Comments

  • Bannings
    highly aggressive, I'm thinking XtrixYohan

    I do lose my temper occasionally; I don’t deny it. There are some topics and some people I find particularly difficult. I don’t recall any instance of you being one of them, so I wonder what you’re referring to.

    In terms of being a moderator, I try to be fair and discuss almost every move I make with other, more experienced, moderators. Even if I wanted to abuse the power, I couldn't do it.

    He was pretty maniacal before Streetlight left. Streetlight was a bad influence.Tate

    I never got along with Streetlight, and don’t consider him an influence in the least. Nor has my style changed since he’s left.

    If you’re going to make things up, try harder.
    Nah, he's like Streetlight in that he loses his mind if you disagree with him.Tate

    Nah, you’re just still upset that I (and everyone else) called you out on an irrelevant and snarky post you made last month that you then cried about for a week, playing the victim of injustice. So your input here is warped and, quite frankly, worthless and easily ignored.

    He is authoritarian, he is patronizing, he acts in bad faith. And now that he's a moderator, we can't do anything against that.baker

    See above. Another person whose feedback I will readily ignore. You are one of the most posturing, condescending posters on this forum, and have been for years. You don’t listen to a word almost anyone says — you care solely about contradicting. Take a long look at your comments and it’s very easy to demonstrate. If you’re thinking of leaving because of me, I consider that a merit.

    He tells people to kill themselves. And he's getting away with it.baker

    I've never told anyone to kill themselves. I was very clear about that in the thread you're quoting. Within the context of believing life is not worth living, is nothing but pain, etc., it's a legitimate question -- why not kill yourself? In fact it's a question that the psychiatrist Viktor Frankl would often ask his patients.

    This is a good example of why your leaving this forum would be a deliverance, in my view.



    I beg your pardon, and I know this is playing right into the criticisms being leveled at me, but given my (mostly recent) history with the three of you, your opinions about my moderator status is worth about as much as Trump's opinions about the FBI raid.

    Drag NOS in here too, while you're at it. More fair and balanced criticism, I'm sure.


    Lastly, for context:
    as I long for death,
    — Darkneos

    Then why are you still around? I don’t mean this to be callous — and I’m not encouraging suicide — but genuinely curious. If you long for nothingness, why keep going?
    Xtrix
  • Eat the poor.
    at its essence government is predicated on violence and coercionTzeentch
    it is a deeply flawed method of organizing human coexistenceTzeentch

    Any system of organizing society is based on rules, which are useless without enforcement of those rules. If you murder, which is against the rules in most societies throughout history, you suffer the consequences as determined by that society.

    Our principle shouldn't simply be against the use of force, it should be against illegitimate power. We should all come down much harder on private power, especially in the hands of the few owners of multinational corporations (which, incidentally, own the government), rather than the government. Those in government are elected leaders, and so are somewhat accountable to their constituents -- the voters. It's weak, but it's still there. Private power has no such accountability. Corporations are run undemocratically.

    Human beings are fundamentally social creatures. Just look at families. Care for others, concern for peoples needs, friendship, kinship, community involvement, etc., are just as much a part of human nature as tendencies of violence, hatred, and competition. For all the libertarian talk about the failure of government, what's conspicuously missing is a critique of private power -- of plutocracy, for example. Or of corporate governance. I think because, ultimately, they're in favor of private power and anti-democracy.

    Here I agree with Chomsky:

    So here, the term 'libertarian' means the opposite of what it always meant in history. 'Libertarian' throughout European history meant 'socialist-anarchist.' The worker's movement--the socialist movement--sort of broke into 2 branches, one statist, one anti-statist. The statist branch led to Bolshevism and Lenin and Trotsky and so on; the anti-statist branch, which included left-Marxists like Rosa Luxumberg, kind of merged with a big strain of anarchism into what was called 'libertarian socialism.' So 'libertarian' in Europe always meant 'socialist.' Here, it means ultra-Ayn Rand or Cato Institute or something like that. But that's a special US usage...

