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Coopers
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Re: Education Voucher
Reply #180 - Aug 26th, 2013 at 11:56am
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Many on welfare are mentally/physically ill, or poor single parents, or people who do not have the ability or the life circumstances that allow them to get a job that pays above minimum wage, or refugees, etc... Sure, these people are unemployed and dependent on welfare but they NEED the welfare, and if they stay on welfare because their minimum wage job for e.g. can't feed their two kids, then be it. And sure, many, many people do fraudulently steal from welfare instead of working but it would be a crime against humanity to take welfare from those who actually need it. Would you close down every business because some abuse people?


Again, you have not even attempted to refute my argument that welfare creates unemployment, poverty and dependency. All you have done is said that people NEED welfare, without even explaining why. I will try again with you, but I am severely running out of patience.

Before the welfare state existed, were people left to just die on the streets? No. Charity has always provided a better form of welfare. Charity is what gives human connections to those genuinely in need. And I say "genuinely" because there are plenty of people who just do not deserve it.

When there is a human connection, ie people and charitable organisations providing assistance, the money is far better spent. That is because there is a far greater understanding of what that individual needs. Sometimes it is food, sometimes it is low paid work, and sometimes it is a kick up the arse. Bureaucrats and government departments are extremely inept at making these decisions. Many end up rorting the system  and bleeding tax payers dry.

It may surprise you to know, but in the age of the "robber barons" (the 19th century, the time of the most free trade), we saw the emergence of the most effective charities, such as the Red Cross. It was only with the introduction of the welfare state that we saw the loss of charities, and the kind of dependency that I described. The welfare state killed real welfare. It eliminated the human connections that made welfare effective and compassionate.

Also, the amount of money spent on welfare is far more than what is actually spent on the poor. The vast majority goes to public funding and bureaucrats. On the other hand, charities spend most of their money directly on their recipients. If you really cared about the poor, then you would support abolishing the welfare state.

The points I have made are illustrated in this debate featuring Walter Block: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0B5d8rjbMs

Please take the time to at least study some of the information I have provided. There is no shame in being wrong, but believe me, there is something wrong with being stubborn and refusing to even take your opponent's view into consideration. I spent many years doing just that, and it wasn't pleasant.
« Last Edit: Aug 26th, 2013 at 3:02pm by Coopers »  
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Re: Education Voucher
Reply #181 - Aug 26th, 2013 at 11:30pm
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Coopers wrote on Aug 26th, 2013 at 10:37am:
Five seconds is also about how long you take considering your arguments. If you had actually examined that story, you would have realised that the apparent human rights abuses occurred at Narong Seafood. They are merely a supplier to Walmart. Better luck next time.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Walmart

Just read about how your beloved Walmart treats its' workers. Dead Peasants Insurance, prison labour, sweatshop labour, depriving workers of breaks, forcing overtime on workers, etc... Although, it's nice to see that these champions of the so called free market aren't letting their bleeding labour concerned hearts affect the bottom line. It's obvious that labour unions and minimum wage laws are the problem and not companies like Walmart.

Quote:
It was more than one post, but you are unaware because you simply do not take the time to read what I or anyone else on this forum says. You seem to be quite the skimmer. I can only suggest reading back over what I said and also reading the Hoppe essay (somehow I think my requests will be in vain).


Whatever it's pointless anyways since I am not the one who has a problem with Arab immigrants.

Quote:
If minimum wage laws were abolished then we would see an enormous amount of jobs available for unskilled workers, and paid training for them to move into better paying work. Again, I explained this issue in detail, but you choose to ignore me or simply do not take the time to carefully consider my points.


I've heard this argument before and it's simply not true. Why would Walmart increase it's labour force if minimum wage laws were abolished? They wouldn't, they would simply reduce their already measly wages and worsen their already bad working conditions on their existing labour force. They have no reason to hire further people.

