Meritocracy Myth

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Re: Meritocracy Myth

Postby Wombat on Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:15 pm

Saurus wrote:
Wombat wrote:
Saurus wrote:Looking at the scores, we have decreased - by a substantial amount (score-wise)- EVEN THOUGH EDUCATION SPENDING HAS ALMOST TRIPLED- that was my point: MORE SPENDING, in fact ANY GOVERNMENT SPENDING doesn't solve the problem. It never does, and never will.


To contribute to this part of the discussion. What you are stating above is not true. Education spendings have balanced between 4.5% and 6% of the GBP for the last 30 years, so you can hardly say they have tripled... (cross-referenced at: Institute for Fiscal studies, UK Spending and www.parliament.uk)

please check your facts before shouting numbers...

edit: I tried watching your video but I can't (disabled outside UK) so please make your arguments in words, thank you.


I think you should also check your facts Wombat, considering you don't live in the UK (which frankly explains quite a bit about how naive your view is about UK government).

http://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/downc ... =&state=UK

for the last 30years it has more than quadrupled.

next time, focus on the point - which is that more government spending is bad and not better.

and about the video : are you serious wombat? I expected you to be a bit more resourceful than that. You can go to youtube, or even go to firefox settings and enter a proxy ip..... come on.. /sigh


Seriously dude, the hard numbers don't mean shit. There is a reason those numbers are alwaysconverted to percentages of the GBP as that takes into account the inflation and increase of wealth in a country. Read this for a basic understanding on the value of money (the british pound in particular) or ask anyone who has had any economics education.

But if I have to resort to this level of discussion, I am distancing myself from this thread (not mean to offend anyone, I just can't be bothered).

Wombat

p.s.: Excuse me for not using (and knowing all the features of) Firefox or knowing british documentaries are shown on youtube (that doesn't happen in Holland).
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Re: Meritocracy Myth

Postby Saurus on Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:49 pm

Wombat wrote:p.s.: Excuse me for not using (and knowing all the features of) Firefox or knowing british documentaries are shown on youtube (that doesn't happen in Holland).


It's more like a 'can't do this', I think I'll google to find out how.

Wombat, you pointed out that I was wrong in saying tripling in spending - I pointed out that in fact you were wrong in trying to point out that I was wrong, and that I was in fact right in saying spending has dramatically increased .

NOW you say that's not a valid way of measurement , which is fair enough, but even if you consider % of GDP - it still has substantially gone up (by more than 50%) - and what value have we gotten out - that's my point, that's the entire point of this thread. THE GVT HAS NO MONEY, THEY TAKE FROM US, and pay themselves their salaries ..etc, THEN they 'invest' inefficiently into things. So the more they spend, the more they have to tax, and the less we have, and the more then we need from the gvt. It's this cyclic destruction. We have higher tax rates than China and the USSR.

Nobody seems to be registering the obvious explored, and proving pattern that the smaller the gvt, the better and more prosperous a nation is.

you don't need to try to link me to how monetary policy, especially when it's inflation. Because our centralised banking system, the Bank of England tries controls the inflation rates - and by tries to control, what I mean is trying to control the govt which causes the inflation, by printing and de-valuating the money supply.

As for the previous point, Sladuog was trying to raise (frankly the only higher level and interesting point that I been waiting for from anybody - though I don't really agree with it is) "How much responsibility does a person have on somebody else" and who dictates that responsibility, without infringing someone elses rights and choices to not help.
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Re: Meritocracy Myth

Postby Wolfbullet on Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:56 pm

Saurus wrote:It's a documentary, about history- about economic history. It can only be 1 side. "If you continue to do X, you will cause Y, it's been proven countless times before" - Just because you're view point wasn't explored (because it is historically wrong/inaccurate and unfeasible) - doesn't mean that it's a one sided debate; it's not even a debate. IT's like watching a programme about 1+1=2 , and you saying "yeah but they didn't consider 3, or 6, or pi ... that's cuz 1+1 can only equal 2. Do you know anything about economics? at all?


This right here makes me shake my head in despair. If you can't see it's a debate then this entire thread is a waste. There is absolutely no point.

For the record I watched the entire thing. The leaning tower of £50 notes with the worst special effects & acting ever done, the bit with the bathtub, the bit with the children, the cringeworthy bit with the celeb panel, the bit where he is praising the Hong Kong train service (whilst thinking our train service used to be a lot better and cheaper...you know when it was public) and all the rest in-between.

You know looking back your right. It was a masterwork. One of the greatest documentaries of all time. All those great moments are surely the sign of a factual, well presented balanced presentation of a subject...

"My entire argument" is not cloaked in anything. Hell I barely even made an argument. All I did was give you a situation and wanted you to explain what would happen under your system.

After I explained what would happen if you followed that thought through YOU RESORTED TO TYPING IN CAPS LOCK. MAYBE YOU THINK THIS MAKES YOUR POINT LOOK MORE IMPORTANT INSTEAD IT LOOKS VERY CHILDISH AND SAD A BIT LIKE YOU HAVE SPAT OUT YOUR DUMMY. GROW SOME BALLS AND ADMIT TO YOURSELF YOUR SYSTEM WOULD KILL PEOPLE AND IF YOU CAN ADMIT TO THAT HAVE THE DECENCY TO SAY IT. ALSO CHARITY APPARENTLY EQUALS GREED. OR PERHAPS YOU MEAN THOSE PEOPLE WITH SERIOUS ILLNESSES ARE GREEDY. YES GODDAMN THOSE GREEDY *INSERT TERRIBLE ILLNESS HERE* PATIENTS FOR TAKING MY MONEY. I BET THEY GOT SICK ON PURPOSE.

I'm a looney left liberal. Fine whatever. You're just insane. You are incapable of thinking about any other individual which is ironic since meritocracy is all about the individual.