    It's easy to talk in generalities of states and power and endlessly repeat phrases like "monopoly of violence" or "taxation is theft," but that's not what's interesting to me. What's interesting is where this general view, and the basic principles comprising this view, lead people in terms of real policies and real issues. If they lead, say, to voting for someone like Donald Trump, or being consistently opposed to climate action, or the defense of racism and xenophobia, or to successful programs like social security, etc., then I think that tells you a lot. It tells me, anyway, that despite the perhaps well-intended clinging to "libertarian" principles, the application in the real world is an absolute disaster. (Ironically, this is exactly the critique leveled at socialism.)
  • Eat the poor.
    Financial regulation of the financial sector was done after the '29 crash and usually referred to laws like the Banking act of 1933 (the Glass-Steagal act). Bretton Woods refers to a currency system where the dollar was pegged to gold and other currencies to the dollar and was done after WW2.ssu

    Bretton Woods was intentional in scope, and the financial industry is global. But yes, perhaps emphasizing Glass-Steagal is better. Although it’s claimed that 1999 was the year of its repeal, it was essentially destroyed long before that.
  • The US Labor Movement (General Topic)
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-workers-file-to-hold-union-election-in-upstate-new-york-11660687817?mod=mhp

    Another Amazon facility in upstate NY looking to unionize.

    Always like you post some good news…
  • Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)
    Listen to the Trump apologists coming out against law and order, law enforcement, etc., after promoting it for years.

    Outcries about George Floyd protests. They race to defend the Capitol rioters. Outage about “defund the police,” now calling to defund the FBI. Also instigating violence and fantasizing about civil war.

    Empty people with no principles whatsoever. Not even the self awareness enough to recognize the extreme hypocrisy. As pathetic as ever.
  • Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)
    Won't he die someday?180 Proof

    “The good die young…but pricks live forever!”
  • Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)
    Prediction:

    Nothing will happen to Trump.
  • The Inflation Reduction Act
    Wrong. Please know the reality.ssu

    Ah, I see where the problem was. Looking at the chart, “US investors” are by far the biggest owners of debt— but they’re not a single entity. Social security is also counted as a single entity; I had assumed all governmental purchases (mutual and retirement funds, etc.)

    Fair enough— so the Fed, as a single entity, owns more debt than any individual governmental institution or individual country. Still, doesn’t change the point.

    Not in the quantity now they would have had to. The simple fact is that the Federal Reserve was the largest buyer of this huge increase in debt until the start of this year.ssu

    Well, individually yes. But look at your chart — individual investors and foreign holders bought more.

    Anyway — I’d let go of monetarism. It simply doesn’t explain inflation, except at the margins. At least in this case. It’s not without some truth, but I don’t see how one can look at war and COVID and conclude that the main driver is monetary policy — other than attachment to the theory, dogmatism, or a desire for neat and simple answers. Ultimately it’s a cover for neoliberalism and austerity, as we’re seeing right now. And the working class will be the ones you pay, as usual. All under the name of liberty.
  • The Inflation Reduction Act
    Really? Tell me just what single owner is bigger?ssu

    Social security. By a great deal, I believe.

    You seem to think the Fed prints money and that’s what the Congress uses to send checks.
    — Xtrix
    Actually, yes.
    ssu

    But like I said, this is pretty misleading. In fact the Fed has only a fraction of the debt, and mostly buys bonds from financial institutions — like banks — and not directly from the treasury.

    Last year (2021) the US federal government collected $4.05 trillion in revenue. It spent the government spent $6.82 trillion. Hence the federal government spent $2.77 trillion more than it collected, resulting in a deficit and new debt.

    Who do you think bought that new debt? Who suddenly had a lot more US treasury securities? Think.
    ssu

    Lots of people and institutions buy the debt, in fact. Banks buy trillions in bonds. They also issue their own bonds (corporate bonds). The Fed can buy both from the banks (and individuals) on the open market, like everyone else. The only difference is that the Fed can create (“print”) money. That’s what they’ve done.

    It’s more accurate to say that the Fed owns the debt of banks and corporations. They’re given money in exchange for those bonds— money that’s created out of thin air.

