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Thread: Free Everything!

  1. #106
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    Re: Free Everything!

    I promise I haven't forgotten my commitment to you Aviyah. Please be patient. I am on vacation with my family and won't have much time this week. I thought I would have more today and your questions and thoughts require a long response.

    God bless!
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
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  2. #107
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    Re: Free Everything!

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
    Environmental concerns are a practical goal and concern of Conservatives too. No one ants to breath dirty air or drink poisonous water. The difference between Conservatives and Socialists is that we search for practical and effective means to do so that won't wreck havoc on our economy and so peoples lives.
    I don't see it prioritized as with liberal parties, especially on the climate. For example I've not really heard a spokesperson or leader say, "Let's address climate change and here's the steps we will take as conservatives," and there's definitely not a conversation about the issue happening on that side compared to the left.

    Just look at the history of Socialism and see if it has really benefited people in the long run or if it's resulted in misery [...] About the Nordic counties...
    I just find it interesting how we always go more in depth about why some can use socialist ideas successfully, but not for why others used it unsuccessfully. We already have forms of socialism in the US; it isn't as if the decision is between one extreme and another. And I don't believe the failure/success of nations can be reduced so simply.

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    The only reason democratic socialism works in certain countries, such as in Scandinavia, is because they have a Christian background. They were Lutheran states.
    Interesting thought, but basically the entire West was based on Christianity and the scandinavians are the least religious in all of Europe. I think this would also suggest that dem-soc would be the most successful in the US given that it is the most (or close to the most) Christian nation in the world. But maybe a better indicator is that the Danes and Swedes are less motivated by personal wealth, and are generally content with "smaller," quiet lives. That's also what I've heard from missionaries and some friends in Iceland. I'd agree though that culture is a huge factor in what systems some regions prefer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Radagast View Post
    I'm sorry, I didn't understand any of that, and I question your understanding of world politics.
    OK. Thanks for the conversation.
    여러분은 주님 안에서 항상 기뻐하십시오. 내가 다시 말합니다. 기뻐하십시오.
    모든 사람을 너그럽게 대하십시오. 주님께서 오실 날이 가까웠습니다. Philippians 4


  3. #108
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    Re: Free Everything!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah View Post
    I don't see it prioritized as with liberal parties, especially on the climate. For example I've not really heard a spokesperson or leader say, "Let's address climate change and here's the steps we will take as conservatives," and there's definitely not a conversation about the issue happening on that side compared to the left.
    [QUOTE=Aviyah;3492685]"Climate Change" is an entirely different subject.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah View Post
    I just find it interesting how we always go more in depth about why some can use socialist ideas successfully, but not for why others used it unsuccessfully. We already have forms of socialism in the US; it isn't as if the decision is between one extreme and another. And I don't believe the failure/success of nations can be reduced so simply.
    It's not simple. And as I've pointed out before social programs aren't necessarily Socialist and even if they were, can't a free and open society adopt things that work no matter the name?
    Say that Medicaid is a Socialist idea. So what? We as a free people can let our representatives know that we want it and vote in the people who will give it to us.
    If on the other hand you say that you think government should take total control of all health care because other countries have done it I'd say it would ruin health care in the U.S.
    Not because we don't have the resources to do it but I just don't trust the government not to make a total mess of it and it would be mired in corruption and waste spending.

    As far as Climate Change goes - Do you want politicians who are bought and paid for by corporate dollars and multi billionaires taking control of the vast majority of our economy?

    Just think about what kind of laws, policies they've already proposed ( and signed ) and think about the actual impact it would have on everyday Americans.
    Day by day
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  4. #109
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    Re: Free Everything!

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
    "Climate Change" is an entirely different subject.
    Probably a subject neither of us really wants to hash out again. But for someone who believes and cares about the impacts, it's only the Dem/Demsocs who are addressing it. That's what I meant a few pages ago about it mirroring the problems in the midwest which were neglected.

    It's not simple. And as I've pointed out before social programs aren't necessarily Socialist and even if they were, can't a free and open society adopt things that work no matter the name? Say that Medicaid is a Socialist idea. So what? We as a free people can let our representatives know that we want it and vote in the people who will give it to us.
    I totally agree, I wish we didn't have to use labels at all and could look at each issue individually. "Socialist" ideas work better in some areas, and "capitalist" in others. And that's a fair point on health care, although I don't think cynicism is enough of a reason not to strive towards it. I'd prefer a lot of these measures being done gradually.

