Low incomes make poor more conservative, study finds

You might think that in a time when more money is concentrated in fewer hands and incomes vary wildly from billions to subsistence, poor people might increase their support for government policies that offer some help.

Not in America.

New research findings add complexity to the basic assumption that humans act in their own economic self-interest. By analyzing hundreds of survey questions from 1952 to 2006, Peter Enns, assistant professor of government, and Nathan Kelly of the University of Tennessee found that as inequality rises, low income individuals' attitudes toward redistribution become more conservative. Their paper appears in the October issue of the American Journal of Political Science.

"It's a bit of a conundrum," Enns admits.

The researchers also examined public opinion data on the question: Should government increase spending on welfare, keep it the same or decrease it? "As inequality rose, the high- and low-income respondents on average become less supportive of spending on welfare," Enns said. "And this is not because low-income people are unaware of inequality; our results show they are more aware of it than most people."

The researchers found that higher levels of household income inequality in the United States generate more conservative public opinion. "We broke down pubic opinion by income group and found the high- and low-income groups responding in a similar way, both becoming more conservative when inequality rises," Enns said. "We were very surprised to observe that the self-reinforcing aspect of inequality holds for high- and low-income groups, and how they move together in parallel over time."

Previous economic models predicted that low-income individuals will consistently support government redistribution. "If anything, when inequality rises, low-income people should become more supportive, and that's not what we observe in the data," said Enns, a member of the Institute for Social Sciences theme project on Judgment, Decision Making, and Social Behavior and faculty director of the Cornell Prison Education Program.

Conversely, when inequality declines, the public becomes more liberal. The public works projects and other social programs following the Great Depression helped promote decades of declining inequality into the 1960s, Enns said. "And then there's a shift," he said. "Once inequality starts going back up, it appears to be perpetuated by . If inequality declined in the United States, our results suggest that then the public would become more supportive of government redistribution."

Nevertheless, people in the lowest income group favor more redistribution than those in the highest income group.

How might political parties make use of his research? "I could envision both parties finding an angle from these research conclusions to support what they want," Enns said. "On the one hand, someone could say that even low-income individuals want less government redistribution when inequality rises and we should listen to the people. Alternately, you could envision Democrats saying, inequality is rising, so it's necessary for the government to intervene."

Enns and Kelly are developing a proposal to the National Science Foundation to fund research on why conservatism appeals to the poor more when inequality rises, perhaps including an extensive content analysis of news media in print, on TV and online. One hypothesis: The public is following how media talks about household income inequality and how it relates to , as opposed to itself.


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Nov 16, 2010
Instead of imagining it as a two-sided battlefield between rich and poor, consider a totem model: high inequality means that not only are the rich richer than the poor, the poor are also richer than the super-poor. Everyone's worried about redistribution downwards, so even the poor will ignore their feud with those above them to defend against those below them.

Inequality makes people more defensive.

Nov 16, 2010
Or: when you have very little and you're just scraping by, even the thought of the guvmint taking some of it away from you to give it to someone else is offensive. The reality that these people would be net receivers is pretty much irrelevant against the emotional reaction.

VOR
Nov 16, 2010
no, they are just stupid. And I'm not saying that to be insulting. They blame the gov't for the problems, but the gov't on whole keeps things from being worse. Not that the gov't couldnt do better,
but it could do much worse, especially by doing nothing. To be indiscriminately against the gov't out of fear during hard times is just, plain, stupid.

Nov 16, 2010
does this mean that it's in conservatives' interest to keep income equality high? i don't know how they did it but how clever of them to subvert karl marx. workers unite...to keep taxes low for the rich!

Nov 16, 2010
People with lower incomes have demonstrated higher moral values...
Are you high? Virtually all violent crime in any society, from homicide to armed robbery, is committed by the poorest individuals of that society.

The truth is that conservatism as a political philosophy is grounded in the fear of others. Fear that what you have will be taken away by someone else, fear that others will have the power to order you around. Fear increases at both ends of the social spectrum when inequality increases. The wealthy fear for their income potential, and the poor fear for their survival. When inequality abates, so does fear of the other, for he is more like you now, and the political philosophy of cooperation and hope for the future becomes more plausible and alluring.

Nov 16, 2010
When we have an govt that literally puts their hands in your pants before boarding an airplane, the fear has turned into reality.


Sure, but it beats a pre-flight drink...and it's complimentary...

Nov 16, 2010
Ok, yep you're high. First you claim that the poor are somehow more moral than everybody else, then when confronted with the fact that they are the ones committing most of the violent crime, you blame the fact that they're not more moral than everybody else on liberals. You contradict yourself and you blame everybody else for your own contradictions. Take responsibility for your own inadequacies, marjon.

Nov 16, 2010
Bad science, with an even worse title. Correlation does not imply causation. Let me offer an alternative theory: During the 50's - 70's, people were more redistributionist. Then such theories fell into disrepute, and a more conservative economic model was pursued. Income inequality rose, but the economy improved considerably. It continued to grow, with hardly an interruption, from 1981-2006 (when the study ends). Perhaps people's opinions just changed. Fifty years ago, people thought FDR and his policies rescued the economy. In the eighties, people thought Reagan and his policies rescued the economy. Opinions change over time.

Furthermore, those more likely to vote for left-wing economic policies are consistently at either end of the economic spectrum. Voter poll after voter poll says so. Conversely, those who are in between the extremes tend to vote for conservative policies.

Nov 16, 2010
By needing charity people feel they deserve it less but by understanding that need they want to share. Does that summarize the observations in this study? It kind of supports the contention that respect has to be earned and that one is usually one's own harshest critic.

Nov 16, 2010
It is not just opinion. Data shows FDRs policies worsened the depression and Reagan's policies improved the economy.

Why do you lie marjon? You know I hate it when you lie. The data shows precisely the opposite. The economy was improving under the New Deal until the deficit hawks started screaming about cutting spending, then it dips back down until spending resumed, finally to be rescued by the largest socialist endeavor in American history, the prosecution of WWII. The only thing Reagan did to help the economy was allow the very wealthy to sequester large amounts of capital which slowed down inflation. The economy didn't begin to improve until after he was forced to raise the taxes he campaigned on cutting.

Nov 16, 2010
In a survey of economic historians ... Members were asked to either disagree, agree, or agree with provisos with the statement that read: "Taken as a whole, government policies of the New Deal served to lengthen and deepen the Great Depression." While only 6% of economic historians who worked in the history department of their universities agreed with the statement, 27% of those that work in the economics department agreed. Almost an identical percent of the two groups (21% and 22%) agreed with the statement "with provisos"(a conditional stipulation), while 74% of those who worked in the history department, and 51% in the economic department disagreed with the statement outright.
Robert Whaples, "Where Is There Consensus Among American Economic Historians? The Results of a Survey on Forty Propositions", Journal of Economic History, Vol. 55, No. 1 (Mar., 1995), pp. 139-154 in JSTOR via http://en.wikiped..._note-73

Nov 16, 2010
The job growth under the Reagan administration was an average of 2.1% per year, with unemployment averaging 7.5%. Comparing the recovery from the 1981-82 recession (1983–1990) with the years between 1971 (end of a recession) and 1980 shows that the rate of growth of real GDP per capita averaged 2.77 under Reagan and 2.50% under Nixon, Ford and Carter. However, the unemployment rate averaged higher under Reagan (6.75% vs. 6.35%), while the average productivity growth was slower under Reagan (1.38% vs. 1.92%), and private investment as a percentage of GDP also averaged lower under Reagan (16.08% vs. 16.86%). Furthermore, real wages declined sharply during the Reagan Presidency.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reaganomics

See, I can do that too. It's not too surprising that you can find hack conservative economists that cook the books for hack conservative politicians.

Nov 17, 2010
And most of these individuals live in cities governed by liberals. Why do liberals like poverty and crime?

Do you have facts to back this up?
I've checked based on states and I find no correlation between political preference and crime. California has the highest crime rates followed by Texas.

Nov 17, 2010
Marx wouldn't have disappointed/surprised by this research. Marx would probably see this as a perfect example of the lumpen-proletariat as a counter-revolutionary force.


Nov 17, 2010
Should government increase spending on welfare, keep it the same or decrease it?


The poor realize that it is the economy that feeds them, not the state, which merely takes from the economy and redistributes the wealth. The more it takes, the more poor there will be to feed, because of increasing dependency on welfare and making more people poor by high taxes and corruption. Thats why they want low welfare and taxes, for their own sake.

One exception could be healthcare, where majority of poor supported the reform..

Nov 17, 2010
Look, sourced data.


Cato Institute? Sourced DATA?

Cato lies is what that is. They are so deranged there that they believe the Gold Standard does not require magical thinking.

I lived through the Reagan Admin. Its why I quit the Republican Party. The only he had going for him is that the oil prices dropped and that wasn't because of anything he did. Even with that he got us into MAJOR debt.

Then there were all those people that got convicted for corruption. Mostly by Republicans. Heck they even sent a hit squad from the FBI to try to catch Democratic members of the State Assembly in corruption. They wound up prosecuting and convicting NO Democrats but they did get TWO Republicans.

Ethelred

Nov 17, 2010
The assumption that people act in their self interest is not flawed. The flaw is assuming that people believe govt redistribution of income is in their self interest.
No Marjon. Your definition of self interest is lacking.

Self interest is within the interests of self benefit. The problem is most people are too ignorant to recognize a self outside of themselves.

Nov 17, 2010
It does not matter as long lying and stealing are not permitted
Because the non-permission of it has really stemmed the tide of theft, hasn't it. After all, those laws about not coveting your neighbor's property came out yesterday, right? /sarcasm
Observations, the first step in science. Did you account for the TX border in your 'observations'?
Same country borders California. It is a non-element in statistical studies of crime.
That has been the state of 'liberal education' for decades.
You keep citing some liberal education bogeyman, truth is, it doesn't exist. You can't even begin to sum up what it looks like, where it's from, what it does, or how it works.

It's the educational red scare of McCarthyism once again.

Marjon, I've figured you out. You want to live in the 1950's where your women were ignorant housewives (Palin, Bachmann, etc) Your cars were giant gas guzzlers, America was seemingly the top of the world, and idiots like you ran the show.

Nov 17, 2010
One major border town vs many is not significant?
Making crap up like that doesn't make it true. Nor does the number of cities match the number of immigrants. And YOU were talking about immigrants. If it was drugs then you are even farther off of reality.

Both states ARE on the Mexican boarder. BOTH states have heavy influx of immigrants AND drugs.

BOTH states CONTROL the text books for that matter. So if the education is liberal TEXAS has a lot to do with it. More then California in fact. Texas is responsible for the idiotic way the texts avoid dealing with evolution.

It does not matter as long lying and stealing are not permitte


So why do you permit yourself to make up so much and even when you don't pull it out of your ass you take it from sources that pulled it out their ass. Like the Cato Institute of Ignorance and Nonsense.

Ethelred

Nov 17, 2010
Palin should be a shining example of feminism to women.
That is ridiculous. She is a ignorant fool who QUIT when the going got tough. She was an embarrassment to McCain.
hold politic office...
No she doesn't. That is another falsehood. Even YOU must know she isn't Governor anymore. SHE QUIT.
She is more of a man than most men in the US today.
You really shouldn't use yourself as model for all men like that. Ignorance IS NOT a sign of manhood.
It is no coincidence WY recognized women's voting rights long before the US did.
It is also completely irrelevant to Palin being ignorant, incompetent and a quitter.

Ethelred

Nov 17, 2010
women were ignorant housewives

What a chauvinist!
No, it would be chauvinism if it wasn't the social norm to have an under educated housewife, or if I was advocating for a return to the undereducated housewife.
Palin should be a shining example of feminism to women.
There are a lot of women reading this who would like to put the hurt on you right now, I'm sure.
She hunts, fishes, likes being outdoors, cooks, raises children, hold politic office.
So physical activity is the hallmark of an enlightened woman? Last I checked it was education and intellect. You know, like being able to tell someone what you read and where you read it when asked in a vice-presidential candidate interview.
She is more of a man than most men in the US today.
Hunting and fishing do not make one a man. Having a penis makes one a man.
But she is typical of the pioneer women who settled the US.
Yeah, uneducated, that's exactly my point.

Nov 17, 2010
TX: 511
VT: 137 (no state gun laws)


And what laws does Texas have on guns?

Funny how you just close your eyes and hope no one notices that the statistics you pull up DON'T support you.

Ethelred

Nov 17, 2010
Reading from a teleprompter and looking good on TV is more important than accomplishments?
Ask Bush and Reagan.

Nov 17, 2010
She defeated the incumbent Rep. governor in a primary and then beat the dem.
And that changes what I wrote HOW?

