You Got Lucky: A Hard Truth of Economics

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tstorm823:
Unnecessary. Since it was "your last day job" you've clearly gotten the chance to decide not to do it!

You think so? Why don't you ask me and find out? Seriously, ask me what happened.

DrVornoff:

tstorm823:
Unnecessary. Since it was "your last day job" you've clearly gotten the chance to decide not to do it!

You think so? Why don't you ask me and find out? Seriously, ask me what happened.

Alright, sir. Do tell me the details of your experience.

Wolverine18:
The one thing I'll agree with is "good for you". Yes, it was my efforts that brought me to where I am.

None of which would've meant anything if you were female, and got pregnant after someone pulled you into the bushes near your school and raped you in Alabama. Your efforts would've been for nothing and most of your life over.

...Which isn't particularly related to your post, but a great way to illustrate efforts only have effect within a certain limitation of what is possible due to external factors. Where you're from still determines our chances to a large part. Even more so if one is to go with the idea that our surroundings also affect us in a way we can't make our own choices fully freely.


To name a concrete example: A career in the police, something I considered for a while when I was about to finish school, has become impossible for me due to discrimination. Up to 2009 it was forbidden to promote white men to anything above the field ranks. Not a chance of ever becoming chief of police, chief of a police corps, inspector, instructor and most other higher ranks.
So I went to university instead, got a bachelor degree, joined the army for a little over a year and then went back to university for a master's degree. By now I'm so old that if I joined the police, I could still climb the ranks, but I'd likely still face racism (because the ban is lifted but a racist 'preference policy' is still in place) and the time to make a career has been cut shorter by 8 years. A swat team, another option I contemplated, is out of the question, because you need four years experience before even applying, and the physical program is so heavy you don't really stand much of a chance above the age of 30, and even still they turn down most people once or twice, costing them 2 years each time.

So that path has been blocked off without any of my influence. No matter what my efforts were I couldn't get far in a career in the police.


So again: it's not a dilemma between either rigid structuralism, or the idea that the sky is the limit and your choices and efforts the only factor. Both of those explanations are simplistic.

In the cadre of this discussion, like Stagnant noted already, we'd have to conclude that people who argue that their own succes proves being rich or poor, succesfull or failing is all just a choice, are completely wrong.

People who are succesfull can't just say 'I did this, and so could anybody else'. You can only say that if you've got a solid reason why.

Wolverine18:
lots of stuff through entire thread

the irony of everything you say is that if in 2 months you make some bad decisions, the company you work for goes down hill and you get fired it will of course not be your fault, it will be bad luck.

or how about you get hit with the big C in your late 40's. you get diagnosed with cancer, you have to go through all the treatment, you have to stop work, it is endless trips to doctors and so on. im assuming you are american so because of the shitty health care system you go bankrupt. you have now been out of the workforce a long time, you are in your mid 50's, you have no money and no income and very little chance of every getting a decent job again. so you now live in that poor neighbourhood you use to drive through on your way to work, looking out thinking how all the people living there were lazy bums because they could not be as successful as you. are you going to still keep your current line of thinking? yeah didnt think so.

tstorm823:

Stagnant:

While this may be applicable to you vs. Paris Hilton, you know what it probably isn't applicable to? You vs. Mother Working 3 Jobs.

So, what you're saying is first this woman was raped, clearly. And of course everyone who would have ever supported her has abondoned her without reason. Adoption must not have been an option. Abortion must not have been an option (though I agree with her if it was an option and she turned it down). She wasn't given a good education and never had a chance to teach herself anything, yet somehow lives in an area where she can get 3 crappy jobs to support herself and her children.

Even with your chosen example, it's difficult to try and close all the gaps and make it so the person was forced into the situation with no say in the matter. Even then, for some reason you assume she's unhappy. For some reason, you believe that a hard-working mother is miserable and a wealthy housewife is happy. I've known single parents with multiple jobs that were very happy with their life. Hell, I've known people that work 3 jobs for the hell of it.

What the fuck are you babbling about?

Oh, right, victim-blaming. NOW your word-salad makes a bit of sense.

As it happens, I used to know a woman who worked three jobs, but she only had TWO kids. No, she wasn't raped, and she wasn't a slutty slut slut slut like you're transparently eager to call her so you can ignore her plight and those of her kids - her husband was terminally ill.

That's just what she DESERVES for falling in love with (and MARRYING, the filthy degenerate) the wrong guy, I suppose.

arbane:

What the fuck are you babbling about?

Oh, right, victim-blaming. NOW your word-salad makes a bit of sense.

As it happens, I used to know a woman who worked three jobs, but she only had TWO kids. No, she wasn't raped, and she wasn't a slutty slut slut slut like you're transparently eager to call her so you can ignore her plight and those of her kids - her husband was terminally ill.

Here's what I'm talking about.

Was that woman miserable? Does she regret the events of her life? Cause if not, what does it matter whether she had 3 jobs or an infinte bank account.

Stagnant:

scotth266:
Tell you what: I'll acknowledge the effect luck has on wealth when I stop seeing people post/remark about how the fat-cat silver-spooners (that did nothing to earn their money) ruined our economy, and don't understand/hate the poor.

Quid pro quo and all that.

Wait, so you're going to make your acknowledgement of a simple, obvious fact dependent on the actions of others? Not only that, but you're going to make it dependent on people abandoning an idea which on one hand has quite a lot of truth to it, and on the other hand isn't actually espoused by anyone? I'll tell you this much - it wasn't the poor who crashed the economy by taking lousy bets. I can't think of anyone who thinks investment bankers don't work their asses off to get where they are. If you think that's what we're saying, you're not paying attention.

I happen to be bad with sarcasm, so let me put it plainly: I was being sarcastic. The point I was trying to make with my sarcasm is that if you're going to argue that people should abandon the positive myths about making wealth (in this case, that luck has nothing to do with it) you should also argue against the negative myths about making wealth (the silver-spoonism nonsense).

You personally have done nothing in this thread that indicates you have the opinion I was making fun of: but at the same time, you're arguing that other people should take a prescribed action that suits your ideals. I'm arguing the same thing, in reverse. If you want to force bootstrappers to say "yeah, luck plays a part in making wealth" then the people who make posts about bootstrapping are well within their rights to tell people who call up silver-spoon, no-work imagery to fork right off as well.

