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Why aren't there stories with STD?

moredrowsy
Updated:

I just found out my friend contracted STD from his gf (ouch) and it just piqued my curiosity. None of the stories I read on storiesonline ever touch on the subject, or even close to a mention of thinking "are you clean" before the shagging begins (especially in those harem or slutty stories)?

What stories on storiesonline have an actual MC that worried about HIV or STDs or even an MC that actually got infected? I suppose it's a moot question to ask since most stories here are written to cater reader's fantasies and having the MC worry or contract STD is a mood killer but the thought of reading one seems interesting (and add a more realistic dimension to those serious type stories like Al Steiner ones).

Ernest Bywater

many don't because they don't won't to take the risk of messing up the treatment plans. But some stories do mention STDs - Stupid Boy is one of them Tracey has an STD issue. There are a few others I've read that involve STD's, but not many.

awnlee jawking

@moredrowsy

In Lazlo Zalezac's 'A. King and His Queen', one of the characters contracts an STD. I've seen a few other examples too but generally you're right, it interrupts the fantasy.

AJ

docholladay

Probably because unlike in real life. The characters in stories don't have that to worry about. The only diseases the characters have to worry about are those required for the story details. Otherwise who wants to read about those things.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@docholladay

Probably because unlike in real life. The characters in stories don't have that to worry about.


Could be, but the number of people who have an STD at any one time isn't that high, and few tell anyone about having an STD unless there are legal reasons they have to do so. Thus the number of people you know in real life who have an STD is likely to be zero or very close to it, unless you're part of a sub-community where they're more common or of a much higher concern - such as the sex industry.

Zom

@moredrowsy

What stories on storiesonline have an actual MC that worried about HIV or STDs

'Daze in the Valley' by Jay Cantrell makes STDs and HIV major plot themes towards the end of tale. And its a great yarn too!

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@moredrowsy

It's certainly not common, but there's even a tag for it ("safe"?). I try to address it in my stories, though it's hardly a central element to the stories. Hell, I just included it in a new story, even though it runs counter to the story's plot (that they're incapable of becoming pregnant at the moment).

Rather than a "moot point", I see it more as a small subset of the readers' interest, like "small" for "underdeveloped breasts". In most cases, I don't even code for it, since it's not a central element, just something to note in passing.

@Ernest

Could be, but the number of people who have an STD at any one time isn't that high, and few tell anyone about having an STD unless there are legal reasons they have to do so.


Sorry, but that's simply not true. The entire reason they instituted the 3-stage inoculation for HPV is because 14 million teens contract it every year in the U.S. alone! Unfortunately, the only time you know you have HPV is when you come down with cancer some 20 years down the road!

There was also a big piece in the NY Times today, stating that the majority (I forget the figure) of teens and young adults consider oral sex to be risk free in regards to STDs!

And you wonder at the intelligence of TV's supposed 'geniuses'!

awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer


Unfortunately, the only time you know you have HPV is when you come down with cancer some 20 years down the road!


I think the genital warts might be a big clue.

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

I think the genital warts might be a big clue.

Men have no symptoms at all (for the most part), which is why it's so prevalent. Also, only a small number of women have exposed/obvious warts.

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@Crumbly Writer

Lots of SOL stories have STuDs.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

HPV is because 14 million teens contract it every year in the U.S. alone! Unfortunately, the only time you know you have HPV


If they don't know they have it, how can they know 14 million get it? At that rate everyone in the USA should have it by now - I doubt it.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
StoryMaker

It may be a turnoff for some readers. For example, on porn movies where the guy is wearing a rubber I don't watch them.

Replies:   graybyrd
graybyrd

@StoryMaker

It may be a turnoff for some readers.


Rubbers are a big turnoff. But so is the thought of one's willy swelling up, turning black & yellow & green, getting drippy, and then shriveling and wilting and falling off ... that's kind of a turnoff that most don't want to write about ... much less read & enjoy. Unless, of course, you're one of them... sadists?

docholladay

A major factor is that in fiction. The only risks for the characters are those the writer includes. Otherwise the characters have no risks of std's or pregnancies.

A fictional character in some ways lives and dies in an idealistic world. Sometimes its a good way to bring up real hard issues which need to be brought out into the open(doesn't always work).

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

If they don't know they have it, how can they know 14 million get it? At that rate everyone in the USA should have it by now - I doubt it.

Duh! They take a random sampling (using a significant number, to prove the numbers aren't a fluke), and then apply the results to the population at large. It's standard practice, and hardly anything new. The numbers might vary slightly in different segments of the population, but it would hold true overall.

@graybyrd

Rubbers are a big turnoff. But so is the thought of one's willy swelling up, turning black & yellow & green, getting drippy, and then shriveling and wilting and falling off

I always smile when I hear the comment in ads for ED drugs about 'talk to your doctor if your erection lasts longer than 4 hours'. It sounds innocent enough, but that's an indication of oxygen starvation, which could lead to gangrene of the penis--about the only case of a penis turning black and falling off (or being surgically removed to save the man's life). 'D

@docholladay

A major factor is that in fiction. The only risks for the characters are those the writer includes. Otherwise the characters have no risks of STD's or pregnancies.

I mention it in passing because I don't write wish-fulfillment stories. Mentioning something which most people consider when having sex adds an element of realism, and shows the character cares about their partner and their future.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Duh! They take a random sampling (using a significant number, to prove the numbers aren't a fluke), and then apply the results to the population at large. It's standard practice, and hardly anything new. The numbers might vary slightly in different segments of the population, but it would hold true overall.


It's a standard practice that's often been shown to be a total failure. A random sampling from San Francisco will give a totally different result to a random sampling from Grand Forks, North Dakota. The majority of the time they do such surveys the organisers select an area for the sampling that suits what they want to show. The only valid stats is when you actually have a solid sampling of 25% or more of the target group - anything less is just to give your wild ass guess and general direction to aim at. And Yes, I know all about the mathematics behind survey sampling, except they assume the spread across the whole is even, and that is NEVER the same with people.

As I said, based on the figures if 14 million teens per year getting STDs (other than pregnancies) means every damn teen and young adult has an STD within a few years.

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

For a population as large as the United States of America, 25% is an absurdly large sample. Even restricted to females between certain ages, the total population is in the millions. Done correctly, not using just one geographic region, or (for example) just ones with land line telephones, a very small sample, one percent or less, can give valid mean and standard deviation that should be very consistent with the mean and standard deviation of the entire population. As the population shrinks, larger percentage samples are required. If a high school has 1,000 students a sample size near 100 would be reasonable. For just female freshmen (perhaps 125 population, I would expect a sample size near 30 would be required. If the total population is less than 40 or so, normal curves probably don't do a good job describing it, and sample sizes would need to be half or more of the population. If you sample IQs over 130, normal curves and sample sizes would not work very well depending on what is being measured. Height or weight may well be normally distributed. Computational ability or highest education achieved probably would be much higher than for the entire population. Sometimes sample size depends on what you are trying to measure. Height to the nearest foot will likely be either 5 (for females) or 6 (for males). A relatively small sample will take care of that particular survey.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@richardshagrin


can give valid mean and standard deviation that should be very consistent with the mean and standard deviation of the entire population.


Statistic theory says you're right, however, the empirical evidence is that a lot of the statistical theory is invalid when applied to people.

Let's take the figure provided earlier - and I'm not going to find out where it came from or go into detail on populations and population spreads etc. I'll just use simplified basic maths to point out the absurdity of the figure supplied, despite being provided from an accepted statistical gathering system.

The quote given earlier is HPV is because 14 million teens contract it every year in the U.S. alone! - bold added by me.

A little rounding and averaging to simplify things - The US population between 1 and 81 is 320 million to give an average of 4 million per year of age. Teens are 13 to 19 - a 7 year spread for 28 million teens. each year another 4 million enter the group and another 4 million leave it. Assume no one in this group has HPV in year zero.

Year one 14 million of the 28 million contract HPV - assume all the graduation group are HPV - thus 4 million with HPV graduate and 4 million without HPV join the group, that leaves 10 million in the teen group with HPV and 18 million without it once the new ones arrive.

Year two another 14 million get HPV to make it 28 million with HPV. 4 million move up and 4 million move in. Thus 4 million without and 14 million with HPV.

Year three you can only have the incoming 4 million and last year's incoming 4 million get infected and are still 6 million short. Or isn't everyone getting treated and some getting re-infected?

At 14 million a year, in 25 years the entire US population has HPV.

Despite the validity of the statistic method being stated, the reality is the figures do not make any sense at all. The quoted figure is stated for teens only and states 4.3% of the entire population. If there are any who aren't teens getting infected, then it goes higher again. If the same statistical variation is applied across the entire population age group, you're looking at something like and annual infection rate of 50% for the whole population. That's a pandemic of Biblical proportions and the US Health Authorities would be racing around like made chooks.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@Crumbly Writer

I mention it in passing because I don't write wish-fulfillment stories. Mentioning something which most people consider when having sex adds an element of realism, and shows the character cares about their partner and their future.


I do like one thing I have seen done in many stories especially the so-called wish-fulfillment category. The writers state at the very beginning of the story that anyone thinking of actually doing some of the things in the story needs to get help. Of course I do know that anyone who really thinks of doing those things will never go and get help willingly.

docholladay

@Ernest Bywater

Very true. Any standard rating system has the same problems. I found that out with the psychology tests used to diagnose patients. The tests are written and scored in such a manner that at least one type of patient will always have a wrong diagnosis. The so-called experts, can not figure out why their tests don't work with those patients. I found the answer in 1 minute. A very simple solution.

Ernest Bywater

@docholladay

Any standard rating system has the same problems.


It's like what people call the Bell Curve Marking System (can't remember how to spell the real fancy name for it) a lot of the education systems use today. They take all the cores and mark them out, then the assign a pass on the basis of where they fall on the curve. Although that rates everyone comparative to all the others, it shows no realistic result.

