[Lounge #446] »« Oh. Hey. One of the digits in the year changed last night.

Wouldn’t everyone love to have a conversation with Jamie Dimon?

While we’ve sucked in some libertarians nattering away in another thread, maybe they’d like to take a moment to explain the unrepentant evil of the American banking industry? Here are some lovely pointed questions.


“Someone at JP Morgan said, “Let’s ask the American public what they’d like to say to one of our top bankers on Twitter.” Turns out that wasn’t such a great idea. The tweets generated from #AskJPM range from funny to down-right nasty. So someone at CNBC said, “Let’s have award-winning actor, Stacy Keach…the voice from American Greed read them verbatim.” Almost a brilliant idea. Then they had the good sense to add me… the blue puppet. And BOOM now it’s brilliant. “

Comments

  1. kevinalexander says

    I’m particularly annoyed at the language. They talk about how much a banker makes or how much this or that fund earns.
    It’s the people who get up in the morning to go to work who make the money. It’s the people who actually make things to trade or who actually serve others who earn the money. The so called financial services have nothing of value to trade. They only serve themselves. They don’t make money, they only take money.

  2. alkisvonidas says

    The so called financial services have nothing of value to trade. They only serve themselves. They don’t make money, they only take money.

    On the contrary, all they make is money. They don’t make any goods.

  3. playonwords says

    Almost the best bit is that you know there is some PR manager who is now looking for a new job

  4. Usernames are smart says

    Oh man, they missed my favorites:

    * Do your clothes fit better since you don’t have the added weight of a soul? #AskJPM

    * What’s the best way to get blood stains out of a clown suit? #AskJPM

    * What’s it like working with Mexican drug cartels? Do they tip? #AskJPM

    * As a new hire, do I have to sell my soul to the devil BEFORE I start? #AskJPM

  5. roberttabor says

    Ok I will take this one. From what I have heard the Libertarians say banks like JP Morgan were forced by government regulation to commit fraud. Since they couldn’t make the kind of profits they wanted legally they had no choice but to resort to illegal methods. Sure it does sound like a secular version of Apologetics but it has a certain logic – the only reason what JP Morgan did was illegal and immoral was because of the law and ethics.

  6. abewoelk says

    Libertarianism is very, very silly; almost but not quite as silly as the leftism I routinely read here, but what I don’t think either side understands is that your leftism, and their libertarianism, are basically mirror images of one another. (And, thankfully, neither extreme — your leftism or their libertarianism — is ever likely to be more than a fringe movement or achieve any actual political power.)

    As with most things in life, extremes are bad and moderation is good. Yes, libertarianism is ridiculous in suggesting that it should be everyone for himself with no communitarianism whatsoever. On the other hand, I have been screamed at here repeatedly for suggesting that individuals have any responsibility for their own lives whatsoever. So, I will continue to take comfort in knowing that the nuts on both extremes of the political spectrum — you and the libertarians — will continue to counter-balance one another into irrelevancy, and the middle will continue to hold. Happy new year, everyone.

  7. Ichthyic says

    not quite as silly as the leftism I routinely read here

    like?

    specific examples please, preferably with links to the comment itself in context.

    otherwise, at best your attempt at false equivalence falls flat, at worst, it’s nothing short of a self serving lie.

  8. Ichthyic says

    On the other hand, I have been screamed at here repeatedly for suggesting that individuals have any responsibility for their own lives whatsoever.

    yeah, I’m leaning towards outright liar. lazy thinking, living in denial, projecting, liar.

  9. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    On the other hand, I have been screamed at here repeatedly for suggesting that individuals have any responsibility for their own lives whatsoever.

    Show me where a person is responsible for being downsized, or fired due to their workplace closing, due to liberturd attitude of management in action.

  10. JohnnieCanuck says

    Ichthyic @12.

    I liked this one from your Wiki link:

    “You say the sky is blue, while I say the sky is red. Therefore, the best solution is to compromise and agree that the sky is purple.”

  11. Rey Fox says

    abe is probably referring to his vacuumism. Which is to say, that everyone makes decisions in a vacuum.

  12. says

    abewoelk:

    On the other hand, I have been screamed at here repeatedly for suggesting that individuals have any responsibility for their own lives whatsoever.

    You’ve claimed that many people are in poverty due to bad choices and lack of responsibility, but have presented no evidence in support of this claim.
    You’ve been informed that there are multiple factors affecting poverty and most are beyond the control of individuals, yet you refuse to adjust your opinion.
    Here’s a list of ways to reduce poverty. Note that none of them call for ‘poor people making better choices’.

  13. says

    — you and the libertarians — will continue to counter-balance one another into irrelevancy, and the middle will continue to hold. Happy new year, everyone.

    Funny that’s not what Yeats said.

  14. roberttabor says

    Abewoelk @ “As with most things in life, extremes are bad and moderation is good”

    As opposed to waffling threw life in one continuous exercise in High Brodism, scream “both sides are the same” and never committing to a position so you can never be wrong? But here is the problem with that Abewoelk; you never try something, you never learn something.

    The big difference between liberalism and libertarianism is liberals know what they want, have a plan on how to do it and *can point to real life successful models to follow.* Libertarianism is nothing more than an attempt to willful ignore all the practical experience acquired by the human race in the last five thousand years or so. The idea trumps all experience with the libertarian and in that sense they are just a secular religion. Liberals at lest learn from failure.

  15. abewoelk says

    Ah, but the sky is neither red, blue, nor purple; it appears to be blue most of the time because of the way our eyes interact with the light spectrum. At other times, during sunrise, sunset, a rainstorm, or with heavy cloud cover, it appears to be a variety of other colors, and once the sun goes down, it appears to be black, with lots of blinking white lights if they aren’t covered by clouds. So your friend at wiki has made the same category error I frequently see leftists make here too: Assuming that your personal perception based on your particular vantage point is the only absolute and indubitable truth. Well, you’re entitled to your political opinions, but you’ve got no more right than the religionist to claim that what is, essentially, your personal opinion is absolute truth. Sorry, but unlike the sum of two plus two, which political philosophy is the best is not a question with only one objectively right answer, and it takes a huge amount of hubris to claim otherwise.

    Ichthyic, resorting to name calling is essentially a concession that you haven’t any good arguments. Nice talking to you.