Saurus wrote:I don't think your worth the hassle


Awesome. I'll take that as a sign of my victory. I'm out.
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Re: Meritocracy Myth

Postby sladuog on Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:31 pm

Wolfbullet wrote:
Saurus wrote:IF you cant provide for urself, and because you dont contribute to society, because u cant work because of serious illness/disability, you are one of the select few which CHARITIES target first (the govt is not a charity!). What happens to you, is a result of both your actions and random probability. You are essentially living at the expense of others. There's a very fine line between taking money off somebody else because you don't have enough to fund your existence (which is theft and a crime, for whatever reason) and simply letting you die, which is what would happen without charity. This is why we have charity, from other people, from organisation, for people who choose, and who want to willfully give their money/time to help people, with the spare money that they have (and time). Unfortunately, charity is seen more as foreign aid nowadays than a homefront help, because our nanny state gvt.


So like sladuog you shift the burden of responsibility to charities. Neither of you have giving this much thought at all.

1. Without a government or at least without public funding the charities have substantially less money.
2. The charities will have more cases to deal with - more people needing help.
3. They will need to hire more people.

So basically you've managed to cut their funding and increase their costs at the same time. Take into account what Wombat said that people will choose to leave it up to others and the fact that the charities would need to raise even more money than before.


Everyone is responsible for themselves.
Nobody is responsible for anyone else unless they go out of their way to be responsible for them.

We may be shifting the burden of the living costs of the people who can't support themselves through work to charities, but doing so does not infringe on the rights of every man to his money and how it is spent.
You are shifting the costs out of the realm of personal choice, direct action and rewarding society: "I have more money than I need today, I choose to donate some" and into that of stagnant selfishness "The government takes my money to give to less fortunate people, why should I donate? My money is all for me (after I have paid taxes)". These are just examples of course.

I did some quick googling and found this where it is interesting to see that donations to health and education charities dropped.

http://www.ibj.com/study-wealthy-still- ... icle/23446

I would expect this trend to continue, since people will already consider themselves to have done their bit for the health and education sectors through paying taxes, and with the introduction of medicare and medicaid in the USA (about which I know admittedly very little) I suppose it could mean hard times ahead for many charities.

Charity by definition occurs without government. There is no role of government in the transaction that occurs when a coin is tossed from a man's hand into another man's hat in the street. It is purely the choice of the man with the coin to spend it, or not. The man with the coin has earned it via his contribution to society (unless he has robbed another man of his coin). Forcing a donation from every man who walks past is robbery. The most you can do is ask. If it is deemed by the man with the coin to be noble to give to you even though you haven't earned it, even if it only happens to make the man with the coin feel good about himself, it has allowed your continued existence. Forcing people to be responsible for you is immoral manipulation. Asking someone to consider the situation from your own perspective is acceptable, but hard to bear for both parties. There is another fine line between asking someone to consider the situations of those unable to support themselves and recognising charity as a noble cause and pestering them for more money until they politely ask you to leave and stop donating entirely (as in the above link).

Charity will always be necessary and is always a noble cause. Only to those with wealth and freedom to spend it how they want is it an option.

I still need to think about your second and third points, but a system which allows a charity to hire people, presumably with a wage which is adequate for them to survive on, when that money could be going to someone who needs it, and remember that charity should be entirely voluntary, so if that person does a bad job, they get fired? and they then have no income? how is that charity? that is just one extra person who is helping to consume funds without in the end producing anything, since all they should be doing is channelling money out of the pockets of those who choose to give it and have earned it and into those who cannot earn enough to survive. This seems highly immoral to me, akin to a person plastering a "charity for blind kids" sticker on a tin can and then keeping a proportion of the money they collect for that worthy cause for themself.
Actually I think this goes against the whole non-profit-organisation thing, so as far as I know, all charity work should therefore be voluntary (right? Otherwise it can end up doing more harm than good economically)
As for more people needing help, I'm fairly sure that there has not been a significant increase in people who are unable to work hard enough to support themselves proportional to the increase in population size the country's seen. I do not know this however and fully accept that I may be wrong.

Lost it a bit towards the middle there on your second point, but I hope you see what I mean. I just got back from an exam and am exhausted. I have a few other little points to make, but those are the main ones.

Please don't go, Wolfbullet.


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Re: Meritocracy Myth

Postby Saurus on Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:00 pm

Wolfbullet wrote:Awesome. I'll take that as a sign of my victory. I'm out.


After mocking the special effects used in a documentary about the economy, and failing to realise the obvious satyr in the 'celeb show' - you have managed to find 'victory' in me creating a thread with the purpose of discussing higher level concepts of gvt role vs individual role.

Congrats, you have again failed to present a single coherent argument, failed to even evidence your argument (apart from using the standard make-believe scenario of what would happen in an extreme circumstance involving <<<0.01% of the population - which you claim justifies affecting the 99%+ of others). All your points of fairness, ethics, justice, greed, are not only far more prevalent in your content with the status quo, but they are in fact promoted. And you don't see that, so you are just contradicting yourself.

You have again not answered the fact that you are deliberately taking away peoples freedom, for your own means - and you somehow think thats ok, just/fair and ethical.

I actually laughed at when you said "system would kill people", as when I look at 'my system' in the context of the countries that have close adoptions of it, they have far better healthcare then we could ever imagine.

I also laughed when you say I'm incapable of thinking about any other individual, when it is you who is the one going against Liberty.

Congrats on your 'victory', you have successful not made sense by making your argument more valid, and you have contradicted yourself every step of the way.

============

Sladuog, I didn't imagine there would be such a significant negative correlation with charity and gvt involvement. Though it does make sense.

I agree with your statement about responsibility, and the sooner people realise this, the more independent and efficient our society can become.
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Re: Meritocracy Myth

Postby Kaelan002 on Fri Apr 29, 2011 6:20 pm

Correct me if in wrong but from what ive gathered here you believe that the government does nothing usefull and only exists to steal all your money. So you would get rid of everyone in charge and just let everyone live completely independently and do what they want with each other?
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Re: Meritocracy Myth

Postby Saurus on Fri Apr 29, 2011 7:10 pm

kaelan002 wrote:Correct me if in wrong but from what ive gathered here you believe that the government does nothing usefull and only exists to steal all your money. So you would get rid of everyone in charge and just let everyone live completely independently and do what they want with each other?

