Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.

 

There's a great line in Atlas Shrugs that goes like this: "You concluded I was the safest person in the world to spit on because I have power over you and that I would be tied by the fear of hurting your feelings by reminding you of it."

Our society seems to have taken that view en-masse in recent years.


Comments (Page 5)
on Jul 31, 2013

Borg999

A lot of analysis of the "true meaning" of the book going on, but if you read between the lines, the true meaning of the whole thread is:

The rich are worthy, the poor (and middle class) are not worthy.

This is just another veiled argument for providing the wealthy with corporate welfare at the expense of education, infrastruture, tempoarary unemployment benefits, etc, etc.

Yawn. Back up your point with some logical argument, not vague "read between the lines" phrasing.  You're basically saying that because you're smart enough to read between the lines you see Rand's true secret evil pro-rich person point, that any of us who think her point (which she actually makes pretty clearly repeatedly) is something other than what you think aren't smart enough to read between the lines.  

There's plenty of room to disagree (as people in the thread have) and still have intelligent discussion.  I started this reply with the intent of telling you why I thought you were wrong, but then I realized that you hid behind such timeless classics as "read between the lines" (which is really another word for 'let me put my spin on this so it says what I want it to say') to create a beautiful strawman that no one can directly challenge. 

Who is threatened most by a system built on clear rules encouraging rational self-interest (for the individual, corporation, organization, etc) and protecting individual rights above all else?  A system designed to reward merit of the individual (like the one Rand champions) above all else while maintaining the sanctity of individual rights (in other words you succeed to the best of your abilities as long as you're not violating another person's rights)?   Who is the biggest loser if that comes to pass?  

Edit:  Brad nailed her point more succinctly than I have only it's not between the lines.  It's stated openly in much of the dialog.  One of the main characters gives a 25 page speech on it. 

Edit 2:  Modified the tone a little bit.  My post came across more obnoxious than I meant it to.

on Jul 31, 2013

Frogboy



Quoting Borg999,
reply 57

A lot of analysis of the "true meaning" of the book going on, but if you read between the lines, the true meaning of the whole thread is:

The rich are worthy, the poor (and middle class) are not worthy.

This is just another veiled argument for providing the wealthy with corporate welfare at the expense of education, infrastruture, tempoarary unemployment benefits, etc, etc.


That is a pretty bogus interpretation imo.

The "between the lines" meaning is that one person is not beholden to another.

Soley on that meaning, I agree. One person is not beholden to another.

However, such a belief can easily be extended to a philosophy that Libertarians and other conservatives could use to justify not paying taxes.

"I am not beholden to others, therefore I shouldn't pay taxes to support gov't programs that helps others"

Just my 2 cents. No spitting or trashing mods.

 

on Jul 31, 2013

[quote who="Borg999" reply="63" id="3386056"]


Quoting Kantok,
reply 61



Edit:  Brad nailed her point more succinctly than I have only it's not between the lines.  It's stated openly in much of the dialog.  One of the main characters gives a 25 page speech on it. 




Quoting Kantok,
reply 61





Brad and others have repeately used this forum to complain about taxes, entitlement and the poor.

This thread was just another angle/approach to those arguments. I was reading between the lines of the OP's intent, not the book.


 

on Jul 31, 2013

Borg999

Brad and othesr have repeately used this forum to complain about taxes, entitlement and the poor.

This thread was just another angle/approach to those arguments. I was reading between the lines of the OP's intent, not the book.

I'm with Brad.  I hate the poor.  They smell funny.  And they dirty the sidewalk that I might want to walk down.  Which means I have to get my golden shoes polished and that costs money.  Plus the poor make the subway crowded.  And.. and... they smell funny.

/sarcasm

You ought to stop and consider that you are not reading Brad's (or anyone else's) arguments with an open mind.  You are hearing what you want to hear and then condemning them for saying what you want to hear rather than what they're actually saying.  

