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  • Posted by ChuckyBob 3 years, 2 months ago
    When I was much younger I lived for several years in the barrios of Chicago amongst some very humble and economically challenged folks. I gained a good understanding of the draw of dictocratic communism. The lower you are on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, the more appealing it seems to have someone say "Surrender all your rights to me and I will supply all your needs." However, as you climb the ladder of the Hierarchy, you can see that dictocratic communism is very shortsighted and suboptimizes the human experience. So, it is to the benefit of the major parties, both Demoratans and Republicrats to have a substantial "lower" class to whom they can promise "Surrender all your rights to me and I will supply all your needs." because that lower class will vote to keep them in power.
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    • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 3 years, 2 months ago
      I have to disagree. I will not vote down your personal experience, but I do suggest that the plusses were for saying what everyone already wants to believe. Allow me to suggest several explanations of different facets of that are important.

      First, it depends on whose underdog is underdoggier. You are not alone in growing up in a poor neighborhood. And when I moved here to Austin, I asked the agent to put me halfway between Tech Ridge and the University. I did not get what I expected. I heard gunshots once or twice in the 18 months before I moved. But I had no problems with my neighbors.

      I did post a blog about the roots of poverty. "In The Economy of Cities, Jane Jacobs wrote: To seek 'causes' of poverty in this way is to enter an intellectual dead end because poverty has no causes. Only prosperity has causes.” (See here: http://necessaryfacts.blogspot.com/20...

      Note that most of my poor Hispanic neighbors actually got up and went to work at something every day. Only that among them and of them were many who disregarded the property of others. One day, a homeless guy walked through checking car doors. He stole my sunglasses. One of the neighbors chased him off. Later, the neighbor told me that someone stole the custom grill off his car.

      But I must also add that crime in the suburbs is only differently enacted. They embezzle rather than strong-arm. They decide that it is cheaper to pay off victims than to re-engineer the production line. Most of the people in The Tea Party think that social security and Medicare are appropriate government programs.

      And there is the individual actor. You lived in a barrio. You are a productive Objectivist. Hillary Rodham was in Youth for Goldwater. We all make choices. Freakonomics economist Roland G. Fryer, Jr. was not busted for cooking crack with his family because at age 12 rather than being home or in school, he was at the dog track. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roland_.... He made other choices later. Freakonomics also contraposes his story with that of Theodore Kaczynski, the Unabomber, who grew up middle class and Catholic. We all make choices.

      I think that it is an unfair generalization to single out the poor, as, really, like being rich, it is relative. But it makes a good narrative. As for the rich, we know that they are all a bunch of crony capitalist Democrats, right? Or are they? Hard to say...

      I will grant that crime and poverty are connected: crime causes poverty.
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      • Posted by Abaco 3 years, 2 months ago
        "Most of the people in The Tea Party think that social security and Medicare are appropriate government programs." Really? I didn't know that.

        America is finished.
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      • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 years, 2 months ago
        "Allow me to suggest several explanations of different facets of that are important."
        Chucky's original claim was poverty increases willingness to surrender rights. Your post addresses the relationship between poverty and crime. I'm probably missing an unstated obvious-to-others step, but these seems like different issues.
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        • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 3 years, 2 months ago
          I answered the question that was not asked. People in the poor parts of town are not much different than those in the nice neighborhoods. Sociologists used to say that poor people do not work as hard and do not save their money, whereas the middle and upper classes worker harder, defer their rewards, and save. That is just not true now - if it ever was. Poor people work as hard as rich people, they just do not get paid as much. No one saves much; or everyone saves something. Depends on how you look at it.

          I was not at Eastern Michigan University when Stuart Henry taught there, but his thesis on the underground economy was published by one of my publishers, Loompanics Unlimited. Crime in the city pretty much consists of the unlicensed plumber and the unregistered nurse.

          Moreover, except when these groups are specially targeted by activists, they do not vote. Once they vote, they go away. And they those big drives are for big elections. Poor people do not show up for local elections and primaries. It is true that "non-voters were more likely to support higher taxes and more government-funded services." (http://www.politico.com/magazine/stor...) But as they do not vote, it does not matter what they want.
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      • Posted by ChuckyBob 3 years, 2 months ago
        I don't think you got what I was trying to communicate. I did not grow up in the barrio. I grew up in a middle-class mostly white suburb. I spent a couple of years doing volunteer work in the barrio and also lived there. It was a unique experience.

