Bernie Sanders for President!

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Re: Bernie Sanders for President!

Postby jimipresley » Fri Mar 11, 2016 22:10

Toad wrote:- forces 30 moderately intelligent and well-behaved kids to attempt to learn alongside 5 bone-idle, criminal or retarded kids is a bad system.

You are veering precariously close to reactionary logic, Toad.
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Re: Bernie Sanders for President!

Postby Toad » Fri Mar 11, 2016 22:54

Well, like I said, I'm just pointing out the obvious problems. Where one goes from there depends on your political views; in my opinion, Sanders doesn't even consider the things I mentioned. What irritates me about tax-and-spend socialism is that it contains an inherent flaw: it depends on the continuing existence of a parallel capitalist system (which works, if very imperfectly) which it can pillage to fund its conceits (which don't - if they did, they'd be self-funding). The corollary is that socialist solutions to poverty are mathematically impossible in truly impoverished countries. That, to me, suggests that it's inefficient or suboptimal.

It's the extremes I have a problem with.

In what sense?

You're never going to come up with a system that's entirely fair. Life isn't fair. Any system will treat a certain number of people badly. The problem with the current system is that, under the pretense of fairness, it actually mistreats the maximum number of people.
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Re: Bernie Sanders for President!

Postby Big Vern » Fri Mar 11, 2016 23:48

Toad wrote:
It's the extremes I have a problem with.

In what sense?

You're never going to come up with a system that's entirely fair. Life isn't fair. Any system will treat a certain number of people badly. The problem with the current system is that, under the pretense of fairness, it actually mistreats the maximum number of people.


Yes, I agree that life isn't fair, but I don't see how it is necessarily fairer by creating a system where a proportion of young people are considered only good for shelf filling or putting on condoms. You make some fair points about bad people affecting the majority, but there is a balance.

I think this is the point on which we disagree.
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Re: Bernie Sanders for President!

Postby Kal El » Sat Mar 12, 2016 07:38

What's this pre-occupation with shelf filling and condoms? Aside from university, and let's face it most people end up studying useless shit that don't prepare you for anything practical whether you are saddled with debt or not, there's a wide range of stimulating and interesting careers from technicians to electricians, chefs, bakers, massage therapists and more. You make it sound that if you don't get an education (I'm assuming here, if wrongly so, I apologise) from a university you've somehow been gypped and are destined for poverty and the dreariness of shelf filling.
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Re: Bernie Sanders for President!

Postby Toad » Sat Mar 12, 2016 09:24

Big Vern wrote:I don't see how it is necessarily fairer by creating a system where a proportion of young people are considered only good for shelf filling or putting on condoms. You make some fair points about bad people affecting the majority, but there is a balance. I think this is the point on which we disagree.


Well, as Kal El said, most people waste their education and still end up being shelfstackers, whereas if they'd been able to study something more appropriate they'd be a lot happier. Those who get a fake education (the standard one provided by the State) have actually been trained to be poor. They will spend their lives on state benefits, as in the Pulp song, not because there's nothing else to do but because that's pretty much what they have been told to do.

There's no shame in being a shelfstacker, or a gravedigger, or a zookeeper. Believe it or not, plenty of people enjoy those jobs. I was a milkman once. It was fun. I got laid more reliably when I was a washup drone at a hotel than I did at university, so on that measure, washing dishes has its advantages. Obviously, roughly the reverse was true for Rod Stewart, but that just goes to show that there's no one-size-fits-all.

Have you honestly never met anybody who doesn't have the brains to run a pissup in a brewery, but who would make the world's best shelfstacker or gravedigger? People are not all created equal, and you can't make them equal by throwing (other people's) money at them. Nor should you need to. I think where we fundamentally disagree is the assumption that a shelfstacker is a lesser class human being, or perhaps that he'd have a more fulfilling shelfstacker existence if he knew what a hypotenuse is.

You make it sound that if you don't get an education (I'm assuming here, if wrongly so, I apologise) from a university you've somehow been gypped and are destined for poverty and the dreariness of shelf filling.