She IS NOT IN ANY OFFICE. Is that too much for you to accept? I know you don't like reality but this is ridiculous. She quit.
had more executive experience than either Obama or Biden, and it really shows today.
How does quiting show experience that WE need in government?
She has a degree from an accredited university. Are you condemning the US education system?
Not me. She is self made ignoramus. You have to work at it to know as little as she does and still get a degree.
Reading from a teleprompter and looking good on TV is more important than accomplishments?
Is reading from her HAND and looking good on TV more important than the fact that she quit when things got tough.

Ethelred

Nov 17, 2010
The people who did this study were surprised? They clearly weren't thinking out of their own comfortable box.

As far as news reporting goes:
Liberals tax more to support their programs.
Conservatives generally support overall tax cuts.

Poor people generally don't want to be taxed more because, well, they're poor. This stance lacks farsightedness, but it makes sense as to why poor would tend towards conservative.

Nov 17, 2010
She has a degree from an accredited university. Are you condemning the US education system?


Sarah Palin attended 6 colleges in 6 years. She has a university degree in journalism with a minor in politics.

http://www.nydail...was.html

Which means she essentially went to university to learn how to be interesting on TV?

Nov 17, 2010
a vice-presidential candidate interview.

Reading from a teleprompter and looking good on TV is more important than accomplishments?

So reading off of your hand is better?

http://www.youtub...VMTZkTZQ

edit: didn't refresh, you beat me to it Ethelred

Nov 17, 2010
Gore majored in govt, made an attempt at journalism and dropped out of law school. But he is an expert on world climate.
Oh, and Gore's father was a US senator and was wealthy from oil.
Palin dropped out 5 times, married a secessionist and you think she's pro-America.

If she's so pro-america why did she marry someone who advocated leaving it?

Nov 17, 2010
Violent crime stats, per 100,000; 2007 data:

CA: 523
TX: 511
VT: 137 (no state gun laws)
SD: 171
ND: 128
NH: 139
NM: 563
AZ: 501
DC: 1508
http://www.census...0297.pdf

Or better yet, perhaps we should heed the reasons why they say to not use this report for state to state ranking.
http://www2.fbi.g...ime.html

Nov 17, 2010
women were ignorant housewives

What a chauvinist!
Palin should be a shining example of feminism to women.
She hunts, fishes, likes being outdoors, cooks, raises children, hold politic office...
She is more of a man than most men in the US today. But she is typical of the pioneer women who settled the US. It is no coincidence WY recognized women's voting rights long before the US did.


Ha! you sound like my brother. He thinks fishing, hunting, and being outdoors make people manly and are the most important things in the world. I think it's time we started valuing education and honesty as traits of both men and women. Palin has neither.

Nov 17, 2010
People who hunt and fish are some of the most honest and intelligent people I know.

What's the correlation between killing animals and IQ? That's a ridiculous linkage.
My grandfather knew more as an 8th grade graduate than PhDs know today.

An even more ridiculous assertion.

Nov 17, 2010
How do you want to reward education? Completion of a degree without any other accomplishments?
The USA used to value accomplishments. People were rewarded for what they did, not what they know.
What used to make the USA great was a Harvard dropout (Bill Gates) could become a billionaire. OR Andrew Carnegie or Henry Ford or ...
runner up for Ms. Wasilla Alaska? The woman who has been quoted as saying that 15 year olds who are raped by immediate family members should not be able to get abortions?

My grandfather knew more as an 8th grade graduate than PhDs know today.
Then why didn't he teach you anything?

Nov 17, 2010
Hey Ethel, you're just angry that most of the candidates Palin actively campaigned for around the country won.
Still making up more stuff to defend making stuff up I see.

She quit. That is enough to say she is not fit for office. If you can't see this your blind. Then again we already knew that.
As for 'quitting' the AK gov job, she left the state in good hands and had more important tasks to accomplish.
Yes. Lying on TV while reading from her hand. She quit and left the job to someone that was far more able. Heck LOTS of people are far more able. Not you of course as you have the same flaws. An inability to learn and a need to blame others for their problems.
But, I guess a 'liberal' can't understand giving up power
Liberal, which I am not, is NOT an insult. Quitter is. She quit because she couldn't take the heat.
Where is the outrage?
I am shocked Shocked I say that you are outraged that anyone would expect a person to do the job.

Ethelred

Nov 17, 2010
I think it's time we started valuing education and honesty as traits of both men and women. Palin has neither.

What an intolerant bigot!
People who hunt and fish are some of the most honest and intelligent people I know.
My grandfather knew more as an 8th grade graduate than PhDs know today. He knew FDRs New Deal was wrong because he lived through it.


You're an idiot. How am I a bigot? For stating that too many people value certain activities with masculinity? Did I say that people who hunt and fish are dumb? Your grandfather knew more than a Ph.D? Really? A Ph.D in what? A Ph.D isn't a degree in a single field. A Ph.D in physics or taxidermy? There's a difference. I doubt he knew more than all Ph.D's since he wasn't an expert in everything. Just sit back and stop posting until you get your "wits" about you.

Nov 17, 2010
What an intolerant bigot!
People who hunt and fish are some of the most honest and intelligent people I know
Is that where you learned to lie so much?
My grandfather knew more as an 8th grade graduate than PhDs know today
I think my grandfather would have thought that was a fool thing to say. He was a cop. Later he caught quacks who had Mds. He thought his brother was foolish to pass up his chance at High School also to join the LAPD.

However I can see where you get your attitude towards education. Learning is anathema to you, though you do seem impressed with Palin's education. I guess it is the way she managed to stay ignorant.
He knew FDRs New Deal was wrong because he lived through it
I lived through Reagan. Reagan was not good for the US economy. He was good for Japans. He got five magabucks as a reward after he got out of office.
How many times have the 'liberals' elected him?
How many times did AMERICANS elect him? You got a problem with Americans?


Nov 18, 2010
How many times did AMERICANS elect him? You got a problem with Americans?
He supports a secessionist quitter, of course he has a problem with Americans.

Nov 18, 2010
Well he could move to someplace that practices what he preaches. Such a place does exist. Probably more than the one I am thinking of.

Ethelred

Nov 18, 2010
Assuming that redistribution from rich-to-poor is "fair," redistributionism still doesn't really deal with the problem that some "poor" get more than other "poor," and consequently is often not perceived as "fair" by "beneficiaries." Eric Hoffer explained this a long time ago that envy is the strongest when differences are the least. The guy with a crummy little fishing boat doesn't envy Trump's yacht so much as his neighbor's BassMaster. The "poor" get really frosted over very slight manifestations of "unfairness" - affirmative action, special education for "other" kids, public employees who retire at age 55, etc.

Rich liberals, on the other hand (and I respect this), get really spooked by how brutal economic forces are. They have pretty good access (a lot of rich friends) to how many enterprises have some kind of ripoff as their basic business model - e.g. selling bad mortgages to people who can't afford them makes you more money than selling good mortgages to people who can.

Nov 18, 2010
Gore majored in govt, made an attempt at journalism and dropped out of law school. But he is an expert on world climate.
Oh, and Gore's father was a US senator and was wealthy from oil.


That would be a great point if I'd ever said I was a Gore supporter, had supported the stance that Gore was a climate expert, or had ever expressed how impressed I was with Gore's educational background.

My grandfather knew more as an 8th grade graduate than PhDs know today.


Psh. MY grandfather knew more in the 7th grade than every scientist put together ever. See? I can do that too.

First of all, you can't assert everything your grandfather knew. Second of all, you can't assert what PhD's know (and as trekgeek said, PhD's come in all kinds of flavors). Your points are... well they're annoyingly illogical and not backed by anything.

Nov 18, 2010
Marjon can do whatever he likes. He's a Libertarian and maybe they don't have to be rational. It's in the in the spec sheet. I am sure it is, as my Mother's cousins nieces uncles aunt said she saw the golden tablet that had Ann Rands promise that it was true that if you were a Randite you didn't actually have to try to think because she did it all for you.

And the Cato Institute agreed about gold. Or was that has a greed for. I can't remember but its all true because I said so and I can post links that agree.

http://www.everyt...true.org

See its even a .org site so money has nothing to with the results.

Ethelred

Nov 18, 2010
He's a Libertarian and maybe they don't have to be rational.
Nope, he certainly isn't. He's an ultra right neo-conservative corporatist. Effectively, he's the exact opposite of what anyone would call a realist.

Nov 18, 2010
Of course it's hard for an Art History Grad to get a job. What are the career paths? Teaching, working in a museum or library... I'm sure there are more, but that's all I can think of off the top of my head.

The 'value' of a bachelors degree is actually quite relative to how many jobs there are in that field at the time of graduation. Some bachelors degrees are more valuable than others.

An Art History major would likely need a masters/PhD to do anything because it would require them specializing in a field and becoming an expert making them more valuable as a teacher/curator/etc.

An engineering grad for example (depending on their discipline) would not necessarily need a masters to get into industry. They may acquire one later to specialize or move up in a company or just because they'd rather do research.

Trade/technical education is extremely valuable as well by the way.

Wow, you will believe anything!


Woosh right over your head...

Nov 18, 2010
Actually there's a symmetry: very high income makes rich conservative, too. Only the perspective of further income increasing is what makes people liberal & creative.

Actually the above rule applies to ideas spreading, too. A people poor of ideas are quite conservative in the same way, like the people, who got high social credit from their ideas already.

Most of people here are fighting against proponents of new ideas just from pure jealousy.

Nov 18, 2010
Marjon can do whatever he likes. He's a Libertarian and maybe they don't have to be rational.

Ethelred
I beg to differ! While I know Marjon has actually written that he's Libertarian on here in the past, little else that he's written actually confirms this. I just can't think of him as any kind of genuine Libertarian...it's, hell, it's offensive. If anything, he's conforms more to right-wing anarchism or more specifically right-wing corporate anarchism, but Libertarian he is not. Of course, if anyone wants to make the sad case that Marjon is an upstanding example of what Libertarianism has mutated into in America, I understand...fearfully. Watching the States descend into the kind of utterly uncivil politically dysfunctional morass that it has over the last 25 yrs just leaves me bewildered and very, very worried.

By the way, Eth, nice to see you back.

Nov 18, 2010
It's not too surprising that you can find hack socialist economists that cook the books for hack socialist politicians.
I like how in marjon's world, 94% of economic historians are socialist hacks. I also like how he quotes an academic on the failings of other academics.

It's too bad his corporate overlords have pulled the wool over his eyes so effectively. He is so dogged in his support for free markets (though he clearly has no understanding of what they are), and yet supports the party and ideology committed to taking the quickest and most destructive path to communism possible, through supply-side economics.

Nov 18, 2010
Wow, you will believe anything!

I don't believe you. So no.
To see why this government aid is so important to the higher education establishment, we need only stop to consider for a moment what academics would do in a purely free society.
Quoting idiots doesn't help. The reason so many go to college is because EMPLOYERS insist on degrees. That and it used be a way to avoid the draft but that one is gone. Just employers these days.
Since the time of TR, 'progressives' have been supported by large corporate interests to limit competition
Ah yes you hate TR. We know that already. After all he stopped the monopolists you so wish become. He was a Republican. They have been supported by corporations since they became part of the military-industrial complex during the Civil War. So you made up another bit of nonsense.

Just to remind you. Palin is a quiter not a role model, well except to those that are willfully blind. For those she is an excellent role model.

Ethelred

Nov 19, 2010
I just need to state you are an idiot?

Go ahead show that EMPLOYERS don't want degrees. Quotes from fantasy land are NOT proof.
Second, employers in the USA ask for degrees because they are not allowed by the govt
Pretending the government is responsible won't change the job market.
Monopolies can only exist with govt protection, not in market competition.
Last time you claimed that you went on to redefine monopoly and ignore all the trusts that lost monopoly cases. And stonewall on Standard Oil instead.
As for Palin, I am sure she will not quit
I sure she will still have quit office of Governor of Alaska. Thus still be unfit to hold office.
That is a higher calling that will most certainly irritate 'liberals' and 'populists'
Pontificating out of ignorance on TV does not qualify as a 'higher calling' except to Radio Personalities.
So that's it, you want to work for FOX and tell lies on TV.

Ethelred

Nov 19, 2010
Interest in Hayek and his work increased after the 1974


How nice. Too bad the quote in question was from Peter G. Klein. You really do want Rush's job.

Ethelred

Nov 19, 2010
I hear now the jobs that are and will be in high demand are technical/trade jobs like plumbers, electricians, auto-mechanics, etc.
Do you value a trade school eduction?
You don't need to follow traditional education schemas to become educated. You also don't need to have any value whatsoever or maintain consistency in your field of study. You jsut need to not be a moron and continue to educate yourself.

