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Comment Re:Kindergarten ? (Score 1) 228

Neglect for music and art has more to do with funding than any desire to cram more stuff in. There are schools where they can't even afford basic supplies like paper. How are they going to have instruments that students can use (as most can't afford a personal instrument) or art supplies such as canvas and paint if they can't afford even more basic supplies?

Where do you get the idea that "they can't even afford basic supplies like paper?" From the school board (who may have intentionally under-budgeted for visible items such as paper) and teachers who have a vested interest in making it sound like the schools are destitute? Throwing more money at the problem will not fix education.

Comment Re: AFAIK Porn is not illegal. (Score 1) 299

It's not all about what people vote for, though that is part of the problem: we keep voting for people who support a big government. However, part of the problem is the continued support SCOTUS gives to laws which are clearly unconstitutional. As Charles Black, an expert on constitutional law wrote on the New Deal:

the standard version of the story of the New Deal and the Court, though accurate in its way, displaces the emphasis. ... It concentrates on the difficulties; it almost forgets how the whole thing turned out. The upshot of the matter was (and this is what I like to emphasize) that after some twenty-four months of balking... the Supreme Court, without a single change in the law of its composition, or, indeed, in its actual manning, placed the affirmative stamp of legitimacy on the New Deal, and on the whole new conception of government in America.

When the supreme court makes a decision, it helps people shut about about things being unconstitutional

Of course, not everyone was satisfied. The Bonnie Prince Charlie of constitutionally commanded laissez-faire still stirs the hearts of a few zealots in the Highlands of choleric unreality. But there is no longer any significant or dangerous public doubt as to the constitutional power of Congress to deal as it does with the national economy. ... We had no means, other than the Supreme Court, for imparting legitimacy to the New Deal.

Leaving the government to dictate what the government can do is... counterproductive and leads to the same tyranny the constitution was meant to prevent.

Comment Re:Democracy Always Fails To Avoid Social Problems (Score 1) 93

Democracy has the same purpose every government structure has, keeping the majority from revolting while the elite remain elite and live off their labors.

Instead of divine right, we must now accept this because it's the "will of the people." As the libertarian political theorist and economist Rothbard put it,

The intellectual arguments used by the State throughout history to “engineer consent” by the public can be classified into two parts: (1) that rule by the existing government is inevitable, absolutely necessary, and far better than the indescribable evils that would ensue upon its downfall; and (2) that the State rulers are especially great, wise, and altruistic men—far greater, wiser, and better than their simple subjects. In former times, the latter argument took the form of rule by “divine right” or by the “divine ruler” himself, or by an “aristocracy” of men. In modern times, as we indicated earlier, this argument stresses not so much divine approval as rule by a wise guild of “scientific experts” especially endowed in knowledge of statesmanship and the arcane facts of the world. The increasing use of scientific jargon, especially in the social sciences, has permitted intellectuals to weave apologia for State rule which rival the ancient priestcraft in obscurantism. For example, a thief who presumed to justify his theft by saying that he was really helping his victims by his spending, thus giving retail trade a needed boost, would be hooted down without delay. But when this same theory is clothed in Keynesian mathematical equations and impressive references to the “multiplier effect,” it carries far more conviction with a bamboozled public.

The government merely takes from one group to give to another, usually benefiting the rulers:

State power, as we have seen, is the coercive and parasitic seizure of this production—a draining of the fruits of society for the benefit of nonproductive (actually antiproductive) rulers. While social power is over nature, State power is power over man.

Comment Re:BSD on the rise (Score 1) 132

The name might actually make a difference:

Psychologists have determined, for example, that shares in companies with easy-to-pronounce names do indeed significantly outperform those with hard-to-pronounce names. Other studies have shown that when presenting people with a factual statement, manipulations that make the statement easier to mentally process - even totally nonsubstantive changes like writing it in a cleaner font or making it rhyme or simply repeating it - can alter people’s judgment of the truth of the statement, along with their evaluation of the intelligence of the statement’s author and their confidence in their own judgments and abilities.

Comment Re:Oh yeah? Then what are you gonna do about it? (Score -1, Troll) 410

Regardless of whether that's the case, it's important to note the absurdity of the situation:

EU Bureaucracy : "Ireland, it looks like you haven't stolen enough private property to comply with our regulations. We command you to go pilfer more money."

What type of organization makes minimum tax requirements? While I'm all for anti-corruption, what's wrong with being a tax haven?

