @05:26PM (10 children)

              by Whoever (4524) on Sunday January 21 2018, @05:26PM (#625707) Journal

              My bet is that if schools were more pervasively to come up with non-dysfunctional work environments and incentives to hire and keep good teachers, then some of those ex-teachers would come back.

              Like perhaps reasonable pay?

              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday January 21 2018, @05:51PM (9 children)

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 21 2018, @05:51PM (#625724) Journal
                The US already spends massive amounts per student. The pay should already be reasonable.
                • (Score: 2) by Whoever on Sunday January 21 2018, @06:29PM

                  by Whoever (4524) on Sunday January 21 2018, @06:29PM (#625733) Journal

                  "should" is not "is".

                  It's another case where distribution needs to be fixed.

                  In a school district near me, the Superintendent got a pay rise this year, but the teachers? No money for that.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @08:01PM (7 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @08:01PM (#625765)

                  Ah yes, the typical khallow disconnect from reality where opinions can be carried to term without the slightest hint of factual support.

                  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday January 21 2018, @09:54PM (6 children)

                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 21 2018, @09:54PM (#625825) Journal
                    Look at Chart PF1.2.B [oecd.org] please. That's a chart of expenditures per student (elementary through tertiary) by OECD country. The US is third place on that list. Even if we drop tertiary education (which is relatively high), we still end up with the US placing well. Yet where is the outcome to go with that spending?
                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @09:59PM (5 children)

                      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @09:59PM (#625831)

                      Again, you have no clue about reality. You are looking at a chart and making a LOT of assumptions. The actual teachers are the ones not getting decent pay, being overworked and understaffed. I'm sure quite a bit of money could be more efficiently used instead of squandered on superintendent salaries and redundant textbook purchases. That however is a different conversation precluded by your ASSUMPTIONS which make the conversation impossible.

                      You and your ilk have a long way to go learning about actual reality before we can have much of a productive conversation.

                      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday January 21 2018, @11:41PM (4 children)

                        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 21 2018, @11:41PM (#625874) Journal

                        You are looking at a chart and making a LOT of assumptions. The actual teachers are the ones not getting decent pay, being overworked and understaffed.

                        In other words, I'm using data and you're just pulling stuff out of your ass. I grant that there may be problems with the data or how I'm interpreting it. But merely asserting that there are problems without supporting the claim in any way is not something I take serious.

                        • (Score: 2) by Mykl on Monday January 22 2018, @02:10AM (3 children)

                          by Mykl (1112) on Monday January 22 2018, @02:10AM (#625917)

                          Perhaps it would be helpful to point out that the US has some of the widest wealth disparity in the developed world. This extends through most business in the US (how much do you think the average Amazon worker is paid?).

                          This trend can reasonably be expected to continue through the education system, with the majority of funding ending up at the executive level, and only scraps remaining for the teachers at the bottom.

                          Explain to me how this little piece of school funding distribution [businessinsider.com] improves academic results?

                          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday January 22 2018, @05:48AM (2 children)

                            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 22 2018, @05:48AM (#625958) Journal

                            Perhaps it would be helpful to point out that the US has some of the widest wealth disparity in the developed world. This extends through most business in the US (how much do you think the average Amazon worker is paid?).

                            While that is in part true, US teachers do get paid well over normal wages (for example, glancing at Bureau of Labor Statistics data by state confirmed that both California and Texas teachers were paid on average well above average wages for the state).

                            This trend can reasonably be expected to continue through the education system, with the majority of funding ending up at the executive level, and only scraps remaining for the teachers at the bottom.

                            Meh, I don't buy that as a whole though I believe there are examples of such disparity. Government is not the business world.

                            Explain to me how this little piece of school funding distribution [businessinsider.com] improves academic results?

                            First, it's coaches not teachers. Their job is not to teach, but to entertain. Second, we're ignoring the vast revenue generation that takes place in these sports venues. For example, the top person on that list, Nick Saban made $7.1 million in 2015 (had to check the original source for that information). The next year, he made [forbes.com] $7.9 million and generated a profit for the University of Alabama of $46 million which buys a lot of education staff and resources. That's the academic results he delivers.

                            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @08:13PM (1 child)

                              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @08:13PM (#626727)

                              Ah yes, education as an entertainment industry. I'm so glad our societal priorities are in good hands!! /sarcasm /barf /stupid

                              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday January 24 2018, @05:21PM

                                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 24 2018, @05:21PM (#627235) Journal

                                Ah yes, education as an entertainment industry.

                                So nothing to say about how much non-entertainment education one can buy with $46 million?