I had a lengthy discussion about this with one of the professors at a major NSW university and I got no where with him until I grab some of the exam papers another professor had just finished marking and pointed out the top score on the paper was 72%. Thus a person with a score of 70% was marked as the top 5 percentile. Pulled out a prior years exam results to show 70% in that year was in the 50 to 60 percentile. Using the curve system if the whole class scores badly, then you can have people passing as top students with marks that would have seen them fail in prior years. Thus the system was unfair to students from other years. It was an interesting 2 hours, and only ended when another professor said, "Now you know why we don't use the curve mark system in our faculty. We have to prove our students know the work before we unleash them on the world, or they'll end up killing people with their engineering mistakes."

It all comes back to - lies, damn lies, and statistics.

Dominions Son

@docholladay

I found the answer in 1 minute. A very simple solution.


do share.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay
Updated:

@Dominions Son


do share.


All the tests are keyed to give certain results without taking into consideration one major factor.

The factor is: The number of trials and errors an individual with any kind of problem regardless of if its mental, emotional or physical or a combination will go through to find a method that works for them. It is like testing for sight in a pitch black room with one individual out of a hundred having been born blind. Guess which one of the subjects would get through the room test with least amount of problems. If all the results state if a person has problems getting around they are "Blind".

edited to add: the tests give the answers they are setup to give. Same problem as with other unrelated test areas such as the Statistic's mentioned by Ernest earlier. The doctors base their diagnosis on those results. I know which label has been given to the problem but its just about all the information they have on it. Requirements for consideration are kind of extreme as well. Had a doctor finally label me as that disorder and listed symptoms which had never made it to my records (I read them illegally). Asked me to volunteer to let him try different drugs to see what the results would be. That doctor would have made a lousy poker player. I told him I would let him know at my next appointment in one week. A week later I was LONG GONE from that state.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@docholladay

All the tests are keyed to give certain results without taking into consideration one major factor.


That identifies the fault in the testing methods, but I don't see any kind of solution.

Replies:   docholladay  docholladay
docholladay

@Dominions Son

That identifies the fault in the testing methods, but I don't see any kind of solution.


Solution is in the requirement for consideration. How much natural ability does the individual have. Adjust the test accordingly.

richardshagrin
Updated:

Lies and Statistics.

It depends on what the statistician wants to prove. Actuaries are professionals who work with statistical methods to develop insurance rates. I asked one to develop some expense factors for me so we could charge insureds enough to make a profit. I gave him the expenses based on the last 3 complete years, the current year wasn't complete enough to figure the expenses. He said, with three data points I can fit any of a dozen trend lines to the data and predict any number you want.

Methods and sample design are why statisticians get paid enough to live on. Maybe more. Almost any regulated industry submits rates to various government bodies state, federal and in some cases local to get approval for what they want to charge. To prepare these rates they hire statisticians, sometimes called actuaries, and to evaluate the filings, other statisticians who work for the government, analyze them to try to find better or at least lower rates so voters won't get mad at the government that approved the rates. Typically they look at three to five years of statistical results. Sometimes the past predicts the future. Sometimes, say for earthquake or Volcanic eruption or flood, even ten years of data won't do the job.

If we sample only living people, statistically no one ever dies. Statistics is a tool, and the guys that use that tool may need a hammer, saw or screwdriver. To Screw the public. The bind man picked up his hammer and saw. Good statisticians have experience and education to know when the data you have applies to what you are trying to find. Or how to use the data you have to get the result you want. After all, you are the guy paying them. If you don't like the statistical answer they get, you will fire them and hire somebody else.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
docholladay

@Dominions Son

If you give the same person the exact same test 3 or more times and each time the test returns a different answer. Would you still accept that the test was perfectly accurate or would you look for a reason for the difference?
The doctors among others had repeatedly given me the same tests and each one had different results or diagnoses. What was the true diagnosis in that situation?

Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin

It depends on what the statistician wants to prove.


Correct, and small sampling can work with some things with reasonable accuracy, but it doesn't work with all things, especially when it deals with something that has a huge amount of variables. Also, how you ask the survey questions will bias the results.

I did a course on statistics at college years ago and one thing I remember about it was being told how they can tell the story while telling a complete lie at the same time. To illustrate a point the combat reports for an Allied raid on a German Base in North Africa during WW2 were handed out. They had the reports from both sides. The statistical analysis showed the Allied attackers had suffered 16% dead and 68% wounded while the German defenders suffered 5% dead and 8% wounded. Sounds like the Allies lost, but when you go to the raw figures and see the Allies had 8 dead and 34 wounded out of their 50 man force while the Germans had 20 dead and 32 wounded out of their 400 man force and the targeted equipment was destroyed, you get a totally different picture.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

Correct and in my example the major problem with those tests and their results is simple. The so-called experts are accepting results from a standardized test of human minds. The experts are letting standardized tests do the thinking for them.

Edited to add: Result the test results can not be wrong. So just add this label to the patient's records.

docholladay

In plain language. Those Doctors are letting their tools do their thinking for them. The tools are never wrong or something like that.

red61544

The main reason that STDs are seldom mentioned is the same reason there are few smaller than average dicks, men with premature ejaculation problems, ugly women whose breasts are as flat as a fried egg and, god forbid, impotency! Erotica is supposed to be a turn on; none of those things are!

Replies:   docholladay  Not_a_ID
docholladay

@red61544

Most of the current writers do at least stress safe sex practices by having medical exams and such. In the past I have seen other kinds of warnings as well as the magical cures for almost everything imaginable. (if only it was possible). Just the current authors are more open in mentioning it. Before it was almost a taboo subject for writers. Times do change and what is acceptable or expected also changes. Its why we can't judge the past by today's standards.

Not_a_ID
Updated:

@red61544

ugly women whose breasts are as flat as a fried egg and, god forbid, impotency!


While my personal aesthetic tends more towards the B and C cup range, and sometimes larger. I have to admit there are women out there that could be charter members of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee who look pretty damn good in the nude, at least if posed in the right way, in the right lighting, okay, nevermind on that.

Erotica is supposed to be a turn on; none of those things are!


Going to agree on this, oozing pus, open sores, inflamed rashes, so and so forth are not things most people would consider sexually exciting, and I'd be worried about the people who do. So while discussing that in the context of a "true to life" type story, or something geared towards sex-education makes sense...

When talking in terms of erotica in general as a genre that most people read for sexual stimulation, not education. That is one of the last things you want to have in your story as it is likely to squick the reader and send them packing.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
oyster50

I've tossed a reference or two into stories, both near misses.

In Serendipity the main female character found that she had chlamydia when she did a physical after she decided to change her lifestyle.

In Dana the male protagonist relates that one of his former girlfriends passed gonorrhea onto a subsequent mate. Our guy avoided it by wearing a condom.

I can't see how sharing an STD might improve a story, but, hey, you never know.

Replies:   graybyrd
Crumbly Writer

@Not_a_ID

Going to agree on this, oozing pus, open sores, inflamed rashes, so and so forth are not things most people would consider sexually exciting, and I'd be worried about the people who do.

Which is why HPV is the perfect writer's tool. There are few visible signs, most guys are completely unaware they have it, and it allows for plenty of drama without getting into the 'gooky bits'. Still, most people have trouble trusting anyone who gave them a venereal disease, whatever the reason.

graybyrd

@oyster50

I can't see how sharing an STD might improve a story, but, hey, you never know.


Greetings, Oyster! Love yer stuff.

In my days of yore as a sailor in Uncle Sam's drinking & yachting club (way, way back when), the terror tale whispered about was the dreaded long-shanked microblade gadget that the doc would shove all the way up inside yer dick, twist to open the little blades, and then slowly pull it back out. New guys would come to near passin' out, hearing this. It was done to drain the dick of the nasty puss n' stuff from a wild weekend in Subic Bay, P.I. or some such.

Later it got even better when tales of the "incurable" nastiness hit the fleet.

This lad kept his dick safely tucked away behind that big buttoned flap of his dress blue britches, so none of this comes from personal experience.

But it might be fun to write about! Sheee-it, Doc! Damn those blades! Ain't you never sharpened 'em?

Replies:   red61544
red61544

@graybyrd

The "incurable" venereal disease was actually a fact for a while in Viet Nam. Many first aid kits were issued with tetracycline tablets. Guys started taking it as a "no sweat" pill, a preventative before they went visiting the girls. That might work unless you waited too long and the effectiveness of the antibiotic was waning. Many STDs that were going around learned to thrive on tetracycline as a result. The "incurable VD" became curable when the medics switched from tetracycline to other antibiotics but sadly, many GIs returned home before the switch was made and infected many wives and girlfriends.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@red61544


The "incurable" venereal disease was actually a fact for a while in Viet Nam. Many first aid kits were issued with tetracycline tablets. ... The "incurable VD" became curable when the medics switched from tetracycline to other antibiotics but sadly, many GIs returned home before the switch was made and infected many wives and girlfriends.


Sadly, those 'better days' are now limited, due to indiscriminate use of antibiotics (and arguably, over their use as a growth hormone to boost productivity). As a result, it's only a limited amount of time until we have a variety of venial diseases which become just an 'incurable' as a couple were during the Viet Nam error.

There's talk in the scientific community over developing an entirely new class of antibiotic, resistant to 'anti-resistant strains', from of all things, dirt. But so far, that research hasn't led very far yet, and it's uncertain whether any drug manufacturer will invest in the necessary research, since their biggest money-makers are ED treatments, cold medicines and allergy treatments. No one wants to spend a fortune with no guarantee of results, only to risk lawsuits over unforeseen complications down the road.

In short, short-term Corporate greed got us into this mess, and the same short-term greed will prevent us from getting out of it too.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@Crumbly Writer

No one wants to spend a fortune with no guarantee of results, only to risk lawsuits over unforeseen complications down the road.


