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Punish the poor and middle classes
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Kerrigan
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Dec 13, 2007, 08:50 AM
 
The poor and middle classes should be punished for the destruction they have caused to the environment. The wealthy can afford to offset their carbon output through various schemes, but the poor and middle classes cannot and should have extremely high taxes levied on them to a) reduce their standard of living to the point where they cannot produce excess carbon (driving, watching tv, etc), and b) to spend all of that tax money helping the environment. Punishing them QED, in conjunction with limiting their offspring to 1 per couple, will save the planet and allow for a renaissance of aristocratic culture.

If we do not do this, then global catastrophe awaits us all by way of hurricanes, fires, mass starvation, plauges, and various other tristesses.
( Last edited by Kerrigan; Dec 13, 2007 at 08:56 AM. )
     
Chongo
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Dec 13, 2007, 08:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by Kerrigan View Post
The poor and middle classes should be punished for the destruction they have caused to the environment. The wealthy can afford to offset their carbon output through various schemes, but the poor and middle classes cannot and should have extremely high taxes levied on them to a) reduce their standard of living to the point where they cannot produce excess carbon (driving, watching tv, etc), and b) to spend all of that tax money helping the environment. Punishing them QED, in conjunction with limiting their offspring to 1 per couple, will save the planet and allow for a renaissance of upper-class culture.
amen said Margret Sanger
45/47
     
Dakar the Fourth
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Dec 13, 2007, 09:18 AM
 
Limiting reproduction? I'm in.
     
BadKosh
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Dec 13, 2007, 09:30 AM
 
it's a great idea! Why not infect the worlds population centers with Ebola or such and 'thin out' the population? With less people we use less resources and if we get the population down below like 50,000, the oil will last for much longer! Everybody can be a politician too!
     
BRussell
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Dec 13, 2007, 09:35 AM
 
At the very least, we should waterboard everyone who makes under $50,000. Stress positions for those between $50,000 and $75,000.
     
Chongo
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Dec 13, 2007, 09:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by BadKosh View Post
it's a great idea! Why not infect the worlds population centers with Ebola or such and 'thin out' the population? With less people we use less resources and if we get the population down below like 50,000, the oil will last for much longer! Everybody can be a politician too!
sounds like the "Illuminati" plans I hear about on Coast to Coast. They want to get the population down to a few 100K, with them in charge of course.
45/47
     
Sven G
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Dec 17, 2007, 10:46 AM
 
Is this maybe the return of Superciuk (or maybe Superdrunk in English)...?

The super-hero who robs from the poor to give to the rich: the anti-Robin Hood, that is!

YouTube - Superciuk

(only in Italian, sorry: but the scenery is indeed in an imaginary New York, from the Alan Ford comics).

Ironically, of course...
( Last edited by Sven G; Dec 19, 2007 at 01:39 PM. )

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Kevin
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Dec 17, 2007, 11:28 AM
 
"When the chips are down I think democracy is a less important goal than is the protection of the planet from the death of life, the end of life on it. This has got to be imposed on people whether they like it or not." -- Mayer Hillman, senior fellow emeritus at the Policy Studies Institute

Scary.
     
peeb
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Dec 17, 2007, 12:19 PM
 
There is no evidence that the rich have offset their destruction of the environment, and, indeed, the cost of environmental destruction has, to date, been, at best, socialized, at worst put almost entirely onto the poorest.
     
Railroader
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Dec 17, 2007, 02:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by peeb View Post
There is no evidence that the rich have offset their destruction of the environment, and, indeed, the cost of environmental destruction has, to date, been, at best, socialized, at worst put almost entirely onto the poorest.
What, you mean Al Gore isn't fixing the planet? Didn't he buy a bunch of "offsets" from himself? He's such a good man.


     
peeb
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Dec 17, 2007, 02:51 PM
 
Your cheap rhetoric aside, I don't think Al Gore is representative of 'the rich' as a whole. I don't know whether he has purchased enough offsets to account for the pollution he has caused, but I am sure that 'the rich' as a whole, have not, their pollution is largely socialized, falling most heavily on the poor.
     
peeb
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Dec 17, 2007, 03:53 PM
 
The problem here is that we are realizing that consumption is more expensive than we used to think. In the past - the extra cost has been socialized, and largely passed on to the poor. This is not sustainable.
     
subego
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Dec 17, 2007, 04:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader View Post
Didn't he buy a bunch of "offsets" from himself?

No. He didn't.