Quote:
Really? This is the best you can do? When it comes to basic standards, of course I support laws that prevent people from falling into servitude and physical harm.


Most of your libertarian buddies don't support "government force" like you do. And why only support "basic" standards, why not support good standards (8 hour work day, breaks, safe and clean working conditions, etc...)? There is no reason why a sweatshop has to operate past 5pm or before 9am for example.

Quote:
But as I said before, the conditions and pay of sweatshops are far better than what they had. If they weren't then they would not take the jobs.


Yes I know. But if I pull you out of a burning building and then start beating you up, I improved your life, but I am still an exploitative asshole, aren't I?

Quote:
And if they pack up and leave to a less developed country later on...great! Then people in those countries will have the same opportunities to improve their lot.


Let's say that Indonesians are rummaging through garbage on Monday. Tuesday I, the Western sweatshop running capitalist hero that libertarians across the world admire, set up shop in Indonesia and pay them 1 dollar an hour. 6 months later, these Indonesians' living standards improve and now they are demanding 1.5 dollars an hour. So I pack up my sweatshop and go to some other 3rd world country and pay them 1 dollar. When they start demanding 1.5 dollars, I go somewhere else. Their lives improve temporarily and then I take it all away and move somewhere else. Can't have those greedy, lazy workers affecting my bottom line.

Quote:
The more globalisation the better.


Agreed, the North American proletariat's job security be damned. 

Quote:
And if they had their own industrial revolution, I suppose it would happen without sweatshops? They would go straight from rummaging for garbage to cushy office jobs?


That's not what I said. They would have their own Industrial Revolution organized by their very own entrepreneur bourgeoise class. Britain did not need Bulgarian entrepreneurs to develop and Indonesia does not need British entrepreneurs.

Quote:
Again, I am repeating myself, but I pointed out that the West too had sweatshops with harsh working conditions when they were developing.


Yes I know, although the word harsh is an understatement. I would more say something like "horrid" or "physically revolting".

Quote:
Developing countries are developing at a far greater rate than the West did, and it is precisely because of the "exploitation" we provide them. If they could somehow make the transition in a better way then I would love to hear it from you.


It seems like in capitalist development there is no alternative to sweatshops (although I am not sure if the Scandinavians had any?). I am not a communist, but it's interesting to note that the communist countries never had any sweatshops themselves.

  

"You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population." -Karl Marx
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Re: Education Voucher
Reply #182 - Aug 26th, 2013 at 11:40pm
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Coopers wrote on Aug 26th, 2013 at 10:37am:
Have any data to back this up? I provided it for you, and whatever anecdotes you provide I am not prepared to take seriously.


Your data was inaccurate because it includes part time jobs and contract work and the like which is clearly on the rise. But here goes:

http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/the-truth/

63% of all employees want to work less, up from 46% in 1992 [1].

26% of adult Americans report being on the verge of a serious nervous breakdown [2].

40% of workers describe their office environment as “most like a real-life survivor program [3].”

Only 14% of Americans take two weeks or more at a time for vacation [4]. The average American therefore spends more time in the bathroom than on vacation.

61% of Americans check email while on vacation [5].

53% of employees would opt for a personal assistant rather than personal trainer [6].

62% of workers routinely end the day with work-related neck pain, 44% report strained eyes, 38% complain of hand pain, and 34% report difficulty in sleeping due to work-related stress [7].

88% of employees say they have a hard time juggling work and life [8].

70% of working fathers and working mothers report they don’t have enough time for their children [9].


And also,

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-03/americans-work-too-much-for-their-own-g...

Not only are work hours increasing, work demands/pressure are increasing as well. And there are many more links like the two I just posted online. North America is just not a very labour friendly place and until we begin to develop a class consciousness, the situation is not going to improve. Look at the European proletariat, he has a class consciousness, works less and enjoys a higher standard of living.
  