            • (Score: 2) by AthanasiusKircher on Sunday January 21 2018, @07:43PM (2 children)

              by AthanasiusKircher (5291) on Sunday January 21 2018, @07:43PM (#625756) Journal

              They could always lessen those qualifications. They obviously aren't working.

              They do -- and have. I taught in public and private high schools for a few years. When I started teaching at a public school, I walked in off the street with a degree in a different field and was in a classroom teaching the next week. I was granted an "emergency permit." Why? Because the state I was teaching in opened its school year with thousands of vacancies. No: not "unqualified" teachers in classrooms -- thousands of classrooms that have substitute teachers in the classroom as their only teacher from day one. Substitutes often have NO training -- often you only need a high school diploma. And there were thousands of classrooms in that state that year who had subs as their only teachers.

              So when I walked in with a college degree -- partly because I had heard the stats on the radio and was appalled by them, so I decided I wanted to do something about it -- they were thrilled to have me. And I was told that over the next three years I needed to fill my "deficiencies" and obtain certification, though I think that could be extended by another year or two if absolutely necessary. I did attain certification, through an "alternative certification program" meant to fast-track teachers to certification, rather than requiring them to take a bunch of education classes in college. Instead, I spent most of a summer doing 9 to 5 classes and random other stuff over the course of two school years, but I also saw the general caliber of most of the other people trying to get science certification... and, frankly, most of these people were science majors who couldn't find a job elsewhere because they were so incompetent... so they were trying teaching. I was horrified to imagine some of them in classrooms.

              I was doing this right around the time that No Child Left Behind got passed, which supposedly required "highly qualified" teachers in every classroom... which ultimately meant that at first they were kicking the emergency permit folks out of classrooms because they couldn't legally teach anymore, and instead had substitutes with NO qualifications whatsoever. Then most states found ways around the language of the law to allow them to keep doing what they were doing before.

              I know a fair number of ex-teachers.

              Yeah, because I believe the stats are still that around 50% of teachers leave the profession within 5 years. So even many of those who bother with certification may not last longer.

              Bottom line is that if you have any vague qualification that might make you a science or math teacher (the person the first school hired along with me had a psych degree and was immediately put in a math classroom), you can probably walk into a classroom in many states already with pretty low bars. In southern states in rural schools or in nasty urban centers, you may be able to walk in and teach in other fields as well. (All 50 states have reported "shortages" in the beginning of the academic year in at least some areas.) So, I'm not sure how to "lessen those qualifications" when we have such a crisis that tens of thousands of classrooms nationwide (probably more) are already filled with people that don't even have the minimum requisite qualifications...

              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday January 21 2018, @09:56PM (1 child)

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 21 2018, @09:56PM (#625829) Journal

                So, I'm not sure how to "lessen those qualifications" when we have such a crisis that tens of thousands of classrooms nationwide (probably more) are already filled with people that don't even have the minimum requisite qualifications...

                That's how.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @10:32PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @10:32PM (#626811)

                  The ever amazing Republican solution at work!! Are things not working out quite as you'd planned? Stop trying to fix the problem and just wallow around in despair! The lowest common denominator is usually the cheapest anyway!!!

                  Suck a dick you turd.

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Sunday January 21 2018, @02:37PM (8 children)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday January 21 2018, @02:37PM (#625646)

          You are of course somewhat right, but...

          the problem with teachers is a lack of reward for performance

          The problem there is in developing meaningful metrics for performance, metrics that aren't corruptable by political maneuvering, can't be gamed by "teaching the test" and above all: reflect on the effectiveness of the whole educational process turning out productive, or at least not negative social value graduates.

          I'd rate those meaningful metrics as "temporally challenging" to develop - no matter how much data you collect, there's not much in the way of clear, meaningful indicators that develop within a short time after the teacher has worked with a student, and by the time the meaningful indicators have developed, it's very hard to trace them back to the specific teachers who made a difference.

          I think the best we can actually do is rely on human judgement to rate teachers, and that is an approach fraught with corruption.

          not the base pay

          When a teacher's base pay enables them to finance, alone, a home with a child, transportation to work, healthcare, etc. at a standard equal to or better than the median students' families in their district, then I would consider the base pay to not be a problem. Until then, we are implicitly stating that we value teachers less than even the middle of the other professions - and that's a great way to send the best performers off to other industries to do better for themselves and their families.

          I know too many teachers, and especially classroom aides who are doing much of the important work of education, who are wholly dependent on a spouse's income just to be able to afford food, shelter and transportation necessary to do their job. I grew up in the 70s in a 2 teacher family of 4, and with my father working full time in the day plus 3 nights a week at the junior college, and both working summer school, we had a decent middle class income. Without the extra work, we were in the "only run the air-conditioning when it's >80 degrees outside, and any meat other than ground chuck is a once a month special occasion" class.

