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What does our society need more: economic equality or economic opportunity?




VotesAnswer
17economic opportunity
6economic equality
5other


UserComment
Enheduanna Survey Central Subscriber
posted 10-Feb-2012 11:38am  
Economic equality. Right now there's a problem with economic opportunity, but part of that problem is that wealth is so concentrated that the opportunities are being provided to a disproportionately small group of people. I don't think you can fix the opportunity without first addressing the equality.
cerealkiller Survey Qualifier
posted 10-Feb-2012 2:55pm  
I don't believe in economic equality. I believe in capitalism, period. Some people have a ton of money, and some don't. That's life.
LJD Survey Qualifier
posted 10-Feb-2012 4:58pm  
Economic opportunity.
LJD Survey Qualifier
(reply to cerealkiller) posted 10-Feb-2012 4:59pm  
Well said CK! I believe the same.
gambler Bronze Star Survey Creator Survey Qualifier
posted 11-Feb-2012 8:16am  
economic opportunity
Biggles Bronze Star Survey Creator Survey Qualifier
posted 11-Feb-2012 8:53am  
Unfortunately "economic opportunity" usually seems to be about creating opportunities for the rich to get richer. I suspect a greater degree of economic equality is more likely to lead to greater economic opportunity for all than vice versa. I'm not talking about Communism, but about ensuring that the gap between the richest and the poorest is just a little bit smaller, via taxation and the redistribution of wealth.
Biggles Bronze Star Survey Creator Survey Qualifier
posted 11-Feb-2012 8:54am  
Okay, Enheduanna said what I meant, but better.
jettles Survey Central Subscriber Survey Qualifier
posted 11-Feb-2012 9:39pm  
we need some of each!!
dab Survey Qualifier
posted 12-Feb-2012 2:01pm  
Equality is usually attempted by bringing the top people down and the outcome is worse for everyone.
Gomezy3k
posted 12-Feb-2012 2:04pm  
Opportunity definitely... Equality is what the LWLs want..take someones money they work for and give to people who do not want to work..
llamamama
posted 12-Feb-2012 8:24pm  
Opportunity.
I don't buy this whole.."Occupy" thing. Ya know what? Life happens. I'm sorry you majored in something stupid...and then got sick..and now can't afford anything. Life happens. The difference though, is that sitting there, pitching a hissy fit about it, doesn't get you anywhere. Get a job, and work through it.
Yeah, there are rich people. There are people who make BILLIONS. But good for them. They worked hard for that..and who am I to say they don't deserve it?
We need more job opportunities and opportunities for people to gain more skills. We need to reform programs that give money to people who like to sit at home all day..everyday.
Seriously, how is taking away money from the rich, going to help the poor? Ya know, except for making the poor happier and the rich madder? It doesn't. The poor will still be poor.

Sorry..rant. But opportunity all the way.
Liss
(reply to llamamama) posted 13-Feb-2012 5:15am  
Did you know 47 million people in your country live below the poverty line?
llamamama
(reply to Liss) posted 13-Feb-2012 9:20am  
Okay?
I'm not saying that's not bad..because it is. But what good is it going to do to decrease the wealth of the wealthy?
Did you know I recently went without eating for 30 hours and raised money for those who live in poverty? Well, I did.
There are reasons all of those people live in poverty. I don't know what they are, but poverty doesn't just happen.
Biggles Bronze Star Survey Creator Survey Qualifier
posted 13-Feb-2012 5:30pm  
Poverty propagates poverty.
llamamama
(reply to Liss) posted 15-Feb-2012 10:52am  
Also, that's 15% of the population.
22% of the population in YOUR country is in poverty. That's nearly a quarter.
In neither country is it good..but I'm just saying, it seems like there's a bit more where you are.
Anyway..
Irene007 Survey Central Gold Subscriber Silver Star Survey Creator
posted 15-Feb-2012 7:08pm  
Neither would help at this point in time. The damage is done...
Irene007 Survey Central Gold Subscriber Silver Star Survey Creator
(reply to cerealkiller) posted 15-Feb-2012 7:09pm  
> I don't believe in economic equality. I believe in capitalism, period.
> Some people have a ton of money, and some don't. That's life.

I believe in capitalism too but some issues need to be addressed, such as sustainability.
Irene007 Survey Central Gold Subscriber Silver Star Survey Creator
(reply to llamamama) posted 15-Feb-2012 7:20pm  
> Opportunity.
> I don't buy this whole.."Occupy" thing. Ya know what? Life happens.
> I'm sorry you majored in something stupid...and then got sick..and
> now can't afford anything. Life happens. The difference though,
> is that sitting there, pitching a hissy fit about it, doesn't get
> you anywhere. Get a job, and work through it.
> Yeah, there are rich people. There are people who make BILLIONS.
> But good for them. They worked hard for that..and who am I to say
> they don't deserve it?
> We need more job opportunities and opportunities for people to gain
> more skills. We need to reform programs that give money to people
> who like to sit at home all day..everyday.
> Seriously, how is taking away money from the rich, going to help the
> poor? Ya know, except for making the poor happier and the rich madder?
> It doesn't. The poor will still be poor.
>
> Sorry..rant. But opportunity all the way.

