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Author Topic: Thoughts have been left unsaid.  (Read 6044 times)
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October 28, 2011, 08:33:48 AM
 #61

Conversely, he saw America as having much more "opportunistic" equality. His view was everyone, black, white, rich, poor, gay, straight, (and he had a growing list of groups we are tolerating, like it or not) is seen as having a chance to succeed. So if someone does succeed, we are more willing to tolerate the "situational" inequality.

Well, thank you for at least addressing the question, but I really don't think this is the case. Wages, life expectancy, accumulated wealth, and every other metric put black people in America way below whites. Unless one thinks that black people are inherently inferior, we clearly still have a big problem with stuff like this, black president or not.

While Americans are more likely to want to start a business or dream of doing so, people in, for example, Norway, are far more likely to do so. See this article: http://www.inc.com/magazine/20110201/in-norway-start-ups-say-ja-to-socialism.html  (but ignore the part where they constantly refer to Norway's social democracy as socialism - hey, it's Inc. Magazine, whaddya expect?).

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And we Americans see ourselves in them. Sometimes there is envy in our eyes, but still we think, if I wasn't so damn lazy I could be like those guys. I could create awesome shit! I could bring people together to change the world! Now where is that last beer?

There's a nice quote from Steinbeck about this attitude:

Quote from: John Steinbeck
Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat, but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.
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October 28, 2011, 09:01:12 AM
 #62

Quote from: John Steinbeck
Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat, but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.

See just when you think you've said something well. Someone has already said it better. Nice quote. Thanks!


Well, thank you for at least addressing the question, but I really don't think this is the case. Wages, life expectancy, accumulated wealth, and every other metric put black people in America way below whites. Unless one thinks that black people are inherently inferior, we clearly still have a big problem with stuff like this, black president or not.

I certainly don't claim everyone is even. There are clearly differences but it is difficult identify the true causes and effects.

I taught my kids, everyone starts with all the doors open. Then each person shuts doors through personal actions. You break into a store, you shut the door to being a cop. Decide not to study science, you shut the door to med school. Clearly, parents and friends encourage you shut some of these doors as well. But that doesn't make anyone righteous. It also doesn't make the decisions reversible.

It is quite puzzling to wonder why some groups continue to fall behind while some do not. Asians became statistically indistinguishable from white people a while back. This is true even though most are relative new comers to this country. Hispanics often have differing success rates based upon their country of origin. This seems true even if we find them indistinguishable. When I was in high school my black friends from successful Jamaican families separated themselves from "American blacks". When I was in college my Nigerian black friends wouldn't even party with "American blacks".

It appears to me that the more successful groups tend to value shutting doors more slowly. I saw a Ted talk that claimed the future success of children was easily predictable based upon their ability to delay gratification. The guy had a brilliant video of children trying not to eat marshmallows. How is it that one child comes to have the ability to delay gratification and another doesn't?  I have no idea. I probably effected that in my children, however I don't take the blame for affecting others.
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October 28, 2011, 04:03:10 PM
 #63

^ Maybe hundreds of years of institutional discrimination and racism are to blame for African American performance?

Here's the thing people don't seem to understand about rags to riches.  It is possible, but not for everyone.  People overestimate the value of hard work and intelligence and undervalue luck and making connections.

The world is full of intelligent, hard workers, and people with dreams and hopes.  Not all of them get to be Bill Gates.  There isn't room for that many Bill Gates.  So should the value of being the right intelligent hard worker at the right time mean you should have thousands of times the wealth of people who didn't quite strike gold?

I don't think so, personally.  That isn't to say these qualities should not be rewarded, they should be, but society receives no benefit from rewarding the lucky as much as we do instead of evening out the rewards to all the hard workers.  

A good standard of living is essential for most children to reach their full potential, so how can we judge if Bill Gates really deserves to be richest when so many of his potential competitors were handicapped by poverty?  Or by discrimination based on race or gender or orientation?

The bottom line is, people don't want to be parasites, they wan't to strive for achievement and we should give them the tools.

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The one impulse in man which cannot be erased is his impulse toward freedom, his impulse toward sanity, toward higher levels of attainment in all of his endeavors.
Dianetics 55!

"Money is like manure: Spread around, it helps things grow. Piled up in one place, it just stinks."
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October 28, 2011, 05:05:55 PM
 #64

Wow! Could you be more condescending? I don't actually know where you are so I can't make appropriate geo relative comments, but suppose you lived in Manhattan. What you are saying is, "Can you imagine how much it must suck to live in New Jersey? I bet all those people have to do all day is internet porn."

Sorry, didn't mean to be condescending. Was mainly saying that I personally would likely be very bored living there. If I was ribbing the south-westerners about being dumb rednecks, it was ONLY in jest in reply to Reds ribbing of us as being self centered "educated" elitists. Though if you came in mid conversation, you likely would've misunderstood. I AM very curious as to what Atlas does for fun to pass the time (besides post to this forum I mean).