I think you should spend more time gathering...
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Re: Meritocracy Myth

Postby MakeNine on Sat Apr 30, 2011 3:28 pm

The freedom libertarians talk about belongs to utopia, like the fantasies of communism and other ideologies. You're a social ape and you live in a society, ultimately the individual means nothing. This period of history with apparent abundance is the only time when you get to dream about liberty.


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Re: Meritocracy Myth

Postby MakeNine on Sat Apr 30, 2011 3:45 pm

I actually laughed at when you said "system would kill people", as when I look at 'my system' in the context of the countries that have close adoptions of it, they have far better healthcare then we could ever imagine.


What about all the people in the US that are dropped by their health insurers once they develop a serious illness? They are at the mercy of private corporations driven only by profit.

Also, it's not true that competition in the market will necessarily lead to lower prices, look at the Netherlands for example..


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Re: Meritocracy Myth

Postby Saurus on Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:40 pm

MakeNine wrote:The freedom libertarians talk about belongs to utopia, like the fantasies of communism and other ideologies. You're a social ape and you live in a society, ultimately the individual means nothing. This period of history with apparent abundance is the only time when you get to dream about liberty.


I have no idea what your trying to say here. Communist has been proven to be unsuccessful. Libertarian ideas have flourished in HongKong - which is probably the most prosperous city on the earth. If you believe the individual means nothing in society- then please go sacrifice your life for some worthless cause for the greater good of society - as your life has therefore no intrinsic value or importance in the face of 'society'.

MakeNine wrote:
I actually laughed at when you said "system would kill people", as when I look at 'my system' in the context of the countries that have close adoptions of it, they have far better healthcare then we could ever imagine.

What about all the people in the US that are dropped by their health insurers once they develop a serious illness? They are at the mercy of private corporations driven only by profit.
Also, it's not true that competition in the market will necessarily lead to lower prices, look at the Netherlands for example..


I'd suggest you actually bother to take the time to read this thread, as if you had, you would realise that point has already been addressed many times - and the comparison between the US is a false one, used by the Left incorrectly. A corporatist government != privatisation.

As for you last point about competition, I'd suggest you read some of the basics of economic Supply/Demand before you try make another ridiculous point about markets.
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Re: Meritocracy Myth

Postby MakeNine on Sun May 01, 2011 1:45 pm

Ignore this :)


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Re: Meritocracy Myth

Postby Bobbobthebob on Mon May 09, 2011 3:27 pm

Awesome. Someone with a “F*** you, got mine” mentality.

Where do I start? The fact that Saurus appears to deny the existence of externalities? That he brings up the Laffer curve as if it meant anything? I'll just pick some highlights:

Saurus wrote:You have the right to what you earn. [e.g: you earn £30,000 a year, you have the right to a lifestyle of £30,000 a year]

So, for example:
  • you shuffle money around, make use of secrecy jurisdictions to both evade tax and avoid stakeholder oversight and make an absolute mint
  • or you pressure a govt. to deregulate one of its commodity markets then flood it with speculative money and profit off the bubble while others starve due to food shortages.
In each case you are entitled to a millionaire’s lifestyle.

On the other hand, if you work incredibly long hours tending to the sick and wounded; you’re probably a nurse and you’re only entitled to a meagre payslip (This is true whether you’re in the NHS or working private).

Maybe people earn wages that don’t reflect their use to society? Maybe there are a lot of perverse incentives and moral hazards out there that mean that people who actively damage society, the environment and other people are actually paid handsomely for it. If only there was some way of regulating these problems? Maybe some group of representatives for the people who can create rules to curb such excesses and maybe find a way to redress such an imbalance? Maybe we could call them the government?

Saurus wrote:However this system of basically of a non-nanny state, full responsibility on the individual, is unfortunately (even though it is the most fair) not considered often.

Fairer for whom? This is the biggest lie with far-right libertarianism. They try to couch the fact that they want to repeal nearly all the measures we have in place to try to level the playing field and turn it into an issue of “responsibility”. When there are systemic issues that make life worse for one person than the other, it’s not the fault of the system, it’s the victim’s fault:
  • Mental health issues? F*** you, it's not my responsibility, it’s all yours: pull up those bootstraps and fix yourself!
  • Racism in employment and education opportunities? What place does the govt. have trying to regulate businesses, they should be allowed to employ whoever they like! It’s the responsibility of people from minorities to overcome these odds.
Under this system, your responsibility lies not just in what you do but also in who you are and where you are from.

Saurus wrote:As for your comment of the daily mail - It was the picture I got from google images which presented the point. I don't see how your judgements about race/bigotry plays a role in a table showing numbers. I would be more angry and greatly concerned at the dominance of left-wing liberal media in this country then I would about the dailymail.


What was the point in posting the picture? It shows a drop in the UK’s ranking. Half the rank lost was due to previously unranked countries which suggests that we probably should have been ranked lower in the first place. Underneath the Mail has usefully given us its opinion on various educational schemes. You’ll forgive me if I don’t particularly care for some hack’s unqualified opinion on the value for money of literacy and numeracy programs. And what dominant left-wing liberal media? I look at our newspapers, for example, and see the following:

Sun – right wing (Murdoch press)
Mirror – left wing
Daily Star – No wing (mainly mammaries)
Daily Mail – right wing
The Express – right wing
The Telegraph – right wing
The Times – right wing (Murdoch press again)
The Guardian – left wing
The Independent – left wing
Metro – right wing (a sister paper to the Daily Mail)
Evening Standard – fairly right wing imo but variable.