I have a problem with those who have gained their riches by legally stealing it. What you don't understand about the "Occupy" thing is those who aren't getting as much press as the stinky hippies who have nothing better to do than just hang around; they're the ones who get all the press. The Occupy protests count among their group 80 year olds who have worked all their lives for their nest egg to see it go up in smoke because some guys on Wall Street gambled it away while loading their pockets and when the bubble burst; the same people, who worked, paid their taxes have to dish out more to bail them out. Wall Street isn't real capitalism, capitalism is coming up with a product or service that you sell at a profit. Wall Street doesn't produce anything but speculation - may as well go to the Casinos...
Irene007 Survey Central Gold Subscriber Silver Star Survey Creator
(reply to Liss) posted 15-Feb-2012 7:31pm  
> Did you know 47 million people in your country live below the poverty
> line?

I made a comment on a documentary on Youtuve about Dubai which went like this;
"Dubai is a testament to the most superficial, artificial, valueless and excessive consumers of this planet. It's embarrassing to be an Earthling where the cost of ONE night's party at the Atlantis Hotel is worth half of the amount needed to feed the planet's hungry for one day..."

The reply to my comment by 'mystuff414' was;
" you are a hater, no country no people can save all the starving ppl in the world..."

I love the "you are a hater" part... Makes him sound Arabian. Ho! Guess what? He is!!!

There is something fundamentally wrong with the fact that so many people suffer when others live with such unjustifiable excess. Does a cell phone really need to be diamond studded? Believing this, apparently makes me a hater... Of what I wonder?
Liss
(reply to llamamama) posted 15-Feb-2012 7:34pm  
Did you just use the 'your fudgeed up state of affairs is worse than my fudgeed up state of affairs' argument? Because I can't find the part of my post where I said that the UK is dealing well. It just sickens me that people cling on to their outdated notions of 'principle' (what CK said above; that this disparity is ok because people are born to succeed, not that they have rich parents or went to the right party or anything...) rather than admitting that the whole 'help people to help themselves' thing might work a little better if they were allowed a foot on the rung in the first place. And then you try and point this out and you're a dirty Red all of a sudden. Nuhuh. Opportunity is a great incentive and yeah, the majority of the time it works fine and is the best we've got and all that nice stuff. But huge amounts, millions of people are struggling to get by in massively developed countries. As in, pay bills. As in, keep a roof over their heads.

Incidentally, I abhor your 'majoring in something stupid' argument, facetious or not. What does that even mean? People don't get to whine about the gulf of economic disparity by nature of their degree?
Liss
(reply to Irene007) posted 15-Feb-2012 7:36pm  
Ah, the old 'People can't save all people, so why bother saving any?' argument. Despair.
cerealkiller Survey Qualifier
(reply to Irene007) posted 15-Feb-2012 7:42pm  
> |> I don't believe in economic equality. I
> believe in capitalism, period.
> |> Some people have a ton of money, and some
> don't. That's life.
>
> I believe in capitalism too but some issues need
> to be addressed, such as sustainability.

Sustainability of what - the environment, the economy, life, freedom, ............?
Irene007 Survey Central Gold Subscriber Silver Star Survey Creator
(reply to Liss) posted 15-Feb-2012 7:45pm  
Selfishness requires less effort...
Irene007 Survey Central Gold Subscriber Silver Star Survey Creator
(reply to cerealkiller) posted 15-Feb-2012 7:47pm  
All of the above!
llamamama
(reply to Irene007) posted 15-Feb-2012 8:36pm  
I wasn't talking about people stealing money.
I'm talking about people who earn their money. They shouldn't have to get rid of it.
It is unfortunate that only the hippies get press..otherwise what the movement is actually SUPPOSED to be for could gain some ground.
llamamama
(reply to Liss) posted 15-Feb-2012 8:46pm  
Holy crap..chill out.


I SAID THAT NEITHER INSTANCE WAS OKAY. I WAS JUST POINTING IT OUT TO YOU IN CASE YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT YOUR OWN COUNTRY, BECAUSE APPARENTLY I DON'T KNOW ABOUT MINE.

Maybe we don't think opportunity means the same thing. More job opportunities? Great! More job training opportunities? Even better! I think this is an issue of definitions.
Also, I'm an English major. People may say that's a completely moronic major. It's not..I'm going into Education..but the point is..don't major in something with NO job opportunities and then dog because you have to eat ramen. It's this whole..blaming someone else for your mistakes thing. I'm not saying that's EVERYTHING in the economy..it's not, but people seem to gripe about that a lot. I'm sorry if you found the word 'stupid' offensive, I didn't mean for it to be..it was just a word.
Yes, major in something you're passionate about..But college is for marketing yourself. So think about that before you decide to blame "the man" because you can't get a job (not you, but people who major in things as described above). Obviously you didn't understand that whole statement. Sorry about that.