    As far as Climate Change goes - Do you want politicians who are bought and paid for by corporate dollars and multi billionaires taking control of the vast majority of our economy?
    Would your opinion change if there were better campaign regulations? I'm sure you've already seen AOC bringing this up to the ethics committee.
    여러분은 주님 안에서 항상 기뻐하십시오. 내가 다시 말합니다. 기뻐하십시오.
    모든 사람을 너그럽게 대하십시오. 주님께서 오실 날이 가까웠습니다. Philippians 4


  5. #110
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    Re: Free Everything!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah View Post
    Would your opinion change if there were better campaign regulations? I'm sure you've already seen AOC bringing this up to the ethics committee.
    If we could get systematic campaign finance reform into place and do away with the big money AND get the corporate and foreign lobbyists out then yeah - it would be a different kind of conversation.
    But things like the "New Green Deal" and the "Paris Agreement" are a no go from the start. If our politicians weren't beholden to big money they would have gotten the attention they deserve from the get go. Which is none.

    If they weren't beholden to big money they would work in a bipartisan fashion to get the the real truth of the matter and come up with feasible solutions where needed.
    Day by day
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    To see thee more clearly
    Love thee more dearly
    Follow thee more nearly
    Day by day

  6. #111
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    Re: Free Everything!

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
    If we could get systematic campaign finance reform into place and do away with the big money AND get the corporate and foreign lobbyists out then yeah - it would be a different kind of conversation.
    But things like the "New Green Deal" and the "Paris Agreement" are a no go from the start. If our politicians weren't beholden to big money they would have gotten the attention they deserve from the get go. Which is none.

    If they weren't beholden to big money they would work in a bipartisan fashion to get the the real truth of the matter and come up with feasible solutions where needed.
    I really like this perspective, I'll have it in the back of my mind for sure!
    여러분은 주님 안에서 항상 기뻐하십시오. 내가 다시 말합니다. 기뻐하십시오.
    모든 사람을 너그럽게 대하십시오. 주님께서 오실 날이 가까웠습니다. Philippians 4


  7. #112
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    Re: Free Everything!

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
    Since I can’t edit- I’m not actually advocating for universal healthcare. I’m just saying that it could be done.

    I think health insurance companies need to be competing among and across all states with some governmental oversight to prevent collusion so costs come well down.
    I also think that those below a certain gross earning threshold should receive Medicare benefits with the way Ohio does it as an example.

    Both are possible if representatives are brought under the people’s control as opposed to big money control.
    At one point my state had 17 insurance companies that provided health care insurance. The rates were very low with almost non existent co-pays. In fact most small business could afford to cover their employees with zero cost to them.

    Then one day our progressive insurance commissioner decided all 17 insurance company’s must cover out of state residents who move here with AIDS. At the time they were fleeing California (who’d have thunk?).

    Within 6 months 15 insurance providers left the state, leaving 3. Of course without competition the insurance rates doubled, then tripled, and quadrupled. Then it stabilized for a while. Then came the ACA. Not only did the rates go up, but the copays and deductibles went from $10.00 co-pay and family $500.00 deductible to $40.00 copays and $7200.00 out of pocket PER PERSON.

    Progressives do not have the answer, they just inflict pain and suffering

  8. #113
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    Re: Free Everything!

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark View Post
    Let's think about this... Freedom cannot exists without morality. Neither can private ownership. If people do not see these as moral rights, then they will be taken away by the strongest. Look at the Nazis, communist, etc. for example of what happens when moral truth is sacrificed. Remove moral truth and all hell breaks loose, literally.

    How much freedom to "the right to life" do the unborn have? None. Because we have lost our moral bearings when it comes to the right to life. Without moral truths there can be no freedom.

    That's not freedom. But I get your point. I still say that without morality, there can be no true freedom for then, the devil would find the strongest and motivate him/her to conquer all. He would have free reign.

    Morality is what enables him to own it, unless he steels it or oppresses the poor. But even then, morality keeps others from doing the same to him.

    Agreed.

    We've come a long way in this regard. True freedom, would mean that businesses bear all the cost of doing business. This includes pollution. A business should not be able to pass on the cost of doing business (i.e. pollution) to the local community.

    Romans 13.
    I agree, Mark. I'm certainly not saying I'm against freedom. I'm just saying that our freedom must be based on Christian morality. Otherwise, our freedom will tend towards religious pluralism. And the end of that will be slavery to sin. With sin running amok, the end result will be big government and higher costs to reign in the lawlessness. A system of freedom that encourages personal responsibility is cheap and productive.

    Yes, business should bear a large part of the cost of environmental concerns. But we should all do our part. As I said, the courts should decide who is doing the offending. And the government can play the role of overseeing this, as well.

