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Wealth Inequality

Old 12-01-18, 11:32 PM
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Re: Wealth Inequality

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
He’s dangerously wrong about fundamental things. Like a parent that doesn’t believe in vaccines. That person is a danger to their child.

He believes that people were “fine” under pre-capitalist systems. It’s lunacy.
You've made your point several times. This is a thread about wealth inequality, not your BFF.

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Old 12-01-18, 11:37 PM
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Re: Wealth Inequality

Capitalism has enabled great leaps and advances in nearly every area. The risk-reward dynamic changes when there are large pools of money to be had and large pools of money to be made.

A correction of the more voracious/avaricious aspects of capitalism might involve engineering things such that those pools of money come from larger numbers of investors, and profits disbursed more widely, rather than having all that money bunched up in 12 dudes' pockets.
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Old 12-02-18, 12:05 AM
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Re: Wealth Inequality

Originally Posted by Kurtie Dee View Post
A correction of the more voracious/avaricious aspects of capitalism might involve engineering things such that those pools of money come from larger numbers of investors, and profits disbursed more widely, rather than having all that money bunched up in 12 dudes' pockets.
These ginormous companies have killed capitalism and turned it into corporate greed.
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Old 12-02-18, 12:14 AM
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Re: Wealth Inequality

Regardless of one’s opinion of capitalism throughout history, it’s damned foolishness to think its current form in this country is a viable path for the future. It fails in the face of climate change and it fails in the face of continued technological advancement.
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Old 12-02-18, 12:39 AM
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Re: Wealth Inequality

That sweet, sweet capitalism.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Spending habits of millennials, who are about 21 to 37, are often blamed for killing industries.<br><br>But a new study by the Fed backs up the idea that it's less about how they're spending — and more about them not having money to spend. <a href="https://t.co/vnKMRkcLAZ">https://t.co/vnKMRkcLAZ</a></p>&mdash; NPR (@NPR) <a href="https://twitter.com/NPR/status/1068490328414408711?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 30, 2018</a></blockquote>
<script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
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Old 12-02-18, 12:46 AM
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Re: Wealth Inequality

Originally Posted by JimRochester View Post
Not sure where you are arriving at this conclusion. In the earliest human history there were small groups that would be called communes today. Men formed hunting parties and were hunter gatherers. Women prepared food and took care of children. So these were equal work, equal food/clothing groups. That didn't last long. As soon as goods and services were developed groups would either take by force or trade goods and services, a barter system which is a form of capitalism. As valuables came into play there was a trading of valuables in exchange for goods. Some form of money has been in existence for about 3000 years. About 1100 BC the Chinese were forming small version of trade goods. Instead of carrying a full size spear, a miniature one was used as a substitute. About 600 BC some form of coins and paper money were starting to be used.

So if your assumption is that man in the image we see today has been around 10,000 years and we only started using money 3000 years ago you could make that argument. I would argue that modern man in what we would consider modern recorded history was using money and a form of capitalism. Prior to that the barter system was still a form of capitalism ie. setting prices on supply and demand by the haves and have nots.

Communism which is supposed to be the epitome of share the wealth was a failure because there were still the wealthy associated with the government that didn't share. So all it did was trade corporate fatcats for government fatcats. It was also so rife with corruption the people could easily circumvent the system. Finally it reduced ambition. The people felt poor and no matter how much they worked they weren't going to improve their place in life.
Capitalism is not a synonym for trade, or the use of currency. It’s an economic system with a distinct class of people — capitalists — who have certain characteristics. You might as well say Communism goes back to prehistoric times when Og the caveman hunted according to his abilities and shared the sabertooth tiger meat with his son Glug according to his needs. Capitalism is a post-mercantile system that arose in the 17th and 18th centuries, but really took root with the industrial revolution when capital (note that word) became a relatively more important input than it had been prior to widespread mechanization.
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Old 12-02-18, 04:10 AM
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Re: Wealth Inequality

Ah, yes history before the 18th century. That’s when life was “fine”. Calgon take me away to those heady days of yor.
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Old 12-02-18, 11:22 AM
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Re: Wealth Inequality

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
I don’t even know why I’m polite to you. You are a threat to everyone around you. I’ll just repeat what I said this morning: I just thank god that you, and people like you, wield almost no power in America.
mod note - Completely unacceptable behavior. There will be some action taken on this
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Old 12-02-18, 12:36 PM
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Re: Wealth Inequality

Sorry. I’ll dial it down a notch.
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Old 12-02-18, 12:43 PM
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Re: Wealth Inequality

Originally Posted by maxfisher View Post
Regardless of one’s opinion of capitalism throughout history, it’s damned foolishness to think its current form in this country is a viable path for the future. It fails in the face of climate change and it fails in the face of continued technological advancement.
True, but it is also inherently fallacious to look at an ascending or descending line on a graph and assume that the line will continue in its current direction without some sort of sea change.

