Author Topic: Is America Cursed?  (Read 7296 times)

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Offline Astreja

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Re: Is America Cursed?
« Reply #203 on: June 07, 2013, 12:29:31 AM »
If {the Ethiopians'} only concern is food and shelter we could easily help with that if Americans earned what they should, IMO.

In theory, yes we could.  However, the logistics of delivering resources to needy populations sometimes make it a futile exercise.  All too often, particularly in politically unstable regions or regions with rival tribes, it's not uncommon for aid workers to be held for ransom or for shipments of food to be hijacked.  Some of it gets through.  A lot of it doesn't.  I wish there was some way to just teleport the supplies to the people who need them.
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Is America Cursed?
« Reply #204 on: June 07, 2013, 06:46:03 AM »
Are we responsible for the world?  Sometimes I think we are and sometimes I think we need to get our own crap sorted out before we can properly help other countries, for no other reason than it's the right thing to do; no oil necessary.

You seem confused here. Look what you wrote: Your question is, "Are we responsible for the world?" Your answer is either "Yes" or "get our crap sorted out and then "Yes"." So you do think that the USA is responsible for the state of everything in the world?

That does not seem a very sensible outlook, does it? How can the USA be responsible when there are sovereign governments? Do you propose "regime change"? You know, "shock and awe!"

How is gun violence related to starving children in Africa?

Yes it does confuse me Graybeard.  My heart will not allow for me to only care about Americans.  I do think countries are responsible for each other in the same way that individuals are.  If poverty, as you defined it being living on less than 20% of the average national income, is abolished in every country; every country will prosper from it.  I don't mean to start wars; I hate violence.  I believe in leading by example.  Making our lifestyle something that looks so good that other countries will follow.  I don't think any nation should be force fed!

Gun violence is related to American poverty not African hunger. 

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Junebug-sometimes I think we need to get our own crap sorted out...


One of the things that the superstitious tell you all the time is that "Everything is terrible and surely the end of days is upon us." Let me tell you, yes there are problems; there are problems everywhere - throughout history there have been problems everywhere - in the future there will be problems everywhere.

You see, our problems are relative to the standard of live we have been brought up to expect, and this brings us back to poverty. Poverty is but one of our problems. Poverty is relative.

To the African perhaps the problem is walking 5 miles for drinking water; for you it might be losing you car keys.

I say the same thing to the "prophets".  I totally agree with you there.  I think if there is an end of days it will be man made.

What is it with the car keys?  I wish that was my only problem.  At this point I think health care is a much bigger worry for me.  My son is using my car.  If he loses my keys I'll kick his butt and pay about $100 for new ones. 

Your last statement is confusing.  You pointed out that there are many Americans living below poverty levels.  Do you really think that car keys is their only worry?

Thanks for correcting my spelling. ;)

Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Is America Cursed?
« Reply #205 on: June 07, 2013, 06:50:51 AM »
If {the Ethiopians'} only concern is food and shelter we could easily help with that if Americans earned what they should, IMO.

  I wish there was some way to just teleport the supplies to the people who need them.

Amen Goddess.  That was very well spoken.  I was hoping you'd come back to the conversation.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Is America Cursed?
« Reply #206 on: June 07, 2013, 06:59:40 AM »

"We" call it: you not knowing what you're talking about. <-- that's reality, you're living in fantasy.

If you want fantasy, go to the Magic Kingdom.

-Nam

It's HOPE Nam.  Where do you find HOPE?  I'm sure there are things you HOPE for. I've asked you before and I don't remember an answer, Do you want the world to be better?  If you do we are the same, If you don't, oh my! :o
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine
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Offline epidemic

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Re: Is America Cursed?
« Reply #207 on: June 07, 2013, 07:35:45 AM »
Rising tide raises all ships.  But some ships are used by pirates, and some are used for humanitarian aid.  Not all ships are created equal.

giving money and aid to some areas will simply result in a rising population of impoverished people suffering.

I don't think I could stick to my guns if there were a suffering / starving person right in front of me but sometimes a reduction in population is a good thing for overall health of the herd.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Is America Cursed?
« Reply #208 on: June 07, 2013, 02:58:57 PM »
In the US we really don't understand global poverty and why starvation happens. It is clear from comments like "feeding people just encourages them to have too many children and we need to thin down the herd".