    Nerd of Redheads, even the most hardened libertarian (which I’m nowhere near being) would acknowledge that bad things happen to people all the time that aren’t their fault, but that’s not the point. The point is how do you respond. I’ve lost jobs; I went out and found other jobs. At one time I had four part time jobs because in a bad economy it was the best I could do; it was miserable, but I survived. On the other hand, I once worked for a property management company, and I can’t tell you how many able-bodied, young and healthy tenants we had whose units we would show up at to do maintenance work and find them not dressed and watching television re-runs in the middle of the day, who were living on government assistance. Yes, some people really and truly need help, and some people who are getting help need a kick in the butt. And that’s the happy medium.

  16. abewoelk says

    Roberttabor, if your argument is that libertarian theory often doesn’t work in the real world, I’m not going to argue with you because I completely agree with you. However, libertarians have not cornered that market.

  17. abewoelk says

    Tony, I looked at the list of ways to reduce poverty that you linked to. This may surprise you, but some of them I actually agree with. That doesn’t change the fact that some life choices are more likely to lead to success and other life choices are more likely to lead to failure. Sometimes someone will beat the odds in both direction, but in general, dropping out of school, getting pregnant at 16, and not acquiring any marketable job skills is not a recipe for success.

  18. abewoelk says

    And Chigau, I expect if you had an actual substantive response to make, you’d make it.

  19. says

    abewoelk:

    I’ve lost jobs; I went out and found other jobs.

    Gosh, you make it sound so easy.

    According to a Department of Labor study released Tuesday, the number of job openings rose to 3.9 million in February, while roughly 12 million Americans were still unemployed. That’s great news if you look back to 2009, when there was one available job for every seven unemployed people in the U.S., but it’s still pretty terrible by prerecession standards.

    http://money.msn.com/now/post.aspx?post=d766374f-88b3-4e66-b963-ac025136fca0

    I see you still have not learned a goddamn thing about the complex nature of poverty. I hope at least you’ve ditched the racism.

  20. chigau (違う) says

    dropping out of school, getting pregnant at 16, and not acquiring any marketable job skills

    sounds like Oprah

  21. says

    abewoelk:

    Sometimes someone will beat the odds in both direction, but in general, dropping out of school, getting pregnant at 16, and not acquiring any marketable job skills is not a recipe for success.

    Still clinging to ‘bad choices cause poverty’ I see.
    Still wrong.
    Go learn about nuance and complexity.

    Have you ever wondered why people drop out of school? Here are 10 reasons teens drop out of school.

    Have you ever considered what factors affect the rate of teenage pregnancy?

  22. abewoelk says

    No, Tony, it’s not easy. It’s hard. Life is hard, and whining about it doesn’t make it any easier. Much progress, evolutionary and otherwise, in fact depends on life being hard. So grow up, stop being a whiny crybaby, and remember that dreams are for children and we live in the world we actually live in, not the world you think we ought to live in. Grow the fuck up, or at least stop wondering why your views don’t seem to gain traction among the electorate.

    And I see you still haven’t been disabused of the notion that Islam isn’t a race. Tell me, if you’re so stupid that you think Islam is a race, why should anything else you say be taken seriously?

  23. chigau (違う) says

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone in meatspace speak the word ‘substantive’.
    Outside enforced team-building seminars.

  24. says

    abewoelk:

    Tell me, if you’re so stupid that you think Islam is a race, why should anything else you say be taken seriously?

    I never made the claim (nor do I believe) that Islam is a race. Learn to read for comprehension.

    BTW, have you retracted your comment comparing Muslims to rabid dogs?

  25. abewoelk says

    Tony, I’ve looked at the ten reasons teens drop out of school, and factors that contribute to teenage pregnancy, and to the extent they are true, they are irrelevant. If someone drinks poison, he’s going to die, and WHY he drank the poison doesn’t matter. If someone drops out of school, he’s setting himself up for failure, and it doesn’t matter WHY he dropped out of school. And I’m especially contemptuous of the last reason on the list: Lack of interest. If someone can’t be bothered to take an interest on his only realistic shot at avoiding poverty, then maybe poverty should be the result.

  26. abewoelk says

    You said that criticizing Islam was a proxy for criticizing the brown-skinned people who practice it, which is easily one of the silliest arguments I’ve heard anywhere. And I didn’t say Muslims were rabid dogs; I said terrorists were rabid dogs. I consider Christian and Jewish terrorists to be rabid dogs too; the common element being terrorist. The people who were in the twin towers on 9/11 would probably agree with me.

  27. says

    abewoelk:

    So grow up, stop being a whiny crybaby, and remember that dreams are for children and we live in the world we actually live in, not the world you think we ought to live in. Grow the fuck up, or at least stop wondering why your views don’t seem to gain traction among the electorate.

    I’m not whining about anything. I’m stating facts that you refuse to accept. You’re the one clinging to your simplistic answers for complex problems in the face of contradictory evidence.

    As for why my views aren’t gaining traction, well it seems there’s a great number of selfish people in power with lots of privilege who are empathy and compassion deficient. You might not be in power, but you’re definitely a privilege riddled fuckwith lacking in compassion, empathy, and decency.

  28. Rey Fox says

    Grow the fuck up, or at least stop wondering why your views don’t seem to gain traction among the electorate.

    Yeah, “Life sucks, quit trying to improve the world” is a much more palatable message. Heck, why aren’t you in office already?

    Much progress, evolutionary and otherwise, in fact depends on life being hard.

    I’m guessing you’re an atheist, but you seem to be infected by teleology and the Protestant work ethic anyway.

  29. says

    abewoelk:

    You said that criticizing Islam was a proxy for criticizing the brown-skinned people who practice it, which is easily one of the silliest arguments I’ve heard anywhere.

    I don’t recall saying that. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve never said that.
    You’ve a link to the comment you’re referring to?

  30. abewoelk says

    Tony, calling your opinions facts doesn’t make them facts, and I don’t accept them because, having considered them, I don’t find them persuasive. I never said that bad choices are the sole cause of poverty, but I don’t see how you can plausibly claim that they have nothing to do with poverty either, at least for some people. And if encouraging people to make better choices will alleviate at least some poverty, even if not all of it, then who is really trying to help the poor: The guy who encourages them to make better choices, or the guy who tells them that their choices don’t matter?

    Rey, I’m an atheist who is also a cold, hard pragmatist. I’m in favor of changing things for the better when it can be done. I think social security and medicare are examples of instances where there was a governmental solution that made things better. I’m just not as convinced as most of the leftists here that there are as many governmental solutions available. and I think to the extent people can take control of their lives, they should. Ultimately, the only person who is responsible for me is me.

