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What is our obligation to share resources with society?

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What is our obligation to share resources with society?

Old 12-30-20, 06:14 PM
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What is our obligation to share resources with society?

Yeah, Vibs has been arguing with her anti government brother again. Something he said to me the other day got me wondering what the Otters would say if we got to chewing on the issue of resource sharing.

Basically my brother said that he has no problem with donations to charity but he doesn't think the government should basically force people to share, and that he doesn't care if someone else doesn't want to because he's only responsible for himself.

My position on this is that we're all born naked. And we all die. So if you think you shouldn't have to ever turn a hand for someone else, sooner or later that will come back to bite you in the ass. Maybe it's just all these months of seeing people bitching about freedom and masks and compulsory vaccination and so forth ... yeah, philosophically maybe not caring about anybody but yourself is understandable but it still makes you a dick who should be set adrift on an ice floe and told "best of luck" so the rest of us don't have to run the risk of being harmed by something you did or didn't do.

I know this is very unstructured but I thought it might make an interesting discussion.
Old 12-30-20, 06:28 PM
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Re: What is our obligation to share resources with society?

It's the foundation of civilization, baby!
Old 12-30-20, 06:36 PM
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Re: What is our obligation to share resources with society?

Have you read The Sea Wolf by Jack London? The captain was Homo Superior, a genius of tremendous physical ability. He didn't think that he should help anyone, and he argued the point persuasively. Then when he was blinded by an illness, nobody helped him. He was last seen fending for himself on a tiny Alaskan island.

If your brother is blinded in a car crash, he won't be as pure as the captain. He'll suddenly want government assistance.
Old 12-30-20, 07:04 PM
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Re: What is our obligation to share resources with society?

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
Have you read The Sea Wolf by Jack London? The captain was Homo Superior, a genius of tremendous physical ability. He didn't think that he should help anyone, and he argued the point persuasively. Then when he was blinded by an illness, nobody helped him. He was last seen fending for himself on a tiny Alaskan island.

If your brother is blinded in a car crash, he won't be as pure as the captain. He'll suddenly want government assistance.
He hasn't refused his Social Security. Says he was forced to contribute to it so it's his. When I pointed out that statistically he will probably collect more than he put in, he just harrumphed.

EDITED TO ADD that The Sea Wolf is on my Kindle list now, and much obliged.
Old 12-30-20, 07:40 PM
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Re: What is our obligation to share resources with society?

Is he refusing his stimulus money?

In general, it seems to me that people who are into "bootstraps" and "what's mine is mine" have generally done decently for themselves and are either ignorant or willfully ignore all the help they got (or the luck they had) and think they achieved everything all on their own, with an equal playing field that they dominated. At least I've never met someone down on their luck who doubled down on something like that.
Old 12-30-20, 09:03 PM
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Re: What is our obligation to share resources with society?

I've contributed so much -- far more than my share, because I'm single with NO kids, that at this point I'm jaded. I know I'll never get even a small percentage of it back. What bothers me most about having "to share" is that I can't tell the government *how* I want the money that I "share" spent. Other people spend the money, with very, very loose fingers and very, very inefficiently. It isn't "sharing" that bothers me so much as how foolishly the money is spent and how I have basically no control over who spends it, how, and why. This stimulus check is one example. I'm probably getting nothing, even though I've been furloughed from work since 7/1 without pay, penalized because I choose to be single and live in a state with an egregiously high cost of living. I've "given" away far, far more than $600 this year in taxes. So, why can't I feel like it's only fair to be included in the stimulus check payout? Especially since my 2019 income is way above my 2020 income, and the checks are supposedly mailed out based only on 2019 income level.

And, further, I know that if I'm ever down on my luck, I *do* have savings that I've worked very hard over the years to build up by living frugally and not spending my way into debt (which is the "American Way"). And, when we get down to brass tacks, I'm not counting on my government, have no faith in them, and not "expecting" the government to step in when I might need it, because I know it'll be an epic battle, and probably not worth the "effort" to engage their assistance. But, when I'm still working at 80, because NO Social Security money is left by that time, I'll have "shared" tens (hundreds?) of THOUSANDS of dollars to a cause that I myself won't be able to take a part in, as I was born too late. Others gobbled that money, which I contributed, "shared", up. And that'll chap my hide.
Old 12-30-20, 10:14 PM
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Re: What is our obligation to share resources with society?