        I heard gun shots occasionally. I heard someone being murdered. My life was threatened a few times, mostly by drunks. But we got along ok with the gangs. They considered us to be neutral.

        Many of the people I knew there were illegal. In those days there were not so many handouts for illegals. So it was either work or starve. That lead me to come to the understanding that to some extent life is a lottery. I was born to a well educated middle-class family. Therefore, it was natural for me to become well educated and reap those benefits. The illegals I knew were born into uneducated poverty. Therefore, they set their sights lower.

        However, since that time my thinking has evolved to understand that no matter what your situation, you need to make the best of it and continually strive to better yourself.
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    • Posted by 3 years, 2 months ago
      this is insightful and astute, CB;;; I applaud you! -- j

      p.s. I just tried to do a "best of" with this comment,
      and I received a response "the system does not
      understand your request." . I sent an e-mail.
      .
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  • Posted by Grendol 3 years, 2 months ago
    Freedom includes the freedom to make mistakes. We can fix ignorance. It is; however, very hard to vote yourself rights you've lost when you loose the right to vote.
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    • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 3 years, 2 months ago
      I took a point off of your nice score for your egregious error: we do not vote ourselves rights. The nature of rights is much debated in libertarian circles. Objectivism holds that rights are requisites for living in society; those requisites derive from the metaphysical and epistemological nature of being human. They are "natural rights." Essentially, a right is something that you do not need to ask permission for.

      I recommend the non-fiction works of Ayn Rand as a good foundation for understanding sociology and political science.
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  • Posted by DeanStriker 3 years, 2 months ago
    Interesting article.
    Best conclusion would be that voting is the privilege of most humans to elect some other humans to be their Rulers.
    Saves a lotta brain-strain, doesn't it?
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    • Posted by Animal 3 years, 2 months ago
      Not rulers. Servants. That's a key distinction.
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      • Posted by  $  allosaur 3 years, 2 months ago
        Was.
        Too many pudding heads can no longer make that key distinction.
        That includes those in power.
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        • Posted by Animal 3 years, 2 months ago
          True. Got a solution?
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          • Posted by  $  allosaur 3 years, 2 months ago
            Maybe some well-heeled patriots should run Constitutionally accurate short messages about that and other such stuff through various communications channels.
            Such a group should go by a name no one has heard of. "Voice Of Liberty" just popped into my head.
            Should the Tea Party try that I can predict "Oh, how quaint!" kinda put-downs.
            Me living off a state worker's retirement? Should Publishers Clearing House ever ring my doorbell, I may have enough money to personally back up my mouth.
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        • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 3 years, 2 months ago
          Sorry, I have to take away a point. Servant and ruler are two sides of the same coin. If you saw the movie, Atlas Shrugged (or better, read the book), you would know the oath never to live for the sake of another person to ask another person to live for yours. A ruler is just another kind of servant. That narrative is explained in detail in The Fountainhead through the character of Ellsworth Toohey. I recommend the book highly.
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          • Posted by  $  allosaur 3 years, 2 months ago
            I don't recall a politician being Ayn Rand defined save for being a lefty obstacle,
            Is not a representative supposed to represent and serve the will will of the voters who put him or her in office?
            Think that's how it is supposed to work save for those who become arrogant or are already progressive and join the ranks of the more than equal elite "betters," who think it is their place to rule the little people.
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            • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 3 years, 2 months ago
              You are right. Rand gave us good and bad architects, good and bad businessmen, even good and bad Bolsheviks, but only bad politicians, no good ones. That may say a lot to be considered regarding Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, and all the rest. So, I grant you that.

              We have two other problems. First, if the majority of voters choose someone who promises to tax the rich and redistribute their wealth, would you support the representative for doing what the voters want? I think not.

              Secondly, however, few issues are so obvious and the day-to-day work of representative government involves legislation serving many different interests. The representative only knows the views of the people who actually send them in. The vast majority do not.

              Third, It is argued - and I do not agree without reservation - that if you vote at all, you sanction the outcome because you endorsed the process. So, if your representative does not do what you want, they are still doing what someone wants, or they would not be doing it. You agreed to the process and you have to go along with the outcome.

              It is true, that elected representatives vote themselves a lot of privileges, but generally at all levels, the charters pretty much disallow them from raising their own salaries while in office. Mostly, they distribute money to other people.