School should teach you how to learn, not force memorization. Memorization is indoctrination, you know, like church.

Nov 19, 2010
I am still waiting for Geeks answer as to how he wants us to 'value education'?

We're still waiting on your answer to the ideal government question. Perhaps you get a little when you give a little.

Nov 19, 2010
I answered. If you don't like the answer, too bad.


You never answer questions in a straight forward manner. You usually just respond with an unrelated question or say you already answered the question earlier.

It's a long thread. Feel free to remind us (we repeat things for you all the time).

Nov 19, 2010
No ethics except situational. Ends justify means.

I thought marjon already gave us his ideal government. I still don't like it.


Nov 19, 2010
This is the place to start:
http://www.uscons...nst.html
Populists don't like such standards because they are not popular.
How about the rest of it, or do you just want to Taliban it into existence?

"Hey afghanistan, what're your government plans"
"Uh, who cares"

That's the answer you're giving. Perhaps I should park a tank on your lawn.

Nov 19, 2010
...who QUIT when the going got tough.

Ethel the Red, you and the other leftists who keep spouting this "quitter" meme are disgusting, despicable human beings. Why exactly did the "going get tough" anyway? It was because the democratic party coordinated a massive campaign to bankrupt her and her family by filing dozens of absolutley frivolous "ethics" charges against her, all of which she was fully acquitted of, but after she had run up a $500,000 legal bill defending herself. Unlike most leftists who get rich campaign donors to fund their legal defenses, she was not allowed to do so by law.

So you and your leftist creeps try to destroy her and then when she does what she has to do to defend herself from you slimeballs, you get to scream "Quitter!". That's like a defendant in a murder trial blaming the victim for getting in the way of the bullet they had deliberately aimed at the victim's head. Puke.

Does the "red" in your name stand for Marxist?

Nov 19, 2010
Really, why do nation states care?


This is why your form of government is going to be laughable, if you ever tell us what it is. You do realize that you're promoting the Constitution, and then undercutting the Constitution.

Truth is, you don't know what you want, you haven't given it any thought, and you have no repsonse because Glenn Beck hasn't told you what to tell us.
Most conflicts today are the result of top down creation of nation states forcing people with different languages and cultures into an artificial nation.
No, most conflicts are a direct result of corporatism, your ideal governance.
but after she had run up a $500,000 legal bill defending herself
You mean the one after she got her multimillion dollar forward for writing her book? (probably in crayon). If she wasn't corrupt, the AG of her state wouldn't have been able to mount an ethics investigation. FYI: He was a republican.

Nov 19, 2010
Ethel the Red, you and the other leftists who keep spouting this "quitter" meme are disgusting, despicable human beings.
So you would rather hide under a rock than deal with reality. I am not the disgusting person that said I wasn't an American because I didn't agree with her. She did that while campaigning for VP.
Why exactly did the "going get tough" anyway?
Doesn't matter. She couldn't handle it.
So you and your leftist creeps try to destroy he
She self destructed. I had nothing to do with it. So quit lying that I did.
slimeballs, you get to scream "Quitter!".
She quit. And then you call us names for pointing it out. This sort of behavior is deeply disturbing and is the reason I would quit the Republican Party if I hadn't done so during the Reagan Admin.
Does the "red" in your name stand for Marxist?
Idiot. It stands for advice or rule. Get a clue.

http://en.wikiped..._Unready

Ethelred Hardrede
That's my alternate handle

Nov 19, 2010
Does the "red" in your name stand for Marxist?
Idiot. It stands for advice or rule. Get a clue.

http://en.wikiped..._Unready

That link has a problem, but this one works:
http://en.wikiped..._Unready

Nov 19, 2010
Bizarre, now the quoted link works, but not the one I posted. Oh well...

Nov 20, 2010
And your point is? I do like clarity.

I am not going to try to guess. I want to know what YOU think that is supposed to mean to me.

I go on reason not American Idol or whatever.

Well whatever you think that is supposed to mean to me SHE QUIT which makes her unfit for office. Kind of like Rev. Jesse Jackson had not business running for President. Some people just can't deal with politics. She can't even deal with reality. I suppose you might find that attractive.

Ethelred

Nov 20, 2010
Maybe the poor figure that thinking like rich people will make them richer.

Or maybe people are poor because they can't think very well, and are very susceptible to the right's propaganda.

Nov 20, 2010
Sarah Palin is an airhead who's only in it for the money. I guess that makes her no different than any other Richpublican politician. As far as the hunting and outdoorswoman, that's just being in Alaska. She would however sell out that lifestyle by allowing Big Money to exploit her wilderness and ruin one of the last pristine places in America.

Nov 20, 2010
You remind me, something I've observed about conservatives. They must label everything, put it in a nice neat box. If they can't define something it makes them very uncomfortable. Guess that's why they can't comprehend EVOLUTION, change, being pliable instead of being rigid. The universe is constantly changing, that is the essence of life.

Someone should do a study on this.

Nov 20, 2010
I do indeed comprehend individual liberty and have served to protect it, as have many in both parties. I believe the government should stay out of my bedroom and my stash. It should not be protecting me from myself by requiring me to wear seatbelts but compiling and desemenating the facts on how many lives they save.I also comprehend that "personal property" is only something borrowed while you are in this physical realtiy. Not some solid and unchanging commodity. You can't own another life and everything changes in value relative to experience of those observing it.

Nov 20, 2010
Inequality makes people more defensive.


Actually, no. Redistribution makes people more defensive.

Nov 20, 2010
Gap between rich and poor is getting bigger and bigger, middle class are dissolving... this is happening in every single capitalist country... the only thing that re-distributes is world war... massive world war.

I thought humans were smarter than this, but no, "Capitalism is the best thing we've got" and if you talk about any of its shortcomings the response is "well communism doesn't work! what are you... a communist!??" or similar rants about socialism.

Get it through your thick skulls... saying there is a problem with capitalism DOES NOT MEAN SUPPORT FOR COMMUNISM OR SOCIALISM.

Nov 20, 2010
Inequality makes people more defensive.


Actually, not quite: Redistribution makes people more defensive.

Nov 20, 2010
It's really simple.

All the money that goes to welfare is taxed out of the middle class, who then won't have the money to spend, which means the poor people who actually work the low end market don't get enough pay and become dependent on the government handouts to a greater degree.

So all that accomplishes is cutting the blanket at one end to sow it back to the other, except with the additional caveat that the government invariably spends some, if not most of the new taxes collected into something completely different, like wasting it on wars or big corporate interests etc.

It is not in the interest of the poor to give their money away to the government, so that the government could give some of it back to them.

Even if it helps with the income disparity a little, the whole economy is still worse off due to government spending the money wrong, and the people's living standards are lowered.

Nov 20, 2010
In a nutshell I would say conservatives seem to be more motivated by fear (someone's gonna threaten me or what I have). That's why they have mastered using it in campaigns. On the other hand liberals are more logical and can't understand why people don't see voting republican is against their best interest unless they are rich or powerful.

Nov 20, 2010
Be patient with Marjon, Tigger, he sees only black or white, true or false good or bad, 1s or 0s. There is no in between for him (no shades of grey). In his mind capitalism means only the rich having all the power and the only rules are those made up by the powerful and the big man in the sky, of course. As for the rest, if they suffer it is "must the will of god".

Nov 20, 2010
"How is it in anyone's best interest to have liberals gang up the minority and steal their wealth?"

Well when a tiny minority control the overwhelming majority of wealth and in turn power I would say everyone should be a little concerned.

Nov 21, 2010
Sure it is. How else do you plan to 'fix' capitalism?
The only problem I see with capitalism is too much govt intervention. Oh, wait, that is called socialism. So the only problem with capitalism is too much socialism.

You certainly have a skewed definition of socialism and capitalism.

The Free market has brought us such lovely world wonders, like flammable rivers, SoCal Smog, Oil well disasters, and black markets.

I think it's time for a regulatory change, and regulations aren't socialism. Marjon, when you play with your coloring books do you keep your colors in the lines or do you jsut take a shit in the book and smush it closed?

Nov 21, 2010
The Free market has brought us such lovely world wonders, like flammable rivers, SoCal Smog, Oil well disasters, and black markets.
It did not.
What brought these was the failure of the state to protect private property rights.
So you are for or against pollution controls, and cap and trade?

Nov 21, 2010
Sometimes I wonder why we bother to continue engaging with marjon. He has no clue, even how to run a single business, let alone how those businesses interact with one another and with consumers in the grand tapestry of an economy.

The flaw in modern Republican economic ideology (I won't even call it conservative, as that would insult real conservatives) is that they are obsessed with liberating producers, and believe that the rights and freedoms of consumers can take care of themselves. Even Democrats have been blinkered into accepting this focus, though they wisely recognize that there must be reasonable limits on the producers. Neither has yet accepted that for a free market to work, there have to be free consumers as well.

Nov 21, 2010
like flammable rivers,


Burn on big river

That's my favorite line in the movie Major League and it comes in a song during the opening credits.

Ethelred

Nov 21, 2010
SH wants MORE regulation!
Protection of property rights, especially from property owning polluters, requires regulation. Three posts of RightWingNut fantasy to support the your anti environmental regulation rant. Typical of you.

You support people using property to repress people with little or no property and you call it stealing when people try to get together to defend themselves.

I support private property rights. Do you?


Yes I do and no you don't. You support the use of property as a weapon. That is what property becomes without legal protection for those without property. Or those with less property.

Ethelred

Nov 21, 2010
A person cannot be free when a threat to a person's life, health and well-being, or to his or her children's, hangs over the one or more of the choices he or she wishes to make. You need money to have food to eat, a roof over your head and clothes to wear, and without government intervention, the only reliable access to money comes from a job, and there's the rub.

The human input in production is worth less and less these days. A global reach means corporations can hire the cheapest labor in the world, fresh from subsistence living, and advancing technologies is making demand even for this labor fall off. (cont)

Nov 21, 2010
Furthermore, there just simply are no longer enough jobs to employ everyone who wants and needs one, no matter what they do. How can a potential consumer be free when he is told he will die because he cannot afford to buy food at the prices it's being offered, and is refused a job to make more money because there aren't enough to go around?

As things stand, businesses have more freedom to pick their preferred customers, ignoring and even screwing over all the others, while consumers have diminishing freedom to pick who they will purchase or even if they will be able to purchase.

Nov 21, 2010
So Ethel wants to protect the rights of power plants to pollute.
Lying like that won't make it true. Lying about the Cuyahoga by selective quoting won't make the government responsible either. The industries were polluting the river. They should have been doing the clean up not the Feds or the City and saying the State was holding things up doesn't change the source of the problem or the fact that it was governments that ended the problem.

I know that truth disturbs you but lying about ME is not something I take kindly. Tell lies about yourself if you want but DON'T PUT WORDS IN MY MOUTH YOU BLEEPING TROLL.

Ethelred

Nov 21, 2010
obviously, this research IS ONLY VALID INSIDE THE USA. Physorg is quite the international place, and I would like to see the articles reflecting that... in other words, the title should point out this is an AMERICAN attitude...

Nov 21, 2010
Awwwww, poor Big Money, nobody wuvs em but Marjon.

Nov 21, 2010
STOP FEEDING THE TROLL MARJON. This what he lives for. Ignore him at all costs.
I think it's quite futile to engage with him anymore. I use to think it was fun to see his arguments get destroyed up and down these boards now I see it as feeding his sickness.

Nov 21, 2010
Awwwww, poor Big Money, nobody wuvs em but Marjon.

The socialists love Big Money. See how much the 'liberals' have funneled to bail out the big banks and auto companies.
And the regulation they impose benefit the Big Money at the expense of real entrepreneurs.

You have absolutely no understanding of socialism if you think it, in any possible case, loves big money. The love of big money, to a socialist, is a mark of late capitalists. If you meant to say that democrats love big money, that is an entirely different issue. But I guess to you the two are interchangeable, despite having no historic or logical precedent of being such.

Nov 21, 2010
As things stand, businesses have more freedom to pick their preferred customers,

How?
Comcast will shut off your service if you make too many complaint or if you go to the Better Business Bureau. Net Neutrality would put a stop to that.
ignoring and even screwing over all the others,
examples?
Verizon owning all the telco closets and enforcing "private property" control over the telco closets enforcing a particular standard of cabinet for isolation of switches, manufactured by Verizon. Sorry Nortel/Avaya/Worldcom, closets are on backorder (because we never made any).
while consumers have diminishing freedom to pick who they will purchase or even if they will be able to purchase.
Like what?
How many phone companies are available to you... (you only have one, Verizon, in Chelmsford).