I want to know where I said we shouldn't help people...because I never said we shouldn't. This is a "lets coerce Kelly into saying other things" argument again. I'm not giving in this time. We SHOULD help people. And we'll probably find that there are elements of both that are perfectly legitimate.
Irene007 Survey Central Gold Subscriber Silver Star Survey Creator
(reply to llamamama) posted 15-Feb-2012 9:29pm  
Damn pot smoking hippies! Always getting in the way of progress. Do you know what happens when you smoke pot? NOTHING!!!  * winking raspberry *
llamamama
(reply to Irene007) posted 15-Feb-2012 9:41pm  
You get hungry.  * winking raspberry *
Irene007 Survey Central Gold Subscriber Silver Star Survey Creator
(reply to llamamama) posted 15-Feb-2012 9:43pm  
I guess that helps the economy, indirectly anyway...
llamamama
(reply to Irene007) posted 15-Feb-2012 10:46pm  
It helps everyone
Liss
(reply to llamamama) posted 16-Feb-2012 7:32am  
Can we not do the thing with the caps, please?

I really do have an issue with your generalisations of protestors. Saying every Occupy protestor 'majored in something with NO job opportunities and then dog because they have to eat ramen', is ridiculous. I'm sure you're aware of this. I feel silly pointing it out. I agree that some degrees exist which have fewer job opportunities than others. According to this article, 50% of Occupy Boston protestors have a job. This article claims 'Many live in luxury'. This shows several other demographics entirely. These may not be the typical snapshot of an Occupy Protest, but you have provided no evidence to the contrary. Your argument is flawed and I'd appreciate dropping discussion of it because, demonstrative as it is of the unhappiness abounding in parts of society, it's not getting us anywhere.

I never stated, and nor did I ever claim to state that you don't want to help people. We have different views of what is helpful and what is unfair, and that's that, and it's fine. I found your original statement on this survey inflammatory, particularly this 'Seriously, how is taking away money from the rich, going to help the poor? Ya know, except for making the poor happier and the rich madder? It doesn't. The poor will still be poor.' I was at the time reading an article about 'tent cities' cropping up in the U.S. Your comment jarred with me; it's severely defeatist and ignores the plight of children in this situation.
llamamama
(reply to Liss) posted 16-Feb-2012 9:06am  
I really have no response except to say that when talking aout degrees, I wasn't really talking about Occupiers. Also, as I said to Irene, it's unfortunate that only hippies get press for the Occupy movement, otherwise it could really do some good.

How do you think we should help? That's a serious question..I'm not trying to debate you.
Kristal_Rose
posted 17-Feb-2012 3:52am  
Something else, really, which would be a post-economic society.

Currently we worry about having jobs and incomes, even when the planet has resources to care for us all, without much work in this age of automation required at all. Making up 'new' work so that everyone has a fresh chance at getting an equitable share of resources is rather absurd, a very outdated model. The only reason we do it is because capitalism (leveraged competition for resources) is the only model of society we know. It should be becoming clear to society in light of recent world events that the system has come to the ends of it's rope and no longer works for us. It's like a Monopoly game, where someone wins, and everyone else loses. We need a model where everyone can win. Capitalism is not it.
Kristal_Rose
(reply to llamamama) posted 17-Feb-2012 4:49am  
The thing about these rich is that their money did not come from thin air, independent of the rest of us. It comes from us, and they are like the tax collectors on our lives. They collect percentages of our salaries for cable, gasoline, food, etc., and really, no matter how much we earned, they would still be collecting the same percentage of our salaries, and getting rich at the same more rapid rate than we do.

Mass industrialization is a good efficient thing for society in general, but really, do the guys who make those gears churn really work 1000 times harder per day than the rest of us?

Worse, is that for some decades now the hot business philosophy has been to how to dispense with providing products or services at all, and simply figure out how to tap into a percentage of all the tranactions society makes. If hair dressers work to exchange services for money, great, but the guys who get rich find ways of opening hair salon chains, such that a portion of hair dresser income and consumer hair expenditures now goes to someone who owns a national financial machine instead.

Jefferson warned us against corporations. They are taxation without representation. If there is competition, we can vote with our pockets, but typically three victors emerge in any industry, sometimes just one, and they set the rules. A just government, one where the popular public votes on that which affects it, would have reps in all the major corporate board rooms.

Your philosophy is typically that of someone who either believes that life isn't meant to be fair (in which case I can't argue with you), or that it is actually fair. It is not. Granted Bill Gates had some creative intellectual genius, but there were thousands of others with the creative intellect to create the same product empire. What had Gates had different from them was ruthless tactical morals and being born into privelege. I don't see that we should honor or respect that sort of tycoon. The majority of their power lies not in what products or services they originate, but rather in their capacity to dominate the market at the downfall/expense of other contributers and the public.