One of Gore's spokespeople explained the situation ambiguously, which started the ball rolling on the notion that he did this.

I'm not a huge fan of Gore, but I'm not going to let misinformation continue about him either. There's plenty of legit complaints left over.
     
Railroader
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Dec 17, 2007, 04:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
No. He didn't.

One of Gore's spokespeople explained the situation ambiguously, which started the ball rolling on the notion that he did this.

I'm not a huge fan of Gore, but I'm not going to let misinformation continue about him either. There's plenty of legit complaints left over.
Well, it's good that he's rich enough to have spokespeople and the ability to buy "offsets" for the environmental destruction he's doing. Even if he isn't buying them for himself.
     
subego
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Dec 17, 2007, 04:35 PM
 
Much better.
     
Buckaroo
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Dec 17, 2007, 04:41 PM
 
BTW, Beer and alcholol put out a lot of CO2.

They'll end up triple taxing it. The UN is going to want to tax US citizens just for being alive.

Anyone know how much CO2 we expell, not counting all the food and other CO2 producing products we consume?
     
peeb
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Dec 17, 2007, 06:05 PM
 
Oh, I'm sorry - I thought this thread was about who should bear the cost pollution from consumption. Silly me - it's another thread about character assassinations of Al Gore.
( Last edited by peeb; Dec 18, 2007 at 06:43 PM. )
     
Sven G
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Dec 18, 2007, 11:37 AM
 
Aristocratic renaissance?

Hmmm...

Well, if by real - i.e. in deep solidarity with the people of all classes - aristocrats like Bakunin, maybe...

Either we are all "aristocrats" (i.e. really free and self-managed women and men, maybe?), or we are not at all...!

Elitism, greediness and selfishness, BTW, has made the poor really poor (and the rich often - not always, fortunately - some idiots, and so on): something that has to change, to say the least...!
( Last edited by Sven G; Dec 18, 2007 at 11:43 AM. )

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ebuddy
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Dec 18, 2007, 09:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by Sven G View Post
Elitism, greediness and selfishness, BTW, has made the poor really poor (and the rich often - not always, fortunately - some idiots, and so on): something that has to change, to say the least...!
Who do we empower to exact this change? How do we keep them from becoming rich, greedy, idiots?

BTW; greed and stupidity aren't exclusive to rich people.
ebuddy
     
Chuckit
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Dec 18, 2007, 10:06 PM
 
I still don't get this "the poor are getting poorer" thing. It doesn't ring true in the America that I know. The poor may not be able to afford as much as the rich, but they have more than they did at any point in history, so it seems to me that the poor are getting richer even if the rich are getting richer at a faster pace. I know people who are on welfare, etc., and none of them are living in cardboard boxes on the streets. They have places with electricity and TVs and cars and all kinds of crap. Even the rich didn't have all that **** 100 years ago.
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CRASH HARDDRIVE
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Dec 18, 2007, 10:23 PM
 
Simply put, in the western world, being "poor" is no longer strictly defined by not having everything you NEED. It's defined by not having everything you WANT, or feel entitled to.
     
Kerrigan  (op)
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Dec 19, 2007, 01:01 AM
 
I know, because the eastern world is sh-t, so being "rich" there is just barely having what you need. Or, in some cases, it means have 12 tacky-as-**** platinum Bentleys in the driveway of your gulf state mansion.
     
BRussell
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Dec 19, 2007, 05:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
I still don't get this "the poor are getting poorer" thing. It doesn't ring true in the America that I know. The poor may not be able to afford as much as the rich, but they have more than they did at any point in history, so it seems to me that the poor are getting richer even if the rich are getting richer at a faster pace. I know people who are on welfare, etc., and none of them are living in cardboard boxes on the streets. They have places with electricity and TVs and cars and all kinds of crap. Even the rich didn't have all that **** 100 years ago.
It depends on where you start. Sure, over the past 100 years, everyone's lives have improved. And over the last 500 years, and thousand years. But it's also true that, over the past 30 years or so, the poor have a smaller proportion of the national income and the very rich have gotten much, much, much richer. The graph below is from here, but they're based on easily accessible numbers from the CBO or many other sources. And that's income - look at wealth, and it will look even worse.

     
Sven G
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Dec 19, 2007, 11:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
Who do we empower to exact this change? How do we keep them from becoming rich, greedy, idiots?

BTW; greed and stupidity aren't exclusive to rich people.
Certainly, that's right, of course.