          --
          John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @05:40PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @05:40PM (#625719)

            Starting with some stats that are from various years 2011 to 2017...

            There are 126 million households in the USA. There are 51 million students in public schools. There are about 3,377,900 teachers. Student to teacher ratio is 15 to 25.

            We thus need to support a teacher with tax funds raised from about 37 households.

            It used to be that women were excluded from many jobs. They were either single or they had husbands to help support them. This meant that the cost of their labor was pushed down. Intelligent women were cheaply available to serve as teachers. This is no longer the case; we'll need to offer decent pay.

            We're asking a well-educated person to tolerate a nasty work environment without flex-time. Decent pay for a person with the education we are demanding (often a master's degree) is something like $120,000 per year. It might dip to $100,000 in a really low-cost area, or rise to $180,000 in San Francisco or New York City.

            So right there, picking the middle value for income, we need to raise $3,243 per family via taxes. But wait...

            That is just salary. The employer pays extra social security taxes. The employer pays for a pension (ought to be a 401K), for health insurance, for life insurance, and for many minor benefits. Teachers need to be managed, so we need to hire management. Teachers need IT support, so we'll need to hire that. Teachers need security forces, so we'll need to hire that.

            Granted, we're already paying much of that, so we can sort of subtract out what we already pay. Still, considering the increased taxes and all, we're looking at an additional $3000 on top of what is already paid.

            The poor greatly outnumber the rest of us. If you are posting on soylentnews, you are probably pretty well off. Maybe an extra $250 per month is nothing to you. Maybe an extra $70 per week is nothing to you. Well... that doesn't work so well for the poor.

            The total pay for teachers really can't go up like that. The only way to pay teachers more is to have fewer of them. We could get pay to be reasonable with about 45 kids per class, but that degrades the working conditions. We'd also have to change all the buildings.

            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday January 21 2018, @09:19PM

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday January 21 2018, @09:19PM (#625808)

              Nice stats, and appropriate - since education is financed mostly on property taxes.

              Also, the better school districts I have lived in do raise about $5000 per household in annual property taxes. One neighborhood in Miami actually voted in a bond issue, raising their taxes for the next 15 years, to better fund education.

              I don't buy the "additional $3000" - assume that the only thing that needs to happen is we take teacher salaries from where they are today up an average of $10K per teacher, that's an additional $270 per household, and I think education is well worth that. Unfortunately, most school boards are elected full of people who vow to "spend the absolute minimum required by law" and thus we get what we've got.

              --
              John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
          • (Score: 2) by AthanasiusKircher on Sunday January 21 2018, @07:56PM (1 child)

            by AthanasiusKircher (5291) on Sunday January 21 2018, @07:56PM (#625759) Journal

            Yeah, I think many folks really have no clue how much "sacrifice" is required in salary to be a teacher today. They hear stories about some fancy suburban public schools in New York in rich areas and teachers with salaries that sound decent if not generous. That happens occasionally, but it's not common.

            I taught high school for a few years, and for the first couple years I was in a major urban area in the south. To take a teaching job doing science or math, I was looking at a 40%+ pay cut from from what I could have walked into for an engineering or science job straight out of college with a bachelor's degree in the same geographic area.

            And no, for those few years I taught, I didn't even get "summers off" or short hours. Most of the good teachers I knew at the schools I worked with were working at least 8-hour days, and frequently 9-10 hour days. In summers, I did a certification program one year, and in other years I was required to do continuing education hours that took up several weeks, not to mention planning for the following year. It might be possible to get a part-time summer job around those sorts of constraints, but not one that would likely pay very well.

            Even for humanities folks, teaching jobs are often a chore for not-too-great pay comparatively. For science or math folks, they could often easily earn double in the "real world" and often a lot more if they are a competent person once they have a little experience. I chose to take a few years when I was younger to devote to this stuff because I was concerned about the horrific teacher shortages I heard about... but then I realized it wasn't really sustainable for me, both economically and psychologically in terms of the stress and amount of work. I toy with the idea of going back to it some day, because I really feel like it's one of the most important things we need in society. But it's hard to make that commitment.

            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday January 21 2018, @09:27PM

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday January 21 2018, @09:27PM (#625810)

              It might be possible to get a part-time summer job around those sorts of constraints, but not one that would likely pay very well.

              My mother used to do phone-sales in the summers, cold calling lists of numbers (often lists of educators), to try to sell... whatever. No, it didn't pay well, no she didn't enjoy it, but being a two teacher income household, we needed the money. Remember, in those days cold calling meant inputting 7 digits into a rotary dial... not fun, even before the awkward sales pitch.