You can't blame them for not wanting to risk the development of new drugs or treatments. Every time I listen to the TV I hear ads from Lawyers wanting people to join in on the payoff of some "Bad Drug" law suit. Heck of it is, there are always side affects.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

You can't blame them for not wanting to risk the development of new drugs or treatments. Every time I listen to the TV I hear ads from Lawyers wanting people to join in on the payoff of some "Bad Drug" law suit. Heck of it is, there are always side affects.

Except, in most cases, the big jury verdicts involve companies that knew decades ahead of time, that the products had serious complications, and chose to bury those results in order to reap larger rewards. That's where the term "Punitive awards" comes from, they're intentionally large to discourage assholes from peddling dangerous products. And considering more than a few have been for 'vanity' products, of little clear health benefit, and you have a perfect storm of bad choices.

In most cases, it's relatively easy to make a case for a drug during a lawsuit, by emphasizing how many lives were saved, and comparing it to a low incidence of fatalities or other complications. Also, for drugs like Malaria or vaccines, the government will often 'protect' the companies from lawsuits (something few politicians will do anymore, since they all get their medical care for free and simply don't care how many poor, black and Latinos die!).

Big government works, but only if it's done for the common good, rather for personal interest or financial benefit. Drawing that line, given how little politicians admit about what they know, is a difficult process.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Big government works, but only if it's done for the common good


It's never been done for the common good and never will be. The self interest of whoever is on top will always lead to corruption.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

It's never been done for the common good and never will be. The self interest of whoever is on top will always lead to corruption.

I understand your skepticism, but if we all allow ourselves to be terrified of corruption, then everyone suffers as we abandon things like social services (picking up trash, repairing neighborhood and community outreach), infrastructure and health issues.

There was a fascinating account today, which flies in the face of the current rhetoric, when it was observed that the longevity of the poor in Manhattan is much higher than the poor anywhere else in the country. They never explicitly said so, but I imagine it's actually higher than many of the white middle class in the more rural segments of the country.

It's true, people smoke less, exercise more, and generally eat better in Manhattan, a city with the largest disparity between rich and poor in the country, but it goes beyond that. They attribute it to two factors, the expenditures by the city in the health of it's citizens (aka. the 'Nanny State' attempts to tax cigarettes, ban trans fats and label foods adequately), which benefit everyone across the board, but also because the city has so many immigrants, who are generally in better shape, even if they're still poor by U.S. standards.

That flies in the face of the 'blame the foreigners and shut down all medical services without offering any alternatives' mentality. The fact of the matter is, these efforts have saved lives, and they came in no small part because of the choices of a single mayor who risked his political career championing the policies. You can't argue that he did that for his own 'personal gain'. Not when he could do such much better by giving fast-food processors, tobacco and oil execs everything they desire.

The role of government, is to help the people, either thru better trade, supporting productive behaviors, or in supplying the essentials which allow it's people to succeed (education, transportation and health). However, it's the role of the people to continually call the jackasses on their abysmal behavior, and quit applauding every time someone says something ridiculous that reinforces our low opinion of political leaders.

It echos something this generation has forgotten, you get what you pay for every time you elect someone who refuses to be held accountable for their actions.

Political rant over. I know I'll be attacked for suggesting more government spending, but we need to look at results, rather than pointing fingers.

Replies:   Dominions Son  graybyrd
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

The role of government, is to help the people, either thru better trade, supporting productive behaviors, or in supplying the essentials which allow it's people to succeed


Not even the government has the resources to help everyone, even if those resources could be spent with perfect efficiency.

Big government discourages productive behavior, because it necessarily takes the benefits away from the productive and gives them to the unproductive. The most effective thing the government can do to support productive behavior is to get out of the fucking way.

Government supplying the essentials to everyone removes all incentive to succeed.

Replies:   graybyrd  Crumbly Writer  Grant
graybyrd
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


Political rant over. I know I'll be attacked for suggesting more government spending, but we need to look at results, rather than pointing fingers.


I couldn't agree with you more, but that's because I tend to be a left-leaning, Socialist, pinko Communist rat-bastard. Just ask any of my Republican friends!

We live just under the Canadian border in the PacNW; I've got good friends up there. They look at us down here, dying for lack of affordable health care (or affordable insurance) and then they listen to our snarling, whining, bitching, and screaming about "Obamacare!" and they shake their heads. They never, ever worry about access to health care... I have personal knowledge of this from my elderly friends who live there. And there is NO GAWDAMNED RATIONING up there! And they pretty much get what they pay for: freedom from worry that they will die without treatment or be bankrupted from a catastrophic disease. That's just ONE small aspect of paying taxes to get social benefits.

Sure, political systems can be corrupted. We should know: for a hundred years we've enjoyed the most corrupt system of government on the planet!

graybyrd

@Dominions Son

The most effective thing the government can do to support productive behavior is to get out of the fucking way.


Right! That worked so really well for the 29 coal miners killed in W. Virginia. The billionaire owner finally faced justice: he got 12-1/2 days in country-club prison for each man he caused to die, and a $250,000 fine... which was money from his petty cash fund. He'll be out in a year and retiring to a mansion in the Bahamas. Nicely done!

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

Big government discourages productive behavior, because it necessarily takes the benefits away from the productive and gives them to the unproductive. The most effective thing the government can do to support productive behavior is to get out of the fucking way.

I'm sorry, but that's just blatantly insane. You're telling me, that sending on infrastructure, like roads and bridges, because it's better if each person build their own interstate highways, shovel their own shit, or dig their own wells, then you've been drinking your own kool-aid for too long.

The key isn't to HALT all government spending, it's to focus on what works and what doesn't. Limiting the Constitutional rights of gays, lesbians and the transgenered doesn't help anyone, but investing where you can actually save lives, improve living conditions, and build the economy (i.e. supporting the middle class for a change), does.

You're right, we'll always have corruption, and politicians will always lie, but we can't drown millions of babies in the bath water. If we can save lives by implementing common-sense solutions, then there's simply no sense in having ANY government at all. Personally, I'm not looking forward to living in anarchy. I have no desire to move to Syria.

Don't get me wrong, most of the Liberal big spending projects haven't borne out well, but most current political promises are not based on any achievable aims. You simply can't cancel hundreds of years of trade negotiations, or refuse to trade with whole segments of the world we currently depend on. Free University education won't fly either. But if you measure cost vs. benefit, and focus on the biggest gain for the least cost, it gets much easier--but only if you keep everyone's feet to the fire!

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@graybyrd

Right! That worked so really well for the 29 coal miners killed in W. Virginia.


1. If you think the government is out of the way in the coal mining industry, you are delusional.

2. Yes coal mining is dangerous, but overall the benefits far out weigh the risk.

If you want electricity, someone has to mine coal and they have to be able to do it profitably.

https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=427&t=3

And, no there is no practical way to get off coal completely anytime in the next 50 years.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

Edited for a few corrections:


I'm sorry, but that's just blatantly insane. You're telling me, that sending on infrastructure, like roads and bridges, because it's better if each person build their own interstate highways, shovel their own shit, or dig their own wells, then you've been drinking your own kool-aid for too long.


That sort of base infrastructure doesn't need half the government you think it does. In fact that is only 3% of existing Federal spending.

Social Security + all other entitlement programs + interest on the national debt accounts for more than half of all federal spending.

DOD is only around 16%. And if we stayed out of the middle east we could probably cut that in half.


But if you measure cost vs. benefit, and focus on the biggest gain for the least cost, it gets much easier--but only if you keep everyone's feet to the fire!


Yes, and if we actually did that it would reduce the size of the existing Federal government by more than half.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

Social Security + all other entitlement programs + interest on the national debt accounts for more than half of all federal spending.

And that figure, which everyone always points out, is another false issue. If the various politicians of both stripes didn't continually milk the Social SEcurity funds to reduce their spending, it would still be secure. The problem isn't the basic premise, it's that the corrupt have felt free to cripple it for their own benefit, and no one ever calls them on it.

However, I never thought I'd convince you, and if we continue arguing over basic terminology, no one wins. So I'll walk away, and ignore this thread (despite enjoying STD stories 'D) entirely. I just wanted to call you on your outrageous claims, but there's no sense arguing this those who feel they're the sole owners of the truth.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


And that figure, which everyone always points out, is another false issue. If the various politicians of both stripes didn't continually milk the Social SEcurity funds to reduce their spending, it would still be secure


You are incorrect. They can't actually milk the SS trust fund because there isn't (and never has been) any money in it. The do use a few accounting tricks to use the trust fund to make it look like they are taking on less new debt than they actually are, but that's it.

By the terms of the Social Security Act as originally signed by FDR, every dollar in the SS trust fund must be invested in securities that are as least as safe as US treasury bonds. Of course government bureaucrats will never accept that any private security is as safe as sovereign debt.

So a Dollar goes in the trust fund and the trust fund buys one dollar in US treasury bonds. As with US Treasury bonds sold to the general public, the dollar goes into the general fund.

It has been that way from day one. There has never been anything in the trust fund

The trust fund is an illusion, it always has been.

SSA requires that total benefits paid not exceed this years SS tax receipts puss the balance on the trust fund.

The trust fund is an illusion designed to allow them to pay SS benefits in excess of SS tax receipts with brand spanking new debt. There isn't anywhere near enough money in the general fund to redeem the SS trusts treasury bonds without crippling the rest of the government.

ETA: Here's the real problem with SS. Most people bought the lie that it was some kind of social insurance that your tax dollars were invested to pay your benefits. It was never like that. It is and always has been a pay as you go program where current SS taxes pay current benefits.

When SS was created, there were 30 workers paying in for every beneficiary. But the picture is very different now. It's less than 3 workers for every beneficiary.

Oh, When SS was created, the average life expectancy beyond SS eligibility was only 5-10 years.

The problem isn't the basic premise, it's that the corrupt have felt free to cripple it for their own benefit, and no one ever calls them on it.