If anything there’s a right-wing leaning, certainly outside of the broadsheets where only the Mirror is really flying the flag for the left amongst the papers of the working class.

Saurus wrote:"The more the gvt tries to make you a better person, the worse off it is for everybody else." -Ron Paul

You believe in the nanny-state, taking care craddle-to-grave. I really don't. It isn't the gvt responsibility to take care of me. This is why we have families, communities, charities. You don't need a massive federal gvt to have people taken care of should they need to be.

Cool, we’re quoting people’s opinion’s now? I have one that uses reasoning:

“In a civilised community, although it may be composed of self-reliant individuals, there will be some persons who will be unable at some period of their lives to look after themselves, and the question of what is to happen to them may be solved in three ways – they may be neglected, they may be cared for by the organised community as of right, or they may be left to the goodwill of individuals in the community. The first way is intolerable, and as for the third: Charity is only possible without loss of dignity between equals. A right established by law, such as that to an old age pension, is less galling than an allowance made by a rich man to a poor one, dependent on his view of the recipient’s character, and terminable at his caprice” – Clement Attlee

In your laissez-faire dystopia, the needy are required to prove that they’re worthy of the largesse of the rich and will be paid as and when rich individuals feel like it. There is no guarantee of income from one week to the next, and no guarantee that it will be enough to feed, clothe and shelter oneself, let alone being enough for such frivolities as education, medical treatment, transportation etc. Charity is great, I wish more people got involved, but it’s not a solution to large-scale problems that need a steady and consistent flow of resources.

Saurus wrote:I think you should also check your facts Wombat, considering you don't live in the UK (which frankly explains quite a bit about how naive your view is about UK government).

http://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/downc ... =&state=UK

for the last 30years it has more than quadrupled.

Remember how you’ve complained that people have attacked the speaker and not the argument with regards to your documentary? Tell me how your ad hominem attack on Wombat actually refuted anything he had to say. That the argument comes from a Dutchman doesn’t make it any less true.

Your statement is that spending on education has quadrupled. You then show figures for 26 years of past spending and 5 years of forecast spending. It’s a rather facile argument as it completely ignores inflation. Wombat made a reasonable effort by using % of GDP as a measure of how spending has changed. The very same page you point to shows that spending on education has varied between 4.1% and 5.8% of the GDP in this period, the highest figures coming from a period when our GDP actually contracted. That contraction being in large part thanks to the deregulation and lack of oversight that allowed banks to hold tiny amounts in reserve and sell CDOs built out of sub-prime mortgages.

I don’t know why you’re worrying anyway. Pretty soon education spending will plummet as almost universal £9,000 fees for higher education will make it the preserve of the children of the rich.

Saurus wrote:As Churchill said: "We contend that for a nation to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.".

This is funny because libertarians basically expect the poor or disadvantaged individual to bootstrap himself into prosperity. Supposing Churchill is not being taken out of context here, then he was being an idiot (not hard to believe if you've ever read his comments on Gandhi).

Tax isn't about making a country prosperous, it’s about caring for the people collectively. That’s protecting ourselves from those who would harm us by maintaining armed forces, it’s creating a health service that maintains a healthy population and workforce, it’s having emergency services, it’s having a judiciary, it’s having an education system so everyone can fulfill their potential no matter their background and it’s giving people a hand when life throws a curve-ball and knocks them down for a while.

Saurus wrote:The Laffer curve, shows us that the more you tax, the LESS you collect. Because people move and leave to other countries.

NO it doesn’t. It categorically does not say that and either you have no idea what you’re talking about or you’re willfully lying.

The Laffer curve basically states that at 0% taxation, the government gains no revenue and that at 100% taxation the govt. also gains no tax revenue as it’s removed all incentive to bother making money in the first place. We know that govts do gain tax revenue while taxing in between those rates so we can assume some kind of curve with a peak between those points.

That’s all the Laffer curve is: a statement that there exists a local maxima in a system. At some point increased tax rates starts to decrease tax revenue. It’s not quantitative in any way but you presumably believe the curve peaks way over near the 0% mark. Now, thanks to deregulation, the growth of tax havens and the resultant risk of capital flight, the peak of the curve will have certainly shifted to lower rates over the last 40 years. But seen from a global perspective, it’s a vicious circle that results in a race to the bottom as each country tries to undercut the other. As one of the world’s major tax havens, our taxes certainly aren’t so high that we are the on the diminishing side of the Laffer curve.

Saurus wrote:THE GVT HAS NO MONEY, THEY TAKE FROM US, and pay themselves their salaries ..etc, THEN they 'invest' inefficiently into things. So the more they spend, the more they have to tax, and the less we have, and the more then we need from the gvt. It's this cyclic destruction. We have higher tax rates than China and the USSR.

China and the USSR are also incredibly corrupt and have astronomical degrees of inequality. The govt. and the mafia in Russia are almost one and the same. Their relatively low tax rates are great for the oligarchs but useless for the majority of the people. In China, the same thing can be said of the industrialists and Communist Party officials. There’s widespread exploitation of the poor and a tiny elite profiting out of all of it. Similar things could be said for much of western Europe in the mid 1800s – low taxes, high poverty, high inequality. Conversely, some of the countries ranked as having the best quality of life in the world are in Scandinavia where taxes are a fair bit higher than here and the welfare plans are more generous.