    But the Fed doesn’t directly buy the deficit. That’s nonsense. Nor do they indirectly buy most of it. Rather, they indirectly buy SOME of it, along with corporate debt. They do this as part of monetary policy.

    I’m sorry that it’s more complicated than you want to believe. You might as well accuse the SSA of being “hand in hand” with Congress. Kind of absurd, in my view, but not completely false.
  • The Inflation Reduction Act
    The Federal Reserve is the largest single owner of US treasuries.ssu

    No, it isn’t.

    A "thin connection" counted in trillions. :snicker:ssu

    Yes, so by your standard theres a connection between fiscal policy and China, mutual funds, and social security. Because they all buy bonds. For that matter, I’M connected to fiscal policy, since I own bonds. Fine. So what? Is this serious?

    And what is so hard for you in understanding a sentence like above: " the U.S. Federal Reserve has significantly ramped up its holdings of Treasury securities as part of a broader effort to counteract the economic impact of the public health emergency."ssu

    What about it? When have I once denied that the Fed purchases treasuries? That’s a tool of the Fed.

    You seem to think the Fed prints money and that’s what the Congress uses to send checks. Well, for the fraction of the debt that’s bought by the Fed in the open market, that’s true. And?
  • Eat the poor.
    What makes you so confident about that? What mechanisms do you believe were at play that caused this success? Why were these successful policies later abandoned?

    "Figure it out yourself" won't do.
    Tzeentch

    There’s plenty of reasons. Google Bretton Woods. Do the minimal amount of work. This system was abandoned in 71, and the financial sector has grown since then, being deregulated and creating
    complex financial instruments that makes no contribution to the real economy.

    I will mention one specific policy which changed in 1982 which I’m particularly interested in. That’s the SEC rule about stock buybacks. Rule 10(b)-18, more specifically. This was repealed my Shad, a Reagan appointee. William Lazonick has done great work on this and its effects on corporations and the economy. The effects have been massive and awful. Only one of many examples, but an especially important one.

    You suggest to view these men as inhuman monsters that reduce human beings to cogs in a market machineTzeentch

    Nope. I’ve said many times that I respect Friedman, for example, and take him seriously— however wrong or misinterpreted I think he is.
  • Eat the poor.
    Can you explain to me the economic mechanism that ensured, as you say, no major crashes took place during this period, and why we are not utilizing this mechanism today?Tzeentch

    There was government regulation of the financial sector. The banks were highly regulated. That’s why I referred to Bretton Woods. You’re free to Google those various regulations.

    I truly hope you don't view classical liberalism as espousing such a view.Tzeentch

    Classical liberalism — in the example of Adam Smith — developed in a radically different world. What Smith describes is often completely ignored, particularly about markets. It’s not like Friedman or Sowell or Von Mises or Hayek or Rand or any of these other people you’re undoubtedly influenced by.
  • The Inflation Reduction Act
    If you want to minimize the role of the central banks, be my guest. But that's nutty in this World, in my view.ssu

    Even in the face of an unprecedented global pandemic, supply disruptions, and war? Then it’s dogma.

    If the government cannot cover it's expenses by tax revenues, it can turn to the central bank, which either buys government bonds to finance this or simply prints more money to cover the expenses.ssu

    That’s only partly true. The government does issue bonds, yes. The Fed owns a fraction of that debt — a fraction. We’ve been through that before. So there’s a thin connection between the central bank and congress— but that’s it. The rest are bought by foreign countries or by other government departments, like social security.

    But regardless, fiscal policy is NOT monetary policy. The checks sent out to real people — which was much more than in 2009 — was not the decision of the Fed. It was a decision by congress, and sent through the treasury. The Fed doesn’t send stimulus checks. The Fed handles MONETARY POLICY, which is entirely different from FISCAL POLICY. Being clear on this is helpful. Blurring the lines like you’re doing, and then justifying it by stating that the Fed buys treasuries, is pure confusion.