It seems quite obvious to me that regulated capitalism is the least imperfect of the "-isms" that we can choose from. The "regulated" part can take on many forms and can and does ebb and flow, obviously, depending on social and political trends.

In addition to right wing populism having a fairly short shelf life and the social awareness impact of the (legitimate) concerns about income inequality in the United States, there are two very powerful forces that should keep things from getting too much worse than they are already:

1. We live in a democracy (of sorts). When the have-nots so badly outnumber the haves, a political course correction is inevitable.

2. Consumer spending is ~70% of GDP. If income inequality and the impact of automation on jobs continues to impact consumer spending, we will likewise see a major course correction. The U.S. economy is not a Rijker "suicide machine", despite what some people think.

How things look in ten years probably will be very different than this morning, but it will still be capitalism.
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Old 12-02-18, 12:56 PM
  #736  
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Re: Wealth Inequality

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
Ummm...health care? Really? TheUS has a failed health care system. Most every democratic country in the world has figured out how to provide health care to its people. But the US can’t.
That’s the thing about communism vs capitalism.

If a million people starve to death under a communist system, it’s because communism is evil.

If a million people die because they can’t afford basic healthcare under a capitalist system, it’s a market correction.

That’s the brilliant thing about capitalism. Despite its utopian pretenses, it makes no guarantees. It just provides a playing field for water to find its level. If you die because you can’t afford medicine, starve because you can’t afford food, or freeze to death because you can’t afford shelter, then your death is on you, not the game you’re playing.

Capitalism can’t fail; people fail at capitalism. The Great Depression wasn’t capitalism failing, it was the free market correcting itself.
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Old 12-02-18, 03:32 PM
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Re: Wealth Inequality

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
That’s the thing about communism vs capitalism.

If a million people starve to death under a communist system, it’s because communism is evil.

If a million people die because they can’t afford basic healthcare under a capitalist system, it’s a market correction.

That’s the brilliant thing about capitalism. Despite its utopian pretenses, it makes no guarantees. It just provides a playing field for water to find its level. If you die because you can’t afford medicine, starve because you can’t afford food, or freeze to death because you can’t afford shelter, then your death is on you, not the game you’re playing.

Capitalism can’t fail; people fail at capitalism. The Great Depression wasn’t capitalism failing, it was the free market correcting itself.

Which is why if I am able to qualify for government assistance or "handouts" from whomever and wherever, I will do so. Now, if I get sick, well, that will be an economy class ticket to a country that has socialized healthcare.
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Old 12-04-18, 03:42 PM
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Re: Wealth Inequality

And that’s the point isn’t it. It’s not an “all or nothing”. You can have a democratic/capitalistic systmem with a single payer or universal health care plan.

We already have “socialist” items in the US. There are many. But if we were purely capitalistic, we would get rid of police and fire departments and let everyone hire their own private companies to take care of these. But we don’t. For good and obvious reasons.

Now I have fought (hard) in the past that “capitalistic health care” could take care of all better than single payer or universal. I actually still believe they “could”. But bottom line is they don’t and have failed at being interested in doing so.

Sooo...it’s time

And BTW insurance by definition is socialistic. Meaning all those in California that lost homes due to fires that have home insurance are being helped by people that have not had a fire.

Last edited by Sdallnct; 12-04-18 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 12-04-18, 05:00 PM
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Re: Wealth Inequality

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
And BTW insurance by definition is socialistic. Meaning all those in California that lost homes due to fires that have home insurance are being helped by people that have not had a fire.
Your insurance rates have always been dictated by the risk. If you are a young driver, you pay more. If you live in a flood plain, you pay more. Build a house on the side of a California mountain, expect to pay more for fire and mud slide insurance.

The problem with Obamacare was that he mandated that young healthy adults pay more to subsidize older people. I think everyone was on board with coverage of pre-existing conditions (presuming you maintain coverage) and having children stay on your insurance longer. But to "pay" for your plan by charging more for younger people was a bad idea, not to mention forcing them to sign up by fining them (taxing them?). In your example, people that build homes on the beach in Florida, or on the sides of the mountains in California should pay the same disaster insurance as someone in North Carolina who would have 100x less risk of total loss.