Your free market fantasy is akin to stating anarchy is the best form of government. Anarchy doesn't exist for long, and it is rapidly replaced with tyranny.

Nov 21, 2010
Telecom is just one example, and not even the most important. The choices the poor have for affordable, quality, healthy, unprocessed food dwindles. Clean, safe housing in good school districts is out of the price range of the median income consumer. In both cases, the profits from those goods flow to fewer and fewer producers. Meanwhile, the wages of the worker matter less and less to the rest of the market. Maximal attention to the producers and negligence of the freedom of consumers is leading us directly back to a sort of feudalism.

Nov 21, 2010
I am still waiting for Geeks answer as to how he wants us to 'value education'?

We're still waiting on your answer to the ideal government question. Perhaps you get a little when you give a little.


I had no idea you were still posting on this article.
By "value education" I mean not label people with terms like "liberal" because they went to college and got book learned 'bout numbers. I often hear the term "liberal academia" like people are brainwashed by higher education. Instead of swooning over sports stars, be impressed by a physicist or astronomer. In plain simple English, CONSIDER A FORMAL EDUCATION AS VALUABLE AS YOU CONSIDER TECHNICAL TRADES.

Nov 21, 2010
Why did the govt allow that to happen?
Most likely people were bribed. By property owners.
So municipal authorities left the Cuyahoga River alone-allowing firms along its banks to discharge into it at will
Did you notice that contradicts your previous post where you blamed the state and claimed the city was blocked. Now you blame the city. Obviously you right hand and your other right don't communicate with you.

I couldn't say your left hand as you clearly would have cut it off if you had ever had one.
In 1936, a paper manufacturer on Kingsbury Run, a tributary of the Cuyahoga, sued the city of Cleveland to stop it from dumping raw sewage into the stream.
Very nice. And that applies how? Not at all of course. Its just another evasion of yours. A little less lame than contradicting yourself like you did with the first one.

Please note that the FIRE was from INDUSTRIAL pollution. Please note that now you are complaining that government did not step in.

Ethelred

Nov 21, 2010
What burned in the fire in the 60s was debris floating in the water.
Yes. Industrial debris.
And yes, the govt failed at all levels because the system was flawed.
Indeed. Industry spent a lot of money to be sure it was flawed.
You support the concept govts own the river.
Yes. No individual or company owns, or can own, the river. Especially that river.
I support the concept individual property owners on the river banks have the right to clean water
That would be OBLIGATION. I don't agree. They don't own the river. And they don't have an obligation to clean up someone else's pollution.
and can sue property owners upstream to stop the pollution.
There is no need for that. And why should they pay for the suit? Assuming they could afford to sue a large company.
You support allowing the polluters to pollute
I did ask that you stop making things up and claiming I said it. I support the GOVERNMENT taking a hand in this. It now does its job.

Ethelred

Nov 22, 2010

Again, how do you value that? If I need a plumber, I won't value a MA English degree. That individual may be a good teacher, but not a good plumber.
Do you advocate govt mandated salaries by education level like most do in the K-12?
I value the ability if individuals to think, but that does not correlate with education degrees.


Are you looking for a closed form solution? Do you want an equation? I advocate appreciating the higher knowledge of the college graduate. I've needed a car repaired before and required the use of a mechanic. However, my perceived value of a physicist did not diminish until I needed one. When you try to find the philosophical basis of "value" then you're trying your very hardest to avoid agreement. How about "desire"? Is that a good definition? You desire things you find valuable, so I think we should desire people to have higher education since it serves society well. Is that agreeable?

Nov 22, 2010
Just from the title I could predict that the comments here would spiral out of control into partisan BS. Anyways a quick way to get rid of marjon - set your comment rating slider to 3

Nov 22, 2010
So far, all these companies are restricted by govt rules form really competing.
Uh, no, they're not. They're protected from competition by lobbyist created industry rulings. Net neutrality stops that, but you're against net neutrality so you must be against the free market as well.

So you're against property rights and free markets.

Are there any "principles" you won't violate?

Nov 22, 2010
Brilliant, you link a source that suggests that Cable companies shouldn't be legally allowed to get into the internet or telephone businesses.

Your commentary opens a new treasure trove of hypocrisy each time you post.
Where is the free market here?
Same place as the anarchist government resides. Between non-existent, and silly pipe dream.

Nov 22, 2010
That is the inevitable result of govt regulations, which SH so eagerly supports.
No, that is the inevitable result of market influence on government, otherwise known as corporatism, which you wholeheartedly support.

If you're addressing me, then address me. You're not at the forum, nor are you in a Beckian debate.

Nov 22, 2010
Another thread made unreadable by marjon and the people who reply to him. Please don't feed the trolls. I'm going to start giving bad ratings to people who fail to ignore him (even if they are correct -- and let's face it, if it's relative it's like shooting fish in a barrel) as well as just himself.

Nov 22, 2010
Another thread made unreadable by marjon and the people who reply to him. Please don't feed the trolls. I'm going to start giving bad ratings to people who fail to ignore him (even if they are correct -- and let's face it, if it's relative it's like shooting fish in a barrel) as well as just himself.

He's just a retarded wanna be business man. Probably paid minimum wage to post this garbage for News Corp. He can't even address people like an adult.

Nov 22, 2010
I note how so many 'tolerant liberals' resort to insults when they can't answer


I note how you quotemine, non sequitor, ask rhetorical questions, straw man, and lie when you can't answer.

Should I label you as something and apply these traits to all those who I feel fits my label?

No, I'm not a 'tolerant marjon'.

Nov 22, 2010
I note how so many 'tolerant liberals' resort to insults when they can't answer.
Calling a liar a liar is not insult, it is speaking truth to opinion.
Calling a hypocrite a hypocrite is not an insult, it is speaking truth to opinion.
Calling a delusional person delusional is not an insult, it is speaking truth to opinion.

Marjon likes to utilize poorly founded opinion and decry others who call him on it.

Nov 22, 2010
well of course people dont act in their personal economic interest, why would so many middle class americans vote rebublican, the party that cuts taxes for rich, lobbies corporation friendly laws, cuts on education, healthcare, etc...If electors acted rationally only revenues over 200K would vote republican...

Nov 22, 2010
Poorly founded opinions are the norm from the statists here trying to justify their socialist solutions in spite of the continuing spectacular failures of those solutions.
It has kept our military healthy since the inception of the US Army. It has kept our seniors above the poverty line since the inception of social security. It has extended the lifespan of post retirees by decades since the inception of medicare.

Of course you'd see all three as failures, they actually work, unlike yourself Mr. Swenson.

Nov 22, 2010
I hate to bring the discussion back to the topic of the original article, ...no I don't.

When a statistical analysis does not seem to make sense, is it more likely that the analysis is somehow faulty or is it more likely that all conventional wizdom on the subject is faulty? That conventional wizdom wasn't created out of thin air you know.

Since it's impossible to actually go back in time and do surveys of people in previous decades, I assume that the historical survey data was 'borrowed' from surveys intended for other purposes and administered by various groups under various conditions. Such a mix of surveys and survey takers could result in all sorts of unpredictable and meaningless 'patterns' in the noise. I wouldn't get too excited about this, and I certainly wouldn't base my political campaign strategy on it.

Nov 22, 2010
How scientific and 'tolerant'!
Isn't science and 'liberalism' all for diversity of opinions and ideas?
I note how so many 'tolerant liberals' resort to insults when they can't answer.


Consider the concept of noise, and signal-to-noise ratio. The signal-to-noise ratio (or, value-to-noise ratio) in this thread is far too high.

I wouldn't even say science is about diversity of ideas. It is as much about excluding that which can be shown false. Strictly speaking, I would say that subjectivity is not even in the domain of science. (though that's not to say scientists shouldn't deal with it -- it's just not science)

Nov 22, 2010
Perhaps I shouldn't pigeonhole all sciences. I do have a strong physics bent, and that may affect my perspective. This is ostensibly a physics-oriented site however, so this is something that you can expect to find here.

Nov 22, 2010
err.. the signal-to-noise ratio is _low_.
/blushes and scurries away

Nov 23, 2010
But scientists are far too human and fail at many levels to be objective.

Well, no, That's the whole point of science - to remove subjective biases and to stick to the objective.
If scientists don't have an imagination and think out of the box, how can they create wild and crazy theories to have falsified?

Straw man argument. It was never stated that imagination and unconventional thinking should be abolished.
Also, how are scientists supposed to work with emergent systems like an economy or even something more technical like a air traffic control system?

Through observation, theoretical formulation, testing/verification - pretty much like any scientific field of endeavour. That you have to ask such a question exposes your limited knowledge of how science works.

Nov 23, 2010
Also, how are scientists supposed to work with emergent systems ... more technical like a air traffic control system?
Man you're just full of dumb things to say.

Science is the greatest collaborative endeavor ever ventured. The best part of emergent systems is that you don't need to understand them, you simply need to understand the basic rules of reality and expand scope.

You may want to pick up those books on your wishlist on amazon and actually read them.

Nov 23, 2010
That's the theory, not the practice I have observed.


Reading articles and watching the news is NOT observing science. There's more going on than just climate change, the LHC, and stem cell research.

It is not encouraged and new ideas are slapped down rather quickly.


Again, you've clearly never actually engaged in research of any kind. New ideas are accepted all the time. That's how new things get made. Research is done on new things and from the discoveries from this research, products are developed.

Some ideas get slapped down, sure. If those ideas were coupled with some kind of repeatable experimental evidence and had some kind of practical application they would not.

So science KNOWS enough about earth's climate to predict 50 years into the future based upon this process?


Science doesn't KNOW anything. It's a method, not a supreme being. Through science we MAY someday be able to predict Earth's climate in 50 years.

Nov 23, 2010
It is not encouraged and new ideas are slapped down rather quickly. Kuhn said something similar.
No, he didn't. Kuhn wrote of the transitions of science. 1. Pre-paradigm, where multiple hypotheses are created to address observations. 2. Paradigm, where the concensus has found a common hypothesis that is escalated to functional theory, or as he called it, normal science. Normal science is where the problems are solved within the context of the paradigm, in some cases yielding anomaly. Finally, 3. Revolutionary science, where the number of anomalies leads science into a realm of renewed debate, unresolvable by normal science. This is when the theorists get involved and begin revolutionary science, leading right back to stage 1.

Don't cite Kuhn if you don't understand Kuhn.

Nov 23, 2010
Those who claim to practice science claim to know what will happen to the climate in the decades to come.


The fact that you brought up climate change again emphasizes my point that the only science you've ever been exposed to is through the media. You're even citing one of my examples.

Generally the climate scientists attempt to predict the climate based on models. Anyone who claims to KNOW what will happen to the climate is a fool.

I'm going to go ahead and say the vast majority of those who "claim to practice science" DO NOT "claim to know what will happen to the climate in the decades to come" since climate change is just one drop of water in the ocean. Even within climate science the majority do not claim to KNOW what's going to happen. If they knew what was going to happen there would be no need for continued research.

Nov 23, 2010
The failure of American political economics has to do with an obsessive focus on the production side of the economic equation and an almost complete negligence of the consumption side. This focus has been adopted by almost the entire political establishment, and has wormed its way into global economic policy as well. The result has been atrophy of the freedom and standards of living of individuals and dominance by private, virtually unaccountable economic institutions. This focus is perhaps the natural result of conservative prioritizing government granted rights, e.g. property rights, mining rights, rights to access natural resources, etc, over and above human civil rights, e.g. the right to live, the right to assemble, the right of expression, etc.

It's rather funny that you demand data, marjon, considering that when you bother to provide any support for your views at all, you do so with highly biased opinion pieces.

Nov 23, 2010
Playing games with definitions again Marjon?

Nov 23, 2010
Why do they want to impose more taxes if they don't know? Are they just plain old socialists who use the 'science' as an excuse?


Who are 'they'?

There are many who are scientists and many who aren't that support carbon tarrifs.

The world's not black and white marjon. Not everyone fits into a few simple categories and does what they're told.

Are there "plain old socialists who use the 'science' as an excuse?" Sure there are. Of course some people are like that. Is every one of those people a scientist? Doubtful. Is everyone who supports carbon tarrifs like this? Doubtful.

There are people (both scientists and not) who support carbon tarrifs are just people who believe in global warming that believe that carbon tarrifs will lower carbon emmissions.

There are conservatives and liberals who support them and conservatives and liberals who are against them.

Welcome to real life.