And don't try to pretend that people DON'T make posts like that. It comes up frequently, typically when people say things like "bankers don't do REAL/VALUABLE work" and when people start talking about how the rich are only rich because of "connections".

This plays very well into my own idea on the subject: you make a good portion of your own "luck". For example, you'd never run into that girl on Monday if you spend your whole day at home drinking beer and wondering why you don't have a girlfriend.

This kinda goes without saying. You don't get a chance at that job unless you write that resume and submit it. But you have no influence over the quality of the other applicants, nor the opinions of the person reviewing the applications, just like you have no way to influence that cute girl's taste in guys. You have essentially no influence over whether or not the company will still exist a week from now. Luck plays a gigantic role.

I disagree. The quality of the other applicants is something you can't control, but you can still manage to overcome them by being better than they are, and showing it with a well-written resume. You can even try to ask around and see what sorts of things people in that profession look for in a resume. And when a company is about to fold, unless it's due to some hidden issue (Enron-esque) it is usually fairly obvious. A small amount of initiative trumps luck in all of those situations. Luck is a part, but it is a small part proportionally.

So how do you tell between someone who's fat because they just hate exercise and someone who's fat because of circumstances beyond their control?

People who are fat because of circumstances beyond their control can generally show that they have virtually no free time in the day to get exercise, don't actually understand nutrition, have some sort of physical defect, and/or don't have money to buy food that isn't crap. People who are fat because they're lazy can be determined by a lack of said factors.

And the only way to determine whether or not they're telling the truth is to observe them directly: after all, there are plenty of fat people who use "I have no time" as nothing more than an excuse. But if you did that as a government official, you'd have fat people telling you that you were discriminating against them.

The nation didn't get fatter over the last few years because everyone's thyroids magically started to keel over.

Yes, and they're wrong.

And I believe you're wrong. We agree on the presence of luck, but disagree entirely as to how big a part it plays.

tstorm823:
Alright, sir. Do tell me the details of your experience.

It sucked. I worked at a chain grocery store since my loan sharks were barking at me, and with the close of summer busking money had dried up. I got the job through a family friend and immediately found myself getting treated like an impossible moron by management. After a few months of that, I transferred to another location and worked the gourmet sales counter where I could at least practice my public speaking skills. The department manager there was way better, but the general manager transferred him somewhere else because he kept standing up the guys like me.

After that, the general manager began to pile arbitrary, bullshit rules onto us and made us do more work in fewer hours without changing our pay even a penny, even instituting policies that constituted a safety violation. People got fired for stupid reasons and for mistakes that weren't their fault. The shit just kept piling on. Pretty soon, all of the hardest workers were fired over petty bullshit, like the guy who came in an hour late because the hand-written schedule that we all refer to was incorrect, and that the corrected schedule was in the computer that none of us are allowed to access. When he pointed out this problem, he was fired for "insubordination."

Fast forward to the week before Christmas. I had thought that I could avoid being fired by making myself great at customer service. Regulars came in asking specifically for me. They fired me anyway. I came in one morning having skipped breakfast but with time to spare. I bought a muffin and finished it off as I clocked in, well out of sight of any of the customers. Since I finished that last bite while on the clock, this was considered "stealing company time" and I was fired. The union tried to get me my job back, but since the offense was listed as stealing, the company got to tell them to fuck off.

The moral of the story? You claimed to know someone who worked 3 jobs for kicks. I know people who worked shit jobs because they had to and hated them, but they had nowhere else. So what the hell makes you think your anecdotes are so much better than everyone else's?

DrVornoff:

It sucked. I worked at a chain grocery store since my loan sharks were barking at me, and with the close of summer busking money had dried up. I got the job through a family friend and immediately found myself getting treated like an impossible moron by management. After a few months of that, I transferred to another location and worked the gourmet sales counter where I could at least practice my public speaking skills. The department manager there was way better, but the general manager transferred him somewhere else because he kept standing up the guys like me.

After that, the general manager began to pile arbitrary, bullshit rules onto us and made us do more work in fewer hours without changing our pay even a penny, even instituting policies that constituted a safety violation. People got fired for stupid reasons and for mistakes that weren't their fault. The shit just kept piling on. Pretty soon, all of the hardest workers were fired over petty bullshit, like the guy who came in an hour late because the hand-written schedule that we all refer to was incorrect, and that the corrected schedule was in the computer that none of us are allowed to access. When he pointed out this problem, he was fired for "insubordination."

Fast forward to the week before Christmas. I had thought that I could avoid being fired by making myself great at customer service. Regulars came in asking specifically for me. They fired me anyway. I came in one morning having skipped breakfast but with time to spare. I bought a muffin and finished it off as I clocked in, well out of sight of any of the customers. Since I finished that last bite while on the clock, this was considered "stealing company time" and I was fired. The union tried to get me my job back, but since the offense was listed as stealing, the company got to tell them to fuck off.

The moral of the story? You claimed to know someone who worked 3 jobs for kicks. I know people who worked shit jobs because they had to and hated them, but they had nowhere else. So what the hell makes you think your anecdotes are so much better than everyone else's?

Nothing in the slightest, since my point wasn't to claim that everyone loves jobs and wants 3 of them. I was just saying lots of work is not objectively miserable the way Stagnant thinks it is. I'm sorry you had bad bosses.

tstorm823:
Nothing in the slightest, since my point wasn't to claim that everyone loves jobs and wants 3 of them. I was just saying lots of work is not objectively miserable the way Stagnant thinks it is. I'm sorry you had bad bosses.

But that wasn't his point. His point is that most of the people working multiple minimum wage jobs are not there because they want to be there. They're not there because they're failures. They're there because our economy sucks, or something bad happened to them, or they have to make ends meet because they're having a hard time breaking into the career they really want to be in.

DrVornoff:

But that wasn't his point. His point is that most of the people working multiple minimum wage jobs are not there because they want to be there. They're not there because they're failures. They're there because our economy sucks, or something bad happened to them, or they have to make ends meet because they're having a hard time breaking into the career they really want to be in.