If having enough food and a social safety net led to people having more kids, the largest families in the world would be in Scandinavia, not the third world. And the people who need to "thin down" are those of us in the wealthy countries sucking the world dry of resources for non-essentials that we see on advertised on tv. The world's poor make a pretty small carbon foot print.

Poverty is to a great extent the norm, geographically and historically. Most people survive on the edge, with just enough to get by and be comfortable most of the time. People on the edge have a few more children than they can care for, because they know that a few will die as infants. The ones that remain begin working and earning their keep while still small. When they grow up, they will contribute to the family and support the old folks. It makes perfect sense for poor people to have large numbers of children.

Most people (except deluded lotto-playing Americans) realize that they will never be rich, but they want more than just basic survival. If we in the wealthy countries want poor folks around the world to have fewer kids, we need to help these families have basic health care and sanitation so their kids don't die, and more safety and stability in their lives so their governments can provide stuff like education and income support for the elderly. 

Famine, that is, starvation to the point of death, on the other hand is geographically and historically unusual. People have generally figured out the basics of how to grow or obtain food, how to store food for hard times and what to do when supplies run low. When people do not have access to enough food to sustain life, it is because several things have gone very wrong at the same time, and it is beyond the ability of local people to fix.

Nowadays, famine is pretty much created and made worse by human beings, usually because there is a war and one group wants to starve out another. We know months, or even years, in advance that a famine is going to hit a particular group in a certain area. The early signs are clear: drought conditions and crop failures,  people begin selling off their food animals, and eventually even pregnant goats and sheep go to market; people being eating their emergency stored grain and eventually even eat their seed grain.

By the time people are packing up and leaving their villages looking for food, the famine conditions have been in place for a long time. Add in a civil war, where people are strategically shooting at the farmers so they can't even plant their crops in the correct season to catch what rainfall there is, and you end up with a famine a la Darfur/Sudan. And you get refugees walking miles to feeding centers and news photos of desperate mothers holding babies that look like stick figures.

Finally, there is always food available for people with money, even in famine-stricken areas. The problem is almost never an absolute lack of food. It is the inability of poor people to afford the food (sometimes very expensive and imported) when they run low on supplies. I have lived in really poor places and, although I lost weight and got sick, I was never in danger of starving. Because I had a)money and b) the ability to leave before things started to get too bad.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Jag

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Re: Is America Cursed?
« Reply #209 on: June 07, 2013, 03:34:27 PM »
In the US we really don't understand global poverty and why starvation happens. It is clear from comments like "feeding people just encourages them to have too many children and we need to thin down the herd".
I am really glad you are involved in this conversation.

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If having enough food and a social safety net led to people having more kids, the largest families in the world would be in Scandinavia, not the third world. And the people who need to "thin down" are those of us in the wealthy countries sucking the world dry of resources for non-essentials that we see on advertised on tv. The world's poor make a pretty small carbon foot print.

Poverty is to a great extent the norm, geographically and historically. Most people survive on the edge, with just enough to get by and be comfortable most of the time. People on the edge have a few more children than they can care for, because they know that a few will die as infants. The ones that remain begin working and earning their keep while still small. When they grow up, they will contribute to the family and support the old folks. It makes perfect sense for poor people to have large numbers of children.
This is the kind of factual information that I want to hear. I know this is an area of ignorance for me. I can read the data, and I can have opinions, but that is not comparable to your first-hand experiences. Thank you for sharing.

On the issue of poor people having large families, this is why I have such mixed feelings about programs that provide food only. I understand that there are often huge barriers to getting the food directly to the people it is intended to help. Military intervention in food drops is an appalling necessity all too often. But without some means of eventually allowing the population to provide or procure food (I know that source and destination are often unrelated) what is the long term solution? I can't see the next step and I absolutely can't say "just let them starve" either. There are cultural obstacles in addition to practical ones and the trees obstructing my view of the forest get very, very big.

It's hard to keep my emotions out of the way. The only solutions come at a high cost, but the alternative is there is no alternative that can be made to work. That's the reality and no one promised it would be pretty. Baby steps are so small, but at least they're steps.

