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Everything posted by lemur

  1. True, but popular cities don't provide opportunities for all who seek them and then people have to seek elsewhere. Still, that problem is a social-economic one that would not change too much due to reduced migration control. What would change which would be significant, I think, is that relatively large blocks of language populations could relocate together in ways that would reduce population pressures in language-regions and facilitate migration for people speaking that language by allowing them to continue speaking it in a new multiethnic geography. For example, if many Swedish-speakers moved to some North American city, that would provide opportunities for people who would like to migrate to Sweden to live in that city and integrate into "Swedish society" there. Then, presumably migration pressures and restrictions wouldn't remain so unidirectional and people could move back and forth among cities on different continents and in different post-national regions.
  2. Surely there are ways of addressing organized crime without resorting to ethnic profiling. Why not just treat people as participants in criminal networking activities and arrest and prosecute them in that framework?
  3. The interesting thing would be how economic and cultural differences would play out if migration and acculturation occurred multidirectionally. Generally it is assumed that people living in developing economies would move to more developed economies if they got the chance, but is it also possible some people living in more developed economies would opt for a simpler agricultural lifestyle? I think this would be the case if access to modern health care was available. Likewise, if cultural and linguistic plurality was respected and valued, but no longer treated as an essential attribute of individuals, would people migrate and acculturate multidirectionally, or would there continue to be a global preference for English-language cosmopolitanism?
  4. The following link provides a short explanation of "cultural racism." Please don't react to the word, "racism," as an accusation. Researchers of race and ethnicity use the term broadly to study both discrimination-oriented and non-discrimination oriented forms of racial knowledge and culture. http://aad.english.ucsb.edu/docs/Halstead.html#cultural I think the criticisms of targeting Roma as an ethnicity instead of on an individual basis is valid. Whenever people start regarding each other as parts of a collective ethnic whole, it is a step in the direction of war. No individual should be judged and punished (or rewarded) according to an ethnic identity. But for that not to happen, people have to stop thinking in terms of ethnic collectives, including nations, which is far from reality at present. These kinds of problems should cease to exist when individuals are all treated equally including having the right to practice whatever language or ethnic identity culture they choose wherever they want to go, but for some reason many people have trouble with this. Any insights into why this is?
  5. I don't blame you but all you have to do to prevent that is to clearly state your position. All you seem to do is make arguments about what is or isn't inferable. Why don't you just state your position and be done with it?
  6. Ultimately all expenditures get paid to people. That means everyone who doesn't take a loss in income is effectively driving up the basic standard of income determined by average income. The reason no one wants to take an income-cut is because they think there are going to be other people whose income increases. Consider that you can measure income in terms of inflation and deflation the same as goods. If many people's income is going up, those whose stay the same or go down are worth less relative to the others. If everyone took a 10% cut in income, it would be a uniform deflation and have relatively little effect on relative income levels. If on the other hand, some incomes increased by 10% while others decreased by 10%, those that decreased would effectively decrease by 20% relative to those that got raises. What everyone should be doing is accepting the deflation by accepting a certain amount of income loss, but that would require people to trust that others were doing the same, and since they don't they try to grab as much income for themselves as possible. The result is that there is stronger budget-cutting pressure to make up for the GDP going to these people by taking it away from others. When GDP growth drops, the slowdown is not evenly distributed and because some people are exploiting the cuts to maintain or raise their income, others try to keep up by doing the same. What happens to people who lose all their income as a result?
  7. How many times do I have to repeat that I wasn't "targeting" anyone, just explicating an observation about analytical implications? Why do you insist on making this into a personal status issue?
  8. Ok, I thought you were just getting into talking about the general economics of price-driven behavior. The problem, in your words, is that people aren't willing or able to cut spending. Too many assume fixed costs because of the popular business culture that has developed where product-differentiation in terms of price has replaced price-negotiation. No matter, I don't think all prices can uniformly deflate and re-establish the production and consumption patters of the past anyway. I think people are going to have to re-structure their spending and business activities in a way that lets them do and make more with less. This is the way economic efficiency has always progressed, but the problem with it is that there are so many people who see it as an opportunity to get more money, which results in inflationary pressures. Taxes are part of this. Consider an example: Let's say Facebook figures out they can cut their employees retirement payments in half by building a retirement town somewhere themselves at a lower cost than any other pension plan (maybe a silly sounding example, but just hypothetical). If Facebook does this, it could theoretically double its operations and staff because it is paying them half as much. Still, because the per-capita spending of their personnel/business was halved, this reduces per-capita contribution to GDP, which creates recessionary/deflationary pressure. Now let's assume that another company, say Google, finds that due to Facebook's cuts, their advertising revenues are halved. That puts them under pressure to do something similar with their pension plan as facebook, or cut jobs, or find some other cost-cutting measure. The problem arises, imo, when someone decides they are going to make cuts without seeking to cut costs by changing the way they do something. For example, if Google cuts jobs instead of copying Facebook's pension strategy, they are effectively paying double for their retirement plan what Facebook is. This creates the idea in the pension industry that there are more lucrative contracts to compete for instead of restructuring to all compete with the Facebook plan. This is what government does when it resists lowering taxes. It basically takes the position that the salary-levels of its employees and its costs are not subject to innovation and restructuring to do more with less. Of course, it's hard to blame them when you know that if non-governmental businesses get the chance, they will raise their revenues and salaries as high as possible. So, basically I think everyone is in a price-standoff at present. Ideally, innovations will occur that allow people to go ahead and live well with long-term depression but I wonder what those can or will be. Whenever you hear about a public transit project or some other innovation that would allow many people to live better for less, the price tag on the project is usually high enough to try to generate a lot of high-paying jobs. But ideally you would see things like public transit emerge that provide people with ways to live better with less income, which would mitigate the pain of these recessions in a sustainable, long-term framework. Then, if government employees could live better with less income along with everyone else, taxes could either be cut or more jobs could be generated by existing taxes to allow government to accomplish more with persistent tax levels.
