Bolsonaro Wins in Brazil

13 minutes ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

I agree with the overall perception. 

That being said - I also believe that American leadership and standing in the world is based on: 

1) Economic strength

2) Military strength 

3) Ethical / moral superiority / leadership

They way I see it Americas comparative economic strength is being weakend. Eventually this will lead to weaker comparative military strength. And in my view Trumps behaviour is eroding USAs moral highground as the natural leader of the free world. In the longterm I think this will damage Americas influence. 

To be clear - I do not disagree with addressing some trade imbalances. I just think Trump is going about it wrong. He would be better off trying to isolate china, by building coaliations. He might get short-term results, but at what cost? I guess we will know in 10 - 15 years.

As far as I can tell, America's "allies" are just as bad as China.  VAT taxes and refusing to meet defense obligations are prime examples.  Talking about America's "Ethical/ moral superiority / leadership" sounds like buttering us up so we'll pay for things.  

The point of America is not to be a leader; it's to mind our own business.  I don't want America to throw its weight around.  I don't want us to have "influence".  I don't want us to bear responsibility for the world's safety.  All that's led to is massive de-industrialization, debt, loss of young men to war, and politicians/corporations who care more about foreigners than their fellow Americans.  Why, exactly, should an American want any of that?  

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7 minutes ago, mthebold said:

If Europe screwed it up, then I agree that Europe should fix it.  That said, I would note that many of these regions were technologically backward, violent holes before Europe ever arrived.  In some cases, it's possible Europe's presence was an improvement.  E.g. the entirety of Sub-Saharan Africa failed to produce a single noteworthy civilization, was practicing slavery long before Europeans arrived, and gladly sold each other to European slavers.  That's not Europe's fault; they screwed themselves up.  Put simply: before assigning blame, I would look back at the entire history and be certain blame is justified.

I don't need to spend time in a refugee camp because both I and my ancestors made the necessary sacrifices to avoid that.  I would also consider that some people can't manage resources.  It doesn't matter how much wealth and opportunity you give them; they'll destroy it all.  To wit, I recall a coworker going on about the plight of inner city kids.  I asked the obvious question: why are people who can't afford kids having kids?  In my family, we don't do things like that.  Hence, we don't suffer the way others do.  I bring this up because there will be no end to poor people making expensive decisions.  We could bankrupt ourselves trying to help them, and they'd still end up in poverty.  

Is poverty and human suffering bad?  Yes.  Is there anything we can do about it?  Not that I'm aware of.  Rather than indulging our emotions, we should stop throwing good money after bad until we have a viable plan.  

As I mentioned earlier I believe that Europe is only partly responsible. 

As to your other comments - pls have a look at this video and think it into a global contexy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBQx8FmOT_0

 

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(edited)

14 minutes ago, mthebold said:

Talking about America's "Ethical/ moral superiority / leadership" sounds like buttering us up so we'll pay for things.  

I am sorry if it came out wrong. That is not what I meant. What I meant is the fact American culture is / was the global benchmark and America generally stood for what was rigth which has given America influence. that influence and being the global benchmark has helped American companies make money.

Edited by Rasmus Jorgensen
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9 minutes ago, mthebold said:

The point of America is not to be a leader; it's to mind our own business.  I don't want America to throw its weight around.  I don't want us to have "influence".  I don't want us to bear responsibility for the world's safety.  All that's led to is massive de-industrialization, debt, loss of young men to war, and politicians/corporations who care more about foreigners than their fellow Americans.  Why, exactly, should an American want any of that?  

So, fortress America? 

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3 minutes ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

As I mentioned earlier I believe that Europe is only partly responsible. 

As to your other comments - pls have a look at this video and think it into a global contexy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBQx8FmOT_0

 

I've seen that video; I don't buy it.  

1)  In areas where people adopt the known-effective culture, I've seen no "race" issues.  It's only where people self-identify as another race, make an issue of their race, or refuse to integrate with the community that problems arise.  People who insist they're outsiders will, unsurprisingly, be treated as outsiders.  

2)  There's no such thing as "white" people - or any other color, for that matter.  There are only individual cultures and the known effects of adopting those cultures.  People who willingly integrate with the local culture tend to be accepted without problem.  

3)  Some people have "privilege" - which is to say, wealth & power - because they and their ancestors made the necessary sacrifices and did the necessary work.  The entire world started in poverty; only some chose to rise out of it.  Claiming otherwise is pure envy.  