Comment Re:Dey tek er jebs! (Score 1) 332

If every company does it, that means decreased costs and thus lower prices. We're not "fluffing corporate profits" because anyone who attempts to make that drop in cost full profit will die at the hands of their competitors. If only one company benefited from H1-Bs, it would be different. Lower prices means more buying power which means higher standard of living for everyone (except maybe the displaced programmer who wasn't competitive on the world market).

Comment Re:Very Basic Income (Score 1) 618

I assume that because you didn't write about each of the other items on the list, you agree that those are actually downsides. However, most of the other arguments you provide rest on the premise that "the demand for low skill human labor will drop very close to zero as most menial jobs and quite many more complex jobs can be automated." This assertion is not supported by historical precedent: every time something has been created to reduce labor, we just find other ways to keep people busy, increasing the standard of living. Yes, the labor market isn't quite as fluid as we would like. Yes, it might take a generation or two for things to settle down (as it did during the industrial and green revolutions). But no, we won't run out of jobs.

many people will probably be working part time still, and contribute to a number of things via which they can get their sense of achievement.

That's kind of a vague statement and even if I assume that you're right and that "many people" will continue working part time you have left out a large segment of the population. Where will they get their sense of achievement (assuming they're not very religious)?

because even though the difference between a low wage job and being on the benefits might not be more than a few hundred euros that few hundred euros more in disposable income is a significant improvement in one's standard of living.

Right, and we want to keep it that way, instead of making that difference smaller. When it comes to money, we get diminishing marginal returns for every extra dollar. When living on UBI is comfortable, we've lost the "significant improvement" incentive

Throwing money at the poor doesn't make them less poor?

This is the point when I wonder if you actually read what I wrote. I guess you did to be able to pick that one out, but I did say "The essential issue is that it is not just a lack of money that makes the poor "poor," but an entire environment." Being poor is not a purely economic problem. It's chiefly a social problem and yes, throwing money at the poor won't fix the social problem.

the history will likely look back at the guys who thought UBI was the end of the world as akin to those who said the ending of slavery would cause major economic meltdowns

I would love it if we could avoid this sort of thing. Comparing me to an anti-abolitionist is not only insulting but completely unrelated to the issue. Not only did I never say that "UBI [is] the end of the world" but it's completely different from slavery. Slavery is morally wrong... and so is freeloading. Just claiming "people will say I'm right in the future" doesn't make your idea any more correct in the present.

Even if you were right, these things aren't in the present. You're arguing that we will need UBI at some point, but use that as justification for it's creation now. How can you justify fixing a problem that doesn't even yet exist?

Comment Re:Very Basic Income (Score 2) 618

There are many negative side effects of a UBI:
  • It distorts the relationship between the individual and the government. The government now becomes the provider, rather than the individual. By making work optional, we would be celebrating the status of the disenfranchised rather than trying to help them out of it. It normalizes dependence and sanctions freeloading. We have already shifted some of family responsibilities to the government. Now it's not the younger generation caring for the old, but a faceless government handing out checks.
  • When we remove the incentive to work, we reduce production. When less people work, production falls. If you can work, you should work.
  • More importantly, the satisfaction of working disappears. Is work not respectable? Do people not get a sense of achievement when they can be self-reliant? Isn't that what all liberals claim to be for? Freedom and individualism? How can one be for those and also for basic income? People need to be able to respect their own lives and work really helps with that
  • What do we really want for the poor? A fridge, TV, cell phone, home, internet service, and food? Is that really a fulfilling life? The poor need a way out of poverty, not an easy way to endure it. UBI makes upward mobility difficult by making the reward of getting a job less. How can we expect someone to climb up the ladder if the first three steps are less attractive than not getting on it?
  • Work forces a social life. When someone has to get out a job, no matter how meager, it at least saves him from becoming the American equivalent of a Hikikomori. Is this not at least beneficial from a mental health standpoint?
  • It creates a social atmosphere which condemns work. Poor peers will encourage continuing to freeload even to one who wants to move up in life, asserting that it's a mistake to devote hours of your life to actually doing something.

While I do admit that UBI might deter some hardship of the poor, it only serves to keep them from dependent on the government and from asserting their value in society. UBI reduces the poor to freeloaders, says it's a good thing, and provides no desirable way out. The essential issue is that it is not just a lack of money that makes the poor "poor," but an entire environment. Throwing money at the issue isn't going to fix it. We must make a path out of poverty, not make it more comfortable.

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