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I am the 99%

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MrSchnapps Posted: Tue, Oct 4 2011 11:01 PM

Found this on Brian Leiter's website: http://wearethe99percent.tumblr.com/

Instead of saying 'I am the 99%' at the end, it should say: 'I should've been more responsible.'

Does anyone else get the feeling of _class warfare_ here, or is it just me?

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Yeah, I smell lots of class war. And honestly, it's about time the working class fought back. It's painful getting beat up all the time and not returning a punch.

Frankly, no matter what your political affiliations, ideologies, or whatever, you should probably expect more protests, more occupations, and probably a few riots in the coming months. A lot of people, maybe not even a majority, but a lot of people have their backs against the wall and nowhere to turn. It's only reasonable to assume that some people are going to strike back.

As someone with a chronic illness I feel pretty threatened all the time. In a supposedly 'civil' society should I have to work three times as hard because I was born doubly unlucky being sick and poor? Hell no. Why should I have to forego things that are considered standard because I was born unlucky?

It's not that people aren't willing to help each other out in situations like this. I'd be willing to bet that a lot of people would support the idea of a free health collective where locals pay regular (voluntary) dues or something else. The problem is that all of our money is being funelled elsewhere, to paying off our debt, to paying the corrupt healthcare infrastructure that already exists, to paying rent, to paying for parking, paying for driving on someone else's road, paying for breathing someone else's air.

You can disagree all you want, and you might even be right. But at this point whatever reasonable arguments you have might as well be told to an oncoming tidal wave.

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Birthday Pony:
In a supposedly 'civil' society should I have to work three times as hard because I was born doubly unlucky being sick and poor? Hell no. Why should I have to forego things that are considered standard because I was born unlucky?

Answer's in the question, sweetheart.

What you're saying is the equivalent of "why should I not be able to drive myself around just because I was born without eyes?"  It's ironic, but only in the last generation or two has the world become so wealthy that people are actually arrogant enough to ask why they should have to live without something they want.

 

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That "something I want" happens to be medication that could cost $20,000 a year without insurance and that I'll die a long painful death without.

Edit: But hey, if I'm lucky and can get insurance I can expect to pay about $5,000 a year*, just 1/4 of my (expected) yearly income (in five years, that is)! I guess for that 1/4 of the year I won't eat or pay rent.

*source: http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/health/2009-09-15-insurance-costs_N.htm

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As someone with a chronic illness I feel pretty threatened all the time. In a supposedly 'civil' society should I have to work three times as hard because I was born doubly unlucky being sick and poor? Hell no. Why should I have to forego things that are considered standard because I was born unlucky?

You shouldn't have to forgoe anything.  If you see something you despise or that that causes something you love or some part of you to suffer wobble... push it - there is no reason not to.  Anyone trying to tell you otherwise is trying to sell you something.

  I will say this as a bit of a "moral" hazard though, there is no "real" solution in any of these mass politcal movements, rightism, leftism, libertarianism, etc...the end result of all these things is mostly madness if one takes them as "things in themselves" - they are tools to achieve a desired end for a task at hand, and that is all.  They will all bury you at their expense on the first chance they get if you turn your back on them.  Don't take them to seriously, they're just tools to use.   lol,   "I use the enemy, I use anarchy"

As for your chronic illness - I'm in the medical field, and know people throughout it if you live in the Midwest and really need help (I mean super desperate) trying to figure out how to deal with your Medical and money problems PM me, and I'll see if there is anything I can do...maybe direct you to a good clinic, or show how to nickle and dime on insurance, or whatever

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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Vive, I really appreciate the offer. For now, things seem to be okay. There may be a time in the future I PM you, however.

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Birthday Pony:
That "something I want" happens to be medication that could cost $20,000 a year without insurance and that I'll die a long painful death without.

Edit: But hey, if I'm lucky and can get insurance I can expect to pay about $5,000 a year*, just 1/4 of my (expected) yearly income (in five years, that is)! I guess for that 1/4 of the year I won't eat or pay rent.

Oh you mean medication that wasn't available to anyone, even if they paid $20 million a year less than 2 decades ago?  Somehow you're just entitled to that huh?  You don't deserve to die a long painful death, but they did eh?

Just like the blind man is "entitled" to sight, right?  Who are you to tell the man without eyes he can't drive his own car?

 

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Some of the gems:

If you do the math, she got pregnant after she got laid off.

Congrats, dude, you racked up $135k pointless debt. Whose fault is that?

Aaaand inflation was caused byyyyy....

Alright, then congrats on the debt

1) You don't have to go to college. 2) Knowledge is free 3) People spending their lives teaching you for free is called slavery

Congrats. I moved from Europe. You have 0 need to have $100k in debt if you go to community college.

How is this in any way an argument for their side?

 


Bleh.

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Time for people to take some opposition pics!

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Funny how they mention inflation (as if that's not the government's fault), but don't mention the most blindingly obvious matter when it comes to scraping by day-to-day: how much of your income and spending is corroded by taxation. I sure noticed it when I was broke.

"I don't believe in ghosts, sermons, or stories about money" - Rooster Cogburn, True Grit.
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cporter replied on Wed, Oct 5 2011 10:09 AM

So far it seems like the moral of this story is that college can be a big fat waste of money. :)

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Wheylous replied on Wed, Oct 5 2011 10:11 AM

^ +1

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Autolykos replied on Wed, Oct 5 2011 10:12 AM

With the above people, I think there's at least an element of being unwilling to accept responsiblity for one's actions. I went to college and took on some student loans - not as much as some, but more than others. I wasn't coerced in any way to either go to college or take on student loans to help pay for college. To the contrary, those were choices that I and I alone made. The responsibility for them lies entirely with me.

People can look at their situations in life in one of two ways. One way is that they can be thankful for what they do have, for it could always be (much) worse. The other way is that they can be bitter and resentful that they don't have even more. It seems all too easy for many (maybe most) people to take what they have for granted, thus ignoring any possibilities that exist beneath it.

There's also the issue of expectations vs. reality. We're all displeased or get upset to some extent when reality doesn't meet our expectations. But does that mean we've necessarily lost anything? Hardly. It certainly doesn't mean that in the case when we expect to get more than what we already have. Not getting something is entirely different from losing something. This isn't rocket surgery, is it?