No, the problem is human nature. You can't prevent the corruption. You could call them on it and put them in jail and the next guy will still end up just as corrupt no matter how good his intentions were in the beginning. Power corrupts. The only way to limit the corruption is to limit the power.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
docholladay

@Crumbly Writer

And that figure, which everyone always points out, is another false issue. If the various politicians of both stripes didn't continually milk the Social SEcurity funds


Its not just the Social Security funds which the politicians grab hold of without paying back. And of course the funding problems according to them is the fault of the very funds they are raping for their own programs. If only there was some way to actually keep their dirty hands off those funds. The programs might just work as intended.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@docholladay

Its not just the Social Security funds which the politicians grab hold of without paying back.


Again, there is nothing in the SS trust fond for politicians to grab. All that's in it is US sovereign debt.

Grant

@Dominions Son

The most effective thing the government can do to support productive behavior is to get out of the fucking way.

Minimal government hasn't worked in the past.
Why would it be any different now?

Government supplying the essentials to everyone removes all incentive to succeed.

No, it removes the arguments about "I had to steal this or that in order to support myself/family, whoever".
The government should supply the bare basics- food, shelter, medical care, clothing.
If you want more than the minimum, you work for it.

Capt Zapp
Updated:

@Grant


No, it removes the arguments about "I had to steal this or that in order to support myself/family, whoever".


This is just an excuse for being too lazy to go out and earn it yourself.

The government should supply the bare basics- food, shelter, medical care, clothing.

If you want more than the minimum, you work for it.


If the government is going to supply all this, why bother to work? And who is going to pay for all this 'free' stuff the government provides?

Replies:   Dominions Son  Not_a_ID  Grant
Dominions Son

@Grant

Minimal government hasn't worked in the past.
Why would it be any different now?


Maximal government hasn't worked in the past. Why would it be any different now? (USSR)

Dominions Son

@Capt Zapp

If the government is going to supply all this, why bother to work? And who is going to pay for all this 'free' stuff the government provides?


It's all going to come from pixie dust and unicorn farts.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Dominions Son

@Grant

The government should supply the bare basics- food, shelter, medical care, clothing.
If you want more than the minimum, you work for it.


This has been tried. It's called communism. Generally, it makes everyone but government officials dirt poor and eventually collapses under it's own weight. No government on the face of the earth has sufficient resources to do what you suggest sustainably.

Replies:   Grant
oyster50

Boy! This thread went off into the shrubbery.

"I gots de clap? Does that mean I'm a dimmocrat?"

You can substitute the group of your choice.

And yes, as a former VD NCO in the Army in Korea, I had a good understanding of all the good ones, made sure everybody watched the film, kept a big box of free rubbers next to the box that held the passes, and could pronounce lymphogranuloma venereum and granuloma inguinale. That's some interesting pictures.

O

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Dominions Son

By the terms of the Social Security Act as originally signed by FDR, every dollar in the SS trust fund must be invested in securities that are as least as safe as US treasury bonds. Of course government bureaucrats will never accept that any private security is as safe as sovereign debt.

I'm sorry, but there are thousands of ways to change those laws, and they're enacted virtually every year in a variety of minor 'laws' past to juggle funds between accounts--not of which officially amend the original Social Security law--and thus won't show up if you study only the original document.

The biggest, as you say, is to offset actual expenditures, making it look like bad policy works when they count SS funds as income to balance a falling debt ratio. However, those funds never get paid back, and all the losses incurred based on those bad policies ultimately come out of the Social Security Fund when it 'falls short' of expectations.

Government accountability is a huge house of cards--which is why I keep emphasizing the point isn't to quit on helping anyone--it's to hold the damn liars accountable for their failed decision!

And I disagree that the problem is with corruption--it is a major problem, but it isn't insurmountable. As you pointed out, the biggest problem is our aging population and vastly expanded lifespan. Thus the #1 solution wouldn't be to defund or privatize SS, but to shorten everyone lifespan--something the Republicans have been working on for the past several decades, but it's as unsuccessful as many of their economic theories.

Damn, I wish I'd pay attention when I threaten to refuse to continue discussions!

@Oyster50

And yes, as a former VD NCO in the Army in Korea, I had a good understanding of all the good ones, made sure everybody watched the film, kept a big box of free rubbers next to the box that held the passes, and could pronounce lymphogranuloma venereum and granuloma inguinale. That's some interesting pictures.

I'm looking forward to your upcoming STD story! 'D It'll certainly be more interesting than all this political claptrap.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

However, those funds never get paid back, and all the losses incurred based on those bad policies ultimately come out of the Social Security Fund when it 'falls short' of expectations.


There is nothing in the SS trust fund but US sovereign debt (treasury bonds). There never has been, and never will be. The US federal government can't take treasury bonds out of the SS trust fund and spend them. What they do is nothing more than accounting gimmicks and doesn't actually affect the SS Trust's "balance" in any way.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

And I disagree that the problem is with corruption--it is a major problem, but it isn't insurmountable. As you pointed out, the biggest problem is our aging population and vastly expanded lifespan. Thus the #1 solution wouldn't be to defund or privatize SS, but to shorten everyone lifespan--something the Republicans have been working on for the past several decades, but it's as unsuccessful as many of their economic theories.


I did not say the major problem with Social Security. The problem is too many beneficiaries and too few workers.

One way to address that balance would be to increase the age at which people can start collecting SS benefits. Encourage people to stay in the workforce longer as long as they are healthy.

Another way is to push policies that increase employment. This means reviewing existing regulations and eliminating unnecessary regulations (and yes, there are a lot of them). However simply reorganizing existing regulation with and eye to reducing the cost of compliance would help a lot.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
tppm

I've seen stories with "This story is set in an alternate universe in which there are no STDs, and pregnancy only occurs if it's wanted. Please practice safe sex in the real world." as part of the disclaimers.

Not_a_ID

@Grant

The government should supply the bare basics- food, shelter, medical care, clothing.
If you want more than the minimum, you work for it.


The government doesn't grow crops, farmers do.

The government doesn't grow crops or raise cattle to support the textile industry. Farmers do.

The government doesn't create cloth, and it certainly doesn't create clothing. The textile industry does.

The government doesn't provide shelter, land owners do. Who in turn have their own share of "tail" involved in building and maintaining said shelter.

The government doesn't provide medical care. First responders, paramedics, EMT's, nurses, and Doctors do. Where again a lot of other "tail" crops up, from the land owner, to support service providers(medical supplies, drugs, etc)

The government also doesn't provide medications, pharmaceutical companies do.

Now,that isn't to say that government can't function as an intermediary between the customer and the provider. In particular for those who cannot afford such services. But let's not confuse the middlemen with who is actually making things happen.

I take a fair bit of issue with people who claim they have a "right to be their own person" and that right somehow seems to include depriving most of the above mentioned people of a significant portion of their own rights in the process.

Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Capt Zapp

This is just an excuse for being too lazy to go out and earn it yourself.


That is an oversimplification. People do get injured in honest-to-God accidents, which can put them in dire straits immediately. There also is no shortage of bigots and other types who are more than happy to continue (proverbially) kicking a person once they're down, if their victim fits a certain profile for them.

So there is a basis for wanting assistance programs to exist. I'm a big fan of charities and other non-Governmental types, but others have larger ambitions, and aspirations that government can cover more ground and be more effective than a NGO.

I do get great amusement about the charitable actions of the big name "Social Justice" advocates on that front. As actual charity seems to be outside of their nature. The government needs to make them do it, or they won't. While the people who most frequently protest about the government becoming involved, are the charity doners. Odd, that.

Replies:   Dominions Son  Capt Zapp
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Dominions Son

Replicators from Star Trek and advanced power generation systems to run them on, presumably also from Star Trek. ;)

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

People do get injured in honest-to-God accidents, which can put them in dire straits immediately


So there is a basis for wanting assistance programs to exist.


Yes there is such a basis. but the comment to which Capt Zapp was replying was saying that the government should provide all of the basic necessities to everyone, not just those who are truly incapable of providing for themselves.

There is no government anywhere on earth with sufficient resources to do such a thing sustainably.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

Replicators from Star Trek and advanced power generation systems to run them on, presumably also from Star Trek. ;)


I say mythical tomatoes, you say mythical tomahtoes

Not_a_ID

@Dominions Son

There is no government anywhere on earth with sufficient resources to do such a thing sustainably.


Well, if they nationalize(socialize) everything, then arguably they do because the government is the economy at that point. But as history demonstrates, most recently in Venezuela, such efforts tend to only enrich the people at the head of the government, and utterly destroys the middle class.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Capt Zapp

@Not_a_ID

This is just an excuse for being too lazy to go out and earn it yourself.

That is an oversimplification. People do get injured in honest-to-God accidents, which can put them in dire straits immediately. There also is no shortage of bigots and other types who are more than happy to continue (proverbially) kicking a person once they're down, if their victim fits a certain profile for them.


You left out the part I quoted:

No, it removes the arguments about "I had to steal this or that in order to support myself/family, whoever".


So you are saying that if someone becomes injured though an 'honest-to-God accident', then it gives them permission to go out and steal from someone else in order to support '(themselves)/family, whoever'? If they have enough ability to go out and steal someone else's property, it seems to me that they have the ability to do some kind of work.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
graybyrd

This is sounding a bit like our presently on-going national insanity where supposedly intelligent and capable men and women are diving head first into the septic tank of primary politics. It's an appropriate setting for all the shit-flinging they're engaged in.

THAT SAID, this on-going bullshit thread is proving yet again, that everyone is entitled to their own opinion (and, hopefully, will accept full blame therein) but NOBODY is entitled to their own FACTS!

Calm down for one moment and consider that nobody past the age of nine or ten years old is going to change their opinion! So the truth of trying to teach pigs to sing remains valid. All you guys are doing is pissing each other off, and annoying the hell out of the rest of us. Exchange email addresses and continue the verbal sparring privately.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

But as history demonstrates, most recently in Venezuela, such efforts tend to only enrich the people at the head of the government, and utterly destroys the middle class.