In summary (because I cba to pick over everything and I think I’ve made enough points to argue over), a few questions for you Saurus:

  • What do you think is the role of government?
  • How do you expect a free market world to cover market failures? Street lighting is a classic and simple example.
  • What about market externalities? Leaving the market to its own devices we would see the tragedy of the commons occur over and over with all natural resources.
  • What about the enforcement of law on businesses? For example, workplace safety legislation? Does the government have a place regulating that or is it another example of force used upon free individuals (a responsible individual working in a factory would never get mangled by his machine after working a 12 hour shift!).
  • Do you not see the inequality in the free movement of capital vs the restricted movement of labour (let alone its own natural inertia – people don’t always move where it’s the most economically sensible when they have family and other connections to certain places)? We’ve lost a lot of industrial work for several reasons – local natural resource depletion and automation is part of the story, another part is that our own workers cannot compete with the dreadful conditions workers in China and other less developed nations are willing to endure to avoid starvation in rural areas. Do you suggest that the British worker should be willing to live in the squalor of a sweatshop worker's conditions because the market mandates it?
  • Finally, can you not see that massive inequality only serves to cause the further break down of law and order, destroying the same social environment that facilitates your own success? You didn’t get to where you are* in a vacuum, you will have had a lot of direct and indirect leg ups thanks to society at large. Even if you don’t think that some of your own success is due to accidents of birth (race, health, economic class etc that one is born in to), you must surely see that your profession and the source of your wealth will only work in an environment that allows you to do it? Say we reduce govt. services drastically, the poor turn to crime increasingly to make ends meet and the police service is reduced to inadequacy. Your own quality of life would suffer and you would spend more money on personal protection or private security. I doubt you’d save any money from reduced taxes and everyone suffers.

*presumably sitting behind a computer in a warm house with an education and a good enough salary that you so rarely use government services that you think they’re all completely dispensable

And please lay off the sneering attitude. Most people aren't that au fait with the subject and you're not God's gift to economic theory (nor am I). Taking a moment to flesh out your reasons would be more useful and telling people to go away and spend an hour watching a very partisan documentary won't change anyone's minds or explain anything. Having said that, I don't think you understand economics as much as you think you do; otherwise you wouldn't be advocating this bat-shit insane abdication of society's moral obligations in favour of an amoral system of resource allocation.
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Re: Meritocracy Myth

Postby Saurus on Thu May 12, 2011 11:24 am

Bobbobthebob wrote:Awesome. Someone with a “F*** you, got mine” mentality.

Yeah more like - the law of liberty. I suggest you look up its definition instead of preaching false charity.

You want to donate your money and time, find - do so at your will (that's why we have charities) - just don't enforce your morales on me, like I won't on you. I am defending the right to choose, which you are not.

Bobbobthebob wrote:Where do I start? The fact that Saurus appears to deny the existence of externalities? That he brings up the Laffer curve as if it meant anything?

If you even bothered to read the post, instead of feature spotting, it was meant to show that the more you tax the less you yield in revenues, which is whats happening today with the increase of 50p tax - with Ed Balls saying the way out of the deficit is to put more people in that bracket. Sigh again you've deliberately misread the point.

Bobbobthebob wrote:So, for example:
  • you shuffle money around, make use of secrecy jurisdictions to both evade tax and avoid stakeholder oversight and make an absolute mint
  • or you pressure a govt. to deregulate one of its commodity markets then flood it with speculative money and profit off the bubble while others starve due to food shortages.
In each case you are entitled to a millionaire’s lifestyle.

1)-I don't see how if you earn £30k, and you are not paying income tax or NI, you can somehow avoid the 'tax' (which isn't there) - and this somehow makes your a millionaire. good job.
2)-a gvt can't regulate a market (-well it could flood the monetary funds ... but thats not really regulating, so much as limiting decision making), and when it tries it just slows the economic growth of the nation. I don't even see why you are bringing up the gvt regulating markets, when I'm talking about income tax ... nvm

Bobbobthebob wrote:On the other hand, if you work incredibly long hours tending to the sick and wounded; you’re probably a nurse and you’re only entitled to a meagre payslip (This is true whether you’re in the NHS or working private).

Alas the meagre and hardship of a public sector job, accompanied by ludicrous pension schemes. Public sector pay has gone up 30% faster then private sector. And when a train driver gets paid more then a guy whos been through higher education and just started at a financial services firm. I have a problem with that.

Bobbobthebob wrote:Maybe people earn wages that don’t reflect their use to society? Maybe there are a lot of perverse incentives and moral hazards out there that mean that people who actively damage society, the environment and other people are actually paid handsomely for it. If only there was some way of regulating these problems? Maybe some group of representatives for the people who can create rules to curb such excesses and maybe find a way to redress such an imbalance? Maybe we could call them the government?

Are you trying to infer that income tax is a way of regulating imbalance? Your mixing up a million points. You do realise income tax hits everyone. And the tax collected pays for the salaries of the public sector jobs, who then pay tax. You do see the money-chunder happening here right? Do I need to draw a finite state machine?

Bobbobthebob wrote:Fairer for whom? This is the biggest lie with far-right libertarianism. They try to couch the fact that they want to repeal nearly all the measures we have in place to try to level the playing field and turn it into an issue of “responsibility”. When there are systemic issues that make life worse for one person than the other, it’s not the fault of the system, it’s the victim’s fault:
  • Mental health issues? F*** you, it's not my responsibility, it’s all yours: pull up those bootstraps and fix yourself!
  • Racism in employment and education opportunities? What place does the govt. have trying to regulate businesses, they should be allowed to employ whoever they like! It’s the responsibility of people from minorities to overcome these odds.
Under this system, your responsibility lies not just in what you do but also in who you are and where you are from.


Yes, taking something off somebody and giving it to somebody else (without consent) is fair. If I tried to do that I'd get arrested, I wonder why the gvt is able to. I actually laughed at 'level the playing field' - the more you try to 'level the playing field' the more you imbalance it. And again you are assume that once you give people the choice and responsibility of their own lives and money- then BAM everybody has problems, nobody will help anybody, everything will burn, everybody has mental health issues....etc ... Read the post about charities. It's NOT THE GVT ROLE TO BE A CHARITY.
I don't see why you think, that taking responsibility in your own life, means that someone there's 0 Laws in existance. Ofc there will be laws of racism, THE LAWS ARE MEANT TO protect an individual's liberties, SO LONG as they dont infringe on the liberties of others. Really, go read about liberty because you again have made the false analogy that liberty means unfairness, when by definition it is the most fair.