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
Have you read The Sea Wolf by Jack London? The captain was Homo Superior, a genius of tremendous physical ability. He didn't think that he should help anyone, and he argued the point persuasively. Then when he was blinded by an illness, nobody helped him. He was last seen fending for himself on a tiny Alaskan island.
Jack London is like the anti-Ayn Rand. See, also, The Iron Heel.
Old 12-31-20, 03:54 AM
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Re: What is our obligation to share resources with society?

I really think this has to do with conservatives being programmed into thinking sharing is socialism.

I remember watching a special on the ACA. They were interviewing people that would be harmed if Trump got rid of the ACA. They felt it better to be harmed then to have “ObamaCare”. I’m sure racism was a factor, but think the bigger issue was it “felt” like communism.

Old 12-31-20, 07:51 AM
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Re: What is our obligation to share resources with society?

I think there should be a floor on the poverty level that a society should tolerate. Historically charities have not been enough to raise that floor. People should not be going hungry in America. We have multi-billionaires. People should have a chance at an education so their natural skill can take them as far as they can or want to push it in life. Again, charities historically don't have the resources to impact this area in any meaningful way. I think as a society most people agree with those 2 ideas. I think it was Barney Frank who said, "Government is just the things WE decide to do together." Corruption and mismanagement are crap and need to be fought tooth and nail, but that doesn't mean you should abandon the goals above.
Old 12-31-20, 08:59 AM
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Re: What is our obligation to share resources with society?

People who scream about individual rights but have no concept of individual/social responsibility really bother me. That is all.
Old 12-31-20, 09:27 AM
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Re: What is our obligation to share resources with society?

Originally Posted by Kurt D View Post
It's the foundation of civilization, baby!

Curious what you mean by this? And I don't mean that in a, "I disagree with you" manner.

As we know it, the modern idea of social welfare began in the 20th century and not the foundations of civilisation. More broadly, the idea goes to 1600(1) England, but utilized far more private and parochial institutions.

Greco-Roman history shows a private approach, generally based on voluntary donations. Yes, there were the Gracchian reforms, but look what happened to them. After the fall of these societies, it was almost solely the responsibility of the Church.

I do not know enough about pre-Greco-Roman societies to adequately discuss. There were certainly elements of social justice in Mesopotamian society, but social welfare, particularly non-religious/private variety?

Curious to learn more.
Old 12-31-20, 10:16 AM
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Re: What is our obligation to share resources with society?

Did he go to public school? Did his kids?
Does he drive on publicly-funded roads, or has he privately funded his own road system that only he gets to use?
Would he call the fire department if his house caught on fire, or does he pay his own private fire-fighting company for protection?
Old 12-31-20, 11:06 AM
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Re: What is our obligation to share resources with society?

Originally Posted by JackoOnHisBacko View Post
Did he go to public school? Did his kids?
Does he drive on publicly-funded roads, or has he privately funded his own road system that only he gets to use?
Would he call the fire department if his house caught on fire, or does he pay his own private fire-fighting company for protection?
That's different. That's paying taxes into a system that returns benefits to him.

Should he be required to pay taxes that return no tangible benefit to him at all? Medical care for the indigent, food stamps for unwed mothers, and foreign aid to impoverished countries, all help other people at his expense, and he doesn't get anything for it. He worked for what he has. Should that be taken away and be given to someone who has never had a job?
Old 12-31-20, 11:08 AM
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Re: What is our obligation to share resources with society?

Originally Posted by Pharoh View Post
Curious what you mean by this? And I don't mean that in a, "I disagree with you" manner.

As we know it, the modern idea of social welfare began in the 20th century and not the foundations of civilisation. More broadly, the idea goes to 1600(1) England, but utilized far more private and parochial institutions.

Greco-Roman history shows a private approach, generally based on voluntary donations. Yes, there were the Gracchian reforms, but look what happened to them. After the fall of these societies, it was almost solely the responsibility of the Church.

I do not know enough about pre-Greco-Roman societies to adequately discuss. There were certainly elements of social justice in Mesopotamian society, but social welfare, particularly non-religious/private variety?

