View Single Post
Old 12-02-2012, 09:53 PM
Originally Posted by Erroneous View Post
I am going to have to ask for examples to support your claims. Blanket statements are not working for me here and I would like to better understand what you mean.
Factory farm subsidies was an example I gave earlier.

Then you have things like tax deductions for outsourcing - I think you mentioned the drive-thru workers. I remember, not when but where, the first time I heard a nice female voice at the drive-in, and I did my usually overly-friendly and mannered responses to the voice in the box, only to wonder why the person sounded confused, stumped and unsure what I was saying. This was all familiar to me, dealing with costumer servicer call centers and sure enough, I then pulled up to the window and saw confirmation of my hunch in what may have been a former roadie for ZZ Top. I went home, searched and found that sure enough, I was probably talking about someone on the other side of the world. It was like learning there is no Santa.

There's more, I'm positive, but have honestly never looked into it as I haven't with many things because I always assumed this was sort of an unspoken truth. It's one of those things I generally don't think about, similar to why I don't like to see kitchens in restaurants or knowing exactly how much my xth drink has been watered down. It's really stuff that just presses buttons in me. There is some stuff that peeves me on the other end of the wealth spectrum, the way government runs things, such as retroactive benefits or SSD benefits being based on hours worked and not wages earned.

Again though, I can't help McDonald's but am more than willing to pay a little bit more for the food there. I'm fully aware that the inflation in the cost of food of McDonald's resembles that of the drug trade. You can buy hamburgers for not much more than you could 30 years ago, the same as you can whatever your drug of choice (minus pharmaceuticals) and to me that says a lot.

Originally Posted by Mr. Guiltless View Post
You bring up some interesting points and I don't disagree with very much of it. You have to remember though that the government is almost if not more dependent on the poor than the poor are dependent on the government. Two points I would make on this are: 1. (and I hate citing statistics for reasons I stated above - but the numbers on this are fairly conclusive and available) That after world War II, poverty dropped by 1% every year until LBJ's Great Society in the 60's; and was on its way toward no longer being a matter of large concern. "Our poor are disappearing. Quick! Let's evoke a moral outrage and make a War On Poverty!" [As an aside, you'll see this pattern appear all over the political firmament; when something is about to be solved by non-governmental means, there will be a moral outrage of a sort, and the government will make this issue a chief focus]. But alas, let's get back on track-

2nd point - The "system" that deals with the homeless isn't designed for bringing people out of homelessness; or let me put it this way, those who are trying to no longer be homeless. The system really isn't designed to weed out deserving vs. undeserving poor. Instead, Joe Schmoe from Idaho who just got kicked in the balls by the economy and was laid off from a decent living, having exhausted his unemployment in not being able to find a steady job, and who is now on the street doing whatever he can to get by/get work; what happens? He gets lumped in with the schizophrenics, the addicts, and lazy complacents(or to the layman, is "just another homeless guy" or "bum"). To the system, shelter, food line, public aid bureaucrat, Joe Schmoe is just another number looking for a handout. If it was designed differently(i.e. weeding out the undeservings), you'd almost certainly see better results. And as more and more Joe Schmoes who are becoming homeless through little or no fault of their own are hitting the streets with greater abandon in this uber-shitty economy; the tides of treatment(not to mention reputation) are vastly arrayed against them.

The gov't loves their precious poor(and by love I don't mean that they love them - they love that YOU love them). I think private charities might just show a little more efficiency in this area.
It's a multi-tiered system. The shelters and food banks don't deal with people getting out of homelessness, but social workers, affordable housing, treatment centers and the sort do. It doesn't happen overnight. You are right though, that success is based on the determination to make things better for oneself. That takes me back, however, to the mantra I believe that we can't let those breaking the system dictate the system. We can't knee-jerk onto the opposite end of the spectrum just because someone took advantage. It is in place for a reason and adaption is always preferable over abandonment.

What I said was not an extreme example; incidents far more egregious than that one are an everyday affair. Not to mention that I tried to walk away from a cop once when he wanted to browbeat me about a fight I had witnessed and I then immediately noticed the officer's rapidly increasing pace and preparation for a similar Macho Man Randy Savage flying clothesline move on me. So I spun around and finally acknowledged the thug in blue costume.

And my statement wasn't that police or "heroes" were the same as the robber in the alley; just that they're worse and why I would have more respect for a criminal. With a cop, you simply cannot fight back, even if you are 100% right/good and he is 100% wrong/evil. With a criminal, you can at least have a fighting chance.
The thing is, that if a cop breaks your nose, he is breaking the law. If someone is committing assault and breaks your nose, he is breaking the law. But only one of them is, by design, expected to break the law. A cop can get away with murder just as much as any other murderer.

What you are doing, to me, is similar to comparing guns to cars in the terms of which kills more people. It doesn't work for me but I understand the comparison, or at least the mentality on which it comes from. Usually, it's don't hate the player, hate the game, but here it might be the opposite. I dunno.

I do, however, agree that police brutality is far worse than petty crime. No doubt. It's like the difference between being raped in prison and being raped by an uncle. (so I would assume) What it is, though, is that in the context I brought this up in, I think it's a lot of degrees of separation to go from tax laws to not paying taxes to being caught to being arrested to being arrested by a dirty cop who assaults you with a gun. That's a far cry from walking in an alley and getting mugged.

But we're getting away from the real argument, the argument from morality. (And btw your restaurant metaphor doesn't work either as there is no force component)
Well, if you don't pay your restaurant bill and the cops are called, wouldn't you risk the hypothetical Bad Lieutenant showing up to arrest you?

Have people been shot for not paying their taxes? Not that I personally know. But yeah, I've read several cases like in the book Lost Rights by James Bovard(a book that made me so angry I couldn't even finish it). And while some of these victims maybe weren't the sharpest knife in the drawer, I'd say they were pretty brave(even if stupid by pragmatic standards).
I'd have to check that out. I do know there are examples where people were killed through trying to be arrested, or trying to be talked down from committing suicide, or many other things where I'm just slapping my head asking, "How the fuck?"

It's sick.

The simple basic fact, which is ironically so easily obfuscated by most, is that when dealing with taxation on any level(let alone any gov't edict), there is a gun in the room. I'll say it again. There is a gun in the room. Does the gun have to be whipped out every single time to be deemed immoral? Of course not. You would not deal with such thieves if they did not have the legal right to initiate the use of force, would you? They have the power of the gun behind them with impunity; you do not. Or let me run it by you another way--- If you don't pay taxes, fines accrue. If you don't pay the fines, men in suits will show up to collect them. If you don't pay them, men in blue costumes will show up, kidnap you, and throw you in rape rooms. If you resist successfully enough or try to escape from your captors, then yes, you will be shot.
Your friend managed to not have to go through this agonizing ordeal, congratulations. But that definitely does not excuse that the very constant threat of what I have just outlined is both very real, very cleverly disguised, and hardly civilized. The fact that such thuggery continually gets a moral sanction frankly astounds me and speaks volumes about the cult of CULTURE.
The threat is there with a lot of things people do and sometimes get away with and sometimes don't. The guy who robs you by gunpoint in the alleyway is under that threat. That in and of itself isn't a reason to say it shouldn't be that way. I knew an account of a group of housemates, college-aged, who ran a pirate radio station that was mostly only receivable in the area surrounding the college, and the police raided their house and shot their dog. It's fucked up. But that's not about why it's stupid for it to be illegal to have a pirate radio station. That's about the agents who did the shooting being stupid.

Last edited by The Postmaster General; 12-02-2012 at 09:57 PM..
Reply With Quote