Ineffective Government, an outcome of our definition of "Freedom"?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Seattle, Jan 28, 2023.

  1. billvon Valued Senior Member

    So I took a look at that. First off it only talks about mentally ill homeless people, not all homeless people. And they looked at all crimes. If a homeless person is arrested for homelessness (i.e. vagrancy) they end up with a higher arrest rate - but that higher arrest rate for the crime of vagrancy does not increase crime within nearby communities.

    I have no doubt that homeless people are arrested more often; they are doing something that is technically illegal (vagrancy) and any crimes they commit in their "homes" are quite visible out on the street. Nor am I surprised that homeless people have a higher base rate of crime (not just arrests) since higher rates of crime are known to be associated with poverty. But this does not support your argument that "a homeless camp near a residential neighborhood is dangerous for that neighborhood."

    I mean, black men have a far higher arrest rate than white men. Even so, I suspect you would not argue that black people are dangerous for nearby white neighborhoods.
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    You've said that they have a higher base rate of crime (homeless) so that does mean that it's not good to be near a residential neighborhood.

    Bringing black men into this is not comparable. Black homeless men living on the streets would be comparable. Talking about a whole race is not on point. It's not comparable to talking about a whole group when the group is homeless and living on the streets.

    If you were arguing that crime isn't necessarily going to go up just because someone doesn't have a home but is staying on the couch of your next door neighbor, I would agree.

    Since most homeless living on the street are mentally ill and/or use drugs, they don't belong near residential neighborhoods and I think that most people (not all) would agree with that just as a matter of common sense.
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. billvon Valued Senior Member

    ?? People are, right now, making that exact same argument. Black crime rates are higher, and they cause more problems, so that means it's not good to have them near a residential neighborhood.

    Scott Adams:

    I would say, you know, based on the current way things are going, the best advice I would give to white people is to get the hell away from black people. Just get the fuck away. Wherever you have to go, just get away. Because there’s no fixing this. This can’t be fixed. Right? This can’t be fixed. You just have to escape.

    So that’s what I did, I went to a neighborhood where, you know, they have a very low black population, because unfortunately, you know, there’s a high correlation between the density, and this is according to Don Lemon, by the way. So here, I’m just quoting Don Lemon when he notes that the, when he lived in a mostly black neighbourhood, there are a bunch of problems that he didn’t see in white neighborhoods. So even Don Lemon sees a big difference in your own quality of living, based on where he lives and who is there.

    How is that argument any different?

    And again, both your argument and Scott Adams' use that 'common sense' approach.
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Scott Adams isn't really talking about "black people". He isn't moving away from Don Lemon. He is moving away from inner city drug dealers who happen to be black.

    I'm not suggesting that white people camping out near residential neighborhoods are causing crime. I'm suggesting that the mentally ill and drug addicts (black or white) shouldn't be near residential neighborhoods.
  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    No, it's more a reflection on ineffective government and definitions of "freedom".

    Yes, we get it, you'll even misrepresent yourself.

    What you said↑: "It is true that if you start a company, and it turns out to be successful, that you may become wealthy because the price of your stock will go up. That doesn't take anything away from anyone else."

    What you say now: "my general statement that someone who starts a company and gets wealthy because the stock appreciated , isn't taking away from others".

    And then your excuse becomes that DuCharme didn't start McDonald's.

    But he did start DuCharme Organization and TBLN LLC, which comes back to something I said about employers, even using a McDonald's franchise for the example: There are lots of companies like this franchiser, and they are, in many cases, the ones committing the violations. DuCharme dba TBLN gets successful enough to have seven store on a business model that regularly violates labor laws and exploits children, and your response is that he didn't start McDonald's.

    And no, Market Street, Warren, PA, is not "inner city".

    Nor is child labor an urban phenomenon.

    It's like one time, when I was younger, and my father defended child labor by saying the children should be thankful for the chance to help their families. I asked him why those kids weren't in school. He didn't have an answer; no capitalist ever really has an answer to that.

    But the business owner, in this case, is taking from the exploited emplotees. They perform comparatively less in school, and that educational loss can affect their lifetime earnings, even relegating them to the sorts of unstable labor pools that become homeless when business owners are too successful, like we saw with the Enron and Bear Stearns collapses.

    DuCharme is hurting the young employees, workers of apporopriate age who might otherwise have those jobs, and communities of today and tomorrow, around both those employees and those who didn't get those jobs.

    "If you start a company," you said, "and it turns out to be successful", except now "we're down in the weeds" to consider what it takes to make that business successful.