Not being lazy or blaming others is a good ethic, but it's no cause to excuse or even glorify most of those who reach the top at our expense. If these corporations gave themselves reasonable salaries and spent their excess profits in creating much needed public infrastructure, it would be another thing, but they never do. They invest the money they get from us in ensuring that they can continue extracting an even greater percentage from us. This is the essence of the Wall St. movement, just like the original liberation of the colonies at the Boston Tea Party from the East India Company, corporate taxation without representation.

Alas, as a sign of the power Wall St. has, even the modern 'Tea Party' has been philosphically usurped to embrace and deregulate, rather than reign in such unchecked corporate powers.

Look at the math of the big picture. It's a rigged game where we must remain perpetually at the bottom. An 'every man working hard for himself' philosophy is futile against current systematic circumstances.

*

My only argument contrary to all this is that the bottom isn't so bad. That's only true though because we at least throw in some socialism as a safeguard to maintain the bottom. The top of corporate pyramids is only as strong as the public body it rests upon. Although they may not care, it's not in their own interests for us to fall into poverty. For the bulk of consumer products/services, welfare actually works to the advantage of the corporate giants to ensure we can all spend on gasoline and internet service. I predict that in the future you won't even be able to distinguish the dividing line between corporations and government welfare. TimeWarner and Microsoft will be branches of the gov't, providing services to all, subsidizing some, while making money on those who find some new niche way to rise above the herd. Unless society collapses entirely, it's kind of inevitable. No party platform as implemented of any major political party in at least a century has run contrary to that course.

*

Abstract ideologies always sound great on their own. It requires a lot of thought to model them out though and determine the actual repurcussions. It's worth doing this, because otherwise we can propagate philosphies which may not have the desired effect if actually implemented.

I had a coworker who was a great educator at all levels. He got a degree in teaching, but had to go back to being a mechanic because that's where all the money was. Today it would be hard to find work as a mechanic too, as cars have been redesigned to take most of the labor out of maintenance. Most industries are like that. The labor is reduced for the things we consume, and yet somehow we are perpetually expected to have an income. As these things become automated, it would make more sense that we as a society would simply work less for the same products and services, but our economic model has no other mechanism than relative poverty to make this happen. When we have less to spend, the barons charge less excessively, but we will always be at the bottom in this model.
cloudhugger Survey Central Gold Subscriber
posted 22-Feb-2012 9:54am  
Opportunity. I hate that I cannnot go out and find a simple respectful part time job with decent pay. I've done my time on the job market busting my arse. I probably have already had two lifetimes spent in the work force. Unless I create my own business there is nothing reasonable out there for me. Surviving by being a slave work force is crazy. (I will be happy to define that as being in a job I hate). I already have my own business, I love what I do, but being a business owner and sole employee is really really hard. I'm thinking a part time, few days a week, show up somewhere, do what I am asked, and get a paycheck.
There is nothing around here for me. Teens are getting most of those jobs, as they should, but what about burned out 50yr+ small white girls that can do anything yet qualified for nothing..?
Even better, the opportunity to make my business a real business where I could hire help. Qualified help. To do stuff I am not good at. Like business stuff  * wry smile * I could hire someone but it wouldn't be worth their time for what I could pay them.
It just feels like I am washed up sometimes. I don't have the consistant energy or physical stamina I had 5 years ago. I still do alot, but not near what I did before. ex. I worked two full time jobs at the same time, I had 4 different part time jobs at once, I had several times a full time job and part time job...I always found something. It makes me over qualified for most, and under qualified for the rest.
Economic equality...? Just why the fudge why?
cloudhugger Survey Central Gold Subscriber
(reply to Enheduanna) posted 22-Feb-2012 9:55am  
OOoooohhhhhh, good point.
cloudhugger Survey Central Gold Subscriber
(reply to llamamama) posted 22-Feb-2012 10:05am  
> Opportunity.
> I don't buy this whole.."Occupy" thing.
> Ya know what? Life happens. I'm sorry you
> majored in something stupid...and then got
> sick..and now can't afford anything. Life
> happens. The difference though, is that
> sitting there, pitching a hissy fit about
> it, doesn't get you anywhere. Get a job,
> and work through it.
omg
I can only say that you are too young and misinformed and have no clue what responsibility is for how to be on your own. Seriously, this is one ignorant cold remark. When, or if, you ever have to rely on yourself to survive, I do hope that you have a bit more compassion in your adult life. Public outcrys and massive movements get results. They take a long time, and try many patiences', but this is what makes this country. The people speak very loud and sometimes obnoxiously to keep the ones in charge to remember with whom they are dealing with.

