Thursday, July 31, 2008

A View of Society

Grandma and I were sitting in the audience as grandpa was addressing a town hall meeting. As he spoke I could hear some of the people gasp in amazement at what he was saying as if he was treading on sacred ground.

"We need to get rid of the Dominant/minority mindset that has been created in this country, especially in government. It has done nothing except create a society that sees itself in terms of being victims. It is from this mindset that has created a situation where nobody is willing to accept responsibility of their own actions but finds justification to place blame on others. Yes, it has always been true that people try to blame others but it was always seen as an excuse not a reason.

It is from this mindset that we demand that one class of society change while demanding nothing of another class of people. In addition, we demand change from the so-called dominant class but never of the minority class. Power perceived is the determinant of the two classes. It is a Marxist view of society.

What people do not understand is that by taking power or rights away from one group of people does not empower another group of people. It only empowers the entity that took those rights away. In this case, we are talking about government. It brings about a state of equality by making the dominant class as powerless as the minority class.

Another mindset we need to rid ourselves of is the mindset of viewing government as nothing but a system for governing the people. It is not. Government consists of people. Every form of government does. It is people ruling over society. When we vote, as a society, we are declaring our choice of who will be allowed to rule over us for a certain term in office. That is the power of the ballot box. That is the power of the vote.

It is from this sense of power over the people that we find persons seeking to be reelected time and time again. It is in ignorance of this power that we, the people, elect them over and over again. We, the people, have no one else to blame but ourselves for the state that our society is in for we elected those that helped create it.

Beware of those who promise to give you something without cost. There is no such thing, as any good businessman will tell you. What you get free can only lead to the impoverishment of others. It may not appear that way from the promises made but that is a fact. I will even go out on a limb by saying that any politician who makes these sort of promises is a corrupt politician.

Any person who votes on the basis of getting something free is doing nothing but revealing his own greed. It also reveals his lack of self-respect and respect of others. When this attitude has the blessing of enough persons, a society is effected. A society that has lost its self-respect is doomed to know the contempt of other societies.

Every society should recognize that each individual within it has rights. But, at the same time, every individual within that society needs to recognize that some things should not be expected to be a right but a recognized as being a privilege. It may be a privilege he desires but one he has not earned yet. Most likely he is not viewing it in terms it was meant to be seen. It is when certain groups demand that privileges should be considered as rights that leads to the downfall of the unity of a society. For it demeans the whole purpose and intent of each."

With these words said grandpa sat down. And from the silence of the room I could feel a coldness in the air that comes that only exists when people have heard something they didn’t like of themselves. I knew grandpa would not be very popular now. Grandma, feeling this same coldness just took grandpa’s hand and squeezed it to let him know she was still at his side.

41 comments:

Karen said...

Grandpa is sure a wise man, Griper. Amen.

The Griper said...

i told grandpa what you said, karen, you oughta seen how red his face got. and grandma just laughed and gave him a peck on the cheek.

Crian said...

Hey Griper, I have decided to take a new approach with our discussions. I find if I argue too many things at once, I end up not making a very good argument. Therefore, for today I want to talk about these lines:

"What people do not understand is that by taking power or rights away from one group of people does not empower another group of people."

I assume we can reference the Tax Arena?

Senator Obama is not taking money away from the rich to pay the poor. He is increasing the potential taxes the rich might pay and decreasing those of the middle class. This does not decrease the power of the top 1% as a marginal increase in taxes is not going to affect them. They will still rule corporate America like they have always done.

"It brings about a state of equality by making the dominant class as powerless as the minority class."

The potential tax increase is supposed to be $781,000 for the top 1%, do you really think that is going to make Bill Gates or Warren Buffet any less powerful?


The little increase in money the middle class will gain, does help them while slightly decreasing the the inequality in society.

The last 8 years have only increased this inequality therefore to balance out this increase, there must be a subsequent decrease.

The Griper said...

Crian,
the government has always had the right of taxation. and with that right it also had the right to raise or lower those taxes imposed as it saw fit. both of these statements assumes rightfully that the government is abiding by the Constitution in regards to that right.

so, we are not talking of some right taken away from a certain class of society. thus your assumption is wrong. and the rest of your argument becomes irrelevant.

dcat said...

Well at least I can still see your place!

Nice post Griper!

Some bloggers still have a fight on their hands... :P

Tapline said...

Gripper, YOu have a grandfather who knows for what he speaks. I read in another blog recently, how one must change with the times, values etc... I say when one starts deluting their values or fails to speak out when he sees an injustice. The nation becomes as it is now, awash of "If it feels good , do it" with no thought of the consequence....stay well.....

