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Old 07-31-2007, 06:14 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by flipstress View Post
I don't think ferco was supporting fascism, merely offering his/her observations on the predominant or prevailing values in the US and pointing out that our priorities as a nation has shifted a lot towards individualism, materialism, getting ahead, consumerism, etc. at the expense of neglecting other priorities
Why freedom (individualism), is being compared to materialism and consumerism, I cannot fathom.

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Which law is this--federal, state, or local? Or "by law", do you mean a corporation's by-laws or articles of incorporation?
Corporate laws, obligated to shareholders (not stakeholders).
The root of this is good, not bad. Understanding why economies exist is necessary.

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I believe there should be standards for safety and reliability of products especially those that we consume or are exposed to or come into contact with (medicine, cosmetics, food, drink, etc.) ...profit motive...
Yes, of course, seems reasonable to me too. But this is not because profit is bad, or individualism is bad, or money is bad, or corporations are bad. It's because your ethics are likely correct at the root, and take this form:
If we value freedom, and society, we should maximize freedoms for everyone in that society, and limit the freedoms that involve specifically, limiting the freedoms of others (not a contradiction). That's why you hammering a nail is fine. But hammering a nail..in my head, is not (my freedom to have a nail-free head).

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I'm not a scientist but I know that quite a few species have developed evolutionary adaptation to live and work together as a group. This extends to humans.
Yes. But this is in conjunction with survival instincts, not contrary to.
That is, we have both, but we do know instinctively that if we allow our group to die, we can't work well with them...survival is a necessary condition.

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Humans have laws and cannot live in total freedom to do whatever we want. Laws are part of civilization.
Yes, that is ethical to me too. Laws to prevent people from being free to remove others freedoms.

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Regarding living for others, I think we all do this to some degree. We live for our loved ones. It certainly happens that individuals love only themselves, but for big parts of our lives we live for others such as our children, spouses, partners, parents, friends, pets.
each to his own. I prefer to help those around me and especially friends and family too. But that's my choice, and I want you to be free to be able to choose otherwise.

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Going beyond, there's enlightened self-interest,
Yes! Self-interest! It is good for all of us to foster protecting our mutual freedoms, and welfare, no doubt.

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I have the opposite view to yours: being ethical is helping others who are unable to help or defend themselves.
The only thing I really disagree with so far. You don't have the opposite view (see above). It is good for a society to protect the freedoms of those who cannot protect their own freedoms, because we too were young once and were not able to protect our freedoms, and because we again may be disabled or too old to protect them again. This is all still an extension of the same freedom I mention above (not the opposite!)

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I know I turn away more times than not because it's so easy to think "It's not my problem."
Exactly why I responded, it's my problem. Realistically, it's necessary that if we all have choices and are free to make the choices we can make, we bear some resopnsibility for almost everything that happens. It's acknowledging this that makes you ethical IMO.

Sorry for the long post...I'm conditioned from debate forums where this is typical

-Mach
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Old 07-31-2007, 06:18 PM   #22
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People who have pensions don't need millions to retire.
True. And pensions seem to be going away. I think really a pension is a savings account that a company holds FOR you, that they and you contribute to, and it's really in the millions, but you can only access it as a pension (whatever rules are associated with it).

I think for some people pensions are good, and for some, they want the flexibility to manage their own retirement.

I think that's a great topic in general, similar to the healthcare debate.

-Mach
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Old 07-31-2007, 06:36 PM   #23
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For Ferco and Letj -

This may help:

Money is not bad, it's good. Working hard is not bad, it's good.

What people do with money, may be good or bad (The end actions)
What people do while at work, may be good or bad (their actions)
What type of work people do may be good or bad (their actions)

Remember what money is, and what work is.

If you want to keep your family out of the rain, warm, and safe, you may want a "home". You may find however that you need a home NOW, and it may take you 2 years to build a poor quality hut. I don't know about you but I'm not good at making drywall, bricks, or really anything involved in modern-day home bulding, plumbling, wiring, etc. Lucky for us, we work together to trade time (money!), and we'll build you a house, now, and you will give us some of your time (money), and we'll give you some of our time and supplies to build your house (money).

Money is just a convenient way to trade time, that is HELPING each other with what we want/need. Work is the act of doing. And if you want something, and it's not hurting others, and I help you get it through my work...how can that be bad? It's the definition of good!?

Or should we torch corporate america because they supply us with what we want? (seems an odd approach!).

-Mach
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Old 07-31-2007, 06:51 PM   #24
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I'd like to quote one of my favorite movies, "Boiler Room"

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Anybody that says money is the root of all evil, doesn't...****ing...have any. Look at the smile on my face, baby, ear to ear.
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Old 07-31-2007, 07:06 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
I don't spend much time worrying about other people's problems.

