AJ Oliver

Are You a Socialist ?

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1 hour ago, AJ Oliver said:

I appreciate the humor even if it is snarky - we used to tell those jokes ourselves.

Yeah, maybe 1 in 10 people with marine science/biology degrees ever got to work in their intended field. Just the way it went what with supply & demand. Nearly everyone in my day ended up in good jobs though because critical thinking was a valuable skill and you couldn't pass unless you had it in spades. And statistics was essential, you couldn't even get past 2nd year university without a good grounding in stats up to & including being able to handle unbalanced ANOVA's and design suitable experiments.

FKT

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16 hours ago, Chris in Santa Cruz, CA said:

I will look for this book. Thanks

It's a sci-fi novel so keep that in mind if that's not your thing. But interesting.

FKT

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18 hours ago, Ishmael said:

That's what they are paid to do. All that money floating around is not good for democracy, but it sure is good for the legislators.

Unfortunately, the success in tipping the scales in the direction of unregulated unfair profiteering is that the increased profits are used to defend the current unfairness and to try to push the laws even more in their favor, buy competitors etc. More profits, more lobbying, more consolidation, less competition and so on. Utilities have to be regulated, our crumbling infrastructure is directly related to privatizing public utilities. Total lunacy.

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1 hour ago, Chris in Santa Cruz, CA said:
19 hours ago, Ishmael said:

That's what they are paid to do. All that money floating around is not good for democracy, but it sure is good for the legislators.

Unfortunately, the success in tipping the scales in the direction of unregulated unfair profiteering is that the increased profits are used to defend the current unfairness and to try to push the laws even more in their favor, buy competitors etc. More profits, more lobbying, more consolidation, less competition and so on. Utilities have to be regulated, our crumbling infrastructure is directly related to privatizing public utilities. Total lunacy.

That plus the low top marginal tax rate

There is no reason for corporate principles to invest that last 100 million dollars in infrastructrue, when they can stick it in their own pockets and pay the exact same tax on it that they paid on the previous $100mill

- DSK

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4 hours ago, Burning Man said:

As if you give even a moment's thought or consideration to the people that have been killed in those airstrikes. 

Mostly innocent civilian men, women and children in many cases entire families. I'll choose universal health care over that any day of the week! 

4 hours ago, Burning Man said:

or why

$-)) 

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6 hours ago, Shortforbob said:

I think you missed the point.

Asking a kid who knows nothing to nominate their dream job is like asking a cat to name it's favoring food and it nominating fish. 

Here's an interesting little experiment to establish the breadth or otherwise of students career knowledge.

ask them to name 15 career choices in 45 seconds. Their answers can be quite illuminating.

Working in childcare or waiting a "dream job" ? let me guess, non of your male students chose those options.

So working in child care is not an important, rewarding job?

Remember, the question took money out of the equation.

 

I we had a UBI, I would definitely be volunteering at the local council run kindergarten or occasional care centre. Maybe even the library too.

 

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8 hours ago, Shortforbob said:

think you missed the point.

Asking a kid who knows nothing to nominate their dream job is like asking a cat . .

Yeah, so lets wait until AFTER they kids have a lifetime of work before letting them dream a little bit. 

That makes no sense whatsoever. 

Not your best effort Bobster

(And oh yeah, lots of them were rural kids, and said they wanted to farm or garden.) 

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20 minutes ago, AJ Oliver said:

Yeah, so lets wait until AFTER they kids have a lifetime of work before letting them dream a little bit. 

That makes no sense whatsoever. 

Not your best effort Bobster

(And oh yeah, lots of them were rural kids, and said they wanted to farm or garden.) 

I think part of the problem lies in thinking there's *one* dream job.

What you think it is when you're 18 with no life experience might be very different to what you think at 40. So let them dream, let them have a go and let them learn something new & change their minds.

I wouldn't mind being a big ship's chief engineer but I'd rather skip over the scrubbing the deck plates part as a junior, thanks all the same.

Sorry Meli (and AJ) but I'm more on AJ's side on this one.

FKT

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Well yes, that is what the liberal arts endeavor to accomplish - help the young 'uns prepare for life, not just their first job. That is why I think it a mistake for unis to offer law enforcement instead of the broader public administration - although that too may be too narrow. Stats are vital, but so are writing/speaking, history, and a big ol' dollop of social sciences. 

