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Posts posted by Methinkshe

  1. Fairness equals sameness then?

    What about sameness of opportunity to gain wealth?

    Although I said on a previous post that while equality of opportunity may be desirable and equality of outcome is impossible, I am inclined to think, having given it further thought, that equality of opportunity is equally impossible.

    How, for instance, can one give equality of opportunity when genetic influences, birth parents, absent fathers and other early nurture influences have so much effect on an individual? People are born with unequal opportunities and I don't see how that can be changed by any amount of intervention, even if such intervention were desirable, and I believe it definitely is not.

  2. Bit confused as to how that's a fascist view to be honest, but you're obviously referring to something I'm not familiar with.

    I believe that we have a moral obligation to equality; that is my belief. Plus huge inequality causes many of the social problems around anti-social behaviour, vandalism, theft etc. which are on the rise.

    If you don't feel that reducing inequlity is a moral responsibility then obviously you won't need to measure relative poverty in the way I've described. But nevertheless you are left with the logical problem of defining the level at which you set absolute poverty, which is not as straightfoward as you might think.


    You need to distinguish between equality of opportunity and equality of outcome. The former is desirable, the latter is not only undesirbale, it is impossible as far as humanity is concerned.

    Only identical robots could be assured of an equality of outcome.

  3. All humans are rational and logical.

    They don't all have decent information.

    I'd agree with that.

    Rationality and logic are innate to humans.

    I'd go further and say that all humans are born gifted - i.e. potential masters of art, music, mathematics, language, etc, and it is only because they are robbed, by society and/or other individuals, of these innate gifts either through lack of encouragement or deliberate destruction of confidence in their innate and unique abilities, that so few ever develop their innate gifts.

    It is interesting to observe that those within the autistic spectrum (less able to interact with society) are more likely to display what are called idiot savant abilities without having ever receieved teaching, indicating that such abilities are innate and not acquired, and that without the outward influence of society (since autistics are unable to fully relate to other individuals and thus to be affected by them) these innate talents develop unhindered.

    Such revealing of hidden talent can also occur after some kinds of brain damage, say, a stroke. People who have never held a paintbrush before suddenly find themselves able to paint like a Master.

    Which all indicates that innate abilities are either undeveloped, destroyed or otherwise repressed by other individuals and society at large.

  4. I have no idea what you are talking about here. You seem to be fixated on issues of superiority and inferiority. Perhaps you could expand on this obsession?

    When you say such things as:

    We live in a country of bullies, depressives and con-men

    I assume that you are excluding yourself from this unattractive crowd. And since bullying, depression and deception are obviously inferior (lower in quality, value, estimation) to their antitheses, then exclusion from this grouping is, by default, a claim to superiority.

    If you were including yourself in the bully, depressive, con-men group, then my assumption was incorrect and I apologise.

  5. Of course it is a pointless statement from a perspective that assumes all humans are capable of making their decisions from a logical standpoint.

    But, as I said, humans don't work in that way

    Get used to it

    You appear to have a low opinion of humanity in general coupled to a high opinion of yourself in particular, as is demonstrated by this post of yours (unless you are including yourself, and I didn't get that impression):

    We live in a country of bullies, depressives and con-men

    This is what you get in a society where material acquisition is prized above all other things.

    Fear and greed

    Mostly fear

    Does this hide an inferiority complex or are you genuinely convinced of your own superiority?

    I find your despair and hopelessness concerning humanity very sad.

  6. Absolute poverty kills the body

    Relative poverty kills the mind

    It's just the way we're built

    A snappy aphorism, but not necessarily true.

    Relative poverty only kills the mind if one allows oneself to be consumed by envy.

    It is entirely possible to learn to be content with what one has, and grateful for it - whether it be a lot or a little.

    In fact, relative poverty has significant benefits - one does not have to be concerned about preserving one's non-existent wealth, for starters. No need for insurance policies, burglar alarms, investment advice, etc and all those other things that worry the wealthy.

    There is a freedom to be found in a lack of personal property. And an inventiveness, too. Necessity is the mother of invention, as the saying goes.

    All one has to do to avoid any "killing of the mind" as you put it, is to obey the 10th commandment.

    “You shall not covet your neighbour's house; you shall not covet your neighbour's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbour's.â€

    And then, follow the example of Paul recorded in Philippians 4:11-12

    "....for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."