"You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population." -Karl Marx
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Re: Education Voucher
Reply #183 - Aug 26th, 2013 at 11:51pm
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Coopers wrote on Aug 26th, 2013 at 11:56am:
Again, you have not even attempted to refute my argument that welfare creates unemployment, poverty and dependency.


I am not denying that a lot of people abuse the welfare system and remain unemployed, poor and dependent on it. I do however think that it's not as big an issue as some make it out to be as most people on welfare don't do this. And even if they did, I don't understand why libertarians freak out over this but then think below subsistence wages and the like are just fine. When a poor person abuses the system it's the end of the world, when a bourgeois abuses someone well that's just the free market doing what the free market does. 

Quote:
All you have done is said that people NEED welfare, without even explaining why. I will try again with you, but I am severely running out of patience.

Before the welfare state existed, were people left to just die on the streets? No. Charity has always provided a better form of welfare. Charity is what gives human connections to those genuinely in need. And I say "genuinely" because there are plenty of people who just do not deserve it.

When there is a human connection, ie people and charitable organisations providing assistance, the money is far better spent. That is because there is a far greater understanding of what that individual needs. Sometimes it is food, sometimes it is low paid work, and sometimes it is a kick up the arse. Bureaucrats and government departments are extremely inept at making these decisions. Many end up rorting the system  and bleeding tax payers dry.

It may surprise you to know, but in the age of the "robber barons" (the 19th century, the time of the most free trade), we saw the emergence of the most effective charities, such as the Red Cross. It was only with the introduction of the welfare state that we saw the loss of charities, and the kind of dependency that I described. The welfare state killed real welfare. It eliminated the human connections that made welfare effective and compassionate.

Also, the amount of money spent on welfare is far more than what is actually spent on the poor. The vast majority goes to public funding and bureaucrats. On the other hand, charities spend most of their money directly on their recipients. If you really cared about the poor, then you would support abolishing the welfare state.

The points I have made are illustrated in this debate featuring Walter Block: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0B5d8rjbMs

Please take the time to at least study some of the information I have provided. There is no shame in being wrong, but believe me, there is something wrong with being stubborn and refusing to even take your opponent's view into consideration. I spent many years doing just that, and it wasn't pleasant.


There are still counties in Eastern Europe and across the world that have a weak and small welfare state where people are far more charitable and where there is far less homelessness and the like among the population. Like you said, the US used to be one of those places. But modern day countries like this, unlike the US and Canada, are small, community oriented, family oriented and ethnically homogeneous. I am a Torontonian and let me tell you, we need a welfare state. Private charities simply cannot get to everyone who needs it.

And additionally, private charities simply couldn't afford housing for the millions and millions of families in the US and Canada barely getting by on minimum wage. There is just too many needy people.

  

"You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population." -Karl Marx
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Re: Education Voucher
Reply #184 - Aug 28th, 2013 at 11:57am
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Again, this has nothing to do with education vouchers or government education in general but I'll do you a favor and tie it back into the topic of this thread for you. Proletariat wrote on Aug 26th, 2013 at 11:40pm:
Your data was inaccurate because it includes part time jobs and contract work and the like which is clearly on the rise. But here goes:

http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/the-truth/

63% of all employees want to work less, up from 46% in 1992 [1].
The US economy is only at a 63% participation rate (percentage of able bodied Americans that are actually employed) so I would assume that most are thankful to have a job and that there are part time workers who want to be full time.  The only way this has anything to do with education is that students aren't being prepared for a 40+ hour work week.  Yet another way government education is failing.

Proletariat wrote on Aug 26th, 2013 at 11:40pm:
26% of adult Americans report being on the verge of a serious nervous breakdown [2].
In relation to what?  Many things can cause a nervous breakdown.  Crime, marriage infidelity, problem with children, being chronically unemployed, conspiracy theories.  As vague as that statistic is, it pretty much invalidates itself. 