  9. Anti-colonialism is so collective/class oriented. Do you really think that every individual identified with a particular class/nationality wants to be permanently governed in the interest of their presumed class/national affiliation? My guess is that many people would just like to be free to migrate where they please without being treated as inferior citizens.
  10. The big difference would be that people would be free to migrate among states/provinces. Hopefully such a one-nation arrangement would also put an end to ideologies of natural-citizenship. Culture should be viewed as a choice, imo, not a natural essence of individuals based on birth/socialization.
  11. It was irrelevant what you endorsed or were aware of. The fact was that the discussion contained the logic I drew attention to. All that matters to me is that there is an awareness that whatever correlation you find between Islam or religion generally and violence, that the relationship is not causal and does not imply that religion or Islam is a necessary or sufficient cause of violence. The simple fact is that it doesn't matter how many muslims commit violence, that says absolutely nothing about the muslims who don't. Same with other religions and secular people.
  12. I guess I read your "some people" as saying that rationality is the exception to the rule. Generally, I think the assumption is that people will buy less of something as the price goes up. Obviously there is enough irrationality in practice to make demand less elastic, but the rational ideal is that as price goes up, consumers seek substitutes. Isn't competition when they lower their prices to try to gain market share? Plus, you treated input costs as fixed, but these are also supposed to be subject to price competition where multiple firms compete for contracts based on lower prices. The conservative consumption at the demand level is key, though. It is when sales are scarce that firms have to compete at every level. If sales are abundant, other factors take over and everyone just creates their own niche to avoid price competition.
  13. I mean that faith creates God and the belief that God's existence through faith is indeed existence, albeit in a non-material (i.e. spiritual) sense.
  14. I neither jumped the gun or did I attack a problem. I just pointed out an implication that could be inferred from the discussion for the sake of preventing that inference from being made. It doesn't matter to me what his intent was because I wasn't accusing anyone of anything. I was just pointing out that the longer multiple people ran with the assumption that there was a threshold of attribution to the religion as a collective, the more likely it would be to associate ALL religious practitioners with the attribute. I don't know why anyone would want to promote that. If you don't raise the issue when it is relevant, it makes it that much less likely that people will notice it when it does come up. I don't know why you would want to separate one from the other unless you were just trying to allow the analytical assumptions to pass uncritically and stifle any recognition of them as such.
  15. Your whole analysis seems to hinge basically on the assumption that demand is inelastic except in special cases and that supply is primarily driven by coordination among firms rather than competition. That is highly at odds with the premise of free market dynamics.
  16. $1=$1. If producers are taxed an extra dollar, then relative to their previous net revenues, they are making one dollar less than they were, correct? So they can either accept the loss or attempt to raise revenues to re-establish previous revenue levels. If they can't get their revenues back up, then they continue losing net-growth, right? So at that point they would either cut expenditures and investments to try to slow down their losses, or try to come up with investments that increase their revenues. If they cut expenditures and investments, people lose revenues, i.e. jobs and income. If they invest in increasing revenues, people get more jobs and income but they have to expend more of it to generate the increased revenues sought by the investors. In the end, the real question is not whether consumers will benefit from shifting the tax-burden to producers but what will change, if anything about the way the economy works and distributes resources and money. Yes, government could probably get away with doing with taxes what the bolshevic revolution did with the bullets to the Czars; or they could just reduce the wealthy to middle-class levels, but what would be the purpose and result of that? What economic benefit is there in increasing the middle-class? What does that class produce except middle-management of actual labor? Wouldn't the economy be better served by shrinking the middle-class, or at least taxing it at a level where it would consume less? As it is now, the middle-class drives global labor demand and creates more jobs and wealth for itself by its own consumption and management of the labor and resources it consumes. It is a self-destructive economic force because it controls both the means of production and revenue. It's like a horse-jockey that wins more horses by winning races. The more horses it pushes to the point of collapse, the more horses it has available to push to the point of collapse. Personally, I would rather see more responsible economics instead of this consumption-revenue driving consumption driving labor etc. I don't think it is sustainable, but it may not be until all wealth is taxed and put into circulation that people will see for themselves that the markets will still not generate the kind of lifestyles they seem to want to achieve by increasing taxation and fiscal stimulus. I just wish there was some clear economic analysis that could address economics at the qualitative level instead of just shifting taxation and spending around with the assumption that whatever happens as a result of GDP-growth is desirable and sustainable.