Do you think that every "self-made man" lacks bad things that happen to them, or lives in a different economy, or gets into a career they want to be in? <-- that's a big one! You realize that when you strive for the specific thing that you want to do with your life, you are almost certainly sacrificing the oppurtunity to be more monetarily successful? You are instead prioritizing a different aspect of life.

The woman who has to support kids herself most likely could have never started a family. You don't look at her and say "wow, she's having trouble staying afloat with money so her life sucks cause she's unlucky" but rather you say "she chose something else, something arguably better, over an easy life financially."

tstorm823:

arbane:

What the fuck are you babbling about?

Oh, right, victim-blaming. NOW your word-salad makes a bit of sense.

As it happens, I used to know a woman who worked three jobs, but she only had TWO kids. No, she wasn't raped, and she wasn't a slutty slut slut slut like you're transparently eager to call her so you can ignore her plight and those of her kids - her husband was terminally ill.

Here's what I'm talking about.

Was that woman miserable? Does she regret the events of her life? Cause if not, what does it matter whether she had 3 jobs or an infinte bank account.

Well, I rather got the impression she would have liked to get more than 5 hours sleep a night, EVER.

tstorm823:
The woman who has to support kids herself most likely could have never started a family. You don't look at her and say "wow, she's having trouble staying afloat with money so her life sucks cause she's unlucky" but rather you say "she chose something else, something arguably better, over an easy life financially."

Yeah, I hear you saying that. But, here's the thing: satisfaction with your job is not what pays grocery bills. You gotta live somewhere and that costs money too. So does being healthy it turns out. Doctors don't typically agree to treat cancer for free. And try raising kids in a slum and tell me that isn't fucking stressful. The list just goes on and on.

And this is why I want livable wages for everybody. I don't want a woman to have to raise her kids in a tenement and work three jobs to pay the bills just because she wanted to be a mother. People like to romanticize the simple life, but I've been poor. It ain't a fucking garden of roses, and I'm still clawing my way up.

I'll never become a billionaire at what I do. But I can live comfortably doing it if I can bring my current plans to fruition. And this goes back to why it's bullshit that someone would tell me that they're a hundred times richer than me because they work a hundred times harder. If they spent the last 5 years the way I did, some of these privileged dickheads would have put a gun in their teeth. Try doing street magic under a hot July sun for 8 hours, dealing with hecklers and suspicious cops five days a week and tell me that I don't work for my money.

This goes right back to the topic of the thread. I have fought tooth and nail for every cent I have. But unlike some people, I am able to acknowledge how lucky I am to have been born good at things that have the potential to make me financially independent here in the States. How fortunate I was to be born with an extremely supportive family around me. How lucky I am to have been born in a country with an extensive commons that would enable to get even this far. And once I reach my goals, I do not intend to then take the opportunity to shit on everyone and everything that helped me get here and pretend that I'm some kind of John Wayne character come to life.

luck may play a factor, but poor circumstances can mostly be overcome by willpower and perseverance in most cases

Do you have to work harder than the guy born into the affluent family? Sure you do, but suck it up buttercup, life isn't fair. Admittedly, this is a gaming forum, so drive may be in short supply, but it is never too late to improve your lot in life.

You can do anything, if you work hard, you will succeed.

Champthrax:
luck may play a factor, but poor circumstances can mostly be overcome by willpower and perseverance in most cases

Do you have to work harder than the guy born into the affluent family? Sure you do, but suck it up buttercup, life isn't fair. Admittedly, this is a gaming forum, so drive may be in short supply, but it is never too late to improve your lot in life.

You can do anything, if you work hard, you will succeed.

Those are nice affirmations, but how do they address the fact that class mobility in the US has evaporated?

DrVornoff:

Champthrax:
luck may play a factor, but poor circumstances can mostly be overcome by willpower and perseverance in most cases

Do you have to work harder than the guy born into the affluent family? Sure you do, but suck it up buttercup, life isn't fair. Admittedly, this is a gaming forum, so drive may be in short supply, but it is never too late to improve your lot in life.

You can do anything, if you work hard, you will succeed.

Those are nice affirmations, but how do they address the fact that class mobility in the US has evaporated?

Clearly it is willpower and perseverance which has evaporated. Didn't you read what he said?

Nightspore:
Well the original theorists of the self-made man weren't nearly as simplistic as the version of the "self-made man" given by the OP, which makes the entire OP's argument seem like a bit of straw man.

Wikipedia has a fair definition:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-Made_Men

I dont think that those theorists are in anyway denying that we ARE in societies and ARE caught up in socio-economic causality, but that we can also fight back against the odds. We can, in a certain type of society and in a certain age, make a difference by our own will and hard work. But you have to have the fight in you to take advantage of the those opportunties afforded to you; opportunities, yes, and which no-one is denying, are afforded to you by the society of men. Remember, the self-made man is simply a poor guy, the underdog, who makes a good situation from a bad one. I don't think anyone is suggesting that that happens in a social vacuum, indeed it is most definitely implied that it takes a certain type of free society to make a self-made man possible.

I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone who uses the term "self-made man" who believes that there is no such thing as the nation-state or of communities or of society or that there aren't things made socially (laws, education systems, transport networks, scientific innovation, healthcare, security etc) that benefit us all.

The more advanced, privileged and rich the society the more "lucky" we are.

Who are the straw men of the OP that actually deny this?

I think the OP uses this straw man to present his own overly deterministic account of human success and to rather mean-spiritedly, imo, take a great hot stinking yellow piss on the achievements of those who worked hard to get out of the ghetto, to turn a bad hand good, by suggesting that in essense they "really" did fuck all at all because it was just "luck" after all. That your success is not your own because there is "society", except no-one is denying this and the whole thing just seems like ideological smoke and mirrors and straw men on the OPs part. He has an agenda every bit as dogmatic and partisan as the people he is trying to lampoon.