  9. #114
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    Re: Free Everything!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah View Post
    Interesting thought, but basically the entire West was based on Christianity and the scandinavians are the least religious in all of Europe. I think this would also suggest that dem-soc would be the most successful in the US given that it is the most (or close to the most) Christian nation in the world. But maybe a better indicator is that the Danes and Swedes are less motivated by personal wealth, and are generally content with "smaller," quiet lives. That's also what I've heard from missionaries and some friends in Iceland. I'd agree though that culture is a huge factor in what systems some regions prefer.
    I'm a bit on the defensive side, in this respect. My grandparents on one side all came over from Scandinavia, and carried with them some respect for religion. These countries had a State Religion, which is more than what the US has had. The UK is the same. Having a State Religion tends to infiltrate the minds of citizens, forming a framework for moral thought long after the religious zeal is gone.

    Democratic Socialism, as such, may have a lot of religious-like thinking involved, even as religion "cools off" in these countries. In fact, I would argue that this "cooling off" of religion in former Christian countries is what has turned them over to Social Democrats. This is certainly not an argument in favor of that political philosophy, but only a concession to the inevitability of Christianity losing its grip in the age of "enlightenment."

    I'm not surprised, however, that these kinds of countries, and liberals in our own country (the US), fill the vacuum lost by religion and focus on moral issues less "religious" in nature. Their morality is governing the environment, which is arguably a real moral issue. But instead of focusing on eternal salvation, the focus is more on nature and human rights.

    And it disturbs me that there is more concern with limiting Man in favor of animals and in limiting wealth in favor of government controls. Why, for example, wouldn't liberals care about the individual's right to be more upwardly mobile? Instead, there is only concern for welfare programs, the rights to medical assistance, higher minimum wages, and lots of public works programs. The desire seems designed more to keep people where they are, happy and working, rather than in pursuing spiritual happiness. Without spiritual happiness, these programs fail, in my opinion.

  10. #115
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    Re: Free Everything!

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    The desire seems designed more to keep people where they are, happy and working, rather than in pursuing spiritual happiness. Without spiritual happiness, these programs fail, in my opinion.
    I certainly don't believe spiritual happiness has anything to do with one's possessions. On the "upward mobility" you mention, I think it goes back to people in those countries being more content with simple lives, and a similar attitude forming in the US. Their fulfillment comes from sufficiency and the wellbeing of their neighbors, rather than of themselves living in excess, owning multiple homes or vehicles. My experience with my generation is that our personal ambitions don't go far beyond basic housing stability and not being in debt, perhaps these being taken for granted by Boom/X's. But at the end of the day, I don't think the gospel really has anything to do with this conversation if we agree on "all have sinned" and "there are none who seek God" and "do not store up earthly treasures."
    여러분은 주님 안에서 항상 기뻐하십시오. 내가 다시 말합니다. 기뻐하십시오.
    모든 사람을 너그럽게 대하십시오. 주님께서 오실 날이 가까웠습니다. Philippians 4


  11. #116
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    Re: Free Everything!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah View Post
    I certainly don't believe spiritual happiness has anything to do with one's possessions. On the "upward mobility" you mention, I think it goes back to people in those countries being more content with simple lives, and a similar attitude forming in the US. Their fulfillment comes from sufficiency and the wellbeing of their neighbors, rather than of themselves living in excess, owning multiple homes or vehicles. My experience with my generation is that our personal ambitions don't go far beyond basic housing stability and not being in debt, perhaps these being taken for granted by Boom/X's. But at the end of the day, I don't think the gospel really has anything to do with this conversation if we agree on "all have sinned" and "there are none who seek God" and "do not store up earthly treasures."
    "The gospel doesn't have anything to do with this conversation?" I couldn't disagree more. Some forms of government are better than others. Christians governments are better than Muslim governments. Good Christian governments are better than bad Christian governments. Capitalism is better than Socialism.

    The problem with Socialism is it attempts to solve the same problems a Capitalist system tries to solve. But it pigeon-holes people, and forces them into submission to the all wise and over-sized government. Playing parent to society a government discourages personal initiative and the willingness of individuals to rise to the occasion. The less Christian a society becomes the less the people will be able to overcome the ineptitude of a socialist government. Communism is where socialism ends up as a pagan society. And it's a complete failure.

    There are elements of socialism in social security, the military, and welfare programs. But this isn't really isn't the end of socialism. Socialism ends where government assumes control of most of the industry in society. Diversity of leadership collapses into a very narrow leadership that is as reckless as any individual dictator. And where are the safeguards? Where are the checks and balances? To overcome a socialist government has got to be more difficult than replacing a president in a democracy. And yet, we do have democratic socialism in Europe.