Crian said...

My assumption was wrong, granted... moving onto the second point of argument:

"Most likely he is not viewing it in terms it was meant to be seen. It is when certain groups demand that privileges should be considered as rights that leads to the downfall of the unity of a society."

Is it wrong for people to demand privelege or expect it as a right? I disagree, it is through the acceptance of the status quo that one class always has the privilege while the other class endeavours to achieve it. Some of those under-priveleged people( a miniscule number) may achieve said priveleges in time but on the whole, if such privelege is never demanded... those in power will never give it.

When inequality exists in a society, unity can never occur therefore equality, privelege has to be fought for and demanded as a right otherwise society will stay the constant and never change for the better.

The Griper said...

Crian,
"Is it wrong for people to demand privelege or expect it as a right?"

the answer is yes. the key word in your statement is "demand". since when does anyone have the right to "demand" something that does not belong to them? they have the right to ask for it but not demand it.

to see a privilege in terms of being a right necessitates a redefinition of the words. and once you do that there are no privileges anymore because everything becomes a right by definition.

that is a socialist's way of seeing things and you yourself have said you would not live in a socialistic state. so, why are you using arguements that do nothing but promote socialism?

BB-Idaho said...

Considering
"It is from this mindset that we demand that one class of society change while demanding nothing of another class of people. In addition, we demand change from the so-called dominant class but never of the minority class. Power perceived is the determinant of the two classes. It is a Marxist view of society.
...it also parallels the thinking
of the Confederate States of America regarding the rights of plantation owners v slaves.
That is why Lincoln noted "of the people, for the people, by the people, not for this or that
'class'. :)

The Griper said...

bb,
some would say that it wasn't a master/slave issue but a federal government/state government issue that was the thinking of the CSA. which is to say that the slave issue was a state issue and only the states could decide that and in the end was shown to be true.

the civil war settled nothing in regards to the slave issue. the only thing the civil war did was hold the union together as it is.

as for that Lincoln saying, i have no idea what was on his mind when he spoke those words but i do have my own thoughts of what it says.

BB-Idaho said...

True, the causes and results of the civil war have been argued from various POV. I submit that there are no longer owned human chattel in the sense of the old south, that the Emancipation and subsequent amendments addressed the issue. Jefferson Davis rejected peace 'feelers' in 1864,
noting that the Confederacy would not submit to majority rule. Oddly, his own state governors fought him constantly over 'their' states rights..contributing to the ultimate Appomatox affair. Yes,
there are those who insist the South won. :) Regarding class in US society, we may perceive such divisions by any number of criteria: wealth, education, religion, ambition, morals, race,
power, etc. Whether we, as we like to brag, are a classless society is questionable, given
the rancor of our politics; but
relatively speaking, the blurring of class distinction say, compared to old Europe, is beneficial in terms of uniting us. Such argument is propounded in 'It Didn't Happen Here' (Lipsit & Marks)/It Can't Happen Here (Sinclair Lewis) wherein the 'isms' which plagued
19th and 20th century Europe,
socialism and fascism respectively, fell on infertile ground here.

The Griper said...

bb,
"the blurring of class distinction say, compared to old Europe, is beneficial in terms of uniting us."

i guess this depends more on whether you are using sociological standards or political standards. in the beginning we blurred this distinction simply by eliminating the two classes that existed as seen, the ruling class vs the class of the ruled by proclaiming "we the people" yet it wasn't the people themselves but the states, as represented by the governments of each states that passed the Constitution. along with the fact our leaders are elected into office not born into office as it was in the "olde" counry.

"wherein the 'isms' which plagued
19th and 20th century Europe,
socialism and fascism respectively, fell on infertile ground here."

that in itself declares how different the two societies are. Europe is more of a collective society while ours is more individualistic or at least it was. i'd say even that distinction is becoming more blurred but it still exists. and it is one reason why i never thought the comparison of the two societies was or is a good comparison.

as for Jefferson's rejection, i'd can't say because i don't know if you mean the majority of the CSA or the majority of the whole country or even if we are speaking of a simple majority or super majority on a constitutional issue.

Lista said...

Crian,
If you're still around, I'm finding your words interesting.

While on our most recent vacation with my parents, I heard something about the tax plan of Obama that I really didn't like. Mom was talking about how Obama wants to increase Capital Gains Taxes. This isn't so bad when the Capital really is excessive, such as with people like Bill Gates, yet with my parents, we are talking not about excessive wealth, but about their retirement.