Nov 23, 2010
Look at the proportions, marjon. Count all the tax loopholes, interest-free deferments, trusts, exclusions and deductions enjoyed by businesses and the very wealthy as expenditures on stimulating and directing production. Count all the business grants and loans for entrepreneurs as a similar supply-side stimulus. You can count the regulations and paperwork they have to file with the government as a drag, if you want to, but since industry representatives usually had a hand in crafting those regulations and drafting the paperwork, it can't be much of one. (cont)

Nov 23, 2010
Now look at where the money to pay for that comes from. Income taxes. Payroll taxes. That's money coming directly out of consumer's pockets, not producer's pockets. And it's paying for producers to ship jobs oversees, for making American labor less competitive, and for hamstringing future innovation unless it's approved by the oligarchs already in control of their markets. What stimulus does the consumption side have? Temporary tax credits that are regarded as having failed (despite hundreds of thousands of people that were able to buy their first house or first new car) because they didn't prop up the finance industry (which serves the supply side much more favorably than the demand side, and was undermined by supply side manipulations). Social Security and Medicare, which conservatives not only want to cut, but eliminate entirely, and student grant and guaranteed loan programs. States run Medicare equivalent programs which are entirely means tested and limited in scope.

Nov 23, 2010
Conservatives only ever want to stimulate the supply side, even though the evidence is in. Almost half the American people could be working but are not because of recent unemployment or long term discouragement. Most Americans are out of savings and out of credit. But American businesses' bottom lines are on track to grow better than they have in the past 22 years. And if you're gonna come down on big business's collusion with writing laws that favor themselves over smaller startups, you're not gonna get me to disagree. Here I thought you were in favor of letting businesses lobby government and fund campaigns.

Nov 23, 2010
And that incentive still exists if you tax them. It is as simple as a financial transaction tax on Wall Street and an increase in the capital gains tax. In a time when the finance industry received 700 billion dollars in bailouts, GM was purchased rather than let go bankrupt, all on the backs of middle-class taxpayers, the very wealthy and Wall Street Republicans would rather see that middle class devastated than risk an Obama second term or even hint that their Rand-worshipping market theories might be dead wrong.

Nov 23, 2010
Not very objective of the scientists to 'believe'.


Scientists are just people, marjon. Some will be objective and some won't. Again, stop arranging people into groups and assigning them properties.

That being said, you can't expect all scientists to do all research on all subjects. Evidence is produced from both sides and people make a decision.

I believe that tree leaves are green because of their chlorophyll and that they live through the use of photosynthesis. Have I personally performed any experiments or done research on this subject to prove it? No. I just believe it based on the evidence that's been presented to me by others (ie. what I learned in school).

That's the whole reason global warming is such a hot button issue. There are points from both sides and believers on both sides.

Objectivity comes with the willingness to change ones belief upon the discovery of new evidence. Believing something based on evidence does not negate objectivity.

Nov 23, 2010
If you want producers to produce, they need an incentive. The best incentive found to date is to make a profit. Taxing the profit of producers will either force the producer out of business, or the producer must pass on his tax burden to the consumer.
Or he could just produce more. Why do you always take the lazy way out. I thought you were all about hard work and money earned. Wouldn't passing your tax burden on to your consumer be redistribution of wealth?
Companies enter bankruptcy to tell all those people thy owe money to to piss off.
No, con artists do that. Companies liquidate and negotiate.
If you hadn't noticed, the middle class IS devastated, and BHO has not even been in office 24 months.
Which means you can thank the decades of corporatist republican rule for the devastation.

Nov 23, 2010
I believe that tree leaves are green because of their chlorophyll

If someone is colorblind, what does 'green' mean? What color do they believe leaves are?


A specific shade of gray that's different from the shade it would be if there weren't chlorophyll?... But more importantly what the hell are you talking about? That was like the king of unrelated questions.

Nov 24, 2010
How the heck does Marjon get to flood the thread with trolls and I'd limited to three rebuttals?
What? You can post more. Heck you just did. Did you get a post deleted by the Imoderator?

You DO have to keep the posts three minutes apart.I made a nine part post the other day. Wrote it up as a single item in Notepad++ checked the spelling and the quotation tags then posted on sub 1000 block at a time. By the time I finished setting up the second block for posting (deciding where to put the break and cutting out MORE stuff for space) it was usually three minutes from the previous post.

A minute passed
After a minute another minute passed
Then another minuted passed
Then I posted.

Get a good text editor that counts characters. At present I recommend Notepad++ but I am going to test some other free text editors.

http://notepad-plus-plus.org/

Which I typed and spell-checked this in. And it didn't like the way I spelled 'spellcheck' without the hyphen.

Ethelred

Nov 24, 2010
If the production capacity is maxed out, an influx of capital is required to hire more people, build more facilities (all subject to more taxes and regulations of course).
That's what business loans are for Marjon.
I recall Bill O'Rielly, a small businessman
False, he was a teacher then he became a journalist. He has no business experience.
, state if tax rates were increased, he would shut down a few of his enterprises forcing people out of work.
Which is exactly not what is being discussed. Personal income tax is not corporate tax.
He is typical of all businesses who need to make a profit.
You've never run a business if you believe that.
CRA was passed in the Carter era.
CRA wasn't responsible for the collapse. The CRA required banks to make 10-20% of their loans locally. Banks in poor areas wanted to make more loans so they lobbied corporatist presidents, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush to relax the loan requirements.

Learn your history.

Nov 24, 2010
Not according to the AGWites. There are believers and deniers.


No, that's you who is making that assertion.

There are believers and those that don't believe (some non-believers are deniers and some are just fence sitters who don't know what to believe given the huge amount of noise coming from both sides).

A fence sitter is not a denier. If you quote mine one or even a few AGWites (as you like to call them) that state that "There are believers and deniers" it still will not prove your point that all believers in AGW feel this way.

Nov 24, 2010
You may believe your perceptions are based on objective reality, but everyone's objective reality is not the same.


I base my reality on logic. Logic is not subjective. Something is either logical or it isn't (one of the reasons I so enjoy breaking arguments down into syllogisms).

The subjectivity comes from the assumptions on which a technically logical argument is made. This is why it is important to not make points/arguments/observations that cannot be backed by substantial amounts of evidence.

If you want to introduce a little math into your philosophical argument...

True objectivity is unobservable since the observations of humans are subjective to each human. However, as the number of identical subjective observations (ie. evidence) approaches infinity, the more the objective an observation becomes.

In equation form:

lim (observations -> infinity) subjective = objective

Nov 24, 2010
This is why, in science, it is important to have repeatable experiments that others can perform. Otherwise, the results are simply subjective. The more different people who perform these experiments, the more objective the results become.

This is also why anecdotal evidence for things happening (ie. one time I thought that the next number on the dice was going to be a 5 and it was, therefore I am psychic) or "quote mined" responses are bad for arguing or proving anything.

Nov 24, 2010
All is heuristic as Billy Koen states.


Some people con themselves.

Now Dr. Feynman said

http://www.youtub...p;fmt=34

And that should be short enough for you at 56 seconds. Any engineer that has given up on objective reality is NOT an engineer.

Ethelred

Nov 24, 2010
But Marjon, you are a component of Big Government. Are you biting the hand that feeds you, or being contrarian and lying because you have nothing better to do? Perhaps it is simply your nature as a corporatist politician.

Nov 24, 2010
Why? That would only demonstrate those people did the experiment the same way. That doesn't mean the results are any more valid.


If different people with different subjective observations perform the same experiments in different places at different times and get the same results it most definitely validates the results.

Aren't you the one who always uses the Reagan quote, "Trust, but verify"?

More useful information can be obtained when different procedures, different equipment, etc. reach similar conclusions. Even then, the differences need to be characterized and explained.


I would argue that it is equally useful in that they would both validate different hypotheses.

Nov 24, 2010
But there once was a country where an effective majority of people had the same subjective opinion. And this common opinion led to the killing of millions of people.


It's essentially the basis of 1984.

My comment was referring to this in terms of physical observations (ie. observation with our senses) in response to marjon's heuristic world point.

Unfortunately the same principles apply with peoples' opinions too. This is what leads to racism (the holocaust could be considered an extreme form of racism), sexism, and most of the other bad -isms.

In science terms, these -isms are essentially hypotheses that are treated as conclusions by the -ists which leads to bad assumptions about groups of people (since it is essentially an untested hypothesis). Marjon, for example, does this frequently with his grouping of people as 'socialists', 'liberals', etc. Conculsions are made about these people based on his untested hypotheses.

-isms are just bad science.

Nov 24, 2010
" Imagine how unnerved an apprentice engineer becomes as he sees, both theoretically and computationally, the certainty of mathematics dissolve before his eyes. "
http://www.me.ute...ory.html


From the same thing writing:

Arithmetic might only be an heuristic, but clearly it was a good and very necessary one.

Nov 24, 2010
Conclusions are based upon people's expressed desire to use the power of the state to control the property of individuals.


In the above statement, you're admitting your conslusions are based on assumptions.

Your assumption is that people have an "expressed desire to use the power of the state to control the property of individuals"

Which people? The people you have CHOSEN to group into categories and assign properties to? (for example, the assumption that all atheists are liberal which you've frequently make here).

Or do you mean all people? You can falsify that assumption by looking inwards. If YOU don't have an "expressed desire to use the power of the state to control the property of individuals" then you've just proven that not all people do.

Generalizing and grouping and assuming are used to form hypotheses, not conclusions.

Nov 24, 2010
However, as the number of identical subjective observations (ie. evidence) approaches infinity, the more the objective an observation becomes.
A bit dangerous, this formulation.

I'm not talking about the notion of an infinity of observations which is not possible, not even asymptotically, considering the finiteness of all involved variables.

But there once was a country where an effective majority of people had the same subjective opinion. And this common opinion led to the killing of millions of people.
Uh, america? No wait I know, russia, right? China?? How about Japan?

Somalia maybe?

Nov 24, 2010
How about the britisch empire? Those people are beasts. 'Perfidious Albion'
Mongols suck too. Heres one:
http://www.google...,r:0,s:0

Nov 25, 2010
True but if you are poor enough it is difficult to fix food from the basics. Sure you can eat apples but cooking is difficult on a hot plate and storage in mini-fridges is a bit difficult. Turkeys are right out for instance.

You really don't understand poverty.

Ethelred

Nov 25, 2010
People on this bbs who I call socialist have documented their desire to have the state control people's property.

Show me where I've said that. Direct quote Marjon. Again, you're a liar and a moron. How about you resign your position on the Agricultural board and own up to your principles. Maybe you should go start a business... but the only business where your skills would be relevant is politics. What a catch 22.

Nov 25, 2010
Just think SH, if the government decides that you can't do ANY particular thing at all, to Marjon that makes you (and me)a wild eyed socialist, which means commie pinko.

So telling someone that they can't fire off their six shooter in downtown Dallas makes you a COMMIE that wants to control other people's property.

Please note that this in NOT over the top as Marjon has never admitted to accepting ANY kind of control of property at all. Taxes are unacceptable. Zoneing is the work of Atheist radicals. And lawyers really shouldn't exist since laws shouldn't exist because ALL laws limit the use of property in some way. That last is inherent in any law. Kind of like claiming all wars are based on economics. RAH had his head up his ass on that. I hear Marx said it first.

Then again he thinks everything should be by contract. Which sure sounds like a lawyer. How there would be courts and enforcement of contracts is something he has carefully left out.

Bet he evades all that.

Ethelred

Nov 25, 2010
Anyone who drives drunk and kills or injures someone should be tried for first degree murder.


Probably vehicular homicide or second degree murder or manslaughter (as some states don't have a vehicular homicide designation). It would not be first degree murder as nothing is premeditated (unless you planned on getting drunk and driving your car to kill someone).

That being said I agree the penalties for this should be severe.

Nov 25, 2010
Enforcing laws that violate the rights of others is more effective, and enables liberty, compared with enumerable regulations to prevent the behavior.


You're suggesting that drinking and driving should be legal so long as you haven't killed anyone/damaged their property yet.

Nov 25, 2010
But if someone does fire his weapon, he is responsible
Which does no good for the dead and anyone he can't afford to pay that he didn't kill.
That's where the govt fails, holding people accountable for their actions.
Is that why we have so many people in jail. Again not.
Anyone who drives drunk and kills or injures someone should be tried for first degree murder
Wrong. Third degree murder and sometimes second degree. Intent to kill is required for first degree.
As noted many times earlier, common law protection of property is quite effective
Common law IS LAW from a time when people where illiterate. No one wrote down the laws in England because no one could read them.
Too effective for govts that want to control property
Governments now have a literate electorate, common law was from time with NO electorate.

So now going back to the 1800's isn't good enough for you. You want Norman Britain. How enlightened.

More

Nov 25, 2010
What's wrong with this?
Whats right with Norman Britain? And of course that statement was false. The King could and did do those things. Barons could do it. Even in the Victorian era a Noble could do rather a lot to any commoner he wished and there was no recourse.