    I personally believe that the less Christian a society becomes the more the government must incorporate socialist elements into its operations. In the same way countries with large land masses tend to require a stronger central government, so countries that are susceptible to division and anarchy must have a strong central government, assuming greater control over the people. In my view, socialism is on the 1st step towards a kind of dictatorship.

  12. #117
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    Re: Free Everything!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah View Post
    Correct, not the literal dollars but the percentage of what's generated.
    Percentage generated is literal dollars. And I still am not sure what you are getting at. I don't see anything wrong with a HUGE difference in what people make or what the democrats would call "income inequality". A laborer is worthy of his hire is what the scriptures would say. What that labor produces should be compensated accordingly. Steve Jobs produced FAR more than the janitors for his company did and their salaries should show that.

    But, if you mean that we need a larger middle class, OK. But if this is about income inequality, I don't think there's any moral ground to stand on here. We can discuss it, and theorize about solutions, but does scripture actually speak to it?

    Oppressing the poor doesn't mean that we limit rich people. The poor today are way richer than the poor of a generation ago.

    What is your definition?
    First, let's start with monopoly and oligarchy.

    "Monopoly: A market structure characterized by a single seller, selling a unique product in the market. In a monopoly market, the seller faces no competition, as he is the sole seller of goods with no close substitute. ... He enjoys the power of setting the price for his goods."

    another definition

    "the exclusive possession or control of the supply of or trade in a commodity or service."

    Oligarchy: Any system of government in which virtually all political power is held by a very small number of wealthy but otherwise unmeritorious people who shape public policy primarily to benefit themselves financially through direct subsidies to their agricultural estates or business firms, lucrative government contracts, and protectionist measures aimed at damaging their economic competitors — while displaying little or no concern for the broader interests of the rest of the citizenry. “Oligarchy” is also used as a collective term to denote all the individual members of the small corrupt ruling group in such a system. The term always has a negative or derogatory connotation in both contemporary and classical usage, in contrast to aristocracy (which sometimes has a derogatory connotation in modern usage, but never in classical).

    This definition is from http://www.auburn.edu/~johnspm/gloss/oligarchy

    While it is speaking of a form of government, I look at it also as an economic term, where it comes about because you only have a few businesses that control a product throughout an entire country. For instance, we have banks that are "too big to fail". That means the banking industry is an oligarchy, and is controlled by a few. A monopoly generally means 1 large corporation running the industry. An example of that in modern times is Microsoft. (President Clinton tried to break them up and he was right to do so. President Bush dropped the case.) An example of an economic ologarchy in modern times are the investment banks.

    In both cases, capitalism is NOT followed.

    It is harder to find a good working definition of "capitalism" today because many use it so derogatory and the colleges today use definitions we did not use 30 to 40 years ago. For instance, you don't see the word "competition" as much in the definition as we did back in the day. A monopoly could be considered "capitalism" by todays liberal bent professors while it was seen as against capitalism back in my time in college.

    Here is how some define capitalism today:

    from Dictionary.com Capitalism is an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.

    That's very basic. Here's a MUCH better and thorough definition:

    https://www.theclassroom.com/5-chara...m-8559565.html

    The 5 characteristics mentioned in the link are: (Note, my comments are in paranthesis)

    1. Free enterprise (from the article) Capitalist countries encourage free enterprise -- an economic system that promotes prosperity by allowing private individuals and businesses to compete for profit, according to the Center for Free Enterprise at Florida Southern College in Lakeland.

    (A personal note here... there is no competition when you have a monopoly or ologarchy business structure. Thus, it is NOT capitalism that allows such things to exist because capitalism requires competition. This is why the USA has anti-trust laws though we rarely enforce them any more.)

    2. Property rights:

    Land ownership and property ownership -- two key individual rights -- enable private businesses to operate freely without leasing land or property from the government. The government doesn't have the authority to seize control or manage business operations, unless the company engages in illegal activity.

    3. Minimal government involvement

    The government has limited, minimal involvement in the market. Sociologists, economists and politicians often use the French term "laissez-faire," which translates "leaving things to take their own course," to describe the government's noninterference in private business, according to Georgia State University. Supporters of capitalism believe in limited taxation, a business owner's right to set wages and minimal government-mandated labor policies, other than those designed to ensure employee safety and protect against unfair hiring practices.