  31. abewoelk says

    Tony, that’s a paraphrase, not a word for word quotation; I don’t think you used the word proxy but you did use the words brown skinned. It was the last time we had this conversation; you called me a racist; I said I was criticizing Islam and not the race of the people practicing it, and you said that what I really meant was an attack on the brown skinned people who practiced it. I’ll find it for you in the morning; it’s after midnight in my time zone so I’m exiting for the evening.

  32. says

    abewoelk:

    Tony, calling your opinions facts doesn’t make them facts, and I don’t accept them because, having considered them, I don’t find them persuasive.

    The opinions I have are based on the facts. Which are present in many of the links I’ve provided you which I’m sure you’ve not read.

    You, however, have shown nothing to support the truth of your opinions. Where’s the link to the evidence that shows some/many/all people are poor due to bad choices on their part?

  33. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Nerd of Redheads, even the most hardened libertarian (which I’m nowhere near being)

    Actually, it is the point. You can’t control everything. Only liberturds and other non-empathic people like you think that. Which is why you are constantly criticized, as you can’t provide real evidence to back your prejudices. Just more inane claims of control where none exist.

  34. chigau (違う) says

    abewoelk
    I recommend that you not have children.
    If you do, don’t have sick children.
    And don’t get sick yourself.
    Nor get in an accident.

  35. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    34
    abewoelk

    If someone drinks poison, he’s going to die, and WHY he drank the poison doesn’t matter. If someone drops out of school, he’s setting himself up for failure, and it doesn’t matter WHY he dropped out of school.

    If you are trying to stop them from dropping out of school, then hell yes the reason why matters. How else are you going to stop it?

    What good would it do to call people who drink poison stupid, when the reason they drink it is because they have an unwanted pregnancy?

    Also, why are you defaulting to “he”? Rather telling, that.

  36. Ichthyic says

    Ichthyic, resorting to name calling is essentially a concession that you haven’t any good arguments. Nice talking to you.

    lol first and last refuge of the dishonest scoundrel…. claim they were insulted and so as to avoid the light.

    liar.

  37. Ichthyic says

    It’s hard. Life is hard

    I’m absolutely positive you yourself have not LIVED any of it to be qualified to make that statement, even as trite as it is.

  38. Ichthyic says

    I’m exiting for the evening.

    If you want to avoid continuing to embarrass yourself, you should amend that time interval to something larger.

    much larger.

  39. ck says

    Tony! The Queer Shoop! wrote:

    You, however, have shown nothing to support the truth of your opinions. Where’s the link to the evidence that shows some/many/all people are poor due to bad choices on their part?

    Even if some/many/all incidence of poverty was due to bad choices on their part, would that really change anything? Would someone really deserve to have a ruined life just because they once made a bad choice? I wouldn’t mind knowing what portion of poverty is caused merely by bad choices, in order to better fight it, but it doesn’t change my attitude to those suffering from poverty.

  40. Holms says

    On the other hand, I have been screamed at here repeatedly for suggesting that individuals have any responsibility for their own lives whatsoever.

    Absolute bullshit unless you can provide a link. Except, we know that there will be no such link because there is no way a reasonable person would claim that an individual has zero responsibility toward their own life.

    Rather, I suspect you are glossing over the argument someone actually made – probably something to the effect that the government has some level of responsibility to improve the lives of its citizens, rather than everything being the sole responsibility of the individual – which you are now grossly mischaracterising in order to paint the liberal position as a bunch of freeloading career grifters.

    So, you are lying unless you provide a very compelling link.

    Sorry, but unlike the sum of two plus two, which political philosophy is the best is not a question with only one objectively right answer, and it takes a huge amount of hubris to claim otherwise.

    You are completely ignoring the fact that political philosophies exert real, measurable changes to nations and their economies. Any appraisal is therefore not merely opinion, but can be attacked with statistics.

    In this manner, we can see which policies cause harm and which mitigate it… so I guess the only philosophical question we need address is ‘do we want to cause harm?’

    Obviously a fucking stupid question.

    Ichthyic, resorting to name calling is essentially a concession that you haven’t any good arguments. Nice talking to you.

    Calling you a liar or intellectually lazy is not simply name-calling, if there is good basis for those accusations.

    On the other hand, I once worked for a property management company, and I can’t tell you how many able-bodied, young and healthy tenants we had whose units we would show up at to do maintenance work and find them not dressed and watching television re-runs in the middle of the day, who were living on government assistance.

    You’re called to do some repair work or whatever on someone’s house, which generally needs them to be at home to give you access to their homes… and you’re surprised to find them at home? You drop into their lives for the duration of a single afternoon and you have the cheek to find fault in their being at home, watching their own tv, in whatever they find comfortable? You’ve decided that you get to pass judgement on people you don’t know, for the terrible crime of …not living their lives in a way you consider appropriate? Wow, fuck you too dude.

    (did you even consider that maybe they do have a job, but are just rostered off that day / took time off to meet the repair crew?)

    But since you seem to consider yourself an authority on how others should run their own lives, what should they be doing? Cold canvassing all day? Scouring classified ads in every newspaper? Because an unemployed person simply needs to be spending 100% of their waking time devoted to finding a job, with no down time, or else they get sneered at by fucks like you for not trying hard enough, right?

    Fuck you again.

    So grow up, stop being a whiny crybaby, and remember that dreams are for children and we live in the world we actually live in, not the world you think we ought to live in.

    You seem to be forgetting that some aspects of the world we live in can be changed. For example: government policies. We can change those from what they currently are, to what they ought to be, as determined by the aforementioned real world data and a philosophy of decreasing harm (liberalism) rather than increasing it (libertarianism, conservatism).

    …but I don’t see how you can plausibly claim that [bad choices] have nothing to do with poverty either, at least for some people.

    It is highly doubtful that any such claim was made… I think this is another attribution that is going to need a direct link.

    It’s kind of impressive just how many of these ‘paraphrases’ you make of other positions are skewed toward the ludicrous… even strawmannish.

  41. Ichthyic says

    If someone drinks poison, he’s going to die, and WHY he drank the poison doesn’t matter.

    Socrates would slap you.

  42. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    The more I read of Abewoelk, the more I am convinced that they are a complete idiot.

  43. David Marjanović says

    abewoelk, the mirror image of libertarianism is communism. Full-on guns-blazing totalitarian property-is-theft communism of a degree hardly ever achieved by a communist country.

    I’ve lost jobs; I went out and found other jobs.

    Lucky you. See comment 28: there aren’t enough jobs for everyone.

    At one time I had four part time jobs

    Hooray, three more unemployed people because the minimum wage is too low.