  17. what is the term for believing that God exists through faith? Would that be constructivist-theism?
  18. My impression is that growing pains are more intense after a period of intense exercise. I biked 40 miles one day with my son and shortly afterward he had very intense growing pains at night. I believe the alternating compression and decompressing of the bones stimulate growth. This is of course lay speculation. Normally I would avoid posting speculation, but I believe there is some truth in this and hopefully someone with more knowledge of the specific mechanics of bone-growth will confirm or reject my hypothesis by providing grounded reasoning.
  19. More likely there is a name for the particular logical fallacy that causes people to think any yes/no question has 50/50 odds of being yes or no. There's a 50% chance I will discover the name for it at some point in the future, maybe:)
  20. If there was no plurality of nations, separatist movements would probably be discouraged from fighting for independence. However, they might still want status as a separate state/province. If this was not granted, they would probably operate underground and engage in mafia-type vigilantism to achieve goals. They might band together to fight against the one-world regime the way the rebel alliance fought against the empire to overthrow Darth Vader and liberate the ewoks. It really depends on how well democracy functions and what people's interests are in separatist nationalism. If sufficient cultural freedom was respected within a global republic, what need would there be for separate nationhood and autonomous sovereignty? State governments would probably be allowed to make whatever laws on adultery their constituents would support. Then it would be up to the state government whether it would issue a warrant for the female adulterer if she entered into their jurisdiction. Death by stoning might be replaced with lethal injection if it was deemed cruel and unusual. Female circumcision would probably be regulated by state legislation, I'm guessing. Theocratic governance would be formally forbidden by church-state separation but theology would probably strongly influence secular legislation, as it always has. I don't think the FDA would make special allowances for cocaine leaves or anything else on the basis of culture, unless some general exemption procedure could be defined.
  21. It's easy to be seduced by the idea of taxing super-wealth a little more and saving poor and middle-class people a lot relative to their incomes. The problem with that, however, is that it is equivalent to making poor and middle-class people dependent on government subsidies funded by the wealthy. Why is this a problem, though? Well, for one thing it creates an incentive for the managers of wealth to utilize government as a tool to increase their revenues. From their perspective, they are getting saddled with maintenance costs for the entire population, which puts them in the position of utilizing that population to make back the money they are losing in taxes. Presumably, this will mean that prices and costs of just about everything will go up to fund the higher taxes being paid by the wealthy. In that sense, the poor and middle class will still be paying those taxes, just in the form of corporate revenues. So the question is what benefit there is in shifting the tax burden to the wealth when they maintain their wealth by excising revenues from the masses anyway? Wouldn't it make more sense for the masses to pay their own taxes and have more control over their abatement as a result? Actually, I've changed my mind. I've decided that if the wealthy get to manage the tax-burden, it will be the same as shifting taxes on the masses from income tax to sales tax, since this is how the wealthy make their income. So if you're for sales tax instead of income tax, it makes sense to support tax increases for the wealthy - I think anyway (is my logic flawed somehow?).
  22. You're right that this example seems to imply different things, but I think it is worth analyzing why and how. I've paid attention to identity-labeling and attribution for a long time, and there is definitely a pattern of inferring group responsibility for actions inferred as collective in some cases, albeit not others. Attributing collective guilt to death row inmates doesn't really work because the fact that they are on death row implies that the killing in question is in the past and they are no longer going to have access to victims. If you would be having the same discussion about released convicted felons committing subsequent crimes, the discourse could easily go in the direction of arguing for greater security for all ex-inmates because they are presumed to be a source of crime generally. This is just the basic logic of groupist-control; i.e. better to control a whole segment of the population to prevent some of them making trouble than to treat them as individuals and risk some individuals perpetrating crime. This is of course the opposite logic as the "innocent until proven guilty" individual fair trial approach. Ideally, people would always state explicitly their premises and possible interpretations of the terms of their discussion. Many times, however, they are not aware OR they just don't care. It doesn't really matter why people imply collective-responsibility attribution according to group classifications. My main concern is disrupting that logic from passing unproblematically. If people would state the reasons they are disputing data, the premises wouldn't be left to inference. The issue isn't whether the inference was implied or only inferred, but whether it has the potential to emerge and what the possible consequences may be if it does.
  23. If it was the US, the houses of congress would be much bigger and beyond that I don't know what would really change. Maybe there would be more terrorism without homeland security - not sure.
  24. Again, I don't care about whether you personally remain silent or assent. My concern is with the implication of measuring rates of violence for classes of religion or otherwise.
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