And ultimately they collapse under the unsustainable financial strain.

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

One way to address that balance would be to increase the age at which people can start collecting SS benefits. Encourage people to stay in the workforce longer as long as they are healthy.

Except, increasing the age of retirement simply means you'll pay out more welfare and public service benefits for all those too sick or poor to survive waiting for retirement. And you can encourage people to remain in the workforce as much as you want, but until someone besides Walmart starts hiring people over 60, it'll never fly. Hell, most people over 50 can't find jobs, regardless of how qualified and up-to-date on the newest technologies and business ideas they are.

Those solutions 'sound good', if you don't think about the problem for more than 30-seconds. Real solutions take creativity, and more than simple knee-jerk responses. Instead, putting limits of 'early retirees' just means that many receiving retirement benefits will require welfare for much of the rest of their lives.

We've got a crisis, not just in the U.S., but across the globe, and so far, no one is taking it seriously enough to come up with any ingenious responses to resolve the issues. Even if they did, most politicians and voters would resoundly reject it out of hand.

Now, let's quit arguing dead political discussions and get back to discussing "s/he said". 'D

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

Except, increasing the age of retirement simply means you'll pay out more welfare and public service benefits for all those too sick or poor to survive waiting for retirement.



We've got a crisis, not just in the U.S., but across the globe, and so far, no one is taking it seriously enough to come up with any ingenious responses to resolve the issues.


I am talking about making Social Security sustainable, not fixing poverty.

Maybe you should stop and think that the reason no one has been able to come up with a workable solution to the issue of poverty is that no such solution exists.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Grant

@Dominions Son

This has been tried. It's called communism.

And of course you ignored what I typed after the bit you quoted. (got to love selective quoting so people can use what they want to make their point, and ignore anything that doesn't support that point of view).

Ok, we'll ignore it.
What you called communism didn't work, because it wasn't communism. And the people that were in charge had no intention of being true to the ideals of communism. Nor socialism.

So don't write something off, just because of previous countries failures at implementing something that they used those terms for.

Replies:   Dominions Son  Not_a_ID
Grant

@Capt Zapp

This is just an excuse for being too lazy to go out and earn it yourself.

I'm an Australian, and live in Australia.
A large proportion of the first Europeans that settled here did so as punishment for various crimes.
There were plenty of murderers & the like, but there were even more people that would be classified today as petty thieves- theft of food stuffs being one of the more common crimes people were sentenced to transportation for.
Back in that period of time there just weren't that many jobs available. And many of those that were working in the lower paid jobs often didn't make enough to cover food & rent.

So stealing in order to survive just wasn't about people being too lazy to go out & earn it themselves.

The government should supply the bare basics- food, shelter, medical care, clothing.
If you want more than the minimum, you work for it.



If the government is going to supply all this, why bother to work?

If you're happy to live in the most basic of housing, with the most basic of clothing & the most basic of food stuffs, then there's no need to work.
Of course if you'd like better food, accommodation, entertainment etc then you would work for it.

And who is going to pay for all this 'free' stuff the government provides?

You could always do what the US government does, and just print more money.
Or it could be supported by a general consumption tax.
If everyone is so happy getting by with the minimum, then there'll be bugger all crime. So no need for all the prisons & courts & lawyers we have now.
And the load on the health system will be way down as people won't be able to get wasted on a regular basis as they're not working & so don't have the money to by booze.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Grant


So don't write something off, just because of previous countries failures at implementing something that they used those terms for.


Don't assume that it's even possible to implement your idealized version of communism above the scale of a small village.

Oh, and I didn't ignore what you said after what I quoted. It's just that that sort of corruption is an inevitable result of human nature + the bureaucratic infrastructure necessary to implement communism at a national level.

Dominions Son

@Grant

If you're happy to live in the most basic of housing, with the most basic of clothing & the most basic of food stuffs, then there's no need to work.
Of course if you'd like better food, accommodation, entertainment etc then you would work for it.


One small problem. In order to provide those basics the government must take the fruits of the labor of those who desire to have more.

Because of the tax burden need to provide those basics, those who do work will never be able to work enough to have what they want. All that work and the benefit is going to other people. Once they wake up to that reality, they stop working too.

You could always do what the US government does, and just print more money.


That's been tried before. Every nation that has tried that has either woken up to the fact that it can't be sustained indefinitely or has ended in death, destruction, ruin, and the collapse of the government that tried it.

Don't bet that the US will be able to beat the odds.

Or it could be supported by a general consumption tax.


A high enough consumption tax to support what you are talking about will have the same net effect as an income tax.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  Not_a_ID
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

Because of the tax burden need to provide those basics, those who do work will never be able to work enough to have what they want. All that work and the benefit is going to other people. Once they wake up to that reality, they stop working too.

Sigh! Everyone keeps dredging up these tired old canards. If that was true, then the current American system would guarantee that no one in America would ever rise above the level of middle class, yet we've got the largest social inequality of all time, and we essentially no longer have much of middle class at all. We have no shortage of millionaires or even billionaires, what we lack is a system that's equitable for everyone. I don't see the 'job creators' being limited in the least.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

If that was true, then the current American system would guarantee that no one in America would ever rise above the level of middle class, yet we've got the largest social inequality of all time, and we essentially no longer have much of middle class at all.


We don't see that in the US, because the US is not providing the level of support grant suggests we should. Therefore the existing tax burden while high is not yet high enough to fully eliminate the marginal benefit of working more/harder. Try looking at Greece to see what would happen if we went there.

Replies:   Grant
Not_a_ID

@Dominions Son

Maybe you should stop and think that the reason no one has been able to come up with a workable solution to the issue of poverty is that no such solution exists.


Well, that and it seems to be undergoing constant redefinition.

Amoung first world nations, I doubt there is anyone still living in (sometimes several feet of) untreated sewage and other filth.

Death due to "exposure" is something that is virtually unheard of in the first world, and usually tied to large scale power grid failures from unusually extreme weather more than personal income.

While malnutrition remains a problem, outright (death by) starvation is practically something you have to try to do in order to achieve if you're near any kind of population.

Safe drinking water, and a number of other modern convenience items are also in the hands of the impoverished. It's one of those things about a "rising tide lifting all boats" there are people today who qualify as impoverished who are living in quantifiably better ways than many members of even the upper classes did just a few centuries ago.

It doesn't mean it's all roses for them, but some of the metrics commonly used are a little dubious.

Not_a_ID

@Capt Zapp

So you are saying that if someone becomes injured though an 'honest-to-God accident', then it gives them permission to go out and steal from someone else in order to support '(themselves)/family, whoever'? If they have enough ability to go out and steal someone else's property, it seems to me that they have the ability to do some kind of work.


As already mentioned by others, petty thieves and in modern parlance, shoplifters, don't always do so for the thrill or as a shortcut to getting something they want. They do so because they're destitute, have no support structure working to assist them(not the same as saying it doesn't exist, they're just not using it), and they're starving. So pilfering a roll from a bakery or foodstuffs from various other stands/stores is something they'll do if an opportunity presents itself. If done right by the thief, to the right targets, the effort expended will be minimal enough.

Although I hear dumpster diving for food outside restaurants is, or at least was, common enough too in many areas. Which also isn't normally considered criminal behavior, just disgusting.

You're also ignoring that just because you may claim you're able and willing to work, doesn't mean a prospective employer agrees. Or that an employer would be willing to accommodate any special needs you might have.

But as to being "honestly injured"(as opposed to the slip/fall scammers) and that being ground to give them "permission to steal" as you claim. No, it does not, it does however create a situation where you're likely to turn people into thieves who otherwise would never consider it.

It also provides a "Grade A" example of a case that most decent people would agree that the person in question is a justified charity case. In such cases, most people would(historically) have rendered some form of aid.

Sadly, we live in an age of crooks who know sob stories are great ways to get people to hand cash over to them to do with as they please, and the successful ones can be very successful at it. Which means you either restrict your charity to charities that hopefully are being run honestly, and that they're getting the people they help. Or, you keep your charity close to home, and only assist those people you (think you) know. That latter group is a significant contingent in pushing the government option for "charity"(which it isn't if the government is doing it, but anyhow), as the government "should know" if someone is trying to defraud it. (Excuse me while I go laugh my ass off at that for a bit)

Replies:   Capt Zapp  Dominions Son
richardshagrin

The early Christians were essentially Communists. The sale of your possessions and donating the proceeds to the community (religious leaders) was behind the problem of rich men getting into heaven, like camels passing through needles. I suspect that approach worked less well than Marxist Socialism, which as supposed to occur in the most developed countries, not ones like Russia with very few industrial workers. More about Theories not working?

Not_a_ID

@graybyrd

THAT SAID, this on-going bullshit thread is proving yet again, that everyone is entitled to their own opinion (and, hopefully, will accept full blame therein) but NOBODY is entitled to their own FACTS!


Ah but then we get to third kind of lie, statistics. They can be made to say just about anything. The 2012 Presidential debates were a highlight for me in this, where often the candidates would cite the same Government report, just different pages of it, to argue their position, or refute the claim made by their opponent. Both sides were rather disingenuous in their behavior, the so called "fact checkers" not being much better.

Not_a_ID

@Grant

What you called communism didn't work, because it wasn't communism. And the people that were in charge had no intention of being true to the ideals of communism. Nor socialism.

So don't write something off, just because of previous countries failures at implementing something that they used those terms for.


And the above argument is made about EVERY time one group or another has made an all-in attempt at either a communistic or socialistic society. If it failed in spectacular ways the last several dozens of times it's been tried before, what is going to make the next time different?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  Grant
Not_a_ID

@Grant

If you're happy to live in the most basic of housing, with the most basic of clothing & the most basic of food stuffs, then there's no need to work.