Remember, people who work for themselves do not have all the benefits that they give to their workers. Such people have to pay for all their own insurance needs, including medical and they have to plan for their own retirement. For many, Capital Gains equals retirement, when such is heavily taxed, we are taking it away from some who are retired, such as my parents.

I guess this wouldn't be so if the Capital Gains would have all come at once, before the taxes are increased, yet that is not the case with them. They are getting the money from the sale of their property in chunks, a little at a time, and as the Capital Gains Tax goes up, the remaining retirement money that they will receive from this sale will go down. I guess it is not surprising that they are voting for McCain. I wouldn't call this greed; only a desire for a reasonable retirement.

The Griper said...

lista,
remember one thing. greed is not the attribute of the holder of assets. it is a attribute of those who seek to deny another of their assets.

Lista said...

I disagree. Greed is also the attribute of someone who will hang on to what they have at all costs and is unwilling to give a portion of what God has given him to the poor as the Lord has commanded him to.

Remember what you have is not really yours, but God's. We are just the stewards of God's money.

Lista said...

Anyway,
I wasn't done with my original thoughts.

When you were arguing with Crain, Griper, I don't think that his focus was on rights, but on the balance of power. You nullified his argument because of his use of the word "assume". Perhaps he should have chosen a better word. I would have simply said what you are saying could be applied to the tax arena. The goof of using one wrong word should not nullify an argument.

I agree with what Tapline said about values, yet I also agree with Crian in relation to privileges and rights. I only want to add that when people on either side demand too much, it is greed. When they ask repetitively for what is reasonable, it is not greed. The word demand is actually a poor word, for it is emotionally charged and implies that the request that's being made is not reasonable, yet that is usually a matter of opinion.

Crian,
Change some of your terminology and you may have more luck in your communication with Conservatives. I prefer to view these things as a bargaining process and in bargaining, the question is not what is a privilege or a right, but simply, what is fair?

I guess one response could be that we need to face the fact that life isn't fair, yet in a bargaining process, we are required to be fair with each other and this means those on both sides of the issue.

Griper,
Total Socialism, without free enterprise, gives power to no one, yet Total Capitalism, without much government involvement, gives power to those who thrive in Capitalism; the wealthy. What is needed is Capitalism, yet not without giving the weak what they need in order to at least have some sort of a chance.

The Griper said...

what you were advocating was not greed, lista, but love of money, an entirely different concept.

"Total Socialism, without free enterprise, gives power to no one"

you're right. it takes away power from the people. the government has total power under the concept of socialism. and that means that the people running government have total power over the people.
reason:
socialism cannot exist without laws implimenting it. it is not a natural form of economics.

Crian said...

Hey Lista, on Obama and Capital Gains Tax, from what I have read at the Tax Policy center, 1 in 7 people have had capital gains on their tax returns since 2006. Another number puts it at 13.4 million people who would be disadvantaged by a potential capital gains increase.

Senator Obama wants a more progressive capital gains tax targetting those people with excessive wealth:

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/595/

Regarding your folks, I assume they are not making huge amounts of money on the sale of their property? therefore they would not be harmed by a Capital Gains Tax change. If they are harmed, I am sorry about that. It sucks but again an Obama change on Capital Gains Tax would help off-set tax decreases to the real middle class in his tax plans.

Thanks for help on the arguments Lista, I really do need to re-evaluate the terminology I use.

On my arguments Griper, It is not my intention to use socialist arguments. When I think about my rebuttal points, a socialist flag never goes up metaphorical speaking. I would still never live in a socialist society yet I agree with what Lista says, a mix of some socialism and capitalism would improve the existing social structure in America.

I know we have discussed this prospect before that introducing some socialist principles would eventually lead to total socialism but that would only occur if the American people let it happen.

On individualism, have you heard of Geert Hofstede, a dutch dude who conducted a study in 53 countries about culture. He concluded for example that the U.K is a few percentage points off America on Individualism. Ireland being a fair bit more.

BB-Idaho said...