6 minutes ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

What you think it is when you're 18 with no life experience might be very different to what you think at 40. So let them dream, let them have a go and let them learn something new & change their minds.

Oh, the horror !! 

8 minutes ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

I'm more on AJ's side on this one.

image.jpeg.c750ae08986a39d923d4ae5e81972d04.jpeg

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23 hours ago, Shortforbob said:

And just how much work experience did you're students have? Had they experienced working in a lab at the Zoo? or Restoring old letters or Repairing and designing prothesis? No huge pay here either but a world away from waiting tables.

I've had some pretty great times, waiting tables.  The little neighbourhood places, with a good set of regulars  -  can be a lot of fun.

Just sayin.

9 hours ago, Shortforbob said:

I think you missed the point.

Asking a kid who knows nothing to nominate their dream job is like asking a cat to name it's favoring food and it nominating fish. 

Here's an interesting little experiment to establish the breadth or otherwise of students career knowledge.

ask them to name 15 career choices in 45 seconds. Their answers can be quite illuminating.

Working in childcare or waiting a "dream job" ? let me guess, non of your male students chose those options.

 

Sexist...  

 

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6 hours ago, AJ Oliver said:

Yeah, so lets wait until AFTER they kids have a lifetime of work before letting them dream a little bit. 

That makes no sense whatsoever. 

Not your best effort Bobster

(And oh yeah, lots of them were rural kids, and said they wanted to farm or garden.) 

Um..how about a decent work experience program?:rolleyes:

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On 11/29/2020 at 4:26 PM, Fah Kiew Tu said:

As for capitalism - it works when well constrained. I've often advocated controls on public companies on the lines of a max of 2 orders of magnitude between highest paid and lowest paid. Want to raise the CEO payment? Fine - everyone else goes up some as well. Don't like that idea? Don't have the protection of a limited liability company, put all you own on the line if you fuck up, and go for it. You can have the big rewards only if you're willing to take the big risks.

Restrained capitalism?  But what about the freedom to bilk suckers and losers?  It's very American! 

Propaganda works.

If we somehow managed to get the influence of money out of politics, politicians would be forced to work for the voters, rather than the donor class.  If that ever happened here in the US (highly doubtful) elected officials would be creating an environment more friendly to middle America rather than one that makes making your next billion easier.

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1 hour ago, Bus Driver said:

I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who takes the time to read this.  Those who want to dismiss it, outright, can keep scrolling.

How America Hates Socialism without Knowing Why

Cohesiveness. Social trust. Back when we only had books and music that you made yourself, people tended to agree on the basic nature of reality, and disagree on minor points like whether you could actually -own- another human being. The idea that most of us have a lot in common and have mutually beneficial goals.

Referred to in civics classes of a generation ago as "mutualism." The US has always had a lower cultural value for it. Now we are trying to live in the same country while dwelling on different planets.

- DSK

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42 minutes ago, Jules said:

Restrained capitalism?  But what about the freedom to bilk suckers and losers?  It's very American! 

Propaganda works.

If we somehow managed to get the influence of money out of politics, politicians would be forced to work for the voters, rather than the donor class.  If that ever happened here in the US (highly doubtful) elected officials would be creating an environment more friendly to middle America rather than one that makes making your next billion easier.

You should probably have a decent public school system which educates folks so they don't become suckers.

Obamabucks indeed!

 

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19 hours ago, AJ Oliver said:

Maybe what Spain needs is more socialism, not less. 

Turns out you were right mate, we need a little more socialism with a tad of peronism and we'll be on top of the world:

https://spainsnews.com/spain-suffers-the-worst-recession-in-the-world-after-argentina-according-to-the-oecd/

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3 hours ago, Bus Driver said:

I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who takes the time to read this.  Those who want to dismiss it, outright, can keep scrolling.

How America Hates Socialism without Knowing Why

...if you can't read a one page article:

"Obviously, our nation is overdue for a new Teddy Roosevelt who can reaffirm his vow that “we hold it to be prime duty of the people to free our government from the control of money.” Sanders would have gathered much more support had he run his campaign on fighting political corruption rather than on the stigmatized and misunderstood socialist platform."