Brad's original point, that people feel a sense of entitlement against the successful purely because they're successful is true.  Look at the Phil Fish story.  Sure, he may have been a jerk, but people say things to him they would never say to a friend, or a family member, or someone within their normal circle and they expect Fish to both listen and to take whatever they say happily, and it's merely because he's successful.  He owes them because he's successful and they're nobodies.  

on Jul 31, 2013

jackswift85

Also, don't forget that all of us are framed by our experiences. Humans tend to have their viewpoints skewed based on their own lives and memories, and very few of us have the ability to completely absorb someone else's mindset, to truly imagine what it would be like to be someone else (not just "If I were rich, I'd buy more things" and "If I were poor, I'd buy less things"). The single mom who works two jobs trying to make ends meet will very likely have a much different view of the social safety net than the business owner who pays taxes to support it. Where the single mom is grateful and used to having, say food stamps to feed her kids and sees the safety net as a positive influence, the business owner is used to hiring workers, expanding/shrinking sectors of their business, developing new products, etc. and constantly sees money that they could use to invest in their business being taken away and distributed elsewhere, so it's viewed as a negative influence.

That's a pretty broad generalization.  I would expect that most business owners have no problem with social safety net taxes.  Having a society that can support those who can't support themselves is to the benefit of all.  It doesn't take a brilliant mind to realize that it is in our self-interest to support the poorest in society.  If they are left to fend for themselves (those who really have no alternative) that it leads to desperation, which in turn causes instability around us and hurts everyone.  

I can admit that and still think that taxes should be LOWER than they are today, that we pay for too many things that we don't need to support people who don't really need the help.  Or that a lot of the taxes we pay derive from regulatory burden specifically designed to punish small business or reward large business (however you want to phrase it the meaning is the same).  The reason small businesses hate Obamacare and that large corporations were all on board with it early on is because large corporation can absorb the costs of the regulation and the small businesses can't.  It's another barrier to entry for the individual trying to set out on their own today.  I don't mean this to be a discussion about the healthcare law, it's merely an example of of how the argument isn't taxes & social safety net vs. no taxes & screw poor people.  It's much more subtle than that.  

on Jul 31, 2013

sydneysiders
Quoting RedneckDude, reply 19My father in law says that one of the best things about me is that no matter what is going on around me, I find a way to enjoy my day. (Be Happy)
...and that is projected very much here in the forums/community, and happily, is catching...

 

Thanks, and I hope so! 

on Jul 31, 2013

RedneckDude


Quoting sydneysiders, reply 56Quoting RedneckDude, reply 19My father in law says that one of the best things about me is that no matter what is going on around me, I find a way to enjoy my day. (Be Happy)
...and that is projected very much here in the forums/community, and happily, is catching...

 

Thanks, and I hope so! 

Despite the issues you had to overcome your story was welcome to hear (that people can and do overcome adversity like that).

 

on Aug 05, 2013

Yes, the 'culture of entitlement' does exist.  So many of those people born into wealthy families act as if its their birth right to be 'takers' on a scale the welfare kids can only dream of. 

on Aug 05, 2013

ElanaAhova

Yes, the 'culture of entitlement' does exist.  So many of those people born into wealthy families act as if its their birth right to be 'takers' on a scale the welfare kids can only dream of. 

I pretty sure that the only rich people in this thread started out as poor, or at least what passes for poor in the western world.  So I think your throw-away line missed its mark, to say the least. 

Not to mention that the sense of entitlement under discussion has nothing to do with the odd spoiled rich kid or even directly with "money".  It's about those who feel like the successful in society, however you measure success, are beholden to the unsuccessful no matter the circumstances.  That last bit is important to the discussion. 

 

on Aug 05, 2013

Kantok
I pretty sure that the only rich people in this thread started out as poor,

There's a 'throw away line' in itself.....well....certainly an un-based assumption that is pure conjecture.

These forums are quite 'universal' in their reach...

on Aug 05, 2013



Quoting Kantok, reply 71I pretty sure that the only rich people in this thread started out as poor,

There's a 'throw away line' in itself.....well....certainly an un-based assumption that is pure conjecture.