Greed is generally defined as:
"a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (as money) than is needed"..as such, it may or may not be an 'attribute' of a holder of goods, or for that matter, the homeless family under the local bridge. I believe Griper is explaining that a person of great wealth in wanting to preserve that wealth is not exhibiting greed. The same person, driven to increase his wealth would be guilty of greed, given the dictionary definition. Historically, greed has been viewed as a troublesome trait, the antithesis of sharing, thus
Christians (and others) consider it a sin.
The capital gains tax is viewed by
some as unfair, as it penalizes labor by being taxed at a lower rate than payroll earnings. On the other hand, it can be viewed as double taxation, the money invested having already been taxed once. For those of us ancient ones no longer working, 401K investments partially compensate by being untaxed as they grow over the years, but taxed as ordinary
income (higher than the gains tax) as we withdraw it. Since we live frugally in old age and do not withdraw more than we need (being free of greed :))such tax is typically low.

Lista said...

I think we are getting technical now. I think that greed and the love of money are the same thing.

I guess we agree about Socialism, yet I feel that Capitalism without any government programs can be taken to an extreme as well.

Well, it's been fun, Griper, but I really do need to go now.

The Griper said...

bb,
thumbs up

Crian,
if you haven't noticed the US already is a mix. it is not a pure free enterprise system. and in a sense has never been one. the difference being that at one time that mixture was kept at the local level and kept to a minimum. it wasn't until roosevelt's term that it went to the federal level on a glaring aspect of our economy.

Lista said...

Hi Crian,
I just got finished telling Griper that I need to get off the computer and I do, in spite the fact that responses on various blogs are still piling up in my email box even as we speak, but I want to thank you for dropping by my blog. I was by yours too, but didn't comment.

You have assumed wrong again. They are making enough on the sale of their property to cover their retirement, such a large sale appears to be the wealth of a rich man, but I'm afraid that's not the case.

As to terminology, you have to watch people, Crian, sometimes they will use terminology that supports their own arguments. For example, pro-choice vs. pro-abortion. There's a big difference in the implications of these words. Likewise, a simple request can be called a demand and the whole mood of the discussion is changed.

I'm not really sure that I would call the preservation of a few government programs Socialism.

Lista said...

O.K. Just one more.

BB,
Your comment about Capitol Gains Tax is very good, interesting and informative. I agree that the failure to share what one has is a form of greed. If Capitol Gains is the form of one's retirement, than it makes sense in a way that it should be taxed in a similar way as a 401K investment. The sad part about it is that we plan based on current tax laws and then they change.

The Griper said...

the biggest problem with taxes, as they are imposed now, is that the tax is universally imposed based on the needs of government and does not consider the needs of the individual first when imposed.

that is why i have always been an advocate for a tax system that allows the people to determine the amount of taxes he will pay.

Lista said...

Your going to have to explain this one, Griper. I'm not sure that I follow.

The Griper said...

it means simply that government gets their share of your money first and you have to live on what is left.

before you even see your pay check approxamently 25% of it has been deducted from it thus leaving the family only about 75% of it to feed and shelter the family. then after that another 7.5% is taken out when you purchase things.

dcat said...

That is what burns me Griper! I would like to take more luxury trips and live a nice life after all, at one point I worked two f---ing jobs for 16 years and I have a CARRER! I have worked pretty much of my life and I have a goal.

It's too bad others didn't plan for it and it isn't my problem! But I will fight tooth and nail for it! Hurt me and yeah you can kiss any more my money going to charity! I won't be the only one! Socialism is CRAP!

dcat said...

Saw this at another blog and I liked it:

"The Democrats are the party of poverty, the Republicans are in the party of prosperity"

Lista said...

Griper,
"That is why I have always been an advocate for a tax system that allows the people to determine the amount of taxes he will pay."

I understand the present tax system, Griper, I just don't understand your proposal.

Dcat,
You know that Socialism and Private Charity is not the same thing, don't you? It's Ok if you decide to not give to either, yet I really do wish that you would stop treating them as synonyms.

I also wish that I knew how to take some of your anger away, because that in itself can lessen the quality of one's life. The true goal in life is happiness and success in achieving our goals does not always guarantee it. I've had some anger issues myself and find that for me, Christianity helps, but I've got a hunch that's not what you want to hear me say.

Each person has to find their own way. I wish you luck.

The Griper said...

my proposal, lista, is to give the people the total of his pay check without taxes taken out. then allow him to determine how much he will pay in to the government as determined by what he buys. if he wishes to buy something expensive he will pay in a greater amount of taxes. if he wishes to buy something less expensive he will pay in less amount of taxes.

it also can be taxed in such a way that certain items are not taxable, like food or rent. this will tax everyone equally but not hurt the poor. plus it will make sure that everyone will pay their fair share of taxes. now there are many in this society that do not pay taxes at all even though they are required to.

Lista said...

That sort of sounds like Huckabee. Interesting. I was having a hard time excepting his idea because it is too radical of a change, yet you explained it in a very interesting way.