But classes - the so-called rich, poor, middle class, etc. etc. - maybe shouldn't even exist, today, in a society whch should be free, but sadly isn't yet in any way.

Probably, we should really (re)create some ideals and dreams, if we also want - besides individual liberty - a deeply based social justice.

Beginning from balancing the thirld world against the first (and second) world, maybe: it's also and above all "our" fault if "they" are so miserable (see wars, religious integralism, etc. etc.), after all - so, let's change our world, first of all, and they will come after, almost automatically (like in the '60s-'70s, for example)...
( Last edited by Sven G; Dec 19, 2007 at 11:18 AM. )

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Chuckit
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Dec 19, 2007, 12:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by Sven G View Post
Certainly, that's right, of course.

But classes - the so-called rich, poor, middle class, etc. etc. - maybe shouldn't even exist, today, in a society whch should be free
You can't a have a free society in which classes don't exist. Simply put, some people are better at making money than others and some people are luckier than others — without either restricting people's ability to make money in any honest way they wish or to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to them, you're not going to eliminate the fact that some people have more than others.
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peeb
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Dec 19, 2007, 12:27 PM
 
Nonsense. You bandy around words like 'class', and 'free', but it's clear you don't know what they mean. Of course you can have free societies without class, and every society restricts the ways in which people can make money and their ability to accumulate resources at others expense.
     
Sven G
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Dec 19, 2007, 12:58 PM
 
Well, I'd just say that money isn't a concept that's hard-coded into "human nature" (which doesn't really exist, IMHO, but that's another question): today, sadly, money - etc. etc. - seems to have taken the place of ethics - an that's also, probably, why we don't make any real progress, anymore.

Solidarity should be much, much more important than money, in other words...

The freedom of all is essential to my freedom. - Mikhail Bakunin
     
pooka
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Dec 19, 2007, 01:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by peeb View Post
Of course you can have free societies without class, and every society restricts the ways in which people can make money and their ability to accumulate resources at others expense.
Please. As soon as some douche wants the smoking hot chicks that naturally gravitate towards me and he can't have them, instant problems.

Take away money and man will find something to rape, rob and murder for. People are inherently lame. Solidarity can suck it too.

New, Improved and Legal in 50 States
     
olePigeon
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Dec 19, 2007, 01:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
You can't a have a free society in which classes don't exist. Simply put, some people are better at making money than others and some people are luckier than others — without either restricting people's ability to make money in any honest way they wish or to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to them, you're not going to eliminate the fact that some people have more than others.
Maybe if we form an anarcho-syndicalist commune. Take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week, with all the decisions of that officer being ratified at a special bi-weekly meeting; a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs, but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more major.
( Last edited by olePigeon; Dec 19, 2007 at 02:26 PM. )
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Dakar the Fourth
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Dec 19, 2007, 01:59 PM
 
I'd prefer that those who wield supreme executive power were determined by some watery tart who threw a sword at them.
     
olePigeon
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Dec 19, 2007, 02:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by Dakar the Fourth View Post
I'd prefer that those who wield supreme executive power were determined by some watery tart who threw a sword at them.
Listen. Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.
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Dakar the Fourth
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Dec 19, 2007, 02:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
Listen. Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.
SHUT UP! I'd respect who was Emperor, just because some moistened bink lobbed a scimitar at him.
     
ShortcutToMoncton
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Dec 19, 2007, 02:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
You can't a have a free society in which classes don't exist.
peeb, do you have an example where this isn't so?

It seems obvious to me; some people are just genetically and socially predisposed to be better than other people at pretty much everything. In a free society won't those people naturally gravitate to the top?

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peeb
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Dec 19, 2007, 03:10 PM
 
Your claim needs some unpacking. What, for example, do you mean by 'classes'? If you mean 'differences in income or consumption levels', which I think is how you are using the word, then I agree - but that is not the conventional meaning of the term. I am using the term 'class' to mean a virtually unassailable ruling elite with overwhelming control of resources - societies that have differences in income, but not these kinds of elites, are not that uncommon. Take a look at Scandinavia, for example.
Your use of the word 'top' is also interesting - you are assuming that we share a view of what the 'top' is.
     
olePigeon
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Dec 19, 2007, 03:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by Dakar the Fourth View Post
SHUT UP! I'd respect who was Emperor, just because some moistened bink lobbed a scimitar at him.
Are you trying to inherit violence into the system?! Stop repressing me!
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Dakar the Fourth
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Dec 19, 2007, 03:15 PM
 
Bloody peasants!
     