I posted more but somehow it got lost and frankly you just aren't worth rewriting the stuff.

However I do need to point out that COMMON LAW has little to do with contracts. Contracts came for ROMAN LAW. Law for literate people as opposed to Common Law for the illiterate.

The main thing wrong with Common Law is that it was for a different era and thus simply can't handle much of the present.

And I am might add that Common Law is the basis of the Supreme Court's decision on abortion. And you don't like that decision.

Ethelred

Nov 25, 2010
That's a stretch.
.

I read the decision. It isn't a stretch.

http://www.law.co..._ZO.html

Partial quote of relevant section
3. The common law. It is undisputed that, at common law, abortion performed before "quickening" -- the first recognizable movement of the fetus in utero, appearing usually from the 16th to the 18th week of pregnancy [n20] -- was not an indictable offense. [n21] The absence [p133] of a common law crime for pre-quickening abortion appears to have developed from a confluence of earlier philosophical, theological, and civil and canon law concepts of when life begins.


Ethelred

Nov 26, 2010
SH: "If someone has a need, that they can't take care of, which will endanger their life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness, then there is a constitutional demand to make redress in the most efficient manner."
Sounds like 'from each according to his ability to each according to their need'.
So you're trying to say that the government can't buy and sell in the market? You would restrict the government's right to buy and sell from producers in order to support the lowest among us?

That's is what govt regulation DO, control others property and you actively support wide ranging govt regulations.
First, that's not regulation, that would be assumption of right, which I've never advocated for. Must be awfully nice sitting in your hack job, on your illegally zoned land pretending you're a farmer in that $450,000 house in Chelmsford.

Yet these are the things you accuse me of doing and saying. Don't worry, buddy, you've been found out and it is well known that you're a liar.

Nov 26, 2010
marjon is an idiot. Why bother engaging this obvious paid troll?

Nov 26, 2010
Why not?


Why not? Because it's pretty damn dangerous and a lot of innocent people have died as a result of it.

If you are not going to enforce distracted driving laws, (eating, drinking coffee, radio, cell, kids,,,) why pick on driving drunk?


Who is 'you'? I'm not a cop. I don't generally enforce these laws.

Where I live, the distracted driving laws are enforced so I can't relate to your point. Remember that people have to get caught breaking the law before that law can be enforced.

Nov 26, 2010
marjon is an idiot. Why bother engaging this obvious paid troll?


Sometimes I learn from the posts of the responses of others so I personally like it.

Nov 26, 2010
Thank you for bringing up a specific case to defend your point that no laws are ever enforced.

Nov 26, 2010
marjon is an idiot. Why bother engaging this obvious paid troll?
So is Kant. Trolls make up multiple nicks just to harass and inflame, no?

Ted Kennedy pbuh is also dead by the way.

Nov 26, 2010
Enforcing laws that violate the rights of others

There are no rights except those we give ourselves through our government. With those rights come responsibilities. Laws define and enforce those responsibilities.

Ethelred

Nov 26, 2010
The question is still out their, had the MA police enforced laws on the Kennedy's, do you think more people would have respect for the laws?
No. If you think so yourself you are an idiot.

Drunks KNOW they shouldn't drive. They do it anyway and that is why we need laws and not be so bloody stupid as to only prosecute those that have already killed. To insist on doing it your way is to KILL innocents in much larger numbers.

So I take it then you WANT 50,000 dead a year again.

With the right to drive comes the responsibility to drive sober. Since so many refuse to honor their responsibility the rest of have decided to pass laws.

Do you understand the concept of self-defense. How about acting BEFORE its too late. How about the concept of pragmatism instead of living in Rand's Fantasy Land?

You sure don't seem to understand ANY of those concepts.

Ethelred

Nov 26, 2010
marjon is an idiot. Why bother engaging this obvious paid troll?

Marjon provides a learning experience because the flaws in Marjon's logic are pointed out to those reading these posts. The debate will arm those who read these posts with rebuttals to most of the arguments made by Marjon and his kind. Thank you Marjon.

Nov 26, 2010
What does the govt own that it hasn't first taken?

I seems to me the entire western hemisphere belonged to somebody else before the Europeans arrived. Would you like the government to give it back? Perhaps a refund is in order. Natives get their land back in exchange for some glass beads and some smallpox infected blankets.

Nov 26, 2010
Drunks KNOW they shouldn't drive.

If DUI laws were well enforced, they could not drive, they would be in prison, dead or executed.

That seems rather extreme. I don't see how the death penalty would solve things. It doesn't seem to work as a deterrent for other crimes. Why should it work for drunks who believe they are invincible and won't get caught. Besides it is costly to execute a person. Fines are more profitable in the long run.

Nov 26, 2010
How far back do you want to go?

I don't believe in going back. Progress is going forwards and learning from our mistakes. Learning from the successes of others is also desirable.

Nov 27, 2010
If DUI laws were well enforced, they could not drive, they would be in prison, dead or executed.


If DUI laws were different then they are they would KILL PEOPLE first THEN they MIGHT be ececuted.

Only lunatics are going to make a DUI a captitol offense UNLESS someone dies. Which does the dead so much good.

Even by your standards this a foolish idea.

No more drunk driving.


And the death penalty stopped children from stealing in Victorian England. Of course the fact is that it didn't.

Ethelred

Nov 27, 2010
That's the fundamental issue is it not. If govt gives rights, it can take them away.
That is the ONLY WAY there can be rights besides the old way. Might makes right.
If rights are inherent, no govt can take them away
If wishes were gold you would be rich. Rights are INHERENTLY cultural and MUST be given or taken EXCEPT when the government is by the people. In the US we first TOOK them by force and then created them in a new nation.
So far most here want the govt to give and take rights
Bull. Not want. IT IS THE ONLY WAY. Where do you think rights come from? Hairy Thunderer's that kill children? They come from MEN. In the United States that is We The People. This is the REAL reason that democracy is the best form of government.
I prefer the heuristic of inherent rights
Well there are no such things. Declaring it to be true does not make it true. At no time has anyone had inherent rights. We must take them or make them.

Ethelred

Nov 27, 2010
...governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; ..."
Why do 'progressives' want a majority to take rights from the minority?

Doesn't the majority give it's consent to be governed? The minority may want the rights that conflict with the rights of the majority. Slavery of others is a right the minority might agree to ,however the majority would disagree.

Nov 27, 2010
There are two kinds of rights, inherent, and government-granted. Inherent rights are the rights you have insofar as it is consistent with everyone else's having that same right. The right to perambulate, the right to live, the right to not be harmed, etc. are example of inherent rights. Government granted rights are privileges, access, or abilities that would not exist absent the specific governmental institution that creates and maintains those rights. These rights usually violate the principle of inherent rights above. Property rights, mining rights, water rights, grazing rights, inheritance rights, the right to incorporate, the right to operate machinery are all examples of government-granted rights. These rights are meaningless in the absence of government.

Nov 27, 2010
Government is typically thought to be created in order to protect and preserve inherent rights. In this sense, these rights pre-exist any government, governments can meaningfully be charged with violating them, though their inherency has nothing to do with divinity. Government granted rights exist solely as a mechanism in support of those inherent rights. It makes no sense to say that government violates the right to own real estate, for example, except insofar as one means that the government has contradicted its previously written laws. Absent those laws, there is no right to own real estate, or indeed any particular material thing.

Nov 27, 2010
You have an inherent right to whatever it is consistent for everyone else to have that same right. You have an inherent right to the use of your own body insofar as everyone else has the right to the use of their own bodies in the same way. But there can be no inherent right to a particular material thing because your right to own just that thing by definition excludes others from the right to own that thing. Property rights cannot be inherent because there is a significant social problem as to the origin, rightful possession, use, transfer and disposal of property. Contrasted with an inherent right, such as the right to not be harmed, there is no question as to where that right comes from, who possesses it, and under what terms it may be waived.

Nov 27, 2010
Slavery of others is a right the minority might agree to ,however the majority would disagree.

Why should the majority disagree?
In a democracy, the majority can agree to enslave a minority. What is stopping them?

How do property rights violate inherent rights? If you have an inherent right to yourself, you have an inherent right to the wealth you create.

Democracies have enslaved people in the past. This seems to be a question of ethics rather than a question of governance. Inherent rights are decided by the majority in a democracy compared to other forms of governance where the minority with the better weapons seems to rule.

Nov 27, 2010
The right to property is not an inherent right. It exists to enforce and make meaningful inherent rights to fair treatment, the right to develop one's capacities, the right to live, etc. Government exists to protect and promote inherent rights. It creates legal rights, such as the right to property, the right to bear arms, the right to incorporate, and so forth, in order to do so. These legal rights are not inherent, and cannot be considered inherent in any descriptive sense absent the government institutions which create and maintain them. Legal rights, like the right to property, are not to be protected, but to be carefully critiqued and modified at every stage of economic development when they do not optimally serve the inherent rights they were created to serve.

Nov 28, 2010
What does the govt own that it hasn't first taken?
That depends on the government. The US government owns most of the land in the nation. Rather a lot actually. AND you consistently fail to note that it is the PEOPLE of the US that own that land.

Ethelred

Nov 28, 2010
Natives get their land back in exchange for some glass beads and some smallpox infected blankets.
Most, obviously not all, Amerinds that died of European diseases did so without any intent from the Europeans. Indeed the death rate was so bad there really weren't many people left in much of the US. Nearly the entire population of the Mississippi Missouri drainage was wiped out in as little as two years by ONE smallpox carrier that was with the De Soto expedition.

Ethelred

Nov 28, 2010
That's what happens when people don't believe in God.
Correct. We can then understand the real source of human behavior and rights. And we don't have to ignore that its OK to own slaves according to the Bible, and thus for fundamentalists according to Jehovah.
Sure it does.
We have noticed that you think that way. However YOU declaring something does not make it true. A NATION declaring it through its government does make it true FOR THAT NATION. In no way does it make inherent.
Mob rule is the best?51% controlling the 49% is the best?
Better than the alternatives. You could of course get the government you want by moving to Somalia.
If govts didn't make money off of alcohol, I wonder how DUI enforcement would change.
It is pretty much the same in the Dry States. So you don't need to wonder or continue to pretend that Things Would Be Different when we can see that they would not.

Ethelred

Nov 28, 2010
We hold these truths to be self-evident,
Thank you for taking the bait. Jefferson was a Deist. He clearly didn't think a god gave men rights. He was engaging in a political polemic. Declaring it that way doesn't make it true. If it worked that way they wouldn't have had to start shooting Brits.
This is the axiom upon which the US govt was created.
No. Jefferson wasn't even there. He was in France at the time. Benjamin Franklyn had more to do with it than any other single person. Another non-religious person. In fact to get the Constitution passed they had to write the Bill of Rights. Something that would not have been needed if they thought the rights were somehow inherent. Reality and polemics do not always agree.

It has resulted in the most free and prosperous society the world has ever seen.


An Inconvenient Break

Nov 28, 2010
Part two

By ignoring your idea of a good government.

After they tried a government that was much more like the one you claim to like. It FAILED. And had no Bill Of Rights. They learned the hard way that governments have to tax and have to pass laws to create rights. And then the second President tried to abrogate them. Again showing that rights come from the actions of men. No god stepped in and stopped Adams. Jefferson and many HUMANS did.
Why do 'progressives' want a majority to take rights from the minority?
Why do you keep lying like that?
This is what is called personal liberty, and is given him by the Author of nature, because necessary for his own sustenance
As said by a slave owner. He clearly didn't believe what he said. So WE the PEOPLE had to pass laws to CREATE OUR rights. Had to kill a lot people to enforce those HUMAN given rights. It was HUMANS like JEFFERSON that enslaved people. Jefferson went both ways.

Ethelred

Nov 28, 2010
Thrasymachus
There are two kinds of rights, inherent, and government-granted
Would you care to show how ANY rights are inherent. That is, that did not need humans to create. For millennia people thought they had an inherent right to own people. They had a MIGHT given right.

. The right to perambulate, the right to live, the right to not be harmed, etc. are example of inherent rights.
None of which are magically there. We had to create them. Without people willing to engage in severe strife none of those things exist. In the Mongol Empire you had the right to be struck down so a Mongol could test his sword. In England you had the right to STAY WHERE YOU LIVED or be hunted down by your Lord. None of those things were considered rights in most of human history. WE the PEOPLE created them. Or rather the Founding Fathers did with much blood and pain and hard experience.

I think that covers your next post as well.

