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Zoethe

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Well THAT'S better [Jul. 22nd, 2008|11:06 am]
Zoethe
[Current Mood |mellowmellow]

Finally feeling human again. Even if it took getting up this morning, working a little while, and then collapsing for an hour's nap. It was quite strange: I can only describe it as my body shaking off the last of the sickness like a dog shaking water from its fur. Now all I have is that post-illness, quiet feeling. The one that says, don't get all carried away, bucko, and you'll be fine.

I had a strange dream last night. Actually, most of the dream was the standard sort of "aliens invading the world, try to find someplace safe to hide." fare. But all my allies were strangers to me, a group of doubters in a world otherwise enthusiastically welcoming the aliens. And the first place we found to hide was discovered by other humans whose eyes were opened by the actual raid. But when I found a second, more secure hiding place, I was determined only to share it with the original group and to leave the late arrivals to their fate. I thought they were stupid and didn't deserve to be saved.

This seems a rather strange attitude for someone who fashions herself compassionate toward the underprivileged. And yet when I think about it, it's not really contradictory. I am concerned with the growing education gap. I think it is the job of society to do what it can to give people an opportunity to get on the playing field, even though it will never be level. I believe that regulation is necessary to prevent upstream producers from dumping their cost of doing business on the little guy downstream.

But once people have the same information and the ability to process it, if they are going to continue being stupid and ignoring consequences, well then my compassion dries up and they're on their own.

You can believe in both social and personal responsibility. If one accepts that, then we are just discussing matters of degree.

(Yeah, that kind of rambled all over the place. Blame it on post-infirmity brain.)
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: adjust_56
2008-07-22 03:41 pm (UTC)
"if they are going to continue being stupid and ignoring consequences, well then my compassion dries up and they're on their own."

There is a HUGE difference between being compassionate and allowing someone to take you to the cleaners becuase you are bending backwards to try and safe those that don't want to be saved. I find you letting them sink very compassionate, life will become their teacher....kind of like the thought that god sends a little nudge first then if you didn't learn the lesson the nudge grows until it's a 2 X 4.....for me compassion is seeing them for who they are and allowing them to be that ( even though i wouldn't be that) and letting them grow at their own pace....a teacher of mine used to say we are all going in the same direction, some of us choose to take an airplane, others a bus others choose to walk and others choose to take all the scenic drives and distractions before ever embarking on the path.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2008-07-22 04:16 pm (UTC)
I think the problems of society are more complicated than that. Some people aren't ever given much choice in their mode of transportation. But personal responsibility has to kick in somewhere.
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[User Picture]From: vrax
2008-07-22 03:49 pm (UTC)
We are obligated to unlock all the doors, but we need not hold them open all day.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2008-07-22 04:16 pm (UTC)
Good way of putting it.
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[User Picture]From: kisekinotenshi
2008-07-22 03:59 pm (UTC)
It's very true, and I think it's part of the reason why my mother was so smart in letting my older brother make an idiot of himself seven years ago (good lord, it has been that long). Basically, he had a toxic girlfriend, and he let her decide a bunch of stuff for him, such as dropping out of college (twice), getting minimum wage jobs, living in a pig sty, and basically just fucking up his life. My mother, instead of giving them money and trying to help them, basically told me brother that it was his hole, he dug it, and he would have to get himself out of it. And it took him a good four years to do so, but the day he finally dumped that girl and moved to where we are was the day his life started improving. And now he's a college graduate, has a lovely fiancee and a secure job, and is that much wiser for spending those years living paycheck to paycheck and occasionally being evicted from places and listening to that evil girl. Most mothers would care too much about their children to let them learn that way (although it shouldn't be said that my mother didn't suffer, watching her eldest son in that state), but my mother is a good mom.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2008-07-22 04:19 pm (UTC)
Enabling is not love. What your mom did, that's love.
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[User Picture]From: kisekinotenshi
2008-07-22 04:29 pm (UTC)
Yep, she is a very good mom. I make sure to tell her so every so often. She makes up for my dad's lack of parenting in a lot of ways. n.n;;;
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[User Picture]From: kisekinotenshi
2008-07-22 07:38 pm (UTC)
I don't really get that vibe, actually. It seemed to me that Finding Nemo was actually more about a parent having to let go and know that their child will do okay without their help all the time. I didn't get the impression that Marlin would willingly let Nemo do anything until he learned to let go.