> Yeah, there are rich people. There are people
> who make BILLIONS. But good for them. They
> worked hard for that..and who am I to say
> they don't deserve it?
> We need more job opportunities and opportunities
> for people to gain more skills. We need
> to reform programs that give money to people
> who like to sit at home all day..everyday.
> Seriously, how is taking away money from
> the rich, going to help the poor? Ya know,
> except for making the poor happier and the
> rich madder? It doesn't. The poor will
> still be poor.
>
> Sorry..rant. But opportunity all the way.

Yes on the rest of this, that is how I feel. However, after reading some other comments about equality makes sense.
llamamama
(reply to cloudhugger) posted 22-Feb-2012 10:21am  
Once again, you're late.
I'm getting attacked because I have a differing opinion than 99% of the people on this site..AND I'm young. If any of the other conservatives said opportunity ( and they did), it just gets dismissed..but I guess I can still be saved or something?
I realize that that sounds harsh, but the youth, they are blunt. Sure, I may not have lived on my own yet..but ya know what? When I've actually WORKED for and EARNED everything, I will not be one to want to give that up (and I don't mean giving my money away..although I'm not big on that either).

I have plenty of compassion. Have you seen most of the people they show in the movement? They're people that just don't want to work. The REAL people, they don't show. I have compassion for the poor and their situation. I have compassion for the homeless. To suggest I don't, is completely ridiculous, and I'm sure you know it. Poverty does have a cause...and I'm not saying fixing it is easy.
Yes, stuff needs to be done, and I do things to help with poverty. Just saying, I'm a lot more aware than you (and many people), seem to think.
cloudhugger Survey Central Gold Subscriber
(reply to llamamama) posted 22-Feb-2012 10:51am  
> Once again, you're late.

Yes, I am. I am sorry. I most likely would have read on through and heard WEES and may not have responded. Here's the thing, if you had no responses, than either you are not interesting, or you are ignored. you are right up there in full view and that is a good, a very good thing. You have a voice and you are being heard, and you are being noticed.  * yes *

> I'm getting attacked because I have a differing
> opinion than 99% of the people on this site..AND
> I'm young.
sigh...step back and take a breath, you are not being attacked. This is questions and answers, people want to know, maybe you'd like to elaborate on something you are standing for. Just because someone or someones think you are 'wrong' does not mean you are being attacked.
> If any of the other conservatives said opportunity ( and they did), it just
> gets dismissed..but I guess I can still be
> saved or something?
How do you know it was dismissed? Because they made a point without being pissing people off?
> I realize that that sounds harsh, but the
> youth, they are blunt.
Yes, I am still getting used to this new generation. It makes me feel and sound old, but this generation of young'ns is freaking amazing to me! They are so smart and ambitious...and their amazing confidence that comes off a bit arrogant confuses me. However, I doubt anyone really can say that they are smart enough to 'save' a young'n, they offer advice and any smart old person knows that the kid will do as they will do, they just want the young'n to know that they are there to support and advise. Only religious cults 'save' souls.
>Sure, I may not have lived on my own yet..but ya know what? When
> I've actually WORKED for and EARNED everything,
> I will not be one to want to give that up
> (and I don't mean giving my money away..although
> I'm not big on that either).

Ummm...It isn't really about giving up. It's about waking up one day and everything is different. Everything that was, is no longer the same. Every day, rather than relying on what I know, what I have earned knowledge-wise, every way my experience has taught me, is different or it simply doesn't work anymore. The young ones now are going to be the new world. I would like to see compassion on many levels.
> I have plenty of compassion.
I'm sure you do. I would honestly say you are bursting with it and I mean that with all sincerety. However, when you speak about things you really don't know about, you seem a bit... * wince * cold.
>Have you seen most of the people they show in the movement?
No, not really. I tend to look at big pictures rather than small details. I mean, I look at the details to get the big picture, but I don't let my emotions get snagged in the details because I dont get so involved in them.
> They're people that just don't want to work.
There will always be those people.
> The REAL people, they don't show.
How do you know this info? I mean, your opinion is based on what? The news? Or are you in the crowd? I would disagree with this staement based on what I have seen or heard.
> I have compassion for the poor and their situation.
> I have compassion for the homeless. To suggest
> I don't, is completely ridiculous, and I'm
> sure you know it.
Poor and homeless? Yes, those are the easy ones to be compassionate for. I'm wondering if we have the same definition for compassion?
>Poverty does have a cause...and I'm not saying fixing it is easy.
> Yes, stuff needs to be done, and I do things
> to help with poverty. Just saying, I'm a
> lot more aware than you (and many people),
> seem to think.

And you seem to think I (and many people) am not aware.
just sayin'
Enheduanna Survey Central Subscriber
(reply to cloudhugger) posted 22-Feb-2012 10:53am  
I'm no economist, so I could be wrong! But economists I respect, like Paul Krugman, seem more concerned about equality than opportunity, so I'm inclined to lean in that direction, too.
llamamama
(reply to cloudhugger) posted 22-Feb-2012 11:02am  
Class is about to start, but I will say..Irene (I think it was), said the movement doesn't focus on he people who genuinely need help.
What is your definition for compassion? I just provided an example.