              --
              John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
          • (Score: 1) by bobthecimmerian on Monday January 22 2018, @12:32PM (3 children)

            by bobthecimmerian (6834) on Monday January 22 2018, @12:32PM (#626048)

            On top of what you say, I would add that the single biggest factor in a child's educational success is still their home environment. So if awesome teacher Alice has a classroom full of kids with safe homes and parents that nurture them and care about education while equally awesome teacher Bob has a classroom full of kids and many have abuse at home, or neglect, or parents that don't care about education or are just dealing with a serious illness or working two jobs to cover costs then Bob's class performance will suck and it won't be his fault.

            It's impractical to judge teachers accurately in that situation, unless you want to pay as many monitoring bureaucrats as there are teachers.

            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday January 22 2018, @01:37PM (2 children)

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday January 22 2018, @01:37PM (#626057)

              See, this is my great hope for UBI: that the people who are so inclined to be monitoring busybodies can GTFO of the productive workforce and become freelance contractors, sticking their nose in all sorts of public programs and making sure that they not only meet standards, but continuously improve and adopt best practices. In my impossible utopia, these busybodies would develop an open standards system where they globally share information and self-regulate into politically neutral balanced commentary on all the projects they monitor, from elections to education to healthcare to public works and construction projects, and maybe even the more open aspects of defense.

              But, yeah, without an army of low cost auditors with exemplary scruples and standards of behavior, there's not a feasible method that I can see for establishing merit among teachers - it can be done "by feel" but that's always going to be open to cries of favoritism, discrimination, etc.

              --
              John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
              • (Score: 1) by bobthecimmerian on Monday January 22 2018, @02:07PM (1 child)

                by bobthecimmerian (6834) on Monday January 22 2018, @02:07PM (#626065)

                I support UBI too, but I think it's still political suicide in the US. The conservatives have been selling the idea that everyone has to work hard for what they get on their own, and everything else is nonsense. So for too many people UBI is an ultimate evil.

                The problem is, that ignores context and history. In the present day context, businesses employ people educated in public schools and businesses conduct business partnerships and sell product to people educated in public schools. Businesses need infrastructure - roads, telecommunications, standards - supported by public funding. Businesses rely upon security and safety from police and firefighters. They rely upon the courts to settle legal disputes and help deal with breaches of contract. They rely upon financial institutions that are regulated so they don't collapse and lose all of their financial assets. Success through 'rugged individualism' doesn't exist, everyone is implicitly drawing upon trillions of dollars of public investment to reach their situation. But further and just as importantly, the worker treatment today didn't come just because employees in the 1940s and earlier thought it was fair. It came because of organizing, unions, lobbying, and fighting for better treatment. Strip away those laws, and you don't get a worker utopia. You get the 19th century with 70 hour work weeks for junk pay in deadly conditions, air quality like Chinese cities, people injured at work that have to hope their family can support them.

                With respect to education, my understanding is that the countries in the world with the best education outcomes don't spend a lot on teacher monitoring. What they do is spend more on social welfare programs and require better benefits for all workers and parents, so there are fewer kids with a terrible home life.

                • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday January 22 2018, @02:41PM

                  by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday January 22 2018, @02:41PM (#626074)

                  it's still political suicide in the US.

                  Absolutely true, no matter how well framed the UBI presentation is made by those in favor, there will be those who oppose it simply because it is an easy political win to "fight free money to the lazy."

                  the countries in the world with the best education outcomes don't spend a lot on teacher monitoring. What they do is spend more on social welfare programs and require better benefits for all workers and parents

                  So, I feel like you're talking about Finland, or perhaps Scandinavia at large, and you're right. Due to the harsh winters, I think they have a slightly different view of social welfare there, and they have evolved more quickly to a modern system that addresses more root causes than acute symptoms.

                  fewer kids with a terrible home life.

                  Oh, but now you're on the wrong side of every voter who (even thinks they) had abusive parents but managed to get away from them and have a better life on their own. They did it without namby-pamby social programs coddling them, everyone else who's worth keeping alive can do it the hard way too, am I right? /s

                  --
                  John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday January 21 2018, @02:48PM

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday January 21 2018, @02:48PM (#625647)

          the mass of people defending Ms Clinton for things that would have sent a normal state employee straight to prison, for a long long time.

          Not defending Ms. Clinton specifically, but in general "that level" of government, the top, and even our current carrot top to a small degree... part of the job of diplomacy, as practiced for the last 500 years, involves lying. Part of the job of the president is to explicitly override the law, with the power of the pardon among other things. So, in a sense, yes, the people at the top are exempt from the same type of accountability as their lower level functionaries.