I am more interested in what works in helping young people get out of the ghetto. Telling them that you simply can't get out and if you do then don't go feeling proud about it because you were just "lucky" seems like rather spiteful tall poppy syndrome. I am gonna have to reference this classic Morrissey song again:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6g0gDrCUi8

Also, I have this comedy sketch in my head with a dad who takes the OP to heart. His son wins first prize in a national Robert Burns Poetry recitation contest. The kid is flushed with success, but his dad is like:

"Aye, well, but it wisnae your poetry was it? It was Robert Burns wit writ it. And that widnae have been even possible withoot the Scottish language which itself was developed and perfected by generations of Scots in a collective society who themselves widnae have even been a nation without the endeavors of the Celts and Picts, not to mention Northumbrian English and the external threats o the ancient Romans and the Anglo-Saxons and the Danish. So aye, yeh won first prize, but you didnae really, did ye? It was jist luck that you were part o that ancient to modern causal chain, so dinnae be gettin' ahead o yerself yeh wee gobshite. Yeh won fuck all. Now git tae bed."

Regards

Nightspore

Erm, that "comedy sketch" is an accurate summation of the facts. Now, as a child, you have some right to be protected from hard truths like the ones expressed therein, especially by your parents, as encouragement is necessary for healthy development, but as an adult? Fuck off mate; if someone I know my age was crowing about winning contest for reciting other people's poetry, they would get that speech from me pretty much verbatim, with more swearing and incredulity of course, and they would deserve every word of it.

And as usual, the self-made-man has nothing useful to say for himself, just another accusation of their rhetoric being strawmanned by the evil leftists. Followed by your own ludicrously hyperbolic accusations that the OP is telling young people that they can never succeed, and should never take pride in their accomplishments, despite him stating the exact fucking opposite.

If you genuinely can't tell the difference between;

1. Woe is us all, for our course it set by the winds of fate, and we are but flotsam on the tides of chance! Abandon all hope and pride, cast yourself in the dirt and grovel for mercy! No man can change, no man can hope, woe is us all!

and

2. While an individual can affect the course of events in their life, there are other factors at play, and said factors usually have a far greater effect than those same individuals are willing to admit. This denial leads to the dehumanisation of the poor and the inflated sense of self-worth and self-importance which many "self-made" men display. It is worthwhile to attempt to correct their misconceptions.

Then FFS chief, get a grip.

Magichead:
Erm, that "comedy sketch" is an accurate summation of the facts. Now, as a child, you have some right to be protected from hard truths like the ones expressed therein, especially by your parents, as encouragement is necessary for healthy development, but as an adult? Fuck off mate; if someone I know my age was crowing about winning contest for reciting other people's poetry, they would get that speech from me pretty much verbatim, with more swearing and incredulity of course, and they would deserve every word of it.

I think a more appropriate "comedy sketch" would be one of Lewis Black's stand-up bits where he's talking about how Americans like to brag that they're the greatest and it's obnoxious.

"And I know it's obnoxious because if you went to a job where everyday where the same co-worker came in and went, 'I'M THE GREATEST FUCKER HERE!! And all you sniveling shits would die without me!! AHAHAHA!!' it would take a week before you all got together and killed him... and ate him... just to try and absorb his power."

I think the analogy works to some degree with self-proclaimed "self-made men" as well.

Magichead:

Nightspore:

Also, I have this comedy sketch in my head with a dad who takes the OP to heart. His son wins first prize in a national Robert Burns Poetry recitation contest. The kid is flushed with success, but his dad is like:

"Aye, well, but it wisnae your poetry was it? It was Robert Burns wit writ it. And that widnae have been even possible withoot the Scottish language which itself was developed and perfected by generations of Scots in a collective society who themselves widnae have even been a nation without the endeavors of the Celts and Picts, not to mention Northumbrian English and the external threats o the ancient Romans and the Anglo-Saxons and the Danish. So aye, yeh won first prize, but you didnae really, did ye? It was jist luck that you were part o that ancient to modern causal chain, so dinnae be gettin' ahead o yerself yeh wee gobshite. Yeh won fuck all. Now git tae bed."

Regards

Nightspore

Erm, that "comedy sketch" is an accurate summation of the facts. Now, as a child, you have some right to be protected from hard truths like the ones expressed therein, especially by your parents, as encouragement is necessary for healthy development, but as an adult? Fuck off mate; if someone I know my age was crowing about winning contest for reciting other people's poetry, they would get that speech from me pretty much verbatim, with more swearing and incredulity of course, and they would deserve every word of it.

Wow, you took my satirical caricature of extreme determinism versus personal success and said it is accurate, except that with children we have to tell them comforting lies to protect their feelings. Shit, mate, I didn't realise you were that deterministic. lol.

I now have another comedy sketch.

Magichead decides to write a novel. He spends 9 months on it. Working all hours of the day (except for the odd coffee break and visiting Escapist R&P forums to swear at people). He nurtures that novel, agonising over the prose, mining his own furious inner demons to work literary alchemy and create the 21st century literary equivalent of Ulysses.

He finally completes his masterpiece and sends his novel to Polygon books. They like it. They like it a lot.

The book is published to high acclaim. It is nominated as a front-runner for the Booker Prize, and the big studios have already decided to option a movie out of it.

Magichead demands a meeting with Polygon as he has only been paid 10 quid 36 pence and he hasn't even been invited to the Booker Prize nor heard anything about payment for the film tie-in.

The head of Polygon books explains.

"Aye, well Magichead, it would be unfair for us to pay you anymore than a tenner thirty six personally as it wisnae really you wit writ the book, wis it now?"

"What do you mean you capitalist bastards. I spent months slaving over that book!"

"Aye, but you see, the modern novel itself wisnae exactly invented by you wis it? Wis it now? Ama right? So some o the profits went to the estates o men like Defoe and Swift because they are more responsible for the genre o the modern novel than you are. And let's no forget the English language itself. Or the state funded polis."

"WTF. The Police! What have they got to do with my masterpiece?"

"Aye, well. Imagine if some wee gangbangers had done yeh a mischief, say. Done ye so bad, ken, that ye couldnae write yer novel in the first place. Aye? You see the bigger picture yet, chief? You have them Polis to thank for keeping yeh safe during the writing o that novel and they need to get paid just as much as you do."

"Outrageous. What the f### is this chickens### outfit!"