When-I-were-a-lad anecdote follows.

Both of my cousins went to shit schools and left with about one and a half O-levels. They are both very intelligent go-getters, although in different ways. Cousin A is a bullshitter. He can blag his way into anything. He now works in the City for a clearing bank doing something arcane with money. He also buys and sells bizarre stuff on eBay. He earns about twice as much as I do. Cousin B taught himself all sorts of skills and is mostly a "landed gentleman". He buys, sells, renovates and rents houses and antique furniture. He's asset-rich but has a fairly modest income. Cousin A is grumpy because that's who he is, but he has no real worries in life. Cousin B is extremely happy. Cousin B's friend, who went to the same shit school, taught himself computer programming and is now a millionaire (he's a well-known name in the game industry).

They all hated school. Everything they know, they taught themselves, and most of what they know is "people skills" and practical things. There are plenty of kids who might achieve similar things if they weren't told that the path to success is to get 8 GCSEs, a couple of A levels, a degree in media studies, and a job at the council processing parking tickets. How many people are sitting in offices today silently screaming that they'd rather be a painter and decorator? There is nothing fair or enlightened about making somebody something they're not. The whole situation reminds me a lot of Taiwan, where kids who show talents for (say) art or music are often told, ah, well, that's all very nice, but you'd better put that aside now and focus on your studies. Every other 40-year-old I meet has a career that was chosen for him by someone else. If that's your parents you can forgive them; if it's the State, I suspect you'd resent it.

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Re: Bernie Sanders for President!

Postby TainanCowboy » Sat Mar 12, 2016 09:42

Toad - :bravo: Bravo :bravo: Well said.
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Re: Bernie Sanders for President!

Postby Big Vern » Sat Mar 12, 2016 20:23

Kal El wrote:You make it sound that if you don't get an education (I'm assuming here, if wrongly so, I apologise) from a university you've somehow been gypped and are destined for poverty and the dreariness of shelf filling.


I don't know who "You" is, but I most certainly don't feel that way. Perhaps you're referring to Toad as he brought up shelf filling?

However, I do believe in fairness and if one spotty little turd is going to have the right to an education, if they want it, then they all should. I'm not sure how anyone would support the State making the choice about who does. Big government fans, I guess.

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Re: Bernie Sanders for President!

Postby Toad » Sat Mar 12, 2016 23:39

I think we have a different view of what constitutes "fairness".

No doubt we both agree that spotty little turds should not be condemned to remain spotty little turds forever, or shuffled off into the unemployment line. Where we differ, I guess, is how to prevent that happening, and what the plausible alternatives for him might be.

Anyway, I contend that Sander's approach (spending lots of money) is not going to do our spotty little turd much good.

Incidentally I was reading up on Finland's approach, and I suggest that the following are critical (and cheap) factors in their success:

1) Parents are considered a part of the equation. They're taught how to be parents, and more involved in schooling. Contrast this with, say, Britain, where the typical attitude is "I don't have to teach my fuckin brat to read; that's the school's job", and where a teacher who says the wrong thing to a misbehaving brat is likely to have his teeth knocked out by the brat's loving pseudo-parent.

2) The purpose of school is not just to get kids to pass exams, but to learn how to be functioning human beings.

3) Nursery education fills in the gaps in parenting where necessary, so 5-year-olds kids are less likely to turn up at school thinking it's OK to run shrieking around the classroom or call the teacher a fuckin bastard.

The net result is that a mixed class has a far narrower distribution of abilities and social skills than the Western equivalent. Finland, incidentally, spends the same on educating each child as does the UK, and less than the US.
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Re: Bernie Sanders for President!

Postby Big Vern » Sun Mar 13, 2016 09:15

Toad wrote:
Big Vern wrote:I think where we fundamentally disagree is the assumption that a shelfstacker is a lesser class human being, or perhaps that he'd have a more fulfilling shelfstacker existence if he knew what a hypotenuse is.