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Autolykos replied on Wed, Oct 5 2011 10:15 AM

Birthday Pony:
As someone with a chronic illness I feel pretty threatened all the time. In a supposedly 'civil' society should I have to work three times as hard because I was born doubly unlucky being sick and poor? Hell no. Why should I have to forego things that are considered standard because I was born unlucky?

What in the world is this supposed to mean? "Forego things that are considered standard" - as if anyone is entitled to them!

It could all go away in an instant. Everything you do have, including your life - poof. Gone. Try to keep that in mind.

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Wheylous replied on Wed, Oct 5 2011 10:15 AM

rocket surgery

Sounds dangerous.

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Sphairon replied on Wed, Oct 5 2011 10:23 AM

Oh, come on, people, have some empathy, will ya? The "every-man-for-himself" mentality that oozes out in this thread is exactly what people misunderstand libertarianism for.

So some of these people have accrued student loans. Yes, they made the choice to go to college and apply for these loans. But their teachers, family, the media, banks and politicians encouraged them to. Not all of them wasted their time and money on obviously unmarketable degrees. And how come student loans are the only kind of debt you cannot default on? This is clearly a rigged system set up for the benefit of the college and banking cartels. Stop blaming the poor saps that got suckered in.

Others have severe medical conditions that they can't afford to get treated. Why? Well, for starters, government severely restricts the market for medical services with their licensing requirements (and of course, many licenses have to be earned in the restricted medical school market - one rigged system feeds the others), it artificially increases the price of drugs with its patent laws and it destroyed the voluntary associations that made health care affordable for the working man a century ago. Libertarians should be staunchly opposed to the current US medical system and communicate this clearly.

Then there's people who lost their homes. Yes, they couldn't pay the mortgage, so it's technically not their homes anymore. But the current mess in the housing market is the making of Federal Reserve and FedGov policy. The system screwed these people over.

And the reason why many can't find jobs is, of course, the economic hardship that is a direct result of the credit-induced boom-and-bust cycle.

You see, instead of blaming these people for a situation they largely had no control over, how about offering them some hope that's not based on the traditional leftist solutions? Or do you really think not staining yourselves with the problems of the ailing middle class for the sake of ideological purity will advance your position?


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cporter replied on Wed, Oct 5 2011 10:25 AM

Autolykos:
With the above people, I think there's at least an element of being unwilling to accept responsiblity for one's actions.

Absolutely. All of the people above racked up debt of their own accord and now can't afford the lifestyle they want.

People in this country are, from pretty much day one, sold the idea that if they just go to college they will have an easy life with a good job. So these suckers take out huge loans to pay for their ticket onto easy street only to find out that the grass is only greener on the other side if you make it so. Since they are over-coddled into a permanently infantile mentality they end up crying about it on some lousy website instead of actually doing something to fix their issues.

One of the worst effects of the State, in my opinion, is that it actually does make crying about it and stealing from other people the easier route.

 

@Sphairon, I don't disagree with your indictment of the State in most of their problems, but I don't have much empathy for people whose first response is to steal to fix their problems. Maybe I'm misunderstanding the ultimate goal of their movement.

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Autolykos replied on Wed, Oct 5 2011 10:40 AM

Sphairon:
Oh, come on, people, have some empathy, will ya? The "every-man-for-himself" mentality that oozes out in this thread is exactly what people misunderstand libertarianism for.

Oh, come on, Sphairon, have some understanding, will ya? That is, kindly point out where I oozed out the "every-man-for-himself" mentality, because I don't see it. (I can't speak for others, of course.)

Sphairon:
So some of these people have accrued student loans. Yes, they made the choice to go to college and apply for these loans. But their teachers, family, the media, banks and politicians encouraged them to. Not all of them wasted their time and money on obviously unmarketable degrees. And how come student loans are the only kind of debt you cannot default on? This is clearly a rigged system set up for the benefit of the college and banking cartels. Stop blaming the poor saps that got suckered in.

My understanding is that it's only federal student loans that you can't default on - which should indeed tell you something.

In any case, my point was that no one else made their choices for them. At best, it's debatable as to whether they've been defrauded by anyone.

Sphairon:
Others have severe medical conditions that they can't afford to get treated. Why? Well, for starters, government severely restricts the market for medical services with their licensing requirements (and of course, many licenses have to be earned in the restricted medical school market - one rigged system feeds the others), it artificially increases the price of drugs with its patent laws and it destroyed the voluntary associations that made health care affordable for the working man a century ago. Libertarians should be staunchly opposed to the current US medical system and communicate this clearly.

It's very hard to convince anyone that free enterprise will make things easier for them when 1) he sees the current system as "free enterprise", or 2) he sees "free enterprise" as how things were in the past, which presumably were even worse than how things are today.

Sphairon:
Then there's people who lost their homes. Yes, they couldn't pay the mortgage, so it's technically not their homes anymore. But the current mess in the housing market is the making of Federal Reserve and FedGov policy. The system screwed these people over.

What do you mean by "screwed over"? (I don't mean to imply any necessary disagreement with that question.)

Sphairon:
And the reason why many can't find jobs is, of course, the economic hardship that is a direct result of the credit-induced boom-and-bust cycle.

Perhaps. There's also the issue of getting degrees which turned out to be unmarketable.

Sphairon:
You see, instead of blaming these people for a situation they largely had no control over, how about offering them some hope that's not based on the traditional leftist solutions? Or do you really think not staining yourselves with the problems of the ailing middle class for the sake of ideological purity will advance your position?

Where's the hope for them in saying that what we advocate would require them to take even more responsibility than they're used to taking?


Note: I'm somewhat playing Devil's Advocate here.

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Sphairon replied on Wed, Oct 5 2011 10:42 AM

cporter:
I don't disagree with your indictment of the State in most of their problems, but I don't have much empathy for people whose first response is to steal to fix their problems. Maybe I'm misunderstanding the ultimate goal of their movement.

Is that their first response? I've seen a select few that openly advocate sticking it to "the rich" and one jolly public sector employee afraid of "capitalism", but most contributors just seem really desperate for change. Historically, this has usually meant more leftism. But it need not be that way again.