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2 minutes ago, El Boracho said:
3 hours ago, Bus Driver said:

I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who takes the time to read this.  Those who want to dismiss it, outright, can keep scrolling.

How America Hates Socialism without Knowing Why

...if you can't read a one page article:

"Obviously, our nation is overdue for a new Teddy Roosevelt who can reaffirm his vow that “we hold it to be prime duty of the people to free our government from the control of money.” Sanders would have gathered much more support had he run his campaign on fighting political corruption rather than on the stigmatized and misunderstood socialist platform."

I can read just fine, thank you.  Was looking for insights/opinion/analysis.

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6 minutes ago, Bus Driver said:

I can read just fine, thank you.  Was looking for insights/opinion/analysis.

Heh. Comment was for others. Not you. Article spoke to what I've been thinking about: Why is the US government not representative, or why are public opinion polls so wrong? Money explains why idealistic politicians on both sides quickly abandon their lofty promises.

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4 hours ago, Bus Driver said:

I'd be interested

I'll read it and get back to you - got some time for it since we just had a foot of snow dumped on us overnight. 

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An interesting article, but for some reason, although it says it is OECD members, Canada isn't shown. That implies a bit of sloppy reporting somewhere.

trust2.jpg

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21 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

An interesting article, but for some reason, although it says it is OECD members, Canada isn't shown. That implies a bit of sloppy reporting somewhere.

Reads that data is from OECD countries. At least 10 OECD countries omitted. Maybe incomplete source data for some countries.

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1 hour ago, El Boracho said:

Heh. Comment was for others. Not you. Article spoke to what I've been thinking about: Why is the US government not representative, or why are public opinion polls so wrong? Money explains why idealistic politicians on both sides quickly abandon their lofty promises.

Ah, got it.  Thanks.

Truly interested in the thoughts of others.

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4 hours ago, Saorsa said:

You should probably have a decent public school system which educates folks so they don't become suckers.

Just about the first lesson in critical thinking 101 is to avoid reasoning by anecdote. 

I guess you missed that one . .  

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6 hours ago, Bus Driver said:

I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who takes the time to read this.  Those who want to dismiss it, outright, can keep scrolling.

How America Hates Socialism without Knowing Why

That is an excellent article - clear and succinct. Thanks for posting it. 

Robert Putnam (cited in the article) grew up near here in Port Clinton, Ohio. His books on social atomization and trust are well worth reading. His 2015 work "Our Kids" contrasts the  Port Clinton of his youth to today. In sum he writes that low income kids today are getting screwed. 

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/08/books/review/our-kids-by-robert-d-putnam.html

My major disagreement with both the article and Putnam is that I believe that social atomization and the decline of trust have been to a significant degree the conscious evil creation of the worst malefactors of the modern age. If you don't believe me, just turn on hate radio and TV - their agenda is all about instilling mutual suspicion and division. 

Article's point that Bernie and the left should focus much more on corruption and money in politics is a good one and worth considering. 

Minor quibble - the push for Medicare long predates the Eisenhower years. 

22609334

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this vid is quite good. I would totally use it in my classes (with rebuttals from the Right) were I still teaching. 

Good on those young 'uns !!

 

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we're all socialist & Capitalist, just look at a bell curve, most people/societies fall in the middle , so all this name calling is BS,  We all rely on society , for roads , schools, police fire .......... . and we all rely on capitalist for cars , planes, houses and things we buy,

Hannity's misstep displays truth about “News Radio”

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15 hours ago, Not for nothing said:

we're all socialist & Capitalist, just look at a bell curve,

Agree, the term I use is that virtually all societies are "mixed", i.e., 

a combination of market and socialist institutions. 

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95% in the US don't even know what socialist really means and is. Having social systems is not socialism ;)

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23 hours ago, Not for nothing said:

we're all socialist & Capitalist, just look at a bell curve, most people/societies fall in the middle , so all this name calling is BS,  We all rely on society , for roads , schools, police fire .......... . and we all rely on capitalist for cars , planes, houses and things we buy,

Hannity's misstep displays truth about “News Radio”

And yet societies at both extremes still have all of those things...to one extent or another. 

so one cannot really say that socialism relies on capitalism for cars, planes and houses.