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6 minutes ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

I am sorry if it came out wrong. That is not what I meant. What I meant is the fact American culture is / was the global benchmark and America generally stood for what was rigth which has given America influence. 

The way people talk about the US, I don't think anyone believes we are/were a cultural benchmark.  We still have influence, but it's certainly not for cultural reasons. 

More likely, people want our money.  It's no different than being a rich man surrounded by gold diggers.  No thanks.  

Just now, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

So, fortress America? 

No, not fortress America.  There's no need to wall ourselves off or pretend the world is some evil monster out to get us.  We should trade with those who play by the same rules, we should cooperate on defense where it serves our interests, and we should accept those immigrants who wish to adopt our ways.  What we shouldn't do is: 

1)  Pretend we have a moral obligation to lead
2)  Uplift other countries at the expense of our own citizens
3)  Get caught in entangling alliances
4)  Be dependent on totalitarian regimes
5)  Meddle in other people's affairs
6)  Topple or prop up foreign regimes 
7)  Etc. 

America should be like Switzerland: self-sufficient, neutral, and minding its own business.  I think that would be best for everyone.  

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(edited)

OK. I understand your view. But disagree. Especially this notion that America should pay for everything. 

Thanks for a good discussion. Think we need to be careful not to go in circles from here. 

Edited by Rasmus Jorgensen
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11 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

I think this needs to be viewed in a wider context - Europe should have been doing more to stabilize the ME a long time ago. There's a historical responsibillity. Same as there is a human responsibillity. I am NOT saying that immigration policies in Europe are perfect. Far from it. But I am saying that doing nothing is NOT the solution. 

I am betting that some of you that disagree with me go to church. Try asking your preacher what the bible says about helping people in need. Not everything is a great conspiracy. 

The people of Europe have apparently decided that they have had enough immigrants for now and have voted to greatly reduce the flow. This is very closely analogous to what America is going through with immigration. Europeans and Americans both realize that if we have too many immigrants too fast that we will become second class nations ourselves. The rich will increasingly get richer with cheap labor. Soon the middle class will be small enough to ignore. Then we can all be easily controlled and the wealthy can jet set around the world enjoying a global fascist socialist paradise for the wealthy and those that kiss their behinds most fastidiously.  

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7 minutes ago, ronwagn said:

The people of Europe have apparently decided that they have had enough immigrants for now and have voted to greatly reduce the flow.

 

Mo’ Money, Mo’ Invasion

... So, it makes me happy today to see Italian Interior Minister and all-around badass Matteo Salvini highlight just how sick and insane the whole immigration issue is by announcing he’s cutting in half the daily allowance of migrants from 35€ per day (PER DAY!) to 19€.

That’s nearly $1200 per month folks.

As Ron Paul so succinctly said on the campaign trail, when you subsidize something you get more of it.

So, Italy under the direction of an EU-appointed Prime Minister and government was handing out nearly €1 billion a year to migrants in a country under a brutal austerity program and laboring under a crushing debt load due to fiscal mismanagement.

Now, it doesn’t take an economist to tell you that people respond to incentives.   No wonder everyone wants in.  

... So, Salvini made a brilliant political move by highlighting this insane practice of paying people to come be subsidized by native Italians who, frankly, had very little say in the matter.

Because up until today I didn’t know Italy was paying these people €35 per day.  And I’m sure a lot of Italians didn’t either.  So, by cutting the allowance Salvini highlights the practice but doesn’t end it outright, leaving that decision to voters to continue to be outraged about.

It also puts both his coalition partners at Five Star Movement and the rest of the Italian political elite and media in a position to defend a practice that 60% of Italians are furious about, illegal immigration.

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20 hours ago, Marina Schwarz said:

I think I do but the German minister's suggestion did not suppose a choice in the matter and the option of choice is very important. 

Agree. However, it does not hurt to make an effort to understand more. Sometimes something that seems useless at first becomes interesting once you understand. Just ask my son. 

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I'm beginning to think we are talking about different things. You are talking about knowledge acquisition in general. I am talking specifically about the lack of, shall we say, reciprocity in knowledge acquisition.