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Autolykos replied on Wed, Oct 5 2011 10:54 AM

cporter:
Absolutely. All of the people above racked up debt of their own accord and now can't afford the lifestyle they want.

People in this country are, from pretty much day one, sold the idea that if they just go to college they will have an easy life with a good job. So these suckers take out huge loans to pay for their ticket onto easy street only to find out that the grass is only greener on the other side if you make it so. Since they are over-coddled into a permanently infantile mentality they end up crying about it on some lousy website instead of actually doing something to fix their issues.

One of the worst effects of the State, in my opinion, is that it actually does make crying about it and stealing from other people the easier route.

I'm eternally grateful to my dad for having constantly told me, from about the time I was five years old, that life isn't fair.

Something else my parents constantly told me: I earn what I work for. Things in life aren't guaranteed to be handed to me. Either I can wait around for them to be handed to me, which might take forever, or I can go out and (try to) earn them.

Getting a college degree doesn't guarantee getting a job. That was certainly clear to me when I was a senior in college. So that's why I went out and worked at getting a job lined up, hopefully before I graduated. You could say that some of it was luck, sure, but nothing would've happened had I not taken any initiative.

Of course, there are times when I'm lazy and procrastinate about things. But I never blame the consequences of that on anyone but myself. I made a choice, and now I have to live with it.

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Sphairon replied on Wed, Oct 5 2011 10:55 AM

@Autolykos:

Your post had not yet appeared when I started writing mine, so you're excluded from the scolding. ;)


My understanding is that it's only federal student loans that you can't default on

I'm not sure, but according to this site, the bankruptcy exemption also includes private loans.


It's very hard to convince anyone that free enterprise will make things easier for them when 1) he sees the current system as "free enterprise", or 2) he sees "free enterprise" as how things were in the past

Certainly. But how do you that's the assumption people on the above blog operate under? Most of them just complain about the direness of their situation. Very few mix in politics.


What do you mean by "screwed over"?

The reliability of the job market was very much tied to the housing market as a result of its exceptional bubble status. Almost every supposed "expert", those on government and college payrolls, financial advisors and talking heads, cheered for the never-ending rise in housing values.

Ordinary, hard-working citizens might not have had the time to thoroughly dissect the mechanisms governing the housing market to see what's coming, but every supposedly trustworthy source told them to buy. So they bought, lost their home equity and job when the market crashed and were highly indebted for nothing.

In a very strict reading, yes, they made all the choices. But there was a lot more going on behind the scenes that can be blamed for this mess.


Where's the hope for them in saying that what we advocate would require them to take even more responsibility than they're used to taking?

Maybe they'd be more open to the idea if it wasn't always more responsibility for the tax slaves and more leeway for the overlords.


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I appreciate your posts and I agree. I can't really frame some of these posts as being motivated by anything other than ideology at the moment. I can't imagine any of these posters in the hospital, in debt, or with a family member in the same situation saying, "Well you should have been more responsible, asshole."

Furthermore it's not like these people haven't tried making things better. We've tried it all, and the cards are stacked against us. And I don't think that because we feel screwed over takes away from the fact that the rest of the world is being screwed over by authoritarianism either. Just because someone is probably in a worse situation than me, I can't complain? Just FYI, the same kind of logic could apply to you all complaining about the US. Let's not forget that there are still monarchies out there that are way more violent than the US is. Yet you're all still Libertarians.

Honestly, this is exactly the kind of shit non-libertarians expect from libertarians. You have no empathy for a situation that most of the country finds itself in. And we should support this ideology that lends us no support...why?

Like I said, you all can sit here being right all day long. You can be right when a mob of people charge into the teaparty you're having with world class economists, and you can be right as an angry mob burns down the capitalist infrastructure. Just sit here in you're unsympathetic echo chamber while the rest of the world is in revolt.

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Autolykos replied on Wed, Oct 5 2011 11:38 AM

Sphairon:
Your post had not yet appeared when I started writing mine, so you're excluded from the scolding. ;)

Ah okay. Thanks, I think. :P

Sphairon:
My understanding is that it's only federal student loans that you can't default on

I'm not sure, but according to this site, the bankruptcy exemption also includes private loans.

I'll look into that, thanks.

Sphairon:
It's very hard to convince anyone that free enterprise will make things easier for them when 1) he sees the current system as "free enterprise", or 2) he sees "free enterprise" as how things were in the past

Certainly. But how do you [know] that's the assumption people on the above blog operate under? Most of them just complain about the direness of their situation. Very few mix in politics.

I don't know that. I also didn't look at the blog itself - only at the pictures Wheylous posted.

Sphairon:
What do you mean by "screwed over"?

The reliability of the job market was very much tied to the housing market as a result of its exceptional bubble status. Almost every supposed "expert", those on government and college payrolls, financial advisors and talking heads, cheered for the never-ending rise in housing values.

Ordinary, hard-working citizens might not have had the time to thoroughly dissect the mechanisms governing the housing market to see what's coming, but every supposedly trustworthy source told them to buy. So they bought, lost their home equity and job when the market crashed and were highly indebted for nothing.

In a very strict reading, yes, they made all the choices. But there was a lot more going on behind the scenes that can be blamed for this mess.

It isn't necessarily one's own fault if he loses his job. Certainly it isn't (entirely) his fault if he's laid off. My own mother was laid off from her job less than a week after her husband, my stepfather, died from colon cancer. Do I think that was her own fault? Not really, if at all. But even though we speak of "having a job" and "losing a job", a job isn't something that one owns. Nothing has been taken from you if you're no longer employed by someone.

Likewise, it's not necessarily or entirely one's own fault if he doesn't get a job after getting a college degree. But on the other hand, things like jobs and college degrees aren't guarantees or entitlements. If one doesn't make any effort to get a job, he's guaranteed to not have one.

Trusting someone is also a choice that one makes. He may not know any better, but he still made the choice. What I find ironic is how so many people continue to put their trust in others when those others have given them terrible advice. How many of the Occupy Wall Street protesters are making demands on politicians, of all people?!

Sphairon:
Where's the hope for them in saying that what we advocate would require them to take even more responsibility than they're used to taking?

Maybe they'd be more open to the idea if it wasn't always more responsibility for the tax slaves and more leeway for the overlords.

