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Old 09-14-2008, 01:17 PM   #76
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Re: POG Politics Thread

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Originally Posted by amplify View Post
I don't actually think this is the case. Without governmental controls, anyone who wants to set up a school can do so, and the result of competition will be improved education at lower prices. This idea of children being herded into government classrooms for 7 hours a day from age 5 to age 18 is ridiculous anyway. It doesn't take that long to teach a kid to read, do arithmetic operations, and get along with other people.

But I haven't "created a society". All I have done is live by the simple moral rule of minding my own business. If people want government, they can have all of it they can stand. Just don't kick in my door if I don't join. If your government has reasonable taxes and provides valuable services, I might. The USA did pretty well until 1913 when we got hit with the double whammy of the personal income tax and the Federal Reserve System. At that point, I'd like to leave the organization.
This probably doesn't sound so good to people born to poor parents. One of the big benefits of making education public is that it becomes available to everyone. Or are you arguing that a child born to broke parents should have to take a part time job at age 5 to put themselves through elementary schoo?
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Old 09-14-2008, 01:20 PM   #77
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Re: POG Politics Thread

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This probably doesn't sound so good to people born to poor parents. One of the big benefits of making education public is that it becomes available to everyone. Or are you arguing that a child born to broke parents should have to take a part time job at age 5 to put themselves through elementary schoo?
Well his parents right off the top have like twice as much money due to not being taxed into the ground. That should cover it. And again, I'm sure that human beings in the 21st century can find a nonviolent way to offer education to poor people.
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Old 09-14-2008, 01:25 PM   #78
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Re: POG Politics Thread

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Originally Posted by amplify View Post
I don't actually think this is the case. Without governmental controls, anyone who wants to set up a school can do so, and the result of competition will be improved education at lower prices. This idea of children being herded into government classrooms for 7 hours a day from age 5 to age 18 is ridiculous anyway. It doesn't take that long to teach a kid to read, do arithmetic operations, and get along with other people.

But I haven't "created a society". All I have done is live by the simple moral rule of minding my own business. If people want government, they can have all of it they can stand. Just don't kick in my door if I don't join. If your government has reasonable taxes and provides valuable services, I might. The USA did pretty well until 1913 when we got hit with the double whammy of the personal income tax (so unconstitutional they had to pass an amendment) and the Federal Reserve System. At that point, I'd like to leave the organization.
I do not believe this is how it would play out. I think more likely you would see a bunch of schools pushing agenda's (especially religious agendas and some business agendas where one particular corporation has a large presence in a community).

I am not sure what metrics you are using to measure how well or not the US is doing. For instance, I am pretty sure that in 1913, we were not the leader in GDP, but since we have taken a massive lead (though we are now losing it). I could be incorrect, but I am fairly certain that if we were the leader it was by no where near as much as we became.

Some questions so I understand your position better:
In your system children do not have to go to school in any manner, correct?
Is child labor acceptable?
Is leaving a small child unattended acceptable?
If not to the above two, how do you account for it?

Also, you learn a lot more than how to "read, do arithmetic operations, and get along with other people" up through high school (at least you have the opportunity to). You can basically come out of high school today with the equivalent of a college education from 25 years ago, and probably a PhD from 100 years ago. I know you are old Amp, but I am just as old and I didn't go to some one room school house
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Old 09-14-2008, 01:29 PM   #79
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Re: POG Politics Thread

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Well his parents right off the top have like twice as much money due to not being taxed into the ground. That should cover it. And again, I'm sure that human beings in the 21st century can find a nonviolent way to offer education to poor people.
I don't know, there is a hell of a lot of violence in the world. People, left to their own devices, can be pretty damn scary.

There is a problem of showing causality, though one can certainly show a lot of correlation between the things you argue against and positive metrics in countries. The US is less taxed than most of Europe. I am not sure where Japan falls, but the place I would want to live all seem to have high taxes by your standards and a lot of government intervention. (Note: I do not like the current trends in the US, which are for more government intervention in a rather negative, imo, way.)
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Old 09-14-2008, 01:29 PM   #80
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Re: POG Politics Thread

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Well his parents right off the top have like twice as much money due to not being taxed into the ground. That should cover it.
Some kids are burdened with irresponsible and irrational parents. For some, it would just buy more drugs. Or they'd turn fewer tricks. Or their pimp would take a larger share, or whatever.