    The bottom line here is that inflation isn’t simple. It’s due to multiple factors. You choose to harp almost exclusively on monetary policy. Ask yourself why that might be.
  • The Inflation Reduction Act
    it's about both monetary policy and events like Russo-Ukrainian war. And monetary policy here is actually linked to the COVID response.ssu

    We’ve established there are multiple factors. Monetary policy is a minor one— especially around the globe. You want to emphasize it over the others — and that’s nutty, in my view. Besides, you seem to be talking more about fiscal policy, which is different.
  • Eat the poor.
    Let's keep the conversation honest. The birth of the United States was a period full of conflict and wars against nations that were at that time much more powerful. To just chalk that all up to "small government" is very convenient for you, and in my opinion bereft of any reason.Tzeentch

    I mentioned the 1780s. This was the time of the articles of confederation. Almost no central government— an extremely weak one. It couldn’t impose taxes, it couldn’t raise an army, it needed unanimous or near-unanimous approval of the states to do anything. Yes, I’d say that’s “small government.” And I don’t see anything dishonest about it.

    As for the 1800s, I went over that as well.

    Ups and downs is the nature of economics. It's exactly the desire to forcefully stop that fluctuation that makes government interventions so problematic.Tzeentch

    You call it “natural,” but that’s really no excuse. As I mentioned, there were no major crashes during the Bretton Woods era — when the financial sector was actually regulated.

    So perhaps “natural” when left to their own devices.

    Imperfect man will always need some government, but too often we forget that its the same imperfect man that takes the reigns in government.Tzeentch

    Yes, and reducing human purpose to competition in markets is insane.
  • The Inflation Reduction Act
    If you argue that inflation doesn't export itself in a globalized world, you are simply going against the facts.ssu

    Of course it does. Which is why we see it all around the world. When you have an unprecedented global event, like COVID, there's no reason not to think in a globalized world that inflation wouldn't spread. Ditto with Russian oil sanctions and supply disruptions.

    The global economy has had low inflation and low interest rates for many years. Before the financial sector and the central banks caused asset inflation.ssu

    Since the housing bubble and QE, there has been extremely low rates and no inflation. The Fed would have continued this trend had it not been for inflation. They kept rates ultra low for too long. I was talking about this last summer before inflation was even an issue. But raising rates will do next to nothing except lower what they are able to raise: stocks, bonds, housing. They can do nothing about Ukraine or supply chain shocks or COVID lockdowns or China's Zero Covid policies. If we're waiting around for the Fed to cause a recession to lower inflation, we just aren't paying attention to reality.

    The Fed’s policies move asset prices. That’s it. Fiscal policy— the government giving it checks, etc. — has some effect, sure. But it does not account for the higher prices of oil and gas.
    — Xtrix
    Umm, I think you have not studied economics.
    ssu

    And I don't think you've studied reality. Again, my advice is to put down the theories and look around. It's tempting to want to attribute everything to a single cause -- like, say, the money supply -- but again, REALITY has a way of throwing such things off course.

    We had QE, low rates, and fiscal stimulus in 2009 as well. People were screaming about inflation -- and there was none -- except in the asset classes I mentioned above. The Fed now does the same thing, assets hit a super bubble, and there's also inflation -- and people say "See, it's because there's too much money -- it's monetary policy!" No, it isn't. It's COVID and war. The unprecedented FISCAL stimulus (giving real people checks) had a small effect, too. To scream that inflation is due mostly to fiscal policy is wrong; to argue it's monetary policy is even more wrong.

    Yes, regardless of what Milton Friedman says.

    I do like to debate issues with you and don't want to be irritating or condescending.ssu

    What's irritating is that you're not listening.

    So I'll give you an example of just why monetary policy and fiscal handouts do effect things like price of oil.ssu

    Without even reading further, I didn't say they don't effect the price of oil. I said the Fed can do nothing about the war in Ukraine or supply shocks -- which is obvious. The fiscal money has an effect on demand -- and there was indeed pent-up demand after the lockdowns. To argue this is the main driver of inflation is wrong.

    Second question: If we agree that at least some would spend a lot more than before, do you think that their increased spending would create "supply chain issues" or not?ssu

    The argument being what, exactly? That giving people some extra money is what caused the oil prices to go up? You know very well that's not true.