Good point, and one that I admittedly overlooked. Maybe one thing we can do is try to smash the idea that simply removing people from power is "holding them accountable". I mean, where are the negative sanctions in that? How does the person removed from power actually lose anything?

If anything, I see the kind of society we advocate to be one in which people are held far more accountable far more of the time. So maybe that's a good place to start.

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Autolykos replied on Wed, Oct 5 2011 11:57 AM

Birthday Pony:
I appreciate your posts and I agree. I can't really frame some of these posts as being motivated by anything other than ideology at the moment. I can't imagine any of these posters in the hospital, in debt, or with a family member in the same situation saying, "Well you should have been more responsible, asshole."

Oh really now? Let's see...

My stepfather passed away from colon cancer this summer. I helped my mother pay for his medical insurance. By all accounts, he had very good insurance - my mother claims (I have not verified this independently) that there are no outstanding medical bills in the wake of his death.

My dad has been in chronic debt for literally decades. He makes six figures as an engineer, but has essentially no savings to his name. Nevertheless, he's taking it upon himself to pay me in place of my sister for the money I loaned her for college (which she agreed to pay back within a certain timeframe). He's doing this because she can't really hold up her end of the bargain in the time allotted, but he doesn't want there to be any bad blood between her and me. Keep in mind that this is the same person who told me that life isn't fair, that hard work typically pays off, and that reality often fails to meet our expectations. He should know. By the way, did I mention he only went to college for a year?

I've had friends and relatives who dropped out of college, got laid off and were forced to go into significant debt to pay mortgage and bills, etc. etc. etc. By and large, these people did not try to shirk responsibility for the things they did, whatever those were. First and foremost, they looked for ways to get themselves out of the situations they found themselves in, whether those were their own doing or someone else's. Maybe it's just the kind of people I tend to associate with, I don't know.

I've also known a relative few people who seem to consistently make bad choices in their lives. Usually there's no getting through to those people. I tried and it blew up in my face. So I try not to associate with those people. They can make the beds they lie in. I'm not obligated to lie there with them.

Birthday Pony:
Furthermore it's not like these people haven't tried making things better. We've tried it all, and the cards are stacked against us. And I don't think that because we feel screwed over takes away from the fact that the rest of the world is being screwed over by authoritarianism either. Just because someone is probably in a worse situation than me, I can't complain? Just FYI, the same kind of logic could apply to you all complaining about the US. Let's not forget that there are still monarchies out there that are way more violent than the US is. Yet you're all still Libertarians.

As I've said time and time again, complaining is one thing. We all complain sometimes. Reality doesn't meet our expectations, and we don't like it. That's fine. We don't have to like it. But it's another thing entirely to look at that as if it were an injustice, as if we were necessarily harmed by reality failing to meet our expectations. I think it's tragic for someone to be born with e.g. cystic fibrosis, but I do not think it's an injustice. As much as I would like there to be no one born with such a disease, it nevertheless happens. I'm powerless to stop it, and I recognize and accept that fact.

Birthday Pony:
Honestly, this is exactly the kind of shit non-libertarians expect from libertarians. You have no empathy for a situation that most of the country finds itself in. And we should support this ideology that lends us no support...why?

I empathize with people who've honestly done everything they thought they could do to get out of the situations they've been in. I don't empathize with people who sit on their asses and wait for things to be handed to them, just because. It's a difference between primarily self-reliant people nevertheless being the victims of circumstance, and people who aren't primarily self-reliant blaming everyone else for their problems. I don't know how else to explain it.

But no, I certainly don't expect the latter kind of people to support libertarianism. I expect them to form "zombie hordes" when things get really bad. Trust me, I will defend myself from such hordes to the fullest extent possible.

Birthday Pony:
Like I said, you all can sit here being right all day long. You can be right when a mob of people charge into the teaparty you're having with world class economists, and you can be right as an angry mob burns down the capitalist infrastructure. Just sit here in you're unsympathetic echo chamber while the rest of the world is in revolt.

Are we supposed to be intimidated by this? Or are you trying to say "Nothing you say will matter, because we'll take your stuff regardless"? If the latter, I believe Charlton Heston had an apt reply.

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Greg replied on Wed, Oct 5 2011 1:52 PM

"Like I said, you all can sit here being right all day long. You can be right when a mob of people charge into the teaparty you're having with world class economists, and you can be right as an angry mob burns down the capitalist infrastructure. Just sit here in you're unsympathetic echo chamber while the rest of the world is in revolt."

 

Just WOW. This really seems like the ever-present threat that exists in the entitlement camp - but before I make any assumptions, Birthday Pony, could I ask what your solution might be as opposed to the libertarians around here?

If you have an obligation to be taken care of, that means someone else has an obligation to take care of you. This I think requires proof as to why you MUST be provided for.  I'm very sorry you are in the condition you're in,  I'm just having trouble seeing how your illness amounts to an injustice on someone else's part. (If this is in fact what I'm reading.)

I mean no disrespect, just having trouble understanding. :)

"The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design." - F.A. Hayek
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Maybe if those protesters who are $100,000 in debt stopped buying Apple products, then perhaps they would be able to afford to pay off some of that debt.

As someone else mentioned, there is a cheaper way of getting a worthless college degree; by going to community college and then transferring to a cheap state college.

Also, these protesters have no entrepreneurial spirit at all. They can obviously organize into protests to selfishly demand for goods and services, but they can't (or refuse to) organize to provide goods and services to others.

To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
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Birthday Pony:
Like I said, you all can sit here being right all day long. You can be right when a mob of people charge into the teaparty you're having with world class economists, and you can be right as an angry mob burns down the capitalist infrastructure. Just sit here in you're unsympathetic echo chamber while the rest of the world is in revolt.

If this actually happened, what would be ironic would be that the true l33t "capitalists" would survive in their hidden bunkers while the mob dies off from the lack of food infrastructure. There is no way that entire world could feed itself without John Deer tractors and everything else essential in the current "capitalist" food infrastructure because there would be an immediate huge supply decrease of food. This would be a eugencists wet dream.

To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
Rabbi Lapin: "Let's make bricks!"
Stephan Kinsella: "Say you and I both want to make a German chocolate cake."