The criticism that I've heard is that it sort of places an extra tax burden on the young who are just starting out, because they start out with nothing and have no choice but to buy things. Those who are older and more established only have to replace things.

Also, since spending stimulates the economy more than savings does, would putting extra sales tax on things discourage spending? These are just questions I've been asking. I look forward to your response.

The Griper said...

"it sort of places an extra tax burden on the young"

it also teaches the young to be more disciplined in their buying habits too. and in life that is the important thing.

savings stimulate the economy just as much as spending does. remember, when you put that savings in the bank, that bank spends it by loaning it out. it doesn't just sit in their vault.

BB-Idaho said...

"it doesn't just sit in their vault." Some goes to shareholders
https://www.wellsfargo.com/invest_relations/dividend Never could figure out why a bank, with all its cash deposits would need to sell stock. (Oh, yeah, the greed thing) :) Recall that salestax thing in your state...luxury tax on million dollar yachts? The
owners simply registered them in Oregon and returned with a sticker to the bay. I agree with your observation that some never pay a tax..

The Griper said...

he grins at bb. don't the dividends paid out come from the profits if there are any, bb?

remember cash deposits are not the property of the bank. only the interest they earn from loaning out of those deposits are. we must remember that as depositors of money we are actually loaning the bank money thus deposits do not belong to the bank but to the depositor.

this is why banks are so vulnerable. when they can't collect on the loans they cannot return the money loaned to them back to the depositor. they end up owning property that no longer has the value it had when the loan was made.

this is also the reason for the high down payment a person needs to have. it is a buffer, in terms of the value of the property, in case the bank forecloses during a bad economic situation as it is now in the housing market.

as for selling stock, banks are no different than any other business that sells stock. in fact, credit unions is nothing but a bank where each depositor is also a stock holder in that credit union.

BB-Idaho said...

You are correct, Griper. I do not understand stocks. At least twice a year, my financial advisor gets the giggles over my question: A company sells stocks to raise cash, right? Once the stocks are sold, why should that company jump through knotholes to see that they continue to go up? ..well, BB, they might want to sell more sometime. Oh really? So how come
Exxon is buying theirs back at record rates instead of drilling?
Oh, BB, lets meet again in 6 months! :)

The Griper said...

he laughs then nods, yup.

i don't have any real knowledge in regards to stocks myself. the only thing i know is that a stock represent partial ownership in a company. and that stock owners make or lose money based on the value of the stock itself.

so, it is in the best interest of the company to see that stock prices go higher rather than lower. it can be declared that it is a recognition of how much trust we have in that company to be profitable. as for companies buying back their own stock, my guess would be to maintain the price of the stock itself or a show of how much they trust themselves. that to me would be a simple explanation by a guess. lolol

Lista said...

Griper,
Actually there is usually more than 25% removed from a pay check when you consider all the other deductions, it's usually frustratingly close to 50%.

Interestingly, you have explained this tax program well enough that you have me actually considering it. Poor Huckabee really didn't get enough media attention. The debates that I saw prior to Super Tuesday were mainly dominated by Romney and McCain.

Tell me if I'm viewing this correctly. Since a stock represents partial ownership in a company, the stock should go up when the value of the company goes up, yet this concept is complicated by the supply and demand thing.

When lots of people buy the stock, the price goes up and when less people buy it, the price goes down, so the price goes up based just as much on people's faith in or lack of faith in the company as it does with the actual value of the company.

If the faith of the stock holders is over estimated, the reality of the actual worth of the company eventually comes out and the stock owners will take a loss if they do not sell their stock in time.

The Griper said...

that 25% was based on a 15% income tax bracket, lista. 15% for income taxes, 7.5% social security, then i just added 2.5% state taxes. the actual amount depends on the tax bracket a person is in. it also depends upon how many deductions you are claiming at the time too. people have a tendency not to claim enough dependents so that they will end up with a large tax refund. that is foolish.

as for stocks, yes you have the idea basically down correctly. its a little more complicated but you have the general idea of the stock market.

Lista said...

Seems to me that I've seen as much as 40% removed from a tiny minimum wage check before. I'm not sure what all was taken out besides just taxes, yet there wasn't much left. Trust me.

Maybe it was because of the number of deductions claimed. Could be.

The Griper said...

if a person claims 0 deductions that is possible, yes. that is how you see people bragging about how high their refund check is.

dcat said...

Hey MYOB!

I am doing just fine! I wish you would get a life list!

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