    I repeat: you were forced to steal three people’s jobs because You The People of the United States have failed to make sure that it’s possible to live off just one job.

    That doesn’t change the fact that some life choices are more likely to lead to success and other life choices are more likely to lead to failure. Sometimes someone will beat the odds in both direction, but in general, dropping out of school, getting pregnant at 16, and not acquiring any marketable job skills is not a recipe for success.

    Because so many people are silly enough to think “yay, I want a baby right now!” when they’re 16?

    No. Getting pregnant at 16 is caused by abstinence-only “education”. It’s not a decision. Dropping out of school is most commonly caused by families being too poor to support the child’s learning process. It’s usually not a decision. Not acquiring marketable job skills is most often caused by dropping out of school…

    Say, do you ever think things through? Do you even remember having been in school?

    And I see you still haven’t been disabused of the notion that Islam isn’t a race. Tell me, if you’re so stupid that you think Islam is a race, why should anything else you say be taken seriously?

    …Apparently you don’t think things through. Otherwise you wouldn’t have built this strawman. Spend some time contemplating Sam Harris’s proposal to profile people who look Muslim for a start.

    Much progress, evolutionary and otherwise, in fact depends on life being hard.

    You Fail Biology Forever. There is no such thing as progress in evolution. Apply any attempt to define “progress”, and you’ll find the same.

    So grow up, stop being a whiny crybaby, and remember that dreams are for children

    Except the American Dream, apparently – in particular the extreme version, where your success depends only on you…

    or at least stop wondering why your views don’t seem to gain traction among the electorate.

    …where by “electorate” you mean just the US electorate. Look beyond the rim of your dinnerplate and be horrified. :-)

    And I’m especially contemptuous of the last reason on the list: Lack of interest. If someone can’t be bothered to take an interest on his only realistic shot at avoiding poverty, then maybe poverty should be the result.

    …You can’t take an interest. What are you talking about?

    Interest can be created by other people, however. That requires good teachers. Do I need to explain the vicious circle of US public school funding again?

    Finally, I marvel at your arrogance at determining appropriate punishments for whatever you deem to be an irresponsible choice.

  44. abewoelk says

    Holm, yes, sometimes changes can be objectively measured, but most of the time the law of unintended consequences means that change is both good and bad. For example, increased federal spending on health care and education has contributed to both of those becoming more expensive. A leftist would say that making those services available to all is worth the increased cost; a conservative would focus on the ruinous increased costs that have resulted. My point is not to resolve those questions, but just to point out that you can’t just say that it’s an objective matter that things are better. After factoring in both positives and negatives, your answer will be guided in large part by your subjective presuppositions.

    I will acknowledge being surprised that people actually want citations for what should be the self-evident fact that dropping out of school and teenage illigitimacy lead to poverty; I spent five minutes googling “dropping out of school and poverty” and “teenage pregnancy and poverty” and found study after article that confirmed that those actions do lead to poverty. For just one example, see here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/education/dropout-nation/by-the-numbers-dropping-out-of-high-school/ There are hundreds of others. Would anyone like to make the argument that dropping out of school and teenage pregnancy are beneficial to a person’s future?

    Most of the rest of the responses to what I’ve said are personal invective that don’t merit a response.

  45. Nick Gotts says

    I said I was criticizing Islam and not the race of the people practicing it – abewoelk@40

    The EDL (English Defence League) says:

    The English Defence League are [sic] human rights organisation protesting about Islamic extremism.

    and is absolutely opposed to racism. But this is a stinking lie.. So the mere fact that you say you are “criticizing Islam and not the race of the people practicing it” tells us very little.

  46. says

    I will acknowledge being surprised that people actually want citations for what should be the self-evident fact that dropping out of school and teenage illigitimacy lead to poverty

    Dear dim-witted person:

    The request for citations is not for the mere fact that teen pregnancy and leaving school early increase one’s risk of ending up in poverty. That much is not controversial.

    What is controversial is your apparent belief that people in poverty are “asking for it” by making bad decisions. The request for evidence is for your claim that poor people making bad decisions is the driving force behind X amount of poverty. You seem to believe that a great many poor people are poor because they want to be poor. That teen mothers decided one day, “I’d love to live my life in poverty, why not have some unprotected sex so I can get pregnant with a child I can’t afford to take care of? Yeah, great plan!”

  47. Muz says

    If someone drinks poison, he’s going to die, and WHY he drank the poison doesn’t matter. If someone drops out of school, he’s setting himself up for failure, and it doesn’t matter WHY he dropped out of school.

    From christians you get the Argument from Ignorance, from conservative individualists you get the Argument To Ignorance.

  48. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I will acknowledge being surprised that people actually want citations for what should be the self-evident fact that dropping out of school and teenage illigitimacy lead to poverty

    That was not what we are arguing against illiterate fuckwit. What we are arguing is that they should still be helped the best society can. You deny them help and dismiss them. That you won’t acknowledge that truth tells us all we need to know about your lack of empathy and character.

  49. Snoof says

    Would anyone like to make the argument that dropping out of school and teenage pregnancy are beneficial to a person’s future?

    I think you’ll find that nobody here is making that argument, unless Pharyngula has been infiltrated by members of the Quiverfull movement and I haven’t noticed.

    The point is: why do you think it’s acceptable that a woman should be condemned to poverty because she had unprotected sex as a teenager? Why do you think society should allow people to suffer and starve due to a single “poor life decision”?

  50. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    Let’s take a huge leap and allow for a moment that being a teenage single mother really is a decision; I still find it profoundly immoral to condemn someone to a life of poverty for one bad decision. We all make bad decisions.

  51. says

    I cheat at the American dream. Last time we were in the WalMart parking lot, we discovered that our itty-bitty Honda Fit can actually fit into the spots where they have those cart return racks, which take up about half the parking spot.

    Then we looked inside the store, saw the mad mobs, and fled. We laughed cruelly when we started to pull out and some poor guy stopped short and waited patiently for us to leave — he was driving a full sized car.

  52. says

    Thumper, #60:

    Let’s take a huge leap and allow for a moment that being a teenage single mother really is a decision; I still find it profoundly immoral to condemn someone to a life of poverty for one bad decision. We all make bad decisions.

    Errm, my mother had me when she was 17. I was a wanted child, too. These are not bad decisions; if we’re going to demand respect for women who defer child rearing or reject it all together, we should also respect that these women having babies may well be making a rational decision that meets their desires for a good life.

  53. Moggie says

    Thumper:

    Let’s take a huge leap and allow for a moment that being a teenage single mother really is a decision; I still find it profoundly immoral to condemn someone to a life of poverty for one bad decision. We all make bad decisions.