I grew up spending a part of my childhood in Kiev, Ukraine (the "metropolis"), with a few Summers on a farm or in a vacation spot by a lake in the middle of a forest, then a part in Rome and Nettuno, Italy, living mostly in a beach town, then in a somewhat ghetto apartment complex north of DC, and finally in a more rich and ritzy suburb area of Potomac, MD.  In the mean time I also traveled with my family and spent some time in Canada, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. So, yeah, perhaps my bar of what's interesting has been set a bit high.

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October 28, 2011, 06:09:38 PM
 #65

^ Maybe hundreds of years of institutional discrimination and racism are to blame for African American performance?

Now that is the easy politically correct answer. That doesn't explain why my new to the country friends automatically inherited the same racism. Keep in mind these where the years where everyone was protesting aparteid in South Africa. Being an actual African was very popular among the locals. However, these Africans view being in the US to study as an amazing opportunity. They thought the other students were lazy and using any excuse not to study and succeed.


Here's the thing people don't seem to understand about rags to riches.  It is possible, but not for everyone.  People overestimate the value of hard work and intelligence and undervalue luck and making connections.

The world is full of intelligent, hard workers, and people with dreams and hopes.  Not all of them get to be Bill Gates.  There isn't room for that many Bill Gates.  So should the value of being the right intelligent hard worker at the right time mean you should have thousands of times the wealth of people who didn't quite strike gold?

It's not that I want to attack this argument. But really I can't just let it stand without pointing out that it is a self attacking argument.

So personally I'm not a Bill Gates fan. But really? You expect me to belief that Bill Gates got ahead on luck and making connections? I'm sure his Harvard connections were awesome when he dropped out to go work with a nobody in New Mexico!

But since you brought up the analogy, say I set out across the country to dig for gold in California. You decided that I was a moron and wasting a lot of time. So you decided to forgo the trip and start digging for gold in New Jersey. After all, that meant you could get started six months sooner than me. And lets just say that you dug a whole three times as deep as the hole I dug. And it was through rock that was twice as hard is the rock I dug through.

Now say, I found an ounce of gold and you found none. How much of my ounce are you entitled to because through "luck" I struck gold? And through only "bad luck" you "didn't quite strike gold".

I say none. Not because you didn't work hard. But because you didn't do anything productive. Meaning you didn't "produce" anything. Just a whole. Maybe that is useful, so go find a market for your hole. Then send me some of the money you got for it because I wasn't lucky enough to sell my hole. Just my gold.

Suppose Zuckerberg sold FaceBook off at his first off then retired to a island to live off of his 10 million instead of going on to be worth more than a billion. Are you saying we would all be better off? Ask Rupert Murdock about MySpace then tell me again how everything is just luck.


I don't think so, personally.  That isn't to say these qualities should not be rewarded, they should be, but society receives no benefit from rewarding the lucky as much as we do instead of evening out the rewards to all the hard workers. 

Really, you are going to continue on with the Bill Gates was lucky argument. I suppose Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg were lucky too!

But life has already tested your hypothesis. When Steve Jobs was booted from Apple the whole company crashed. When he returned it went from near bankruptcy to the most valuable company on the planet.

Bill Gates left Microsoft to Steve Ballmer (Who really did get lucky meeting Bill Gates at Harvard). But you really want to tell me that Microsoft is the same post Gates? Bill Gates leaving Microsoft to give away his fortune has cost the world trillions of dollars of value that Gates could have created but Ballmer couldn't.


A good standard of living is essential for most children to reach their full potential, so how can we judge if Bill Gates really deserves to be richest when so many of his potential competitors were handicapped by poverty?  Or by discrimination based on race or gender or orientation?

The point is we don't get to "judge if Bill Gates really deserves to be richest". Bill Gates created that wealth and value out of thin air. Prior to him you couldn't buy Microsoft Word (insert your favorite) even if you wanted to. We are all better because he helped us be more productive, or better entertained, or (insert your favorite). We gave him the money in exchange for value that we received. He didn't steal from us.

Now you want me to believe that we shouldn't have bought the products he created, because some nebulous competitor didn't get the opportunity to build products to compete with him?


The bottom line is, people don't want to be parasites, they wan't to strive for achievement and we should give them the tools.

I don't reward people for "striving for achievement". I pay people to share with me the value they created by actually achieving things. Things either I couldn't achieve, or didn't want to attempt, or chose not to bother to do.


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The one impulse in man which cannot be erased is his impulse toward freedom, his impulse toward sanity, toward higher levels of attainment in all of his endeavors.
Dianetics 55!

Really!? Dianetics!?