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And again, I'm sure that human beings in the 21st century can find a nonviolent way to offer education to poor people.
You're a human being and it's the 21st century, so, spell it out. You can't sweep one of the glaring inadequacies of your solution under the rug like this.

I'm with you in a lot of ways, but it's problems like this that keep people from embracing your solution. I care a lot less about 30% of my income than I care about our country going to **** because there's no social services at all. But there are way too many selfish and materialistic people in our country for charity to solve these problems, and charity is frankly an unfair way to solve these problems anyways.
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Old 09-14-2008, 01:35 PM   #81
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Re: POG Politics Thread

I work in an office space that's rented from a consulting firm that works with charities for fundraising. They have a dozen full time staff, and spend more time on trips flying around North America to meet with charity bigwigs, doing conferences, etc, than they do in the office. They charge a lot of money for what they do.

The longer I'm there, the less faith I have that charity is anything more than a way for people to make a lot of money while looking down their nose at people in business who are "just out for profit". Paying somebody $100,000+ /yr to tell you how to raise $125,000 seems a little silly, yet pretty ubiquitous.
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Old 09-14-2008, 01:37 PM   #82
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Re: POG Politics Thread

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I work in an office space that's rented from a consulting firm that works with charities for fundraising. They have a dozen full time staff, and spend more time on trips flying around North America to meet with charity bigwigs, doing conferences, etc, than they do in the office. They charge a lot of money for what they do.

The longer I'm there, the less faith I have that charity is anything more than a way for people to make a lot of money while looking down their nose at people in business who are "just out for profit". Paying somebody $100,000+ /yr to tell you how to raise $125,000 seems a little silly, yet pretty ubiquitous.
Yeah, when you start looking at the amount of money that gets donated to charities that makes it to the task at hand, it can be pretty depressing. I think Gates does a good job, but he doesn't really have to worry about the whole fund raising aspect. Buffet is even more interested in getting the most for the charitable buck.
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Old 09-14-2008, 01:40 PM   #83
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Re: POG Politics Thread

I gave $30 to the ACLU when I was 18. They immediately started sending me materials begging for more money. Reading the materials made me want to barf -- not at whatever injustices they were describing, but at the manner in which the material was written and presented.

13 years later, they still send the same sappy crap to me at my parents' house in Georgia. Every time I go visit them, there's an ACLU letter waiting. Even with the great rates I'm sure they get on printing and mass mailing, I'm pretty sure my $30 donation has easily been spent on sending crappy mailers back to me. So much for contributing to support civil liberties.
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Old 09-14-2008, 01:44 PM   #84
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Re: POG Politics Thread

Quote:
In your system children do not have to go to school in any manner, correct?
I don't have a system. I don't tell other people what to do with their children.
Quote:
Is child labor acceptable?
Forcing people to do stuff they don't want to do is unacceptable.
Quote:
Is leaving a small child unattended acceptable?
If a monkey made you a sandwich, would you eat it?
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Old 09-14-2008, 01:45 PM   #85
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Re: POG Politics Thread

In Canada, in order to be a registered charity that can distribute tax receipts 10% of donations have to go to whatever your stated cause is. You can still accept charitable donations if you don't meet that requirement, donors just don't get a tax break.

My point for bringing this up is, depending on some sort of charity to take care of important things might just be less efficient than depending on the government. That said, I'd be pretty happy if I was only paying 30% tax.
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Old 09-14-2008, 01:46 PM   #86
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Re: POG Politics Thread

The problem I have with discussions like these: People on opposite sides of the issue look at the world so differently, we can't even discuss things in the same language.
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Old 09-14-2008, 01:48 PM   #87
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Re: POG Politics Thread

ham sandwich?

if so, I'd prolly eat it.
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Old 09-14-2008, 01:48 PM   #88
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Re: POG Politics Thread

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You're a human being and it's the 21st century, so, spell it out. You can't sweep one of the glaring inadequacies of your solution under the rug like this.
I didn't say I'm smarter than you and I have figured out how to run the world. I don't have to explicate The Amplified Scholastic Method to your satisfaction in order to be right. I don't have to have prefabricated solutions to all of your objections to be right. It just has to be right not to commit aggressive acts against people.