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I want to be clear that I'm not making any threat. What I am saying is that no matter how self-evident or universal you think your ideas might be, a good portion of the world, dare I say, a majority seems to not really give a shit or operate on those ideas. At all. This thread is exactly how the rest of the world views libertarians. You're sitting here complaining about all those scallywags in the streets with no empathy at all. You're completely out of touch.

@John James, as long as you know you're making a love it or leave it argument, I have no problem with you telling me I should be thankful we're not all hunter-gatherers anymore and that I can even survive is something worth praising Mises for.

@Everyone else, this is truly the most vulgar of vulgar libertarianism, especially considering that this group of protesters has no stated political intention or goals. They're just protesting against corporate collusion with the government at this point. Most haven't even said they want free health care or college, just that they can't afford it while others profit off of their inability to afford these things.

Its truly ridiculous that there is so much criticism of the protesters and not an ounce of criticism of the people they're protesting from a group that is supposedly anti-corporatist. So maybe the protesters aren't entitled to anything, but what of the bankers? Has Goldman-Sachs made all its money fair and square? Is already existing capitalism the ideal and fair free market already, but it's just hampered by some red tape and beauracracy? Surely enormous corporate banks have benefitted from state aid way more than any of these protesters have.

Furthermore, none of us know all of these individuals life stories. Who are any of you to say that their situation is of their own doing and not of forces outside their control? For one, we don't control how much we're paid. Sure, we could refuse to work, and likely end up homeless and/or starving, in order to raise market prices for labor while the weak die, and I'd love to see any of you volunteer to do that when you're in a similar position.

To some extent, yes, the debt we incur is of our own doing. However, for many there is no way out of debt that can realistically happen in our lifetimes. It is exactly analagous to a slave contract. We had to get a loan, and now we need to spend the rest of our lives paying it off.

But, you guys are fine in your echo chamber, totally disconnected from reality. If you have the ability to truly make it yourself then good for you. That's actually quite impressive and more power to ya. But for most people, we're in a situation or nearing a situation where there is absolutely, positively nothing we can do to afford healthcare, pay off our debt, or exercise any control over things that are enormous factors in our lives.

Complain about how the slaves aren't entitled to eat the food of their masters. I don't really care. But don't be surprised that so many of the slaves hate your ideology, or aren't "reasonable" enough to see how your truly free market would work.

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MaikU replied on Wed, Oct 5 2011 2:35 PM

no, it only means, that majority still believe in "might makes right" rule. That's it. It is reality, true, but it is not permanent. Libertarianism is about change, not static (or status quo).

"Dude... Roderick Long is the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted!" - Evilsceptic

(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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Perhaps, but it seems like only these protesters are the lazy bastards sitting on their asses getting state aid, while the bankers are hard-working businessmen who never got a leg up from the state.

At least according to this board's interpretation.

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We are the 99%.

I want a government that puts PEOPLE before corporate BOTTOM LINES.

It seems I'm not part of that 100% because I don't want goverment at all. Maybe this is a gallup between statists?

-- --- English I not so well sorry I will. I'm not native speaker.
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Then I hope you're not a Ron Paul supporter. He wants a government too.

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Well, at least it seems I was able to ward off your accusation that we're (or, at least, I'm) completely unsympathetic. ;)

Birthday Pony:
I want to be clear that I'm not making any threat. What I am saying is that no matter how self-evident or universal you think your ideas might be, a good portion of the world, dare I say, a majority seems to not really give a shit or operate on those ideas. At all. This thread is exactly how the rest of the world views libertarians. You're sitting here complaining about all those scallywags in the streets with no empathy at all. You're completely out of touch.

Apparently by "out of touch" you mean "unwilling to give in to their demands". If that's the case, then I, for one, am proud to be "out of touch".

Somehow I don't believe you when you say you're not making any threat. You may not be making a direct one, but it still seems to me like you're making an indirect one. I mean, here you are saying that a lot of people disagree with us. The implication seems to be that we better shut up about our ideas, lest we be at the receiving end of some high-fallutin' class warfare. Do I have it about right? If so, then excuse me, but I will absolutely not shut up! How about you try to make me, hmm?

Birthday Pony:
@Everyone else, this is truly the most vulgar of vulgar libertarianism, especially considering that this group of protesters has no stated political intention or goals. They're just protesting against corporate collusion with the government at this point. Most haven't even said they want free health care or college, just that they can't afford it while others profit off of their inability to afford these things.

Occupy Wall Street has an official list of demands now, doesn't it? Where have you been?

Explain how someone, anyone can profit off of anyone else's inability to afford things like health care, college education, etc.

Birthday Pony:
Its truly ridiculous that there is so much criticism of the protesters and not an ounce of criticism of the people they're protesting from a group that is supposedly anti-corporatist. So maybe the protesters aren't entitled to anything, but what of the bankers? Has Goldman-Sachs made all its money fair and square? Is already existing capitalism the ideal and fair free market already, but it's just hampered by some red tape and beauracracy? Surely enormous corporate banks have benefitted from state aid way more than any of these protesters have.

This thread is about the protesters, isn't it? We've made plenty of criticism of government and big business elsewhere, for the mythical Christ's sake. And no, the protesters not (there's no maybe here, seriously) being entitled to anything in no way means that bankers are so entitled. Why would you think we believe otherwise for even one second?

Let me remind you that I personally oppose the very institution of the universally-limited-liability corporation. You seem to have conveniently forgotten that, among other things. I feel like you're trying to make us recant (what you see as) ideological sins or something.

Birthday Pony:
Furthermore, none of us know all of these individuals life stories. Who are any of you to say that their situation is of their own doing and not of forces outside their control? For one, we don't control how much we're paid. Sure, we could refuse to work, and likely end up homeless and/or starving, in order to raise market prices for labor while the weak die, and I'd love to see any of you volunteer to do that when you're in a similar position.

Going into debt, going to college, etc. are choices made by individuals. Am I right or am I wrong? Who am I to say that such choices are of their own doing and not of forces outside of their control? Why, someone who seems to actually understand reality, that's who.

You'd love to see us volunteer to do that when we're in a similar position? Why don't you go ahead? What's stopping you? I mean, really. What are you afraid of?

Birthday Pony:
To some extent, yes, the debt we incur is of our own doing. However, for many there is no way out of debt that can realistically happen in our lifetimes. It is exactly analagous to a slave contract. We had to get a loan, and now we need to spend the rest of our lives paying it off.