Curious to learn more.
Roman society was hindered by the lack of a middle class. You had the uber wealthy who offered patronage to the poor who were citizens and a vast majority of the population was dirt poor or slaves. Patronage continued under feudalism in a way, but surfs actually had it better than the poor in Roman times. One of the major problems with the Roman economy was the rich avoiding paying taxes. Kind of like today.
Old 12-31-20, 11:09 AM
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Re: What is our obligation to share resources with society?

I know people who don't have the emotional stability or the physical capability to maintain a job. I'm okay with their being supported by tax dollars.
Old 12-31-20, 11:29 AM
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Re: What is our obligation to share resources with society?

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
That's different. That's paying taxes into a system that returns benefits to him.

Should he be required to pay taxes that return no tangible benefit to him at all? Medical care for the indigent, food stamps for unwed mothers, and foreign aid to impoverished countries, all help other people at his expense, and he doesn't get anything for it. He worked for what he has. Should that be taken away and be given to someone who has never had a job?
Most of us work for what we have. Should I, who has no children, be forced to pay school taxes to educate other people's kids? I pay the same amount of school taxes as my neighbors, who may have 3-5 kids in the public school system. I don't get any benefit from that.
Old 12-31-20, 11:36 AM
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Re: What is our obligation to share resources with society?

Originally Posted by JackoOnHisBacko View Post
Most of us work for what we have. Should I, who has no children, be forced to pay school taxes to educate other people's kids? I pay the same amount of school taxes as my neighbors, who may have 3-5 kids in the public school system. I don't get any benefit from that.
Location, Location, Location. You can move to another town that has cheaper Property Taxes. You can move to another state with MUCH cheaper property taxes. I know many of my friends parents (who don't have any kids in the system anymore) stay in that town because it's more affluent and has less crime. They say that is the benefit to paying higher taxes. On the other hand, I know many people who retire and move to states with lower property taxes that cater to retired people. That's why we have 50 states (along with an Electoral College which many people hate), as they are all competing for each person on a better place to live.
Old 12-31-20, 12:18 PM
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Re: What is our obligation to share resources with society?

I don't mind paying taxes for our excellent school system, even though my kids have all graduated, because a better educated population benefits us all. So does a fed and housed population.
Old 12-31-20, 12:43 PM
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Re: What is our obligation to share resources with society?

I start by a quote about intellectual property and property:

It has been pretended by some, (and in England especially,) that inventors have a natural and exclusive right to their inventions, and not merely for their own lives, but inheritable to their heirs. But while it is a moot question whether the origin of any kind of property is derived from nature at all, it would be singular to admit a natural and even an hereditary right to inventors. It is agreed by those who have seriously considered the subject, that no individual has, of natural right, a separate property in an acre of land, for instance. By an universal law, indeed, whatever, whether fixed or movable, belongs to all men equally and in common, is the property for the moment of him who occupies it; but when he relinquishes the occupation, the property goes with it. Stable ownership is the gift of social law, and is given late in the progress of society. It would be curious then, if an idea, the fugitive fermentation of an individual brain, could, of natural right, be claimed in exclusive and stable property.
If I would say this, I would probably be considerd to be a communist. Property is presently considered to be an universal and absolute right. But the quote is not by Marx or Mao, but by Thomas Jefferson.

Capitalism and private property are great because they cause the greatest value for society. However, when you really think about it, it is almost crazy to think that you, by natural right. really own an acre of land. We have invented this system (i.a.) because with property, people can add value to the property by building something on the land, making it worthwile to protect the land.

However, it is not absolute. If I can save a life by destroying a window or by tresspassing on some piece of land, I am perfectly entitled to do so. When we as society determine that land could be important for society, we can expropriate the land.

The idea that the result of a capitalist society is some sort of "just" result that should never be questioned, is in my opinion laughable. I believe in the idea that society, as such, is being upheld by a social contract. Seen from afar, the idea of individual property (especially of a piece of the earth) really is nonsense, but as long as the results are acceptable and just for the whole of society, we are able to uphold and (rightfully) enforce the capitalist system.

Because of the above, the government is not stealing from you when they are taxing you. Resources should be shared to a certain extent.
Old 12-31-20, 12:57 PM
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Re: What is our obligation to share resources with society?