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Most people (except deluded lotto-playing Americans) realize that they will never be rich, but they want more than just basic survival. If we in the wealthy countries want poor folks around the world to have fewer kids, we need to help these families have basic health care and sanitation so their kids don't die, and more safety and stability in their lives so their governments can provide stuff like education and income support for the elderly. 

Famine, that is, starvation to the point of death, on the other hand is geographically and historically unusual. People have generally figured out the basics of how to grow or obtain food, how to store food for hard times and what to do when supplies run low. When people do not have access to enough food to sustain life, it is because several things have gone very wrong at the same time, and it is beyond the ability of local people to fix.

Nowadays, famine is pretty much created and made worse by human beings, usually because there is a war and one group wants to starve out another. We know months, or even years, in advance that a famine is going to hit a particular group in a certain area. The early signs are clear: drought conditions and crop failures,  people begin selling off their food animals, and eventually even pregnant goats and sheep go to market; people being eating their emergency stored grain and eventually even eat their seed grain.

By the time people are packing up and leaving their villages looking for food, the famine conditions have been in place for a long time. Add in a civil war, where people are strategically shooting at the farmers so they can't even plant their crops in the correct season to catch what rainfall there is, and you end up with a famine a la Darfur/Sudan. And you get refugees walking miles to feeding centers and news photos of desperate mothers holding babies that look like stick figures.

That's a grim picture that I need to learn to face directly. Allowing my discomfort to rule my response is not helpful in any way to anyone.

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Finally, there is always food available for people with money, even in famine-stricken areas. The problem is almost never an absolute lack of food. It is the inability of poor people to afford the food (sometimes very expensive and imported) when they run low on supplies. I have lived in really poor places and, although I lost weight and got sick, I was never in danger of starving. Because I had a)money and b) the ability to leave before things started to get too bad.

This was hard to read, but I do thank you. For whatever the reason this put things in perspective. I need to pick one thing and focus on that one thing. The problem is huge and I am finite - focused effort will have a better ROI than smaller bits scattered about willy-nilly. My backside may not have been your target but I accepted the swat anyway - turns out I might have needed it.

Damn you're good.  ;)
My tolerance for BS is limited, and I use up most of it IRL.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Is America Cursed?
« Reply #210 on: June 07, 2013, 03:48:30 PM »
Thanks for reading and commenting. It is counterintuitive, but sending food aid is not the best thing to do when people are on the verge of famine. Flooding a region with imported food disrupts the local markets and just feeds corruption.[1] What people need is money to buy the food that is already there, and stable peaceful conditions so they can continue to plant crops or raise their animals.

I do recommend that people send emergency aid (like money to Shelterbox) when there is a natural disaster like an earthquake. Sending a little money is almost always better than sending actual goods like medicine, food or clothes. That way the relief people can buy locally what they need, stimulating the legitimate economy instead of creating weird parallel markets.
 1. I lived with a lower-middle class family and was served USAID wheat cereal that clearly said "Not for resale" on the bag. When I asked where it came from, they said they had bought it in the market. :o
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Online Nam

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Re: Is America Cursed?
« Reply #211 on: June 07, 2013, 10:55:04 PM »
It's HOPE Nam.  Where do you find HOPE?  I'm sure there are things you HOPE for. I've asked you before and I don't remember an answer, Do you want the world to be better?  If you do we are the same, If you don't, oh my! :o

Hope is an expectation of something that a person wants to happen. It isn't reality. It's a dream, wishful thinking: a fantasy.

Of course we all hope for things but that doesn't make it a reality. Your definition of "hope" seems to be: I say it's going to happen therefore it is because Biblegod will make it so. That's fantasy.

-Nam

Offline junebug72

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Re: Is America Cursed?
« Reply #212 on: June 08, 2013, 06:18:31 AM »
It's HOPE Nam.  Where do you find HOPE?  I'm sure there are things you HOPE for. I've asked you before and I don't remember an answer, Do you want the world to be better?  If you do we are the same, If you don't, oh my! :o

Hope is an expectation of something that a person wants o happen. It isn't reality. It's a dream, wishful thinking: a fantasy.

Of course we all hope for things but that doesn't make it a reality. Your definition of "hope" seems to be: I say it's going to happen therefore it is because Biblegod will make it so. That's fantasy.