    Fiscal policy has an effect on demand -- but a much bigger effect were the lockdowns. Look at the change in behavior from 2020 to 2022. Even if people had the same amount of money as before, there would be high demand for services over goods in 2021/22. There were SOME supply problems in 2020 (toilet paper, paper towels, masks, etc) for a little while -- which had nothing to do with monetary or fiscal policy -- and they quickly caught up with demand. Prices of lumbar rose, etc. Basic supply/demand. What does this have to do with monetary policy?
  • Eat the poor.


    In fairness, I knew he was referring to the era prior to FDR. That’s often how it’s taught, with some merit. The federal government’s role did indeed expand in the 30s. But so what? Given that we were in a depression, it was needed. Look at the results, more importantly.

    The opposing argument is that it was the Fed that caused the depression— and that it was the war, not the new deal, that accounts for the greatness of the post war era. :snicker:

    There’s really no convincing “Government is the problem” junkies.
  • Eat the poor.
    They seemed to have worked well for the United States and its capitalists in the era between its conception and the second world war in which government expenditure was about 3-5% of GDP.Tzeentch

    It did? Check out the 1780s and see how well it worked. The era of true “small government.” Didn’t work so well.

    In any case, you’re talking about a state-capitalist system of the 1800s? (Which is all we’ve ever had: state capitalism.) Yes, crash after crash and panic after panic. There’s a reason for the federal reserve system, anti-trust legislation, and eventually Bretton Woods. I don’t consider the days of child labor, robber barons, and enormous monopolies to be a golden age. “Gilded Age,” sure.

    On the other hand, take a look at the New Deal/Bretton Woods era, when the state-capitalist system leaned much more into regulations (“regimented capitalism”). That era — from 40s to early 70s — is what most people mean by America’s golden age. Real wages, GDP growth, etc. And no major crash. Corporations — especially the financial sector — all heavily regulated. No stock buybacks, no Friedman Doctrine. The era of corporate managerialism. What was the result there? Better for the employees and for the companies themselves. Much more egalitarian society — at least for white people.

    It does no good believing in fantasies of free markets or small government. All it translates to is small government for everyone else except those in power and with wealth. The problem with the New Deal era is that it didn’t go far enough— it was still capitalism.
  • The Inflation Reduction Act
    And this accounts for inflation in Mexico, Brazil, Russia, Argentina, Canada, South Africa, and India?
    — Xtrix
    Partly yes,
    ssu

    No. The ECB has essentially nothing to do with it.

    No. The reason you see inflation everywhere is due to factors that have nothing — zero — to do with monetary policy.
    — Xtrix
    This is simply wrong.
    ssu

    No, it isn’t. Monetary policy of the US does not lead to inflation in all the countries mentioned. They’ve had low rates for years — no inflation. The reason for global inflation has many factors— but the biggest is COVID and the war, and their impacts on supply/demand and especially energy.

    The Fed’s policies move asset prices. That’s it. Fiscal policy— the government giving it checks, etc. — has some effect, sure. But it does not account for the higher prices of oil and gas.

    What then do you think the reason is?ssu

    See above.
  • Eat the poor.
    For libertarian or classic liberal ideas to be considered responsible for our current predicament, when the US government hasn't embodied those ideas for a very long time and has essentially moved in the opposite direction uninterrupted.Tzeentch

    Those ideas are mostly nonsense anyway, and would be a disaster if implemented — as all capitalists know. They need a strong state to exist.

    Regardless, I don’t see much reservation from “libertarians” when it comes to attributing Venezuela’s economic problems to “socialism.” Everyone can claim it’s not the true policy being implemented — and there’s plenty of truth in it. But let’s be consistent.
  • Eat the poor.
    Free market capitalism and libertarianism seem very popular patsies, but I don't think that's justified.Tzeentch

    Don’t think what’s justified?
  • The Inflation Reduction Act
    You really think that the ECB multiplying the monetary base many times over won't in the end create inflation?ssu

    And this accounts for inflation in Mexico, Brazil, Russia, Argentina, Canada, South Africa, and India?

    No. The reason you see inflation everywhere is due to factors that have nothing — zero — to do with monetary policy.