So maybe it's kind of the same thing, but I'm looking at it from a different angle than you are.

Edited at 2008-07-22 07:39 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: wyrrlen
2008-07-22 05:15 pm (UTC)
I heard Ira Flatow say that 51% of the United States believes Creationism over the Law of Evolution. I think that as a society we have created our own barriers to education when we consider learning and reason to be anathema to our identity. Cultural changes are the hardest ones to undertake.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2008-07-22 05:41 pm (UTC)
That just dismays me every time I hear it. And I can't help wondering how the questions were couched - I just don't want to believe we are, as a people, this ignorant.
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[User Picture]From: wyrrlen
2008-07-22 05:47 pm (UTC)
It makes me sad to hear the numbers myself, but I'm not sure if I find them surprising just based on the number of cars I've seen locally with the bumper sticker showing the jesus fish eating the darwin fish. I think it's just easier for a lot of the population to be given ideas than to solve for them.
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[User Picture]From: kisekinotenshi
2008-07-22 05:56 pm (UTC)
I actually talked with a younger girl my last semester of college who told me, and I quote, "evolution just doesn't make sense to me." I can't even wrap my head around the idea that evolution doesn't make sense, but some all powerful being creating everything does. @.@
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[User Picture]From: bustylis
2008-07-22 08:17 pm (UTC)
I've got a better anecdote for you...

A friend of mine was studying biology in high school with a classmate who, while they are identifying parts of the cell, let's her know, "I'm just learning this to get through class, I don't really believe in this stuff."

Not even evolution. PARTS OF THE CELL YOU CAN SEE WITH A MICROSCOPE FOR YOURSELF.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2008-07-22 09:05 pm (UTC)
Some people should just be declared "too stupid to live." I'm stunned,.
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[User Picture]From: bustylis
2008-07-22 09:54 pm (UTC)
DANG. I am stunned by my own flagrat abuse of grammar. Lets, rather.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2008-07-22 10:34 pm (UTC)
It's a corollary of Murphy's Law that whenever you write a comment pointing out the stupidity of others you will invariably make a spelling or grammar error.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2008-07-22 06:51 pm (UTC)
Thanks.
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[User Picture]From: bustylis
2008-07-22 08:20 pm (UTC)
I'm glad I'm not the only person who has alien invasion dreams. I always have fugitive/freedom fighter dreams, where I'm running from something (totalitarian governments, robots, aliens, or the mob, like last night). What's frustrating is that I think these are actually, psychologically/physiologically distressing me, to the point where I wake up more tired than when I went to bed. Which then begs the question, what am I running from?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2008-07-22 09:09 pm (UTC)
No, you are definitely not alone in those dreams, my dear. And yeah, I woke up sort of wondering about the significance of discovering a safer spot by moving a slimy skeleton out of a crypt, discovering a false floor beneath it that I couldn't smash through but eventually realized could be lifted away, and then stone stairs down into a lighted space that I never actually saw but somehow knew was safe. That's gotta be at least 37 flavors of Jungian.
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[User Picture]From: bustylis
2008-07-22 09:46 pm (UTC)
Alternate theory: we play too many videogames.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2008-07-22 10:31 pm (UTC)
It does have a certain Diablo II flavor to it, no?
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[User Picture]From: uplinktruck
2008-07-22 08:37 pm (UTC)
"I believe that regulation is necessary to prevent upstream producers from dumping their cost of doing business on the little guy downstream."

Hmmmm...

Who do you think should pay those costs of doing business?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2008-07-22 09:19 pm (UTC)
Yes, I know that it is a complicated mess of producers having to pass costs on to consumers, etc. And I know that regulation is fraught with bureaucratic headache. But our rivers don't catch on fire these days.

The tragedy of the commons is a real phenomenon. We've passed a lot of the cost down to our great grandchildren already.

I'm not going to pretend for a moment that there aren't serious problems with regulation. But please don't pretend that a free market is a complete panacea, either.
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[User Picture]From: uplinktruck
2008-07-22 09:31 pm (UTC)
I do not pretend the free market is a panacea. A free market is the only way to go with 90% of the goods and services out there right now, so there is no pretending.