Chongo
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Dec 19, 2007, 04:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by Dakar the Fourth View Post
Bloody peasants!
45/47
     
olePigeon
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Dec 19, 2007, 05:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chongo View Post
Must be a king. He hasn't got sh*t all over him.
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Chuckit
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Dec 20, 2007, 01:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by peeb View Post
Nonsense. You bandy around words like 'class', and 'free', but it's clear you don't know what they mean. Of course you can have free societies without class, and every society restricts the ways in which people can make money and their ability to accumulate resources at others expense.
It's not I who was defining classes that way — Sven listed economic strata as the "classes." Without limiting people's ability to produce wealth or keep the wealth they produce, there's no way to have everybody in the same economic stratum.

But in the traditional sense of the word, I would say America is a free society without classes. There is no landed gentry, no serfdom or peonage. There are just people who have accumulated varying amounts of wealth, most of it stemming from their own ingenuity and hard work — we're basically all middle-class.
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peeb
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Dec 20, 2007, 02:26 AM
 
I don't think you understand much about economics in modern America.
     
Chuckit
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Dec 20, 2007, 02:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by peeb View Post
I don't think you understand much about economics in modern America.
I don't think you're doing a very good job convincing me of that fact.
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Dec 20, 2007, 03:09 AM
 
Well I think it's pretty much agreed that the US does have a huge amount of wealth disparity, more than other similar countries. That's not consistent with the idea that "we're all middle class."
     
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Dec 20, 2007, 03:43 AM
 
So because some people have 1,000,000x or 100,000x more than they actually need, unless you have 100x or 10x more than you actually need, all is lost?
     
Chuckit
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Dec 20, 2007, 04:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post
Well I think it's pretty much agreed that the US does have a huge amount of wealth disparity, more than other similar countries. That's not consistent with the idea that "we're all middle class."
How so?

Please bear in mind that I'm using "middle class" in the true class sense of "people who are neither nobility/landed gentry nor serfs" rather than the modern sense of "people whose income is around the median." Income is not directly related to class. There will be variety in people's wealth in any healthy economy. We shouldn't wish for it to be any other way — if there stopped being rich people, that would be cause for alarm. But even though it isn't likely for any given person to become rich, nobody is really barred from it, so it's not accurate to say the rich are a different class.
( Last edited by Chuckit; Dec 20, 2007 at 05:00 AM. )
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Dec 20, 2007, 09:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by pooka View Post
Take away money and man will find something to rape, rob and murder for. People are inherently lame. Solidarity can suck it too.
Yeah, humans--for all our supposed "advances" that have accumulated over the millennia--are pretty base creatures most of the time. Humans want what they want and are willing to go to great lengths to get what they want regardless of the effect their actions will have on others. Humans are still a *very* Darwinian species, fighting for their own advancement at the expense of their fellow humans.
One should never stop striving for clarity of thought and precision of expression.
I would prefer my humanity sullied with the tarnish of science rather than the gloss of religion.
     
peeb
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Dec 20, 2007, 11:57 AM
 


This is one element of the class system - the top one percent is getting vastly richer, and almost everyone else is getting poorer - this is not to do with rewarding creativity or hard work, it is a class that has captured the political / economic system for their own benefit.
     
Chongo
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Dec 20, 2007, 12:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by peeb View Post


This is one element of the class system - the top one percent is getting vastly richer, and almost everyone else is getting poorer - this is not to do with rewarding creativity or hard work, it is a class that has captured the political / economic system for their own benefit.
The top 1% pay nearly 40% of the taxes in the US
45/47
     
peeb
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Dec 20, 2007, 03:32 PM
 
That's because they control over 30% of the wealth, and more than 50% of non-home wealth. Look at the graph!
Furthermore, the top five percent owns more than 59% of wealth in the US. Think about that - the top five percent owns more than the other 95%. Sure - they pay too much tax - LOL.
     
Chuckit
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Dec 20, 2007, 03:59 PM
 
Looks like a good illustration of the Pareto principle. But since we've established that being more financially successful than others does not constitute a class, I'm not sure what you're saying here.
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Dec 20, 2007, 04:02 PM
 
If you'd read my post above, you'd know what I said about that. I am using the term 'class' to mean a virtually unassailable ruling elite with overwhelming control of resources - the top one percent is getting vastly richer, and almost everyone else is getting poorer - this is not to do with rewarding creativity or hard work, it is a class that has captured the political / economic system for their own benefit.
It seems that you don't understand the Pareto Principle, either.
     
 
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