"Now now, son. Contain yersel. Forgive me fir being a wee bit blunt wi yeh chief but yer no a child anymare, now the truth o the matter is that yeh owe maist o it tae all they other people so wi decided to cut oot the middle man - that's you - and pay all the ither people as well, which leaves you wi approximately 10 pounds 36 pence."

Later that week Magichead watches the Booker Prize on TV and his book wins first prize. Collecting the book is a panel of experts made up of English language professors, English teachers, Magichead's mum, a portrait of Defoe and Swift, a Scottish Deputy Chief police officer, some goofy looking physicist representing the Big Bang and a wee fat guy from the Department of Transport.

Regards

Nightspore

Champthrax:
luck may play a factor, but poor circumstances can mostly be overcome by willpower and perseverance in most cases

No. Not if you mean "overcome" in the sense that most people mean the word.

image

Do you have to work harder than the guy born into the affluent family? Sure you do, but suck it up buttercup, life isn't fair.

And for some, they will work hard all their lives, and still end up in poverty when they retire.

You can do anything, if you work hard, you will succeed.

Yeah. This attitude is really helpful when trying to make the most of yourself. Here's the problem: it's not accurate, and applying it to the poor and unfortunate gives you an unjust moral high ground, one that you shouldn't have because the premises simply don't work.

Vegosiux:
...
You mean those six "welfare queens" that pop up in youtube videos now and then, and then people go like "ALL unemployed people are TOTALLY like that, lazy fucks!"?

But, on a more serious note, the first thing would be to figure out why they're unwilling to work, no? Can't address a problem you don't know. And addressing a problem you don't really know with blanket legislation that's liable to screw over more honest-minded people than unsavory characters it'd catch isn't exactly the way to go.

Whatever it is that cause this unwillingness, it doesn't mean that those who have it shouldn't be condemned. Explanations are never excuses.

[There needn't be less money or spending in societies where the money is on fewer hands.

Can you show how? I mean I don't see rich people go on spending sprees to offset the money the poor people can't spend.

You don't just need spending, you need production as well: For which you need investment. And given how costly some modern businesses can be, and the time they can take to generate a surplus, a very large sum of money on one hand will be needed to start them up. And when they do invest, that means "spending" on services and materials as well.

I sit on the block of ice and put my head in an oven, I suppose I feel just fine on average, huh?

Your argument was that it was beneficial to "the economy", not "the average standard of living".

It always will be to an extent. "If you can't do it perfectly, why do it at all?" is a dangerous mental trap.

Depends on how serious you consider this exploitation, i.e. how much weight you assign it as a con to be weighed against the pro.

Oh, of course I don't know that for a fact, but making an educated guess based on what I do know and experience the past has taught us as a society is a spiff better than lashing out on principle if you ask me.

I think there can be considerable utilitarian advantage in sticking to principles. And what we know is that societies with minimum welfare, such as the US and China, can easily have sound economies. So can states with extensive welfare, but it's by no means the necessity you seek to cast it as.

scotth266:

This plays very well into my own idea on the subject: you make a good portion of your own "luck". For example, you'd never run into that girl on Monday if you spend your whole day at home drinking beer and wondering why you don't have a girlfriend.

It's the same line of thought behind being fat. "I'm not fat because I'm lazy, I'm fat because x, y, z". Some people actually do have x, y, and z points, but others just spout that nonsense because they hate exercise. That's the thing though: everyone hates exercise, except the people who think asbestos is a common ingredient in fruit juice. So how do you tell between someone who's fat because they just hate exercise and someone who's fat because of circumstances beyond their control?

People who argue that bootstrapping is a matter of willpower are by definition the same people who realized they were fat because they hated exercise, and did something about it. Sure, some of them had the benefit of access to gyms, diet plans, etc: but at the same time personal willpower is 9/10 of the equation... at least as far as they're concerned.

This. If you constantly put yourself in a position where you may succeed, you have a higher chance of succeeding than someone who doesn't. That isn't ignoring that some people just get screwed over. A person who works full time and goes to college part time and eventually get a degree has "earned" a break...but they might still get stuck working for minimum wage. I just don't want to see people telling people with good jobs that "they got lucky" as if luck was the sole factor involved.

Champthrax:
luck may play a factor, but poor circumstances can mostly be overcome by willpower and perseverance in most cases

Do you have to work harder than the guy born into the affluent family? Sure you do, but suck it up buttercup, life isn't fair. Admittedly, this is a gaming forum, so drive may be in short supply, but it is never too late to improve your lot in life.

You can do anything, if you work hard, you will succeed.

That is propaganda. It paints a rosy picture, but it isn't true.

Nightspore:

Magichead:

Nightspore:

Also, I have this comedy sketch in my head with a dad who takes the OP to heart. His son wins first prize in a national Robert Burns Poetry recitation contest. The kid is flushed with success, but his dad is like:

"Aye, well, but it wisnae your poetry was it? It was Robert Burns wit writ it. And that widnae have been even possible withoot the Scottish language which itself was developed and perfected by generations of Scots in a collective society who themselves widnae have even been a nation without the endeavors of the Celts and Picts, not to mention Northumbrian English and the external threats o the ancient Romans and the Anglo-Saxons and the Danish. So aye, yeh won first prize, but you didnae really, did ye? It was jist luck that you were part o that ancient to modern causal chain, so dinnae be gettin' ahead o yerself yeh wee gobshite. Yeh won fuck all. Now git tae bed."

Regards

Nightspore

Erm, that "comedy sketch" is an accurate summation of the facts. Now, as a child, you have some right to be protected from hard truths like the ones expressed therein, especially by your parents, as encouragement is necessary for healthy development, but as an adult? Fuck off mate; if someone I know my age was crowing about winning contest for reciting other people's poetry, they would get that speech from me pretty much verbatim, with more swearing and incredulity of course, and they would deserve every word of it.

Wow, you took my satirical caricature of extreme determinism versus personal success and said it is accurate, except that with children we have to tell them comforting lies to protect their feelings. Shit, mate, I didn't realise you were that deterministic. lol.

I now have another comedy sketch.

