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  • #46
    Milton Friedman corrects some widely held myths.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNc-xhH8kkk&t=1802s

    The myth he doesn't discuss is one that in a weird sort of way both the left and right share. To paraphrase Jordan Peterson the right believes there is a job for everyone if they just tried harder and the left believes that anyone can be trained to do most jobs. Increasingly as society becomes more complex both are wrong. 20 percent of the population has an IQ that makes productive employment challenging.

    Another myth he doesn't address is that rugged individualism conquered the west. Free land granted to the railroads by the government made the western railroads marginally profitable and free land granted to migrants made populating the west possible. Would we have been better off if over a longer period of time market forces had driven the process, that is another discussion because that is not what happened.

    I could go on discussing the things Friedman doesn't discuss but I'm only interested in one issue. That both the left and the right fail to see the cause of social failure which is the failure of individuals to adopt an ethical code of individual responsibility for the long term interests of society. One side believes ethics will collectively evolve and the other that they should be collectively imposed. Both sides also believe that it is an educational problem. I would argue it is not so much an educational problem a failure of the belief in the future over multiple generations and a lack of respect for the contributions of past generations.

    There seems to be a natural decline in ethics related to luxus. It is not luxury specifically but excess. The relationship between excess and necessity, the trivial and practical. Meanings change in relationship to environment and with meaning values.
    We hunt the hunters

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    • #47
      What I'm trying to say is that it is important that we have a shared mythology and that it is the right mythology.
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      • #48
        Originally posted by wolfhnd View Post
        Milton Friedman corrects some widely held myths.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNc-xhH8kkk&t=1802s

        The myth he doesn't discuss is one that in a weird sort of way both the left and right share. To paraphrase Jordan Peterson the right believes there is a job for everyone if they just tried harder and the left believes that anyone can be trained to do most jobs. Increasingly as society becomes more complex both are wrong. 20 percent of the population has an IQ that makes productive employment challenging.
        Not to mention anywhere up to half, or more, of the population are physically unable to do many jobs, and another 30% don't have the intellect to do the other 50% of jobs. For example, only about a third of the population has a college degree. Most of those are liberal arts degrees. Therefore something like maybe 15% of the population are really suited for highly technical jobs and positions. There are many jobs that require considerable levels of physical capacity and not everyone, in fact most people, are unsuited for these types of vocation.

        But, all that doesn't preclude almost anyone from finding and doing a job suited to them. A major stumbling block today is that government provides a wide "safety net" to people that lets them slide on working. In fact, there are people that have made it their job to get the government to pay them to do nothing.

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        • #49
          For example the Achilles heel of the American experiment was slavery. Slavery was corrosive to the shared myth of individual liberty and individual responsibility. The history of slavery is now being used to deconstruct individual responsibility further undermining social stability. Even abolitionists were inclined towards a paternal attitude towards slaves with an inclination towards making them wards of their own benevolence. Frederick Douglass had the following to say.

          "Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us... If the negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall... All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone... Just let him alone... Your interference is doing him positive injury... Let him fall if he cannot stand alone! If the Negro cannot live by the line of eternal justice, so beautifully pictured to you... the fault will not be yours, it will be his... Let him live or die by that. If you will only untie his hands, and give him a chance, I think he will live."
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          • #50
            Originally posted by wolfhnd View Post
            For example the Achilles heel of the American experiment was slavery. Slavery was corrosive to the shared myth of individual liberty and individual responsibility. The history of slavery is now being used to deconstruct individual responsibility further undermining social stability. Even abolitionists were inclined towards a paternal attitude towards slaves with an inclination towards making them wards of their own benevolence. Frederick Douglass had the following to say.

            "Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us... If the negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall... All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone... Just let him alone... Your interference is doing him positive injury... Let him fall if he cannot stand alone! If the Negro cannot live by the line of eternal justice, so beautifully pictured to you... the fault will not be yours, it will be his... Let him live or die by that. If you will only untie his hands, and give him a chance, I think he will live."
            Actually, slavery in America has taken many forms, only one of them involving the Negro. It has also involved groups including the Irish, the Chinese and children, and yet everything is framed in terms of blacks. The true irony of this is that slavery was brought about by African blacks willingly rounding up and selling off other African blacks in order to make a profit, something totally ignored by all historians. Without those willing suppliers, there would have been no African slavery since no European could survive in inland Africa for long at that time. Certainly not long enough to round up salves for themselves.

