U.S. Politics - Page 254 - CyclingNews Forum

Go Back   CyclingNews Forum > Cafe > General

General Grab a short black and come join in the non-cycling discussion. Favourite books, movies, holiday destinations, other sports - chat about it all in the cafe.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #2531  
Old 04-16-12, 19:55
rhubroma's Avatar
rhubroma rhubroma is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 5,418
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott SoCal View Post
Blutto and Rhub, this one's for you.







Boom. Bang on.


http://www.realclearpolitics.com/art...by_113847.html
To equate happiness with an economic status, or even to attempt to quantify it in terms of prosperity, seems to be a peculiarly American obsession, which, frankly, most people here find rather bizarre.

My concerns are about the gross imbalances and injustices the capitalist system has produced, not happiness, which I honestly couldn't care less about. Seneca said we spend our entire life "learning how to live." If there is any happiness in it, then I suppose one would find it here; that is in a life that's learned how to live, and certainly not in the base acquisition of material wealth. It is thus a question of the spirit, rather than something concerning the material.

On the other hand, the amount of misery around the world today given the abundant resources and wealth the developed states enjoy is appalling. Whereas misery begets suffering, which excludes happiness either of the spirit or the material. The past would not have offered either the mechanisms or the culture to make things different, by contrast what’s largely missing today is the culture. This is the point upon which I believe our efforts need to be focused. At least, one would hope, our political and economic models would work to alleviate that globally, rather than exacerbate what has already become intolerable.

The Third World was not so miserable before the global market set in, as anyone that's traveled there is fully aware. It is not the responsibility of government to provide "happiness" to the people, which In any case is not possible. However it is the moral responsibility of civilization to work toward trying to establish greater balance between the haves and the have-nots, to thus work toward the relief of misery, rather than promote it. All the economic statistics tell us that this is simply not the case. One statistic alone is telling: the difference separating the richest nations and the poorest 500 years ago was no more than 5 times as great anywhere, today it is about 500 times greater. Between thus being a distributor of “happiness” or one of misery, there must be a fortuitous middle ground. This seems to me to be the most we can ask of our institutions, instead what we get is mendacity and prepotency on an unprecedented scale. Sachs inquiry is thus based upon a misguided metaphor, still less is it about repealing the "human condition;" however all the conventional notions of progress have, in some shape or form, contained value asessments connected with its enhancement. Whereas the real problem we face as a civilization resides in a total absence of paradigms indicating the pathways of long term solutions.

Last edited by rhubroma; 04-16-12 at 20:30.
Reply With Quote
  #2532  
Old 04-16-12, 20:12
Scott SoCal
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by VeloCity View Post
So which is it? Austerity is the way to go ie Krugman is wrong about Europe? Or is it that Krugman is right in that we should be doing the opposite of what Europe is doing? But in the US, it's the Rs that want to do what some European countries are doing - Spain, for eg, with massive spending cuts and severe austerity programs - and it's Obama and the Ds that support stimulus spending.

So really, isn't Spain basically doing almost exactly what Rs want to do in the US?
I'm not sure there is only two choices here.

Krugman may be correct for less pain in the near term.

But when would you suggest Spain correct their structural problems?
Reply With Quote
  #2533  
Old 04-16-12, 20:26
VeloCity's Avatar
VeloCity VeloCity is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 3,096
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott SoCal View Post
Blutto and Rhub, this one's for you.







Boom. Bang on.


http://www.realclearpolitics.com/art...by_113847.html
From the article:

Quote:
They're more likely to have homogeneous populations with fewer ethnic, religious and geographic conflicts.
That's laughable. "Here, let me make sweeping generalizations based on ridiculous stereotypes so I can conveniently remove the 10 countries in front of us and hey, we're #1! USA, USA!" What "ethnic" or "religious" or "geographic" conflicts do we have here in the US, exactly?

And btw, if you're arguing that economic gain makes for a happier society and a happier people, then shouldn't you be supporting social programs that limit poverty?
Reply With Quote
  #2534  
Old 04-16-12, 20:42
Scott SoCal
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by VeloCity View Post
From the article:

That's laughable. "Here, let me make sweeping generalizations based on ridiculous stereotypes so I can conveniently remove the 10 countries in front of us and hey, we're #1! USA, USA!" What "ethnic" or "religious" or "geographic" conflicts do we have here in the US, exactly?