    Not just “someone”, but “someone and their child”. Even the most judgemental douche would have to admit that the child is blameless in this situation.

  54. David Marjanović says

    I will acknowledge being surprised that people actually want citations for what should be the self-evident fact that dropping out of school and teenage illigitimacy lead to poverty;

    what

    No. We want citations for something else you seem to consider self-evident: the idea that decisions lead to dropping out of school and teenage pregnancy.

    (…illegitimacy? Really? Do you think it’s all fine if the teenager happens to be married where that’s legal?)

    Most of the rest of the responses to what I’ve said are personal invective that don’t merit a response.

    Translation: I’ll let any falsehood stand unchallenged, as long as it’s insulting enough! Whee!

    Seriously, shall I taunt you a second time?

    The American Dream is a good parking spot at WalMart.

    + 1

  55. Moggie says

    PZ:

    I cheat at the American dream. Last time we were in the WalMart parking lot, we discovered that our itty-bitty Honda Fit can actually fit into the spots where they have those cart return racks, which take up about half the parking spot.

    You seem to have got the Japanese dream by mistake. The American dream involves a car the size of a barge, though you’re allowed to substitute a truck with a gun rack.

  56. David Marjanović says

    I will acknowledge being surprised that people actually want citations for what should be the self-evident fact that dropping out of school and teenage illigitimacy lead to poverty;

    what

    No. We want citations for something else you seem to consider self-evident: the idea that decisions lead to dropping out of school and teenage pregnancy more often than not.

    (…illegitimacy? Really? Do you think it’s all fine if the teenager happens to be married where that’s legal?)

    Most of the rest of the responses to what I’ve said are personal invective that don’t merit a response.

    Translation: I’ll let any falsehood stand unchallenged, as long as it’s insulting enough! Whee!

    Seriously, shall I taunt you a second time?

    The American Dream is a good parking spot at WalMart.

    + 1

    Not just “someone”, but “someone and their child”. Even the most judgemental douche would have to admit that the child is blameless in this situation.

    Well, the most judgmental douche would go all Old Testament on their asses and punish them well unto the seventh generation…

  57. David Marjanović says

    Oops. Sorry for the partial double-post. The cache server was unvarnished, and I was distracted.

  58. Rey Fox says

    The longer I live, the more I think that the Count Pointercount guy in Airplane! was not satire. “They bought their tickets, they knew what they were getting into! I say, let ‘em crash.”

    (Too bad David Zucker turned into him later in life)

  59. abewoelk says

    So how is dropping out of school or having a baby at 15 or not acquiring marketable job skills, not a decision? What else would it be? Does someone hold a gun to their heads and force them to drop out of school or not use birth control?

    But let’s cut to the chase: It is possible to BOTH acknowledge that someone’s choices are the product of unfortunate circumstances AND ALSO tell them, in their own best inerest, that they need to make better choices. If someone had a lousy childhood and it turned him into an alcoholic, a drug addict, or a child molester, there is no conflict in both having compassion for his lousy childhood and also telling him that he needs to stop that behavior; that at some point, each of us becomes responsible for our own decisions.

    And having just re-read this thread, I’m not even sure we’re that far apart. I haven’t said that bad choices are the only reason some people live in poverty; I recognize that bad things happen to people. And other commenters have said that nobody is here claiming that bad choices don’t produce bad results. I certainly haven’t said that there shouldn’t be a social safety net or that children should be allowed to starve for their parents’ bad choices. I do think that stupidity should hurt at least a little as a deterrent to future stupid behavior. But it may be we’re just emphasizing different things.

  60. Snoof says

    I do think that stupidity should hurt at least a little as a deterrent to future stupid behavior.

    By “hurt at least a little” do you mean “trap people in poverty for the rest of their lives, and quite possibily their descendants’ lives?”

    Because that’s what happens.

  61. Holms says

    For example, increased federal spending on health care and education has contributed to both of those becoming more expensive.

    Pretty sure funding for education at least is being repeatedly cut, leading (entirely predictably) to increased costs.

    After factoring in both positives and negatives, your answer will be guided in large part by your subjective presuppositions.

    I addressed this, if only you read it. The basic idea being that liberalism tends to err on the side of spending money to reduce or mitigate harm, while libertarian policies have a rpoven record of increasing harm.

    Your insistence that this is merely a subjective difference between two equally good approaches, as if we were debating the merits of two different wines, is a pile of shit. We are talking about implementing policies that either increase or decrease harm. These are not mere subjective differences.

    I will acknowledge being surprised that people actually want citations for what should be the self-evident fact that dropping out of school and teenage illigitimacy lead to poverty;

    Except no one ever asked for any such thing. Are you bad at reading, or bad at honesty? One of those is fixable, the other means you are a dishonest fuck.

    Being that this is far from the first time your paraphrasing has been blatanly inaccurate, I am thinking you are a liar.

  62. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    So how is dropping out of school or having a baby at 15 or not acquiring marketable job skills, not a decision? What else would it be? Does someone hold a gun to their heads and force them to drop out of school or not use birth control?

    With that shit abstinence only sex ed? They may as well have.

    That being said, being a teenager means that you do not always forsee the consequences of your actions as they apply to you. That’s why they’re teenagers and not adults. So why do they deserve to have their lives ruined again?

  63. Rob Grigjanis says

    abewoelk @72:

    I do think that stupidity should hurt at least a little as a deterrent to future stupid behavior.

    Who gets to decide what ‘hurt’ means, and the ‘stupid’ criteria under which it is applied? That sentence just reeks of privilege, condescension and ignorance.

  64. Wylann says

    And it’s also possible, which you seem to be leaving out, that it is a good thing for the government to use our tax dollars to help people. Yes, some people make bad decisions, and they deserve a second (sometimes third and fourth or more) chances. Most people will learn and improve.

    To me, the few “welfare queen” types are worth it for the 99.9999% of people who get public assistance for a short time, and work their way back to being contributing members of society. (and yes, I realize how badly loaded ‘contributing’ means when the only measure is whether they make more money than they cost….)

    Utah has come to the realization that it is cheaper to actually give people apartments than it is to have them homeless. Maybe there’s a free-market argument to be made, but I’d rather not twist my brain and attempt it.

  65. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    To me, the few “welfare queen” types are worth it for the 99.9999% of people who get public assistance for a short time, and work their way back to being contributing members of society.