I know I have a lot to learn..and I'm excited to learn it. But I'm also glad that I'm still young and can make mistakes.
cloudhugger Survey Central Gold Subscriber
(reply to Enheduanna) posted 22-Feb-2012 11:07am  
In my work, I rely heavily on others success. I am a cash only basis and I do all right. However, if more people had more money they would be more inclined to come see me. If I had more clients than I could hire someone to assist me. I could rent a space, thus paying a landlord, or buying my own place (again someone gets my money) hire somone else to work for me. Now these two people I hired could spend their money and pay a babysitter or buy new clothes...it isn't about taking away from the rich, it's about the rich spending their money to benefit the most people making more opportunity available.. I believe in buying local. Yes, it's a few dollars more at the momand pop store but their children are in the school here, they make appointments with me. To me that makes good business sense. If I didn't live anywhere I would still put considerate thought into where my money went.
That is my argument for opportunity. Of course there needs to be both, but if the scales were tipped and they needed to be swayed one way or the other is how I answered.
Enheduanna Survey Central Subscriber
(reply to cloudhugger) posted 22-Feb-2012 11:22am  
What you're describing is really just capitalism, which I think is a great system on the whole. The problem is that the super-rich--the people who currently have most of the money--can't and won't ever spend enough to really make a difference. They're already buying most of what they need. They're also just going to sit on most of their money and turn it into more money. This is why Reagan's "trickle-down" economics has been shown not to work. You need something to get middle class spending going--like a stimulus that provides jobs and tax breaks to the middle class. That's a way of creating equality--changing the gap between the rich and the middle-class a little bit. Another way is by using tax revenues to provide healthcare and education for people with low or middle incomes; removing those expenses and making those things available to them also help equalize the playing field, so that everyone has a chance to make economic opportunities for themselves. A robust middle class is essential for a successful capitalist economy. Without it, it doesn't work.
Enheduanna Survey Central Subscriber
(reply to llamamama) posted 22-Feb-2012 11:36am  
I think part of the issue here is that everyone knows that you are in fact a very compassionate person. You participate in your church's charity work and clearly believe in helping to make a difference. So it's jarring when you say that the rich should not have to pay a larger share and the poor should just work harder. There's some cognitive dissonance here, because your religious/ethical beliefs don't quite seem to match your economic ones. I'm not coming down on one side or the other--I just wanted to point out why I think people have latched on to your comments in particular.
llamamama
(reply to Enheduanna) posted 22-Feb-2012 1:10pm  
I dunno, maybe I just don't understand..But should the rich pay more for any reason..other than that they're rich? I'm seriously trying to understand..because that makes no sense to me.

This is how I see it. We're supposed to help everyone. I'm going to give extreme examples to illustrate that. The disabled homeless person who cannot work and the guy who just spends all of his money, all the time. Both people need help, but the help for both of them, is of course, different. They both need compassion, but the homeless person would benefit from clothes, food, etc. The guy who spends all his money, no. Sure, it might help temporarily. But it goes much deeper than that.
Compassion is understanding where people are coming from..even if you haven't been there yourself. The homeless have been staying at our church this week (churches in the area take a week from November-March or so), and it's amazing seeing everyone work together for that cause and to remove some of the stigma attached to the homeless. It's not always what you'd think it was.
Not that this whole thing is about homeless people.

That's why I said opportunity. I guess to have opportunity you need equality (like that affirmative action stuff..which we won't debate  * laughing out loud * ). The guy who spends all his money, needs the opportunity to learn what to do; how to overcome that and eventually make a difference in his life. Just giving him more money, isn't going to fix the problem.

Does that make more sense? Sorry if it didn't before.
cloudhugger Survey Central Gold Subscriber
(reply to llamamama) posted 22-Feb-2012 2:19pm  
I'm basing my information about 'the movement' on news outside of regular news. The news that slips past when they think no one is really listening. The things that happon behind the scenes and around the corner. The regular news most likely will pick a small freak show and share it with millions. And of course, there will always be the victims. And whom it helps the most will not be known for years probably.