Your impulse toward sanity, does not guarantee your actual sanity.
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October 28, 2011, 06:57:59 PM
 #66

Red, similar story in my family. Back in '89, as soon as USSR opened it's borders a tiny bit, my parents just up and left with nothing buy a suitcase of clothing, $300, and two young kids. Even left the teacups on the table, with tea still in them. Our other family members and some of my parents' friends thought they were stupid and crazy for doing that, especially with two kids. When they first came here, they worked as janitors. Then they got jobs they had degrees in. Then when that didn't pay enough, they took evening classes, and now earn six figure incomes each. From $300 to start, and nothing else, while even supporting two kids. Some of the friendships back home eventually had to be broken off, though, because it went from "wow, I have rich American friends!" through "can you get me this and that? You make so much money, you are rich!" to eventual resentment because they are "rich only because they are lucky to be living in America, and aren't sharing their wealth with the less fortunate," as if their hard work had nothing to do with it, and even though those friends had the same opportunity to move here, and even moreso after USSR fell apart in '91. So, no sympathy for whiners from me.

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October 28, 2011, 07:12:05 PM
 #67

Red, similar story in my family.

Awesome story! I have friends from Romania that I helped to immigrate here. They have a very similar story. They came over only about 10 years ago. Now they make more money than me. I guarantee you it is all from their personal motivation and hard work.
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October 28, 2011, 07:27:11 PM
 #68

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Now that is the easy politically correct answer. That doesn't explain why my new to the country friends automatically inherited the same racism.]Now that is the easy politically correct answer. That doesn't explain why my new to the country friends automatically inherited the same racism.

You miss the point.  There are real metrics of performance upon which African Americans lag behind.  Anyone coming to the country can notice this.  Properly identifying the cause of this is the problem.  In short, your friends are not inheritors of a racism based on a history of slavery and segregation that continues today.  African Americans inherited that history.

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It's not that I want to attack this argument. But really I can't just let it stand without pointing out that it is a self attacking argument.

So personally I'm not a Bill Gates fan. But really? You expect me to belief that Bill Gates got ahead on luck and making connections? I'm sure his Harvard connections were awesome when he dropped out to go work with a nobody in New Mexico!

I think there are millions of people who try and fail to develop a business despite having equal intelligence and drive.  I think those people obviously don't deserve to be rewarded as well as Bill Gates, but they do deserve a decent standard of living and things like healthcare which can be difficult when you have put so much of your personal wealth at risk.

Look at Harvard itself.  There are TONS of people qualified to attend, but they have to whittle it down.  Every High School has a valedictorian.

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But since you brought up the analogy, say I set out across the country to dig for gold in California. You decided that I was a moron and wasting a lot of time. So you decided to forgo the trip and start digging for gold in New Jersey. After all, that meant you could get started six months sooner than me. And lets just say that you dug a whole three times as deep as the hole I dug. And it was through rock that was twice as hard is the rock I dug through.

Now say, I found an ounce of gold and you found none. How much of my ounce are you entitled to because through "luck" I struck gold? And through only "bad luck" you "didn't quite strike gold".

No, the analogy is closer to me being a mile away in a different spot in the same area.  Equal intelligence to find a likely location, equal drive to dig, random chance.  

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According to Steve Wiegard, staff writer for the Sacramento Bee, "one in every five miners who came to California in 1849 was dead within six months."
http://americanhistory.about.com/library/weekly/aa090901a.htm

Let's start with, people who work are entitled to life.  

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Suppose Zuckerberg sold FaceBook off at his first off then retired to a island to live off of his 10 million instead of going on to be worth more than a billion. Are you saying we would all be better off? Ask Rupert Murdock about MySpace then tell me again how everything is just luck.

I think there are tens of millions of people as smart and capable of Zuckerberg and Murdoch.  You ask what if we lost Facebook?  We lose ideas just as good every day.  Some starving kid in Africa could probably grow up to find out a way to make money with social networking without invading people's privacy, I bet.  Ya know, if she lives.

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Really, you are going to continue on with the Bill Gates was lucky argument. I suppose Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg were lucky too!

Yes.  That doesn't mean they aren't accomplished, it just means that someone else in the same spot could achieve similar accomplishments.  Do you really think we wouldn't have the same sort of technology we have today without them?  They owe their success to legions of software developers and engineers.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6677971.stm

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Perhaps the best historical example of this is the classic business school case study of the origins of the Post-It note.

It emerged rather haphazardly from the invention of a glue which didn't appear to work very well and had been put on the shelf six years earlier by US manufacturer 3M.

A potential application for the adhesive was concocted by an employee who found it could solve a problem he'd been having with flapping hymn book pages.

Only when Post-Its were distributed to secretaries at the company was it realised that it was sitting on an office phenomenon.

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But life has already tested your hypothesis. When Steve Jobs was booted from Apple the whole company crashed. When he returned it went from near bankruptcy to the most valuable company on the planet.