Proletariat wrote on Aug 26th, 2013 at 11:40pm:
40% of workers describe their office environment as “most like a real-life survivor program [3].”
So 60% don't experience some sort of job security.  If we actually analyze the statement, 40% describe their office environment as either being stranded on in the wilderness having to find food for survival or a reality TV program.  Either way, I doubt that their government education gave them critical thinking skills that would help them to avoid such ridiculous hyperbole.

Proletariat wrote on Aug 26th, 2013 at 11:40pm:
Only 14% of Americans take two weeks or more at a time for vacation [4]. The average American therefore spends more time in the bathroom than on vacation.

First, the statistic doesn't delineate between employed Americans or Americans in general.  So let's assume they're employed.  86% of employed Americans are taking two or more weeks of vacation at a time.  The "average" American employee is no in the bathroom more than on vacation.  Government education failed the researchers which is why they made that ridiculous assumption. 

Proletariat wrote on Aug 26th, 2013 at 11:40pm:
61% of Americans check email while on vacation [5].
Considering the large backlog of email that can occur over two weeks, this only seems prudent and I really can't relate this back to government education so its irrelevant to the current topic

Proletariat wrote on Aug 26th, 2013 at 11:40pm:
53% of employees would opt for a personal assistant rather than personal trainer [6].
I'll probably sound redundant but is sounds like 53% of those polled didn't gain the ability to think critically from their government education.  You can always hire your own personal assistant, so to think you have to have special permission to do so reflects on upon the intelligence of the person choosing that option in the survey.

Proletariat wrote on Aug 26th, 2013 at 11:40pm:
62% of workers routinely end the day with work-related neck pain, 44% report strained eyes, 38% complain of hand pain, and 34% report difficulty in sleeping due to work-related stress [7].

This tells me nothing.  Either employees are unhealthy or complain a lot. Government education clearly isn't preparing them properly to endure what it takes to work for a living.

Proletariat wrote on Aug 26th, 2013 at 11:40pm:
88% of employees say they have a hard time juggling work and life [8].
Another skill that should be learned during their time at government schools.

Proletariat wrote on Aug 26th, 2013 at 11:40pm:
70% of working fathers and working mothers report they don’t have enough time for their children [9].
This is probably due to unreal expectations when becoming parents. 

Why don't we try to keep to the topic of the day which is using a government voucher program to make private education more affordable?
  

Keauxbi
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Re: Education Voucher
Reply #185 - Aug 28th, 2013 at 12:21pm
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Proletariat wrote on Aug 26th, 2013 at 11:30pm:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Walmart

Just read about how your beloved Walmart treats its' workers. Dead Peasants Insurance, prison labour, sweatshop labour, depriving workers of breaks, forcing overtime on workers, etc... Although, it's nice to see that these champions of the so called free market aren't letting their bleeding labour concerned hearts affect the bottom line. It's obvious that labour unions and minimum wage laws are the problem and not companies like Walmart.


Wow, a Wikipedia link. Better than nothing, I guess.

You may (but I suspect may not) recall I stated that human rights abuses would have to involve force and/or severe breaches of contract. Going through that entire article, all I can find that comes close is the class action taken in Missouri where "approximately 160,000 to 200,000 people" were "forced to work off-the-clock, were denied overtime pay, or were not allowed to take rest and lunch breaks". If you want my condemnation of Walmart for this action then I grant it. This was wrong and Walmart should not be engaged in such practices.

But that is not all I have to say on the issue. Consider this: Walmart has over 2,000,000 employees and over 4,253 stores. Violations like that are bound to happen at times. Still, those with genuine grievances only make up a small number of their workforce.

Lefties like yourself seem to be obsessed with labour issues. You never take into account the bigger picture. For example, did you ever take into account the service Walmart does for consumers; more specifically, poor consumers? Here's some more data for you:

*42% of Walmart's customers make less than $40,000/year.

* This customer base spends heavily on food.

* The bottom income quintile spends about 25 % of income on food compared to just 3.5 % for the top quintile.

