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Money is Fungible

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by jmervyn, Jun 7, 2015.

  1. jmervyn

    jmervyn IncGamers Member

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    Yeah, so I'm not doing well trying to keep quiet. I blame y'all.

    I won't block quote since the new site preferences will truncate anything extensive. But here's the original in the entirety. So why am I such an EBIL h4T3M0n&3RR for getting annoyed at the concept? Worse yet, why do y'all spit at me (or throw shit at me) for getting annoyed?

    I'm reminded of a visit my (Very FAR Leftist) Mom & I made to Italy. Now, my wife is half Italian, and I loved the food and the historical environment of the visit (one hotel was near the Colosseum). One very clear memory of the visit, however, were two underage girls trying to rifle my Mom's purse while clumsily hiding their hands under a folded newspaper. My Mother only made "shoo" noises as the two girls fumbled at our earnings, and I knew that our trip depended upon the purse's contents...
     
  2. LozHinge the Unhinged

    LozHinge the Unhinged IncGamers Member

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    One of my favourite uses for my money is to give it to teen-aged girls who have had a baby and now need somewhere to live, as there is insufficient room in their family home.

    I realise that not everyone wants to do things the way my wife and I did - wait until we could afford to house ourselves and the children we had. Clearly my wife and I were a little goofy in this respect and I have no right to force our loony views upon others.

    The fact that Government saves me the bother over working out which girls need housing and handles all the transactions involving my contribution is a bonus. I'm just so ****ing pleased I can help these young women.

    Oh, and Merv - here's a poo-pie for you! *fling*
     
  3. jmervyn

    jmervyn IncGamers Member

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    Is it really? Your wife likes you giving money to teen girls?

    Plus, I thought the U.K. had council (socialist) housing?
    Congratulations on not only complete ignorance of the topic, but a failure to read the article. You like to imagine you're helping the young women, when in reality you're paying for the catastrophe that was the Bowman radio system, the British failure in Afghanistan, some F-35 Lockheed "Transformer" jets, and the NIH.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. LozHinge the Unhinged

    LozHinge the Unhinged IncGamers Member

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    OMG Merv! You've excelled yourself here. And with a stylish pie-chart too!

    :ROFL:

    I flipping love you :D
     
  5. jmervyn

    jmervyn IncGamers Member

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    Well, if you were mentally capable of telling the truth, you'd admit you either didn't read or didn't understand the article.

    You sounded like a pimply version of Bawney Fwank's 'Government is things we do together' bullshit (proudly echoed by Dear Leader). I know you're a full-throated collectivist, but the article demonstrates the wrong-minded nature of that to a decent extent.
     
  6. Noodle

    Noodle Moderator

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    I thought it was pretty clear Loz was being sarcastic.
     
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  7. LozHinge the Unhinged

    LozHinge the Unhinged IncGamers Member

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    I'll add "sarcasm" the list of things Merv struggles with...

    1. Everything except sarcasm
    2. Sarcasm

    There. Done!
     
  8. jmervyn

    jmervyn IncGamers Member

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    First, he didn't use the proper tags. You must always use tags.

    Second, he didn't read the article, or at best skimmed it. The point is that the "things we do together" root belief he holds is illogical. While he occasionally denies that he holds said belief, he's not believable when he does so.

    We pays our taxes, and we think we takes our chances, but we really don't. We just pays our taxes, repeatedly. Do we really imagine we're getting our money's worth?

    EDIT - another interesting point made in the same vein.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2015
  9. LozHinge the Unhinged

    LozHinge the Unhinged IncGamers Member

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    Wait wait wait. Are you suggesting that some people want to work but that some people prefer to loaf around and be looked after? That some people have a bit of integrity and self-respect whilst others take no pride in themselves except for that which they can mooch from others?

    OMG. What if my collectivist soul has been wrong all this time?

    The horror ... the horror ...
     
  10. krischan

    krischan Europe Trade Moderator

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    OK, after all that mud-slinging and trolling, here's a serious reply:

    I see nothing wrong with taking a certain amount of money away from the rich and giving it to the poor. I don't want them to live in too much misery, even if that means to take away money from others. Of course, you will feed a couple of mooches, but that's the price you will have to pay if you want a successful society with a certain amount of happy or at least well fed people.

    The problem which you see is that you aren't willing to feed the mooches among the poor, but the actual problem is that if you want to prevent mooches for getting money, the efforts needed to achieve that are much more expensive than the money which the poor receive. If somebody receives $500 social welfare, the efforts of identifying whether he is a mooch or not is far higher than the amount of money saved from denying it to those who don't deserve it.