Who decides what is "basic housing?" Because I know there are groups (and the Obama Admin agrees with them) that want to push high speed internet as a basic right.

So what exactly do you mean by "basic" because if it includes active provisions for them to spend all day surfing YouTube and posting cat pictures. I'll have to disagree.

Not_a_ID

@Dominions Son

A high enough consumption tax to support what you are talking about will have the same net effect as an income tax.


Which isn't to mention that the consumption tax would penalize the lower income brackets disproportionately. They tend to shop at convenience stores as they're more likely to be within easy walking distance. Higher income brackets favor grocery stores or even wholesale warehouses like CostCo and Sam's Club, where product markup isn't as significant.

Capt Zapp

@Not_a_ID

Although I hear dumpster diving for food outside restaurants is, or at least was, common enough...


Been there, done that.

You're also ignoring that just because you may claim you're able and willing to work, doesn't mean a prospective employer agrees.


Someone who is willing to work will find a way to earn enough to get by on. It may not be a 'real job', but it is something. I remember picking trash for recyclables just to get enough to buy a burger and fries and maybe enough to get a little fuel. I agree that most people are so paranoid of others that doing odd jobs to get by isn't as easy as it once was.

the government "should know" if someone is trying to defraud it. (Excuse me while I go laugh my ass off at that for a bit)


I'll join you.

Not_a_ID

@richardshagrin

The puritan movement made an attempt at it too when they first made it to the colonies, they nearly starved to death, gave the effort up, and then prospered.

Numerous other religious groups, up to and including the Mormons gave a communistic type of living a try. It failed for virtually all of them, usually within a couple years. After which they went the charity route instead.

Capt Zapp

@Grant

Back in that period of time there just weren't that many jobs available. And many of those that were working in the lower paid jobs often didn't make enough to cover food & rent.


How much of that applies to Australians today?

If you're happy to live in the most basic of housing, with the most basic of clothing & the most basic of food stuffs, then there's no need to work.


When the people on government programs start living better than the working people (Who are the ones the government is getting the money from for all the 'free' stuff), it sure doesn't provide incentive to the working people continue to work.

Replies:   Not_a_ID  Grant
Not_a_ID

@Capt Zapp

When the people on government programs start living better than the working people (Who are the ones the government is getting the money from for all the 'free' stuff), it sure doesn't provide incentive to the working people continue to work.


And this actually is something even the leftist media twigs onto, although they use as grounds to up the minimum wage. At least a few times a year you'll get the news report about people living on government assistance who "feel trapped" because they get more being on the dole, than they can reasonably expect to earn working minimum wage.

Replies:   Capt Zapp
Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin

The early Christians were essentially Communists.


Actually, they weren't, that came in centuries later as a ruling by ambitious church leaders seeking power and wealth without working for it. There were a few people the New Testament says Jesus told to dispose of their wealth and to start life anew because he pointed out to them their wealth kept them bound to the old life. He never told them to give the money to him, but to give it away to the poor in general.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin

A good study of history shows that the Communistic society has worked in the past, but only at the local community level for a small agrarian community where everyone can do almost all jobs. Many of the old village chieftain societies were actually large communistic clan societies, and they worked well. History, and experience has shown that once the society gets past a certain size (no one agrees on the right figure) a communistic society can't survive because it becomes too specialized and stratified. A communistic society also requires that all in it agree with it an how it works, which is why when people seek to impose it from above or from without it can't last because it doesn't have the approval and agreement of all involved.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

Well, that and it seems to be undergoing constant redefinition.


Of course, if the government had to admit that poverty by a global standard didn't exist in the US at all, people would demand that they stop spending so much of other peoples money on it. The percent of the total amount of money from poverty programs that goes to administrative costs rather than helping poor people is not insignificant.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@Ernest Bywater

If you want to have fun talking about early Christian practices, the Gnostic Christians were reportedly nudists. Nude baptism also appears to have been the norm across Christianity until well into the 2nd century.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Not_a_ID

The early church had nothing against nudity, but a later Pope declared against it as part of a play for power over the people. If you read the Bible God was in favour of nudity, it was the serpent who was against nudity. Thus, it's safe to say being against nudity is an anti-Christian attitude, or even a Satanic attitude.

Back to early baptisms, they were a bath and people in many cultures bathed nude in the rivers in mixed gender groups, it wasn't an issue. Thus many people did nude baptism as well, because it was a normal bath in the river during a ceremony.

Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

Although I hear dumpster diving for food outside restaurants is, or at least was, common enough too in many areas. Which also isn't normally considered criminal behavior, just disgusting.


You'd be surprised at how much perfectly edible food restaurants throw out (rather than say donating it to soup kitchens) because of overly conservative health regulations.

It may not be particularly appetizing to eat restaurant scarps out of a dumpster, but for those who have no other choice, it's not even half the health risk that most people these days think it would be.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Not_a_ID

@Ernest Bywater

A good study of history shows that the Communistic society has worked in the past, but only at the local community level for a small agrarian community where everyone can do almost all jobs. Many of the old village chieftain societies were actually large communistic clan societies, and they worked well. History, and experience has shown that once the society gets past a certain size (no one agrees on the right figure) a communistic society can't survive because it becomes too specialized and stratified. A communistic society also requires that all in it agree with it an how it works, which is why when people seek to impose it from above or from without it can't last because it doesn't have the approval and agreement of all involved.


Of course, in THAT context, you also have scapegoating and shunning going on. Things that our present day Socialistic Utopianists would frown upon severely. But yeah, a communistic system works great if you have the option of kicking out the deadbeats rather than having to keep supporting them.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Not_a_ID

@Dominions Son

Of course, if the government had to admit that poverty by a global standard didn't exist in the US at all, people would demand that they stop spending so much of other peoples money on it.


It does still exist in places, but in most of those cases I think some of it is by choice on the part of someone in the household. Such as many people living in the "Alaskan Bush" for example.

Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

But yeah, a communistic system works great if you have the option of kicking out the deadbeats rather than having to keep supporting them.


Even if you could eliminate the deadbeats, it still wouldn't work at large scales in a modern society with labor specialization.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

You'd be surprised at how much perfectly edible food restaurants throw out (rather than say donating it to soup kitchens) because of overly conservative health regulations.


This also applies to a grocery stores and supermarkets, once the package is damage or the use by date is reached they can no longer legally sell it or give it away, they must, by law, dump it.

Many stores, and restaurants do make a point of dumping such foods in such a way as they are not further contaminated when they're dumped. I know of one restaurant that puts the mis-cooked meals into take-away containers and places them beside the dumpster, to be put in the dumpster in the morning - but they're never there to be dumped - often the washed out containers are there and the nearby tap has a wet area under it.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Not_a_ID

@Dominions Son

Even if you could eliminate the deadbeats, it still wouldn't work at large scales in a modern society with labor specialization


Large scale you have problems finding the actual deadbeats. That can still be something of a challenge on a small scale, but not as bad. Likewise, casting someone out of a commune is one thing. Trying that at a higher level presents problems as that person does need somewhere to go.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


This also applies to a grocery stores and supermarkets, once the package is damage or the use by date is reached they can no longer legally sell it or give it away, they must, by law, dump it.


True, and it's so fucking stupid when "feed the poor" organizations are constantly struggling to have enough food.

Not one person on the face of the earth is starving because there isn't enough food. They are starving because of politics.

US food aid to several African nations has been left to rot on the docks so the government could starve out rebel groups (or confiscated for military use).

Even here in the US New York (not sure if it's the state or NYC) banned private food donations (even fresh food) to soup kitchens. The soup kitchens have to get all their food from a government agency so the government can make sure that the meals the kitchen is serving meet the latest nutrition fad that the politicians have bought into.

People trying to live on minimum wages can't afford to eat properly, but the government spends millions and millions of dollars artificially raising food prices.

Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

Likewise, casting someone out of a commune is one thing. Trying that at a higher level presents problems as that person does need somewhere to go.


Why do you think I said eliminate rather than kick out. If you are willing to go that far, they don't need anyplace to go if you kill them. Real world communist regimes have killed millions of people.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@Dominions Son

Why do you think I said eliminate rather than kick out. If you are willing to go that far, they don't need anyplace to go if you kill them. Real world communist regimes have killed millions of people.


True, yet another example of irony. Communistic and socialistic governments aren't shy about killing people, either directly or indirectly(hard labor). Yet many of the people agitating for more communism/socialism over here abhor both the death penalty, and prison labor.

Capt Zapp

@Not_a_ID

And this actually is something even the leftist media twigs onto, although they use as grounds to up the minimum wage.


I don't remember where I heard it, but supposedly there are nurses or teachers quitting so they can take minimum wage jobs because they make the same money for less stress.

At least a few times a year you'll get the news report about people living on government assistance who "feel trapped" because they get more being on the dole, than they can reasonably expect to earn working minimum wage.


I can see a possible solution. Make a time limit on being on the dole and limit the amount received to minimum wage level with no additional benefits for children. If my family has to be able to try and survive on minimum wage, so should they.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Capt Zapp

I don't remember where I heard it, but supposedly there are nurses or teachers quitting so they can take minimum wage jobs because they make the same money for less stress.


Probably some those $15+/hour minimum wage areas. As that tends to be the flip side of boosting the minimum wage, it inflates the cost of everything, and brings the middle class that much closer to the ever shifting poverty line.

Most working class professionals won't see a pay raise simply because the minimum wage went up. All that minimum wage hike did was bring the minimum wage closer to what they were already being paid.

In the meantime, the real long term beneficiaries are tech companies selling automation systems(as robots then become more cost competitive against increasingly more expensive labor), and large corporations who can afford to source their minimum wage work somewhere less expensive. Small businesses get screwed, as does everyone else below the median income.