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(edited)

11 hours ago, ronwagn said:

The people of Europe have apparently decided that they have had enough immigrants for now and have voted to greatly reduce the flow. This is very closely analogous to what America is going through with immigration. Europeans and Americans both realize that if we have too many immigrants too fast that we will become second class nations ourselves. The rich will increasingly get richer with cheap labor. Soon the middle class will be small enough to ignore. Then we can all be easily controlled and the wealthy can jet set around the world enjoying a global fascist socialist paradise for the wealthy and those that kiss their behinds most fastidiously.  

The trouble with how Europeans vote is that the anti-immigration parties treat the symptons. Not the disease. The root cause is economic - we need to create economic growth for the entire population. In the countries I know of (including my home country) the nationalist anti-imigration parties do not support policies that support the blue collar lower middle class. But they have the support of the blue collar middle class. So, they have managed to sell this story that being anti-immigrant is being pro blue collar lower middle class. They are not. 

Example : back in the 50s Denmark GDP per capita was way below that of the united states. Now it is higher. Why? because of investment into education, infrastructure etc. The nationalist anti-immigration want to end immigration and increase social spending on elderly, blue collar middle class etc, but do not give 10 hoots about education etc (i.e. the future). Funnily, a lot of nationalist have been caught milking public coffers in their own nations and EU.... Now, they aren't the only ones doing this, but they sell themselfes as standing up for the little man,

Edited by Rasmus Jorgensen
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8 hours ago, Marina Schwarz said:

I'm beginning to think we are talking about different things. You are talking about knowledge acquisition in general. I am talking specifically about the lack of, shall we say, reciprocity in knowledge acquisition.

I think we are on the same topic. 

For clarity I will give an example : This summer I demanded of my son that he read at least 1 book during the holidays (I gave him 4 to choose from). He obliged me under strenous protests and I made him give me a resume after each chapter. Then, 2 thirds into the book he actually started liking it. And even ended up reading the sequeal. 

My point is : Sometimes people have capacity and capabillity - they just need a push or a demand. 

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13 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

The trouble with how Europeans vote is that the anti-immigration parties treat the symptons. Not the disease. The root cause is economic - we need to create economic growth for the entire population. In the countries I know of (including my home country) the nationalist anti-imigration parties do not support policies that support the blue collar lower middle class. But they have the support of the blue collar middle class. So, they have managed to sell this story that being anti-immigrant is being pro blue collar lower middle class. They are not. 

Example : back in the 50s Denmark GDP per capita was way below that of the united states. Now it is higher. Why? because of investment into education, infrastructure etc. The nationalist anti-immigration want to end immigration and increase social spending on elderly, blue collar middle class etc, but do not give 10 hoots about education etc (i.e. the future). Funnily, a lot of nationalist have been caught milking public coffers in their own nations and EU.... Now, they aren't the only ones doing this, but they sell themselfes as standing up for the little man,

It sounds to me like you are making a generalization based on your political point of view. I think that all leaders are in favor of education, especially if it is practical and leads to good jobs. I am against education that propagandizes for socialism and against personal freedoms being repressed by big government. 

The fifties were right after WW2 and all of Europe was recovering economically with the help of the Marshall Plan. By the sixties they were doing well and still are except for overly large government programs and an overarching E.U. 

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7 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

I think we are on the same topic. 

For clarity I will give an example : This summer I demanded of my son that he read at least 1 book during the holidays (I gave him 4 to choose from). He obliged me under strenous protests and I made him give me a resume after each chapter. Then, 2 thirds into the book he actually started liking it. And even ended up reading the sequeal. 

My point is : Sometimes people have capacity and capabillity - they just need a push or a demand. 

Yes, we are on the same topic but we diverged on the aspects. Anyway, what you did sounds like what I'd do and I will do it once my daughter learns to read. What I had in mind, though, was a willingness on one party's part (Western Europe) to learn everything they can about another party (economic migrants), combined with the utter unwillingness of parts of the latter party to learn anything about the former party. But we're discussing this below my blog post so I'll stop flooding this thread. :)

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13 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

The trouble with how Europeans vote is that the anti-immigration parties treat the symptons. Not the disease. The root cause is economic - we need to create economic growth for the entire population. In the countries I know of (including my home country) the nationalist anti-imigration parties do not support policies that support the blue collar lower middle class. But they have the support of the blue collar middle class. So, they have managed to sell this story that being anti-immigrant is being pro blue collar lower middle class. They are not. 

Classic. Same here.