    Taken at face value, this gap in the rhetoric is one of those times when we literally must ask if something is sinsiter or just stupid, because political discourse is rife with people who had some success and a few investments, and talk like they understand business, but apparently don't. When they're actually successful businesspeople, it's easy enough to presume they're not stupid, but that implies their rhetoric is not an accident.

    For instance, there is a trend, these days, one that comes up from time to time; not a decade passes without hearing from employers how it feels like "nobody wants to work"; and then we might contrast that with a fast food story that really did happen: So, a fast food franchiser found itself with a labor shortage, so the restaurant advertised for volunteers to be paid in chicken sandwiches. Like a 1905 iteration↱, "None want to work for wages." Close: None want to work for such low wages. Or, as you put it, "If you start a company, and it turns out to be successful". Or, perhaps, we might wonder about the business model↑.

    The requisite speculation about how the lawbreaker is actually a hero is neither useful nor unexpected.

    But the freedom you describe both lends to, and even demands, the problems you complain about in this thread, and requires ineffective government in order for certain businesses "to be successful".

    And no, it doesn't have to be a zero-sum game, but your say-so says nothing about other capitalists.

    Meanwhile, "if you start a company", and it turns out that you need wage theft or labor violations in order "to be successful", we might wonder about the business model.

    Let's face it: The marketplace doesn't really need another McDonald's or Chik-Fil-A. And like most of this Reagan-era mythopoeia about American business, it's essentially a forked tongue: You describe expanding the pie in a context when employers ought not bear the obligations that lead to the benefits their expansion of the pie is supposed to bring. It's like how pandering to the business economy is supposed to be good for communities, until it comes time for that good to actually happen; the talk about what employers, i.e., those businesses, shouldn't be responsible for is more akin to what actually happens. If you start a company, and its success requires illegal employees working unsafe conditions, yes, we should certainly question the business model.

    It's your own damn thread¹: Look, you are describing a "freedom" that both limits the efficacy of government and creates, sustains, and demands the sort of economic instability that creates, sustains, and demands so much of the "chaos in our cities"↑. It's one thing to suggest, "Sometimes it's best to have a little less 'freedom' for the sake of society," but the context of freedom underpinning your capitalistic pitch is a main driver of homelessness and addiction, alike. And sparing businesses certain obligations because then the business model couldn't afford to operate even with all the lawbreaking is another one of the freedoms businesses have long required, which complicates political solutions by making them harder to formulate and implement.


    ¹ But this is kind of a habit of yours, isn't it? "At least try to fit"? Or↗, "Your post, as usual, makes no sense". There is also↗, "I think you'd prefer not to deal with reality". And you've been at it a while; six months ago↗, complaining that I "haven't contributed much regarding the weaknesses in liberalism" was certainly easier than actually addressing what I said on the subject. And it's a lot easier to complain about style↗ than address the point.​

    @snopes. "True. These are real articles from as far back as 1894 showing people expressing variations of the phrase, 'Nobody wants to work anymore.'" Twitter. 20 February 2023. 24 February 2023.
  9. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    My thread was about ineffective government not being able to get out of its own way to get anything done. You are making it about underage labor. No one is for underage labor nor is that a major issue when people are talking about income and wealth inequality or about the "rich" not paying their "fair share".

    There are laws about underage labor. Do you go into a lot of businesses and see underage labor? What has this got to do with anything?

    If Bill Gates starts Microsoft and his stock goes up enough to buy a yacht how does that take away from anyone. Microsoft expanded the pie.

    You go from that to talking about a guy hiring 14 year olds as fry cooks (and continuing to throw in that someone disagreeing with you must be willful or stupid).

    Apparently you have one rant against capitalism and you post that over and over regarding of the underlying facts of the thread. No one is for underage child labor.
  10. billvon Valued Senior Member

    "get the hell away from black people"

    Going to be hard to argue he didn't say that.
    Ah! Well, in that case, don't bother moving homeless camps. Just move criminals who happen to be homeless. And we do that already, so problem solved!
  11. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Why do you bring up Scott Adams and then ask me to defend him. I don't listen to Scott Adams. Apparently you do.

    Have you considered moving to be closer to a homeless encampment?
  12. billvon Valued Senior Member

    ?? I am not asking you to. I am merely using him as an example of the phenomenon I was talking about.

    Then something interesting came up. He said "black people" but according to you he didn't mean "black people" - he meant "inner city drug dealers who happen to be black." So I am going to apply that to your own statements; they do make more sense that way.

    Nope. We have some homeless that live in the canyon below us, although I don't know if you'd call a few people an encampment. Hasn't really been an issue.
  13. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    There are a few people living in their RV's by the lake only a couple of miles from my house and that hasn't been an issue either.