              I know how you feel about all of that. I feel the same way. But our feelings will not work as tools of analysis.
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              • Posted by  $  allosaur 3 years, 2 months ago
                I recall a college professor back in the late 60s who liked to say, "The majority may always win-- but are they always right?"
                Since then many are the years that have passed for old dino, who can answer that question with a big fat "HELL, NO!"
                As for mental or objective tools of analysis, I readily admit I'm not the sharpest knife in the Gulch.
                I have no idea of how to fix malfunctioning people.
                The Gulch is an educational experience and I like that. And expressing myself is fun.
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      • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 3 years, 2 months ago
        Minus 1 from me for that, down to +4. I recommend that you read more Ayn Rand, especially in this case, The Fountainhead. The ruler is a servant. Both are selfless. One of the many titles of the Pope is "servant of the servants of God."

        The idea that government is a servant is wrong-headed: it is a service. That is the distinction you are looking for.
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        • Posted by Animal 3 years, 2 months ago
          I've read The Fountainhead, as well as most of Rand's non-fiction. I am quite capable of applying her ideas to my own thinking, thank you very much.

          Government is a service. The people that provide that service are public servants. My point stands.
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    • Posted by 3 years, 2 months ago
      yessir, and what became of the ideal voluntary society
      which we praise here in the gulch??? -- j
      .
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      • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 2 months ago
        The absence of an education system is in large part to blame but condoning the absence of an education system is directly to blame. Continuing to vote stupid is proof that voters should be selected by some system besides a 'mere accident of birth' or ' blanket amnesty' programs.
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      • Posted by DeanStriker 3 years, 2 months ago
        Even here in the Gulch, there are many who believe humans must be Governed! Heck, it took me at least 70 years to overcome that bad habit!

        Trouble is, it's gonna take at least the Great Collapse to (hopefully) see our species finally Reason that the Right to Life is an absolute necessity!
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        • Posted by  $  blarman 3 years, 2 months ago
          I do believe humans must be governed. The real question is whether or not they are self- governed! ;)

          It's easy to have someone else tell you what to do all the time. If you want that life, there are plenty who will oblige you by telling you everything you need to do ... from their opinion. Living for one's self, however, requires effort and thought. One can not be lazy and live for one's self.
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          • Posted by DeanStriker 3 years, 2 months ago
            2nd paragraph makes sense.

            1st paragraph begs that we question "By WHOM"?
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            • Posted by  $  blarman 3 years, 2 months ago
              Precisely.

              Government is the process of evaluating goals and building strategy/policy in pursuance of those goals. The institution known as government is merely the aggregation of those who attempt to decide on behalf of themselves and others what goals should be pursued and what policies lead to attainment of those goals. Those who self-govern assert that they own themselves and have the right to pursue goals of their own free will and choice. Those who accept other-government assert that there are aspects of their lives that they allow others to influence to some degree or other. Government is of course a measure of degrees, with that being termed "tyrannical" as being that exercise of government which attempts to override what an individual would choose to control themselves and that being termed "beneficial" as being that careful balance between pursuance of common goals and pursuance of individual goals.

              It requires effort to govern in pursuance of any particular goal. The more self-actuated goals one chooses to pursue, the more work is required by the individual. The proper balance of group government and self-government IMHO is that which leaves the greatest leeway to individual governance which does not violate the rights of others to individual governance, but this presupposes a capability and a desire for the individual to exercise self-governance. It may be a naive supposition to attribute the desire for self-rule to all human beings.
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    • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 3 years, 2 months ago
      It is very deep in our culture. I will not go into all the cultures in the world, but tribes have chiefs. How they are chosen varies somewhat, but is usually easy to understand. Chiefs have duties. Every society has these checks-and-balances. The medieval knight had to protect his peasants. In return, they gave him a share of their harvests. We pretty much follow that model even today. Ancient Rome and ancient Greek cities had a different mode. We also follow a lot of that.