What a strange argument.  Football teams crash when they lose star quarterbacks, but sometimes Aaron Rodgers is right around the corner.  Nobody is that unique.  There were plenty of tech companies doing well in the absence of Apple as a leader.  The talent was elsewhere, not vanished out of existence.

But as for luck.  Put Steve Jobs in Somalia as a baby instead of America.  How does he do?

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Bill Gates left Microsoft to Steve Ballmer (Who really did get lucky meeting Bill Gates at Harvard). But you really want to tell me that Microsoft is the same post Gates? Bill Gates leaving Microsoft to give away his fortune has cost the world trillions of dollars of value that Gates could have created but Ballmer couldn't.

I think the general consensus is that Microsoft has been producing much better operating systems as the 2000's have rolled on.  The X-Box was also released when Ballmer was chief executive and it has done very well.  

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The point is we don't get to "judge if Bill Gates really deserves to be richest". Bill Gates created that wealth and value out of thin air. Prior to him you couldn't buy Microsoft Word (insert your favorite) even if you wanted to. We are all better because he helped us be more productive, or better entertained, or (insert your favorite). We gave him the money in exchange for value that we received. He didn't steal from us.

Actually, the original products Microsoft developed were not out of thin air.  They developed products to work with computer systems other people made.  None of this is all that unique, there were and are word processors before and after Word that work just fine.

Let me bold this because it is key:  The more people making and developing new products, the more people who have an oppurtunity to build their success off of what other people have done.  When you let the kid in Africa starve without making his contribution, you have robbed yourself of a chance to build on what he made. When you don't reward people for striving for success in building their own business, they are less likely to try and you have robbed yourself of opportunities to work with them.

Anyway, it is a straw man to claim I am saying he stole anything.  I simply think it is unfair the other people who help produce the work of our society are disproportionately unrewarded for their efforts in comparison.

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Now you want me to believe that we shouldn't have bought the products he created, because some nebulous competitor didn't get the opportunity to build products to compete with him?

That you are responding to things I have not said is probably a sign that my argument is the stronger.

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I don't reward people for "striving for achievement". I pay people to share with me the value they created by actually achieving things. Things either I couldn't achieve, or didn't want to attempt, or chose not to bother to do.

This is the exact center of your problem of understanding here.  There is no achievement without people who strive and fail.  There is no value without it.   It provides, at stone cold least, information on what products and services lack value when presented in such and such a manner.  

But the problem is more that people who do strive and succeed are disproportionately rewarded based on luck.

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Really!? Dianetics!?

Your impulse toward sanity, does not guarantee your actual sanity.

You are free to follow whatever philosophy you want, I wouldn't pressure anyone, but in my personal view there is a lot of universal wisdom there the same as there is in the Bible or Koran.

"Money is like manure: Spread around, it helps things grow. Piled up in one place, it just stinks."
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October 28, 2011, 08:03:44 PM
 #69

I won't respond to most of that because it is silly, circular and not worth my time. The whole argument is basically a poor copy of this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ldAQ6Rh5ZI

However, if anyone else thinks I'm ducking out of anything other than futility please let me know.

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I don't reward people for "striving for achievement". I pay people to share with me the value they created by actually achieving things. Things either I couldn't achieve, or didn't want to attempt, or chose not to bother to do.

This is the exact center of your problem of understanding here.  There is no achievement without people who strive and fail.  There is no value without it.   It provides, at stone cold least, information on what products and services lack value when presented in such and such a manner.  

I love this! Woot! Woot!

You are saying "at stone cold least" everyone should be rewarded for setting an example for others. Especially those who set a Bad Example! Obviously, it is from their self sacrifices that we all learn the most.


But the problem is more that people who do strive and succeed are disproportionately rewarded based on luck.

So the people who strive and succeed are rewarded based on luck.
And the people who strive and fail should be rewarded despite bad luck.
And people who don't try at all and therefore don't succeed should be rewarded. Because had they bothered to try, they would have deserved an equal a shot at luck as those who strived and succeeded.

Nice job Stuart!
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October 28, 2011, 08:17:53 PM
 #70

It's more like: Everyone should have their basic needs met.  A rich society doesn't leave people to die.

Everyone who works should be well paid for it in accordance with what they produce. (psst, this is why the rich are so much more rich than the poor than they used to be in the 20th century US.)

People should not be scared to try and build a business because the consequences of failure, which can just be bad luck, are too great.

In short, people should be given what they deserve.  What they deserve is often out of step with the wealth they have accumulated. 

Look, I speak from experience here.  I was born wealthy and have had many advantages.  I did well in school, I work hard.  I've had nothing but success, but this path was so much easier for me than for other people I have known and have worked with thanks to where I started and how I was raised.  Someone who has reached the same place as me but has had to work harder for it deserves for that to be recognized.  If that means I have to be taxed more to support their kids and other kids like them, fine.