Can one say that capitalism relies on society for roads schools polices etc?

I don't think so, because all of those things would be private.

I'd posit that in theory, in an "ultra liberal" society everyone has access to all of those things whilst in theory in an "ultra conservative" society all of those things are the prerogative of few.

Taking things to extremes

If every service was run on a user pays system, every km traveled one had to pay an owner of the road, every toilet flush was paid for to an owner of your sewerage line, your garbage was weighed and you paid one owner per Kg. you'd end up eventually with complete stagnation as people couldn't travel beyond their ability to pay, nor flush their toilet and garbage piled up.

OTOH, if every service was collectively owned, though services would initially be limited, they would grow as more people contributed to the service.

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7 hours ago, Shortforbob said:

And yet societies at both extremes still have all of those things...to one extent or another. 

so one cannot really say that socialism relies on capitalism for cars, planes and houses.

Can one say that capitalism relies on society for roads schools polices etc?

I don't think so, because all of those things would be private.

I'd posit that in theory, in an "ultra liberal" society everyone has access to all of those things whilst in theory in an "ultra conservative" society all of those things are the prerogative of few.

Taking things to extremes

If every service was run on a user pays system, every km traveled one had to pay an owner of the road, every toilet flush was paid for to an owner of your sewerage line, your garbage was weighed and you paid one owner per Kg. you'd end up eventually with complete stagnation as people couldn't travel beyond their ability to pay, nor flush their toilet and garbage piled up.

OTOH, if every service was collectively owned, though services would initially be limited, they would grow as more people contributed to the service.

You can't travel beyond your ability to pay now, at least not after you've maxed out your credit cards.

And if every service was collectively owned, it would be heavily rationed by some method, except of course for the nomenklatura, those being essential and therefore exempt. We've seen how that plays out in real life.

Look at water provision as an example even here in Australia. It's collectively owned but rationed. Don't believe me? Stop paying your water bill and see what happens. Want to use a shit-ton? Excess water usage charges.

Before anyone wilfully misunderstands I'm fully in favour of public ownership of essential services such as potable water , sewage disposal et al. But I don't believe for an instant the rosy view that Meli does.

FKT

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8 hours ago, Marty6 said:

95% in the US don't even know what socialist really means and is. Having social systems is not socialism ;)

A classmate of my wife at UW was a sociology major. When asked what he was going to do with it, he said he was going to be a socialist. Probably some truth to that.

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52 minutes ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

You can't travel beyond your ability to pay now, at least not after you've maxed out your credit cards.

And if every service was collectively owned, it would be heavily rationed by some method, except of course for the nomenklatura, those being essential and therefore exempt. We've seen how that plays out in real life.

Look at water provision as an example even here in Australia. It's collectively owned but rationed. Don't believe me? Stop paying your water bill and see what happens. Want to use a shit-ton? Excess water usage charges.

Before anyone wilfully misunderstands I'm fully in favour of public ownership of essential services such as potable water , sewage disposal et al. But I don't believe for an instant the rosy view that Meli does.

FKT

I said in theory. (and I was talking simple about the ability to travel to the next city for better opportunities not traveling to paris)

 in theory. there would be no nomenklatura. and I said these services would be limited initialy until they grew by collective input.

All I'm saying is that in theory, absolute collective ownership services all people with less luxurious service, whereas absolute private ownership services few people with a lot more.

Ultimately this would collapse into total dystopia as those that could not pay get restricted in water use, garbage collection, health services and inability to get out to a "better" place dut to inability to pay the road tolls.

Whereas a absolute collective ownership would eventually improve the services and actually give people more freedom.

What makes both these systems fail is greed, a human condition.

Have you ever read Ursuella leGuin's The Dispossessed? :)

 

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1 minute ago, Shortforbob said:

I said in theory.

 in theory. there would be no nomenklatura. and I said these services would be limited initialy until they grew by collective input.

All I'm saying is that in theory, absolute collective ownership services all people with less luxurious service, whereas absolute private ownership services few people with a lot more.

