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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-22-2004, 08:52 AM   #21
 
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Re: Ayn Rand

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"America's abundance was created not by public sacrifices to 'the common good,' but by the productive genius of free men who pursued their own personal interests and the making of their own private fortunes.
No one makes their own private fortune. They do it on the back of the infrastructure that the government has created. Public education, Public Transportation in the form of Airports, and railways. Scientific Research funded by government. Not to mention the workers they hire that have also been nutured by the taxpayers.

How come Ethiopia and the Sudan does not have an abundance of these industry titans. It's not the genuis of a few, but the Government Infrastucture.

A lot of arrogance when proclaiming "Self Made Man"
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-22-2004, 09:01 AM   #22
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Re: Ayn Rand

Cut-Throat,
There's so much wrong with your reply that is would take me much too long to give a full response than I have time for (unfortunately I'm not FIRE'd yet )

I will make one comment on government schools. *In general private efforts are much more successful than government. *Education is no exception. *This is shown by the dominance shown on standardized tests by children educated in private schools & who are home schooled. *Government in general is horribly ineffective and inefficient.
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-22-2004, 09:14 AM   #23
 
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Re: Ayn Rand

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Government in general is horribly ineffective and inefficient
Actually there is so much wrong with your narrow minded thinking, that this will be my last response to you.

Did the U.S. become a great country just because the people here were so much more superior than the rest of the world? Or do you think our government had anything to do with it?

This is reason that Hoover will not go down is history as a great president and that FDR will.
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-22-2004, 09:29 AM   #24
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Re: Ayn Rand

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Actually there is so much wrong with your narrow minded thinking, that this will be my last response to you.

Did the U.S. become a great country just because the people here were so much more superior than the rest of the world? Or do you think our government had anything to do with it?
I'm sorry you feel the need to be derogatory in your reply. *I enjoy the debate and have tried not to go in this direction. *

In response to your question, I do not believe America is great or became great due to government. *It's the exact opposite. *America was/is great due to the lack of government interference that so many other countries have had to endure. *The more government stays out of the lives and actions of its citizens the higher quality and more productive lives those citizens lead.
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-22-2004, 09:35 AM   #25
 
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Re: Ayn Rand

You are both right, to an extent.

Today, under the Bush regime, corporate capitalism IS the government.
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-22-2004, 09:53 AM   #26
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Re: Ayn Rand

I have to agree with Cut-throat. Of course there should be a limit to government intervention, but a lot of stuff in our life cannot happen without government backup (and tax money that the gov collected).

Tax-paid public schools (not everyone can afford private schools), road, public transportation (not everyone can afford a car) and how about employees protection? The reason we can have vacation, get overtime pay, a certain level of minimum wage, unemployment insurance etc are the results of government policy. If corporation is left on its own device I doubt we get to enjoy the employment benefits we have now.

I am not suggesting that US goverment is perfect (or Canadian goverment for that matter - I am Canadian) but I cannot foresee government that is driven solely by bottom line and greed can do any better (corporation). Or for that matter, individuals who care nothing else but their own desires.

To govern a group of people, one should care about achieving general welfare of the group and paying some attention to the weakest, poorest individual (thus, the birth of social programs - which probably will never be endorsed by corporation as these programs are money pits). The masses are not all rich or smart or strong enough to survive without some assistance.

Jane
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-22-2004, 10:13 AM   #27
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Re: Ayn Rand

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You are both right, to an extent.

Today, under the Bush regime, corporate capitalism IS the government.
You are right. This used to be called fascism.

Mikey
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-22-2004, 11:09 AM   #28
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Re: Ayn Rand

Many people could afford private schools if they were not taxed so heavily.

I don't believe there should be a minimum wage. The free market will pay you what you're worth. One disadvantage of having government set a minimum wage is that it can and does inflate the pay of other positions above that remedial job to which the minimum is paid. This causes expenses to be higher and thus businesses must charge more to cover the cost, ie inflation. Of course there's more to it than this but this is a very basic example.

to be continued...
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-22-2004, 11:22 AM   #29
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Re: Ayn Rand

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To govern a group of people, one should care about achieving general welfare of the group and paying some attention to the weakest, poorest individual (thus, the birth of social programs - which probably will never be endorsed by corporation as these programs are money pits). The masses are not all rich or smart or strong enough to survive without some assistance.

Jane
In order for a company to make a profit they must produce a product you want/desire and make you happy enough (with either price or quality) to be a repeat customer. If they fail to do this they will go out of business (in most cases). If Domino's makes bad pizza and charges too much you'll call Pizza Hut. Government is under no obligation to produce a quality product nor to price it competitively.

Society as a whole is benefited by a system which allows and encourages people to succeed as an individual.