This is a complete misrepresentation. At best you could argue that I consider shelfstacking as a job to be lesser, but to outright suggest that I consider people to be a lesser class is plain wrong. Coming from someone who posts about "slack jawed feral kids", "breeding like rabbits", who need to be taught how to put on a condom etc I find it surprising that you are attempting to take the moral high-ground on this.

What we fundamentally disagree on is your position earlier in this thread that people should be somehow selected (subjectively by teachers or through some kind of test) at some unspecified age at which it is then decided which path in life they are given. You think (thought?) they should and I think they shouldn't.

Your position appears to have evolved somewhat later in the thread to one in which it is important that people get to do what they are good at and what they enjoy. I doubt anyone would disagree with that - I certainly wouldn't.
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Re: Bernie Sanders for President!

Postby Toad » Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:12

I consider shelfstacking as a job to be lesser

I don't. While there absolutely are jobs that are below human dignity (traffic wardens, for example), I still contend that a simple job is not inherently "lesser" if the person likes doing it, is paid fairly, and is making some contribution (however minor) to the sum of human happiness.

FWIW my brother-in-law was a shelf-stacker while he was between jobs. He has a PhD. Nobody looked down on him and he quite enjoyed it. I doubt he would have wanted to do it forever, but there's no rule that says anyone has to remain a shelf-stacker forever. Career mobility should be encouraged more.

Coming from someone who posts about "slack jawed feral kids", "breeding like rabbits", who need to be taught how to put on a condom etc I find it surprising that you are attempting to take the moral high-ground on this.

This isn't about morality, it's about reality. Some kids are f-ing idiots. It's usually their parents' fault, but that's the way it is. They're not lesser human beings (in that they have rights the same as anyone else), but they're still idiots. School should recognise that. If it doesn't, they'll be idiots for the rest of their lives, and that is plain wrong.

Pretending that feral kids (they absolutely do exist), or even just dopey kids, can enter a school on the same basis as well-adjusted kids is just not going to work. Teach them to behave like human beings first and they'll probably be fine. You might need to work on the parents too. The Finns seem to make this a core principle of their system. A small minority will be idiots forever, but keeping them out of jail or the unemployment line is perfectly possible.

If schools stick to the "everyone has a right to the same education" bullshit, it will fail the idiots, and it will fail everyone else who has to put up with them. I think we pretty much agreed earlier that this is an undesirable outcome?


What we fundamentally disagree on is your position earlier in this thread that people should be somehow selected (subjectively by teachers or through some kind of test) at some unspecified age at which it is then decided which path in life they are given. You think (thought?) they should and I think they shouldn't.

I suggest it's the complete opposite. What happens now is that their life path is decided at age 5, and they don't even get the benefit of a test. It's trial by fire. If they don't have the wherewithal to cope with the school system, their future is set in stone: they are 100% guaranteed to end up miserable, unemployed, helpless, and probably pregnant. Do you think this is OK? If not, what could be done about it?

I'm well aware that psychological tests have very poor predictive value. What I meant was that kids should be continually monitored to see if they're succeeding or not. They should be allowed to make certain decisions when they're old enough to do so: for example, there might be a choice point around age 12-13 for those who clearly will never master their 10-times-table. If at some later date they magically acquire a talent for math (it happens) then there should be an educational track for them to drop back into.

Right now nobody gives a shit. They go in one end of the pipeline, and they'll do a few tests here and there, but the results are only used (after suitable massaging) to show what a great job the gubmint is doing. When they're crimped out of the system 12 years later, the kids who started off unable to sit still or say 'please' have not only been taught nothing, they've been actively encouraged to "express themselves" (ie., to be lazy, entitled, rude little bastards) which means they're completely unemployable. They started off disadvantaged and school has fucked up their lives forever. That, IMHO, is deeply unfair, not to mention an unconscionable waste of public funds.