  7. Totally disagree with the OP.

    We do not need a centrally planned solution.

    Simply stop stopping people building the houses they want on any land they own. Then we'll have the quantity of cheap houses people want on abundant building land.

    The government is the problem, not the solution.

    I totally agree (and with all sillybear2's posts as well.)

    We do not need any planning laws. Individual self-interest would ensure that people don't go around building unlovely houses - they would be unsaleable, or worth very much less than well-built and beautiful houses which would command a premium on resale.

    Towns and villages should be allowed to grow organically and individually as people choose to live in particular locations. Land values should reflect the interest of buyer and seller and not the interference of government.

    sillybear2 is spot on, imo.

  8. If poverty is measured in relation to the thousands of children in the thirld world who will go to bed hungry then fine.

    But of course it won't.

    Not until we change perceptions starting with individuals and families.

    If every parent were to make a point of teaching their children to compare their personal situation with the thousands of starving children in third world countries and therefore to be grateful for a bed to sleep in and food in their belly, instead of comparing their lot with rich boy down the road, and if this were reinforced by schools, then we might get somewhere toward a more objective measure of poverty.

    Just as we get the leaders we deserve, we also get, as a society, the metrics we espouse in our personal lives.

  9. Communism successfully gets rid of relative poverty by making everyone equally poor (apart from the governing elite, that is, but they don't count when it comes to measuring poverty/wealth in communist states).

    Capitalism allows some to become wealthier than others. However, those who are less wealthy will always judge themselves to be poor by comparison with their wealthier peers.

    Thus, "the poor will always be with us," whichever way you cut the cake.

  10. Interesting question.

    While I do not have the data at my fingertips, I was always under the impression that the Americans spent 2x to 3x as much as we do on the administration of their insurance based system and not much more than we do on the actual delivery of health care to their citizens.

    I know that it is heresey to say something like this on this this site but I wonder whether health care can be delivered more effectively by the state than by private enterprise through a reduction in administrative expenses and an increase in delivery costs to patients.

    There are very few examples of the state being more efficient than the free market but it is possible that health care is one of the few instances where the state might actually be more efficient.

    I think the high cost of American health care has as much to do with the litigious nature of their society as anything else.

    For instance, my brother who lives in America, tells me that if you go to a doctor complaining of, say, a slight pain in the chest, you will immediately be referred to several specialists - radiologist for X-rays, cardio-vascular, thoracic, ontologist, etc and each of these will require their own battery of tests. The fact that you probably just had a mild dose of indigestion does not prevent the defensive juggernaut from grinding into action - no possibility is left unexplored, no test is withheld - just in case something is missed and the complainant - or patient, to you and I - is given reason to sue for negligence.

  11. How does it work if you're a tenant with regard to drilling masonry, sinking rawl bolts and gun cage?

    Don't know. You'd have to get permission from the landlord, I guess.

    My son recently applied and was granted a shotgun licence. He is renting a property from the in-laws in a small town. He made a secure cabinet and gave good reason for need of a shotgun (I think he said shooting rabbits or vermin, but I'm not sure) and after a couple of visits from Plod he got his licence. He now keeps 3 guns.

  12. Sorry to hear that.

    But perhaps the greater idiot prevailed.

    Perhaps not

    But in 6 months you can prolly go and claim it for yourself with a shotgun!

    Good reminder. Anyone who can but hasn't yet got a shotgun licence and at least a couple of guns should start thinking......

    It could become impossible in the very near future for a first applicant to get a shotgun licence.

  13. in true Stephen Fry style.... :D

    edited - right, back to the serious stuff. FTSE @ 1500 before 2010.

    I don't know.

    Have you ever blown up balloons for a kids' party?

    You blow up a balloon and get over ambitious and the darn thing bursts.

    Then you get a little more circumspect and start to blow up all balloons to roughly the same size as one that didn't burst.

    And then you start blowing a balloon that seems to want to defy history and reason, and you want to blow and blow and blow and it gets bigger and bigger and bigger and probably some accident of skin-thickness in the manufacturing process allows that balloon to double in size from all that went before. So you keep blowing and blowing and blowing.....just to test the breaking point....

    I think that's where the stock market is currently at.....

    But I wouldn't bet on it.