You are the one who has to justify your violence.
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Old 09-14-2008, 01:49 PM   #89
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Re: POG Politics Thread

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Originally Posted by Zurvan View Post
The problem I have with discussions like these: People on opposite sides of the issue look at the world so differently, we can't even discuss things in the same language.
Interesting. I was thinking that this was a terrific discussion.
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Old 09-14-2008, 01:50 PM   #90
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Re: POG Politics Thread

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I don't have a system. I don't tell other people what to do with their children.
The children of capable parents are going to be fine either way. I think the folks both fnord and I are concerned with are the children of incompetents. It's pretty damn heartless to look at a child of a ****ty parent and say 'you're ****ed because I don't believe in governmental social services and all your parents are going to do is hit you and be bad examples. Feed you? LOL!"
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Old 09-14-2008, 01:51 PM   #91
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Re: POG Politics Thread

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Interesting. I was thinking that this was a terrific discussion.
agreed.
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Old 09-14-2008, 01:55 PM   #92
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Re: POG Politics Thread

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Originally Posted by ackbleh View Post
The children of capable parents are going to be fine either way. I think the folks both fnord and I are concerned with are the children of incompetents. It's pretty damn heartless to look at a child of a ****ty parent and say 'you're ****ed because I don't believe in governmental social services and all your parents are going to do is hit you and be bad examples. Feed you? LOL!"
If I looked at that kid, I'd give him some damn money to eat and go to school. I'm not abdicating that social responsibility in any way. First, mind your household, then, look out for your community.

Also I think that crossed the line of attacking me personally. So violent.
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Old 09-14-2008, 01:58 PM   #93
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Re: POG Politics Thread

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Originally Posted by amplify View Post
I didn't say I'm smarter than you and I have figured out how to run the world. I don't have to explicate The Amplified Scholastic Method to your satisfaction in order to be right. I don't have to have prefabricated solutions to all of your objections to be right. It just has to be right not to commit aggressive acts against people.
I hold a lot of the same principles and values that you do, from what I can tell, and a lot of the same frustrations with the way things currently are. But in this discussion, I don't think it's fair at all for you to revert back to 'well this is a valid principle, you can't talk about the practical implications of it, that's not my problem'. Because we're not talking about a theoretical la-la land here, right? This is supposed to be the rare political discussion where we're genuinely considering each others' views. Which, believe it or not, I am. But I'm not signing up to support anything if the inevitable conclusion is that there are no social services for the poor, and I don't think anyone else should either.



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You are the one who has to justify your violence.
I'm hardly the taxman. I'm definitely not the military or the police.
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Old 09-14-2008, 02:00 PM   #94
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Re: POG Politics Thread

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If I looked at that kid, I'd give him some damn money to eat and go to school. I'm not abdicating that social responsibility in any way. First, mind your household, then, look out for your community.
There are a lot of kids that would be like that and only one amp.

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Also I think that crossed the line of attacking me personally. So violent.
lol. I'm assuming you're not serious.
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Old 09-14-2008, 02:00 PM   #95
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Re: POG Politics Thread

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Originally Posted by amplify View Post
I didn't say I'm smarter than you and I have figured out how to run the world. I don't have to explicate The Amplified Scholastic Method to your satisfaction in order to be right. I don't have to have prefabricated solutions to all of your objections to be right. It just has to be right not to commit aggressive acts against people.

You are the one who has to justify your violence.
This is the consequentialist view. You're going to disagree with it.

If the consequences of doing violence are better overall than the consequences of not doing violence, the violence is morally correct.

I can't argue against a deontologist view. If it is always absolutely wrong to "interfere" with others, cause violence to others, then there is no debate.
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Old 09-14-2008, 02:01 PM   #96
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Re: POG Politics Thread

It's interesting, but frustrating. Mostly because I don't understand how someone as intelligent as you are can believe in something so... impractical and idealistic. And I'm sure you have some view of my position that I would disagree with as thoroughly as you do with my interpretation of yours.
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Old 09-14-2008, 02:04 PM   #97
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Re: POG Politics Thread

ack,

I understand. I can talk about the practical implications of my philosophy. I want it to be clear that I don't think it matters. If it is inevitable that without government coercion there are no social services for the poor, then people suck and the world is going to hell anyway. I have a pretty high opinion of people. Most are decent and care for others. Some are even heroic. The alternate opinion is analogous to the idea that we are toddlers who need to have our toys taken away so that we learn to share.
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Old 09-14-2008, 02:06 PM   #98
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Re: POG Politics Thread

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Whether we had the right to go there or not, our results have been good, and most nonarabic nations are glad we did
I will just assume you are being sarcastic?