* Walmart has the lowest food prices

Do I need to spell out the implications of all this? Well, for you I probably do. Poor consumers benefit enormously from Walmart.

With your narrow-minded focus on wages, you completely miss how else Walmart helps. Helping the poor isn't just about labour conditions. It is about prices, productivity, demand and supply etc. In short, it is about economics; something which you socialists severely lack an understanding of.

And if you are just going to tell me that they "should" be paying more, then take this into consideration:

* Walmart’s wages are about average for retail.

* Erase the Walmart CEO's entire salary, and you can raise average hourly wages by just a penny or so.

* Erase the entire Walton family fortune and you get an average $1/hour boost to Walmart workers.

* Raise prices to pay for increased wages and you cut into the store’s huge low-price benefits for the poor. It’s regressive.

Understand economics and you will understand that Walmart helps the poor. Labour unions and laws do not.

Sources:
http://www.statisticbrain.com/wal-mart-company-statistics/
http://reason.com/blog/2012/11/26/why-walmarts-critics-are-wrong-in-17-twe
http://beforeitsnews.com/libertarian/2012/11/in-defense-of-walmart-2468844.html

A more light-hearted defence of Walmart: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-o1fj1rX7A
« Last Edit: Aug 28th, 2013 at 2:44pm by Coopers »  
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Re: Education Voucher
Reply #186 - Aug 28th, 2013 at 1:07pm
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Proletariat wrote on Aug 26th, 2013 at 11:30pm:
Whatever it's pointless anyways since I am not the one who has a problem with Arab immigrants.


Oh, I see. Because I made politically incorrect comments my explanation of free market immigration is null and void. I'll have to keep this in mind the next time someone makes a logical argument that I cannot respond to. I'll just call them a racist or something. Anyways...


Quote:
I've heard this argument before and it's simply not true. Why would Walmart increase it's labour force if minimum wage laws were abolished? They wouldn't, they would simply reduce their already measly wages and worsen their already bad working conditions on their existing labour force. They have no reason to hire further people.


Merely asserting that my argument is "simply not true" does not make it so. And again, you have provided absolutely nothing to back up your fantasies.

In the article you linked which criticises Walmart, there is a section called "Poorly-run and understaffed stores". That's right, some Walmart stores are understaffed! This is a criticism I can get on board with.

Something that we can definitely agree on is that Walmart does its best to keep costs down. The reason why so many of their stores do not have enough staff is because it is simply too expensive to hire them. I don't suppose minimum wage laws would have anything to do with it? I suppose not; not in your socialist fantasy world anyway.

I previously showed you data which clearly demonstrated the awful affect in unemployment on black Americans. And what a surprise, you did not even attempt to counter it. If I provide data, then don't you think you should do the same, instead of just giving mindless assertions?

Quote:
Most of your libertarian buddies don't support "government force" like you do. And why only support "basic" standards, why not support good standards (8 hour work day, breaks, safe and clean working conditions, etc...)? There is no reason why a sweatshop has to operate past 5pm or before 9am for example.


I don't support government force either. I am a Votuntaryist, meaning I support the abolition of government and the establishing of a private law society. But as libertarians we are stridently against the initiation of force. That is why I said I am against slavery and physical harm; I do not want force initiated against workers. What I am against is draconian labour laws which drive up costs for employers which discourage them from hiring people. The best form of welfare for people is work, and it is the likes of you who is hindering that.

Quote:
Yes I know. But if I pull you out of a burning building and then start beating you up, I improved your life, but I am still an exploitative asshole, aren't I?


You certainly win the prize for hyperbole. This doesn't even warrant a response from me.