-Nam

And just where did I say that?  My hope is in mankind.  I have valid reasons for it. I also actively do my part to make it happen.  I raised my son to make it happen along with many other parents.  I don't see that as fantasy but a possibility.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
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Re: Is America Cursed?
« Reply #213 on: June 08, 2013, 06:46:50 PM »
It's HOPE Nam.  Where do you find HOPE?  I'm sure there are things you HOPE for. I've asked you before and I don't remember an answer, Do you want the world to be better?  If you do we are the same, If you don't, oh my! :o

Hope is an expectation of something that a person wants o happen. It isn't reality. It's a dream, wishful thinking: a fantasy.

Of course we all hope for things but that doesn't make it a reality. Your definition of "hope" seems to be: I say it's going to happen therefore it is because Biblegod will make it so. That's fantasy.

-Nam

And just where did I say that?  My hope is in mankind.  I have valid reasons for it. I also actively do my part to make it happen.  I raised my son to make it happen along with many other parents.  I don't see that as fantasy but a possibility.

You really need to learn how to read. I never said you said that I said you seem to be saying that.

Secondly, "possibilities" are also fantasies. Do some fantasies come true? Sure but only when reality sets in.

-Nam

Online Graybeard

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Re: Is America Cursed?
« Reply #214 on: June 08, 2013, 07:31:57 PM »
You pointed out that there are many Americans living below poverty levels. 
I think you have little idea how difficult it is aiding foreign countries. If it were easy, there would be little poverty.

However, it is best to start closer to home. Can you suggest three laws or policies you would implement to alleviate poverty in the US? Please include cost estimates and suggest where that money might come from?
RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce

Offline junebug72

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Re: Is America Cursed?
« Reply #215 on: June 09, 2013, 06:54:51 AM »
It's HOPE Nam.  Where do you find HOPE?  I'm sure there are things you HOPE for. I've asked you before and I don't remember an answer, Do you want the world to be better?  If you do we are the same, If you don't, oh my! :o

Hope is an expectation of something that a person wants o happen. It isn't reality. It's a dream, wishful thinking: a fantasy.



Of course we all hope for things but that doesn't make it a reality. Your definition of "hope" seems to be: I say it's going to happen therefore it is because Biblegod will make it so. That's fantasy.

-Nam

And just where did I say that?  My hope is in mankind.  I have valid reasons for it. I also actively do my part to make it happen.  I raised my son to make it happen along with many other parents.  I don't see that as fantasy but a possibility.

You really need to learn how to read. I never said you said that I said you seem to be saying that.

Secondly, "possibilities" are also fantasies. Do some fantasies come true? Sure but only when reality sets in.

-Nam

I'm asking you where did I seem to say anything like that.  My stand from the beginning of my membership here is that the human race is responsible for it's own actions.  You're having fantasies if you think I have even implied such a notion.

Hopes and dreams do come true but you have to put in the work. 

I can tell by your attitude you don't care about the world you live in.  Probably a bad childhood or something.

If people didn't have hope then they wouldn't fight for change.  That is reality.  My fantasy is making  out with CharlizeTheron on an Australian beach for a week.

See slaves hoped for freedom and got it.  I hoped for love and found it.  All through out history hope has been a force of inspiration.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2013, 07:02:47 AM by junebug72 »
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Is America Cursed?
« Reply #216 on: June 09, 2013, 08:11:04 AM »
You pointed out that there are many Americans living below poverty levels. 
I think you have little idea how difficult it is aiding foreign countries. If it were easy, there would be little poverty.

However, it is best to start closer to home. Can you suggest three laws or policies you would implement to alleviate poverty in the US? Please include cost estimates and suggest where that money might come from?

No Graybeard I am fully aware of the difficulties.

 I am no politician but I'll do my best.

I would raise minimum wage.  I would calculate a fair profit to wage percentage.  The rich will pay for this.

Social Services will be aimed at bettering lives not enabling. I'd pay for it by legalizing marijuana.  The war on drugs will be institutions specializing in rehabilitation and education.

I will create jobs by investing in clean energy. 

I can't leave out education.  All schools get the same amount of money and the best education is available to all neiborhoods. 

I can't leave out health care.   I would find a away to make it accessible to all citizens.  I mean the best care for all.