    Under the Ship Canal bridge near the Univ. of Washington there is a larger encampment where the fire department has to go to on a weekly basis to put out fires that got out of control. The last time there were there there also found a stolen ATM machine. A man was shot and killed in that encampment not long ago. The neighbors aren't happy with the camp being there.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2023
  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Again, you said↑: "It is true that if you start a company, and it turns out to be successful, that you may become wealthy because the price of your stock will go up. That doesn't take anything away from anyone else."

    Think of the idea that sometimes people lose their homes because soemthing went wrong in the economy. Also, consider how little savings most Americans have. Now, here's a story about a Reagan Republican who never answered a question: Decades ago, television celebrity Kathie Lee Gifford suffered a brand scandal when her clothing line was connected to child labor overseas; someone I knew at the time suggested the children should be thankful for the opportunity to help their families; I asked why those children weren't in school, or why the working parents needed the extra income, and it's true I never did get an answer. Nonetheless, the idea that sending kids to work in factories because working parents cannot support a household describes an economic circumstance unhealthy for any society that experiences it.

    Again↑: If you start a company, and it cannot be successful without violating labor laws, that doesn't take away from anyone else, right? Or perhaps we might wonder passes for success. In some cases, we have a civic duty↑ to wonder. It's not just local fast-food franchisers. As the U.S. Department of Labor investigates imported chlid labor at thirteen slaughterhouses in eight states, the need for and use of foreign children working age-restricted jobs according to stolen identification, we might wonder what is or isn't taken away from anyone else, and we might certainly doubt the business model.

    The short form of what comes next is pretty straightforward:

    A bill to remove the need for a work permit for children under the age of 16 has reached Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders's desk.

    If she signs it, children as young as 9 years old could be hired to work in Arkansas without a currently required employment certificate.


    A follow-up note↱ that under the new standard, parental approval will no longer be required for those children to work.

    This thread considers ineffective government and definitions of "freedom", and opens with a local issue of the season, having to do with homelessness, drug addiction, and other crime.

    Child labor: "What has this got to do with anything?"

    The very problems you lament result from a dubious model, which in turn comes about for the sake of certain definitions of "freedom". And it is these definitions I'm looking at. "What has this got to do with anything?" you ask, and by now we ought not be surprised that you would. It's like asking↗, "When has massive government housing projects turned into anything other than 'ghettos' and inner city crime dens?" Well, consider the business models in effect. Like nearly everything else in our business community, what a business ostensibly does, such as build housing or provide health care, is not actually what it does. What businesses do is make money; it is their first priority. Now, we can change this, if we choose, and some people try, but it's business, and thus tends to behave in generally predictable ways. Our American society requires that we carry on in particular ways, and these lead almost inevitably to the problems you lament in the topic post. And while we can, as a society, change, one of the easiest appeals against such change is that it would disrupt freedom. What freedom is that? Well, they're never quite clear, but we see its effects.

    The business model works so well they need nine year-olds. And they're going to drop parental consent in order to restore decision-making to parents. Perhaps we might call it effective government, or maybe it's freedom.


    @MorePerfectUS. "A bill to remove the need for a work permit for children under the age of 16 has reached Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders's desk. If she signs it, children as young as 9 years old could be hired to work in Arkansas without a currently required employment certificate." Twitter. 6 March 2023. 6 March 2023.
  15. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I'm not for child labor.

    Capitalism isn't about "freedom". You can be free under a socialism model or not be free under a socialism model (or a capitalism model for that matter). Capitalism is about the free (not freedom) market.

    Profit is actually what keeps things as efficient as they are. It's to the benefit of society to have scarce resources allocated efficiently. For instance if you had a private hardware shop and a state run hardware shop, the private hardware shop would always be in stock with a wide variety of products, would have competitive prices and the owner (and employees) would benefit from that profit.

    The owner would benefit for taking the risks of starting and running the store in the first place and the employees would have jobs with competitive wages.

    If the state ran that same hardware store, it would be less efficient, likely wouldn't be fully stocked, the choices would be limited and the prices would be "regulated" and would likely be higher than the private store unless it was government policy to keep prices low and therefore it would be a bigger burden on society as a whole.

    Socialism also tends to be more authoritarian in reality. You (I think) are looking at "profits" as an additional cost to the system that wouldn't be there if the state ran things. That's not the reality of the situation. USPS isn't profitable, UPS is.