When did you have to get a loan, and why? Explain that to me please.

Birthday Pony:
But, you guys are fine in your echo chamber, totally disconnected from reality. If you have the ability to truly make it yourself then good for you. That's actually quite impressive and more power to ya. But for most people, we're in a situation or nearing a situation where there is absolutely, positively nothing we can do to afford healthcare, pay off our debt, or exercise any control over things that are enormous factors in our lives.

Thanks for finally being honest about how powerless you feel. I, for one, refuse to feel that way, no matter what situation I'm in. That's the difference between people like you and people like me. You've already given up. I categorically refuse to ever do so.

Birthday Pony:
Complain about how the slaves aren't entitled to eat the food of their masters. I don't really care. But don't be surprised that so many of the slaves hate your ideology, or aren't "reasonable" enough to see how your truly free market would work.

I'm not surprised at all, to be honest. Disappointed, absolutely - but not surprised. Do you think I've ever acted otherwise?

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"Somehow I don't believe you when you say you're not making any threat. You may not be making a direct one, but it still seems to me like you're making an indirect one. I mean, here you are saying that a lot of people disagree with us. The implication seems to be that we better shut up about our ideas, lest we be at the receiving end of some high-fallutin' class warfare. Do I have it about right? If so, then excuse me, but I will absolutely not shut up! How about you try to make me, hmm?"

Oh, Autolykos. I feel so bad for you. I'm always implicitly threatening you, and ordering you to answer things that are common to philosophical discussion. Let's spare ourselves the useless accusations. I know full well that most the people here are, literally, in the 99% (although not the movement).

"Explain how someone, anyone can profit off of anyone else's inability to afford things like health care, college education, etc."

Predatory loans?

"Let me remind you that I personally oppose the very institution of the universally-limited-liability corporation. You seem to have conveniently forgotten that, among other things. I feel like you're trying to make us recant (what you see as) ideological sins or something."

And that may be the case. I'd love to see people here say that LLCs should be protested, and that maybe libertarians should have a presence at this rally. And I'd love to see some criticism of slave contracts at the same time.

But instantly everyone assumes that these protesters feel entitled to something. They're lazy, unaccountable, and all their problems are a result of their choices and not the system fucking them over. Maybe you're opinion is different. I'd like to see as much.

"Going into debt, going to college, etc. are choices made by individuals. Am I right or am I wrong? Who am I to say that such choices are of their own doing and not of forces outside of their control? Why, someone who seems to actually understand reality, that's who."

Going to college, sure. There is something to be said about how state institutions have pushed people towards college, but hell, I'll grant you that. Seeking healthcare on the other hand, I'm not so sure. I don't find it unreasonable to seek healthcare you know you can't afford in order to stay alive. Nor do I find it unreasonable to protest that you find yourself in the equivalent of a slave contract once you're out of the hospital.

And as far as loans go, yes, it is a slave contract. I don't know your position of slave contracts. I'd assume you're against them.

"You'd love to see us volunteer to do that when we're in a similar position? Why don't you go ahead? What's stopping you? I mean, really. What are you afraid of?"

I'm afraid of dying. That's why I take political action to demand things like better wages or benefits, because the market solution has the risk of dying.

"When did you have to get a loan, and why? Explain that to me please."

I have yet to need one, luckily. I'm using the pronoun we instead of I because I consider myself an individual that is part of this larger movement and this larger class of people. I know everyone here is a rugged individualist building log cabins in the woods and putting up a gadsten flag that says "don't tread on me," but I like living with people, and I enjoy aligning myselfs with those I feel empathetic too because I enjoy when they align themselves with me. But now I'm talking mutual aid communist Russian garbage.

"Thanks for finally being honest about how powerless you feel. I, for one, refuse to feel that way, no matter what situation I'm in. That's the difference between people like you and people like me. You've already given up. I categorically refuse to ever do so."

That's why I protest and why I support these protesters. As far as the currently "legitimate" routes go, there's not much I can do. So, I protest. I make demands.

 

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Birthday Pony:
Oh, Autolykos. I feel so bad for you. I'm always implicitly threatening you, and ordering you to answer things that are common to philosophical discussion. Let's spare ourselves the useless accusations. I know full well that most the people here are, literally, in the 99% (although not the movement).

Don't worry, I feel so bad for you too.

If you expect this to change my attitude in any way, you're wrong. You can't intimidate me, because I won't let you. I don't even care whether you recognize or accept this - it makes no difference to me either way.

Birthday Pony:
"Explain how someone, anyone can profit off of anyone else's inability to afford things like health care, college education, etc."

Predatory loans?

What do you call "predatory loans"?

Birthday Pony:
"Let me remind you that I personally oppose the very institution of the universally-limited-liability corporation. You seem to have conveniently forgotten that, among other things. I feel like you're trying to make us recant (what you see as) ideological sins or something."

And that may be the case. I'd love to see people here say that LLCs should be protested, and that maybe libertarians should have a presence at this rally. And I'd love to see some criticism of slave contracts at the same time.

But instantly everyone assumes that these protesters feel entitled to something. They're lazy, unaccountable, and all their problems are a result of their choices and not the system fucking them over. Maybe you're opinion is different. I'd like to see as much.

That "may be" the case. Riiight.

You should already know what my position is. You already know I oppose the institution of the universally-limited-liability corporation. Do you really expect me to remind you of this all over the place? Unbelievable.

FYI, I don't see this Occupy Wall Street thing as necessarily or entirely a bad thing. For someone who loves to accuse others of making lots of assumptions, you seem to make just as many - if not more! - yourself. For example, you seem to have assumed, based on my statements in this thread alone, that I have no problem at all with how big business exists and operates today. What, pray tell, is your evidence for that? Just because I'm not a fan of people who aren't primarily self-reliant. That's a non sequitur if I've ever seen one.

You see, it's not an either-or thing. One can be against both big corrupt business, big corrupt government, and people who think and act as if the world/universe owes them a living (and lots of free goodies).

Birthday Pony:
"Going into debt, going to college, etc. are choices made by individuals. Am I right or am I wrong? Who am I to say that such choices are of their own doing and not of forces outside of their control? Why, someone who seems to actually understand reality, that's who."