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On 11/7/2018 at 3:34 PM, mthebold said:

As far as I can tell, America's "allies" are just as bad as China.  VAT taxes and refusing to meet defense obligations are prime examples.  Talking about America's "Ethical/ moral superiority / leadership" sounds like buttering us up so we'll pay for things.  

The point of America is not to be a leader; it's to mind our own business.  I don't want America to throw its weight around.  I don't want us to have "influence".  I don't want us to bear responsibility for the world's safety.  All that's led to is massive de-industrialization, debt, loss of young men to war, and politicians/corporations who care more about foreigners than their fellow Americans.  Why, exactly, should an American want any of that?  

IMHO, President Trump has greatly increased America's influence and standing in the world. Definitely not in the love by the world press including the American Press! By putting America First he is emboldening those who prefer nationalism over globalism and immigration control  that meets the needs of the nations being emigrated to. America is probably about as popular as it ever has been with the average person around the globe, but that is not of primary importance. What is important is that our values be maintained and that we set a good example by living up to our Constitutional values and those of our own culture. Many countries are following President Trump's views and many are sticking with their globalist agenda. It will be interesting to see where all this leads. 

Here are some articles on my topic Conservatism Around The World https://docs.google.com/document/d/1twQ_yBtl-FPwhXf2mYA7qvGj1D8yts8El0m8nObWxuU/edit

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15 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

The trouble with how Europeans vote is that the anti-immigration parties treat the symptons. Not the disease. The root cause is economic - we need to create economic growth for the entire population. In the countries I know of (including my home country) the nationalist anti-imigration parties do not support policies that support the blue collar lower middle class. But they have the support of the blue collar middle class. So, they have managed to sell this story that being anti-immigrant is being pro blue collar lower middle class. They are not. 

Immigration and the middle class are related: the more workers you have, the lower wages go.  E.g. America has allowed millions of illegals, and this has depressed wages for what used to be middle-class jobs.  The "nationalist" position is not anti-blue-collar.  It just wants to fix the problem w/o creating additional government waste.  

You've mentioned more than once that people just need a little help, a little nudge, etc - and then they'll be productive citizens.  I still disagree with that.  America needed no nudge to start its revolution.  Germany was ransacked on multiple occasions & quickly rose from the ashes every time.  At some point, every nation started in poverty without the benefit of technology; only some chose to rise out of it.  Similarly, you can put two people in the exact same circumstances with the exact same resources and get wildly different outcomes.  You can bring unsuccessful cultures to your country and give them that nudge, but when they encounter difficulty, you'll have to nudge them again.  And again.  And again.  They'll complain that it's too difficult.  Then they'll vote themselves government benefits.  Then you'll end up like Venezuela.  You can go that route if you want to, but I'd rather not turn my country into a 3rd world hole.  

Train people to overcome adversity, and you'll have a robust economy.  Coddle them, and you'll end up with a house of cards.

Put differently: coddling people doesn't decrease the amount of suffering in the world; it only saves that suffering for a single, catastrophic failure. 

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2 hours ago, mthebold said:

America needed no nudge to start its revolution.

Not true.

The nudge came in form of ideas that came with immigrants. The ideas were born in Europe.

 

2 hours ago, mthebold said:

Train people to overcome adversity, and you'll have a robust economy.  Coddle them, and you'll end up with a house of cards.

Put differently: coddling people doesn't decrease the amount of suffering in the world; it only saves that suffering for a single, catastrophic failure. 

Agree 100 %. 

I don't want to coddle. I want to level the playing. When leveling turns into codling is a very difficult discussion. Probably too difficult for an internet forum.

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5 hours ago, ronwagn said:

It sounds to me like you are making a generalization based on your political point of view. I think that all leaders are in favor of education, especially if it is practical and leads to good jobs. I am against education that propagandizes for socialism and against personal freedoms being repressed by big government. 

The fifties were right after WW2 and all of Europe was recovering economically with the help of the Marshall Plan. By the sixties they were doing well and still are except for overly large government programs and an overarching E.U. 

Can you define what you consider socialism? Do you consider Europe socialist? Where do you see government infringing on peronsal liberties? Do you think USA is investing enough into education? What do you consider good education? think we need some examples to avoid disagreeing. 

 

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3 hours ago, mthebold said:

Immigration and the middle class are related: the more workers you have, the lower wages go

No. Not if you can create enough economic growth. 

Where it gets unpleasant is when you need to start making demands to people. You must educate, you must do this. etc. You will say mind control, socialist propaganda etc. NO. It is just insisting that people have a base level of knowledge so that they have a chance to advance in life. Obviously at some point people need to choose for themselfes. 