    Yes, exactly. I’d also rather be some sort of “enabler” for the very few exceptions who are”lazy” than the alternative, which is to contribute to someone’s death and slash or continued misery. Really, money just isn’t worth human suffering.

  66. infraredeyes says

    @54:

    For example, increased federal spending on health care and education has contributed to both of those becoming more expensive.

    As long as you’re digging up citations, maybe you can document this?

    In reality, US health care costs are among the highest in the world by just about any measure: OECD and WHO statistics. The countries in the developed world that are doing better, i.e. spending less overall, are the ones that have fully or partially nationalized health services. Hence why a number of US states have been encouraging people to buy expensive drugs from Canada, so that Americans can benefit from government control of prices without the embarrassment of actually having to implement those controls themselves.

  67. David Marjanović says

    So how is dropping out of school or having a baby at 15 or not acquiring marketable job skills, not a decision? What else would it be? Does someone hold a gun to their heads and force them to drop out of school or not use birth control?

    Pretty much. Most of them have no choice.

    When your parents work three jobs each, they can’t ever help you with your homework, can’t ever help you prepare for tests, can’t ever explain stuff to you. They’re almost never at home, and when they are, they’re too tired. Either you’re a genius, or you drop out of school. Or, y’know, both.

    When you don’t know shit about contraception, you’re not likely to use it right. There’s a campaign in the US to keep teenagers from learning about it; guess what happens.

    I do think that stupidity should hurt at least a little as a deterrent to future stupid behavior.

    …That’s not what “stupid” means, is it? You’re talking about evil behavior instead.

  68. says

    ck @48:

    Even if some/many/all incidence of poverty was due to bad choices on their part, would that really change anything? Would someone really deserve to have a ruined life just because they once made a bad choice? I wouldn’t mind knowing what portion of poverty is caused merely by bad choices, in order to better fight it, but it doesn’t change my attitude to those suffering from poverty.

    Excellent point.
    No matter the reason, these are people in poverty. They’re suffering. That in itself should be enough reason to care about them.

  69. says

    I’d also rather be some sort of “enabler” for the very few exceptions who are”lazy” than the alternative, which is to contribute to someone’s death and slash or continued misery.

    I think it was in the other libertarian thread that this came up as well, and I pointed out that, while there are people who want to do nothing but veg out on the couch all day., but a) there aren’t very many, and b) everyone is frankly better off if they do, because they’re usually useless skivers who create more work than they do on the jobsite. If they get a basic income, they’ll still contribute to the economy by keeping the money circulating.

  70. Rob Grigjanis says

    Gen @78: I was asked once why I give money to street people, given that some of them may be ‘faking’ (whatever that means). I said that if I give a few bucks to four people, and three of them don’t need it, that means I’ve helped someone who does need it.

    As for welfare fraud, it does exist, but

    Fraud occurs when a person desperately needing assistance is unable to receive it. Welfare fraud is the North American equivalent of a starving boy in a third world country stealing a loaf of bread.

    and some perspective…

    The rate of fraud in the income tax system is approximately 20 times higher than the rate of fraud in the welfare system. A study conducted by a national auditing firm estimated fraud to be in the range of 3% of the Ontario welfare budget. A 2002 report from the Ontario Provincial Auditor noted: “of the 763,000 corporations with active accounts on the Ministry’s tax roll, 355,000 corporations – or one in two – did not file required returns.”

  71. David Marjanović says

    government control of prices

    Economies of scale. A country is a large-scale customer and can negotiate prices with the pharma companies. That’s what functioning countries do.

  72. says

    abewoelk:

    So how is dropping out of school or having a baby at 15 or not acquiring marketable job skills, not a decision?

    You’re treating that decision as if it is being made in a vacuum. they aren’t.
    Why are teens dropping out of school? For many, they have to get a job to help take care of their family. School or starve. Gee, I know which one I’d choose.
    Why are teens having babies at 15? As David M mentioned abstinence only education is one of the reasons for this. Teens are getting false or misleading information about sex. If they had accurate information, perhaps the rate of teen pregnancy would drop. Again, this goes deeper than simply making ‘bad decisions’.
    There are reasons why many people do not acquiring marketable job skills, but you aren’t interested in the causes. You just want to blame poor people for being poor and continue to punish them.

    But let’s cut to the chase: It is possible to BOTH acknowledge that someone’s choices are the product of unfortunate circumstances AND ALSO tell them, in their own best inerest, that they need to make better choices.

    What’s the better choice to make:
    My mother is struggling to put food on the table for my younger siblings and I. I want to help her out bc I don’t want my family (or myself) to starve. Should I continue high school or drop out and get a job?
    You are trying to argue that the reasons for these decisions are irrelevant. I’m pointing out that the reasons are *highly* relevant. By ignoring the causes, you get to simplify the problem and solution. In your view, it doesn’t matter that a teen drops out of school to help support their family. What matters is that they made the choice to drop out of school, and that is bad. Yup, that’s the bad choice.
    The good choice–in your eyes–would have been to stay in school and watch their family (and possibly themselves) starve.

    Your ignorance has an easy fix–stop assuming the talking points and soundbites you’ve picked up over the years are actually true. Question the truth of what you believe. Educate yourself. Start here:

    Poverty and academic achievement

    Poverty has a particularly adverse effect on the academic outcomes of children, especially during early childhood.

    Chronic stress associated with living in poverty has been shown to adversely affect children’s concentration and memory which may impact their ability to learn.

    The National Center for Education Statistics reports that in 2008, the dropout rate of students living in low-income families was about four and one-half times greater than the rate of children from higher-income families (8.7 percent versus 2.0 percent).

    The academic achievement gap for poorer youth is particularly pronounced for low-income African American and Hispanic children compared with their more affluent White peers.

    Underresourced schools in poorer communities struggle to meet the learning needs of their students and aid them in fulfilling their potential.

    Inadequate education contributes to the cycle of poverty by making it more difficult for low-income children to lift themselves and future generations out of poverty

    http://www.apa.org/pi/families/poverty.aspx#

    ‘Make better choices’ is not a solution to any of the above.

    If someone had a lousy childhood and it turned him into an alcoholic, a drug addict, or a child molester, there is no conflict in both having compassion for his lousy childhood and also telling him that he needs to stop that behavior; that at some point, each of us becomes responsible for our own decisions.

    Yes, alcohol and drug addiction are problems that one can overcome by just stopping. By Zeus you have no understanding of how complex these problems are.

    And having just re-read this thread, I’m not even sure we’re that far apart.