    I think you're looking pretty hard to find anything in a capitalist society to find fault with (child labor isn't a necessary condition of capitalism) and not looking for any faults at all in a socialist system. Is that a fair conclusion on my part?
  16. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Going back to my OP, I think government is largely ineffective because they attack the problem as if the distribution of the problem (whatever the problem is) follows a normal bell curve distribution whereas most complex problems follow a pareto distribution where 20% account for 80%.

    It not surprising (to me) for 20% to control 80% of the wealth, or starting major companies or whatever. Just like it's not surprising to find 20% of the largest cities have 80% of the population.

    I think where poverty, crime, pollution, health issues are concerned you get the best bang for the buck with that approach. You can't buy houses for all the homeless. You can focus what dollars are available for the homeless on correcting the issues that affect the 20% of the most chronic homeless whether that's mental illness or drug addiction.

    If you manage to deal with the 20% chronic homeless in a city I think the rest would more or less take care of itself. That doesn't seem to be the mindset of the government in general (IMO).
  17. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    The Twitter Version

    A note from Coast Salish Territory:

    -20 years ago, working as a server, I lived in a corner 1 bdrm apt downtown with amazing water views for $700/month.
    -A similar apt now $3,600/month, more than 5x as much.
    -As a lawyer at age 47 I am unable to afford living in the apartment I did at age 27 while waiting tables


    Sounds about right, actually. Just a couple days ago, I had that conversation with someone, about a place we had in Fremont, twenty-five years ago, and those numbers sound about right.

    And rising rents are a well-known driver of homelessness. If those increases were all matters of necessity, that would be one thing, but they're not.


    @ntkallday. "-20 years ago, working as a server, I lived in a corner 1 bdrm apt downtown with amazing water views for $700/month. -A similar apt now $3,600/month, more than 5x as much. -As a lawyer at age 47 I am unable to afford living in the apartment I did at age 27 while waiting tables". Twitter. 10 October 2022. 20 March 2023.
  18. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Agreed. Indeed, the prime impetus for US slavery was economic in nature, and was implemented in a free market. Socialist forces ended it.
  19. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Mercantilism started it (in the U.S.) and the industrial north (capitalism) ended it.
  20. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    It seems kind of strange to try to separate freedom of enterprise from American capitalism. Even the U.S. Department of Agriculture↱ says things like, "Free enterprise is an economic system that provides individuals the opportunity to make their own economic decisions, free of government constraints", or, "The key ingredient of the free enterprise system is the right of individuals to make their own choices in the purchase of goods, the seling of their products and their labor, and their participation in the business structure." "Freedom of choice" and "private property rights" are enumerated as "basic principles" of "our business system".

    And that's the USDA. That's how basic the question of freedom is in our American business outlook; it's a presupposition. Watching people struggle to separate capitalism, American business, and freedom is not hilarious. It's a tough enough bit to do for comedy, but that's comedy and has nothing to do with this moment in ... er ... ah ... whatever.

    Even funnier, that was the USDA promoting buying cooperatives, almost thirty years ago, so American workers could scrimp and save against wage stagnation and economic transition. Oh, right, this isn't comedy.

    Here's the thing, though: At the point capitalism has nothing to do with freedom we're speaking of a rarified, inapplicable context; and insofar as "socialist forces" ended the capitalist impetus for slavery, it seems worth observing that human rights are not some sort of market resource to be socialized and redistributed. Separating capitalism from our free enterprise in order to pretend it has no relationship to freedom is either craven or silly.


    Meyer, Tammy M. "Understanding Cooperatives: The American System of Business". Cooperative Information Report 45, Section 1. (1994) United States Department of Agriculture. February, 1997. 20 March 2023.
  21. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    What does a matter of necessity mean? Their market rents. All housing in Seattle has gone up about 7% a year which means a doubling every 10 years.

    Some of these examples are also apples to oranges. Old buildings to brand new buildings that are much nicer. The economy is better as well. It's similar in most major cities in the U.S.

    By the way, why didn't you buy a condo or house 20 years ago when supposedly they were so cheap? Also, don't you think that apartment that was $700/month 20 years ago was probably $350/month 40 years ago?
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2023
  22. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Calling anything you disagree with "silly" and adding "er..ah. whatever" isn't really adding anything. You do know that, er..ah. right?
  23. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Socialism refers to government control of the means of production and distribution. Thus, government restrictions (like "you cannot make products with slave labor" or "you cannot nail the fire doors shut" or "you cannot dump nuclear waste in the river") are socialist limits on free-market capitalism. Quite necessary ones, since capitalism drives companies towards proft at the expense of everything else (including human rights.)

Share This Page