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Originally Posted by metsandfinsfan View Post
Clown, are you a true ACist?
No but it's the logical framework that makes the most sense.

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Originally Posted by fnord_too View Post
Clown,

To do the math, we need to agree on the assumptions. My assumptions are along the lines of:
Humanity should strive to maximize several things, including production, knowledge, quality of life while minimizing things like negative impact on ecology and other sentient beings (I'm not a vegetarian or anything, don't read too much into that).
We'll have a hard time agreeing because I don't think humanity as a whole should do anything. Only individuals can act.
I'd also disagree that knowledge should be maximized for example because if the choice is between working to survive and studying most people would (rightfully) prefer to work. I don't assume I'm a demigod and therefore I can't set any global goals except to maximize the possibility for individuals to make their own choices without outside interference.

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The math all comes from maximizing and minimizing. If you are talking about maximizing production, just study game theory to see why pure capitalism fails in this regard.
I'm not talking about maximizing production at all. In fact I don't even think monopolies are a bad thing (eventhough most of the times it doesn't make economic sense for the "producers") because for me choice/freedom is the overriding concern and this goes for both "producers" and "consumers".

Quote:
I know a pretty fair amount about business. Here is a quiz for you: what is the most sacred duty of a for profit public company?
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
To increase shareholder wealth. That is their fiduciary duty and not striving to that is a major break breach of ethics. Unfortunately, that is often contrary to what is good for the system as a whole. Even when you disregard people who make business decision in a purely EV fashion even when considering breaking the law (that is looking at illegal actions from the perspective of how likely is it I will get caught, what happens if I do get caught, what is the payoff of the action? And these guys do exist, even if they are not the norm), you get into a lot of situations where businesses fiduciary duty is counter to what is good for humanity as a whole.
Once again I cannot decide what "is good for humanity as whole" nor can anyone else as far as I am concerned.
Thankfully all the legal issues are already solved as far as I'm concerned via "Ethics of Liberty" (with some minor weaknesses when it comes to adequate punishment)

Quote:
Examine something like this in your proposed framework:
Cigarette companies sell to all ages and are endorsed by doctors saying they are healthy while other doctors say they are not (who is certifying the doctors is another question entirely). What happens if anything?

Change cigarettes to vitamin C in a situation where another company is saying sugar pills are much more healthy and vitamin C is bad for you. Or any thing where claims are made from both sides and there are public health and/or safety issues surrounding it.
Once again, individuals should decide what's good for them and what is not good for them. As a somewhat drastic example I think it's perfectly fine for someone to commit suicide or cut off their legg if they so please.
[I may be morally obliged to try to talk them out of it but I can't make judgement calls on morals]
I'm pretty sure if there was no government there would be selfhelp groups that would form including experts from the relevant fields. Just think about internet reviews of all kinds of stuff that already exist in masses.

Quote:
I am not saying the government should run everything, but I am saying that most things need oversight from a disinterested third party. There are several reasons for this that all stem from many sets of starting assumptions.
I doubt that there will ever be a government that acts as a disinterested third party. Politicians are probably the most biased people around, they need to secure reelections so they'll do whatever the can to gather votes and funding to gather more votes.
It's the name of the game, I don't blame them.

Quote:
And again, a lot of people do not realize the scaling problems with a lot of problems. Take software engineering, just as an example. People see reasonably complex programs being developed in by a couple of people in a garage and think that you can scale up to huge projects linearly.

Actually, I think what most people assume is linear extrapolation almost always. This is just a common trap a lot of people fall into. You hear this rationale from people proposing a flat tax for instance, or criticizing waste on large projects (that is ones where there isn't corruption behind the scenes). But in a lot of cases it is just dis economies of scale stemming quite often in large part from the shear combinatorics of people and functions which have to interact and coordinate.
Do you think government (or government spending) "scale well"?

Quote:
Also, in considering all this, how do you deal with academia? Most academia from kindergarten through the post graduate world is subsidized by governments, through taxes. I would argue quite vehemently that the long term benefits from these actions far outweigh the costs, even if it is not always immediately apparent. In these less government worlds is the theft from the people to fund these activities acceptable?
Private schools + scholarships.
The schools need to be better to attract more customers and people who get rich later to contribute (via money, guest lectures and whatnot). Scholarships for intelligent people are pretty much self explaining and I'd expect all schools to implement those because more intelligent costudents have positive effects on the other students as well as the marketing of the school (they compete for releasing awesome grads).
As far as the "long term effects" are concerned I think it schould be up to individuals to judge if they want to invest in schooling or not.