Ethelred

Nov 28, 2010
Why should the majority disagree?
EVERYONE is a member of some minority. Perhaps that is why the creators of the US Constitution eventually agreed to pass a Bill of Rights. Not everyone is as selfish as you Marjon. Some people, such as the Founding Fathers could think of others AND could notice that without rights for a minority they too would eventually be ground under the majority.

Ethelred

Nov 28, 2010
Amerinds that died of European diseases did so without any intent from the Europeans.
That is disputable.
Indeed the death rate was so bad there really weren't many people left in much of the US. Nearly the entire population of the Mississippi Missouri drainage was wiped out in as little as two years by ONE smallpox carrier that was with the De Soto expedition
-Which may indeed have been the reason why a diseased person was brought along on such an extended expedition into the wilderness where his infection would have imperiled the whole party. At what point was his contagion realized? Why wasn't he sent back when it was?
Cont.

Nov 28, 2010
Biowarfare is an ancient art. There's no reason to believe it wasn't intended to be used against indigenes by desoto as it had been both before and after. It DID eliminate a problematic culture and it DID create a lot of free land along a vital waterway through the middle of the continent, both Reasons to suspect that the disease was spread intentionally.

Euros were fighting indigenes around the world as they had been in north America by that time. We should expect them to have been clever enough to do it by any means.

Frajo enjoys using the term 'unprovoked war'. But when Leaders can observe a culture whose behavior in the present will make war in the future inevitable; and when They can realize that by the time this culture initiates this war, it will have been too late to prevent them from winning it; then preemptive aggression is entirely warranted, and critically, unavoidable.

Nov 28, 2010
Now Thrasymachus gave us just that: A crisp & clear definition of the term "inherent rights" which is suitable for all human beings. That's beautiful.
Many would assert that the ability to bear children is an inherent right. What do we do when individuals are told they have the inherent right to bear children beyond their means to support them by the culture which they belong to?

And what do we do when their culture tells them that their children are starving because the culture next door has all the food?

And what do we do when their culture insists they make war on their neighbors because they have the inherent right to secure food for their starving children?

Nov 28, 2010
otto1932's basso continuo with non-falsifiable insights of not identifiable "leaders" that something be "inevitable" identifies him as being unescapably and therefore religiously entangled in his own CT.
My comments above are about real-world issues which are directly related to your discussion here.

There is plenty of evidence to support the conclusion that overpop is a cause of war and that there are cultures which maximize their reproductive rates as an act of imperialistic aggression. Might I point out that it is more substantiated and far easier to authenticate than:
The conclusion is that the Europeans were waging an aggressive, unprovoked war.
-which is a conclusion drawn from ideology and has little relation to actual sociopolitical phenomena. It is essentially equivalent to praying for peace.
Cont.

Nov 28, 2010
Do you acknowledge that there is aggressive evil in this world and it is sometimes necessary to fight it? An evil which threatens inherent rights to a considerable degree? How can we secure those rights against those who would take them away?

"Theories of history or politics that allegedly predict future events have a logical form that renders them neither falsifiable nor verifiable. They claim that for every historically significant event, there exists an historical or economic law that determines the way in which events proceeded. Failure to identify the law does not mean that it does not exist, yet an event that satisfies the law does not prove the general case."

-I've posted this before so you should know not to use falsification when evaluating historicism.

Nov 28, 2010
A right is inherent when its justification stems from the nature of humanness. Without getting into the arcane logical arguments, this is just another way of saying that an individual has an inherent right insofar as it is consistent with every other individual having that same right. "Rights" talk is not the only way one can get at the concepts at stake here, one can also speak of universal, reciprocal obligation, or of morality in general. The violations of these sorts of rights committed by historical governments does not speak to the fact of whether these rights exist, neither does the fact that the concept of "right" is much later than the institution of government. Insofar as it was morally wrong for the Mongol to test their swords on the peasantry, they violated their rights when they did so. "Rights" talk is just a heuristic to help make the actions of a government more approachable within a system of morality for autonomous beings.

Nov 28, 2010
"Rights" talk is just a heuristic to help make the actions of a government more approachable within a system of morality for autonomous beings.
Ok but...
These rights do not guarantee themselves. Govts can grant them and they can take them away, either by force or by convincing the people that a higher power wants them restricted, which is apparently fairly easy to do.

The degree and extent of inherent rights are not so apparent as we might assume, and people seem to do very well with restrictions to them when they believe they are either natural or rightfully imposed. As well as imposing them on others for the same reasons.

In truth, when the basic needs of survival cannot be met for a given population then restrictions are inevitable, and the argument begins as to whose rights are more deserving than others.

Nov 28, 2010
In truth, when the basic needs of survival cannot be met for a given population

When has this happened under capitalist system?
Great Depression, Weimar Germany, US soldiers pension strike after ww1, that's 3 in 10 seconds. Donner party thats 4.

Nov 28, 2010
Investment always results in cycles of growth, decay, collapse and rebirth. Some say capitalism thrives on this, as growth produces support for more consumers, who find themselves in greater competition with one another as resources become scarcer and inflation sets in.

Downturns enable employers to refine their workforces by weeding out underperformers. Competition generally produces better products made for less money, and eliminates weak competitors. It also compels businessmen to collude to fix prices and bribe legislators, which is why it needs to be heavily regulated.

Nov 29, 2010
In truth, when the basic needs of survival cannot be met for a given population

When has this happened under capitalist system?

Poverty seems to restrict the acquisition of basic needs.
http://www.statem...ty-level
Mississippi has over one in five people living in poverty.

Nov 30, 2010
scientists call for rationing in developed world


Wow, those scientists are indeed crazy. The path to fight climate change is through more efficient technologies and clean energy, not rationing. If thats not enough, then I guess the planet is going to warm up, and we will have to learn to live in a warmer world.

Nov 30, 2010
""A free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate." --Thomas Jefferson: Rights of British America, 1774. ME 1:209, Papers 1:134 "
And how does this have meaning considering the source was a slave owner. Indeed he owned HIS OWN CHILDREN.

If he didn't believe it was inherent why should you?
The question remains, why should the majority disagree.
I answered that. I know you have a reality problem and a reading problem but this is ridiculous.
Jefferson again:


A man that owned his own children. I already pointed out that he owned slaves and you ignored it. From that I have to assume the you are OK with owning slaves. The Bible is so I guess that shouldn't surprise me.

Watch Marjon ignore this again.

Ethelred

Nov 30, 2010
The source of your source is MODERN Deism not that of Jefferson. Still I will deal with it.
1. Belief in God based on Reason, Experience and Nature
Somewhat but not YOUR god.
2. Belief that the nature of God is generally incomprehensible
I don't think an Age Of Enlightment Deist came up with that.
3. Belief that man’s relationship with God is impersonal and abstract.
That one is real.
Deists view humans as equal to each other with inherent rights which is a philosophy called Natural Law.
Which definitely doesn't fit Jefferson as he owned his mistress and their children. Not on Wikipedia either.

Of course Deism is pre-Darwin and many people have claimed that Natural Selection made Atheism a rational alternative. Then again Darwin's Grandfather was an Atheist. So was Franklyn, at least some of the time.

None of changes the fact that if you have to discuss it or enforce it IS NOT inherent. Breathing is inherent. Rights are opinions.

Ethelred

Nov 30, 2010
Otto said regarding Amerinds and smallpox
That is disputable.
Only by those that don't much about it. There is no evidence that either Cortez or De Soto even knew they had a smallpox carrier.
At what point was his contagion realized?
Decades at least perhaps centuries later when Smallpox was understood. There simply was no way for either of those men to comprehend the effects of smallpox on people with no resistance. Desoto didn't even know what happened because he just kept moving. Cortez must have seen the epidemic but few if any would have recognized as smallpox. The effects were extreme by the standards of the resistant Europeans.

I suppose that if De Soto knew what was going on it wouldn't have stopped him. He seems to have been one of the very worst. He was motivated purely by greed for gold.

Ethelred

Nov 30, 2010
A right is inherent when its justification stems from the nature of humanness
Which is an opinion.
individual has an inherent right insofar as it is consistent with every other individual having that same right.
Reasonable BUT it still requires discussion and therefor is not inherent.
The violations of these sorts of rights committed by historical governments does not speak to the fact of whether these rights exist
Yes it does.
Insofar as it was morally wrong for the Mongol to test their swords on the peasantry, they violated their rights when they did so
The victims had no rights.
"Rights" talk is just a heuristic to help make the actions of a government
Which does not make things that are opinions inherent.

What you propose as Rights are quite reasonable and clearly follow from the Golden Rule. But they are not inherent. If they followed from the fact that people live and die then they would be inherent.

Ethelred

Nov 30, 2010
They follow from the fact that people have needs and make choices. The dispute here is largely based on a conflation of the use of the word "inherent" either normatively or descriptively. Your use of the word implies a descriptive meaning, using the word "inherent" in much the same way one would use the word "natural." A solid object inherently has mass because it is in the nature of solid objects to have mass, and therefore they are never observed without mass. This is a descriptive use. My use of the word is entirely normative. The normative question of whether a right is inherent is not whether that right (conceived of as an ability or lack of restriction) actually pertains everywhere and to everyone, but whether that right ought to pertain everywhere and to everyone. Rights are either inherent or not, not because of whether they are actually observed, but because of how they ought to be regarded.

Nov 30, 2010
There is no evidence that either Cortez or De Soto even knew they had a smallpox carrier.
"In the 9th century the Persian physician, Rhazes, provided one of the most definitive observations of smallpox and was the first to differentiate smallpox from measles and chickenpox"

"Smallpox devastated the native Amerindian population and was an important factor in the conquest of the Aztecs and the Incas by the Spaniards"

"During the Middle Ages, smallpox made periodic incursions into Europe but did not become established there until the population increased and population movement became more active during the time of the Crusades."

"on June 24, 1763, William Trent, a local trader, wrote, "Out of our regard for them [sc. representatives of the besieging Delawares], we gave them two Blankets and an Handkerchief out of the Small Pox Hospital. I hope it will have the desired effect.""

-People were aware enough of it to use it against their enemies.

Nov 30, 2010
I suppose that if De Soto knew what was going on it wouldn't have stopped him. He seems to have been one of the very worst. He was motivated purely by greed for gold.
A more compelling Reason in part for the invasion was to secure the precious metals. Advances in maritime tech were making independent trans-atlantic trade an immediate threat to euro economies. Gold and drugs would have collapsed euro societies if they had gotten there uncontrolled, devaluing royal treasuries and causing runaway inflation.

Metals were brought in through spain and carefully dispensed into restricted markets. They were 'shared' with neighbors by using privateers such as sir walter raleigh to raid convoys and thereby improve defensive tactics. These actions quickly enabled euro powers to develop militaries strong enough to control the worlds oceans.

Much of the gold and silver was scuttled and not recovered until centuries later, as there was just too much to absorb.

Nov 30, 2010
I lost a post before this one. Lets see...
Only by those that don't much about it.
It appears I may know more about smallpox than you??
There is no evidence that either Cortez or De Soto even knew they had a smallpox carrier.
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, as you do know. We can expect that brave xian conquistadors would refrain from disclosing it, and royal historians would refrain from recording it.

The evidence we DO have: 1. Smallpox and other diseases were well established over most of eurasia by the 1500s; 2. Disease had routinely been used as a weapon throughout history, by hittites, mongols, brits, et al; 3. Smallpox was an important factor in the spanish conquest of incas and aztecs.

Given these facts, it would be surprising if the invaders had refrained from using the one WMD which would have ensured, and in fact did ensure, victory. We can thus assume that there was a possibility that disease was spread by intent throughout the Campaign.

Nov 30, 2010
One can also routinely assume that Actors rarely ever disclose the full extent of why they are doing things or what it is they have actually done. The wikileaks threads make this obvious.

In order to understand we need to first assume the proper perspective and ask the question 'What was the most substantial benefit, irrespective of what we think we know, of historical events?' These benefits often far outweigh any merits presented in the official story line.

We can also routinely assume that history is most often fabricated for political reasons. This is certainly not my conclusion; any competent historian will tell you this. For instance, victors write the history of wars, and inevitably color them to favor their side.

For decades US people thought that they won ww2 in europe. Only after the fall of the USSR did they find out how little they actually had to do with it.

http://en.wikiped...Smallpox
http://en.wikiped..._warfare

Dec 02, 2010
Rights are either inherent or not, not because of whether they are actually observed, but because of how they ought to be regarded.


That one word is my point. The OUGHT word. It is an opinion as to what OUGHT to be a right. That humans have opinions IS inherent in humans ever since we became human as opposed to hominid. That humans have opinions about rights is inherent in the concept of rights BUT since people DO have DIFFERENT opinions as to what is a right then the rights are not inherent to humans.