Here are some more of my favorite quotes when it comes to the subject of the individual and those opposed to it:

There is the great, silent, continuous struggle: the struggle between the State and the Individual; between the State which demands and the individual who attempts to evade such demands. Because the individual, left to himself, unless he be a saint or hero, always refuses to pay taxes, obey laws, or go to war. [Benito Mussolini]


Fascist ethics begin ... with the acknowledgment that it is not the individual who confers a meaning upon society, but it is, instead, the existence of a human society which determines the human character of the individual. According to Fascism, a true, a great spiritual life cannot take place unless the State has risen to a position of pre-eminence in the world of man. The curtailment of liberty thus becomes justified at once, and this need of rising the State to its rightful position. [Mario Palmieri, "The Philosophy of Fascism" 1936]


"Comrades! We must abolish the cult of the individual decisively, once and for all." [Nikita Khrushchev , February 25, 1956 20th Congress of the Communist Party]


"All our lives we fought against exalting the individual, against the elevation of the single person, and long ago we were over and done with the business of a hero, and here it comes up again: the glorification of one personality. This is not good at all." [Vladimir Lenin, as quoted in Not by Politics Alone]


"We must stop thinking of the individual and start thinking about what is best for society." [Hillary Clinton, 1993]


"We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans ..." [President Bill Clinton, 'USA Today' March 11, 1993: Page 2A]


"The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities." [Ayn Rand]


When will the world learn that a million men are of no importance compared with one man? [Henry David Thoreau]


Please don't take this as me just spouting off. My main point is that it's not government that makes America or any nation great. It's the individual and their struggle to improve their life. 8)

-Jay
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-22-2004, 11:24 AM   #30
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Re: Ayn Rand

And before it might be said, I want to make clear I am not calling anyone on this board Mussolini or Lenin...
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-22-2004, 11:40 AM   #31
 
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Re: Ayn Rand

Mikey,

It's still called Fasciscm.

Jay,

Capitalism has given the world the highest standard of living. But it's capitalism with some controls, so unbridled greed and corruption can't run rampant.

For example, you say in a free market system a worker is paid what he's worth. But in a system of crony capitalism, the capital controls the process through trusts, monopolies and purchase of the whores, er, I mean the politicians in DC.
Jobs can be outsourced, labor can be downsized unless ridiculous concessions are made, all the while the CEOs pocket bonuses in the mega millions.

As I told John Galt, individualism is OK, to a degree. When it's coupled with utter disregard for society, it's arrogant bullshit.
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-22-2004, 11:55 AM   #32
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Re: Ayn Rand

Rockpile,
I don't want to beat a dead horse so I'll just make one quick comment.

Outsourcing of jobs is not necessarily a bad thing. Why pay someone $25/hr to make something when you can pay someone else $2/hr to produce the same quality product. That makes prices cheaper for us. The nation is moving from a manufacturing to a service economy. You can't expect to have the same job your entire life. The clichéd example is how many horse & buggy makers do you see around? Industry evolves. That's just the reality of it.

-Jay
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-22-2004, 01:15 PM   #33
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Re: Ayn Rand

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Society as a whole is benefited by a system which allows and encourages people to succeed as an individual.

-Jay *
As further evidence of what makes our country's priotities around the individual globally successful, check out recent commentary in WSJ by Ed Prescott. He did an analysis of effective of govt policies and tax rates on economic success.
Key excerpt (note link to full paper)
"Here's a startling fact: Based on labor market statistics from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Americans aged 15-64, on a per-person basis, work 50% more than the French. Comparisons between Americans and Germans or Italians are similar. What's going on here? What can possibly account for these large differences in labor supply? It turns out that the answer is not related to cultural differences or institutional factors like unemployment benefits, but that marginal tax rates explain virtually all of this difference. I admit that when I first conducted this analysis I was surprised by this finding, because I fully expected that institutional constraints are playing a bigger role. But this is not the case. (Citations and more complete data can be found in my paper, at www.minneapolisfed.org.)"

"Free European workers from their tax bondage and you will see an increase in gross domestic product (oh, and you might see a pretty significant increase in gross national happiness, too). The same holds true for Americans." Ed Prescott
(Mr. Prescott is co-winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Economics, senior monetary adviser at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and professor of economics at Arizona State University)

Also speaks to role off work and defintion of "happiness".
Overall a stimulating read especially for those who think the EU has a "better" model
nwsteve

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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-22-2004, 01:25 PM   #34
 
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Re: Ayn Rand

Yup those pesky Child Labor Laws keep getting in the way of the true entreprenuers trying to make a buck. Work is good for kids. Even if they have to work 16 hours a day.

Not to mention the laws trying to protect our environment. This drives up costs. Who needs clean air, or water?

Then there is all the laws protecting our food and drug supply. This is nothing more than overhead and drives up the cost of these goods! - Who cares if there is only 5 parts per million of rat turds in your cheerios. 1,000 parts per million might not kill you!