    But by all means keep emphasizing US fiscal policy. This way we can punish the true culprits: working people.

    On par with Reagan’s welfare queen myth.
    Especially when this was started by the Trump administration, you think it's just a right-wing talking point?ssu

    Yes. Beyond that, it’s also narrow. It accounts for some inflation, sure. No one has denied that. How much? Some have put the estimate as accounting for less than 10%. But even if it’s higher, it’s not the main driver. What’s leading the charge are energy prices, which has a ripple effect. We know why energy prices are up— around the world. It’s not because of the central banks, nor fiscal policy — and certainly not of the Fed or Congress.

    Sorry, but nobody is talking about the Modern Monetary Theory now in economic circles. For obvious reasons.ssu

    Neither am I.
  • Eat the poor.
    I don't think what created this massive transfer of wealth is a result of classical liberal ideas.

    It seems to me the result of big business jumping into bed with corrupt, bureaucratic government in an unholy alliance against the common man - crony capitalism.
    Tzeentch

    Sure— and take a look at the rhetoric. All of it done under the guise of “Government is the problem” and “ the era of big government is over.” We have to shrink the government, because it’s to blame for everything. Deregulate, privatize, cut taxes, etc. We see the results.

    Again, I’ll take the New Deal era, when the zeitgeist wasn’t dominated by Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman.
  • Eat the poor.
    You've got it exactly backwards.Tzeentch

    Anyone can claim this. And yes, I’m sure you don’t consciously aim to harm people. Nevertheless, what you think is a means to, say, “freedom,” is in reality a fantasy— a useful fantasy to cover the policies of an extreme and rather savage version of capitalism.

    Incidentally, I’m not in favor of “big government” or whatever conventional view of present-day liberals you want to ascribe to me. I’m just not fooled by the myths of free markets, individualism, and “liberty” offered by neoliberals as justification for the massive transfer of wealth that’s occurred these last 40 years. That’s certainly not getting us anywhere. So yes, given the choice I would definitely choose the New Deal era.
  • Salman Rushdie Attack
    Except that his actions were based on an official decree by the highest leader in his religion. He wasn't just some nut job who was scribbling manifestos and getting messages from his dog.Hanover

    And the guy who just attacked the FBI in Ohio wasn’t a nut job either. Does he represent mainstream conservatism? I don’t think so, despite the messaging coming from the top (and the media).

    I also think it's a stretch to claim he's just one guy who happened to be Muslim and this act wasn't consistent with many to believe being Muslim requires of them.Hanover

    But he is just one guy. If he were Christian, or a Trump supporter, you could ask similar things — fine. I still wouldn’t say it’s mainstream.

    I care much more about actions than intentions or beliefs. Although the latter are certainly important, if the former doesn’t represent a real crisis, I’d conclude that there isn’t much to discuss. What do I mean by “crisis”? Is not a man being stabbed on stage a crisis? Statistically, not really. If we see a general uptick in violent attacks, that’s one thing— I don’t see evidence for that yet.

    Regardless, the messaging matters. That this was ultimately spurred from a political/religious leader is certainly a problem. I’m against calling for the death of writers — no question. I’m against the calling for the hanging of FBI agents as well. That someone out there eventually acts on this messaging only proves that it has a real effect, and should be doubly condemned. But I’m very reluctant to make claims about Islam or conservatism or Christianity on the basis of what one person tells their followers.

    That said, leadership matters and how they react and steer the ship can have profound consequences. And do note that my concerns rest in how leadership has responded and how they've resorted to their theology in responding, or not respondingHanover

    Agreed.
  • The Inflation Reduction Act
    But if you genuinely think the problem of inflation can be dealt with giving more assistance (which is basically printed money) to the people who will use it, then I assume Joe Biden will be happy with you.ssu

    If you genuinely think that inflation is caused, in this case, by giving working people more money, then the neoliberals will be very happy with you indeed.

    Inflation is global, and we know why. It’s not because the US gave people more money. Nor the ECB. But if that’s the story you want to latch onto, that’s your choice. Again, having people believe this is wonderful for the ruling class. What a shame you perpetuate it.
  • Salman Rushdie Attack
    Was the attack on Salman Rushdie consistent with mainstream Muslim theology?Hanover

    What would be considered mainstream? There are a billion or so muslims in the world— and this was an act of one.