North America is starting to run into capacity issues related to the average truck driver being in their mid 50's. They're starting to retire, and they don't have as many people wanting to enter(and remain) in that industry as they have leaving it. They're plugging the dike, largely with immigrants, but they're still falling behind. And here is the kicker, for most over the road(long haul) drivers, a $15/hour job pays better than what they make, if they honestly accounted for all the hours they really work. (Labor laws are different for them, they're paid by the mile unless their employer opts otherwise, so they get nothing for documenting hours worked not driving... except less time they can drive (and get paid) with)

So if they pass a national wage law that makes it more viable for them to go work at Wal-Mart stocking shelves than driving truck, expect some quality fun to start happening within a few months of that law entering its enforcement date.

richardshagrin

@Not_a_ID

I took Economics a long, long time ago (mid 60s) but as I recall, there were no reputable economists who thought they were a good idea for the economy. Certain already employed individuals might benefit, but there were lots of people who were not working who would be glad to take a job under the minimum wage (example, young people who needed an entry level job, its hard to get a job unless you have a job history). As pointed out, to some extent capital investment and labor compete, you can automate some work (harvesting with reapers, etc. or auto making with robotic machines) which replaces workers (labor cost) with capital investment (machines). But its can be less efficient and effective for the economy as a whole if you let workers go and buy machinery (or move jobs to Mexico or other lower wage countries) to meet government requirements or labor union wage and benefit demands for how much people who do stay hired get paid. As a general principle, if a worker does not produce goods and services whose value exceed (or at least equal) what the owner pays the worker, there is no reason to keep him or her employed. I don't hire yard workers or maids for the prices they charge. If a neighbor were willing to accept less, I might, and there are other people like me who can't afford minimum wage workers.

Another effect is that lots of workers officially are contractors or subcontractors and not employees. Very few taxi drivers or whatever the newest car for hire firms are now turn out to be "wage slaves." Minimum wages that are not affordable, or that can be beaten by making drivers contractors who hire the vehicle from the cab company and "work for themselves" are a better bargain for the owners. Farm workers (itinerant fruit pickers, for example) are aliens with temporary visas who do piece work (paid by the pound or basket) replace local students who had to be paid by the hour.

As a result, some people who would work for less than the official minimum wage, can't, and others do but get called something other than workers. And you can't get a clerk in a lot of stores, including grocery stores because the owners want you to check out your groceries at "self service" registers instead of having someone available to do what they used to do, when there were no minimum wages, or they weren't so high.

Lets make everybody rich, and set the Minimum wage at $100 an hour. Wouldn't work, lots of jobs aren't worth $100 an hour? Well there are jobs that aren't worth $15 and hour, or any other dollar amount you chose. But Minimum wages are politically popular and I don't know if even Economists are willing to say they depress employment any more. They do have something to do with jobs moving overseas. We used to have a lot of garment manufacturing jobs in this country. Not any more, minimum wages decided Americans couldn't do that job.

Replies:   Not_a_ID  Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

North America is starting to run into capacity issues related to the average truck driver being in their mid 50's. They're starting to retire, and they don't have as many people wanting to enter(and remain) in that industry as they have leaving it. They're plugging the dike, largely with immigrants, but they're still falling behind. And here is the kicker, for most over the road(long haul) drivers, a $15/hour job pays better than what they make, if they honestly accounted for all the hours they really work. (Labor laws are different for them, they're paid by the mile unless their employer opts otherwise, so they get nothing for documenting hours worked not driving... except less time they can drive (and get paid) with)


And if it gets bad enough, they will eventually start offering better pay to attract more drivers.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@richardshagrin

First off, you hit the other item right off. Having a minimum wage means that any task, or worker not expected(on whatever horizon they're looking at) to perform at or above the amount of pay required for hiring them, will simply be dropped/contracted out, or simply not done. So the 16 year old looking for a summer job with an announced plan for a 2 week family vacation in the middle of July suddenly becomes a lot less employable at $8.75/hour than he would have been at say, $5.00/hr.

Another effect is that lots of workers officially are contractors or subcontractors and not employees. Very few taxi drivers or whatever the newest car for hire firms are now turn out to be "wage slaves." Minimum wages that are not affordable, or that can be beaten by making drivers contractors who hire the vehicle from the cab company and "work for themselves" are a better bargain for the owners.

That hold through to the big trucks as well, in the tractor/trailer industry, the most expensive part of the operation is the truck, because you have the driver you need to pay, and then the operation and maintenance of the truck itself, and with the emissions requirements on newer trucks adding tens of thousands to the operating cost of the truck over its service life(cradle to grave). Getting drivers to step up and go "owner/operator" often becomes a lucrative deal for the Trucking Companies, and that is without certain ones allegedly pursuing predatory practices towards their drivers when it comes to trucks nearing the end of their lease and doing things to drivers to force a default. (Impossible load assignments, followed by "sorry, can't find anything for you at this time")

But yeah, minimum wage is popular with two groups. It's popular with the people who would see a pay hike with the change. And it is popular with the upper tiers of the pay scale because it makes them feel better, but otherwise doesn't have much direct impact on them personally.

That and certain groups have learned to play the emotion card on it for the people who fall in between those two groups. "Don't you care about the people who are only capable of earning ___ an hour as the minimum? Here let me share you a story of one such worker..."

Yes it sucks for the people who get trapped in that situation, but they've historically been the exception, not the rule. At least until we started actively distorting just about every market with well intentioned laws, from rent controls(which most areas quickly discovered was a disaster and eventually dropped), to housing assistance(as the alternative to rent control, but creating distortions all the same, as it effectively set a artificial "bottom" for the market, to food stamps(again, artificial bottom on the market), and so on with minimum wage being just another in a long list of them.

I do agree that between minimum wage laws and labor unions, those two things were most decisive factors in a lot of industry being shipped overseas. Environmental regulation may have forced some others, but I think those were more edge cases. It ultimately was the price of labor(and resistance to automation in the case of the labor unions) that decided things for those industries.

That isn't to say all distortions are bad, but that doesn't mean they're not distortions of the marketplace all the same.

Dominions Son

@richardshagrin

Farm workers (itinerant fruit pickers, for example) are aliens with temporary visas who do piece work


A significant number of migrant farm workers come here without visas.

Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Dominions Son

And if it gets bad enough, they will eventually start offering better pay to attract more drivers.


They already are, for a company driver, average pay has gone up about 6 to 12 cents per mile in the past 2 years alone(depending on the carrier), after having largely being flat since the 1990's. Instead of 20-ish cents per mile, they're up in the 30+cents per mile range. so the entry level guys have already seen quite the pay hike as a % of pay... And they're still falling behind, more people are quitting/retiring than are entering that workforce. While robo-truck is out there now on highway in Australia and Nevada alike, he's probably still a number of years away from not needing a driver actively engaged with it(if they ever manage to fully do away with the driver). Small cars will likely be approved for full automation first.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Not_a_ID


Small cars will likely be approved for full automation first.


I'm not so convinced that they will every be approved. No bureaucrat has ever gotten fired or disciplined for saying no. No is always the safest answer.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@Dominions Son

Small cars will likely be approved for full automation first.


I'm not so convinced that they will every be approved. No bureaucrat has ever gotten fired or disciplined for saying no. No is always the safest answer.


Then you haven't seen how many people drive.

Replies:   Dominions Son
richardshagrin

When gasoline gets too expensive or is unobtainable, transportation will be provided by ponygirls pulling carts. They won't need automated controls.

Crumbly Writer

@Not_a_ID

Safe drinking water, and a number of other modern convenience items are also in the hands of the impoverished.

A new report today estimates that 60% of Chinese wells are now contaminated and unsafe to drink. Sometimes, it just takes time for first and second world nations' mistakes to catch up to them. Look at the horrendous pollution China's suffering, which makes Mexico City's issues look like a picnic in the park (one you can actually see!).

Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

Then you haven't seen how many people drive.


Doesn't matter how many people drive who shouldn't. Someone in the government will find a way to say no and their career will not suffer for it in any way no matter how wrong they were to say no.

Crumbly Writer

@Not_a_ID

And the above argument is made about EVERY time one group or another has made an all-in attempt at either a communistic or socialistic society.

That's very true, for a reason fully explained earlier: there has never been an honest test of a truly "Communist" system of government. All we've had were a couple of Totalitarian regimes which misapplied the term to wrest control from their hated royal families. (Which, I should note, one is still doing incredibly well, and until recently, due to the world economic downturn, was expected to overtake the U.S. in income within a short time.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Crumbly Writer

I'm sorry, but this whole discussion (which I unfortunately helped initiate) is getting ridiculous. Right now, it's everyone dumping on one overly defensive participant with both feet. Let's either move it to a new topic (so everyone else knows to avoid it), or shut the whole conversation down. The last thing we need is to chase a productive member of a community off simply because we disagree with his politics!

Grant

@Dominions Son

Try looking at Greece to see what would happen if we went there.

The problem with Greece is that they tried to provide a high level of public support, when they didn't have the income to support it. They didn't even have the income to support even minimal levels of welfare.
So they cooked the books & joined the EU.

That's how they ended up the way they are now.

The US has that income. They would also have considerably more income if corporations were taxed on par with individuals.

Grant

@Not_a_ID

And the above argument is made about EVERY time one group or another has made an all-in attempt at either a communistic or socialistic society. If it failed in spectacular ways the last several dozens of times it's been tried before, what is going to make the next time different?

That maybe there won't be a campaign by cashed up countries that don't like the thought of communism or socialism that go out of their way to make it fail?
That would probably make the biggest difference.

The other difference would a legal system that isn't run by the Government (for an example of what not to do; China) so when the Government and the people in it start pushing their own agenda there is a body that can push back & stop some pigs from becoming much more equal than others.

Who decides what is "basic housing?" Because I know there are groups (and the Obama Admin agrees with them) that want to push high speed internet as a basic right.

So what exactly do you mean by "basic" because if it includes active provisions for them to spend all day surfing YouTube and posting cat pictures. I'll have to disagree.

Like everything else that has gone before, what is considered basic will change over time.