Every government regulation started out with good intentions. Every government regulation has been turned in to a legal nightmare that is one of the primary forces driving our manufacturing base overseas.

Never forget that government never solves problems, it manages them. If a division of government was to solve a problem it is in charge of, that division would be out of work.

But the question still stands. Who do you think should pay the costs of supplying and operating a business if not the customers of that business?

P.S. Flaming rivers do not come from a free market.
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[User Picture]From: bustylis
2008-07-22 09:51 pm (UTC)
My problem with the 'free market' argument is twofold:

1. All consumers are not created equal. Some will have more money than others, allowing them more freedom of choice in economic decisions - which is the lynchpin of the free market, as I understand it. (Voting with your wallet.)

2. It is not always in the best interest of the business to be transparent to the consumer, therefore the consumer may not be able to make a truly informed choice.

Of course, I'm sure these arguments have been levied (much more competently by better-read people than I) against arguments for the free market in the past, so I'd like to hear the counter-argument for what I consider fundamental weaknesses.
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[User Picture]From: uplinktruck
2008-07-22 10:40 pm (UTC)
Here are your fundamental weaknesses.

"1. All consumers are not created equal."

This is a fact that no one and no amount of regulation is going to change. I wouldn't change it if I could because that is called socialism or communism depending on far you push it. Neither option worked out well for nations that tried it.

Here is another fundamental flaw. In a regulated economy the options for the underdog to get ahead are severely limited. In a free market economy everyone has the same opportunity to pursue what ever business they choose.

They will sink or swim on their own merit which is as it should be. If I happen to find myself as the underdog, I would like to have the option of clawing my way up the food chain.

". It is not always in the best interest of the business to be transparent to the consumer, therefore the consumer may not be able to make a truly informed choice."

Why should any business have to be transparent to the consumer? I'm not sure what that has to do with a free market economy.

As for making an informed decision, you have got to be kidding me!

In this day and age? If you really believe that a consumer cannot find out about a product or a dealer let me take your hand and lead you to a couple examples:

For products, I selected Canon Cameras (I shoot a Canon EOS-20D) All you have to do is Google "Canon camera ratings."

For dealer ratings check out these web sights: Bizrate, StoreRatings.org, Consumeraffairs.org and ResellerRatings.com.

Or just Google the name of the business along with the word "complaints" or "ratings."

The US consumer has never had this kind of access to information and reviews on consumer products and dealers.

Edited at 2008-07-22 10:43 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2008-07-22 10:57 pm (UTC)
1. I totally agree that it is not the place of the market or the government to make sure that all consumers are created equal. Competition and market forces are vital.

2. Sure, you can find out about how well a product performs. But that's not what's being discussed.
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[User Picture]From: uplinktruck
2008-07-23 12:30 pm (UTC)
Actually, bustylis wrote: "2. It is not always in the best interest of the business to be transparent to the consumer, therefore the consumer may not be able to make a truly informed choice."

I was responding to that statement.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2008-07-23 12:34 pm (UTC)
True, but I was speaking of a different kind of transparency and so, I believe, was she.
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[User Picture]From: uplinktruck
2008-07-23 01:27 pm (UTC)
Okay, I missed it. What kind of transparency do you have in mind?
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[User Picture]From: bustylis
2008-07-23 02:53 pm (UTC)
Well, if a company is engaging in something I consider inethical (insider trading, using child labor, polluting a water supply), how am I supposed to know so I can refuse to buy their products (and tell everyone else to)?
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[User Picture]From: bustylis
2008-07-23 02:55 pm (UTC)
And, on another tangent, I still feel wary about letting any company decide whether it's product is 'good enough' for human consumption. It's one thing if your digital camera has a crappy battery life; it's another when your car's airbags don't deploy like they should.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2008-07-23 05:45 pm (UTC)
Transparency of business practices such as waste disposal. But we're calling a truce on this for now!
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[User Picture]From: bustylis
2008-07-23 01:38 am (UTC)
Are you seriously suggesting that the consumer would benefit from completely deregulated medicine or food? I'm fine with the FDA requiring a degree of rigor rather than letting companies determine how much testing is needed for their products by selling it to people.