Something simple like Trump requiring hospitals post their prices online will do more to reduce health care costs than any forced health insurance requirement. Once the costs are dealt with, then for sure, increase coverage for all.
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Old 12-04-18, 05:56 PM
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Re: Wealth Inequality

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
And that’s the point isn’t it. It’s not an “all or nothing”. You can have a democratic/capitalistic systmem with a single payer or universal health care plan.

We already have “socialist” items in the US. There are many. But if we were purely capitalistic, we would get rid of police and fire departments and let everyone hire their own private companies to take care of these. But we don’t. For good and obvious reasons.

Now I have fought (hard) in the past that “capitalistic health care” could take care of all better than single payer or universal. I actually still believe they “could”. But bottom line is they don’t and have failed at being interested in doing so.

Sooo...it’s time

And BTW insurance by definition is socialistic. Meaning all those in California that lost homes due to fires that have home insurance are being helped by people that have not had a fire.
Insurance is a way of spreading risk out amongst the masses. It is a product everyone pays for with the hopes of not actually needing it.

If you could ever get a straight answer on the actual cost and the actual way to pay for it, it would be much easier to accept single payer. We were already told once how Obamacare was going to save the average family $2500 a year. When recently asked how she was going to pay for Medicare for all, Ostacio-Cortez kept extolling the virtues of the program without one iota of fact as to how to go about paying for it. She claims it will cost less but cannot or will not explain how. The simple tax the rich won't work because the rich don't have the money the politicians want to spend. Bernie admitted that in the debates.

As a side note, we are looking at a local building that is one year behind in opening for photonics. We were promised 6000 jobs. Of course the building only has 65 parking spaces so I'm not sure if they lied, were stupid when they found the spot or can't count. In any case I get pretty tired of being lied to on these pie in the sky forecasts.

Like you I've begun to come around to the idea of single payer. I just don't want another government boondoggle and when the explanations are so sketchy you can't help but be leery.
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Old 12-04-18, 06:24 PM
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Re: Wealth Inequality

Originally Posted by PerryD View Post
Your insurance rates have always been dictated by the risk. If you are a young driver, you pay more. If you live in a flood plain, you pay more. Build a house on the side of a California mountain, expect to pay more for fire and mud slide insurance.

The problem with Obamacare was that he mandated that young healthy adults pay more to subsidize older people. I think everyone was on board with coverage of pre-existing conditions (presuming you maintain coverage) and having children stay on your insurance longer. But to "pay" for your plan by charging more for younger people was a bad idea, not to mention forcing them to sign up by fining them (taxing them?). In your example, people that build homes on the beach in Florida, or on the sides of the mountains in California should pay the same disaster insurance as someone in North Carolina who would have 100x less risk of total loss.

Something simple like Trump requiring hospitals post their prices online will do more to reduce health care costs than any forced health insurance requirement. Once the costs are dealt with, then for sure, increase coverage for all.
No. There is a base that spreads the risk to ALL!

Then ratings are put in groups that ALL in that group share. Using your example, ALL young auto drivers pay more even though not all have accidents. ALL smokers pay more even tho not ALL smokers have issues. Etc. That’s spreading the risk.

No, your using home location as a faulse equivalency. Location of a home can increase risk to the home. Location of a person will generally not increase the risk of the person.

My home premimiums in Texas are really high. Much higher than a home in Utah. For obvious reasons. But that doesn’t make the same sense for health insurance does it? I’m not at any more risk for health issues in Texas than if I lived in Utah.
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Old 12-04-18, 06:26 PM
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Re: Wealth Inequality

Originally Posted by JimRochester View Post
Insurance is a way of spreading risk out amongst the masses. It is a product everyone pays for with the hopes of not actually needing it.

If you could ever get a straight answer on the actual cost and the actual way to pay for it, it would be much easier to accept single payer. We were already told once how Obamacare was going to save the average family $2500 a year. When recently asked how she was going to pay for Medicare for all, Ostacio-Cortez kept extolling the virtues of the program without one iota of fact as to how to go about paying for it. She claims it will cost less but cannot or will not explain how. The simple tax the rich won't work because the rich don't have the money the politicians want to spend. Bernie admitted that in the debates.

As a side note, we are looking at a local building that is one year behind in opening for photonics. We were promised 6000 jobs. Of course the building only has 65 parking spaces so I'm not sure if they lied, were stupid when they found the spot or can't count. In any case I get pretty tired of being lied to on these pie in the sky forecasts.