I have my own life to live.

Audrey



sorry to say but it's a "me" society. everyone watch out for "number one", him or herself.

to me, as long as you're good person, try to do the best in everything you do is good enuff.


enuff
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Old 07-31-2007, 07:48 PM   #26
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Its interesting in this country(and probably others), that we're all trying to get MORE (money). A million isn't enough anymore, it was a decade ago or so. Now we can't be happy or retire unless we have 2, 3, or 4 million so that we can "retire" comfortably and do.....? The CEO's have to make hundreds of millions of dollars insted of concentrating on making good, reliable products that are safe and durable. With all the masterminds and PhD's we produce we can't even fix some of societies basic problems: eldercare, healthcare, education just to name a few. We have(are) breeding an individualistic, me, me, me society.

We work feverishly to get to THAT point and in the meantime back at the ranch, we're taking more antianxiety drugs, antidepressants, sleep meds, antihypertensives to just deal with all the problems of daily life just to get to THAT point. Our kids are getting obese, early age diabetes and alcoholics and I might add are competing with the adults for the antidepressants.

The one "good" thing with the youngfolks is, the teenage pregnancy rate is down, not necessarily sexual activity. There's a HDTV in every room of the 3-4 story house (megahouse) so the family unit is disintegrating.............I was just wondering with all the emphasis on getting to THAT financial point what's happening to US as a society?

I'm interested in others' constructive thoughts/opines.

I hope I posted this in the appropriate topic section, if not feel free to move me.

Wow. Ferco's post really brought out some strong reactions. My take on his post is completely different from most of the people reacting to it. I think it's quite a stretch to interprete this post to mean an attack on making money, individualism and financial security. I see this post as an attempt to refocus us on what's important in life. He is correct; we are so focused on getting more and more but yet we are stressed out, disatisfied with our lives, have unrealistic expectations of how we should look and how much we should possess, drugged up with anti-depressents and are less happy than our grand-parents. What is life if you have all the money in the world but yet you are miserable and not contented? How much does a human being need to make them comfortable? Are our expectations too high and leave us anxious? At what point do you become contented and happy? Study after study proves that once humans achieve a certain comfort level no additional amount of money will bring you more happiness. The law of diminishing returns take over. For many people, having more and more material things is a life long quest. Should we focus more on making society a better place by helping our fellow citizens and giving back more of our time, spend more time with our family and focus less on material things?

I have travelled widely and I can say that based on my observations, Americans are the most insecure and money obsessed culture and part of that is because people in the us are truely on their own. If you become ill, God help you unlike all other developed countries. In the developing world, the expectations are much lower and people are happy despite the great poverty some of them suffer (I am not talking starvation here; it's hard to be happy if you're starving). With all the material things we possess, we consistently rank low on quality of life in this country. The countries that pay higher taxes, have less consumption and care more about the well being of their citizens, seem to do better in that area. Our immediate neighbor Canada consistenly ranks as the best country in the world to live by the UN, I wonder why? In most respects they are better than the US - social problems, literacy (their students seem to out score ours in every category), etc.

May be an alternative is to be more like the Europeans - relax, smell the roses, take month long vacations to the country or at the seaside. Let's keep Ferco's comments in perspective; it's a sobering one.
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Old 07-31-2007, 10:05 PM   #27
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Well, then Ferco's probably on the wrong board to rant against people that need ten million dollars and need to constantly buy stuff.

I have a friend that often makes 80's pop culture references... I usually end up looking dumbfounded because I just can't relate. I suppose there are people that just spend their money to buy happiness and take lots of medications because they feel that it'll make them happier. I just don't personally know anyone like that so I can't relate.

So, sure?
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Old 07-31-2007, 10:30 PM   #28
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I don't spend much time worrying about other people's problems.

I have my own life to live.

Audrey
Amen to that Audrey. A refreshing viewpoint.
If only more would do the same, the world would be a better place. Thanks.
IMO ... Do unto others and the world would be fine.
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Old 07-31-2007, 10:32 PM   #29
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Good Lord what is up with the OP being attacked for pointing out the reasons that many of us want to retire.