    4. Profit motive:

    The primary motive behind capitalism is profit. Private businesses have their own best interests in mind, and making money is at the top of the list. Due to the self-interested, money-making objectives, capitalists realize that some companies won't survive in the competitive business world. They understand that there is negative fallout -- buyouts and bankruptcies -- suggests Business Insider. However, these negatives often give owners time to reorganize and restructure or make money when they sell out.

    (Personal note: The profit motive encourages low consumer prices and efficiency. For instance, if I start a business and make a HUGE profit, then others are encouraged to start a business as well to compete with me. Because of this encouraged competition, prices invariably fall over time as companies learn how to get more and more efficient and compete. If competition is not encouraged, then this will not happen. So the first thing mentioned, free enterprise, is very, very, very important. Unfortunately for us, free enterprise is no longer encouraged. Look at Uber and how cities with taxi companies have treated them. Of course, the taxi companies had bought some safety for themselves through taxation and permits from the local government which greatly discouraged startup competition. If you have to pay NY City $1,000,000 for a taxi permit, then the existing taxi companies are protected from competition and that drives the price of taxi services up over the entire city.)

    5. Technological advancement:

    Capitalists support technological advancement because it increases productivity, encourages modernization and leads to increased revenue, according to "The Challenge of Global Capitalism" by Robert Gilpin. They also understand that there are growing pains associated with progress, such as initial implementation costs, learning curves, increased training demands and the need for more highly skilled and educated workers.

    (Personal note: We did not move out of the stone age because we ran out of stones. The left has often embraced things like Malthusianism. This economist in the past, taught that overpopulation was a problem due to limited resources. You can google it for more information. But it led to things like "peak oil theory" which was nuts and always will be nuts. Peak demand is more likely as that has been the economic rule for thousands of years. People moved on from stones long before we ran out of stones. THey moved on from horses long before we ran out of horses. They moved on from fireplace heating long before we ran out of wood and so on. We will move on from fossil fuels long before we run out of fossil fuels.)

    Back to my own words now:

    So with this complicated definition of capitalism, we see that monopolies, nor oligarchies are true capitalistic systems. If we take Romans 13 at face value, then we would wield the sword of God's wrath against companies that ruled an entire sector and oppressed those around them as a result. (As a side note, one can be extordinarily wealthy and not oppress people or companies. So there's no evil in being 1000s of times richer or 1,000,000s of times richer than other people. But oppression is not something that should be allowed.) Antitrust laws came into existence because of oppression.

    Here's a paragraph from an interesting article (though I have not read it all)

    Once upon a time, way back in the 1800s,
    there were several giant businesses known
    as “trusts.” They controlled whole sections
    of the economy, like railroads, oil, steel, and
    sugar. Two of the most famous trusts were
    U.S. Steel and Standard Oil; they were
    monopolies that controlled the supply of
    their product—as well as the price. With one
    company controlling an entire industry, there
    was no competition, and smaller businesses
    and people had no choices about from whom
    to buy. Prices went through the roof, and
    quality didn’t have to be a priority. This
    caused hardship and threatened the new
    American prosperity.

    https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/sites/d...trust-Laws.pdf

    We called the men who operated such trusts "robber barons". What they often did was unethical and thus, the sword of the wrath of God needed to fall upon them. Let's look at Standard Oil company and how they started, and then how they fell into unethical behavior. John Rockefeller had a sterling reputation. Here is something he said concerning selling oil to the masses:

    "In 1885, John D. Rockefeller wrote one of his partners, “Let the good work go on. We must ever remember we are refining oil for the poor man and he must have it cheap and good.” Or as he put it to another partner: “Hope we can continue to hold out with the best illuminator in the world at the lowest price.”

    "Even after 20 years in the oil business, “the best ... at the lowest price” was still Rockefeller’s goal; his Standard Oil Company had already captured 90 percent of America’s oil refining and had pushed the price down from 58 cents to eight cents a gallon. His well-groomed horses delivered blue barrels of oil throughout America’s cities and were already symbols of excellence and efficiency. Consumers were not only choosing Standard Oil over that of his competitors; they were also preferring it to coal oil, whale oil, and electricity. Millions of Americans illuminated their homes with Standard Oil for one cent per hour; in doing so, they made Rockefeller the wealthiest man in American history."