Quote:
Let's say that Indonesians are rummaging through garbage on Monday. Tuesday I, the Western sweatshop running capitalist hero that libertarians across the world admire, set up shop in Indonesia and pay them 1 dollar an hour. 6 months later, these Indonesians' living standards improve and now they are demanding 1.5 dollars an hour. So I pack up my sweatshop and go to some other 3rd world country and pay them 1 dollar. When they start demanding 1.5 dollars, I go somewhere else. Their lives improve temporarily and then I take it all away and move somewhere else. Can't have those greedy, lazy workers affecting my bottom line.


If they were making these demands, they would likely be made by labour unions. That's your mob, not mine. The answer here is obvious: do not make extravagant demands.

Wherever the likes of Nike go, they will be giving people jobs much better than what they had. Again, you have not even attempted to refute my claim. All you do is say that companies should be offering some kind of charity. You speak nothing of economics, just emotional claptrap.

Quote:
Agreed, the North American proletariat's job security be damned. 


Sure, and let's leave the third world to starve too.


Quote:
That's not what I said. They would have their own Industrial Revolution organized by their very own entrepreneur bourgeoise class. Britain did not need Bulgarian entrepreneurs to develop and Indonesia does not need British entrepreneurs.


And this would be better because..? I made the point that developing countries are developing faster than the West did because they rely on trade with us. Are you saying we should cut it off? And please tell me why on Earth you would mention this if it wasn't for the purpose of arguing that their own isolated development would be better than the "exploitation" the West offers them.

Quote:
Yes I know, although the word harsh is an understatement. I would more say something like "horrid" or "physically revolting".


More revolting than the jobs they previously had? I am still waiting for you to demonstrate how capitalism has made things worse for them. No luck yet.


Quote:
It seems like in capitalist development there is no alternative to sweatshops (although I am not sure if the Scandinavians had any?). I am not a communist, but it's interesting to note that the communist countries never had any sweatshops themselves.


They did, but I heard the conditions in the Gulags were much better.

  
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Re: Education Voucher
Reply #187 - Aug 28th, 2013 at 1:32pm
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@Proletariat

I have skipped your response on working hours because keauxbi has provided a detailed rebuttal. And thanks for that, keauxbi Wink

Proletariat wrote on Aug 26th, 2013 at 11:51pm:
I am not denying that a lot of people abuse the welfare system and remain unemployed, poor and dependent on it. I do however think that it's not as big an issue as some make it out to be as most people on welfare don't do this. And even if they did, I don't understand why libertarians freak out over this but then think below subsistence wages and the like are just fine. When a poor person abuses the system it's the end of the world, when a bourgeois abuses someone well that's just the free market doing what the free market does. 


Living on a low wage is difficult, of course. But again, seeing as you are not arguing against the negative effects of minimum wage laws and welfare that I outlined, I can only make this assumption: you would rather have generations of people unemployed and on welfare rather than entering the labour force on low wages and gaining skills that would equip them for better paying jobs in the future.

People generally do not stay in low paying jobs. They acquire skills and move on. Sometimes people pay to acquire skills. People run up huge debts in order to go to university or college. But they do this because it is an investment in their future. A teenager who takes on a low paying job is very often doing the same thing, but unlike a university student, he is actually being paid for his education rather than paying for it.

As for your claim that we support the bourgeoisie no matter what, you are quite mistaken. I would like to quote Milton Friedman on the matter:

Quote:
Business corporations in general are not defenders of free enterprise. On the contrary, they are one of the chief sources of danger. . . . Every businessman is in favor of freedom for everybody else, but when it comes to himself that’s a different question. We have to have that tariff to protect us against competition from abroad. We have to have that special provision in the tax code. We have to have that subsidy.


We are pro-free enterprise, not pro-business. We believe in property rights and the non-initiation of force.


Quote:
There are still counties in Eastern Europe and across the world that have a weak and small welfare state where people are far more charitable and where there is far less homelessness and the like among the population. Like you said, the US used to be one of those places. But modern day countries like this, unlike the US and Canada, are small, community oriented, family oriented and ethnically homogeneous. I am a Torontonian and let me tell you, we need a welfare state. Private charities simply cannot get to everyone who needs it.