Now may I please have your take.  I'm sure you're much better at specifics than I am.  I do respect your opinion.  You seem very intelligent to me.
I know you want specifics in cost.  I am not a professional politician but if I had an office with people working for me we would make it happen.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
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Re: Is America Cursed?
« Reply #217 on: June 10, 2013, 10:15:42 PM »
I'm asking you where did I seem to say anything like that.

Everything you spew on here says that to me.

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My stand from the beginning of my membership here is that the human race is responsible for it's own actions.

Not that i've read by you. it's always their actions rather than themselves: i.e. too greedy[1] or some other nonsense. you dedicated pages of a topic espousing such views. you don't speak about people but inanimate objects as to the ills of the world and solely based on your viewpoint of the "true reality" in the world.

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You're having fantasies if you think I have even implied such a notion.

Not my fantasies.

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Hopes and dreams do come true but you have to put in the work.

Again: reality isn't "hope" or "dreams".

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I can tell by your attitude you don't care about the world you live in.

you don't know the world i live in.

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Probably a bad childhood or something.

Idiotic.

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If people didn't have hope then they wouldn't fight for change.

Bullshit.

 
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That is reality.

No it's not.

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My fantasy is making  out with CharlizeTheron on an Australian beach for a week.

Good luck with that fantasy.

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See slaves hoped for freedom and got it.

What slaves? You think slaves no longer exist in the world. Now THAT is a fantasy.

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I hoped for love and found it.

Again: not a reality. finding someone to love is a realty, hoping for it is not.

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All through out history hope has been a force of inspiration.

Inspiration is not a reality.

-Nam
 1. action; thing

Offline junebug72

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Re: Is America Cursed?
« Reply #218 on: June 11, 2013, 04:08:55 AM »
Nam I'm sorry you have no hope.  I wish I could change that for you.  I'm getting the feeling that you have been hurt badly.  If that is true I wish I could make it go away but only you can do that.  Regardless of how you feel about my hope I will cling to every shred until the day they lay my body down.

The statements are there you just missed it.  As far as greed goes it is controlled by us humans.  When greed is allowed to get out of control society does suffer the consequences. 

I know I could have done a better job communicating in the Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing thread but I'm over it now I wish you would let it go.  I'm trying very hard to get better. 

Have a good day or night or both! :D
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Is America Cursed?
« Reply #219 on: June 11, 2013, 10:21:43 AM »
I agree with Junebug here about things like raising the minumum wage, making education funding more equitable, universal health care and letting up on the "drug war" as ways to alleviate poverty in the US.

We are spending so much on the "drug war", including incarceration costs, that we could probably finance the whole shebang with that alone. (Don't even get me started on the billions wasted on the "war of terror", as Borat called it.)

I have to take one issue with financing social services by legalizing marijuana. I am in favor of legalization, because it makes good public policy sense. But not because it will generate all this cash. The only way to make a lot of money on drugs or alcohol sales is to cater to those who use to excess. It's the 20-80 rule. Moderate users-- just on weekends or at parties-- generate 20% of the profits. Addicts, binge drinkers, etc. generate 80% of the profits. We should not base social service funding on stuff that we don't want to encourage. Maybe we could pay for drug counseling with the drug profits, but no more than that.

I would also add making comprehensive sex ed and contraceptives freely available to all, beginning in middle school. Reducing unwanted/teen pregnancies and the associated social costs would go a long way towards alleviating poverty and other social ills in the US.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

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Re: Is America Cursed?
« Reply #220 on: June 11, 2013, 09:25:03 PM »
Nam I'm sorry you have no hope.

You really don't read anything anyone says, do you?

Quote
I wish I could change that for you.  I'm getting the feeling that you have been hurt badly.  If that is true I wish I could make it go away but only you can do that.  Regardless of how you feel about my hope I will cling to every shred until the day they lay my body down.

Man, you are an idiot, aren't you?

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The statements are there you just missed it.  As far as greed goes it is controlled by us humans.  When greed is allowed to get out of control society does suffer the consequences.

You only dream that you know what you're talking about. Graybeard pointed out quite well how little to nothing you know.

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I know I could have done a better job communicating in the Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing thread but I'm over it now I wish you would let it go.