            Man is hardwired to take advantage of others in any way possible, especially as a means to advance themselves and to gain money and power. Slavery is still going on today, especially in Africa itself, and that says it all.

            Slavery was not "corrosive to the myth of individual liberty and responsibility" as you infer since slaves were not part of the newly forming American nation in the way that immigrants and others were. The same was true throughout all of the European and other slave-using nations as well. Slaves were property, not citizens, and thus not considered as part of the "individual liberty and responsibility" equation.

            The primary problem involved in discussing things like slavery is taking into account the mindset and political and economic realities of the time, rather than the incredibly liberal standards of today.
            Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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            • #51
              Which form of slavery was written into the constitution ultimately leading to States rights being unworkable and the issue settled by abusing the same constitution in a civil war. Since new constitutional rights continued to be abused the federal government was required to impose civil rights on the states more or less by force a few decades ago. No amount of historical perspective alters the cause and effect relationship that continues to this day. The historical perspective is that slavery was already so unpopular at the time of the revolution that it was not enforced uniformly and could not be resolved peacefully as it was by the British 30 years before it was in the U.S. Since it was so antithetical to "life liberty and the pursuit of happiness" it could be argued it only was agreed upon to form the lose confederation necessary for revolution. From day one it was a ticking time bomb.

              As to whether it was corrosive or not, beyond the practical consequences of political division, it's effect on the failure to form an agreed on mythology are self evident. You could argue it was racism not the institution itself that was divisive but that isn't reflected in the experience of Britain. The U.S. had a very different mythology in which class was of less importance and a myth based on equality and individual responsibility. That which didn't exist, the myths that hold society together, could not be eroded in Britain nor lead to long term instability and social division as seen to this day in the U.S. The price for hypocrisy can be high indeed.
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              • #52
                Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post

                Not to mention anywhere up to half, or more, of the population are physically unable to do many jobs, and another 30% don't have the intellect to do the other 50% of jobs. For example, only about a third of the population has a college degree. Most of those are liberal arts degrees. Therefore something like maybe 15% of the population are really suited for highly technical jobs and positions. There are many jobs that require considerable levels of physical capacity and not everyone, in fact most people, are unsuited for these types of vocation.

                But, all that doesn't preclude almost anyone from finding and doing a job suited to them. A major stumbling block today is that government provides a wide "safety net" to people that lets them slide on working. In fact, there are people that have made it their job to get the government to pay them to do nothing.
                The safety net is certainly a moral hazard but that is only the case if morality is based on a mythology of individual responsibility.
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                • #53
                  Originally posted by wolfhnd View Post

                  The safety net is certainly a moral hazard but that is only the case if morality is based on a mythology of individual responsibility.
                  If individual responsibility is a myth as you maintain, then there is no basis for civilization as we know it. Even the Bible says that "I am not my brother's keeper."

                  Sounds like you're advocating for a return to dictatorships in which individual responsibility, and freedoms, cease to exist. One thing, however, is absolutely certain: a vast, expensive welfare state is not the answer. Those who choose not to work have no claim whatsoever on the wages of those who do.
                  Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

                    If individual responsibility is a myth as you maintain, then there is no basis for civilization as we know it. Even the Bible says that "I am not my brother's keeper."

                    Sounds like you're advocating for a return to dictatorships in which individual responsibility, and freedoms, cease to exist. One thing, however, is absolutely certain: a vast, expensive welfare state is not the answer. Those who choose not to work have no claim whatsoever on the wages of those who do.
                    I'm advocating for a deeper understanding of the myth.

                    When I was in my 30s I tried to write a book like Jordan Peterson's "Maps of Meaning" but I didn't have the intellect to complete it. The question has always been where do people find the meaning necessary to make civilization possible, in building a pyramid, a cathedral, a highway system, water systems, anything that connects them to the past and the future?
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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post

                      Actually, in comparison of US states, California performs much worse than Arizona.