"Money is like manure: Spread around, it helps things grow. Piled up in one place, it just stinks."
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October 28, 2011, 08:52:41 PM
 #71

It's more like: Everyone should have their basic needs met.  A rich society doesn't leave people to die.

This is a mantra not a supported argument. Who should meet these basic needs? Who deserves to have them met?

You certainly can't argue that everyone deserves to have their needs met, but nobody should be require to meet them.
But you can argue that everyone deserves to have their needs met, but everyone must be required to meet them.

That only leaves, some people must be required to meet the needs of others. Who are these blessed people and who are those burdened?

Everyone who works should be well paid for it in accordance with what they produce. (psst, this is why the rich are so much more rich than the poor than they used to be in the 20th century US.)

I did this in another thread already. I'm not going to do it again.
But basically those that succeed are indispensable, those that fail are trivially replaceable. There is an endless supply of people who fail. Effort expended is not a measure of value. Success is a measure of value.


People should not be scared to try and build a business because the consequences of failure, which can just be bad luck, are too great.

People should be scared. The actual odds are horrible. That is why there are rewards for success. Not rewards for risk taking.
http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/15/failure-is-a-constant-in-entrepreneurship/


In short, people should be given what they deserve.  What they deserve is often out of step with the wealth they have accumulated. 

Nobody is given what they deserve ever. That is a silly concept. There is no tooth fairy either.


Look, I speak from experience here.  I was born wealthy and have had many advantages.  I did well in school, I work hard.  I've had nothing but success, but this path was so much easier for me than for other people I have known and have worked with thanks to where I started and how I was raised.  Someone who has reached the same place as me but has had to work harder for it deserves for that to be recognized.  If that means I have to be taxed more to support their kids and other kids like them, fine.

You don't have to be taxed! You just have to HELP! Are you telling me Bill Gates fortune would be better spent if he gave it to the government. Better than if he used it to directly help improve conditions among his fellow mankind? That bastard! Having the hubris to think he should be allowed to decide how best to help people! He is not even a liberal! He's a heartless business man. Who put him in charge?
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October 28, 2011, 08:56:46 PM
 #72

If you wish to continue the debate please address my previous post instead of skipping ahead to the summary.  It just seems like you can't address the points and want to speak in generalities and strawmen.  If you are just here to troll I'm not really interested.

"Money is like manure: Spread around, it helps things grow. Piled up in one place, it just stinks."
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October 28, 2011, 09:50:33 PM
 #73

You miss the point.  There are real metrics of performance upon which African Americans lag behind. 
African Americans inherited that history.

African Americans lag behind. Granted. I already addressed this.
Your conclusion is pure politically correct speculation. In 50 years, black children will still inherit that history. Must they still fall behind? Is it my fault? I will be dead long before they are even born.

The Chinese in the west share a similar history but it doesn't seem to be effecting them. I call your self-perpetuating politically correct postulation bunk.


I think there are millions of people who try and fail to develop a business despite having equal intelligence and drive.  I think those people obviously don't deserve to be rewarded as well as Bill Gates, but they do deserve a decent standard of living and things like healthcare which can be difficult when you have put so much of your personal wealth at risk.

No one anywhere is rewarded for starting a business! They are rewarded for succeeding at business.
No one gets a decent standard of living because they "deserve" it. They earn their decent standard of living by being successful.



Look at Harvard itself.  There are TONS of people qualified to attend, but they have to whittle it down.  Every High School has a valedictorian.

Saying you are "qualified to attend" but you are not accepted, is a politically correct way of saying "We don't want you! We've found somebody WE WANT MORE than you."

No one is qualified to "be the best" because they jumped through hoops others told them to jump through. Unless you are competing at Olympic hoop jumping.


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But since you brought up the analogy, say I set out across the country to dig for gold in California. You decided that I was a moron and wasting a lot of time. So you decided to forgo the trip and start digging for gold in New Jersey. After all, that meant you could get started six months sooner than me. And lets just say that you dug a whole three times as deep as the hole I dug. And it was through rock that was twice as hard is the rock I dug through.

Now say, I found an ounce of gold and you found none. How much of my ounce are you entitled to because through "luck" I struck gold? And through only "bad luck" you "didn't quite strike gold".


No, the analogy is closer to me being a mile away in a different spot in the same area.  Equal intelligence to find a likely location, equal drive to dig, random chance. 

I'm clearly saying, if you dug a whole and didn't successfully pull gold out of the hole, it doesn't matter where the fuck you dug the needless hole. It doesn't matter how smart you were before you made your wrong decision. It doesn't matter how much you believed in yourself or how much self confidence you had. It doesn't even matter how prestigious your upbringing. You dug a needless hole! Tough shit! Exxon doesn't get paid for drilling dry holes either.