Bobbobthebob wrote:What was the point in posting the picture? It shows a drop in the UK’s ranking. Half the rank lost was due to previously unranked countries which suggests that we probably should have been ranked lower in the first place. Underneath the Mail has usefully given us its opinion on various educational schemes. You’ll forgive me if I don’t particularly care for some hack’s unqualified opinion on the value for money of literacy and numeracy programs. And what dominant left-wing liberal media? I look at our newspapers, for example, and see the following:

You really didn't even bother reading what I said right? Come on....Again the point was that gvt spending wasn't the answer, it never is, and the more the gvt spends the worse it gets, for everybody. Please try next time...

Bobbobthebob wrote:Cool, we’re quoting people’s opinion’s now? I have one that uses reasoning:

I really don't want you to participate in this thread, if this is really the best that you can come up with. You are drawing this now on a personal level, and if you don't want to get reported I'd suggest you refrain, in the future, from making such a childish remark. Yes quoting respected figures in a debate is considered common/appropriate practice.

Bobbobthebob wrote:“In a civilised community, although it may be composed of self-reliant individuals, there will be some persons who will be unable at some period of their lives to look after themselves, and the question of what is to happen to them may be solved in three ways – they may be neglected, they may be cared for by the organised community as of right, or they may be left to the goodwill of individuals in the community. The first way is intolerable, and as for the third: Charity is only possible without loss of dignity between equals. A right established by law, such as that to an old age pension, is less galling than an allowance made by a rich man to a poor one, dependent on his view of the recipient’s character, and terminable at his caprice” – Clement Attlee

nice quote - if you actually read it, it proves me right. I don't see the government written there. I saw Charity, Community, Individuals. All words of the foundation of Liberty.

Bobbobthebob wrote:In your laissez-faire dystopia, the needy are required to prove that they’re worthy of the largesse of the rich and will be paid as and when rich individuals feel like it. There is no guarantee of income from one week to the next, and no guarantee that it will be enough to feed, clothe and shelter oneself, let alone being enough for such frivolities as education, medical treatment, transportation etc. Charity is great, I wish more people got involved, but it’s not a solution to large-scale problems that need a steady and consistent flow of resources.

The rich contribute more to charity then any of the government. Large-scale problems, such as education and medical treatment, can't be fixed by the government. Thoses problems needed to be divided up into local levels for targeted solutions. Having a blanking federal way is not only inefficient, ineffective it also doesn't work.

Bobbobthebob wrote:Remember how you’ve complained that people have attacked the speaker and not the argument with regards to your documentary? Tell me how your ad hominem attack on Wombat actually refuted anything he had to say. That the argument comes from a Dutchman doesn’t make it any less true.
- Wombat is one of my best mates on ukcs, so don't try to infer my comment as a personal attack on his character. I was commenting on his comment that my figures were wrong, (which was a useless pendantic point).

Bobbobthebob wrote:Your statement is that spending on education has quadrupled. You then show figures for 26 years of past spending and 5 years of forecast spending. It’s a rather facile argument as it completely ignores inflation. Wombat made a reasonable effort by using % of GDP as a measure of how spending has changed. The very same page you point to shows that spending on education has varied between 4.1% and 5.8% of the GDP in this period, the highest figures coming from a period when our GDP actually contracted. That contraction being in large part thanks to the deregulation and lack of oversight that allowed banks to hold tiny amounts in reserve and sell CDOs built out of sub-prime mortgages.

Ok education has gone up 3times in real terms? or 4 or 5,. or 10? DOES IT matter? it has gone up ... a lot. And nothing has changed, things have gotten worse. That again was the point. Big Gvt spending = bad.

I've worked at 4 top Financial companies, so let me be clear when I say:
"LOL @ deregulation and lack of oversight that allowed banks", No really, I lol'd :). You do realise in a financial services firm, all conversations on the phone are taped, and every day a bank has to send a report to the Bank of England that explains every single transaction that has been made, as well as all forms/all documents showing the current liquidity of the firm, the current lendings of the firm. Basically everything possible about a firm and it's current state of business. Every single day. And penalty for fudging the numbers and not producing this accurately can easily be caught, and faces GIGANTIC fines, including prison for fraud - and can potential ruin a company - like the entire company. The amount of regulation on banks is gigantic - it's one of the most heavily regulated industries in the world. And to suggest that this lack of regulation caused anything is laughable. It is the gvt employees and regulators themselves who failed to regulate properly. The measures are there, a bank doesn't go bust overnight, it doensn't lose liquidity or becomes over-extended overnight.

Bobbobthebob wrote:I don’t know why you’re worrying anyway. Pretty soon education spending will plummet as almost universal £9,000 fees for higher education will make it the preserve of the children of the rich.

higher education is a choice, making it free devalues the rate of a degree and removes that choice. I don't want gvt taking away my choices by making them false choices. (off topic)

Bobbobthebob wrote:Tax isn't about making a country prosperous, it’s about caring for the people collectively. That’s protecting ourselves from those who would harm us by maintaining armed forces, it’s creating a health service that maintains a healthy population and workforce, it’s having emergency services, it’s having a judiciary, it’s having an education system so everyone can fulfill their potential no matter their background and it’s giving people a hand when life throws a curve-ball and knocks them down for a while.

Sounds nice, too bad it doesn't work in practice and creates a worse situation for the vast majority of the popualtion.


Bobbobthebob wrote:China and the USSR are also incredibly corrupt and have astronomical degrees of inequality. The govt. and the mafia in Russia are almost one and the same. Their relatively low tax rates are great for the oligarchs but useless for the majority of the people. In China, the same thing can be said of the industrialists and Communist Party officials. There’s widespread exploitation of the poor and a tiny elite profiting out of all of it. Similar things could be said for much of western Europe in the mid 1800s – low taxes, high poverty, high inequality. Conversely, some of the countries ranked as having the best quality of life in the world are in Scandinavia where taxes are a fair bit higher than here and the welfare plans are more generous.