Let me be clear - I do not believe in leaving anybody behind. I believe in giving them better opportunities. If they do not take these opportunities they need a push, they should not be left behind. And what I most certainly do not believe in is upholding the status qou. 

Call me naive, call me socialist, call me globalist. I have seen results when I believe in people. It makes my business better. It makes their lives better. Who cares if I had to meet them at their level first? My initial investment of time and money have paid of. 

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@mthebold have you considered running for president? Please do. Not that anyone'll let you turn the U.S. into a Switzerland but I like your perspective.

2 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

Let me be clear - I do not believe in leaving anybody behind. I believe in giving them better opportunities. If they do not take these opportunities they need a push, they should not be left behind. And what I most certainly do not believe in is upholding the status qou. 

In some parts of the world this is the definition of socialism. I'm one of these parts, with the caveat that you can lead a horse to water but etc.

Yet, it's interesting how from an American perspective (if you forgive my generalising) it's all about how far the government reaches. In fact a lot of (all?) non-socialist governments infringe on their citizens' freedoms but it goes unnoticed because, well, they are democratically elected. No such thing as absolute uninfringable freedom when you live in a society.

P.S. I think Denmark should start exporting its mentality. We need more of it.

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11 hours ago, mthebold said:

turn my country into a 3rd world hole.

I feel like you left something out of that sentence......Hmm, whatever could it be?  I don't know, it just doesn't read right.

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24 minutes ago, Dan Warnick said:

I feel like you left something out of that sentence......Hmm, whatever could it be?  I don't know, it just doesn't read right.

I almost left it in...

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6 hours ago, Marina Schwarz said:

@mthebold have you considered running for president? Please do. Not that anyone'll let you turn the U.S. into a Switzerland but I like your perspective.

With my views, I'd be the only candidate capable of pissing off everyone simultaneously...

 

6 hours ago, Marina Schwarz said:

No such thing as absolute uninfringable freedom when you live in a society.

In America we have the 10th Amendment, which states that the federal government only has those powers explicitly granted to it in the constitution.  Of course, there's considerable debate on whether it has exceeded these powers. We also must remember that the constitution forbids the *federal* government from infringing certain rights.  State and local government occasionally have more power to regulate behavior - which makes sense because people have 50 states to choose from.  Only a handful of civil rights are considered "uninfringable" at any level of government, and there's considerable debate on that.  Is "hate speech" free speech?  Do automatic weapons fall under the 2nd amendment?  Still, the constitution gives us principles and rules to start with.  

We also have something called the "Principle of Subsidiarity", which states that power should be pushed down to the lowest level of government that can handle it.  To put this in perspective: 

1) The feds and state have nothing to do with local roads; cities can handle that.
2) The feds need not be involved in whether weed is legal.  That's a cultural decision states can make.  
3) Different municipalities & states have different cultural norms regarding alcohol, and so they set their own liquor laws.
4) Different neighborhoods have different ideas & preferences on education, and so each has some influence over their school district.
5) Few states can stand alone militarily, so it's not feasible to push defense to the state level.  Thus, the constitution explicitly grants the feds power to tax, raise armies, and fight wars.  At the same time, we have "national guard" units at the state level, and it was only 130 years ago that the US established a standing, federal army worth mentioning.  I.e. even when an issue requires federal influence, pieces of that issue may be pushed to lower levels of government.  

So no, there's no such thing as absolute, uninfringable freedom - but there are also options for where that freedom is handled.  Some issues involve freely entered contracts between citizens.  Other issues are handled by district, city, county, state, and federal government as appropriate.  

The key idea is, "Mind your own business, and let other people mind theirs."  E.g. the more social programs we have, the more I have to pay for your behavior. Thus, Big Government makes your business my business, forcing me to meddle in it.  A concrete example: if you insist on socialized health care, then I will insist on behavioral standards.  What you eat, how you drive, your hobbies, how you raise your kids - all the personal details of your life become my business, and I will shame you for not living up to my standards.  Social programs mean we're all one big family - with all the meddling, arguments, and conformity that implies.  

So you get two options: you can take personal responsibility and leave the rest of us out of it, or you can deal with an intrusive family of 300 million.  Here's a hint: families are typically <150 people, and they still can't agree on anything.  A family of 300 million is impossible.  

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