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According to Steve Wiegard, staff writer for the Sacramento Bee, "one in every five miners who came to California in 1849 was dead within six months."
http://americanhistory.about.com/library/weekly/aa090901a.htm

Let's start with, people who work are entitled to life. 

Obviously, the wilderness disagrees with you. But clearly you are saying, the government should have build a gold miner safety net before it allowed anyone into California to search for gold.

I can't say more strongly that, jumping off a cliff doesn't make you deserving of the ability to fly. You need to beg the tooth fairy for that honor.


I think there are tens of millions of people as smart and capable of Zuckerberg and Murdoch.  You ask what if we lost Facebook?  We lose ideas just as good every day.  Some starving kid in Africa could probably grow up to find out a way to make money with social networking without invading people's privacy, I bet.  Ya know, if she lives.

Again, how smart and capable you are results in ZERO VALUE TO ANYONE if you don't succeed. Thinking you are awesome does not make you awesome Stuart.


Yes.  That doesn't mean they aren't accomplished, it just means that someone else in the same spot could achieve similar accomplishments.  Do you really think we wouldn't have the same sort of technology we have today without them?  They owe their success to legions of software developers and engineers.

Again, you are an idiot for not acknowledging that others have been or are in those positions and they suck by comparison. And if it turns out they don't suck, you blame them for their own success because they were obviously lucky.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6677971.stm

Perhaps the best historical example of this is the classic business school case study of the origins of the Post-It note.

It emerged rather haphazardly from the invention of a glue which didn't appear to work very well and had been put on the shelf six years earlier by US manufacturer 3M.

A potential application for the adhesive was concocted by an employee who found it could solve a problem he'd been having with flapping hymn book pages.

Only when Post-Its were distributed to secretaries at the company was it realised that it was sitting on an office phenomenon.

What is the point of this? The bad luck of the guy who made glue that failed to stick and didn't know what to do with it?
Or the brilliant genius of the person who saw a market for glue that didn't stick very well? Neither seem "lucky" in any sense of the word.


What a strange argument.  Football teams crash when they lose star quarterbacks, but sometimes Aaron Rodgers is right around the corner.  Nobody is that unique.  There were plenty of tech companies doing well in the absence of Apple as a leader.  The talent was elsewhere, not vanished out of existence.

This is so circular and stupid I can hardly respond. Steve Jobs leaves an the company fails. Thousands of competent workers jobs go at risk but none of them can stop the fall. Steve Jobs shows back up tells them to stop working on their crappy shit that was going to fail. Then he gives them a direction that will succeed.

You dismiss all of that as luck? BULLSHIT!


But as for luck.  Put Steve Jobs in Somalia as a baby instead of America.  How does he do?

I have no fucking idea, but based on everything I've read about him over 30 odd years, I'd say he would probably have taken over Somalia fired the incompetents and made it profitable. Then he would have improved the lives of the Entrean's and be threatening to reform Egypt as well.


I think the general consensus is that Microsoft has been producing much better operating systems as the 2000's have rolled on.  The X-Box was also released when Ballmer was chief executive and it has done very well. 

Good. Buy their stock.

Actually, the original products Microsoft developed were not out of thin air.  They developed products to work with computer systems other people made.  None of this is all that unique, there were and are word processors before and after Word that work just fine.

Again circular non-sense Bill Gates wasn't rewarded because his stuff was better, we all just made him lucky. Even if he was never born we'd be perfectly happy with what we got. But you are telling me that everyone isn't happy with what they got. They deserve better.


Let me bold this because it is key:  The more people making and developing new products, the more people who have an oppurtunity to build their success off of what other people have done.  When you let the kid in Africa starve without making his contribution, you have robbed yourself of a chance to build on what he made. When you don't reward people for striving for success in building their own business, they are less likely to try and you have robbed yourself of opportunities to work with them.

We should give money to everyone indiscriminately because maybe they are "the one" who will change our world.

Again I say this is fantasy adolescent bullshit. It is circular and can be used to justify anything. The Unibomber might turn out to be "the one" too! More money for him! We owe it to ourselves to see what he accomplishes so we can all build on it.


Anyway, it is a straw man to claim I am saying he stole anything.  I simply think it is unfair the other people who help produce the work of our society are disproportionately unrewarded for their efforts in comparison.

I am saying clearly that I think people earn what they deserve based on their personal success. Steve Jobs fired smarter people for being unsuccessful, than most companies hire. That is what successful people do.

That is where "luck" comes from.
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October 28, 2011, 10:47:10 PM
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African Americans lag behind. Granted. I already addressed this.
Your conclusion is pure politically correct speculation. In 50 years, black children will still inherit that history. Must they still fall behind?

It depends, are we going to address the problems or continue to deny them?  Are we going to change the racist attitudes that perpetuate the situation?

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The Chinese in the west share a similar history but it doesn't seem to be effecting them. I call your self-perpetuating politically correct postulation bunk.