          Should that extend to heads of large corporations? I think not, but clearly in practice it currently does. I think the recent jailing of the VW executive level engineer for "cheating" is a good start, and that sort of thing should be much more common (and in that particular case the criminal penalties should have run higher in the company as well...) It is problematic, because "the buck stops" at the top level, and it is humanly impossible for a single person, no matter how diligent, to be actually responsible for the day to day actions of tens of thousands. I think a broad/global increase in transparency would go a long way toward improving this situation, but that seems slow in coming.

          --
          John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday January 21 2018, @02:54PM

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday January 21 2018, @02:54PM (#625648)

          6 - Actually it is quite easy, through a combination of the public demanding laws be applied evenly, political spending being strictly limited

          In theory, that's good. In practice, each law aimed at stopping, or even reducing, the influence of concentrated wealth on politics is like a stone thrown in a river - the money will flow around that law and find other ways to get to where it buys influence. It will take many, many stones and a good bit of earth-packing between them to stop the current river of money buying political influence, and each of them needs to be placed by the system that is currently influenced by that money.

          --
          John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Sunday January 21 2018, @03:11PM (17 children)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday January 21 2018, @03:11PM (#625653)

          People who try harder MUST be allowed to succeed harder

          Absolutely.

          and what they earn must not then be taken from them.

          That's a matter of perspective, some people will always see taxes as theft no matter how they are collected nor what they are used for. Some social engineering (like the "invisible" collection of VAT in Europe as opposed to the line-item at checkout collection of sales tax in the US, or the invisible collection of some social security tax on US paychecks vs the annual torture session of income tax filing)

          Why should I work if my neighbor isnt, and how can they live to the same standard as me if they dont.

          I'd prefer a liveable, but far from luxurious Universal Basic Income.

          UBI shelter: 200 square feet per person.

          UBI food: rice, beans, enough veggies to be healthy.

          UBI transportation: the bus or bicycle.

          UBI healthcare: basic preventative, simple antibiotics, trauma care when needed

          UBI safety from crime and exploitation: the same as everyone else

          UBI education: better than today's public school system, far from Ivy league coddling and privilege.

          Whatever that costs, that's what UBI pays. If an individual chooses to spend their UBI on hookers and crack and live on the street, that's fine - up until they become a problem for other people (see: safety from crime and exploitation), at which point their UBI can pay for their incarceration until such time as they are ready to be let out and stop being a problem for other people. There may be cases where the shelter and food is provided for people and deducted from their UBI (without incarceration) if it is determined that that is a better solution for all involved.

          Try harder, figure out a socially acceptable way to earn extra income (get a job, busk on a street corner, education, career, whatever) and you can have more / better.

          Giving people the freedom to say "take this job and shove it" in the myriad of cases when employers richly deserve to hear that would go a long long way to "the free market" providing better working conditions and/or better pay when working conditions can't be easily improved.

          --
          John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday January 21 2018, @03:36PM (15 children)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 21 2018, @03:36PM (#625663) Journal

            Giving people the freedom to say "take this job and shove it" in the myriad of cases when employers richly deserve to hear that would go a long long way to "the free market" providing better working conditions and/or better pay when working conditions can't be easily improved.

            People can get that anyway, just by saving money. Sorry, I don't buy that the people who are unable to save money due to bad luck are that numerous.

            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday January 21 2018, @04:52PM (14 children)

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday January 21 2018, @04:52PM (#625696)

              Sorry, I don't buy that the people who are unable to save money due to bad luck are that numerous.

              You never do.

              --
              John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday January 21 2018, @05:38PM (13 children)

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 21 2018, @05:38PM (#625718) Journal

                You never do.

                So what? Where's the evidence to support changing my opinion?

                • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday January 21 2018, @06:03PM (12 children)

                  by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday January 21 2018, @06:03PM (#625728)

                  Where's the evidence to support changing my opinion?

                  Try getting a real job, with real people, not your echo chamber of highly paid, educated, and otherwise moneyed cronies. If you're in the top 20%, try hanging with the bottom 20% for a while.

                  Go spend a few weeks working for WalMart, or your local grocery store, or fast food, get to know these people somewhat and have some sense of why they do what they do. In the 1980s lots of them were kids earning extra pocket money, but even then, there were lots of people trying to support an adult lifestyle, with or without children, on that job - the best job they could get at the time.

                  Whether or not you think it's their fault, they put themselves in that circumstance, etc. there are indeed millions of them in this country working like that. And what is wrong with giving them the option to tell an abusive work environment "I don't need this job."?