Ferco, I feel about the same as you, the rat race just enslaves us.

paradise was once defined as a place that took 20 minutes per day to feed your family
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Old 08-01-2007, 09:55 AM   #30
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paradise was once defined as a place that took 20 minutes per day to feed your family
That type of paradise still exists today in all parts of the world. Only the name has changed, it's now called extreme poverty. Not for me, thanks.
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Old 08-01-2007, 10:10 AM   #31
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I hear a lot of "Other people ought to..." in this thread, and little to no "I do X and Y to try to improve the conditions of the poor, the world, etc. and I do it with my own time and resources." It's a lot easier to condemn the sins of society or of your neighbour, than it is to take actions to improve your own self or to directly aid others.
As much as I would like to think of myself as some sort of wordly permanent Peace Corps volunteer, I feel we have a bunch of serious problems in the good ole USA. I help nationally against hunger and locally against hunger, give tons of stuff to Goodwill and Purple Heart, give money to the American Cancer and Lung Centers, etc.

Just because I haven't adopted 20 African kids or something doesn't mean I don't care........
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Old 08-01-2007, 12:27 PM   #32
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I think there are "rat races" in every society. It is usually among people that work strictly for the money and not for self-actualization. The US provides a better environment and financial rewards for self-actualization than any other society.

Because that is an inherent strength, it can also give people the perception that it is the only objective. But that is not true. The US has a tremendous breadth of people with differing objectives. This creates a rich diversity for those that take the trouble to experience it.

Just the differing reactions in this thread illustrate some of that. (And this board is a highly-specific subset of the population.)
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Old 08-01-2007, 12:39 PM   #33
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As much as I would like to think of myself as some sort of wordly permanent Peace Corps volunteer
Great example.

But you already are this global helper that you refer to, don't sell yourself short.

If you're part of this economy (Any), you already:

#1 Directly do work FOR society (at your job, this is big!)
#2 Your taxes go to help feed the poor, domestically, and abroad
#3 funds..medicine, research
#4 funds schools, education
#5 funds hospitals so they can treat people with no insurance or who cannot pay.
..
..
and so on.

It's more likely that people that work hard and pay a lot of taxes help more peoples lives than somone who volunteers full time handing out food boxes. Capitalism is about efficient use of human energy, and that includes efficeintly saving lives, or helping build a better society (or destroying it :/ )
I'm not saying volunteering is bad at all, and that can often help people emotionally feel connected and valued. But I'd rather see Bill Gates help drive a philanthropic organization than seeing him cook dinners for the needy every day.

-Mach
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Old 08-01-2007, 12:40 PM   #34
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I think there are "rat races" in every society. It is usually among people that work strictly for the money and not for self-actualization. The US provides a better environment and financial rewards for self-actualization than any other society.

Because that is an inherent strength, it can also give people the perception that it is the only objective. But that is not true. The US has a tremendous breadth of people with differing objectives. This creates a rich diversity for those that take the trouble to experience it.
All true and very well put.
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Old 08-01-2007, 12:52 PM   #35
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I think there are "rat races" in every society. It is usually among people that work strictly for the money and not for self-actualization.
But this begs the question.

Who helps society more?

A. The rat-race runner who pays $200K in taxes every year and works 60 hours a week doing insanely stressful work nonstop?

B. Or someone working part time at a coffee shop who likes to take life easy and smell the roses?

Much more interesting IMO.

-Mach
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Old 08-01-2007, 01:00 PM   #36
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I think the answer depends on the your friends.
See if you surround yourself with high society, country club members as friends, $1M will feel puny.
But if all your friends buy outfits from Walmart, then you are already their role model with $1M and your ego should be at 120 psi.
So to be happy, fire your rich friends.

For me, WM is one of the better stores I shop at.
I love my DW, but she doesn't like shopping there.
And if she is not happy, I will soon be unhappy also.
If I am like Khan, free of these issues, I think I can retire on 500K.
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Old 08-01-2007, 01:02 PM   #37
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What if the 200k is incredibly mismanaged and used in wasteful ways? Much more realistic Much more interesting
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Old 08-01-2007, 01:26 PM   #38
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What if the 200k is incredibly mismanaged and used in wasteful ways? Much more realistic Much more interesting
But not really when you examine it.

1. They already did more work directly for society by earning the 200K (on average)
2. They pay more taxes which goes to all those charitble society building things that taxes are used for.
3. After all that charity, they earned the money, we have no ethical basis to tell them how to spend it. It's like going onto the "life after fire" forum and telling people who are retired that what they are doing with their earned retirement is wasteful. Crazy?

-Mach
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Old 08-01-2007, 01:43 PM   #39
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I should have been more clear. The taxes the 200k contributes and I was referring to the government who I doubt produces a very high ROI on taxes received.
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Old 08-01-2007, 01:55 PM   #40
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The taxes the 200k contributes and I was referring to the government who I doubt produces a very high ROI on taxes received.
What difference does it make?
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