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23 members have voted

mkl654321
mkl654321
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September 4th, 2010 at 12:16:13 PM permalink
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement, and why?

America is a wealthy country. Its citizens, simply by virtue of being Americans, are entitled to a share of its material wealth--an American birthright. Therefore:

Every citizen has an inalienable right to the necessities of life--adequate food, clothing, shelter, and medical care. This right is conferred regardless of circumstance, ability, age, or class. It is the task of the government, therefore, to ensure that no American dies of, or suffers from, inadequate nutrition, lack of shelter, exposure, or lack of medical care. The government can and should allocate, as the primary item on its budget, sufficient funds to ensure that all these things are available to any American who needs them---in much the same way that a family, or an individual, provides for its own material well-being first and foremost.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
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September 4th, 2010 at 1:04:55 PM permalink
Quote: mkl654321

American citizens, simply by virtue of being Americans, are entitled to ....

This is exactly the kind of elitist thinking that causes other nations to hate Americans and to fly planes into buildings.
I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/ 覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧 Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
rxwine
rxwine
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September 4th, 2010 at 1:19:26 PM permalink
Quote:

Every citizen has an inalienable right to the necessities of life--adequate food, clothing, shelter, and medical care



Well, it's what people in our prisons get.

Okay, a caveat on "adequate."

But still, prisoners generally look healthier and better fed than a number of street people I've encountered.
The Hall of Unverified Claims is a vast place with many shelves.
EvenBob
EvenBob
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September 4th, 2010 at 1:52:44 PM permalink
Its called 'sharing the misery'. In the old Soviet Union, you really couldn't complain because everybody was just as miserable as you were, while waiting in line for toilet paper and bread. They drove shoddy cars and lived in shoddy tenements, but at least it was something. And look how well that worked out. In the 1980's, 40% of all factory workers were legally drunk at any given time. I don't know what it is today, probably higher. Happiness for everybody.
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
mkl654321
mkl654321
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September 4th, 2010 at 3:20:07 PM permalink
Quote: DJTeddyBear

This is exactly the kind of elitist thinking that causes other nations to hate Americans and to fly planes into buildings.



What an unbelievably stupid thing to say.

The sentiment is not "elitist". You really should read what you're responding to before opening your mouth. I am saying (for the purposes of RATIONAL discussion) that because America is a wealthy country with immense resources, anyone who is an American is entitled to a share of that wealth, i.e., a minimum standard of living.

If you want, insert "Swedes" and "Sweden" into that statement instead of "Americans" and "America", and it mirrors almost exactly the social and governmental philosophy of that country.

People hate us and fly planes into our buildings because we want America's resources to be devoted to America's people? That's ELITIST? Sweet Jesus, I'll repeat myself, what an unbelievably stupid thing to say!
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
EvenBob
EvenBob
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September 4th, 2010 at 3:24:23 PM permalink
Anyone in America is entitled to a share of the wealth. All he has to do is earn it, work for it, inherit it, whatever. Oh, wait, you mean should it be GIVEN to him for doing nothing but being born here. Like welfare. The Great Society. Don't teach anybody how to fish, just make them dependent and give it to them. Yeah, that worked out real good..
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
mkl654321
mkl654321
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September 4th, 2010 at 3:26:43 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

Its called 'sharing the misery'. In the old Soviet Union, you really couldn't complain because everybody was just as miserable as you were, while waiting in line for toilet paper and bread. They drove shoddy cars and lived in shoddy tenements, but at least it was something. And look how well that worked out. In the 1980's, 40% of all factory workers were legally drunk at any given time. I don't know what it is today, probably higher. Happiness for everybody.



No, it's not called "sharing the misery", because it isn't always misery that is shared. If you got an equal share of the resources in a poor and dysfunctional country, at least you didn't get LESS than that, and mathematically, it wouldn't have been possible to give anyone any more than that without consequently depriving someone else.

The Soviet Union was "miserable" because it had a politicized class structure, an unwieldly centralized government, an an atmosphere of repression and intimidation. None of those things were a direct consequence of socialism/communism. Stalin, and his inheritors, were brutal paranoid assholes. They would have impoverished their country under ANY system of government.

You are making the assumption that because many disfunctional countries called themselves "socialist", that socialism itself is dysfunctional. Nothing could be further from the truth. The trouble has been, there have been very few socialist countries that also had rule of law and social equality. The few that have had those things--Sweden, and pre-unification West Germany, to name two--have prospered.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
mkl654321
mkl654321
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September 4th, 2010 at 3:29:50 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

Anyone in America is entitled to a share of the wealth. All he has to do is earn it, work for it, inherit it, whatever. Oh, wait, you mean should it be GIVEN to him for doing nothing but being born here. Like welfare. The Great Society. Don't teach anybody how to fish, just make them dependent and give it to them. Yeah, that worked out real good..



Yes. That's EXACTLY what I'm saying. Don't appoint yourself God and decide whether a person has worked hard enough to deserve to live. Give everybody the basic necessities of life, whether they've "earned" them or not. I'm glad you understand.

Why is that so abhorrent to you, is what I'm wondering--is it any skin off your nose if some "bum" gets something to eat and a place to sleep out of the rain? How does that diminish you?
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
mkl654321
mkl654321
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September 4th, 2010 at 3:33:03 PM permalink
Quote: rxwine

Well, it's what people in our prisons get.

Okay, a caveat on "adequate."

But still, prisoners generally look healthier and better fed than a number of street people I've encountered.



Exactly. We provide for the basics for the lowest levels of society--convicted criminals. Why? Because it would be inhumane to starve them or deny them medical care. Now if you're EvenBob, you argue that they're criminals, they don't deserve decent treatment (ESPESHULLY NOT WID MY DADGUM TAX DOLLERS!), and they should just be allowed to die. After all, anyone who doesn't work as hard as Bob does deserves to die, right?
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
timberjim
timberjim
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September 4th, 2010 at 5:20:58 PM permalink
Quote: mkl 654321

The trouble has been, there have been very few socialist countries that also had rule of law and social equality. The few that have had those things--Sweden, and pre-unification West Germany, to name two--have prospered.



What is "social equality"?

Sweden has one of the highest tax rates in the world. They achieve "social equality" by taking money from the hardworking, successful people and allocating it to others who are either incapable, or unwilling, to work to achieve a comfortable life style. I, for one, do not define this as "prospered".

Life is not fair. Should someone who has reached the limit of their abilities by cooking french fries in a fast food restaurant have the same lifestyle as a competent technician or professional? I don't think so.

People unable to care for themselves should be provided with the necessities of life. People unwilling to work are a totally different story.

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