Originally Posted by Bandoman View Post
I don't mind paying taxes for our excellent school system, even though my kids have all graduated, because a better educated population benefits us all. So does a fed and housed population.
Ahh...you have hit on another thing Iíve noticed about ďsomeĒ conservatives. As mentioned, many think any help to others is a step towards socialism. Iíve also noticed a lack of interest of truly moving the country forward.

Ive had arguments about sending people to the moon or switching to EVís. These things are obviously done to improve society, but that some (conservatives) donít agree with.

You would think everyone would be for single payer or some sort of Universal health care. This would make society healthier, and cost less. But some one want people to be better that can afford it.
Old 12-31-20, 01:34 PM
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Re: What is our obligation to share resources with society?

Originally Posted by Mark_vdH View Post
I start by a quote about intellectual property and property:



If I would say this, I would probably be considerd to be a communist. Property is presently considered to be an universal and absolute right. But the quote is not by Marx or Mao, but by Thomas Jefferson.

Capitalism and private property are great because they cause the greatest value for society. However, when you really think about it, it is almost crazy to think that you, by natural right. really own an acre of land. We have invented this system (i.a.) because with property, people can add value to the property by building something on the land, making it worthwile to protect the land.

However, it is not absolute. If I can save a life by destroying a window or by tresspassing on some piece of land, I am perfectly entitled to do so. When we as society determine that land could be important for society, we can expropriate the land.

The idea that the result of a capitalist society is some sort of "just" result that should never be questioned, is in my opinion laughable. I believe in the idea that society, as such, is being upheld by a social contract. Seen from afar, the idea of individual property (especially of a piece of the earth) really is nonsense, but as long as the results are acceptable and just for the whole of society, we are able to uphold and (rightfully) enforce the capitalist system.

Because of the above, the government is not stealing from you when they are taxing you. Resources should be shared to a certain extent.

To what extent though?
Old 12-31-20, 01:56 PM
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Re: What is our obligation to share resources with society?

Originally Posted by Pharoh View Post
To what extent though?
That's the rub, isn't it?
Should the government nationalize important industries for the benefit of the country? Aramco seems to be doing well for Saudi Arabians.
Do squatters have the right to move into unoccupied buildings and use them as they wish? It's at least winked at in a lot of countries.
Should all roads and bridges be private and charge tolls paid to the property owner? That's how railroads work in the US.
Old 12-31-20, 02:20 PM
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Re: What is our obligation to share resources with society?

Originally Posted by JackoOnHisBacko View Post
Most of us work for what we have. Should I, who has no children, be forced to pay school taxes to educate other people's kids? I pay the same amount of school taxes as my neighbors, who may have 3-5 kids in the public school system. I don't get any benefit from that.
Viewed strictly in economic terms, the people with 3-5 kids are investing far more than you in the continued health and growth of society, yet you will reap as much benefit from the next generation as they do. But typically, when people make the type of argument youíre making, itís not about the economics of it.
Old 12-31-20, 02:34 PM
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Re: What is our obligation to share resources with society?

Scarcity of resources and theoretically limitless wants, the ever wondering question of balance. The problem I see is when the government incorporates limitless wants to their policy, we all get screwed to meet this demand. Why, because the government does not generate wealth, they spend it. We pay a shitload of taxes already and if the government is not using such funds to support social welfare, where is the money going and why are we still being asked to be good samaritans? Like I've heard in this forum, skip a couple of bombers and help the poor for a change.
Old 12-31-20, 02:48 PM
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Re: What is our obligation to share resources with society?

Originally Posted by mapasu View Post
Scarcity of resources and theoretically limitless wants, the ever wondering question of balance. The problem I see is when the government incorporates limitless wants to their policy, we all get screwed to meet this demand. Why, because the government does not generate wealth, they spend it. We pay a shitload of taxes already and if the government is not using such funds to support social welfare, where is the money going and why are we still being asked to be good samaritans? Like I've heard in this forum, skip a couple of bombers and help the poor for a change.
I agree with you on that. When the taxes I pay are used to help people in need, I'm cool with it. When they're used as another coat of lacquer on our bloated defense inventory, I'm not.

And while I don't necessarily agree that we pay a "shitload" of taxes--we pay far less than people in other countries with a better socialized benefit system--I think the fact that if you have enough money you can find loopholes to avoid paying taxes, thereby shifting the burden onto those of lesser means, is criminal.

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