These forums are quite 'universal' in their reach...

Fair enough.  I should have been more specific that I was referencing Brad, the only known rich person around here.  His story is well documented.  

on Aug 06, 2013

My issues with inequality and wealth- folks like Brad are the folks who should be encouraged- I just feel the way American society is becming, we'll have fewer Brads.

 

Sometimes help and "handouts" can be good investments.   The university Brad went to- going there was a government handout in a sense, public education is subsidized.

 

 

 

on Aug 06, 2013

Alstein

My issues with inequality and wealth- folks like Brad are the folks who should be encouraged- I just feel the way American society is becming, we'll have fewer Brads. 

Sometimes help and "handouts" can be good investments.   The university Brad went to- going there was a government handout in a sense, public education is subsidized. 

The question though is what is going to cause fewer "Brads"?  

You imply that it is a lack of public spending on universities.  Public spending on universities has increased every year since Brad went to college.  It is, in fact, the number one reason why college has become so unaffordable.  In the ~15 years since I started college until now the university I went to has gone from ~$30,000/year (paid for 50/50 by academic scholarship and loans) to ~62,000/year.  Imagine being an 18 year old kid asked to take on $124,000 in loans (assuming the same 50/50 split I had) for an undergraduate degree.  My sister-in-law is a practicing lawyer and swears if she had it to do over again she wouldn't.  She'll be paying off her loans into her 40s.  Imagine a 22 year old recent college grad with a good idea for a company who has to choose between paying his loans (at >$1,000/month) or starting his company.  He can't possibly start his company AND pay his loans, not unless he's lucky to have rich parents.  You average smart kid from a poor or middle class family is screwed.  He needs a job to pay his loans and has to put his idea away.  The problem in this scenario isn't "rich" people, it's the cost of education. 

I'd argue quite the opposite of your point.  Not only is public spending on education alive and well, it's actually pat of the problem.  The cost of education for the individual has increased at virtually the exact same rate that government spending on education has.  More broadly I'd argue the same problem exists with public spending on environmental regulation, health care regulation, etc.  The problem with an ever-increasing size of government is that it stifles the "little guy" from setting out on his own because only big corporations can afford to navigate the regulatory maze and then, once navigated, only they can afford to absorb the costs placed on business by those regulations (See FMLA, ADA, ACA, and hundreds of others).  That's not saying regulation is inherently bad (it isn't), but that our insistence on ever growing regulation (spending) is.  The government is the only force in society that has the power to distort the system at will.  Unfortunately the US government doesn't treat that power with the respect it deserves and we end up with a screwed up system that does nothing but generate wealth inequality because only the powerful can afford to navigate the system.  The system which places real and significant barriers to entry between small start up companies and the big players who can afford to work it.  By the way, this isn't a partisan thing.  George Bush is guilty of it too, just like Barack Obama (only in different policy areas).  

To bring it full circle, this is the problem with a sense of systemic entitlement by the masses towards the successful.  We are at (or near) a point where more spending, more regulation is always the answer because that's what a majority of the people want.  Group 1 gets it's spending, group 2 gets theirs, etc until we have a system designed to keep separate little groups happy at the expense of the greedy, evil "rich".  What we end up with is a system that has destroyed the ability of the poor and lower middle class to move up because they can't afford whatever opportunities they find.  The fault isn't "rich people", but government not willing to break the sense of entitlement by determining what is truly social safety net (and therefore indispensable) and what is a freebie.   

on Aug 06, 2013

It's the cost of 'qualification' that costs.

Education is free.

It only requires a thirst for knowledge...

on Aug 06, 2013


It's the cost of 'qualification' that costs.

Education is free.

It only requires a thirst for knowledge...

You and your pithy one-liners!  

Another good point, but unfortunately we (at least the US, I don't know enough to speak intelligently on other countries) are a society where the qualification is just as important as the education.