There you go again: living in a fantasy world. Also you can't communicate better until you learn about what you think you know things about which is evident that you do not.

Quote
I'm trying very hard to get better.

Keep trying.

-Nam

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Re: Is America Cursed?
« Reply #221 on: June 11, 2013, 09:35:31 PM »
I agree with Junebug here about things like raising the minumum wage, making education funding more equitable, universal health care and letting up on the "drug war" as ways to alleviate poverty in the US.

Raising the minimum wage would only be effective if businesses then didn't turn around and raise their prices. Even if the average minimum wage was $20 an hour, businesses would raise their prices to keep the "poor" poor.

I'm for raising the minimum wage if businesses didn't keep raising their prices afterward. But then they are the ones paying the wage and have to to make a profit.

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We are spending so much on the "drug war", including incarceration costs, that we could probably finance the whole shebang with that alone. (Don't even get me started on the billions wasted on the "war of terror", as Borat called it.)

Some say if you legalize all illegal drugs it'd create more problems in enforcement. Could be true; who knows?

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I would also add making comprehensive sex ed and contraceptives freely available to all, beginning in middle school. Reducing unwanted/teen pregnancies and the associated social costs would go a long way towards alleviating poverty and other social ills in the US.

Perhaps but if you got rid of the social ills what would people complain about?

;)

-Nam

Offline junebug72

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Re: Is America Cursed?
« Reply #222 on: June 12, 2013, 05:38:47 AM »
Nam you bring me closer to God.IMO. :laugh:

Thanks you're the best.

Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Is America Cursed?
« Reply #223 on: June 12, 2013, 06:36:59 AM »
I agree with Junebug here about things like raising the minumum wage, making education funding more equitable, universal health care and letting up on the "drug war" as ways to alleviate poverty in the US.

We are spending so much on the "drug war", including incarceration costs, that we could probably finance the whole shebang with that alone. (Don't even get me started on the billions wasted on the "war of terror", as Borat called it.)

I have to take one issue with financing social services by legalizing marijuana. I am in favor of legalization, because it makes good public policy sense. But not because it will generate all this cash. The only way to make a lot of money on drugs or alcohol sales is to cater to those who use to excess. It's the 20-80 rule. Moderate users-- just on weekends or at parties-- generate 20% of the profits. Addicts, binge drinkers, etc. generate 80% of the profits. We should not base social service funding on stuff that we don't want to encourage. Maybe we could pay for drug counseling with the drug profits, but no more than that.

I would also add making comprehensive sex ed and contraceptives freely available to all, beginning in middle school. Reducing unwanted/teen pregnancies and the associated social costs would go a long way towards alleviating poverty and other social ills in the US.

If you use California as an example the Pot Industry there is generating lots of money.  If I remember correctly 2 billion a year.  I'm running on MB until the 23rd, sorry.  Once the criminal aspect is removed I don't see any thing wrong with using that money to lift the poor out of poverty.  The legality of pot will automatically put a lot of people to work growing the stuff.  I saw a documentary that stated George Washington and Ben Franklin grew pot and sold it to England and France to make clothes and stuff.  It was called hemp then.  You can still find hemp jewelry at flea markets and head shops.   The show was a serious documentary called Drugs Inc. or Marijuana in the US, something like that.  I think that with legal marijuana, a stronger income, family planning and higher self-esteem, the interest in harder drugs would decline; crime would decline. 

Nam to address your concerns about raising prices.  That's why I stated the need for a profit to wage ratio.  Any increase in price means applying the same increase to wages.   Smaller amounts for the same price will also not be allowed.  I liked 5 lb. bags of sugar not 4.

 
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Re: Is America Cursed?
« Reply #224 on: June 12, 2013, 07:11:57 AM »
If you use California as an example the Pot Industry there is generating lots of money.  If I remember correctly 2 billion a year.  I'm running on MB until the 23rd, sorry.  Once the criminal aspect is removed I don't see any thing wrong with using that money to lift the poor out of poverty.  The legality of pot will automatically put a lot of people to work growing the stuff.  I saw a documentary that stated George Washington and Ben Franklin grew pot and sold it to England and France to make clothes and stuff.  It was called hemp then.