You are incredibly wrong.  The Chinese workers were generally paid immigrants.  It wasn't great pay but it was employment.  Irish workers did a lot of railroad work too, but that doesn't remotely compare with a system of kidnapping and generational slavery and years of official apartheid polices..

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No one anywhere is rewarded for starting a business! They are rewarded for succeeding at business.
No one gets a decent standard of living because they "deserve" it. They earn their decent standard of living by being successful.[/url]

You make such bizzare statements it's hard to even take you seriously.  Banks reward people with loans before they even start the business, they do this because there is a reasonable chance of success which generates income for multiple parties and benefits the economy as a whole.  Everything is connected.   The more investment we put into people, the better their chances of success.

The question isn't one Bill Gates or none, it's getting two instead of one.

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Saying you are "qualified to attend" but you are not accepted, is a politically correct way of saying "We don't want you! We've found somebody WE WANT MORE than you."

No, there are hundreds of thousands of virtually identical applicants for the top schools.  It can come down to things like life experience and volunteer work.   You know who has an easier time padding the resume that way?  Kids like me who were rich enough not to have to work to help the family during high school.  It was a luxury to be able to do volunteer work.  


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I'm clearly saying, if you dug a whole and didn't successfully pull gold out of the hole, it doesn't matter where the fuck you dug the needless hole. It doesn't matter how smart you were before you made your wrong decision. It doesn't matter how much you believed in yourself or how much self confidence you had. It doesn't even matter how prestigious your upbringing. You dug a needless hole! Tough shit! Exxon doesn't get paid for drilling dry holes either.

Because of luck.  It's called prospecting for a reason, nobody knows exactly what they are going to find.  You can do the exact same work as someone else with the same planning and still end up with nothing.  It'd not a bad decision, it's a bad roll of the dice. Of course, now the other guy knows not to dig where you did.  Benefit to the mining community as a whole.

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Obviously, the wilderness disagrees with you. But clearly you are saying, the government should have build a gold miner safety net before it allowed anyone into California to search for gold.

Obviously, civilization with you.  It's all about supporting a population rather than individuals or small tribes.   What I am saying is what government has been saying for quite a while, we need enforcement of safety standards and we should use tax money to support it.   It's not really a controversial concept outside of libertarian leaning circles.

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Again, how smart and capable you are results in ZERO VALUE TO ANYONE if you don't succeed. Thinking you are awesome does not make you awesome Stuart.

You do understand the concept of potential value right?  My example of starving children speaks to their potential value which you have squandered by letting them die just like deciding to not invest in a company with good potential.

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Again, you are an idiot for not acknowledging that others have been or are in those positions and they suck by comparison. And if it turns out they don't suck, you blame them for their own success because they were obviously lucky.

If you are going to choose to not adress my arguments and set up strawmen instead I think you should stop replying and go start your own thread to address imaginary debate partners.  I don't blame anyone for success, they earned it.  I just think everyone else deserves to be paid for what they earn as well.

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What is the point of this? The bad luck of the guy who made glue that failed to stick and didn't know what to do with it?
Or the brilliant genius of the person who saw a market for glue that didn't stick very well? Neither seem "lucky" in any sense of the word.

Precisely the point, the rewards do not go to the most deserving.  These are the men who should have reaped most of the rewards for the success of the product since they are most responsible for it.  It went disproportionately to others instead.  Our sense of who should be paid what is out of synch with the value they generate.

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This is so circular and stupid I can hardly respond. Steve Jobs leaves an the company fails. Thousands of competent workers jobs go at risk but none of them can stop the fall. Steve Jobs shows back up tells them to stop working on their crappy shit that was going to fail. Then he gives them a direction that will succeed.

You dismiss all of that as luck? BULLSHIT!

No.  Luck is that his cancer developed later.  Luck is that he was born in the US.  Luck was that he didn't die in a random car accident.  Luck was having people like Wozniak around to offer crucial contributions.

What I dismiss is that he was so responsible for the success as to be paid as highly as he did while the factory workers, people just as essential to every company, get worked so hard and paid so little the factory has to put up "suicide prevention nets".  Surely he deserves reward, just not so outsized as he received because of the massive tangle of others who contributed to his success.

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I have no fucking idea, but based on everything I've read about him over 30 odd years, I'd say he would probably have taken over Somalia fired the incompetents and made it profitable. Then he would have improved the lives of the Entrean's and be threatening to reform Egypt as well.

Computer geeks and warlords have different skillsets.  Regardless, does he get anywhere in life without an early leg up?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Jobs
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Paul Jobs, a machinist for a company that made lasers, taught his son rudimentary electronics and how to work with his hands.[1] His adoptive mother was an accountant,[13] who taught him to read before he went to school.[1] Clara Jobs had been a payroll clerk for Varian Associates, one of the first high-tech firms in what became known as Silicon Valley.[14][15] Asked in a 1995 interview what he wanted to pass on to his children, Jobs replied, "Just to try to be as good a father to them as my father was to me. I think about that every day of my life."