                  --
                  John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
                  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday January 21 2018, @06:19PM (11 children)

                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 21 2018, @06:19PM (#625731) Journal

                    Try getting a real job, with real people

                    Like I've been doing for 30 years? Done that.

                    Go spend a few weeks working for WalMart, or your local grocery store, or fast food

                    Done that. I've worked fast food and grocery store (almost three years in fast food and a summer working grocery). Currently, I work seasonal accounting for a national park concessionaire (private business) that hires near the minimum wage line. I started near minimum wage myself.

                    I see plenty of people who figured out how to save money on those salaries. And I see people who can work the whole summer, with some of the lowest cost of living you can find in the US, and barely scrap together enough money to leave the park when their season ends. Drinking your paycheck does that.

                    Whether or not you think it's their fault, they put themselves in that circumstance, etc. there are indeed millions of them in this country working like that. And what is wrong with giving them the option to tell an abusive work environment "I don't need this job."?

                    They already have that option. And they take that option all the time. One of the things about the list of jobs you mention is that they all have high turnover. And they have high turnover in large part because people quit.

                    I have to say for someone lecturing me on this stuff, you don't seem so in touch yourself.

                    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday January 21 2018, @08:32PM (10 children)

                      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday January 21 2018, @08:32PM (#625785)

                      with some of the lowest cost of living you can find in the US

                      That may be impacting your perspective on life, my perspective has come from cities like Miami, New York, Houston, and surrounding areas which have significantly higher cost of living challenges.

                      If all the people having cost of living problems in the cities moved to your national park, you'd have cost of living problems there, too.

                      --
                      John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
                      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday January 21 2018, @11:38PM (9 children)

                        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 21 2018, @11:38PM (#625873) Journal

                        If all the people having cost of living problems in the cities moved to your national park, you'd have cost of living problems there, too.

                        I guess they better not do that then.

                        It remains that I not only have experience with the poor, but have been at times a member of said group. What I routinely see is that people who get their act together can save money and find better work. While people who can't just kick around from job to job or struggle with situations that never change (like relatives that are always borrowing money and getting into trouble).

                        So yes, I see a number of problems that can't be fixed by hard work, mostly illness, but I also see a lot of problems that are fixed or improved every summer by hard work.

                        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday January 22 2018, @05:39PM (8 children)

                          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday January 22 2018, @05:39PM (#626148)

                          It remains that I not only have experience with the poor, but have been at times a member of said group.

                          So, of course, there's all kinds of poor. How many people are you supporting? What kind of local, and/or extended, family support network do you have / are you providing? Any special needs in this group? Elder care? When I was single, making a tiny fraction of my current salary - I had much more disposable income / financial freedom than I do today. As an income earner, I could ditch all the people who are dependent on me and get myself in fine financial shape in no-time, while leaving a train wreck behind me - that's not a good option for the big picture.

                          You completely glossed over your low cost of living perspective. Taking that into account, you live in one of the highest purchasing power for minimum wage areas in the country (excepting for places which locally raise it higher). It's not surprising that some of your friends and neighbors can bootstrap up and "make it" on any kind of job at all.

                          --
                          John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
                          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday January 22 2018, @08:38PM (7 children)

                            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 22 2018, @08:38PM (#626225) Journal

                            So, of course, there's all kinds of poor. How many people are you supporting? What kind of local, and/or extended, family support network do you have / are you providing? Any special needs in this group? Elder care? When I was single, making a tiny fraction of my current salary - I had much more disposable income / financial freedom than I do today. As an income earner, I could ditch all the people who are dependent on me and get myself in fine financial shape in no-time, while leaving a train wreck behind me - that's not a good option for the big picture.

                            Well, that is the thing about drowning victims. Sometimes they pull the rescuer in with them. Here, it's the difference between leaving the train wreck behind you and becoming part of the train wreck. For example, lottery winners who can't figure out how to separate themselves from their poor brethren, end up joining them [cnbc.com] in a few years:

                            Another major struggle that winners often face is saying "no" to friends and family who hope to join in on the good fortune.

                            Charles Conrad, senior financial planner at Szarka Financial, told Teresa Dixon Murray, "Once family and friends learn of the windfall, they have expectations of what they should be entitled to." He explained, "It can be very difficult to say 'no.'"

                            Of course, some lottery winners survive the tumult and go on to thrive. Missouri lottery winner Sandra Hayes has managed to keep her head above water even after splitting a $224 million Powerball jackpot with 12 coworkers.

                            "I had to endure the greed and the need that people have, trying to get you to release your money to them. That caused a lot of emotional pain," she told The Associated Press. "These are people who you've loved deep down, and they're turning into vampires trying to suck the life out of me."