      Do you belong to any social clubs? How are they run? Are they run like corporations with votes sold for shares? Does one person own it and run it like a business?
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  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 3 years, 2 months ago
    Answer to your question: YES!
    However, the author of the column didn't know that there were Black American and Women landowners and yes, they voted. Hell we even had some extraordinary Women and Black American people in local and the federal government...Any one of which would make the lot of the administration look like kindergartners.
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    • Posted by 3 years, 2 months ago
      awareness of societal organization principles has
      subsided and students of freedom are more scarce
      these days. . we are in deep trouble, I believe, because
      we are no longer vigilant for our freedoms as a society. -- j
      .
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  • Posted by  $  Radio_Randy 3 years, 2 months ago
    I'm the treasurer of a small club in which an individual membership is $15/year and a family membership is $20/year.
    A few years ago, I floated the idea that we limit the number of family membership votes to 2, as we had families with 6 members or more, some of which who weren't even involved in our club. My reasoning was that, if you have a say in how the club spends its money, you should have to pay for that privilege.
    Well, my idea was thoroughly rejected. Many didn't want to "offend" those larger families and "if it isn't broken...we shouldn't need to fix it".
    I believe that this is one of the underlying reasons for the country's current voting structure...the desire to not "offend" anyone.
    Unfortunately, it may have to be broken before any attempts to fix it will succeed.
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    • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 3 years, 2 months ago
      That is an interesting story, Randy. A book called The Secret of the League has been cited as a precursor to Atlas Shrugged. In it, the rich people derail Britain's first socialist government. At the end, in order to vote, you must buy a bond for 500 pounds. You can buy all the bonds you want; each bond equals one vote.

      Corporations are run like that.

      Wherever I live, I often serve as an officer in my local coin club. We model our clubs after the US government with a president, vice president, etc., and all that. We organize with a "constitution." The funny thing is that our government was modeled on a club. They did not want to mimic the European states. They took the best of Rome and Greece. But, largely, the government of the US was modeled on the intellectual societies of the English Enlightenment, with a president, a vice president, a recording secretary, a corresponding secretary, a governing committee elected by the members...

      That was one reason that the crowned heads of Europe made fun of our republic. They had a totally different model of organization: the House of Habsburg, the House of York, the House of Usher...
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    • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 2 months ago
      The current system offends me. It is highly offensive and rigged voting stinks like rotten fish on a hot day. Not taxation without representation. Free the 46% disenfranchised.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 3 years, 2 months ago
    No one who is a citizen should be excluded unless they can't pass that good old 5th grade civics test. That simple procedure would eliminate the ignorant, the oblivious, and the mentally deficient. Why do we have such a proclivity toward making the easy complicated?
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  • Posted by ChuckyBob 3 years, 2 months ago
    Alexander Tytler said:
    "A democracy is always temporary in nature...A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship."

    Originally, we had a plutocratic republic, which worked quite well. We have since devolved into a democracy driven by public opinion polls...and look what it has gotten us; a nation that is both morally and fiscally bankrupt because ignoramuses vote for their own immediate self interest rather than being able to look a few years down the road. They are voting with their hypothalamus rather than their cerebral cortex. Those who can't figure that out should not be allowed to vote.
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    • Posted by 3 years, 2 months ago
      and everyone who persists in calling our representative
      republic a democracy should lose their voting privilege. -- j
      .
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      • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 2 months ago
        Anyone that ill educated doesn't deserve a say but should have their taxes doubled as a stupidity penalty. That seems to include most university students. By definition they are still learning and not yet capable of the rewards of full adulthood.
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  • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 3 years, 2 months ago
    The Blaze would disenfranchise most people over 65. "3. Only Grant Voting Privileges to Tax Payers"

    What kind of taxes? Income? Property? Fuel? We all pay taxes, but as for income taxes, retirees generally do not pay them. So, you work your whole life and then lose your right to vote? The Blaze is just not a medium of considered analysis.
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  • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 3 years, 2 months ago
    The Blaze is wrong. And The Blaze is wrong because their analysis is simplistic.

    "Voters, Leighley and Nagler found, are more economically conservative; whereas non-voters favor more robust unions and more government spending on things like health insurance and public schools." -- http://www.politico.com/magazine/stor...

    "As a result, richer states now tend to favor the Democratic candidate, yet in the nation as
    a whole richer people remain more likely than poorer people to vote
    Republican." -- http://www.stat.columbia.edu/~gelman/...

    "The disparity in voter turnout between members of lower and higher income households is one of the
    largest and most persistent gaps. Several factors contribute, including higher mobility among lower
    income households, inadequate transportation, lack of information about the voting process, and the
    lack of contact from traditional campaigns and political parties." -- http://www.nonprofitvote.org/document...

    "eople who go to college are more likely to make more money, so you'd think they're more likely to vote Republican. In fact, college-educated voters have become considerably more Democratic since the 1980s at every age level. You might think it's just women. It's not. White college-education men have become much more Democratic since the 1980s while white voters without college degree have become significantly less Democratic. " -- http://www.theatlantic.com/business/a...
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