Magichead decides to write a novel. He spends 9 months on it. Working all hours of the day (except for the odd coffee break and visiting Escapist R&P forums to swear at people). He nurtures that novel, agonising over the prose, mining his own furious inner demons to work literary alchemy and create the 21st century literary equivalent of Ulysses.

He finally completes his masterpiece and sends his novel to Polygon books. They like it. They like it a lot.

The book is published to high acclaim. It is nominated as a front-runner for the Booker Prize, and the big studios have already decided to option a movie out of it.

Magichead demands a meeting with Polygon as he has only been paid 10 quid 36 pence and he hasn't even been invited to the Booker Prize nor heard anything about payment for the film tie-in.

The head of Polygon books explains.

"Aye, well Magichead, it would be unfair for us to pay you anymore than a tenner thirty six personally as it wisnae really you wit writ the book, wis it now?"

"What do you mean you capitalist bastards. I spent months slaving over that book!"

"Aye, but you see, the modern novel itself wisnae exactly invented by you wis it? Wis it now? Ama right? So some o the profits went to the estates o men like Defoe and Swift because they are more responsible for the genre o the modern novel than you are. And let's no forget the English language itself. Or the state funded polis."

"WTF. The Police! What have they got to do with my masterpiece?"

"Aye, well. Imagine if some wee gangbangers had done yeh a mischief, say. Done ye so bad, ken, that ye couldnae write yer novel in the first place. Aye? You see the bigger picture yet, chief? You have them Polis to thank for keeping yeh safe during the writing o that novel and they need to get paid just as much as you do."

"Outrageous. What the f### is this chickens### outfit!"

"Now now, son. Contain yersel. Forgive me fir being a wee bit blunt wi yeh chief but yer no a child anymare, now the truth o the matter is that yeh owe maist o it tae all they other people so wi decided to cut oot the middle man - that's you - and pay all the ither people as well, which leaves you wi approximately 10 pounds 36 pence."

Later that week Magichead watches the Booker Prize on TV and his book wins first prize. Collecting the book is a panel of experts made up of English language professors, English teachers, Magichead's mum, a portrait of Defoe and Swift, a Scottish Deputy Chief police officer, some goofy looking physicist representing the Big Bang and a wee fat guy from the Department of Transport.

Regards

Nightspore

Given most of the book-publishing contracts I've seen this is mostly accurate.

Intellectual "Property" my ass.

But thats a different topic/rant.

Imperator_DK:

Whatever it is that cause this unwillingness, it doesn't mean that those who have it shouldn't be condemned. Explanations are never excuses.

If you say so, just remember "not working" != "not willing to work".

You don't just need spending, you need production as well: For which you need investment. And given how costly some modern businesses can be, and the time they can take to generate a surplus, a very large sum of money on one hand will be needed to start them up. And when they do invest, that means "spending" on services and materials as well.

Uh huh. And who's going to buy your shit if people can't afford it? You can be the most innovative entrepreneur ever, but if your average Joe doesn't have any money left after the bare necessities are paid for, good luck selling anything.

Also, please show me how "investments" from the corporate suits with more money that they can spend managed to offset the drop in spending and created jobs. Really, I just don't see it.

Your argument was that it was beneficial to "the economy", not "the average standard of living".

And GDP per capita on its own isn't really a good measure of that. I mean Spain has a higher one than Slovenia, but a lower credit rating and already seeking bailout. Greece is just slightly under Slovenia in that regard, but still above Poland, Hungary and Croatia, and I don't see those last three having nearly as much of an economic shitstorm at their hands as Greece does. Hell, I dare argue Croatia has a better economy than we do for a few years now, and their GDP per capita is just 64% of ours.

Depends on how serious you consider this exploitation, i.e. how much weight you assign it as a con to be weighed against the pro.

Exactly. I don't consider it that serious. I kind of find it hard to believe that in a year's time, 5-7% of the available workforce suddenly got lazy and decided to just live off benefits. Sudden sharp jumps in unemployment would generally imply a different problem, say, the fact that there are less available jobs, that more people are getting let off than employed.

I think there can be considerable utilitarian advantage in sticking to principles.

Depends entirely on the principle. Utilitarianism is a bit much even for me, because it gives no consideration to anything but the end result.

And what we know is that societies with minimum welfare, such as the US and China, can easily have sound economies. So can states with extensive welfare, but it's by no means the necessity you seek to cast it as.

Social safety nets are just that. Social safety nets. There's more to a stable society than a "sound economy". Think China would remain a powerhouse if they got some OHSA and minimum wage, maximum working week legislation passed (and adhered to)?

Oh by the way, the GDP per capita for China according to the IMF in 2011 is 8.3K. If you want to be consistent with that statistic as a direct indicator of a country's economic strength I don't see how you can consider China to have a "sound economy".

I never cast welfare programs as an "economic necessity". They're a social necessity, at least by virtue of not having shit blow up in your face sometime along the road. Now, if okay with having it blow, I suppose they're not necessary from your point of view. Though, I have yet to meet anyone who's okay with shit blowing up in their face.

What I did say on the relation between welfare and economy is that money spent on welfare programs doesn't get sucked into a black hole.

Imperator_DK:

You don't just need spending, you need production as well: For which you need investment. And given how costly some modern businesses can be, and the time they can take to generate a surplus, a very large sum of money on one hand will be needed to start them up. And when they do invest, that means "spending" on services and materials as well.

supply side economics does not work, i really do not know how many times people need to explain that before it sinks in.

the low and middle class make up a huge percentage of the population and when it comes to business they make up almost all of the consumer. if these people do not have any money to spare there is not going to be a lot of demand for extra goods and services. if there is no demand for something then only a retard would invest into the market. if nobody has money to buy teddy bears with top hats then it is pointless to make the teddy bears.

if you look at australia at the moment we are in a mining boom. a lot of money is being invested in mining. the main reason for this is because of chinas rapid growth they have a need for a lot of ore, this is the demand. we had plenty of resources to exploit, some business people saw the demand was higher than the supply and so they invested.

what didnt happen was some business people saw we had resources and decided to invest in mining. china then came along and saw we were mining all this ore and decided to buy it because hey why not. most of us recognize that would be stupid, in reality if people invested in mining without the demand from the market all we would end up with is a lot of empty mines and some bankrupt idiots.