    Oh we’re light years apart. I actually care about instituting policies that benefit people. I care about the root causes of poverty, teen pregnancy, or dropping out of high school. I *don’t* want to see people starve on the streets. I don’t want people to suffer, whether they made bad decisions or not.
    You want people to suffer.
    That’s a monumental difference between us.

  73. Ichthyic says

    You want people to suffer.
    That’s a monumental difference between us.

    just so.

    hey, Abe…

    say you got into an accident at a 4-way stop because you rolled through the stop sign as you were distracted by something. Why, it doesn’t even matter what it was!

    Now then. with your logic, YOU should pay for ALL costs incurred in that accident, correct? your hospital bill, any damage accorded to anyone else in the accident, damage to the road surface, and the costs of emergency and police personnel summoned to the scene.

    no, none of this insurance crap, insurance is for people who don’t make mistakes, right?

    you should be punished for your stupid, easily avoidable, mistake.

    for the rest of your life.

    now run along.

  74. says

    So how is dropping out of school or having a baby at 15 or not acquiring marketable job skills, not a decision?

    You’re assuming that 1)the school, controlled by whichever local yahoos get elected to the school board, is teaching anything useful or well; 2) that anyone has taught the 15-year-old how babies are made; 3)that this 15-year-old hasn’t had her access to contraception restricted; and 4) that marketable job skills are available at a price the already poor can afford (either that or you’re assuming the high school teaches marketable job skills).
    And, as I often find with the conservative mind-set, you’re treating the American economic system like a fair, balanced, merit-based thing, rather than the scale free network with a power-law distribution that it is. Wealth grows by preferential attachment; simply, money makes money. There are exceptions, where people who begin with very little become very wealthy, but as with the kind of networks I’m talking about, those stories often begin with an idea, product or service that’s only marginally better than the competition. Or, sometimes, just dumb luck. And success comes out of all proportion.
    And again, those are rare exceptions anyway. Choices? I chose to be George Romney’s son, but they gave the gig to some doofus.He almost became President. Imagine what I could have done with the opportunity.
    But I’ve come to understand lately that the conservative mind simply doesn’t understand systems that feed back on themselves, networks that grow by preferential attachment, or dynamical systems in general. And we saw how good at math they are last election night.

  75. abewoelk says

    Actually, I don’t want people to suffer, which is why I’m willing for stupid to hurt a little — if you make stupid cost free, there will be more of it, and that’s not good for either society or the individuals being stupid. If by leaving some of the natural consequences of stupid in place you can deter some stupid behavior in the future, you’ve done a public service. It’s called tough love.

    That doesn’t mean I think a teenage mistake should cost someone a lifetime in poverty; I said stupid should hurt “a little”. I think people who are trying to dig out of the holes they dug for themselves should be given a hand. But it’s a basic law of economics that if something is free — like engaging in stupid behavior — there will be more demand for it.

    I wouldn’t go back to the days in which single mothers were literally allowed to starve to death in the streets; I know enough history to know that those days really did exist, and that’s part of the reason I’m not a libertarian. But I also think teenage pregnancy should be considered a catastrophic event, because that’s mostly what it is; there is probably no more surefire way to guarantee that you’ll be poor than to have a baby before you’re able to financially support it. So I think it should have as many social disincentives as are humanely possible. And speaking of unintended consequences, there really was a lot less of it before the government started subsidizing it. How to not subsidize it while at the same time not letting children go hungry is the question; the guy who figures out the answer will probably win a Nobel prize.

  76. says

    abewoelk

    But it’s a basic law of economics that if something is free — like engaging in stupid behavior — there will be more demand for it.

    So, let’s add economics and psychology to the things you don’t have a clue about.

    So I think it should have as many social disincentives as are humanely possible.

    I suspect you meant humanly possible, since the concept of being humane appears to escape you entirely. I love how you completely ignore the things you’ve been provided in this thread which actually do serve to reduce things like unplanned pregnancies in favor of your 18th century morality.

    And speaking of unintended consequences, there really was a lot less of it before the government started subsidizing it.

    Citation needed, shit for brains.

  77. Snoof says

    that stupidity should hurt at least a little as a deterrent

    I’m willing for stupid to hurt a little

    So… how much is “a little”?

    Because the current consequences for “stupidity” include:
    * homelessness
    * illness
    * economic exploitation
    * sexual exploitation
    * violence
    * permanently becoming part of the underclass
    * the automatic assumption of criminality by police and other authorities
    * death

    And if it’s true that

    there really was a lot less [teenage pregnancy] before the government started subsidizing it

    then it appears that the current consequences, which include death, aren’t really doing all that much. So what do you suggest? Public horsewhippings? State executions?

    I wouldn’t go back to the days in which single mothers were literally allowed to starve to death in the streets; I know enough history to know that those days really did exist

    But apparently not enough social studies to know it’s still happening now. In the twenty-first century. In developed nations. Like the USA.

  78. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says

    I would agree that reducing the teen-pregnancy number would be a solid idea.

    Here’s what I support:
    -Comprehensive sex education, so young people are taught how to use quality contraception.
    -Free birth control that’s easy to access (usage instructions for which to be provided in sex ed), of multiple types (the relative merits of which to be discussed in sex ed).
    -Education that is heavy on teaching young people (and older folk, for that matter) what healthy and respectful relationships look like, so that they can advocate for themselves and not be pressured into more sex/type of sex that they don’t want than they can handle.

    Oh, and the above is to be mandatory and excellently funded, with great teachers. No opt-out for religious reasons.

    And for the sake of those kids who will slip through the cracks and get pregnant:
    -Cheap to free access to high-quality abortion care, if that’s what they think is best.
    -Cheap to free access to high-quality prenatal care, together with parenting classes, help setting up a nursery (cribs and the like are $$$$), help figuring out how to juggle a baby and school/jobs, etc etc etc.

    Also, for the sake of those babies born to teenagers, the teenagers in question need to be well-nourished and healthy (also, well, non-hungry non-desperate people are less likely to fall prey to sharks in human form and are also more likely to be able to pay attention in school and learn well), so let’s have programs that ensure that all kids have access to high-quality nutritious and tasty meals, to a full complement of healthy calories a day. Let’s also ensure that they can go to the doctor (primary-care and specialist, both physical and mental health) and dentist (srsly, don’t ignore the impact of dental hygiene on health!) as much as they need, no matter what.

    But then, I’m one of those soppy liberals.

  79. Rey Fox says

    I do think that stupidity should hurt at least a little as a deterrent to future stupid behavior.

    Seems like circular reasoning to me.