                            The former social worker has avoided financial misfortune by maintaining her frugal lifestyle even though she no longer lives paycheck to paycheck. "I know a lot of people who won the lottery and are broke today," she said. "If you're not disciplined, you will go broke. I don't care how much money you have."

                            Some support networks aren't when it comes to wealth.

                            You completely glossed over your low cost of living perspective. Taking that into account, you live in one of the highest purchasing power for minimum wage areas in the country (excepting for places which locally raise it higher). It's not surprising that some of your friends and neighbors can bootstrap up and "make it" on any kind of job at all.

                            Cost of living is one of the things you need to learn to control when you are poor. Those bootstrappers learned how to do that.

                            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday January 22 2018, @09:27PM (6 children)

                              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday January 22 2018, @09:27PM (#626241)

                              Cost of living is one of the things you need to learn to control when you are poor.

                              So, for those who start out in higher cost of living areas, where they are integrated into a (functional) family network with at least some level of mutual support... they should abandon that and migrate away to seek lower cost of living? I mean, we did that, once, for a little less than 3 years - it bridged a tough time, but ultimately it wasn't the right answer for us, and in the big economic picture it was very costly. My employer paid roughly 6 months of my salary to relocate me out there with a 2 year agreement - then, thankfully just after the two year mark, they started slashing benefits amounting to a nearly 30% pay cut for me... so I left.

                              Thinking downmarket to people who can't get potential employers to pick up the cost of their move, footing the bill for the move yourself when you're already down on your luck - with what? Credit? If we all had functional crystal balls that told the future, it would make the decision making process much more reliable, and break the stock market overnight - until that time... mistakes happen.

                              --
                              John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
                              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday January 22 2018, @09:58PM (5 children)

                                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 22 2018, @09:58PM (#626256) Journal

                                So, for those who start out in higher cost of living areas, where they are integrated into a (functional) family network with at least some level of mutual support...

                                Notice the cognitive dissonance of demanding social benefits because one needs to support poor peoples' "family networks" in bad locations. The obvious solution is move them out - family networks be damned.

                                What you miss here is that moving is a key way to address regional differences in wealth and income inequality.

                                More troublings till, Americans are no longer moving from poor regions to rich ones. This observation captures two trends in declining mobility. First, fewer Americans are moving away from geographic areas of low economic opportunity. David Autor, David Dorn, and their colleagues have studied declining regions that lost manufacturing jobs due to shocks created by Chinese import competition. Traditionally, such shocks would be expected to generate temporary spikes in unemployment rates, which would then subside as unemployed people left the are a to find new jobs. But these studies found that unemployment rates and average wage reductions persisted over time. Americans, especially thos e who are non-college educated, are choosing to stay in areas hit by negative economic shocks. There is a long history of localized shocks generating interstate mobility in the United States; today, however, economists at the International Monetary Fund note that “following the same negative shock to labor demand, affected workers have more and more tended to either drop out of the labor force or remain unemployed instead of relocating.”

                                Second, lower-skilled workers are not moving to high-wage cities and regions. Bankers and technologists continue to move from Mississippi or Arkansas to New York or Silicon Valley, but few janitors make similar moves, despite the higher nominal wages on offer in rich regions for all types of jobs. As a result, local economic booms no longer create boomtowns. Economically successful regions like Silicon Valley, San Francisco, New York, and Boston have seen only slow population growth over the last twenty five years. Inequality between states has become entr enched. Peter Ganong and Daniel Shoag have shown that a hundred-year trend of “convergence” between the richest and poorest states in per-capita state Gross Domestic Product (GDP) slowed in the 1980s and now has effectively come to a halt.

                                In other words, the economic effects of moving where the jobs are is more useful and important than the "family network" to the extent that it's actually lessened economic differences between the states for the better part of a century with a drop in this economic improvement once people stopped moving so much.

                                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday January 22 2018, @09:59PM

                                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 22 2018, @09:59PM (#626257) Journal
                                  Link [ssrn.com] to quote. See pages 82-83.
                                • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday January 22 2018, @10:46PM (3 children)

                                  by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday January 22 2018, @10:46PM (#626301)

                                  The obvious solution is move them out - family networks be damned.

                                  A couple of months after we moved, NPR was running a sound-bite from W that was along the lines of "I know a lot of you have had to relocate, but we are stronger for it... blah blah blah" my family was squarely in the group he was talking about, and, for us at least, he was completely full of shit. The moving companies, and realtors, and all those people were economically enhanced by our move, but my family and the company that moved me still paid a high price for that move, and within 3 years we moved right back, giving another round of cash to the moving company and realtors.