Hardcore_gamer:
Your whole post can be summed up as "nothing is ever my fault and all of my failures are almost only to blame on the society I am in. Also, there is not really such a thing is talented people, just lucky people".

That's not the point at all. He's not saying hard work and talent don't matter, he's saying they do but there's also a lot of luck involved. A lot of things have to go right in someone's life for them to become successful as opposed to a failure and many of them aren't in their control. You can do what you can to maximize your odds, but in the end, it's still a roll of the dice from the day you're born because events outside of your control do affect your life on a daily basis whether you realize it or not.

That's why the idea of the entirely self-made man/woman isn't true. No one got where they were solely based on ability and drive.

Why is it so hard to accept that some people just suck balls and can't get anywhere in life and that there are other people who are simply better then them?

He's also not saying this isn't true, but part of people sucking and not being able to get anywhere really is the luck of the draw from the very day your conceived and it's determined which of the millions of sperm find their way to the egg.

The point he's getting at is that people who falsely attribute success solely to ability are operating under a false assumption about how the world, and indeed, the Universe actually work.

Nightspore:

Magichead:

Nightspore:

Also, I have this comedy sketch in my head with a dad who takes the OP to heart. His son wins first prize in a national Robert Burns Poetry recitation contest. The kid is flushed with success, but his dad is like:

"Aye, well, but it wisnae your poetry was it? It was Robert Burns wit writ it. And that widnae have been even possible withoot the Scottish language which itself was developed and perfected by generations of Scots in a collective society who themselves widnae have even been a nation without the endeavors of the Celts and Picts, not to mention Northumbrian English and the external threats o the ancient Romans and the Anglo-Saxons and the Danish. So aye, yeh won first prize, but you didnae really, did ye? It was jist luck that you were part o that ancient to modern causal chain, so dinnae be gettin' ahead o yerself yeh wee gobshite. Yeh won fuck all. Now git tae bed."

Regards

Nightspore

Erm, that "comedy sketch" is an accurate summation of the facts. Now, as a child, you have some right to be protected from hard truths like the ones expressed therein, especially by your parents, as encouragement is necessary for healthy development, but as an adult? Fuck off mate; if someone I know my age was crowing about winning contest for reciting other people's poetry, they would get that speech from me pretty much verbatim, with more swearing and incredulity of course, and they would deserve every word of it.

Wow, you took my satirical caricature of extreme determinism versus personal success and said it is accurate, except that with children we have to tell them comforting lies to protect their feelings. Shit, mate, I didn't realise you were that deterministic. lol.

I now have another comedy sketch.

Magichead decides to write a novel. He spends 9 months on it. Working all hours of the day (except for the odd coffee break and visiting Escapist R&P forums to swear at people). He nurtures that novel, agonising over the prose, mining his own furious inner demons to work literary alchemy and create the 21st century literary equivalent of Ulysses.

He finally completes his masterpiece and sends his novel to Polygon books. They like it. They like it a lot.

The book is published to high acclaim. It is nominated as a front-runner for the Booker Prize, and the big studios have already decided to option a movie out of it.

Magichead demands a meeting with Polygon as he has only been paid 10 quid 36 pence and he hasn't even been invited to the Booker Prize nor heard anything about payment for the film tie-in.

The head of Polygon books explains.

"Aye, well Magichead, it would be unfair for us to pay you anymore than a tenner thirty six personally as it wisnae really you wit writ the book, wis it now?"

"What do you mean you capitalist bastards. I spent months slaving over that book!"

"Aye, but you see, the modern novel itself wisnae exactly invented by you wis it? Wis it now? Ama right? So some o the profits went to the estates o men like Defoe and Swift because they are more responsible for the genre o the modern novel than you are. And let's no forget the English language itself. Or the state funded polis."

"WTF. The Police! What have they got to do with my masterpiece?"

"Aye, well. Imagine if some wee gangbangers had done yeh a mischief, say. Done ye so bad, ken, that ye couldnae write yer novel in the first place. Aye? You see the bigger picture yet, chief? You have them Polis to thank for keeping yeh safe during the writing o that novel and they need to get paid just as much as you do."

"Outrageous. What the f### is this chickens### outfit!"

"Now now, son. Contain yersel. Forgive me fir being a wee bit blunt wi yeh chief but yer no a child anymare, now the truth o the matter is that yeh owe maist o it tae all they other people so wi decided to cut oot the middle man - that's you - and pay all the ither people as well, which leaves you wi approximately 10 pounds 36 pence."

Later that week Magichead watches the Booker Prize on TV and his book wins first prize. Collecting the book is a panel of experts made up of English language professors, English teachers, Magichead's mum, a portrait of Defoe and Swift, a Scottish Deputy Chief police officer, some goofy looking physicist representing the Big Bang and a wee fat guy from the Department of Transport.

Regards

Nightspore

Is there a point somewhere in this gigantic pile of spurious shite, other than that you are incapable of grasping the difference between acknowledging the contributions others make to our lives and moderating our own impulses to be self-aggrandising cunts accordingly, and believing that no man deserves any credit, reward, or recompense for their own efforts because their efforts count for naught? And also that you apparently can't manage to tell the difference between a person who spends countless hours writing what in your own example is a literary masterpiece, and a person who in your other example reads out the results of such an effort.

Aye, thought not, away back to telling yourself what an amazing Herculean superman you are, I imagine the arguments you recite to yourself are far more convincing than the nonsense you're cacking out here.

Magichead:

Nightspore:

Magichead:

Erm, that "comedy sketch" is an accurate summation of the facts. Now, as a child, you have some right to be protected from hard truths like the ones expressed therein, especially by your parents, as encouragement is necessary for healthy development, but as an adult? Fuck off mate; if someone I know my age was crowing about winning contest for reciting other people's poetry, they would get that speech from me pretty much verbatim, with more swearing and incredulity of course, and they would deserve every word of it.

Wow, you took my satirical caricature of extreme determinism versus personal success and said it is accurate, except that with children we have to tell them comforting lies to protect their feelings. Shit, mate, I didn't realise you were that deterministic. lol.