Basic used to be a roof & walls. Dirt floor, no heating, no bed rooms- just the one room, no bathroom, no toilet.
Over time that changed to what would be considered basic in most developed counties these days- Roof, walls, floor, windows, heating & cooling, laundry, toilet, bathroom, separate bedrooms, kitchen.

Once upon a time radios were considered a luxury, by the 1950s they were considered a necessity by many. Telephones- once were for rich people. Now they are considered a necessity even for those in public housing. TVs, ended up replacing radios.
And now the internet. And as time goes by it becomes more & more necessary, even for those in public housing, as many companies & government departments have moved their focus to providing support online.
Forget trying to phone some government departments unless you have a few hours to spare, they expect you to do it all online. Saves them employing people to man the phones & counters.

I'd expect those on welfare to have internet access, however I wouldn't see them having full access to the web. Think of AOL; they'd have their own little version of the web. High speed, sure. But it would just be for email, government & banking support. Anything else would be speed limited & with tight data cap limits.
They want more, they pay for it. To pay for it they'd have to work.

Grant

@Capt Zapp

Back in that period of time there just weren't that many jobs available. And many of those that were working in the lower paid jobs often didn't make enough to cover food & rent.



How much of that applies to Australians today?

The fact is there is (or at least was for a while there was) sufficient support so no matter how hard up people were, there wouldn't be any need to steal in order to eat.
Unfortunately over the last decade or two the amount of support available has been cut back significantly.
Are the numbers of people thieving to stay alive on par with those in the distant past?- not even close. But unfortunately they are becoming a significant number.
The vast majority would still be druggies & alcoholics.

If you're happy to live in the most basic of housing, with the most basic of clothing & the most basic of food stuffs, then there's no need to work.



When the people on government programs start living better than the working people (Who are the ones the government is getting the money from for all the 'free' stuff), it sure doesn't provide incentive to the working people continue to work.

So the government doesn't allow that to happen. Those doing part time work should still receive some welfare support, but they should be better off than they were for having done the work. It would just be wrong that people earning a full time wage couldn't afford the bare minimum as they should, as a minimum be able to afford significantly better (not necessarily a lot, just a significant amount) and it would be a sign of a great systemic failure for those that work to be no better of (or even worse off) than those that don't work for that to occur.

Not_a_ID

@Crumbly Writer

(Which, I should note, one is still doing incredibly well, and until recently, due to the world economic downturn, was expected to overtake the U.S. in income within a short time.


Newer forecasts don't see it happening anytime in the next few decades at this point. They're forecast to be starting into population decline by the time things might get back on track. At which point, it'll be too late.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Not_a_ID

Newer forecasts don't see it happening anytime in the next few decades at this point. They're forecast to be starting into population decline by the time things might get back on track. At which point, it'll be too late.

While I don't reject that statement, it really doesn't address the central issue, that China was a major contender until recently, when the World economy tanked, taking it down with it.

Thus, according to most thinking, China isn't to blame for their decline, Europe and the rest of the world is. America, as usually happens, is buoyed because, in times of economic crisis, everyone invests in the U.S. dollar.

Replies:   Grant
Grant

@Crumbly Writer

Thus, according to most thinking, China isn't to blame for their decline, Europe and the rest of the world is.

China can take a big part of the blame for it.
1 Their economy was based mostly on exports, and cheap exports at that. Not quality/high value exports.
If they had put more focus on developing their internal markets they wouldn't have been affected nearly as badly.

2 Corruption has resulted in mind boggling amounts of money being spent on large infrastructure projects (that's good) that benefit almost no one (that's bad).

3 Many of the official economic numbers are at best taken with many tonnes of salt as they are often massaged (or just plain made up) in order to meet the expectations of the government.

4 The government's propping up of the stock market has cost them huge amounts of money, for little if any benefit. Money that could have been used on more productive projects.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Grant

Corruption has resulted in mind boggling amounts of money being spent on large infrastructure projects (that's good) that benefit almost no one (that's bad).


They have built entire cities with no one to inhabit them.

Replies:   Grant
Grant
Updated:

@Dominions Son

They have built entire cities with no one to inhabit them.


Yep.

Shame they didn't put that money towards improving the infrastructure in their existing population centres.

Or maybe policing some of their existing safety regulations? Remember the huge port explosion not all that long ago? That's what happens when something goes wrong in an area where no one gave a shit about the regulations concerning the storage & handling of certain dangerous chemicals. And the local authorities had better things to spend their money on other than a trained fire brigade that knew what to do when faced with a fire in such an area.

But a bit of money to the right people & you can do whatever you want. So sad, too bad about the side effects when things go wrong.

BlinkReader

You are forgetting one very important thing:

They are planing for very long periods. They have and are working on 50 years plans, while your politicians can not think more than year (maybe two) ahead ...
I was fascinated when earlier hearing that they have couple ot thousands people trained in usage of my (obscure and very rare) language. Then during 90' they just flooded my state with cheap exports, and on every one of this imported goods was writing (and user manual where needed) in my language.

richardshagrin
Updated:

@BlinkReader

Politicians do look ahead more than a year. Congressmen look to the next election, which may be two years ahead, although it averages about a year. Presidential candidates look toward the next Presidential election, four year cycles, averaging about two years. Senators have a six year election cycle, but often don't worry too much about it until its two years away, however they get caught up in the two year congressional cycle or the four year presidential one. Of course they might be presidential candidates.

There aren't very many top executives who can afford a long term view. Last quarter results, or what is being anticipated by analysts for the next quarter affect stock prices, and that is mostly what determines how well they are doing, what their bonus will be, or if they continue in office.

Military officers are lucky if they hold a job for three years. Command of a battalion, brigade, division or higher formation frequently gets passed to the next candidate after a year or so. Coronels retire at 30 years service, or sooner if they wish, after 20 years. Brigadier Generals get 35 years. Higher level generals get a few years in some specific posting, but few serve more than 40 years.

Whatever you do its a rat race, up or out. Some elected officials have safe districts, and don't have to work feverishly to get re-elected, but planning for the future tends to be to the next election, even for them. I suspect its similar for the Chinese, their election cycles aren't as public, but people go in and out of favor, anyway. Even Kings and Emperors can lose their jobs, civil war, assassination, or military defeat can reduce job longevity. Nobody has a 50 year plan that works that long. Who can forecast what they will be doing 50 years in the future when they are 20? Or younger.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@BlinkReader


They are planing for very long periods. They have and are working on 50 years plans, while your politicians can not think more than year (maybe two) ahead ...


That they re-write every five years. I doubt that they are functionally ever working on anything longer than a 5 year plan. By the way, a couple of the empty cities that they built are already starting to show signs of structural decay (no population to maintain them).

There's an old military saying: The first casualty in any battle is the plan. It's also stated as: No plan survives contact with the enemy.

No one can forecast well enough to create a usable 50 year plan.

The US Military has spent billions of dollars and decades of time developing weapons systems that ended up being technologically obsolete before they were ever deployed.

If the Chinese government is working to a 50 year plan, their leaders are fools or idiots or both.

Replies:   BlinkReader
BlinkReader

@Dominions Son

They are not fools, neither idiots.
You are forgetting that they had first signs of civilization at least 6000-7000 years before we even learned word "city".

They together with our idiots politicians have already destroyed my state, and much more - see Europe (except Germany) they have lost around half of their industrial base, an no new industries are showing.

You as state are no better - you become "Wal-Mart state", and sorry to tell, but here with sheer ignorance you are showing world that you americans are fools and idiots...

Ernest Bywater

Going back to the topic of;

Why aren't there stories with STD?

I have to wonder why you would want a story about Subscriber Trunk Dialing ?

awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater


Going back to the topic


That was a standard deviation

AJ

Replies:   richardshagrin
KimLittle

I'm sure I have read stories where the original reason for the main character's break up was someone contracting and STD, or where later on the revenge factor is someone's ex contracting an STD.

docholladay

@Ernest Bywater

Why aren't there stories with STD?


Probably the main reasons are simple. Very unpopular subject matter regardless of the orientation of the reader. Most readers of fiction are doing it for pleasure primarily. Any subject which destroys that factor will lose the reader fast. Its why some things will fail no matter how accurate the facts might be.

At this time writers like DW are probably taking the best option available. Its mentioned and used as the reason for testing. He has even had a few times when one of the characters would say to wait until they could be checked. The risks are mentioned but no details unless required by a particular scene. It is subtle and works that way. I am not going to say or imply it is right or wrong.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I have to wonder why you would want a story about Subscriber Trunk Dialing?

I would think Subversive Drunk Dialing would be much more entertaining.

Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

At this time writers like DW are probably taking the best option available. Its mentioned and used as the reason for testing. He has even had a few times when one of the characters would say to wait until they could be checked. The risks are mentioned but no details unless required by a particular scene. It is subtle and works that way. I am not going to say or imply it is right or wrong.

That's what I've always found. If it's not a direct plot point (ex: an STD reveals the MC's wife has been cheating on him for years), then acknowledging it as a concern is enough to give some 'real-life' cred to the story without getting into the depressing specifics. It just becomes an 'oh, god, what if?' scenario, sort of like the 'Do you have protection?' male characters will ask at the last minute. It doesn't change the story, but presents potential risks into an otherwise mundane encounter.

Replies:   docholladay
richardshagrin

@awnlee jawking

Maybe it was a mean.

docholladay
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


STD


The pity is its just one of many topics which are almost impossible to include due to the reactions of the readers and critics. I think that is probably the reason so many racial issues were only hinted at for so long in both literature and other media. Sometimes a story needs to be told however and it can make a difference like "Roots" in the impact on the minds of the public.

edited to add: I do think those hints did have an effect over the years but slowly instead of a major change. Hints can sometimes have a larger effect in they make us think as we read a story.

JohnBobMead

One of WTSman's George stories has an STD as a main plot point. I believe it's Wipe off the lipstick.

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