There should be course corrections throughout the school years, and everyone should be given second, third and fourth chances to make good. Practically speaking, that means a 15-year-old who is about to leave school having larked around since he was 7 should have college courses or apprenticeships available. I know these theoretically exist in several countries, but they're poorly organised and not given any real visibility. Governments basically assume that once you hit 18 it's time to start paying taxes. If you can't, they just write you off. That's mad.

Your position appears to have evolved somewhat later in the thread to one in which it is important that people get to do what they are good at and what they enjoy.

That's always been my contention. I still think some people are idiots, but we all find our happiness in different ways. I don't think idiots should be quietly done away with, which is effectively what happens to them now. They're still technically alive, but what a life!
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Re: Bernie Sanders for President!

Postby Big Vern » Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:39

Toad wrote: If they don't have the wherewithal to cope with the school system, their future is set in stone: they are 100% guaranteed to end up miserable, unemployed, helpless, and probably pregnant. Do you think this is OK?


Rhetorical questions. :lol: Come on, Toad, don't turn into a politician. You're better than that.

Anyway, lets just agree to disagree on the educational social Darwinism as I don't think we're going to reach a consensus.
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Re: Bernie Sanders for President!

Postby Toad » Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:40

No, it wasn't a rhetorical question. I know you know it happens, and I know you don't think it's OK. I was asking you for alternative solutions. If you think my ideas don't work, throw some ideas back at me. Alternatively, show me how Sanders-style tax-and-spend will make the existing education model work better.
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Re: Bernie Sanders for President!

Postby Zardoz » Sun Mar 13, 2016 17:00

Toad wrote:Doesn't work, Zardoz: you can run the numbers yourself, but it's easier to google how that works out in practice. There simply aren't enough rich people to support so many poor people. That's why they call them one-percenters.


No one is saying the super rich need to support the working classes, just to transfer more money - fast money that is spent, producing knock on spending and jobs - to the Main Street level.
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Re: Bernie Sanders for President!

Postby Toad » Sun Mar 13, 2016 17:09

No one is saying the super rich need to support the working classes, just to transfer more money - fast money that is spent, producing knock on spending and jobs - to the Main Street level.

You haven't explained why it's better that poor people should spend that money, especially considering the inefficiency of transferring money to them. Rich people are perfectly capable of spending money on consumer goods, I'm sure. You also haven't explained why transferring money to poor people, in and of itself, will help them to become less poor in the long run (and no, it isn't obvious).

I get the feeling one of the main goals of socialism is to punish those who are comfortably off. Whether the poor are assisted as a side-effect of that punishment is neither here nor there.

I'm not taking the piss. I'm genuinely curious how you justify violence against a targeted subsection of the population - who have done no wrong except make sensible life decisions - to achieve some "greater good".
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Re: Bernie Sanders for President!

Postby Hannibal » Mon Mar 14, 2016 04:51

Rich people are perfectly capable of spending money on consumer goods, I'm sure.

Yet they are not mandated to do so. Maybe Bernie could do something about that too.

I had the desire to get solar panels put on our roof here as we get sun every day all year since the removal of the hateful trees. They will run me 30+K, and the big tax write of incentive is a big head fake. Only if PAY in excess of 15K a year in taxes will it mean anything. So, f8ck that.

But what if people who made $10,000,000 a year (or 5 or 3) had to go green, solar and wind, clean cars, etc. Wouldn't that help in many ways? Bring the prices down, create jobs, and they'd get the satisfaction that getting rich on the backs of the working class, which is how it's done and I'm fine with it, allows one the opportunity to do a great deal of good. They already have better education and better health care, why not hit them with a "carbon footprint" mandate which encourages them to give back in very specific ways that better the nation on several levels? I mean really, when I see some stoopidly wealthy housewife driving around in a gas guzzling tank of an SUV it makes me strongly desire to punch Al Gore in the throat. God bless them millionaires. I got no truck with them,and I don't think it's fair to tax them at 85%, because honestly, most of them earned what they got. But they should do good with what they got because they know better, and if they don't, well...motivate them to do so. IMHO, it's better than "transferring wealth" which is already making people and large companies relocate.
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