                      Yes, California is #1 in population and GDP (39,776,830-- $2,746,873 millions) versus Arizona being #14 in pop and #21 in GDP (7,530,552 -- $319,850 millions)

                      But, when you divide population by GDP to get the GDP per person in the state.... Arizona gets $23.54 versus California's $14.48. That is, Arizona is nearly TWICE as productive as California. No wonder... Between massive regulations, high taxes, and a large population on welfare, California isn't very productive for its massive size.

                      California is the fail here.

                      The northern half of Arizona is more like Colorado too:

                      You don't seem understand the economic concept of GDP...or division.

                      Sad.

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                      • #56
                        Actually, only 3.6% of the Black slaves, about 388,000 people were sent to the New World came to the US. Jamaica had 1.2 million and Brazil 4.8 million. Yet the US is always the focal point whenever there is talk about Black chattel slavery.
                        Flag: USA / Location: West Coast

                        Prayers.

                        BoRG

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                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PtsX_Z3CMU

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                        • #57
                          The British abolished slavery in the Caribbean in 1834, so the use of Jamaica is moot. The US had more slaves in 1860 than Jamaica ever had, about 3.8 million. Brazil abolished slavery in 1888 and it had been on the decline for decades. So the comparison between the US and Jamaica and Brazil is not comparable. Further there was no civil war on the enormity of the one in the US in which 630,000 Americans were killed or died. The latter is undoubtedly why the US is the 'focal point' for any discussion of slavery, especially among Americans.
                          We are not now that strength which in old days
                          Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
                          Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
                          To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

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                          • #58
                            The point I was making about slavery seems to have got lost. No where else in the world was the mythological foundation of a civilization so closely tied to the western ideal of logos so profound as in the U.S. Arguing about the mundane details is a distraction. The very existence of slavery was a subconscious assault on the foundation myth and the intellectual gymnastics deployed to defend it proof of cognitive dissonance.

                            The following Maoist quotation captures the subliminal nature of the myth which like music, poetry, literature and art transcends mere facts and is the glue that creates a shared spirit.

                            '"The Way that can be spoken of is not the true Way; The name that can be named is not the true name… Both may be called mysterious. Mysterious and still more mysterious, The gateway of all subtleties"
                            We hunt the hunters

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Paddybhoy View Post

                              You don't seem understand the economic concept of GDP...or division.

                              Sad.
                              How about you get the concept that I don't care what YOU, and just you, have to say. It's extremely rare that I ignore anyone for almost any reason, but in your case, I'll make an exception.

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Massena View Post
                                The British abolished slavery in the Caribbean in 1834, so the use of Jamaica is moot. The US had more slaves in 1860 than Jamaica ever had, about 3.8 million. Brazil abolished slavery in 1888 and it had been on the decline for decades. So the comparison between the US and Jamaica and Brazil is not comparable. Further there was no civil war on the enormity of the one in the US in which 630,000 Americans were killed or died. The latter is undoubtedly why the US is the 'focal point' for any discussion of slavery, especially among Americans.
                                Misleading historical revisionism. A higher percentage of black Americans were living with both parents in 1860 than today. Life expectancy for slaves in the Caribbean was much lower than in the U.S. The relative number of slaves completely misses the point. In addition as ever historian knows the civil war did not start over ending slavery but the expansion there of.

                                The British deserve credit for ending the slave trade but you can't overlook the fact that it had already become unprofitable for them because of the introduction of the sugar beet in Europe. In the U.S. where slaves were as much a source of capital collateral as an expendable work force things were much different.

                                The emerging modern narrative on slavery is driven as much by the cult of multiculturalism as reality. The current confusion over the meaning of nationalism is additional proof that ideology not reason drives the narrative. Nationalism is relative to many factors for example it helped defeated the Nazis because the Russian were not fighting for international communism but for mother Russia. The point is that the meaning of nationalism is dependent on the character of the people not the other way around.

                                The devil is in the details. Would the world be better off without nationalism? depends on what replaces it because nature adhors a vacuum.
                                We hunt the hunters

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