Just to clarify a bit, here: hemp is not the same plant as marijuana.  It's closely related, but it differs in a number of ways, probably the most important one being that hemp has only about 1% or so of the THC content of marijuana.  Even if growing hemp were legal in this country, it's not likely that many people would smoke it... to get high, you'd have to smoke at least several dozen times the amount of marijuana you'd need to smoke for the same effect, and not many people would want to have to deal with that.  Especially since it's not like actual marijuana is difficult to find or anything.  Hell, these days, you can even buy it on the Internet without even having to leave the house.

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You can still find hemp jewelry at flea markets and head shops.   The show was a serious documentary called Drugs Inc. or Marijuana in the US, something like that.  I think that with legal marijuana, a stronger income, family planning and higher self-esteem, the interest in harder drugs would decline; crime would decline.

I'm not clear on the details because I haven't read about this in a while, but I seem to recall that one of the reasons that hemp was outlawed in this country was that other industries lobbied so hard to have it banned due to its being such a wildly useful plant that it posed a serious threat to other industries, such as the papermaking industry.  (The United States Constitution was written on hemp paper.

The case against legalization of marijuana is at least somewhat arguable.  I think it should be legalized, but I can understand why some people don't agree.  However, there is no legitimate case whatsoever for the prohibition of hemp.  We really do need to legalize it and start doing research with it.  Its usefulness for clothing, papermaking, and even other industries such as feeding farm animals and developing alternative energy are all too important for us to be forbidding research into it just because it's related to marijuana.
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Re: Is America Cursed?
« Reply #225 on: June 12, 2013, 08:41:41 AM »
Raising the minimum wage would only be effective if businesses then didn't turn around and raise their prices.

This is incorrect.  Businesses do not set prices.  The market sets the price.  That is fairly straight forward economics which every manufacturer and business knows.  The formula is Price - Cost = Profit.  Not Price = cost + profit.  So the only way to increase profit is to drive down costs. 

Right now businesses, like Walmart, are making grotesque profit on the backs of their works and taxpayers. The average Walmart costs taxpayers about a million dollars a year to subsidize their workers.[1]  So in the case of Walmart, raising the minimum wage would really be a tax reduction for the rest of us.

Raising the minimum wage may hurt their bottom line, which will affect their sharholders' returns.  But the market determines the price.
 1. http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/06/07/2120711/walmarts-low-wages-cost-taxpayers-millions-each-year/
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Re: Is America Cursed?
« Reply #226 on: June 12, 2013, 10:46:00 AM »

I'm not clear on the details because I haven't read about this in a while, but I seem to recall that one of the reasons that hemp was outlawed in this country was that other industries lobbied so hard to have it banned due to its being such a wildly useful plant that it posed a serious threat to other industries, such as the papermaking industry.  (The United States Constitution was written on hemp paper.

I remember hearing or reading that the cotton industry was a significant force in outlawing hemp. It makes perfect sense - everything that can be made with cotton can be made with hemp as well - this leads me to suspect that hemp production is probably more cost effective too.

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The case against legalization of marijuana is at least somewhat arguable.  I think it should be legalized, but I can understand why some people don't agree.  However, there is no legitimate case whatsoever for the prohibition of hemp.  We really do need to legalize it and start doing research with it.  Its usefulness for clothing, papermaking, and even other industries such as feeding farm animals and developing alternative energy are all too important for us to be forbidding research into it just because it's related to marijuana.

Completely agree. This is a matter of public education - hemp and marijuana are not the same thing but most of the American public doesn't realize that.

I'm in favor of legalizing marijuana too for a lot of reasons. Medical research alone supports relaxing the current restrictions and there are a lot of economic factors that tug me that direction.
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Re: Is America Cursed?
« Reply #227 on: June 12, 2013, 11:47:42 AM »
Nowadays, non-drug hemp is still prohibited because the plants look like marijuana. What would keep pot farms from interplanting their illegal drug crop with legal hemp? You'd have to do a chemical analysis to tell the difference-- or have some volunteer light some up![1] So, the feds just keep both on the nix list to keep enforcement simple. If it looks like weed, it's illegal.

Another reason to legalize both marijuana (the drug) and hemp (a useful fiber crop).
 1. I'm sure it would be hard to find anyone willing to do that. "I was a pot head for the DEA..."
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

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Re: Is America Cursed?
« Reply #228 on: June 12, 2013, 12:12:33 PM »
Raising the minimum wage would only be effective if businesses then didn't turn around and raise their prices.