  14. That appears to be the way the majority currently think - as long as it's within the law, anything goes.

    Personally, I think it is wrong to spit-roast one's mother-in-law (with the assistance of her hubby) while the wife is giving birth at the local maternity ward. Clearly this is legal, so I suppose my moral standpoint is subjective and not worth the keystrokes with which it was typed.

    Your personal persuasion does not equate to a standard of collective moral behaviour.

    It is very encouraging that you find it reprehensible to spit-roast your mother-in-law etc etc, and I am sure it is a widely held opinion. But that doesn't help society in terms of behaviours where opinion is split - eg the morality, or otherwise, of abortion.

  15. :D

    c'mon Noel, give us some charts'n'stuff.

    ps - I don't think he does 'humour'

    Oh dear, I do hope he will not be offended by my miserable attempt at the genre, then!

    totally unrelated edit - I always thought it was tenderhooks you know, until watching QI one night. Tenterhook's

    I think that with the adoption of regional accents on BBC and other broadcasting media it has become more difficult to discern the subtle difference that can sometimes occur between a "t" and a "d" so that mishearing "tenterhooks" for "tenderhooks" is entirely excusable.

    That's an aside, btw, not an invitation......oh lawks...!

  16. Morals of HPC?

    Get a life!

    Self-appointed morals are not worth the breath with which they are uttered.

    Either morals are objective and thus worthy of adherence or they are subjective and therefore get stuffed - why should your morals be better than mine?

    As for morals via consensus - just try a helping of Sharia Law before you plead that.

  17. Moneyweek today has another artice saying that the markets are about to correct... but they just continue on ever upwards.

    I am still a big bear on the markets simply because of what I read about the rubbish stocks driving the bounce, about banks buying and shorting shares, etc, etc.

    At the risk of sounding paranoid, I think that there is a great deal of FUD, hype and manipulation going on at the current time.

    As far as I can tell, stock markets are exhibiting classic pyramid behaviour. There is simply no substance - only greater fools.

  18. Brrr I am travelling around at the moment and its realy cold. I know that that it being cold has nothing to do with the climate but it is really cold. I am in Sydney right now and we had to move our table in the restaurant because we could feel a cold draft, thats the first time that has ever happened.

    I dont know if it means anything but it is very cold.

    Some others are also feelling the cold in other parts of the world by the sound of things.

    Oh, no! You don't think that the climate could be going through a cyclical cooling, do you? That we would terrible. Historically, animals, plants and humans thrive in warmer climes and when CO2 levels rise. I mean, the rate of growth in plants is massively increased in times of raised CO2 levels.

    It would be very worrying to think that the climate is entering a cooling phase.

    I think we ought to begin to throw a lot of money at the problem and change the climate so that it starts to warm again - a warm climate is far more conducive to life on earth than a cold one - all those nasty glaciers and ice-sheets. Brrrr - not nice. I feel your pain.

    Edited for typo.

  19. http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=199

    There was also some industrial output data released. Not sure about the trend line they've used!

    Edit: still some rebalancing to go then!

    For the past ten years or more, as manufacturing has shrunk, we have relied heavily on financial services to boost exports.

    It would appear that the world is now not so keen to import our financial services.

    Can't imagine why........?!

    Now, when anyone mentions exports, I hear only the sound of a lavatory flushing.

    Edited for typo.

  20. So you think that CO2 is not a warming gas, but Prof Plimer disagrees with you.

    Why you think this is a secret and the cause of the warming in the decades at the end of the last century you will keep secret from us too.

    I am questioning your comprehension of the English language, NOT addressing your question/proposition.

    Please reread Pliner's statement.

    "Hence the rise of CO2 in past climates is a response to warming, not the cause."

    Pliner is making a statement concerning a historical relationship between a rise in CO2 and climate warming.

    The statement only concerns a historical cause and effect relationship. It does not address any intrinsic properties that CO2 may or may not have re whether it is or is not a "warming gas" as you call it.

    As I have said, I am not prepared to discuss the science with you any further, not the least because of issues of comprehension such as the one demonstrated above.

  21. From what I can gather, the three that have repaid TARP funds did not want/need to borrow in the first instance; they were made to so that those banks which did need to borrow did not stand out from the crowd, so to speak. If all banks borrowed funds, it made it difficult to distinguish between those that needed funds due to insolvency and those that did not and were only giving cover.

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