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A strong society takes care of its weakest members

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  • Fri, Sep 11, 2009 - 07:24pm

    #1
    switters

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    A strong society takes care of its weakest members

Ilgari at the Automatic Earth is one of my favorite bloggers.  His post today hit the nail right on the head.  Here’s an excerpt:

Resources that might still have been used to build some kind of shelter from the storm are instead incessantly being wasted not on building solid foundations but on decorative gargoylic elements for the rooftop, never mind that the supporting walls have crumbled beyond any call at recognition or redemption. Are you realy hungry enough for good tidings to set your own house on fire?

What this will lead to, and indeed already has, is levels of poverty, both in scope and in depth, which we haven’t seen in a long, long time. And which, unless we act to halt their advance, will blow our communities and societies to smithereens from the inside.

When I say that you can judge the quality of a society by the way it takes care of its weakest, many if not most Americans will immediately think of the word “socialism”, even as they don’t know what it means. But it’s not about partisan political choices, about freedom, or the pursuit of happiness, or about big government. It’s very simply about minimum requirements for a functional society, period. You can’t have tens of millions of people being unemployed and/or living below the poverty line for extended lengths of time without resorting to oppressive measures of physical force aimed at keeping down those who have landed in your gutters. And if you would choose that option, one that many Americans would, knowingly or not, support, then freedom takes on the meaning of “the freedom to repress others”, or even “the freedom to repress whoever you can”, and down the line, as the single logical outcome, Orwell’s “some animals are more equal than others”. 

While elements of this notion may seem to have much appeal to many of those who remain standing for now, don’t be fooled. Unless you want to see soldiers and tanks overflowing your neighborhoods, not providing for your weakest is not an option. And no, you won’t feel just as happy about your life, and that of your families, if and when on your way to work you’re forced to pass by children starving by the side of the road while clasping a shotgun in your lap. A functioning society, whatever political label you might prefer to stick on it, is possible only when its members manage to suppress the temptation to take so much for themselves that too little to survive is left for their neighbors.

It’s not about politics.  It’s about the survival and strength of our society.  Unfortunately it’s already obvious that political dogma, inspired by fear and ignorance, is more powerful than common sense.

  • Fri, Sep 11, 2009 - 07:33pm

    #2
    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: A strong society takes care of its weakest members

It’s extremely ironic that he sights Orwell.
Social programs are almost directly responsible for the economic mess we’re in.

Carter’s Community revettment act started the ball, that was further exacerbated by Clinton Era programs.
Meanwhile the right wing handed us Reaganomics and the patriot act.

He then says that instead of “socialism” it’s “It’s very simply about minimum requirements for a functional society, period”

What?
No. Absolutely incorrect. Impoverished communities were taken care of by their own.
It was the natural outflow of involved communities.

If you want something to blame, blame the distribution of wealth, the emergence of sub-divisions, fossilized concepts like minimum wage that drive rural communities into the ground and feel good federal programs that try and uniformly handle situations that are best addressed on the local level.

He’s right about one thing… it’s a bi-partisan effort.
That said, I see no reason that people should be rewarded for being lazy louses.
Like it or not, that is socialism, and the only cure for it is free market.

So naturally, instead of allowing local civic structures to handle the weak and infirm, we replace church with far-reaching federal Goliaths who sweep aside notions like faith-based programs for the poor, citing that it should be all of our responsibilities to pay for those who’d just simply rather not work.

If all animals are created equal, I feel absolutely no obligation to carry their weight.

Peace,

Aaron

  • Fri, Sep 11, 2009 - 09:47pm

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    Re: A strong society takes care of its weakest members

Aaron writes:

“I see no reason that people should be rewarded for being lazy louses.
Like it or not, that is socialism, and the only cure for it is free market.

So naturally, instead of allowing local civic structures to handle the weak and infirm, we replace church with far-reaching federal Goliaths who sweep aside notions like faith-based programs for the poor, citing that it should be all of our responsibilities to pay for those who’d just simply rather not work.”

My careful observation is that (1) Not all folks who are in need are lazy louses.  Some, maybe, but probably not the majority.

An awful lot of folks “fall through the cracks” for lack of proper examples, suddenly being laid off and not being able to find gainful employment, having serious physical and/or mental problems, or living in a society which now promotes giving the most wealthy (especially corporations) special benefits that make them even more wealthy, thereby making it even harder for some to do well financially, or finding it almost impossible to get training and education, for various reasons.

Also, (2) it is my observation that the vast majority of churches, nowadays, are much more interested in increasing their numbers, building edifices and pumping up there image, rather than using their tax-exempt status to really help those in need.

And yes, there are a lot of folks out there who simply refuse to work, and eat at the public trough.  Perhaps most prominent among those who are costing us for their being to lazy to get real jobs, are politicians.

So, I think it’s unfair to assume that all people who need public assistance, of one kind or another, are “lazy louses.”

FWIW

  • Fri, Sep 11, 2009 - 09:53pm

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    Re: A strong society takes care of its weakest members

RetiredBen

“Also, (2) it is my observation that the vast majority of churches, nowadays, are much more interested in increasing their numbers, building edifices and pumping up there image, rather than using their tax-exempt status to really help those in need.”