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Originally Posted by metsandfinsfan View Post
In World War 2, we stood by while great injustices were being committed, and did not get involved until after we were attacked.

Is that what you think our War policy should always be?
Why exactly did the US get involved in Iraq then? If it was to stop the injustice that was being commited there excuse me while I laugh (or wonder where massive the US troops in Sudan etc are).

[QUOTE=fnord_too;6133281]Quite simply because the benefits outweigh the costs. Market forces do not push towards system maximization (re: Nash). Rather they push towards concentrating wealth and power in smaller smaller proportional pools.
[Quote]
Really? That contradics everything I have ever learned about how markets work (I guess start with the broken window fallacy)

Quote:
But back to education: a more educated populace leads indirectly to a stronger economy and better conditions. Look at say all the breakthroughs made by Universities which have translated into business and better quality of life. There is no direct and obvious link from education profit, so there is no reason for business to fund it at a loss. Additionally, there are many people who otherwise could not afford to go to school. Furthermore, standardization and (relatively) unbiased education is pretty important imo. If I am a not for profit taking donations to run schools, my agenda is going to be influenced by the agenda of those who donate (if not they will just form their own agency). This leads to basically the have not's (and a child being a have not is not in the least merit based, but purely circumstantial) basically being at the mercy of the charity of others, who may have strong agendas.
Do you think it is unthinkable that large companies would ever run small inhouse universities?
How about company funded education in exchange for working there for X years etc (like in the military)?
And ethically I think it's just not right to ask for people which will never attend university to pay for the university of someone else's kids....at gunpoint.

Quote:
Really, everyone benefits from an educated populace whether they realize it or not, so imo it does fall under the auspices of the government, because education of the masses does not coincide with maximizing shareholder wealth. (It's one of those damn Nash equilibriums where if you had a system where everyone (including business) contributed to a pot of money to educate the masses they would be better off than if no one did, but each individual decision is dominated by being selfish.)
Well I am unfortunate enough to live in a country that has taken this idea to the max. As a result we have "free" universities (now moved back to minimal charges of 1k$/semester and only in some states). Surprisingly enough you see a lot of people that hang out at university without ever graduating or taking 10 years or whatnot.

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Originally Posted by Zurvan View Post
You've created a whole new set of ethical problems though. Education is suddenly reserved for the rich, or those in an area where a rich person has decided to give money so poor kids can have some education. You've removed the violence of taking tax money from people, and created a society that, 20 years down the road, is going to be 70% people with no education.

Let's face it - if rich people have the option of donating money to medical research which may be of direct help to them, or paying for poor kids to go to school and creating job competition for their kids, which do they choose? I think enough choose to not fund schools that we end up with a large society of people that can barely do arithmetic (worse than now, even)
No education is reserved for people that think they can take the risk of investing in it. Not everyone is equally intelligent (or motivated).
And as I said out of pure selfishness there would be many viable options or the not so rich.
Turning your argument upside down, do you think it is "just" to ask a working class family that will likely send none of their kids to university because they don't want to sacrifice any stream of income to pay for some rich kid's education...at gunpoint?
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Old 09-14-2008, 02:10 PM   #99
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Re: POG Politics Thread

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This is the consequentialist view. You're going to disagree with it.

If the consequences of doing violence are better overall than the consequences of not doing violence, the violence is morally correct.

I can't argue against a deontologist view. If it is always absolutely wrong to "interfere" with others, cause violence to others, then there is no debate.
Yeah. I will agree that I am being deontological and whatnot about this.

I'm not sure human beings are equipped to judge the manifest consequences of our actions. We can only see the ripples cast over the surface when we toss a rock into a pond. If I was omniscient, then I could absolutely judge rightly. If I can only guess at what the consequences might be, I'd better have some principles.
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Old 09-14-2008, 02:11 PM   #100
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Re: POG Politics Thread

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Turning your argument upside down, do you think it is "just" to ask a working class family that will likely send none of their kids to university because they don't want to sacrifice any stream of income to pay for some rich kid's education...at gunpoint?
You realize that adding that "at gunpoint" to every single paragraph really really weakens your argument?

Yes, I think it is fair to ask a working class family to subsidize education that they aren't going to use (if you want to look at it like that) because the rich people are paying way more tax, and are subsidizing the working class families roads, electricity supply, water system, police and national defense.
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