    Here's the link to the above quotes:

    https://fee.org/articles/john-d-rock...-oil-industry/

    From the same article:

    “From the beginning,” Rockefeller said, “I was trained to work, to save, and to give.” He did all three of these things shortly after he graduated from the Cleveland public high school. He always remembered the “momentous day” in 1855, when he began work at age sixteen as an assistant bookkeeper for 50 cents per day.

    and:

    On the job, Rockefeller had a fixation for honest business. He later said, “I had learned the underlying principles of business as well as many men acquire them by the time they are forty.” His first partner, Maurice Clark, said that Rockefeller “was methodical to an extreme, careful as to details and exacting to a fraction. If there was a cent due us he wanted it. If there was a cent due a customer he wanted the customer to have it.” Such precision irritated some debtors, but it won him the confidence of many Cleveland businessmen; at age nineteen, Rockefeller went into the grain shipping business on Lake Erie and soon began dealing in thousands of dollars.

    Rockefeller so enjoyed business that he dreamed about it at night. Where he really felt at ease, though, was with his family and at church.

    Back to my notes:

    What a man!!!! This man got very wealthy, far wealthier than most during his day, by providing a wonderful service to the masses. He deserved every penny he made. But what happened? Well, people got jealous and used government to go after him. They fined him 7 or 8 times more than the company property was worth. But eventually, Rockefeller won his case. However, the antitrust forces got him.

    From the article:

    This decision was puzzling to Rockefeller and his supporters. The Sherman Act was supposed to prevent monopolies and those companies “in restraint of trade.” Yet Standard Oil had no monopoly and certainly was not restraining trade. The Russians, with the help of their government, had been gaining ground on Standard in the international oil trade. In America, competition in the oil industry was more intense than ever. Over 100 oil companies—from Gulf Oil in Texas to Associated Oil in California—competed with Standard. Standard’s share of the United States and world markets had been steadily declining from 1900 to 1910. Rockefeller, however, took the decision calmly and promised to obey it.

    My notes: So government used the sword incorrectly here (something that has happened and will continue to happen so long as fallen men and women wield the sword with personal gain in mind).

    Back to the article:

    Even more remarkable than Rockefeller’s serenity was his diligence in tithing. From the time of his first job, where he earned 50 cents a day, the 16-year-old Rockefeller gave to his local Baptist church, to missions in New York City and abroad, and to the poor—black or white. As his salary increased, so did his giving. By the time he was 45, he was up to $100,000 per year; at age 53, he topped the $1,000,000 mark in his annual giving. His eightieth year was his most generous: $138,000,000 he happily gave away.

    The more he earned the more he gave, and the more he gave the more he earned. To Rockefeller, it was the true fulfillment of the Biblical law: “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.” Not “money” itself but “the love of money” was “the root of all evil.” And Rockefeller loved God much more than his money.

    OK, enough about Rockefeller and all the good he did. I used him to show how being vastly more wealthy than the common man is not evil. The left is wrong to speak of income inequality. God chose to make Solomon vastly more wealthy. (Though Solomon didn't deal with his other issue i.e. lust, God still so no wrong in making Solomon extraordinarily wealthy.) Of course, God told the kings of Israel not to pursue wealth. That is one reason God gave it to Solomon. He didn't pursue it and neither did David.

    When companies or government refuse competition, set up false barriers to entry (i.e. New York charging $1,000,000 to set up a tax business in the city.), oppress business competitors or customers, then they need to be broken up.

    Microsoft put the best browser out of business back in the 90s. The browser name was "Netscape". They told the companies that put the hardware together that if those companies if they put Netscape on the new PCs they sold, then Microsoft would stop selling them the operating system. That put Netscape out of business. This is exactly the kind of behavior that caused the antitrust laws to come into existence to begin with.

    In conclusion, the biblical mandate of government is to do good by wielding the sword of the wrath of God. For instance, often to give one person mercy, requires judgment of another. This IS the purpose of government. Not to show mercy, but to bring judgment. And this judgment, is a form of showing mercy. If someone is kidnapped, the governments job is to punish the kidnappers, and in doing so, this indirectly shows mercy to the kidnapped. Government should bring the sword down on the would be rapist, and thus show mercy to the one who was in danger of being raped. The same is true for predatory business practices. And this is why antitrust laws are in place.

    Question: Why don't we inforce our antitrust laws today? Answer: Corruption in government is my best guess. I am all for freedom of speach, including for business owners. But I am not for taxi services lobbying NY city government to encourage a high price for a taxi company permit in order to limit competition.

    Without competition capitalism does not exist.


    Not a problem, I'll look out for your reply . If you could mainly answer my question, on #50, I'd appreciate that also! Essentially, why is capitalism better at solving social issues? We can have back-and-forth over the morality of hoarding money, but I think this is secondary to my point.
    Morality is the basis for everything that government should do when it wields the sword. EVERYTHING! If it is not, then it is not fulfilling it's mandate.