I now have another comedy sketch.

Magichead decides to write a novel. He spends 9 months on it. Working all hours of the day (except for the odd coffee break and visiting Escapist R&P forums to swear at people). He nurtures that novel, agonising over the prose, mining his own furious inner demons to work literary alchemy and create the 21st century literary equivalent of Ulysses.

He finally completes his masterpiece and sends his novel to Polygon books. They like it. They like it a lot.

The book is published to high acclaim. It is nominated as a front-runner for the Booker Prize, and the big studios have already decided to option a movie out of it.

Magichead demands a meeting with Polygon as he has only been paid 10 quid 36 pence and he hasn't even been invited to the Booker Prize nor heard anything about payment for the film tie-in.

The head of Polygon books explains.

"Aye, well Magichead, it would be unfair for us to pay you anymore than a tenner thirty six personally as it wisnae really you wit writ the book, wis it now?"

"What do you mean you capitalist bastards. I spent months slaving over that book!"

"Aye, but you see, the modern novel itself wisnae exactly invented by you wis it? Wis it now? Ama right? So some o the profits went to the estates o men like Defoe and Swift because they are more responsible for the genre o the modern novel than you are. And let's no forget the English language itself. Or the state funded polis."

"WTF. The Police! What have they got to do with my masterpiece?"

"Aye, well. Imagine if some wee gangbangers had done yeh a mischief, say. Done ye so bad, ken, that ye couldnae write yer novel in the first place. Aye? You see the bigger picture yet, chief? You have them Polis to thank for keeping yeh safe during the writing o that novel and they need to get paid just as much as you do."

"Outrageous. What the f### is this chickens### outfit!"

"Now now, son. Contain yersel. Forgive me fir being a wee bit blunt wi yeh chief but yer no a child anymare, now the truth o the matter is that yeh owe maist o it tae all they other people so wi decided to cut oot the middle man - that's you - and pay all the ither people as well, which leaves you wi approximately 10 pounds 36 pence."

Later that week Magichead watches the Booker Prize on TV and his book wins first prize. Collecting the book is a panel of experts made up of English language professors, English teachers, Magichead's mum, a portrait of Defoe and Swift, a Scottish Deputy Chief police officer, some goofy looking physicist representing the Big Bang and a wee fat guy from the Department of Transport.

Regards

Nightspore

Is there a point somewhere in this gigantic pile of spurious shite, other than that you are incapable of grasping the difference between acknowledging the contributions others make to our lives and moderating our own impulses to be self-aggrandising cunts accordingly, and believing that no man deserves any credit, reward, or recompense for their own efforts because their efforts count for naught? And also that you apparently can't manage to tell the difference between a person who spends countless hours writing what in your own example is a literary masterpiece, and a person who in your other example reads out the results of such an effort.

Aye, thought not, away back to telling yourself what an amazing Herculean superman you are, I imagine the arguments you recite to yourself are far more convincing than the nonsense you're cacking out here.

Here I was hoping that you would show your mettle and write a counter satire on the limits of free will and if you had and it had been funny and witty I would probably have tried to make peace with you.

But instead you call me a cunt.

I am done with you permanently.

Welcome to my ignore list.

Regards

Nightspore

captcha: look away

Nightspore:
Here I was hoping that you would show your mettle and write a counter satire on the limits of free will and if you had and it had been funny and witty I would probably have tried to make peace with you.

Wat

Dude, your "satire" was exceedingly long and drawn-out, completely unfunny and failed miserably at imitating reality, or making a lick of sense. As Magichead pointed out, you drew an almost hilariously false dichotomy and missed his point entirely. And never mind that the whole thing was a complete non-sequitur to begin with!

Stagnant:

Arsen:
Some CHOOSE to have intellect.
Others falter because of their own demons.
Others...simply refuse to give a shit.

My problem are these people who strive on and on about "equality" when all it is is mismatched favoritism in the guise of it, therefore throwing things out of balance and handing opportunity to those who aren't deserving of it through strength, merit, and meritocratic belief.

...I really can't make heads or tails of this. Care to elaborate?

I think what he 'tried' to say was giving support to immigrants, sick and poor is wrong. Immigrants being 'because of their religion' and the sick and poor being strength and merit. basicly he put everything on its head and used different words to describe things.

And that giving support to theese people is favouritism, much like the free scholarships to poor people. Because it isnt equal if rich people and christians dont get free scholarships and monetary support too, like the immigrants and poor people. And favouritism is wrong.

The intellect parts seems to be a replacement for sloth. Aka. All poor people, immigrants, and the sick. Could 'choose' not to be lazy and therefor improve their place in soceity.

Soooo.. Run of the mill rightwing position if I didnt analyze it wrong. It 'was' pretty hard to understand.

Stagnant:
And never mind that the whole thing was a complete non-sequitur to begin with!

Bear in mind how many people think that non-sequiturs are a short-cut to hilarity.

Stagnant:

Arsen:
Some CHOOSE to have intellect.
Others falter because of their own demons.
Others...simply refuse to give a shit.

My problem are these people who strive on and on about "equality" when all it is is mismatched favoritism in the guise of it, therefore throwing things out of balance and handing opportunity to those who aren't deserving of it through strength, merit, and meritocratic belief.

...I really can't make heads or tails of this. Care to elaborate?

Illogical and immoral philosophies and civics give him a boner, and he wants to share it. Nothing to see, really.

DrVornoff:

Stagnant:
And never mind that the whole thing was a complete non-sequitur to begin with!

Bear in mind how many people think that non-sequiturs are a short-cut to hilarity.

I haven't slept for ten days. That'd be too long.

Not G. Ivingname:
Will you be killed when a toilet falls from space?

Completely off topic: I would be willing to bet you are a 'dead like me' fan.

Bohemian Waltz:

Not G. Ivingname:
Will you be killed when a toilet falls from space?

Completely off topic: I would be willing to bet you are a 'dead like me' fan.

Off topic: Sorry, never heard of them.

On Topic: Using luck as a reason for economic regulation I never really bought, your not removing the luck factor inherent in life, your just trying to patch it in expensive and often ineffective ways, also increasing the power of those luck enough to be voted into Congress.

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