                                  It's not just family networks, its entire social networks, friends who can watch the kids... do things for the house when you're not there, etc. When you've lived in a place for 10 years, you develop a reliable network of those people, when we were new in Houston our older (3 year old) had a fever spike of 107, when we took him to the ER we left our toddler with a "new friend" - nice family, dad's a big mucky muck with a local NASA contractor, but what we didn't know, yet, is that the wife was strung out on anti-depressants, and while our toddler was in her care their yappy little dog barked him over onto an open cabinet door - cut his face, that scar is still visible now 13 years later, but faint - and he's still terrified of little yappy dogs. And, that's a minor bad outcome...

                                  --
                                  John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
                                  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday January 23 2018, @01:16AM (2 children)

                                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 23 2018, @01:16AM (#626373) Journal
                                    And yet, so what? You've made a lifestyle choice when you could have made a choice with lower costs of living. I don't see even the slightest reason to have the state pay for that when you can pay instead.
                                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @10:16PM (1 child)

                                      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23 2018, @10:16PM (#626801)

                                      You are a true sociopath, if you led the country we'd be back to the dark ages by supper time. Who cares about community? I need better efficiency for my Excel bean counting!

                                      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday January 23 2018, @10:33PM

                                        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 23 2018, @10:33PM (#626813) Journal

                                        You are a true sociopath, if you led the country we'd be back to the dark ages by supper time.

                                        And if we were still running on feelz like you desire, we would have never left the Dark Ages.

                                        When you're demanding something that society has to pay a lot for, you need to have a better justification than what JoeMerchant presented here. There's a lot of bad lifestyle choices out there presented as economic necessity. For example, most farm subsidies are partially rationalized on the basis that it protects a way of life.

                                        Well, my view is that if your way of life costs so much that you are unwilling to pay for it, then that means you don't want it enough to justify me paying for it either.

          • (Score: 2) by fritsd on Sunday January 21 2018, @05:44PM

            by fritsd (4586) on Sunday January 21 2018, @05:44PM (#625720) Journal

            current situation: "Soup is good food"

            desired outcome: "Take this job and shove it"

            Jello Biafra for US president!!

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @05:54AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 21 2018, @05:54AM (#625532)

        Raise taxes on the rich - only if you can get global buy-in, otherwise you're just asking the money to run and hide.

        So tax when money runs and hides. Wealth transferred overseas (above a certain amount) should be subject to a significant tax. I never understood why the US has this backward - taxing money brought *into* the economy.

        Also, tax inheritance (over a certain amount) at 100%. Wealth inequality persists because rich families can keep getting rich by continuously growing grand-grand-grand-grandpa's lucky break.

        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday January 21 2018, @02:20PM

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday January 21 2018, @02:20PM (#625643)

          I never understood why the US has this backward - taxing money brought *into* the economy.

          Have you seen the recent flap about foreign meddling in the US election process? That is nothing new. Foreign influence runs deep in US laws, tax codes, etc.

          --
          John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
    • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Sunday January 21 2018, @07:56PM

      by Thexalon (636) on Sunday January 21 2018, @07:56PM (#625760)

      Here's the way I look at it: According to the World Bank, the Earth produces about $100 trillion worth of stuff every year. That works out to about $16K per person. The US poverty line is at $12K per adult, and the poverty line in many countries is substantially lower than that. So humanity currently has the capacity to ensure that essentially nobody goes without basic economic survival (a home, food, basic clothing), and still have at least $25 trillion left over (or somewhere around 1.3 US economies) of productivity to spend on more luxurious living, scientific endeavors, and so forth. This kind of surplus can also be measured in terms of the stuff all those dollars represent: There are more empty homes than there are homeless, more than enough left-over or thrown-out food to feed everybody who's hungry, way more clothing than we need, etc.

      That means that poverty is, right now, completely unnecessary on a worldwide scale. And seeing how poverty can and does lead to all kinds of other problems like crime, war, disease, and other causes of death for decent ordinary people, anyone saying "We shouldn't try to eliminate poverty" is saying, in essence, "I'm totally fine with people I've never met dying so I can have more stuff than I need." Which is a fundamentally immoral decision to make.

      So, when a monstrous system like this exists, the appropriate question to ask is "who benefits?" And the answer is, very obviously, the largest owners of big international capitalist businesses, who end up getting a lot of money every year without having to do any work. Many of whom inherited the assets in question, as well, which makes it so the main difference between them and feudal aristocrats is that feudal aristocrats had substantially more responsibilities to fulfill for society at large. There are ways in which modern international capitalism compares unfavorably to chattel slavery - for instance, the modern international capitalist has no motivation to ensure that their workers remain alive, whereas slaveowners do because a slave is a valuable asset.

      --
      The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
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