    Denying help to mooches feels right, but it's not effective. It's a matter of emotion versus calculation. The bigger a society, the more important calculation and effectiveness becomes in comparison. You are better off at the end when not caring too much about a few weeds which are growing in your garden while pouring water over all of them, wasting a certain amount of water. You tear out a certain amount, but weeding out the first 90% take as much time as the next 9% which need as much time as the next 0.9% which need as much as the next 0.09% etc. I'm pretty sure that it's not worth reducing weeds to let's say 25%. I know what I'm talking about, we have a pretty big garden here :). With respect to social welfare in societies with several millions of people, even a success rate of 50% for identifying mooches might be too expensive.
     
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  11. LozHinge the Unhinged

    LozHinge the Unhinged IncGamers Member

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    Far too little emotion, outrage and froth in this. You need to step up, kris!

    Oh, all right then.

    It boils down to what kris said. You need to decide, are you a society where no citizen is left utterly behind, or not? If not, where precisely do you draw the line? And yes, you will need to be precise.
     
  12. Noodle

    Noodle Moderator

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    Has there ever been a society where no citizen is left utterly behind? It seems impossible to me.
     
  13. LozHinge the Unhinged

    LozHinge the Unhinged IncGamers Member

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    Depending on how you define "citizen", I suspect there has never been such a society.

    I was referring to what society's aim should be. Should a society aim to leave citizens behind, deliberately, on financial or philosophical grounds, or aim not to do so?
     
  14. krischan

    krischan Europe Trade Moderator

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    Yes, it's impossible, but IMO it should be as few as possible. The bigger a society, the greater its tasks and that leads to a greater absolute amount of people who will fall through its loopholes.
     
  15. Noodle

    Noodle Moderator

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    OK, so, does freedom include the freedom to fail? If the government has the responsibility to prevent people from failing, where is the point where the people (as personified by the government) become intrusive to the point where it's oppressive? Do we try to legislate people only make sound career and life choices? Example: We know that statistically a college degree is correlative with higher earnings. Do we make a college education mandatory? Statistically, marriages which include an age differential of five years or more are 18% more likely to end in divorce. Do we make it illegal for couples with an age gap exceeding five years to get married? Even one year's difference in age correlates to a 3% increase in divorce - should this be illegal as well?

    Personally, I think the best role for a government is to provide a framework within which people who put in effort are likely to be able to provide a reasonably good standard of living for themselves and their families. I'm wary of it extending a no questions asked safety net to EVERYONE.
     
  16. jmervyn

    jmervyn IncGamers Member

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    OK, at the cost of a wall o'text I'm going to merge commentary:
    This is secondary to the point I was making, though I'm not surprised that both you & Lotz want to strawman the issue. My point is that you know feck-all about where the money actually goes - because money is fungible. You're basically handing someone like me (well, TBH, a hell of a lot less honest & noble than me, and I know exactly what I'm saying with that) about 1/3 of your wealth. In an easy to carry bag.
    Interestingly enough, and skewering both of you using strawmen - PRECISELY - this is a patently false belief. A successful society has never been based upon how well it cares for the poor. Neither has it been based on the amount of happy or well fed people.

    It is based PRECISELY upon the degree of freedom which it allows the citizenry to succeed in their aims. Capitalism, not your beloved socialism, is the only mechanism which has made this happened, for all that you & Lotz hate those nasty capitalistsststss. I hardly need to remind you of the situation with East Germany, which demonstrated that socialism can even turn Germans into lazy, unproductive leeches. Capitalism, on the other hand, makes Russia invade you because it can't deal with freedom and prosperity on its own border.

    Another comprehension failure, but not necessarily worth addressing since it's specific to your strawman. The failure is in the belief that the only mechanism possible is to create massive centralized authority that will somehow have the majickal property of truth-seeking.

    Reality (you know, that thing Lotz denied and made fun of in a previous discussion) shows that the key is decentralized decision making and pushing power down to the lowest level. The criticism he attempted to make is that it works in a commercial setting (Quality Management or Just-in-Time Manufacturing) but doesn't really apply to anything else, where the reality is a complete flip of his belief. Money IS power, and pushing the decision-making power of that cash vote to the lowest level IS what makes a better society. Not people like me confiscating that cash vote from you and then spending it as we see fit, lying to you about what you're doing, and getting filthy rich in the bargain (well, I'm not filthy rich, but see "Yes Minister" about humble public servants like yours truly). More on "mooches" in a bit.

    *************************************************************

    I bet you like making the trains run on time, too. Why are "you" the society? Why do you get to decide? Most of all, why do you give cash to people like me and tell me about what you want with young unmarrried women?