  80. Al Dente says

    Every so often one of these “I’m not a libertarian, I just play one on the internet” makes the choice to show their basic hatred for people who didn’t select the right parents. What I don’t understand is why these pseudo-libertarians try to convince non-sociopaths that this hatred is a good thing and everyone should hate those weaklings who made “wrong choices.”

  81. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    Actually, I don’t want people to suffer, which is why I’m willing for stupid to hurt a little…

    This seems like a contradiction.

  82. David Marjanović says

    Everything Esteleth said.

    And again, those are rare exceptions anyway. Choices? I chose to be George Romney’s son, but they gave the gig to some doofus.He almost became President. Imagine what I could have done with the opportunity.

    Thread won.

    It’s called tough love.

    And again you’re confusing stupid and evil.

    Stupidity means that you make stupid decisions because you’re too stupid to do otherwise. You can’t make smarter decisions! You’re stupid! What sense does it make to punish that?

    Stupid is as stupid does!

    Fortunately, the brain can be trained. The ability to make smart decisions can be trained. Even the ability to perform well on the IQ test – in short, the IQ – can be trained (in fact rather easily). Open the floodgates for access to education.

    But it’s a basic law of economics that if something is free — like engaging in stupid behavior — there will be more demand for it.

    Economics covers all of psychology and neurobiology now? News to me.

    there is probably no more surefire way to guarantee that you’ll be poor than to have a baby before you’re able to financially support it. So I think it should have as many social disincentives as are humanely possible.

    …Or, y’know, you could stop taking very bizarre things for granted just because the USA does them.

    And again:

    How can you deter people from getting pregnant when they don’t even know how not to get pregnant!?!

    And speaking of unintended consequences, there really was a lot less of it before the government started subsidizing it.

    I hereby accuse you of making shit up.

    How to not subsidize it while at the same time not letting children go hungry is the question; the guy who figures out the answer will probably win a Nobel prize.

    Translation: What? The world is bigger than the US? What next – are you going to tell me the universe is bigger than our solar system?!?

    But apparently not enough social studies to know it’s still happening now. In the twenty-first century. In developed nations. Like the USA.

    This is one of the cases where I’m sorely tempted to say: “In the USA. Not in developed countries.”

    What I don’t understand is why these pseudo-libertarians try to convince non-sociopaths that this hatred is a good thing and everyone should hate those weaklings who made “wrong choices.”

    I’m not convinced that abewoelk is a sociopath; the one really obvious sociopath I’ve known on the Internet, however*, simply couldn’t imagine that anybody was not a sociopath. Would happily tell people he hardly knew “hey, let’s exploit your best friend and then laugh at them!”.

    * Fortunately I don’t seem to know any in meatspace.

  83. Nick Gotts says

    there is probably no more surefire way to guarantee that you’ll be poor than to have a baby before you’re able to financially support it. So I think it should have as many social disincentives as are humanely possible. – abewoelk

    And as for the baby – well, it shouldn’t have chosen its mother so stupidly, should it?

  84. Anri says

    abewoelk @ 90:

    Actually, I don’t want people to suffer, which is why I’m willing for stupid to hurt a little

    “I don’t want people to suffer, I just want them to hurt.”
    Outstanding.

    Personally, I think the world is dangerous, heartbreaking, frightening, and painful enough already that trying to make it easier on the people around us is a good thing. Bare-bones struggle for survival keeps you alive, but nothing more. Doing things that don’t work towards that are what separates us from a colony of ants.
    I like a world in which there’s space for a decent amount of stupidity. It’s called civilization.

    . . .

    Parting shot, kevinalexander @ 2:

    My spouse works in the financial industry. Her primary job is making sure that Fair Lending practices are being followed. I’ll be sure to pass on your message that she isn’t actually doing anything, thanks.

  85. Ichthyic says

    I wouldn’t go back to the days in which single mothers were literally allowed to starve to death in the streets;

    too late, asshole, we’re ALREADY there.

    you’re just one of the complete fuckwits who chooses to enable that even further with horrendously bad rationalizations.

  86. Ichthyic says

    the guy who figures out the answer will probably win a Nobel prize.

    one thing is for sure… that ain’t gonna be you.

  87. kevinalexander says

    Anri @99

    My spouse works in the financial industry. Her primary job is making sure that Fair Lending practices are being followed. I’ll be sure to pass on your message that she isn’t actually doing anything, thanks.

    I went back and reread my post and, you’re right, it does come across as stupid since I didn’t provide enough context.
    I am no anti capitalist. I understand that without money an economy is extremely difficult since barter is so hard to do. I understand that since we have to have money there must be some way of managing it. My problem is with the people who use their ingenuity to put extra gears into the financial machinery for the purpose of drawing energy out while at the same time not contributing anything.
    And to mix metaphors, I commend your spouse for the finger in the dike.

  88. says

    there really was a lot less of it before the government started subsidizing it. How to not subsidize it while at the same time not letting children go hungry is the question; the guy who figures out the answer will probably win a Nobel prize.

    Wait, wait, I am curious, when do you think the government started subsidizing teenage pregnacy and how high do you think the teenage pregnacy rate is? I know most people think the teenage pregnacy rate is skyrocketing, that is certainly what one would think from listening to the talking heads, and the wailing about the decline in morals, but the public’s perception of this is wrong. Teenage pregnacy is down over 40% from 1990. Teens haven’t been getting this not pregnant since the 1940s, at least in the US. The reports on this are all easily available on the CDC website, they do reports every couple of years.

  89. Nick Gotts says

    Travis@103,

    Shame on you! Don’t you know it’s cruel to confuse libertarians with the facts?

  90. says

    I know, I know, but deep down I am not a nice person and enjoy being cruel. Sadly I did not realize just how old this post was, I just saw some recent activity, so my cruelty might go unnoticed. This makes me almost inconsolably sad.

  91. Anri says

    kevinalexander @ 102:

    Thanks for that – we’re on the same page, looks like.

    I certainly offer no apologies for the industry as a whole, and it tends to get way worse the higher up one goes.

  92. kevinalexander says

    Any living thing, and an economy is alive, can support only so heavy a parasite load before it sickens and dies. Now compare the money that goes to so called welfare queens to what the Pentagon, the NSA and privately held tapeworms such as Wall Street take and you see the Randroids for what they are.
    If the patient dies you can always blame the doctor. Just goes to show that Obamacare doesn’t work.

  93. says

    Travis @103:
    Abewoelk isn’t too keen on research.

    ****

    Abewoelk:
    When you say people should hurt, even a little, you are advocating for people to suffer. That is reprehensible shit for brains.