FAA - get out of my way! - Who needs a flight plan when they are an excellent pilot!

The government has really gotten in the way the last 75 years, we need to go back to the roaring 20's. How can anyone possibly think that FDR was good for the U.S.A. - He was the father of all social programs. The people that elected him 4 times must have really been idiots when they could have had Herbert 'Get the Government off my Back' Hoover.

Maybe they had something happen to them in the 30's that 'educated' them?
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-22-2004, 01:26 PM   #35
 
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Re: Ayn Rand

Let me get this straight:

According to WSJ article, Americans are on the rat race treadmill far more than other industrialized nations.

Stress and overwork are taking their toll.

This is a GOOD thing
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-22-2004, 01:38 PM   #36
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Re: Ayn Rand

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Let me get this straight:

According to WSJ article, Americans are on the rat race treadmill far more than other industrialized nations.

Stress and overwork are taking their toll.

This is a GOOD thing
Remember he is an economist. Economists (especially econometricians) like to study things you can measure. GDP is easy to measure. Happiness and well-being are almost impossible to measure. Guess which one most economists spend their time studying?

Obligatory econometrician joke: Three econometricians (E) go hunting. They see a deer. The first E shoots and misses by a meter to the left. The second E shoots and misses by a meter to the right. The third E throws down his gun and shouts "we got him!"
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-22-2004, 01:41 PM   #37
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Re: Ayn Rand

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The government however can, at the point of a gun, force you to hand over your money, any amount they want, and spend it for any purpose they see fit. *If you chose not to allow your hard earned money to be confiscated you will be put in prison.
I have no problem paying taxes; I'm willing to step up and pay my share. People who use and benefit from government funded services and infrastructure, and resent paying for it, don't get sympathy from me.

As far as the government using our "hard earned money" for "any purpose they see fit": First, I've never been moved by the phrase "hard earned money". The people I've seen who like to bandy that phrase about often don't work all that hard. They tend to be third, or fourth generation descendants of true heavyweights who actually did work hard to pave the way so their descendants could have comparatively easy lives and say things like "my hard earned money". I know people who have worked very hard, and it's generally not in their nature to use the phrase, so it sets off alarm bells when I hear it.

Second, the government isn't "they" - it's us - all of us. I think these words from our Declaration of Independence make sense: "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...". I *believe that corporations are hell-bent on undermining that basic tenant. They are on a mission to buy our government, *and whip the masses into an anti-government frenzy in an effort to dupe them into voting against their own interests. So no, I don't place my faith in corporations.

It appears that there is a fundamental difference in our world view. I believe that I'm here for a purpose, and it's not all about "me".
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-22-2004, 01:44 PM   #38
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Re: Ayn Rand

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"Here's a startling fact: Based on labor market statistics from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Americans aged 15-64, on a per-person basis, work 50% more than the French. Comparisons between Americans and Germans or Italians are similar. What's going on here? What can possibly account for these large differences in labor supply? It turns out that the answer is not related to cultural differences or institutional factors like unemployment benefits, but that marginal tax rates explain virtually all of this difference.
When you consider that this wonderful freedom to work longer hours is being extolled on an internet board dedicated to getting not partially but completely out of the workforce, you have to wonder if all that work has maybe damaged the American thinking apparatus.

Possibly if the American way of work weren't so soul and family and community destroying we would have been happier to work a normal career length?

Mikey
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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-22-2004, 02:30 PM   #39
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Re: Ayn Rand

None of us are going to convince others to see things our way because we're discussing beliefs, biases & feelings we've had probably our entire lives. I'll say this and then drop it... some form of government or central body is needed to keep general order in society. Just because you believe individuals should have more control over their lives & property than that central body does does not mean you are not in favor of child labor laws, having clean air, clean food or safe medications.

The people of the United States produce more innovation, more medications, more cures for diseases, more technological advances than any other nation on the face of this planet. More than France and other countries which you seem to think has a better form of government and way of life. The one distinction the US has (or at least had) is a reduced involvement from government. These social programs you praise are nothing more than income redistribution programs which are socialist in nature and penalize the successful producers of our society by forcing them to pay more taxes. If government policy continues as it is one day Atlas will shrug for America and we will be another footnote in history along with Athens and the Roman Empire.

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Re: Ayn Rand
Old 10-22-2004, 02:52 PM   #40
 
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Re: Ayn Rand

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Just because you believe individuals should have more control over their lives & property than that central body does does not mean you are not in favor of child labor laws, having clean air, clean food or safe medications.
Well, Why don't you tell us what you'd like to get rid of EXACTLY in government. Remember all of the above items were actually done by Corporations in our past.

They will do evil things if they can!

The GOP has talked about 'Government is the Problem' since Ronald Reagan, but has never outlined exactly what they want to get rid of. In fact I have seen more Government in the last 4 years than in my Lifetime.



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