My definition for compassion. Hmmmm... well....I have no words really to fully explain WHAT it is. To me, compassion is not something that you have, but something that you hold. It is more than just a feeling, it is a state of being. It is beyond ego, completely selfless. And it is unconditional. It says "I understand" without the drama, without feeling shrouded in dreadful emotions. Having compassion or holding compassion...to me, if I have something, that is what I focus on, but if I am holding it, I can place it in my heart and it frees my hands and mind to do more. I like to travel light and mindfully multi-task..
So, say I see a homeless man across the street from me. Being in a state of compassion, that is all what I would see. I would feel compassion. If I were not in that state, I would most likely immediately go into fear for my home, my belongings, my entire life would pass before me in an instant worrying about me. Then, the ego would swing full circle to pity. I would feel sorry for that person. I would run out there and give him a piece of bread and maybe call the authorities to help him. Then for days I would nervously watch to make sure more homeless wouldn't drop in on me. Maybe I had enough money to open a shelter. Maybe then I would open my home. Maybe I would get partners to share expenses to help the homeless. Or maybe I would write a check and mail it off assuming it did some good.
Please don't think that example is you....as I reread it, It hought to explain it is a random personal example.
I'm not quite sure what your example is, you had said you just provided...was it you had compassion for homeless? I'm missing it.
cloudhugger Survey Central Gold Subscriber
(reply to Enheduanna) posted 22-Feb-2012 2:28pm  
> What you're describing is really just capitalism,
> which I think is a great system on the whole.
> The problem is that the super-rich--the people
> who currently have most of the money--can't
> and won't ever spend enough to really make
> a difference. They're already buying most
> of what they need. They're also just going
> to sit on most of their money and turn it
> into more money. This is why Reagan's "trickle-down"
> economics has been shown not to work.
Still think it should work... :-? his theory was flawed somewhere.

> You need something to get middle class spending
> going--like a stimulus that provides jobs
> and tax breaks to the middle class. That's
> a way of creating equality--changing the
> gap between the rich and the middle-class
> a little bit.

I think there is too much fear about "taking away from the rich" and it distracts from the good this would do. That is what I was trying to say about providing jobs and tax breaks, I believe that is what I am calling 'opportunity' rather than equality. If the fear was removed, then I see this.

> Another way is by using tax revenues to provide healthcare and education
> for people with low or middle incomes; removing
> those expenses and making those things available
> to them also help equalize the playing field,
> so that everyone has a chance to make economic
> opportunities for themselves. A robust middle
> class is essential for a successful capitalist
> economy. Without it, it doesn't work.
That sounds incredibly difficult. I couldn't even imagine this happening with so many people who think they know what is right and what is wrong.

cloudhugger Survey Central Gold Subscriber
(reply to Irene007) posted 22-Feb-2012 3:00pm  
Oh That's what I was saying about the press! I am behind in all these conversations!
Irene007 Survey Central Gold Subscriber Silver Star Survey Creator
(reply to cloudhugger) posted 22-Feb-2012 3:55pm  
Too long ago to remember your comment but this wasn't directed at you at all!
llamamama
(reply to cloudhugger) posted 22-Feb-2012 4:07pm  
When I said "I just provided an example" I just meant that I gave examples of things that people would say they have compassion for..I didn't really define compassion.
cloudhugger Survey Central Gold Subscriber
(reply to Irene007) posted 22-Feb-2012 7:58pm  
 * wry smile * I just wrote that today, I wa just talking to you for a minute is all...  * wry smile *
cloudhugger Survey Central Gold Subscriber
(reply to llamamama) posted 22-Feb-2012 8:01pm  
OK, I am caught up with everything. I had no idea there was such a 'movement' here  * laughing out loud * I read your example, yes that is very nice. That is quite compassionate. So why, like Enheduanna said about why so many responded so adversely towards your original statements is soemthing maybe about how it was written. This was very interesting. I feel kinda dumb for jumping in so late, I don't usually do that but it was what you said just came off so awful.
llamamama
(reply to cloudhugger) posted 22-Feb-2012 8:02pm  
I definitely didn't mean for it to sound so bad, sorry.
cloudhugger Survey Central Gold Subscriber
(reply to llamamama) posted 22-Feb-2012 8:04pm  
It's cool.
Irene007 Survey Central Gold Subscriber Silver Star Survey Creator
(reply to cloudhugger) posted 23-Feb-2012 2:23am  
I know you wrote that today! Or I would have gotten it before - I do check in at least once a day, some days more often. I just imagined that you had read this whole string today but it was long ago enough for me to have forgotten what I had replied and to whom (though I remember enough to know that I wasn't replying to you about anything here). So, you can talk to me anytime dear! Anywhere and anytime - just keep the conversation current!  * winking raspberry *
Irene007 Survey Central Gold Subscriber Silver Star Survey Creator
(reply to cloudhugger) posted 23-Feb-2012 2:24am  
> Oh That's what I was saying about the press! I am behind in all these
> conversations!

Hmmm, I just re-read that! I may have forgotten the conversation we must have had about the Press!  * ? *
Enheduanna Survey Central Subscriber
(reply to llamamama) posted 23-Feb-2012 11:19am  
That definitely makes sense. The issue is that in order to provide services--and opportunities--to the people who need them, you need money. It's not just about handing cash to the poor, but about providing services and infrastructure that help them--and everyone--to have more opportunities. The issue is over where that money should come from. I think people are responding to your comments about not wanting to tax the rich at a higher rate as meaning that you don't think there should be more assistance for the poor. It may not be what you're really saying, but logically, less money from the rich equals less money to help the poor.
Enheduanna Survey Central Subscriber
(reply to cloudhugger) posted 23-Feb-2012 11:29am  
> Still think it should work... :-? his theory was flawed somewhere.