    See John Rockefeller above for how capitalism is supposed to work. He wanted to provide a great service at a great cost. That is what competition forces companies to do. As I stated above, the profit motive encourages more startups. To have true capitalism, we need to have government make sure that barriers to entry are business barriers (i.e. cost to buy land, build a factory, etc.) and not some false legal barrier (i.e. $1,000,000 permits that drive the cost of the final product much higher than it should be). Capitalism creates wealth through creative destruction. Not only does it meet needs as what we saw with oil, but it also creates things that people want but don't even know they want it yet. The smart phone is a great example of business creating something people had no need for, no desire for, and yet, now most of the world owns. This would not be done in socialism. There's no motive for it.

    Goverment should wield the sword of the wrath of God on pollution. It is not capitalism to allow the community to pay the cost of doing business. That is more like socialism. So when a company pollutes the local area, they are moving the cost of business to society rather than the business owner. As I said, that is a socialist approach. Pure capitalism means the business owners/investers bear the cost. Socialism means the society bears the cost. Pollution is a problem of socialism not capitalism. It's just that people don't understand either very well. The enemy is very, very, very aware of the power of words. Because of this he works to change definitions ALL the time (see marriage for the latest example).

    When government does it's job given to it in scripture, it will wield the sword rightly and stop pollution. The democrats have some rightness in this, but they are too extreme. The republicans have some rightness in this but are too extreme in the other way.

    It is NOT goverments mandate to solve social issues. But I'll answer your post 50 in another post as this one is already WAY too long.
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

  13. #118
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    Re: Free Everything!

    Quote Originally Posted by BraveUlysesses View Post
    Well, I meant i'd like to talk "to you" about this messaging, not looking so much for permission as an agreement that you want to talk about it with me.
    Sure, of course.

  14. #119
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    Re: Free Everything!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah View Post
    Interjecting just to say I think conservative messaging needs to adapt to today's generation, not just repeat old mantras. I don't mean adapt in values, but in the tools to help us achieve our goals. For example:

    How is the conservative approach better for improving the environment, providing education, and reducing inequality? Why is socialism inferior to capitalism in solving these issues, given the current practice of wealth hoarding?
    I think we also need to discuss the biblical mandates. Where does scripture tell government to "remember the poor"? IMO, scripture speaks of the duties of the church and the duties of government. For instance, in the OT, we had the law of gleaning. Government did not allow businessmen (i.e. farmers) to take maximum profits at all cost. They were to leave some grain in the field for the gleaners. The grain did not go to government first, then to the people. It went from businessman/farmer directly to the people. Also, the person had to earn it. He was not given grain. He had to go gather grain.

    In Egypt, we see how Joseph operated within the established government. There, the king took the grain and then redistributed it. That system created poverty and enslavement of all the people. That is what ultimately happens when people look to government to solve the issues of the day. God had a man in government for sure. And God told that man what was coming. And God told that man how to prepare the Egyptians. He didn't change their idea of government though. They were secular through and through. Pharaoh (the government) ended up very wealthy and in control of all the land, produce, etc. IMO, something similar happened in the US in the 1930s. Phase 2 started in the 60s. Phase 3 is trying to start up today and was seen for the first time since the 60s/70s with President Obama's election. President Clinton tried to go that way but was rebuked.

    So... Romans 13 means the government does good for society at large, by wielding the sword of the wrath of God against evil doers. And the church advances the kingdom by giving money directly to the poor and preaching the gospel them both through actions and words. (See Luke 16 about the shrewd steward for how Jesus instructs us to use money to further the kingdom.)

    Now on to your questions:

    1. I wrote in my previous post how capitalism is MUCH better at dealing with pollution than socialism. I will post it again here. Socialism is a system where society at large owns and/or takes up the cost of doing business. When a government allows a company to pollute, they are allowing the company to move the cost of doing business to society at large. By definition, that is more a socialist model because now the government/society is acting as an investor/owner. Government should do it's duty, as a wielder of the sword, to come down on polluters and force the invester/business to bear the full cost of doing business. Capitalism is where the business owners/investers take on the full cost of doing business and compete. Thus, in the capitalist system, the government would wield the sword forcing businesses to take on the full cost of doing business, while in the socialist system, society at large and government foot the bill as investers in the business. The payout or return on investment for society/goverment for allowing pollution is more tax money for the government from the investers, owners and employees.


    Question 2... providing eduction... Education was much better when it was in local hands. By that, I mean the act of educating and not the racism, etc. that was rampant. Government was right to bear the sword against racism and we even had an amendment to the constitution that was directly meant to address it (see the 14th amendment). Unfortunately, this amendment has been taken to extremes and been used in ways it was never intended to be used. But that's another post.