Ok I get your point, low taxation is exploitation (especially on the poor apparently) and unequal. But high taxation is somehow fair, and equal. So you think its ok for an authority to make life worse for someone, by its own measurement and category of who is that person, to attempt to make life better for somebody else, again under its own decision making. Unfair for others to try to make life more fair for some. This is by nature fair, and infringes on no freedoms or liberties. Cool.

[*]What do you think is the role of government?
Do defend civil liberties. In essence protecting an individual from other individuals not an individual from himself. (yes that also means no prohibition on alcohol/drugs/etc)

[*]How do you expect a free market world to cover market failures?
When you mean market failure in this case, you're talking about the local level. Which is controlled by councils, not by big gvt. You can have a gvt and free markets, (see Austrian economics).
[*]What about market externalities?
I assume you mean something like the controlling of Pollution ,...etc . As previously mentioned you have laws defending civil LIBERTIES, having swamp or pollution ruin your land because of a company is an infringement on that liberty. And the laws are there to punish that infringement = defending liberties.
[*]What about the enforcement of law on businesses?
I think again you are confusing laws that protect civil liberties - and NO LAWS at all. regulation happens to protect those liberties.

[*]Do you not see the inequality in the free movement of capital vs the restricted movement of labour (let alone its own natural inertia – people don’t always move where it’s the most economically sensible when they have family and other connections to certain places)?
Just to point out - the cost of living in those countries is but a mere fraction of what it costs to live in this country, the wages can be compared. Why is the cost of living so high? tax, nanny-gvt ...etc Devaluation of the pound... This is where you tax overseas/imports - and have 0% income tax, such that it is more profitable (which is why they employ people there) to manufacture here then over there - low cooperation tax ...etc : It's 10% tax for a company over in those countries then ~24-32% here. Why would you put a business here?. Additionally, when the employee doesn't need to pay tax, cost of living goes down, and standard of living goes up. You have a lot of points mixed up here. But you can also say why is it we have such a determined/rising Eastern European workforce that are flooding our jobs? Because they are willing to work.

[*]Finally, can you not see that massive inequality only serves to cause the further break down of law and order, destroying the same social environment that facilitates your own success? the poor turn to crime increasingly to make ends meet and the police service is reduced to inadequacy.
That last sentence is a GIGANTIC assumption - and frankly wrong. Having a system based on merit will break down law and order?. Not really. IT will stop a lot of people living off welfare and having a society where is it acceptable to have permanent MASS-unemployment .

*presumably sitting behind a computer in a warm house with an education and a good enough salary that you so rarely use government services that you think they’re all completely dispensable

Again, this is the type of comment that makes me want to report you. I find it laughable that you comment that i have a sneering attitude- when it is you who, throughout, your posts are making petty remarks whilst trying to justify taking away peoples freedoms under the false cloak of charity. Believing that its the gvt role and authority to do that.

Just to let you know- I could say: I live in a flat with my friends that I rent from the salary I work hard to earn. I'm completely independent, it was very tough, both my parents died when I was 10, and I didn't get any gvt money or nonsense like that, but I earned my way to get a good education, my salary isn't particularly great (below national average), though I don't expect to somehow live beyond my means. I don't expect the gvt to take from some rich dudes (which it defines as being rich) and falsely give me more, to give me the illusion that my mediocre lifestyle is somehow more then what it is. I would rather have the option to not pay tax and not use public services, then be conned into a system that isn't beneficial for me in the slightest. I could save all my tax money and pay for services that are better should I need them.

I could be one of those persons that you so gleefully use in your scenarios to justify unjustifiable actions on freedoms.

I could.

Does this justify my point even more? Does it add more weighting, ... not really.

Is what I posted true? Yes, no, some bits, does it matter?

So again, please stop with you ridiculous personal and childish comments about me- it's lame

Oh wait here's another one,

And please lay off the sneering attitude. Most people aren't that au fait with the subject and you're not God's gift to economic theory (nor am I). Taking a moment to flesh out your reasons would be more useful and telling people to go away and spend an hour watching a very partisan documentary won't change anyone's minds or explain anything. Having said that, I don't think you understand economics as much as you think you do; otherwise you wouldn't be advocating this bat-shit insane abdication of society's moral obligations in favour of an amoral system of resource allocation.


I suggest you actually read what Liberty means before you try to say that it's insane to have a system that's fair. I also suggest again for you to stop passing judgements on me, it's again lame and childish. I also suggest that you look at Keynesian Economics vs Austrian Free Economics - also Quantitive Easing, as well as the fact that the fact that the public sector is bigger than then private sector.
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Re: Meritocracy Myth

Postby Wolfbullet on Thu May 12, 2011 3:33 pm

Saurus wrote:I really don't want you to participate in this thread, if this is really the best that you can come up with. You are drawing this now on a personal level, and if you don't want to get reported I'd suggest you refrain, in the future, from making such a childish remark.
---
Again, this is the type of comment that makes me want to report you. I find it laughable that you comment that i have a sneering attitude- when it is you who, throughout, your posts are making petty remarks whilst trying to justify taking away peoples freedoms under the false cloak of charity. Believing that its the gvt role and authority to do that.



I'm out of this debate cause it's clearly a waste of time. But I had to come back for this.

You can't be serious. You're behaviour in this thread is terrible. Have you even read any of you're posts and looked at the way you've treated people in here? You've done nothing but insult people. You do have a sneering attitude (that is the polite term). If anyone in here needs reported it is you.
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Re: Meritocracy Myth

Postby cowboyfromhell on Wed May 18, 2011 7:04 pm

Right guys. We love it when there's a good constructive debate going on, and this is the best forum for it to take place in...

This thread, however, has become personal and in some parts childish.

This has to STOP now, please, otherwise the thread will have to be locked.