Like you I've begun to come around to the idea of single payer. I just don't want another government boondoggle and when the explanations are so sketchy you can't help but be leery.
Like you, I’m not sure it would save money. But my idea is let’s get everyone insured to start. Until then we are not paying a proper amount anyway. Right? Unless we will just accept people not having coverage and us paying for it anyway when they go to the ER.
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Old 12-04-18, 06:34 PM
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Re: Wealth Inequality

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
And BTW insurance by definition is socialistic. Meaning all those in California that lost homes due to fires that have home insurance are being helped by people that have not had a fire.
It's even more socialistic than that for many of them:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/04/us/ca...ion/index.html

California's Camp Fire didn't just kill dozens of people and destroy thousands of homes. It also left an insurance company in financial ruins, unable to pay millions of dollars to policyholders.

A state judge ruled that Merced Property & Casualty Co. can't meet its obligations after last month's Camp Fire, the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history.

Merced's assets are about $23 million, but it faced about $64 million in outstanding liabilities just in the city of Paradise, court filings show.

...

Fortunately for Merced's policyholders, they are covered by the California Insurance Guarantee Association, which "protects resident claimants in the event of an insurance company insolvency."
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Old 12-04-18, 07:02 PM
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Re: Wealth Inequality

Originally Posted by jfoobar View Post
It's even more socialistic than that for many of them:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/04/us/ca...ion/index.html
I think we can acknowledge this example as an outlier, however.
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Old 12-05-18, 05:48 AM
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Re: Wealth Inequality

Originally Posted by Kurt D View Post
I think we can acknowledge this example as an outlier, however.
Sure, but the fact that CIGA exists (or even needs to exist) is more to my point. This is more than just a state-created insurance safety net. It's mere existence exerts influence on "the market".
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Old 12-11-18, 08:00 AM
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Re: Wealth Inequality

Originally Posted by Dan View Post
A nice light-hearted video that talks about the goals of capitalism. The topic seems related to wealth inequality in this context.

Note: just because I'm sharing it, doesn't mean I 100% agree with it.

https://youtu.be/HxjpvPSKkLw

0:36 It's interesting that in order to talk about machines replacing human labor, he uses a current example in the clothing industry. Because the very word “luddite” originates from 19th century British workers in the clothing industry who were opposed to machines replacing their jobs. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luddite

In the real world, if machines never replaced human labor, we would all be living like the Sentinelese people. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentinelese

1:50 He says the only two ways to increase profits are by increasing prices or by cutting costs. He then says that the best way to cut costs is to pay less to the workers.

But in the real world, Henry Ford raised his workers' pay to five dollars an hour, because it reduced worker turnover to nearly zero. Before Ford did this, worker turnover was so high that it was hurting his company because he kept having to train new workers all the time.

Likewise, Costco pays higher wages than Wal-Mart.

Likewise, the richest companies in Silicon Valley and Wall St. pay their workers higher wages than everyone else, not lower.

The guy in the video does not understand that there is a third way to increase profits, and that third way is by increasing the productivity of each worker.

4:35 He says, “Technological progress and scientific adavances are hurting poor people.”

Ask any working class person if they would rather live the way the Bunker family did in “All in the Family” from the 1970s, or if they'd rather have the cell phones, internet, video games, DVDs, etc., of today.

I'm guessing that most working class people would prefer today's standard of living over that of the 1970s.

5:22 He says, “We allow a small number of capitalists to own the factories and the land.”

The reason the capialists own the factories is because it was the capitalsits who risked their own money to build the factories in the first place. Factories do not just magically appear out of thin air.

The reason the capitalists own the farmland is because they bought that land form willing sellers. This kind of transaction tends to put the land into more productive use. If people were not allowed to buy and sell land, then we'd end up like the real world countries where people are not allowed to buy and sell land. If this is such a good idea, then why hasn't the guy in the video moved to Cuba or North Korea, where it's illegal to buy and sell land?

5:40 He says “Profit motive leads to nothing more than waste.”

He is wrong.

For example, Amtrack, (the government run train system) buys soda for $3.40 per serving, and then resells it to customers for $2.00. So Amtrak loses money on every sale. Source: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/a...rgers-and-soda

At the same time, privately run, for-profit restaurants buy their soda for far, far, far less than $3.40 per serving. And they still manage to sell it at a profit instead of a loss.

Therefore, the speaker's claim that “profit motive leads to nothing more than waste” is the exact opposite of what happens in the real world.

6:18 He says that the private sector destroys extra clothes that don't sell, and that these could be used, instead, to clothe poor poeople. Again, if clothing was magicailly created out of thin air, this would be true. But in reality, that clothing was created in order to make a profit. If there was no profit incenitve, that clothing never would have been created in the first place. The same thing applies to the houses and condos that sit empty that he talks about – without the profit motive, they never would have been built in the first place.