Yes, and that is why a stricter immigration policy is needed. I don't sound so racist now, do I?

As I stated before, charity was dealt a severe blow with the introduction of the welfare state. You also seem to recognise that charity increases in the absence of handouts, as you said "in Eastern Europe and across the world that have a weak and small welfare state where people are far more charitable and where there is far less homelessness and the like among the population."

Now, doesn't this suggest that people do indeed open their wallets when they see people in need? You cannot simply look at the state of today's charities and conclude that their strength will be replicated in the absence of the welfare state. Quite the contrary. And this is not just because people are compelled to help, it is also because there would be far lower taxes, thus a greater capacity to help.

Quote:
And additionally, private charities simply couldn't afford housing for the millions and millions of families in the US and Canada barely getting by on minimum wage. There is just too many needy people.


The current crisis was created by government, and the unemployed you speak are in that position precisely because of the effects from the labour laws I outlined. And again I say: charity would be much stronger and effective with the abolition of the welfare state.
  
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Re: Education Voucher
Reply #188 - Aug 28th, 2013 at 3:18pm
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keauxbi wrote on Aug 28th, 2013 at 11:57am:
Again, this has nothing to do with education vouchers or government education in general but I'll do you a favor and tie it back into the topic of this thread for you.
The US economy is only at a 63% participation rate (percentage of able bodied Americans that are actually employed) so I would assume that most are thankful to have a job and that there are part time workers who want to be full time.  The only way this has anything to do with education is that students aren't being prepared for a 40+ hour work week.  Yet another way government education is failing.

In relation to what?  Many things can cause a nervous breakdown.  Crime, marriage infidelity, problem with children, being chronically unemployed, conspiracy theories.  As vague as that statistic is, it pretty much invalidates itself. 

So 60% don't experience some sort of job security.  If we actually analyze the statement, 40% describe their office environment as either being stranded on in the wilderness having to find food for survival or a reality TV program.  Either way, I doubt that their government education gave them critical thinking skills that would help them to avoid such ridiculous hyperbole.

First, the statistic doesn't delineate between employed Americans or Americans in general.  So let's assume they're employed.  86% of employed Americans are taking two or more weeks of vacation at a time.  The "average" American employee is no in the bathroom more than on vacation.  Government education failed the researchers which is why they made that ridiculous assumption. 

Considering the large backlog of email that can occur over two weeks, this only seems prudent and I really can't relate this back to government education so its irrelevant to the current topic

I'll probably sound redundant but is sounds like 53% of those polled didn't gain the ability to think critically from their government education.  You can always hire your own personal assistant, so to think you have to have special permission to do so reflects on upon the intelligence of the person choosing that option in the survey.

This tells me nothing.  Either employees are unhealthy or complain a lot. Government education clearly isn't preparing them properly to endure what it takes to work for a living.

Another skill that should be learned during their time at government schools.

This is probably due to unreal expectations when becoming parents. 

Why don't we try to keep to the topic of the day which is using a government voucher program to make private education more affordable?


So, essentially American workers are just whiny complainers looking for a reason to be unhappy? You refuse to even consider the possibility that the North American proletariat is an exploited one? And talking about government education is a joke. Europeans all went to public schools, and they work shorter work weeks than we do, under better and less stressful working conditions and for better wages than we do and consequently probably complain about their jobs far less than we do. Hell, all the citizens of formerly communist countries went to public schools and while I am sure they complained about having to queue for toilet paper here and there, I doubt that they had a problem with work/life balance or being overworked like North Americans do today. I agree that workers are "unhealthy and complain" because of the progressive toxification of the workplace and the destruction of work/life balance by the bourgeois. North America, and especially America, has never been a labour friendly place and it's precisely because of "self made Muricans" like you who refuse to acknowledge that the working class has common interests (e.g. reasonable work weeks) and who refuse to work/fight for them. And instead blame unfortunates on the individuals enduring them ("it's your fault you don't have time to spend with your kids, not your boss who forces you to work 60 hours a week during a terrible employment-less recession"). Seriously, ponder this for 5 seconds: why didn't public education make Europeans too stupid to realize their common working class interests but it did so in the US? Or maybe it's not a public school problem, but a cultural one "in the land of the free"?
  