Going to college, sure. There is something to be said about how state institutions have pushed people towards college, but hell, I'll grant you that. Seeking healthcare on the other hand, I'm not so sure. I don't find it unreasonable to seek healthcare you know you can't afford in order to stay alive. Nor do I find it unreasonable to protest that you find yourself in the equivalent of a slave contract once you're out of the hospital.

And as far as loans go, yes, it is a slave contract. I don't know your position of slave contracts. I'd assume you're against them.

You'll "grant" me that, hmm? How magnanimous of you.

If you prefer staying alive at any cost - to yourself or to others - then I don't think it's legitimate to complain about the onerous medical debt you've taken on for yourself. Nothing in this world is free. You can't have your cake and eat it too, and no amount of complaining, protesting, agitating, etc. about it is going to change that fact.

With that said, a contract that is structured such that the borrower will always and necessarily be beholden to the lender (i.e. for his entire life) is what I'd call a "slave contract". Furthermore, I'd consider it a type of fraud.

Birthday Pony:
"You'd love to see us volunteer to do that when we're in a similar position? Why don't you go ahead? What's stopping you? I mean, really. What are you afraid of?"

I'm afraid of dying. That's why I take political action to demand things like better wages or benefits, because the market solution has the risk of dying.

What exactly do you mean by "political action"? Plenty of Bolsheviks, for example, took political action which lead to their deaths (i.e. Stalin's purges of the Old Bolsheviks). So don't tell me that political action carries no risk of death with it.

On the other hand, I can certainly understand and sympathize with the fear of dying. As you should already know, I'm not entirely unsympathetic. But again, I hope you understand that it's up to you and only you as to what you do. If you choose not to do something that you otherwise could do, I don't think you can legitimately blame anyone but yourself.

Birthday Pony:
"When did you have to get a loan, and why? Explain that to me please."

I have yet to need one, luckily. I'm using the pronoun we instead of I because I consider myself an individual that is part of this larger movement and this larger class of people. I know everyone here is a rugged individualist building log cabins in the woods and putting up a gadsten flag that says "don't tread on me," but I like living with people, and I enjoy aligning myselfs with those I feel empathetic too because I enjoy when they align themselves with me. But now I'm talking mutual aid communist Russian garbage.

Dude, come on. You don't really believe that the rest of us are all such hermits. What are you trying to accomplish, exactly, in saying otherwise?

With that said, I guess I didn't word my question very well. What I meant was, when does anyone ever have to get a loan? The answer is, no one ever has to. They choose to. Even if getting a loan would somehow save your life, you still choose to get it - or not.

Birthday Pony:
"Thanks for finally being honest about how powerless you feel. I, for one, refuse to feel that way, no matter what situation I'm in. That's the difference between people like you and people like me. You've already given up. I categorically refuse to ever do so."

That's why I protest and why I support these protesters. As far as the currently "legitimate" routes go, there's not much I can do. So, I protest. I make demands.

I consider making demands of politicians to be completely counter-productive. Furthermore, I think people who do so are playing right into the politicians' hands without realizing it.

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Oh please, Autolykos. A simple, "dude, I'm not saying that" would have been reciprocated with "alright, then I'm not talking to you." I'm in no way trying to intimidate you, but despite my saying so on other threads, you still think I am. At this point, you think I'm just trying to single-handedly intimidate everyone into shutting up. Feeling like you're being persecuted is something you've got to deal with, not me. I can say I'm not trying to intimidate you all I want. It doesn't seem to change anything. As far as reading for authorial intention goes, it looks like you're not doing such a good job.

Furthermore, I don't think there's been a point where I've said that someone had to get a loan, but that the results of their loans, debt, etc. are de facto slave contracts.

I appreciate that you're not unsympathetic. And after the choices I have made, I plan to protest the choices made by others that make my situation harder than it has to be. I plan to chose to protest as the autonomous individual that I am in solidarity with folks in similar situations when the occupy movement comes to my town. I think protesting is just as much a legitimate choice as doing more conventional market things. I'm going to fight back because I and people I identify with are finding themselves in a situation that is near to or exactly analogous to a slave contract.

As far as the demands thing goes, that's an ongoing debate in activist cricles, and I agree to some extent. But I don't think all demands are demands that can be met by politicians. Demands are a way of organizing strategically. You can demand that the WTO conference is shut down, for example, and then take it upon yourself to see it happen (as the protesters in 99 did).

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Sphairon:
Oh, come on, people, have some empathy, will ya? The "every-man-for-himself" mentality that oozes out in this thread is exactly what people misunderstand libertarianism for.

It's not "every-man-for-himself".  That is a caricature invented by people who don't like to be told they aren't entitled to something they didn't earn.  The mentality is "every man is responsible for himself".  There is a big difference.  The mentality is that to claim someone else owes you something just because they have more than you, or they have something you want, is asinine.

 

So some of these people have accrued student loans. Yes, they made the choice to go to college and apply for these loans. But their teachers, family, the media, banks and politicians encouraged them to.

Yes, and that sucks.  But so does making any mistake.  Does that mean other people are supposed to be obligated to bail you out of your bad choices?  If your friends convinced you it was a good idea to try to rob a conveinience store, and that went bad and you ended up killing a guy and getting life in prison...we're supposed to say "oh...well, I mean his friends encouraged him to do it, so...you know.  Here's a do-over.  No prob."

I don't understand what exactly you're advocating here.

 

Not all of them wasted their time and money on obviously unmarketable degrees.

And most of those people aren't the ones complaining, now are they.

 

And how come student loans are the only kind of debt you cannot default on? This is clearly a rigged system set up for the benefit of the college and banking cartels. Stop blaming the poor saps that got suckered in.

So your position is what...that we should be blaming a third party for someone's choices?
 

Others have severe medical conditions that they can't afford to get treated. Why? Well, for starters, government severely restricts the market for medical services with their licensing requirements (and of course, many licenses have to be earned in the restricted medical school market - one rigged system feeds the others), it artificially increases the price of drugs with its patent laws and it destroyed the voluntary associations that made health care affordable for the working man a century ago.

Basically you mean all the people bitching got exactly what they wanted...it just so happens the actual outcomes of those policies were the exact opposite of what they intended.