And btw, if you're arguing that economic gain makes for a happier society and a happier people, then shouldn't you be supporting social programs that limit poverty?
I think the article makes the point that happiness is not merely an absence of misery.

From the article;

On the most comprehensive list, the United States ranks 11th out of 156 countries. Here are the top 10 and their populations: Denmark, 5.6 million; Finland, 5.4 million; Norway, 5 million; Netherlands, 16.7 million; Canada, 34.8 million; Switzerland, 7.9 million; Sweden, 9.5 million; New Zealand, 4.4 million; Australia, 22.9 million; and Ireland, 4.6 million.

All these countries share one common characteristic: They're small in population and, except Canada and Australia, land mass. Small countries enjoy an advantage in the happiness derby. They're more likely to have homogeneous populations with fewer ethnic, religious and geographic conflicts. This minimizes one potentially large source of unhappiness. Among big countries, the United States ranks first.


if you would kindly point out the "sweeping generalizations based on ridiculous stereotypes so I can conveniently remove the 10 countries in front of us..." it would be helpful to me. Thanks.
Reply With Quote
  #2535  
Old 04-16-12, 20:46
Scott SoCal
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by blutto View Post
...so let me get this straight...the site that had that article was called REAL CLEAR Politics....okie dokie....

...hint...if you are in the business of backfilling a position use top quality fill...long-term maintenance costs are much lower....

Cheers

blutto
Being unfamiliar with the web site explains only a little.

Hint; When in a hole, stop digging by first putting down the shovel.
Reply With Quote
  #2536  
Old 04-16-12, 20:49
rhubroma's Avatar
rhubroma rhubroma is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 5,418
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott SoCal View Post
I think the article makes the point that happiness is not merely an absence of misery...
Of course the corollary to this is that the presence of misery excludes any form or possibility of happiness. So what, really, is your point Scott? That to work toward the alleviation of misery, since this won't guarantee "happiness," is therefore an unworthy cause? Especially since it might curb my lifestyle?

Briliant!

It would seem to follow that the objectives of the economy should, therefore, be neither to produce "happiness" (which is admittedly absurd) nor eradicate misery (because inconsequential, in so far as being no guarantee of the former): but stimulate wealth for its own sake. Where this resides and to what general consequences, is not contemplated in the rules of the game though. And so we're back to square one.

PS. Never leave the hunters unattended to while the hunting season is on.

Last edited by rhubroma; 04-16-12 at 21:30.
Reply With Quote
  #2537  
Old 04-16-12, 21:23
VeloCity's Avatar
VeloCity VeloCity is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 3,096
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott SoCal View Post
IAll these countries share one common characteristic: They're small in population and, except Canada and Australia, land mass. Small countries enjoy an advantage in the happiness derby. They're more likely to have homogeneous populations with fewer ethnic, religious and geographic conflicts. This minimizes one potentially large source of unhappiness. Among big countries, the United States ranks first.[/I]

if you would kindly point out the "sweeping generalizations based on ridiculous stereotypes so I can conveniently remove the 10 countries in front of us..." it would be helpful to me. Thanks.
It's right there. Those countries aren't exactly homogeneous. On a per capita basis, some of them have higher rates of immigration than does the US - Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, all have more immigrants as a percentage of their national population than does the US, with Sweden right behind the US. Canada is one of the most ethnically diverse countries on the planet - half of Toronto's population was born outside of the country, the highest percentage of any North American city including New York. And there's nothing in the US that even comes close to Quebec.

It's a strawman argument meant to portray those countries in the stereotype of the American right - they're small (that's true, in terms of population) and homogenous (not true, to varying degrees) - for the sole purpose of being able to conveniently dismiss them.

A more fair comparison would be between the US and the EU as a whole. But I don't think Samuelsson would be happy with that answer.