This is incorrect.  Businesses do not set prices.  The market sets the price.  That is fairly straight forward economics which every manufacturer and business knows.  The formula is Price - Cost = Profit.  Not Price = cost + profit.  So the only way to increase profit is to drive down costs. 

Right now businesses, like Walmart, are making grotesque profit on the backs of their works and taxpayers. The average Walmart costs taxpayers about a million dollars a year to subsidize their workers.[1]  So in the case of Walmart, raising the minimum wage would really be a tax reduction for the rest of us.

Raising the minimum wage may hurt their bottom line, which will affect their sharholders' returns.  But the market determines the price.
 1. http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/06/07/2120711/walmarts-low-wages-cost-taxpayers-millions-each-year/

True. The other fact is that raising the incomes of the poor stimulates demand, which improves the local economies.  It makes good economic sense to give poor people more money, whether it is through welfare or higher wages. Because of one simple fact: poor people spend all their incomes. Poor people don't hoard cash, stuff their money in mattresses, hide their dough overseas or launder it through fake investments to avoid taxes. 

They buy stuff, mainly consumer goods, in their own communities. They pay rent, buy food, buy clothes, buy diapers, buy beer, get their hair and nails done. That generates income for local businesses who then can hire more people, invest in infrastructure, expand and grow. This expands the tax base to pay for roads, schools, libraries, etc.

I never understand why conservatives are so reluctant to accept that low and middle income people are the backbone of the US economy. They would rather worship the rich[2] than do anything that might actually help regular people.
 2. who don't help the economy much-- they can't spend more because they already have everything, so they send their money to the Caymans to avoid taxes
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

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Re: Is America Cursed?
« Reply #229 on: June 12, 2013, 12:18:05 PM »
Nowadays, non-drug hemp is still prohibited because the plants look like marijuana. What would keep pot farms from interplanting their illegal drug crop with legal hemp? You'd have to do a chemical analysis to tell the difference

I doubt that that would really pose all that much of a challenge.  For one thing, I doubt that any hemp grower would want to take such a risk, and for another, testing the plants for their THC content would probably be a straightforward matter.  You can already buy THC testing kits for home use, and they're very inexpensive.  I doubt that modifying such a test for use directly on the buds of a plant, rather than on a urine stream, would pose a tremendous challenge.  (Perhaps someone here with a better knowledge of chemistry can speak better to that.)

So if that's really a concern, then fine: have a USDA inspector perform random visits on hemp farms once or twice a year, grab blossoms from a number of random plants, and test them for THC.  Problem solved.
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Re: Is America Cursed?
« Reply #230 on: June 12, 2013, 12:54:54 PM »
I never understand why conservatives are so reluctant to accept that low and middle income people are the backbone of the US economy.

Either because they are rich or they are kind of stupid.

http://www.businessinsider.com/conservatism-is-the-problem-2013-6

As you can see from the way the comments, they are mostly stupid.
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Re: Is America Cursed?
« Reply #231 on: June 12, 2013, 01:59:39 PM »
I never understand why conservatives are so reluctant to accept that low and middle income people are the backbone of the US economy.

Either because they are rich or they are kind of stupid.

http://www.businessinsider.com/conservatism-is-the-problem-2013-6

As you can see from the way the comments, they are mostly stupid.

That was an awesome article--any conservative who is not just an ignorant  greedy hypocrite would agree. But, oh, wait....

Tangentially related, I read that there are tea party types who are willing to support immigration reform, but only if there is federal funding included to force immigrants to sit through patriotic values classes-- taught by tea party types. Otherwise known as "yur home culture sucks, love 'Murica or else" classes.  &)

If they thought "patriotism classes" for immigrants were worthwhile, why not be willing to pay for them out of their pockets as charity? Or wait for a private business to magically start doing it? Or offer the classes to immigrants for free, the way volunteers tutor low-income kids, register new voters, teach ESL and help immigrants fill out paperwork for free at the public library? Or is it only liberals who help immigrants for free?

So, anti-government folks don't mind taking government tax money after all. They just don't want to contribute anything to the public trough they feed from.  :P
 
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.