    But lets talk about capitalism as a solution, but lay aside the biblical mandate of the sword. For we are in Egypt now and unable to change the government back to it's biblical mandate. So like Joseph, lets use the system as best but still pray and hope that we can return government to its biblical purpose at some point in the future.

    Vouchers. Right now, the system is set up to where there is little choice in school. The feds mandate what is taught and how it is taught. Teachers today will tell you more time is spent on preparing kids for the mandated tests than actually teaching them to think and learn. IMO, some improvements were made recently with common core math. It is a great improvement IMO, over what use to be in place. (we can hash out why later if you want to.) But there are still problems. Some schools are simply better than others. But the left wants to limit what parents can do about it. The left's knee jerk reaction to most everything is more government control and invovlement. Vouchers give more power to parents and students. By giving a parent a voucher, their kid could go to any school in the county. The kids could pick the best schools. The kids and parents that honored education would be rewarded by being able to go to the best schools. The kids and parents that didn't, would end up at the worst schools. And each would bear the consequences of their actions. The schools would be required to compete for students rather than having money given to them by the government for just being in business. Teachers, principals, would have to compete. Competition makes businesses, athletes, etc. perform better. Paul even used the sporting analogy to encourage us to run the race for the prize set before us.

    As for college, well, getting government out of college would make the cost decrease drastically. By setting up all these loan programs, and then not allowing students to declare bankruptcy on those loans, has produced a HUGE demand for college training (and some degrees just aren't good for making a living with). That has led to a HUGE increase in cost. It's simple economics. Supply and demand. If kids today would have to work through college, save and scrimp, and not have easy access to loans, but be able to declare bankruptcy if needed to get rid of those loans, you would see the cost of college drop drastically.

    If our secondary schools have taught us anything, it should have taught us that free education and federal government involvement has made education worse, not better. Why would we make the same mistake at the college level? Get rid of the current loan programs. Allow students to declare bankruptcy on loans. And watch the price of college go down to where it is much more affordable. Also, we need to stop trying to prepare everyone for college in highschool and recognize that trade school is a great benefit to a lot of people. There are some trades where we simply can't find workers for.... Many tradesmen make more money than college graduates.

    4. Reducing inequality? Why is this even an issue? Who cares how rich a person gets so long as he is not oppressing someone. Compare what is considered poverty today to what was considered middle class in the past. You'll find that many in poverty today live way better than what the middle class did 40, 50, 100 years ago. IMO, the real issues in this are envy, entitlement, and trust in government/humanity rather than God. But, I am open to hearing how income inequality is a sword of the wrath thing that government should address. Oppression they should address as our antitrust laws do. And I understand that like Standard Oil, even some non oppressive folks will suffer due to the unjustified anger towards them.

    Perhaps the main problem with messaging is that Boom/X's simply have different goals than Mils/Z's, and that's why the messaging is ineffective. One of DemSoc's advantage is that they are the only ones sympathizing with these concerns, as opposed to stigmatizing them as "conspiracies" or "unimportant" or "lazy." It's a mirror of the past few years where legitimate rust-belt concerns were dismissed by everyone, meanwhile Trump's far-right protectionism capitalized on that void. Conservatives are losing the ideological battle I think due to that same pride and dismissiveness.
    Aviyah, you told me in another post that a middle class kid would not go on a fish boat to earn a living and that is something that immigrants can fill. We were talking about illegal immigrants at the time. How should we address someone with the attitude of "I won't do that job because I don't want to do it"? There's a lot of money to be made in fishing. How are we to respond to people who want someone else to pay for their college education?

    I guarantee you that any middle class kid, if he got hungry enough, would gladly work on a fishing boat. God taught us to deal with people who didn't want to work by not feeding them. Government almost completely ignores this mandate in todays age.

    I am open to hearing how you think we should look at some of these issues and where we are wrong on them. But hearing that a middle class kid won't do a job and we need illegal immigrants to do them just isn't good optics. Having kids say they deserve a free college education and someone else should pay for it, just isn't good optics. How do you think those of us that are going to be forced to pay for them should feel?
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

  15. #120
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    Re: Free Everything!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah View Post
    I've actually heard this monologue a few weeks ago, and I don't feel that he addresses my question. For someone who cares about the environment for example, how is capitalism better than socialism at solving its problems? I'd really prefer it in your or someone's own words if possible.
    Aviyah, I think this is a great question and I hope I answered it somewhat in both of my very long posts.
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

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