Ultimately this would collapse into total dystopia as those that could not pay get restricted in water use, garbage collection, health services and inability to get out to a "better" place dut to inability to pay the road tolls.

Whereas a absolute collective ownership would eventually improve the services and actually give people more freedom.

What makes both these systems fail is greed, a human condition.

You forgot sloth and stupidity.

Going back to water, you'd find people running potable water down the drain so they could have a water feature if they weren't paying for the amount consumed.

Also it's a finite resource so as population expands water supply has to. This isn't easy unless you don't mind building ever more dams, taking water away from other uses (growing food for example) or turning electricity - also a costly resource - into water via RO or similar from sea water. Which only works for cities on the coasts anyway.

I never want to see natural monopolies in private for-profit hands because they *will* be exploited by the owners. But without some form of cost signal, commonly owned resources *will* be abused.

So it's all very well to talk about what's ideal, but you need to use a different species as the starting point.

FKT

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6 hours ago, Shortforbob said:

All I'm saying is that in theory, absolute collective ownership

You both need to consider co-ops - 

existing socialism in the belly of the beast . . 

https://www.cooperative.com/maps-facts-figures/Pages/default.aspx

It's more the social anarchist model vs the Leninist model .. 

How big are co-ops in Oz ?? I have no idea 

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1 hour ago, AJ Oliver said:

You both need to consider co-ops - 

existing socialism in the belly of the beast . . 

https://www.cooperative.com/maps-facts-figures/Pages/default.aspx

It's more the social anarchist model vs the Leninist model .. 

How big are co-ops in Oz ?? I have no idea 

you mean like Mondragon? Spain.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mondragon_Corporation

In Oz, Well we have ME (members Equity) bank for example. This is a proper bank not a credit union.

So we don't really need to consider them, we are well aware of them.

Co-operative and mutual enterprises are among the largest and oldest businesses in Australia. There are an estimated 1,700 co-operatives in Australia, most of which are small. However, in 2011 the top 100 co-operatives, mutual and credit unions in Australia had a combined annual turnover of more than AUD $14.7 billion.

Internationally the co-operative movement is estimated to provide employment for over 100 million people. In 2012 a study of the world’s 300 largest co-ops was undertaken by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA). These organisations were found in 25 countries across Europe, North America and Asia. They had a combined annual turnover of over USD $1.6 trillion. This is equivalent to the world’s ninth largest economy.

https://theconversation.com/the-misunderstood-world-of-the-co-operative-enterprise-6015#:~:text=Co-operative and mutual enterprises,more than AUD %2414.7 billion.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, AJ Oliver said:

You both need to consider co-ops -

I don't need to consider anything of the kind.

I've been a MEMBER of co-ops for all of my working life.

FKT

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3 hours ago, Shortforbob said:

Not to mention some humans need to control others.

Yeah that as well.

FKT

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7 hours ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

I've been a MEMBER of co-ops for all of my working life.

Then you have tendencies - socialist ones, that is. 

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6 hours ago, AJ Oliver said:

Then you have tendencies - socialist ones, that is. 

Also voted against de-mutualisation twice for a couple of co-ops. They got privatised anyway as the majority of members opted for taking the shares and 'profits' not realising (or possibly not caring) that they were screwing over themselves and other members plus allowing the executive to inflate their pay enormously.

I've no problems with mutual societies, never have had. They work well. Whether they can grow big enough to provide the capital necessary for some developments is doubtful though, hence limited liability companies.

Mixed system is the way to go, with controls on the rapaciousness of private companies and service delivery/cost KPI's on publicly owned utilities.

Plus caps on salaries to say 2 orders of magnitude between lowest & highest within an organisation.

I'm a pragmatist not an idealogue hence cannot be a socialist.

FKT

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5 hours ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Mixed system is the way to go, with controls on the rapaciousness of private companies and service delivery/cost KPI's on publicly owned utilities.

Plus caps on salaries to say 2 orders of magnitude between lowest & highest within an organisation.

I'm a pragmatist not an idealogue hence cannot be a socialist.

Wot a Commie !! 

(humor alert) 

And yes, many of us lefties are also pragmatists  . . 

we don't care how it gets done, just delivery it with best quality, price, and social & environmental sustainability. 

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