    I'm not a scripture-spewer or Bible-thump-er, but my Lord said it best - "The poor you will always have with you" That's not just because some greedy fat cat isn't giving them enough, as the commentary from Mike Rowe pointed out - that's very often because of bad decision making on their part.

    Does that mean we ought not try to help? Of course not, that's not only heartless but fairly silly - "a rising tide lifts all boats" aside, you don't want hordes of poor unless you like India with the poop on the street. However, the belief you and Kris hold forth is that we ought to give them cash until they're happy. If you had read the essay I initially linked, you would have grasped that was what I'm discussing.

    If we want to go with straight-up confiscation, we first ought to be forthright about it. We certainly shouldn't take Hillary Clinton at her word (HA!) and imagine that she's crusading for the "little guy", when her actions show PRECISELY what the truth of your beliefs really causes - unrepentant, hateful oligarchy depending on treating those "little guys" like slaves.

    **********************************************

    I like the cut of your jib.

    Furthermore, Lost and kris dishonestly pretend that they're getting lap dances only from those unmarried teen moms who really need it. The reality is far worse and far more corrupt, and the reason for that corruption is the very inability to regulate that kris points to - except the inability is Working As Intended, and applies to the administrator side just as much as it does to the "beneficiary" side.

    Think about it - while I - real-life Paladin wannabe that I am - sweat about stupid things like writing this at work, other Gov't workers with far greater authority than I are not only browsing porn for 6 hours a day, they're conducting far more explicit corruption of both political and personal nature. I recall the civilian who had the engineering liaison duties I performed as an Army officer in Germany - he was "relieved" from the position because he was taking building materiel straight off the Army storage and constructing his house with it. He wasn't on the street; he got the job back for a short time prior to retirement!

    Lois Lehrner isn't on the street either; she's still salaried and walking her dog around her neighborhood, attempting to break into people's houses when an ambush interviewer catches her.

    General Eric "the Hat" Shinseki isn't hurting at all, even with the blood of hundreds of his "fellow" veterans virtually dripping from his hands. He wasn't even demoted.

    See, part of the fungible aspect that Lopz and kris can't afford to consider is that not only do gov't workers almost never pay the price for their actions. The far greater issue is that whenever someone "wins" a lawsuit against the gov't, they can't afford to think about what that really meant.

    It meant that the 'victor' managed to get some money from all of us, while in the process making some gov't lawyers quite rich in the process. That fungible money isn't going to their sexy little street urchin teens. It's going to gov't lawyers, and a shit-load of people you wouldn't trust to deliver your morning paper. Oh, and who know damn well that they're ****ing you and everyone else - hard.
     
  17. LozHinge the Unhinged

    LozHinge the Unhinged IncGamers Member

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    I cannot speak for kris but the amount of crazy shit Merv believes in is staggering. Add to this the crazy shit he asserts that I believe in ... I'm just glad I'm under no obligation to sort this crap out.

    Noodle is, as usual, reasonable in what he suggests - in principle. The devil is, as ever, in the details. If you (the taxpayer) assist people less fortunate than yourself, you run the risk of helping folks who don't really need it - the mooches. The safe bet is to help no one - or help everyone, regardless. The middle ground is difficult, unless you toughen the **** up, grow a spine and accept that some folks are gonna get away with it. Details, it's all in the details.

    As for Merv's concern that we, the taxpayers, pay the salaries of satan-worshipping psychopathic public servants who wear themselves down to nubs from fapping in official time ... well, the alternative is easy. We can shrink down Gubmint and all live in turn-of-the-(19th) Century towns ... helping the local Widow Twanky to make ends meet with voluntary donations ... and all the while running folks we don't like out of town. It worked before and it can work again. Don't you worry about people like IS, they'll leave us and our pastoral, frontier towns well alone.

    In other news - Capitalism is the best model we have for running a society. OK, it is inherently anti-democratic, inherently anti-Christian, inherently anti-Humanist ... but at least it doesn't cut across the grain of human nature, so far as greed, acquisitiveness, desirousness of reward, etc are concerned. You ignore those motivations at your own peril and at least capitalism provides a fairly rational framework in which they can be accommodated.

    Capitalism I support - pending a superior resolution. The main problem with Capitalism is that it does nothing to prevent itself metastasising into Corporatism. There are no in-built safeguards to prevent such a progression.

    I see Corporatism as almost as bad an enemy to quality of life as Communism or unfettered Socialism. It's worse in some ways, as Leftism self-destructs in no time at all - as seen in the former USSR - whereas Corporatism has thrived for what - 200 years? - and shows no sign of diminishing, notwithstanding FDR's brief stalemate with it in the 1930's.