What would you expect to happen when the govt gets in the charity business?

 

  • Fri, Sep 11, 2009 - 10:11pm

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    Re: A strong society takes care of its weakest members

Retired Ben

And so Rome burns.

No sense in crying over spilt civics.

I see all this as pedantic and secondary to the fact that society has been degraded at its most base level; communities and state authority have been entirely underminded based on federalism, globalism and consumerism.

No Ideology or ethos matters if you have a decaying structure on which your society is built.

Just my own opinion, but I’ve seen quite a bit of the “impoverished” Americans being spoke of.
They’re lazy, ineffectual, drug addicted, or other wastrels who have nothing to offer.  Also all products of a diseased society which places no emphesis or importance on skill, hard work, modesty or virtue.

We celebrate apathy, immorality, profit and ostensibility.
In this nation, there are very few who can proclaim that they’re “poor”.

We forget how many live in straw huts and fish in mud just to survive to do it again.
That is poverty. If you can’t pull yourself up in this environment, you’d be dead in that.

The removal of Darwinsim and introduction of rampant overpopulation is to blame. Ever problem discussed on this board can be traced back to overpopulation.

Cheers,

Aaron

  • Fri, Sep 11, 2009 - 11:20pm

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    Re: A strong society takes care of its weakest members

I’d really would (sincerely) like to know your plan for correcting the situation you describe, given where we are right now?   Should we just kick everyone out of the country who is receiving any kind of public assistance?  Or, maybe we should just wake up one morning and announce to all of them that effective in one week, it all stops, and they’ll just have to figure out a way to live without it?  Or, I guess we could just extinguish them, and the problem would be solved quickly.  I really don’t like the idea of our government handing out so much money either, especially to those who ought to be responsible for themselves.

(I say again, that IMHO, the most offending and costly group is politicians.  Can you give us a plan to fix that?)

Seriously, I don’t want a fight.  It just seemed to me that you were somewhat over-generalizing in your remarks

  • Fri, Sep 11, 2009 - 11:31pm

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    Re: A strong society takes care of its weakest members

Greg, I certainly agree with you on “what can you expect….”   So, since the churches now refuse to do their part, I see no reason why they should not be paying all the same kinds of taxes that we are, i.e. income, property, etc. etc.  As far as I can see, they’ve had a free ride for too long.  That’s most likely why they are some of the wealthiest and biggest land holders.

I’m very willing to see us fix the problem.  So, let’s do what we always do, i.e. attack each aspect of it, and let’s not just use general statements as to how bad it all is.  I know it’s a sorry mess too.  So, how are we going to fix it.

I guess I’m just tired of all the talk!  I want to see some workable plans, and some concrete action, to solve all these problems, beginning with government, the Fed, corporations having more rights than human beings, etc.

  • Sat, Sep 12, 2009 - 01:08am

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    Re: A strong society takes care of its weakest members

Ben,

We’ve passed the point of “critical mass”. Our debts cannot be answered. It doesn’t matter who gets what from here on out, because we’re all just rats on a sinking ship.

Some of us are smart enough to get to life rafts. Others are going to be ingenuitive enough to scavenge something to float around on.

Most will live in a profound despotism on par with most 3rd world nations. Think “Mexico City” on a national scale.

So what’s my plan?
Watch it burn from a safe distance.

There’s no saving this society at this point.

Cheers,

Aaron

  • Sat, Sep 12, 2009 - 01:53am

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    Re: A strong society takes care of its weakest members

[quote=Aaron Moyer]

Ben,

We’ve passed the point of “critical mass”. Our debts cannot be answered. It doesn’t matter who gets what from here on out, because we’re all just rats on a sinking ship.

Some of us are smart enough to get to life rafts. Others are going to be ingenuitive enough to scavenge something to float around on.

Most will live in a profound despotism on par with most 3rd world nations. Think “Mexico City” on a national scale.

So what’s my plan?
Watch it burn from a safe distance.

There’s no saving this society at this point.

Cheers,

Aaron

[/quote]

 

And where are you going to watch it from? Is there anywhere that will be really “safe”?

  • Sat, Sep 12, 2009 - 02:02am

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    Re: A strong society takes care of its weakest members

[quote=Aaron Moyer]

The removal of Darwinsim and introduction of rampant overpopulation is to blame. Ever problem discussed on this board can be traced back to overpopulation.

Cheers,

Aaron

[/quote]

Aaron, welcome back.  I hope your travels were enlightening.  My opinion is that the removal of Darwinism is EXACTLY what has caused the rampant overpopulation. Too many folks are alive in spite of themselves…and they are sucking the life out of those that are resourceful and productive.  Not necessarily through any malicious intent on their part, it is just the nature of that beast.  There is no free lunch and for a person to exist “non-productively” requires a drain on those that are productive.

If it was absolutely necessary that a community WORK together to maintain their existence, there would be less time or inclination for those things that lead to moral decay. 

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