Keep it clean, respectful and constructive please. :)

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Re: Meritocracy Myth

Postby The_Pope on Thu May 19, 2011 8:40 pm

I'm not going to post a very long post here, as I could and it would just get mad in here, but I'd like to point out a simple flaw in your argument.

If you earn 30k with tax, you'd earn considerably less without tax as they could pay you essentially what you get after tax without seeing a difference. It's a silly idea with no mind for actual economics.

The laws of the country have been set up by a majority vote for the good of all people, were you brought up in a single parent household? Has anyone in your family been treated for a serious/long term illness? Ever needed to claim any form of government benefits?

Your beliefs are your beliefs, but to include veiled insults to those who cannot look after themselves is quite honest incredibly selfish.
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Re: Meritocracy Myth

Postby Saurus on Thu May 19, 2011 11:44 pm

The_Pope wrote:Your beliefs are your beliefs, but to include veiled insults to those who cannot look after themselves is quite honest incredibly selfish.


I'm going to ignore your point about tax, because you're wrong... and I really can't be bothered to repeat myself. But just to let you know, when you're married, in some countries you pay less income tax, doesn't mean the multinational companies will check your relationship status to determine how much to lower your salary.

Before calling me selfish or presuming me to have never been ill or that I have somehow never experienced hardship ... is .... well... just read the post above yours. You think government should take care of people, I don't. Because I know that the 'taking care of' is an illusion where the government takes from somebody else to provide for the person it wants. Fair? Generous? Hardly - Living at the expense of others.

I recommend you research the problem of Trilemma:

"A society cannot be simultaneously fair, free and equal. If it is fair, individuals who work harder will accumulate more wealth; if it is free, parents will leave the bulk of their inheritance to their children; but then it will not be equal, as people will begin life with different fortunes."

You can pick two out of the three . Which ones would you think are best for a society - especially when trying to promote growth.

Too bad you, like many, fail to realise that your argument is the selfish one, not mine.
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Re: Meritocracy Myth

Postby Kaelan002 on Fri May 20, 2011 6:59 am

If you for some horrid reason got critically ill and lost all your money paying for treatment (because there would be form of NHS) and ended up half paralysed would you not want the government or your parents to "look after you" a bit as you recovered and looked for a job of sorts? Wouldn't you think everyone was really selfish if they just ignored you and left you to starve? If you help others (by paying tax) then others will help you.
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Re: Meritocracy Myth

Postby Saurus on Fri May 20, 2011 8:26 am

kaelan002 wrote:If you for some horrid reason got critically ill and lost all your money paying for treatment (because there would be form of NHS) and ended up half paralysed would you not want the government or your parents to "look after you" a bit as you recovered and looked for a job of sorts? Wouldn't you think everyone was really selfish if they just ignored you and left you to starve? If you help others (by paying tax) then others will help you.


Euh ... parents != government ...

I'm getting a bit tired of everybody putting forward this same ludicrous scenario.

The government is not a charity, charities are charities. You get ill - you are a victim of something incredibly unlikely - then you are the target for some of the great work targeted charities do. Unfortunately we have government trying to act like a charity (which is uncharitable in its nature) - which sidelines most charities to foreign aid ..etc. ....

Am I against charities? No. I don't think government has the authority to take something from people, waste it with bureaucracy then give the remainder to others. I want the government to restore civil liberties and the freedom to OPT OUT of the system - that's fair and free.

Your system is totally unfair because you are forcing your morals on me. I don't mind what you do with your money, donate 40% to charity. I presenting a system of freedom. You are implying that once people have greater responsibility and freedom with their lives, that all of a sudden everything will break down, and everybody will not help anybody, everybody will do bad things.... which is totally ridiculous. If you didn't pay income tax, and you saw your neighbour severely hurt himself on the road - would you not help him? would you not donate a bit of your time to check up on him and make sure that he is ok? You're falsely assuming that having liberty promotes some sort of caveman survivalist mentality - where in fact it's the complete opposite. If given the choice, people are compassionate, that's what being a human being is about.

Before the corporations took over the health industry in america, if you needed help, you go to a hospital (which would, in that time, be usually affiliated with the Church, or another religion) and you would get taken care of. People who were in need got help - because its general human nature to help somebody if you see them in need. In nowadays you need to get signed up for insurance before you even get looked at (thank you obamacare) - you can be bleeding out and doctors can now turn you away because of this corporatism (corporatism != privatisation, fyi). But to enforce an authority which takes the fruits of your labour without asking is theft, it's undeniable. Government steals. And it does so with the excuse of acting like a charity, a wellfare state - which is completely against any concept of liberty.

Please read (if you haven't) the Trilemma I posted above your post, and tell me what you think.
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Re: Meritocracy Myth

Postby The_Pope on Fri May 20, 2011 11:08 am

./sigh alright then

Take for instance my sister, she has severe learning difficulties and a mental age of approximately 3. She's 21 and could not live by herself. My mother has severe MS and cannot look after her, let alone afford to. Without help from the government they would've starved to death quite a while ago.

The idea of Charities solving problems like these is ludicrous. A charity is a voluntary service, no charity in the UK could afford to handle the plethora of problems that are needed to be sorted. I've known hundreds of families through my own charity work and through my sister who are in circumstances where they have to get benefits from he government. To mind none of them have had any financial support from charities, only emotional at best. There are plenty of people in circumstances who cannot work, ever, and there are those who I agree just live off the state. But as you stated in your opening post, you are supposed to have liberties /without harming those of others/ and most people would agree a personal liberty would be to have a minimum quality of life.

Again you are more than entitled to your opinion, and to vote the way you see fit, however everyone else is also entitled to their opinion. Democracy has dictated over the past 100 or so years that this is the way we like our system as a country. If you feel no option represents yourself then you can happily set up yourself a new party. Although I have the feeling you are going to be in the far minority [Except for all the rich people who would love not to pay tax]
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