    Lots has been written, especially by Sam Harris and others, about how Islam inherently encourages violence more than other religions. But it’s just not so simple. For a more complex analysis (in my view), I’d check out Scott Atran.
  • The Inflation Reduction Act
    You do understand that assisting ordinary people (by printing a lot of money) was partly the cause of the inflation now?ssu

    Emphasis on “partly.” In my view it accounts for very little, but it’s telling that you want to highlight this “part” over and over again — rather than COVID or the war. Why exactly I’m not sure, but it’s a right-wing talking point and cover for desired austerity.
  • Eat the poor.
    This may come as a shock to you, but we're not all sociopaths.Isaac

    Which is what all the small government bullshit boils down to: a view that human beings are essentially sociopathic. Free-market fantasies included.
  • Eat the poor.
    Governments have been trying to solve socio-economic issues for ages, and they always fail. While not necessarily fixing the problems, the free exchange of goods and ideas has done more to improve the lot of the common man than any attempt by governments.Tzeentch

    Pure fantasy without a shred of evidence.

    Just too hard to let go of this belief. Dogma dies hard I guess.
  • Bannings


    :lol: Exactly.
  • Is the mind divisible?
    Is the mind divisible?

    Well: what is “mind”?
  • Life Sucks: (General Anti-Life Discussion)
    I only have a problem when people want to banish it from any public forum.schopenhauer1

    I have no desire to do so. And I don’t consider it illogical. I just think it’s silly and those who pick this hill to die on are silly. But like I said, that’s their prerogative!
  • Life Sucks: (General Anti-Life Discussion)
    They generally don't take positions that put values on things. Rather, it is philosophical pessimism, and it's not dressed up.schopenhauer1

    It's dressed up nihilism. Always has been.
  • Life Sucks: (General Anti-Life Discussion)
    Creating joy is not an obligation. Not creating harms where it didn't have to take place is.schopenhauer1

    Neither are obligations. There's either the desire to give life or not. Those who don't want to are welcome. But not everyone views suffering and exclaims "life is refuted," which is what antienatalism rests on. If you don't share that attitude, then the rest is just nonsense. I don't share that attitude.

    Again, for those who do -- fine. Then kill yourself, don't have kids, etc. That's your right. But why one wants to go around infecting others with this morbid, anti-life view is beyond me. I guess that's your right too, in the end. What can you do. Carry on!
  • Life Sucks: (General Anti-Life Discussion)
    It's anti-suffering.schopenhauer1

    Also anti-joy and anti-life.

    If you’re in favor of not having kids, don’t have any. If you’re arguing that human beings shouldn’t have kids, then you’re anti-life. The result is the end of the species. That essentially says: ”life is evil.” Evil because suffering exists.

    Just dressed up nihilism.

    Why anyone chooses to go on and on about this — to fight THIS battle — is an interesting psychological fact about them. But nothing more.
  • Life Sucks: (General Anti-Life Discussion)


    The reason it isn’t convincing is because the argument is stupid. It’s fundamentally anti-life. That’s more a matter of mood and temperament than sound reasoning. Nietzsche has plenty to say on this— far more articulate than me.

    I’m the opposite of you: I don’t have kids, and I’m not convinced in the slightest.
  • The Inflation Reduction Act
    Tell that to my fellow senior citizens on fixed incomes. :roll:jgill

    There should be assistance to senior citizens. My advice is for them to stop voting Republican. In any case, inflation is temporary. Climate change is existential.

    I suppose it's better that they're literally under water or burned in a wildfire?
  • Climate Change (General Discussion)
    Australia about to pass a major climate bill.

    The bill is expected to pass the Senate next month, after the Labor government secured reluctant support from the Australian Greens, which had pushed for a higher target. And it is being hailed as the most significant piece of climate legislation in a decade, while also being criticized for not going far enough.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/05/world/australia/climate-change-bill.html

    Sounds familiar. But it’s still some progress.