Ethelred

Dec 02, 2010
In the 9th century the Persian physician, Rhazes
What is the reason that you think Cortes or De Soto were aware of this? I don't know about Cortes but I do know that Pizarro was illiterate and learned about Cortez's success by word of mouth. He did NOT bring small pox to the Incas, as they had their first epidemic 2 years before he arrived.
on June 24, 1763, William Trent,
Cores was 1512, De Soto started in 1539 died in 1542, his expedition was pretty dismal. There is no indication that they spread disease intentionally. Cortes had allies.
-People were aware enough of it to use it against their enemies.
In 1763 yes. Not with the Conquistadors. Heck it was a local disease that killed De Soto.
smallpox than you??
No. The diseases mostly hit after and for Pizarro before and he was unaware of it till later.

in fact did ensure, victory.
No Otto. 200,000 allies assured Cortes of victory. Just because something could happen doesn't it did.

Ethelred

Dec 02, 2010
Many owned slaves at that time.
Yes and clearly THEY didn't believe in inherent rights. Neither does the Bible.
abolished BECAUSE of their Christian beliefs
Actually it was DESPITE what the Bible says. You can con yourself on this but you can't con me.
was a crusading Christian
Yes, in violation of what the Bible clearly gave license to.
Ethel, I can't imagine that morality would bother you much. You support a govt led by all sorts of moral deviants
I can't imagine you NOT making stuff up about people. Do you eat with those same lying fingers?

By the way are you calling Pr. Bush and VP Mad Dog moral deviants?
Given your support of a powerful state,
I never said powerful.
I suspect you would have supported the 3/5 compromise so the USA could have been created
I don't know but Jefferson did. So did Franklyn though he hated it.
Many here would not mind that.
I take it that you are one of the alleged many.

Ethelred

Dec 02, 2010
I do have to take some issue with you on the inherency of certain rights being an opinion. The difference between inherent and non-inherent rights is that inherent rights are grounded in objective ethics, while government granted rights are grounded in functional practicality. One may hold the opinion that ethics cannot be objective, but deeper problems of relativism will emerge.

Marjon's an idiot because he doesn't recognize that every right, whether inherent or not, relies on the recognition and protection of that right by a governmental institution if it is to be respected. He thinks that if we just imagine whatever rights we wish to be akin to laws of nature then they really will be. All rights need active protection to be practically meaningful, whether they are inherent or not, and we don't get to just pick and choose which rights are inherent and which ones aren't.

Dec 02, 2010
I would also like to point out that inherency is not a concept that has any real meaning when applied descriptively. Inherency implies that a certain connection between an object and its properties is necessary. Observation can never justify any claim of necessary connection, as Hume argued. Rather, the claim that something is inherent to something else must always be a normative or moral claim. To claim that mass is an inherent property of solid objects is just to claim that every time you conceive of a solid object, you also ought to conceive of that object having mass. That we also always observe the correlation does not justify the claim of inherency, rather, the truth of the claim of inherency explains the constancy of our observations. Likewise, when it comes to moral categories, the observation of the correlation of the moral categories to the moral objects does not justify or refute the claim that those moral categories are inherent to those moral objects.

Dec 02, 2010
I hate to get involved in rights talks because they're generally so semantically delicate and politically grounded that they rarely lead to any terribly useful outcomes, but here's a thought...

Nature grants any and all of us only a single right: The right to try to survive. This is truly inherent and only yourself can give it up. It's also ultimately why any of us are around here to argue at all.

On top of that, Nature *saddles* us with any number of universal NEEDS (as they apply to us all equally by the simple virtue of our being human) that require fulfillment in at least some measure if we are to achieve our potential to any extent. To allow for this fulfillment, groups of people of various sizes and common interests *agree to guarantee each other* various freedoms and/or entitlements. The only real "inherent natural right" is the survival instinct. What are usually referred to as inherent rights are in fact "needs" and the rights required to fulfill them are socially granted.

Dec 02, 2010
The natural urge to survive is not a right either, as it's all too often unsuccessful. We simply cannot think of rights as things that any object observably possesses or lacks. That would be to equate a right with an ability, and not all of us have the same abilities, even when it comes to the desire to live.
Rights are the conceptual mirror of the obligations one owes to others. They are what others owe to the individual. Obligations cannot be observed or perceived the way one can perceive the shape, color, position or behavior of an object.

Inherent rights are those obligations that are deemed to be necessary in order for us to maintain a certain basic level of freedom compatible with a like freedom for everybody else. Institutionally granted rights are those obligations that are not necessary, but granted on an argument of their contribution towards that freedom. They aren't thought to be necessary, but they are thought to be helpful.

Dec 02, 2010
What is the reason that you think Cortes or De Soto were aware of this? I don't know about Cortes but I do know that Pizarro was illiterate and learned about Cortez's success by word of mouth.
"[Razi's 9 vol. med encyclopedia] is significant since it contains a celebrated monograph on smallpox, the earliest one known. It was translated into Latin in 1279 by Faraj ben Salim, a physician of Sicilian-Jewish origin employed by Charles of Anjou, and after which it had a considerable influence in Europe."

"[cortez] led an expedition that caused the fall of the Aztec Empire and brought large portions of mainland Mexico under the rule of the King of Castile in the early 16th century."

"Because of the controversial undertakings of Cortes and the scarcity of reliable sources of information about him, it has become difficult to assert anything definitive about his personality and motivations."
cont-

Dec 02, 2010
"Early lionizing of the conquistadors did not encourage deep examination of Cortes."

"The history of the conquistadores is rife with accounts of rivalry, jockeying for positions, mutiny and betrayal."

"In 1518 Velazquez put him in command of an expedition to explore and secure the interior of Mexico for colonization."

Ethelreds original statement was:
Amerinds that died of European diseases did so without any intent from the Europeans.
Which otto indicated was disputable. Evidence Ive provided so far: persian medical knowledge was widely distributed in europe by the time of the american conquests; biowarfare had routinely been used throughout history (link); cortez' expedition was an official planned and sanctioned one (even tho mutinous); and there was a strong intent to conquer the entire region quickly and decisively.
cont-

Dec 02, 2010
The state is the only viable social institution capable of protecting rights.

Dec 02, 2010
Additionally, cortez and most conquistador actions and motivations are shrouded in mystery. Few records were kept and a great deal of both spanish activity as well as information and artifacts from native cultures was purposefully obscured and destroyed. What little we have left to examine has been fatally tainted as propaganda:

"As a result of these historical trends, descriptions of Cortes tend to be simplistic, and either damning or idealizing."

But we can look at the results of actions and try to infer what actually happened behind this shroud of mystery. And as Ive said, it would be very unlikely that conquistadors did not intentionally use the bioweaponry which was the primary reason for their swift and decisive victories.

"Forensic science [is] the application of a broad spectrum of sciences to answer questions of interest... in relation to a crime or a civil action."

-And forensics always carries the assumption that evidence may have been altered or obscured.

Dec 02, 2010
No Otto. 200,000 allies assured Cortes of victory. Just because something could happen doesn't it did.
I wish you would provide quotes or links... 200k who? Natives? Euros?

Victory came from the elimination of significant numbers of indigenes who would have fought the imposition of euro control. They did not have to be subjugated; they died instead. Their cultures did not have to be destroyed; they evaporated.

Dec 02, 2010
1/5
The natural urge to survive is not a right either, as it's all too often unsuccessful.
While not usually thought of as a right, IMO, it's really the one inherent universal freedom/entitlement-given to you by nature & can't be cut out. Success or failure as far as acting on it is irrelevant to its inherentness or universality.
We simply cannot think of rights as things that any object observably possesses or lacks. That would be to equate a right with an ability, and not all of us have the same abilities, even when it comes to the desire to live.
I disagree. Instincts and abilities are distinct. Abilities are one of the potentials for acting on instinct. Abilities can vary, or be entirely absent, but the survival instinct? No. You may be able to live even if you cannot walk, or if you cannot see-though certainly your chances of success are vastly diminished-but not if you are not even interested in latching onto your mother's tit after birth. These are simple facts.

Dec 02, 2010
2/5
Rights are the conceptual mirror of the obligations one owes to others. They are what others owe to the individual.
This is of the order of opinions. Which is fine, I also happen to share that opinion, but it only supports the notion that rights are not "inherent"--that is "built directly into" an organism--but granted socially to allow for the fulfilment of needs which, like instincts, ARE inherent. I understand (I think) that you mean rights are owed to you by others, but it still seems to me that you are conflating rights and obligations here. I can agree that "Rights are the conceptual mirror of...obligations" but rights are not merely obligations owed others, but also imply complimentary obligations. The two are not the same. E.g., my right to freedom implies your obligation not to confine me arbitrarily.

Dec 02, 2010
3/5
We simply cannot think of rights as things that any object observably possesses or lacks.
I'm in nearly 100% agreement
That would be to equate a right with an ability, and not all of us have the same abilities, even when it comes to the desire to live.
I disagree. The desire to live is not an ability, that's why it is referred to as an instinct, something considered inherent, rather than an ability, which may be typical, but variable to the point of being absent. I believe that the confounding between instinct and ability is also an error.

Dec 02, 2010
Ooops 3/5
We simply cannot think of rights as things that any object observably possesses or lacks.
I'm in nearly 100% agreement
That would be to equate a right with an ability, and not all of us have the same abilities, even when it comes to the desire to live.
I disagree. The desire to live is not an ability, that's why it is referred to as an instinct, something considered inherent, rather than an ability, which may be typical, but variable to the point of being absent. I believe that the confounding between instinct and ability is also an error.

Dec 02, 2010
4/5
Inherent rights are those obligations that are deemed to be necessary in order for us to maintain a certain basic level of freedom compatible with a like freedom for everybody else.
I agree with you for the most part. I have no problem with the notion of "inherent rights" insofar as these are understood as rights granted to allow for the fulfilment of the irreducible needs required to achieve one's human potential (think Maslow). It's the only way I know how to reconcile the built-in (needs) with the freedoms/entitlements which can and unfortunately are often arbitrarily taken away (rights). Of course, you could always argue that inherent rights can never really be taken and only violated, but that would pretty irrelevant to the victim of the offense.
[/blockquote]

Dec 02, 2010
Blockquote??? Damn! Obviously Eth has a lot more practice at this than I do :^)

4/5
Inherent rights are those obligations that are deemed to be necessary in order for us to maintain a certain basic level of freedom compatible with a like freedom for everybody else.
I agree with you for the most part. I have no problem with the notion of "inherent rights" insofar as these are understood as rights granted to allow for the fulfilment of the irreducible needs required to achieve one's human potential (think Maslow). It's the only way I know how to reconcile the built-in (needs) with the freedoms/entitlements which can and unfortunately are often arbitrarily taken away (rights). Of course, you could always argue that inherent rights can never really be taken and only violated, but that would pretty irrelevant to the victim of the offense.

Dec 02, 2010
5/5
Institutionally granted rights are those obligations that are not necessary, but granted on an argument of their contribution towards that freedom. They aren't thought to be necessary, but they are thought to be helpful.
Which, IMO, represent rights based on the non-fundamental, on desires, nice-to-haves. As you say, helpful, but not necessary. Again, among all this, the survival instinct, IMO, is the only "right" that truly comes "built-in" AND can't be taken away. I think we mostly disagree on the *ultimate sources*. In my case this is Nature for ONE truly inherent right (built-in survival instinct), and Nature+society for what are normally termed "inherent rights" (socially protected freedoms/entitlements for the fulfillment of needs) and human desires+society for all the rest. Perhaps this comes off as a bit too algorithmic?

Dec 02, 2010
The state is the only viable social institution capable of protecting rights.
It is a shared responsibility.

While "the state", whether local, regional, or national may represent a viable social institution for protecting rights, various levels of goverenment are just as capable of developing policies that violate rights. In such cases, it becomes incumbent on either other levels of government to intervene, on other branches of government (such as courts, for example) to intervene, on other social sectors (the media, for example) to intervene, and most of all, on individuals who must not remain passive in the face of violation of their rights.

Dec 02, 2010
I think the error is in thinking that Nature is the source of any of our rights, inherent or not. Thinking of rights and obligations as mirrors of one another conceptually is exactly the right way to think of them. If you have a right to something, then all others have an obligation to you regarding that thing. Likewise, if someone else has a right to something, then you, and everybody else, has an obligation to them regarding that thing. Obligations are not granted nor justified by nature, only inclinations and instinctual urges are. The source of obligation is mankind itself, through its particular form of sociality. Inherent rights are those mutual obligations which make human society possible at all. I rarely like rights talk when it comes to morality and the role of government anyway, as it borrows too heavily from analogy to a mistaken concept of natural laws, and an illegitimate expansion of the concept of contracts.