6:24 He says the government pays farmers “to destroy crops, or not not grow crops to begin with.” His statement is true. But that's not capitalism. Only the government would be dumb enough to waste money like that. Private investors who want to make a profit would never waste their own money like that.

6:58 He says that machines are “driving workers all over the world into ever deepening poverty and hopelessness.”

He's wrong. The exact opposite is true. Newsweek writes, “In the last quarter century, more than 1.25 billion people escaped extreme poverty.” Source: https://www.newsweek.com/now-good-ne...-richer-696286

12:55 If there was a real world system that was better than capitalism, we would see proof in the form of immigration - people would be moving away from capitalist countries instead of moving to them.

In the real world, immigration patterns prove that workers prefer capitalism over any other system.
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Old 12-11-18, 08:40 AM
  #747  
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Re: Wealth Inequality

grundle, those are almost all fallacious arguments. If I make the time, I'll respond to each one, but I'll use one for now:
0:36 It's interesting that in order to talk about machines replacing human labor, he uses a current example in the clothing industry. Because the very word “luddite” originates from 19th century British workers in the clothing industry who were opposed to machines replacing their jobs. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luddite

In the real world, if machines never replaced human labor, we would all be living like the Sentinelese people. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentinelese
1. The guy in the video ISN'T opposed to machines taking human jobs, so your point is meaningless. He's saying these advances in technology are good in that they keep humans from doing (potentially) dangerous work. The offset, though, is that the money from that worker-free productivity goes into the hands of the capitalists, not the workers that did the labor that earned the capitalist enough money to buy the machines to replace them.
2. Who cares about the Sentinelese? Again, the guy ISN'T saying machines should never replace human labor. He's saying the people (and their families) who did the hard labor should be given a fair share of the profit resulting in those machines.

As I said, I'm not touching the rest of your fallacies for now.
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Old 12-11-18, 03:13 PM
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Re: Wealth Inequality

Originally Posted by Dan View Post
grundle, those are almost all fallacious arguments. If I make the time, I'll respond to each one, but I'll use one for now:

1. The guy in the video ISN'T opposed to machines taking human jobs, so your point is meaningless. He's saying these advances in technology are good in that they keep humans from doing (potentially) dangerous work. The offset, though, is that the money from that worker-free productivity goes into the hands of the capitalists, not the workers that did the labor that earned the capitalist enough money to buy the machines to replace them.
2. Who cares about the Sentinelese? Again, the guy ISN'T saying machines should never replace human labor. He's saying the people (and their families) who did the hard labor should be given a fair share of the profit resulting in those machines.

As I said, I'm not touching the rest of your fallacies for now.


I agree with you that later on in the video, he repeatedly, and quite enthusiastically, supported using machines to do the jobs that people hate, so people could have more time to do the things that they like. I agree with him on that point.

But I still think that of all the industries that he could have chosen to cite in the beginning when he talked about machines replacing human labor, he cited the same one that is associated with Luddites. I don't know if he was aware of that and did it on purpose, or if he was not aware of it and he just did it by coincidence.

Last edited by grundle; 12-11-18 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 12-11-18, 03:19 PM
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Re: Wealth Inequality

For someone who claims to be against wealth inequality, this doesn't help to make his case:


https://dailycaller.com/2018/12/04/b...limate-change/

Bernie Sanders, Climate Hawk, Spends Nearly $300K On Private Jet Travel In Month

December 4, 2018

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s re-election campaign spent just under $300,000 on private jet use in October, Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show.

The Sanders campaign, which is funded primarily by small-dollar donors, paid Apollo Jets $297,685.50 on Oct. 10, FEC records reveal. The payment was marked for “transportation.”
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Old 12-13-18, 04:35 PM
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Re: Wealth Inequality

Originally Posted by Supermallet View Post
MLM stands for Marxist-Leninist-Maoist.

As for dismantling capitalism, I think it’s the first step to saving our planet from ecological disaster. People lived just fine without capitalism for most of human history, and we can create a better world without capitalism. Just because we’re living in it now doesn’t mean it always has to be this way. Societies are constructs, so let’s construct a better one, or many better ones.

As evidence that you are correct, I will point out that Cuba is one of the most environmentally friendly and sustainable countries.

As evidence that you are mistaken, Eastern Europe under communism was one of the worst polluted areas that the world has ever had.

Last edited by grundle; 12-13-18 at 04:40 PM.
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