He was lucky, compared to what an orphan in Somalia would have faced.  Can't deny it.

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Good. Buy their stock.

Don't dodge.  Debate.  Sounds like you are dodging because it would be a bit damaging to your argument to admit there was another qualified CEO right there and Gates wasn't that special.

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Again circular non-sense Bill Gates wasn't rewarded because his stuff was better, we all just made him lucky. Even if he was never born we'd be perfectly happy with what we got. But you are telling me that everyone isn't happy with what they got. They deserve better.

No, you have entirely dodged the point again.  Gates was able to make software because someone else built computers for him to make software for.  Every business is reliant on other businesses.  The more businesses available the more economic opportunities for everyone.  We all stand on each other's shoulders.

Seriously, you are not even attempting to adress what I said there.

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We should give money to everyone indiscriminately because maybe they are "the one" who will change our world.

No, we should be very focused on fulfilling basic needs that can be advantageous for our own economic growth.  Food, shelter, education, infrastructure, healthcare.  The next Gates needs the next IBM to give him something to work with.

If you would pay closer attention to my arguments and truly focus on them, you would see that I am not saying anyone is the one.  I am saying there are plenty of intelligent and capable people around the world and we should take advantage of everything all of them have to offer in their various fields of competence.

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I am saying clearly that I think people earn what they deserve based on their personal success.

Aside from those post-it dudes!  They just get a yearly salary despite being the most responsible for the product.  And those factory workers in China?  They are paid less than equivalent workers in the US because of lack of personal success?  False, this isn't a debate, your assertion is simply provably false.

I understand it can sound wrong to say some should give up their wealth to benefit others, or that it should be taken against their will through taxes, but this is really about self-benefit for everyone.  Doing the right thing can be good for us as individuals:

"Like ethics and justice, good and evil have long been subject to opinion, confusion and obfuscation...it must be understood that good can be considered to be a constructive survival action. It is something that, to put it simply, is more beneficial than destructive across the dynamics. True, nothing is completely good, and to build anew often requires a degree of destruction. But if the constructive outweighs the destructive, i.e., if a greater number of dynamics are helped than harmed, then an action can be considered good. Thus, for example, a new cure which saves a hundred lives but kills only one is an acceptable cure."

From a material standpoint when we allow the worldwide underclass to share in our privileged lifestyles that offers benefits for the whole world.  Even if we have to redistribute from the rich that one destructive action is balanced out by the benefits, which is that there will be more businesses for us to work with and invest in and more people to buy a higher standard of products.

"Money is like manure: Spread around, it helps things grow. Piled up in one place, it just stinks."
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October 28, 2011, 11:56:40 PM
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There really zero benefit to continuing this discussion. Somethings are so stupid they should be left to die.
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October 28, 2011, 11:58:30 PM
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Some things are so stupid they should be left to die.


That's the engine of progress, my friend.
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October 29, 2011, 12:02:10 AM
 #77

There really zero benefit to continuing this discussion. Somethings are so stupid they should be left to die.

Your opinions aren't that bad, it's better to have them be brought into the open and discussed and corrected rather than hold them in. 

All men have inalienable rights to think freely, to talk freely, to write freely their own opinions and to counter or utter or write upon the opinions of others.

"Money is like manure: Spread around, it helps things grow. Piled up in one place, it just stinks."
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October 29, 2011, 12:02:40 AM
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That's the engine of progress, my friend.

Yes it is!

But you are wrong about Atlas Shrugged, it was really interesting as a novel. You should pick up the audio version and play it at double speed. You'll be done with it in only 26 hours or so.
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October 29, 2011, 12:10:31 AM
 #79

Your opinions aren't that bad, it's better to have them be brought into the open and discussed and corrected rather than hold them in. 

LMAO! I meant your opinions are so ill considered and childish as to not be worthy of rewarding with discussion.

All men have inalienable rights to think freely, to talk freely, to write freely their own opinions and to counter or utter or write upon the opinions of others.

But they are not all entitled to consideration.
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October 29, 2011, 12:22:07 AM
 #80

Your opinions aren't that bad, it's better to have them be brought into the open and discussed and corrected rather than hold them in.  

LMAO! I meant your opinions are so ill considered and childish as to not be worthy of rewarding with discussion.

All men have inalienable rights to think freely, to talk freely, to write freely their own opinions and to counter or utter or write upon the opinions of others.

But they are not all entitled to consideration.


That is most disappointing, I had hoped you had come to understand the topic under discussion and were not cutting and running from an argument you had lost by posting a snide insult.  I look for the best in people.  Smiley

"Money is like manure: Spread around, it helps things grow. Piled up in one place, it just stinks."
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