And as an aside, how does the argument that they're homogeneous square with the right's talking point about how one of the problems with Europe is its rampant multiculturalism and how it's being taken over by Muslims and Third-World immigrants?

Last edited by VeloCity; 04-16-12 at 21:45.
Reply With Quote
  #2538  
Old 04-16-12, 21:37
Scott SoCal
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhubroma View Post
Of course the corollary to this is that the presence of misery excludes any form or possibility of happiness. So what, really, is your point Scott? That to work toward the alleviation of misery, since this won't guarantee "happiness," is therefore an unworthy cause? Especially since it might curb my lifestyle?

Briliant!

It would seem to follow that the objectives of the economy should, therefore, be neither to produce "happiness" (which is admittedly absurd) nor eradicate misery (because inconsequential, in so far as being no guarantee of the former): but stimulate wealth for its own sake. Where this resides and to what general consequences, is not contemplated in the rules of the game though. And so we're back to square one.

PS. Never leave the hunters unattended to while the hunting season is on.
Quote:
So what, really, is your point Scott?
The authors point is "We ought to leave "happiness" to novelists and philosophers -- and rescue it from the economists and psychologists who think it can be distilled into a "science" and translated into pro-happiness policies."

And "The happiness movement is often anti-growth." Sound familiar??

And "All rich societies already try to balance economic growth with social justice, security and environmental progress. The happiness movement would merely impose more intervention."

I think the author speaks directly to you. That is my point.
Reply With Quote
  #2539  
Old 04-16-12, 21:45
Scott SoCal
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by VeloCity View Post
It's right there. Those countries aren't exactly homogenous. On a per capita basis, some of them have higher rates of immigration than does the US - Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, all have more immigrants as a percentage of their national population than does the US, with Sweden right behind the US. Canada is one of the most ethnically diverse countries on the planet - half of Toronto's population was born outside of the country, the highest percentage of any North American city including New York. And there's nothing in the US that even comes close to Quebec.

It's a strawman argument meant to portray those countries in the stereotype of the American right - they're small (that's true, in terms of population) and homogenous (not true, to varying degrees) - for the sole purpose of being able to conveniently dismiss them.

A more fair comparison would be between the US and the EU as a whole. But I don't think Samuelsson would be happy with that answer.

And as an aside, how does that square with the right's talking point about how one of the problems with Europe is its rampant multiculturalism and how it's being taken over by Muslims and Third-World immigrants?
They're more likely to have homogeneous populations.

What does "more likely" mean to you?

Quote:
And as an aside, how does that square with the right's talking point about how one of the problems with Europe is its rampant multiculturalism and how it's being taken over by Muslims and Third-World immigrants?
You didn't read the article... ok. If you did then you would know he talks about the EU...

Quote:
Look at the European Union. As its growth has dropped, unemployment has risen to 10.2 percent. And unemployment reduces well-being, says the happiness report, through lower income and the "loss of social status, self-esteem, (and) workplace social life."
He could be describing the US.

Last edited by Scott SoCal; 04-16-12 at 21:48.
Reply With Quote
  #2540  
Old 04-16-12, 21:48
rhubroma's Avatar
rhubroma rhubroma is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 5,418
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott SoCal View Post
The authors point is "We ought to leave "happiness" to novelists and philosophers -- and rescue it from the economists and psychologists who think it can be distilled into a "science" and translated into pro-happiness policies."

And "The happiness movement is often anti-growth." Sound familiar??

And "All rich societies already try to balance economic growth with social justice, security and environmental progress. The happiness movement would merely impose more intervention."

I think the author speaks directly to you. That is my point.
That I've never advocated "happiness" in any of the reasons behind my criticisms, means that he can hardly be speaking directly to moi.

Once again you have applied an incorrect thinking to your analysis.

Whereas I view what your kind refers to as "anti-growth," as a salubrious "happy downsizing;" maybe the only remedy to the economic malaise of which our society is currently afflicted.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 21:26.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2006 - 2009 Future Publishing Limited. All rights reserved. Future Publishing Limited is part of the Future plc group. Future Publishing Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with company registration number 2008885 whose registered office is at Beauford Court 30 Monmouth Street Bath, UK BA1 2BW England.