Yeah, his theory was flawed in the sense that it was wrong. It just doesn't work.

> I think there is too much fear about "taking away from the rich" and
> it distracts from the good this would do. That is what I was trying
> to say about providing jobs and tax breaks, I believe that is what
> I am calling 'opportunity' rather than equality.

I completely agree. I guess we are using different terms--or different approaches--for pretty much the same thing!

> That sounds incredibly difficult. I couldn't even imagine this happening
> with so many people who think they know what is right and what is
> wrong.

Yeah, I think the hard part is getting people to agree--or to recognize where they agree. The implementation is pretty easy--we already have it in programs like Medicare, Social Security, federal financial aid for college, etc. The issue is convincing people to expand those programs. The funny thing is that those are all very popular and successful programs, which no one wants taken away, and yet people have this ideological block when it comes to things like welfare or socialized medicine and education. This is a very telling set of statistics from a recent article about the mindset: "44 percent of Social Security recipients, 43 percent of those receiving unemployment benefits, and 40 percent of those on Medicare say that they 'have not used a government program.'"
msgman
posted 23-Feb-2012 2:33pm  
We need equality of opportunity.
Kristal_Rose
(reply to Enheduanna) posted 23-Feb-2012 11:53pm  
Our problem is that we even think in terms of money in the first place. It's always actually about resource allotement. No amount of money could have bailed out Hurricane Katrina victims, because we simply didn't have spare plywood, tarpaper, trucking, and mobile trained staff to do anything about it as an emergency response.

The questions are, in establishing any infrastructure system, are there the physical resources, and are there people who can be diverted to the task. Money is merely how we implement the shift of such resources. It seems to me we have plenty of resources to shift with high unemployment. We could be creating gov't jobs, but instead of unemployment, we could be creating subsidized jobs, thus allowing semi-private enterprise to boom, where people make get an additional gov't check for working in charity orgs or developing green technology. The thing is, it should work at the employee level, not the subsidized industry level, because otherwise even beneficial industries will strive to downsize.

Of course we all pay for this in lower relative incomes, but it works to shift people away from menial work like telemarketing and have the nation add to the permanent assets of the nation instead.
Enheduanna Survey Central Subscriber
(reply to Kristal_Rose) posted 24-Feb-2012 10:53am  
I think it would be great if we could get people to think in terms of resources and optimization, rather than just money. But I think at some stage that would also require people to think of their money as another one of those resources, since, as you note, money is how the shifting is implemented. And that doesn't seem likely to happen.
Kristal_Rose
(reply to Enheduanna) posted 24-Feb-2012 8:39pm  
It just bugs me when, on a national level regarding infrastructure, people say 'Where will the money come from?', especially when we do have the resources for something that's needed. It's created from thin air. The national debt, spent wisely, is really an indicator of our national asset increase. Sure, we pay it off later with taxes, but taxes too are simply a method of reducing the circulating funds which devalue our currency. Who gets taxed, and where it's circulating, are the real questions of consequence, and not so much how much in general gets taxed.

I almost feel a semester of macroeconemics should be a prerequisite to voting in his country, but I fear that even then simple basic systematic truths would get lost like a forest in the trees. I have the sinking feeling that that lot includes our representatives.
Enheduanna Survey Central Subscriber
(reply to Kristal_Rose) posted 25-Feb-2012 11:42am  
Oh, I have a much more cynical view of our representatives. I think most (not all!) of them do understand how things work, but they're too interested in staying in office to actually educate their constituents. Look at what Romney said the other day--he actually admitted that just cutting spending would make the economy worse. And then he had to backpedal, because that doesn't fit the Republican narrative.
Kristal_Rose
(reply to Enheduanna) posted 26-Feb-2012 6:03pm  
I seem to recall an hour long interview of him years back. He was quite intelligent, though still not to my liking. Occasionally the narrative even switches sides, as with NAFTA.

I developed a similar view when I came to realize that Clinton, Bush, and Obama were all basically pushing the same basic linear package sequence, and that it really didn't matter who ended up in office except for the TV persona.
Enheduanna Survey Central Subscriber
(reply to Kristal_Rose) posted 27-Feb-2012 11:15am  
I think it makes a difference in terms of certain domestic policies and social issues. But for many economic and foreign-policy ones, I agree that there's not that much difference much of the time. The majority of people in this country, left or right, are pretty centrist.
they
posted 19-Mar-2012 10:04pm  
Outsourcing is bad.
Iamthat
posted 21-Mar-2012 1:03am  
You cannot have one without the other.
JessicaWoman99 Silver Star Survey Creator
posted 2-Nov-2013 4:19pm  
Economic opportunity is what we need
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