    Now, can we start talking about what I believe in or do we have to go on discussing WTF knows what?
     
  18. jmervyn

    jmervyn IncGamers Member

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    Getting testy, Lox? Did I cut too close for comfort?
    You do love your strawmen. This wasn't about helping people in the first place - this is about your mendacity in pretending the "Gov't is stuff we do together" is all about feeding gran and taking care of those hawt underage mamas.
    With all that straw-woman loving, I expect there will be lots of flammable little hybrid straw-kids running around your house.

    Gov't has worked far more effectively in times past, and it didn't have to do with charity or lack thereof. The problem is that you and your types fall for the "oughtta be a law" scam every feckin' time someone like me pulls it on you. Just as kris correctly identifies the problem with behemoth public institutions straining at gnats while swallowing camels, there's a corollary relationship with the behemoth trying to diaper the infant - a job best left to the infant's mother. While you (in your case, pseudo-) Europeans can get away with far more inefficient gov't solely on the basis that your federal gov't are the size of an American state, you need only look at the EU to see just how horrible your 'bigger is better' insanity really is.

    By pushing down the decision-making to the lower level, you not only improve the efficiency - you improve the quality of life for all. There's no possible reason to keep raising the level of authority and the funding commensurate with it, but you & yours back it every time. In the American example, there's no way in hell that things like the minimum wage or various forms of welfare should be decided on the federal level... yet they are.

    That's an issue I'm happy to entertain, but it's not what this thread was supposed to be about. I know you're wriggling like a worm on a hook here, but there's nothing whatsoever that supports your claim about Corporatism - because unfettered Capitalism prevents Corporatism just as efficiently as it prevents Communism.

    It is only through the use of gov't force that Corporatism can exist. If you want to claim the opposite, put up or shut up.
    You're cute when you're this butthurt.
     
  19. krischan

    krischan Europe Trade Moderator

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    The core of my point was that it costs more to prevent the mooches from getting money than giving it to them as well. That's not socialistic at all, it's pragmatic.

    Capitalism alone doen't make people happy. It also doesn't feed the poor. Also, no matter how much freedom a country offers, there will be unsatisfied people. The more of them, the worse.

    BTW, what's a strawman? A diversional tactic, to change the topic to something at which somebody is right and making it appear as if the other one disagreed with it? Well, if your point was that giving tax money to other people is wrong in any case (i.e. including those who deserve help), then I missed your point. That wasn't intended.
     
  20. jmervyn

    jmervyn IncGamers Member

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    I agreed, but only with that "PRECISE" (Deutsch-isch? German engineering?) claim - and if you caught it, I went you one better. Just as with trying to strain out the mooches will reach a point of minimum returns, in like fashion the attempts of the gov't behemoth to swaddle the baby will become ever more intrusive, inefficient, and damaging.

    The obvious and correct answer is that the smaller unit is capable of far finer analysis, not only of problem but of action. The principle is seen with Just-in-Time manufacturing, which some German companies excel at - the worker acts as his own quality control, has the ability to stop the assembly line if he sees something wrong, and is responsible for operation and maintenance of his equipment or station.

    It is the abdication of responsibility - the "there oughtta be a law" I mentioned, as in "someone more powerful than I ought to enforce my diktats and opinions on others" - where evil lurks. I hardly need to school you in this, but Loz is too busy dreaming of teen mom scarecrows.

    All truisms, and none relevant. Capitalism alone allows greater happiness for the widest majority, but (throwing Lox a bone here) it doesn't guarantee it. If the citizenry are stupid or gullible enough to believe that Socialism works or "I'm from the Gov't and I'm here to help", then they are doomed. The two things the American founding fathers believed were required for their system to work were a Christian/moral populace, and an educated/informed populace. In the U.S. we've lost the latter and we're losing the former, and I believe the same is true for a wide swath of Britons.

    I don't know about the Deutsch but you're dying off so it may not matter.

    More of the nature of my frequent technique in labeling you & Loz socialists and Techno a commie. You take a root concept of what the other person is considering, extrapolate it to a silly or unreasonable extent, and then skewer that argument or belief for how stupid or unreasonable it is.

    When done properly it can be hard to spot. Obama commands armies of strawmen - in this case some of the same ones Loz did - and his hallelujah chorus in the media never questions it. "Some say we ought to starve women and children, while others say we should devote the entire budget to housing teen mothers. I reject this false choice!"
    Not at all - that was Loz making a strawman out of my point. My point was to provide the essay regarding the falsehood of general gov't spending for discussion, while Loz' after-the-claim-supposedly-sarcastic use of the strawman was to sideline the discussion into the arena of gov't-sponsored charity.
     

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