"You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population." -Karl Marx
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Re: Education Voucher
Reply #189 - Aug 28th, 2013 at 3:38pm
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Coopers wrote on Aug 28th, 2013 at 12:21pm:
Wow, a Wikipedia link. Better than nothing, I guess.

You may (but I suspect may not) recall I stated that human rights abuses would have to involve force and/or severe breaches of contract. Going through that entire article, all I can find that comes close is the class action taken in Missouri where "approximately 160,000 to 200,000 people" were "forced to work off-the-clock, were denied overtime pay, or were not allowed to take rest and lunch breaks". If you want my condemnation of Walmart for this action then I grant it. This was wrong and Walmart should not be engaged in such practices.


Well, most normal people would stretch the definition of "exploitation of a worker" far wider than you did but anyways, that's irrelevant for now.

Quote:
But that is not all I have to say on the issue. Consider this: Walmart has over 2,000,000 employees and over 4,253 stores. Violations like that are bound to happen at times. Still, those with genuine grievances only make up a small number of their workforce.


So a little bit of government force or police brutality is ok? I mean, most people don't get beat by the cops, "only a small number of protesters do".

Quote:
Lefties like yourself seem to be obsessed with labour issues.


Agreed. The working class should be obsessed with something that occupies most of their waking hours.

Quote:
You never take into account the bigger picture. For example, did you ever take into account the service Walmart does for consumers; more specifically, poor consumers? Here's some more data for you:

*42% of Walmart's customers make less than $40,000/year.

* This customer base spends heavily on food.

* The bottom income quintile spends about 25 % of income on food compared to just 3.5 % for the top quintile.

* Walmart has the lowest food prices

Do I need to spell out the implications of all this? Well, for you I probably do. Poor consumers benefit enormously from Walmart.

With your narrow-minded focus on wages, you completely miss how else Walmart helps. Helping the poor isn't just about labour conditions. It is about prices, productivity, demand and supply etc. In short, it is about economics; something which you socialists severely lack an understanding of.

And if you are just going to tell me that they "should" be paying more, then take this into consideration:

* Walmart’s wages are about average for retail.

* Erase the Walmart CEO's entire salary, and you can raise average hourly wages by just a penny or so.

* Erase the entire Walton family fortune and you get an average $1/hour boost to Walmart workers.

* Raise prices to pay for increased wages and you cut into the store’s huge low-price benefits for the poor. It’s regressive.

Understand economics and you will understand that Walmart helps the poor. Labour unions and laws do not.



I agree that Walmart is good for the poor consumer and never stated otherwise. But the fact remains that Walmart stores which may be understaffed are not understaffed due to a lack of funds. Walmart isn't some small mom and pop store than can't afford workers.

They are understaffed because why "waste" money on 5 unskilled workers when you can hire 4 to do the work of 5 (along with some unpaid overtime of course)? That whole mentality of being focused on the bottom line would mean that they would continue to under-staff stores and overwork their existing labour force. Again why would Walmart be stupid enough to "waste" money on additional staff when you can just overwork the current ones?

If the minimum wage was increased and Walmart had to start paying their workers an actually livable wage, their prices would not go up because they would still be competing with other companies as big, efficient and cheap as them. Walmart would certainly be tempted to jack up their prices but that's just a bad business practice. They would be forced to keep their prices low and wages reasonable and the end result would be that the fatcats who own/run the place and their shareholders would just make smaller profits. They would still be living high on the hog in compared to the rest of us, but their wealth would certainly reduce.
  

"You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population." -Karl Marx
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