If you were the underdog, you might be stuck buying products from a company that saves you money by using unsavory business practices, like letting you be a lab rat for their new drug. Regulation doesn't hamper the underdogs, it protects them.
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[User Picture]From: uplinktruck
2008-07-23 01:40 pm (UTC)
Looking back you will see that I said 90% of the goods and services in this country should be hands off by the government.

The medical, insurance and banking industries are not part of that 90%. So we agree in principal. However, again anything the government does will be done to a fault.

With the FDA we are talking keeping potentially life saving experimental drugs out of the hands of near terminal patients. Patients that have been fully informed of the nature of the drugs, all the risks involved and who are going to die within three months for sure without it.

The FDA is very necessary. But they two need guidance when it comes to common sense.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2008-07-22 10:52 pm (UTC)
Burning rivers come directly from an unregulated market. If a business can reduce its cost of doing business by disposing of hazardous materials into a river or the air, it will certainly do so - to do otherwise would be irresponsible to stock holders because it would not maximize profit.

The first clean water laws in this country were passed before we were even a country, an attempt by those downstream on the Hudson to stop those upstream from dumping their sewage and tanning wastes into the river and hopelessly fouling it for the downstream folks. The problem of producers foisting a portion of their goods on the general public has been around for a very long time.

Who should pay for it? In the long run, the consumer. I should pay what it really costs to build a car or grow a potato, if I'm the one driving that car or eating that potato. I don't know how we get there, though. The car company is too large and complicated for me to track down how the subcontractor who chromes the bumper disposes of his waste products. If I buy that potato in the grocery store, I don't have the ability to determine if the farmer used DDT on his crops. Even if I do investigate, how can I be sure the farmer or the subcontractor are telling the truth?

Right now, the consumer does not pay. The taxpayer pays, which means that the cost of my car is spread out over millions of people, whether I buy a Prius or a Humvee. That's not right.

Unfortunately, it's probably not avoidable. We are a global economy, and that makes too many layers between me and the guy who's taking home $5 million or more a year.

Can you look at what just happened to a deregulated mortgage industry and seriously tell me that manufacturers would police themselves just fine?
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[User Picture]From: uplinktruck
2008-07-23 01:25 pm (UTC)
The fact is that it does not matter which books the revenue comes out of, it still comes from you and I. If the government raises a tax or a fee on industry or business, they do not eat that cost. neither would I.

Those taxes and fees are passed along in the price. In the end the consumer ends up picking up the tab on all the taxes from the raw materials stage to cash register.

As for the mortgage industry, it is government regulations that lead us into the sub-prime mess. The Democratic led congress at the time twisted the arms of lenders because "only the rich" could afford to buy houses. You see, those mean old hard hearted money changers refused to make loans that carried too much risk.

Our congress, righteously outraged that not everyone could afford the American dream, tackled the problem with legislation and regulation. the forced the lenders to come up with programs to get less advantaged people, also written as "higher risk" mortgages written. The rest is history.

But again, anything the government does in the private sector will be done to a fault. For a tiny slice of that concept, take a look at some of the toys you and I grew up with. Toys that have either quietly vanished from the market place (Thing Maker, Vac-u-Form, Mighty Moe) or been sued out of existence. (Lawn darts, the Original Easy Bake Oven.)

We must accept some personal responsibility for our own actions. If you place your ladder on soft mud against a rusted rain gutter mounted on rotting and termite eaten eaves three stories above that mud and then put on a dazzling display of Newtonian physics, why should the government spank the ladder maker?

The same applies to the extraordinarily dim parent that would hand a set of lawn darts to a couple six years olds and tell them to go outside and play.

And these are just a couple among thousands of examples of what happens every time government steps in to solve a private sector problem.

However, I think you are mistaking a free market economy for a no rules economy. I am not in favor of a no rules economy. There should be and need to be reasonable regulations and oversight on things like pollution and safety.

Edited at 2008-07-23 01:26 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2008-07-23 05:44 pm (UTC)
It sounds like, in the end, we are much closer on this than initially appeared. I don't have the time or energy to dissect the mortgage crisis just now - we'll save that for another day!

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[User Picture]From: thejunebug
2008-07-23 09:27 am (UTC)
Glad to know I'm not the only one who has nightmares about aliens invading the earth. *relief*
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