 

Sphairon:
Libertarians should be staunchly opposed to the current US medical system and communicate this clearly.

They are.  And they try to.  But it's a little hard to be heard over all the whining, bitching, and calling for more government regulation.

 

Then there's people who lost their homes. Yes, they couldn't pay the mortgage, so it's technically not their homes anymore. But the current mess in the housing market is the making of Federal Reserve and FedGov policy. The system screwed these people over.

Again, because "these people" made it politically profitable for people in government to force banks to give loans to people who couldn't pay them back.  Politicians would not have been interested in lowering lending standards if it had saying things like "home ownership is at an all time high" and "we want everyone to own their home" had not been useful in getting them re-elected.

 

And the reason why many can't find jobs is, of course, the economic hardship that is a direct result of the credit-induced boom-and-bust cycle.

Which the very same people we're talking about made possible.  But even if we choose not to hold them responsible for any of the blame for their current situation...I'm still not clear what it is exactly you're proposing.

 

You see, instead of blaming these people for a situation they largely had no control over, how about offering them some hope that's not based on the traditional leftist solutions?

In case you haven't noticed, that's what libertarians have been trying to do for decades.  Ever heard of a guy named Ron Paul?  I wouldn't be surprised if you hadn't, seeing as he's been largely ignored for the past 30 years.  You might look him up though.  It might help you to see how people don't want to hear anything that's not based in traditional leftist "solutions" centered around economically illiterate notions, egalitarian nonsense, and despicably audacious entitlement beliefs.

 

Or do you really think not staining yourselves with the problems of the ailing middle class for the sake of ideological purity will advance your position?

Again, how exactly are you suggesting libertarians "stain themselves" with the problems leftists and their ideas have created for everyone?

 

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Birthday Pony:

Then I hope you're not a Ron Paul supporter. He wants a government too.

This is your best post ever. It actual tests the hardcore an-caps.

In my case, I support Ron Paul when is trying to reduce the state, but I would also disagree with him when a stance he has would be pro-state.

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Birthday Pony:
"Explain how someone, anyone can profit off of anyone else's inability to afford things like health care, college education, etc."

Predatory loans?

Ha! Who ever owned that paper in 2008 either got wiped out or got bailed out by the state.

"Let me remind you that I personally oppose the very institution of the universally-limited-liability corporation. You seem to have conveniently forgotten that, among other things. I feel like you're trying to make us recant (what you see as) ideological sins or something."

And that may be the case. I'd love to see people here say that LLCs should be protested, and that maybe libertarians should have a presence at this rally. And I'd love to see some criticism of slave contracts at the same time.

Since the limited liabilty in this case is enforced by the state, I am against it.

"Going into debt, going to college, etc. are choices made by individuals. Am I right or am I wrong? Who am I to say that such choices are of their own doing and not of forces outside of their control? Why, someone who seems to actually understand reality, that's who."

Going to college, sure. There is something to be said about how state institutions have pushed people towards college, but hell, I'll grant you that. Seeking healthcare on the other hand, I'm not so sure. I don't find it unreasonable to seek healthcare you know you can't afford in order to stay alive. Nor do I find it unreasonable to protest that you find yourself in the equivalent of a slave contract once you're out of the hospital.

So we agree that the statist healthcare system must be gotten rid of.

And as far as loans go, yes, it is a slave contract. I don't know your position of slave contracts. I'd assume you're against them.

So, the obvious problem here is that both of you were using different defitions

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Birthday Pony:
Oh please, Autolykos. A simple, "dude, I'm not saying that" would have been reciprocated with "alright, then I'm not talking to you." I'm in no way trying to intimidate you, but despite my saying so on other threads, you still think I am. At this point, you think I'm just trying to single-handedly intimidate everyone into shutting up. Feeling like you're being persecuted is something you've got to deal with, not me. I can say I'm not trying to intimidate you all I want. It doesn't seem to change anything. As far as reading for authorial intention goes, it looks like you're not doing such a good job.

My experience has been that a lot of "debating", both on and off the internet, is really just trying to shut the other person(s) up. Most purely rhetorical "debating" techniques seem to be designed for exactly this purpose in mind.

It's hard for me to not take it as at least an implicit threat when someone talks about how many people think, or are going to end up thinking, that it's perfectly fine to steal from others who they really don't like. To me the following hidden rejoinder readily presents itself: "So, if you know what's good for you, you better get on their good side!" If you honest-to-mythical-God don't mean that, then I'll gladly stand corrected. Past experience is hardly a perfect or even accurate predictor of future experience.

Birthday Pony:
Furthermore, I don't think there's been a point where I've said that someone had to get a loan, but that the results of their loans, debt, etc. are de facto slave contracts.

You used the phrase "have to get a loan" a couple posts or so earlier. That's what I was responding to.

Birthday Pony:
I appreciate that you're not unsympathetic. And after the choices I have made, I plan to protest the choices made by others that make my situation harder than it has to be. I plan to chose to protest as the autonomous individual that I am in solidarity with folks in similar situations when the occupy movement comes to my town. I think protesting is just as much a legitimate choice as doing more conventional market things. I'm going to fight back because I and people I identify with are finding themselves in a situation that is near to or exactly analogous to a slave contract.

Those choices are entirely up to you. However, my suggestion is that these Occupy Wall Street protesters head to Washington, D.C. and state capitols - at least in addition to where they already are. The bankster bail-outs and so forth were the work of both government and big business.

In the end, as long as you don't try to take my stuff or otherwise hurt me, I have no problem. Rest assured that I won't try to do that to you either.

Birthday Pony:
As far as the demands thing goes, that's an ongoing debate in activist cricles, and I agree to some extent. But I don't think all demands are demands that can be met by politicians. Demands are a way of organizing strategically. You can demand that the WTO conference is shut down, for example, and then take it upon yourself to see it happen (as the protesters in 99 did).

From what I understand, disagreement over lists of demands is a big factor in the splintering and sub-splintering of activist groups. But I could be wrong. Regardless, I can't say I agree with really any of the "official" demands put out by Occupy Wall Street thus far. And I still think that making any demands of politicians (aside from immediate and final resignation) is "doing it wrong".

The keyboard is mightier than the gun.

Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.

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