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Time to read THE LAST CENTURION?

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Re: Time to read THE LAST CENTURION?
Post by The E   » Wed Apr 08, 2020 9:40 am

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n7axw wrote:You kinda tripped across one of my pet peeves...That word socialism... Classicly what it refers to is public ownership of the means of production. But that word has gotten pretty greasy. So it would be helpful at least to me if you would define yourself...


Public ownership of the means of production (in the original, Marxian sense, not the distorted "no private ownership of anything" that a lot of people think is meant by that phrase) is a good, maximalist end goal.

I am a believer in european social democracy. I believe in a state that actively intervenes on behalf of the population and that works to keep the good parts of capitalism (i.e. competition, drive to innovate) while shielding the populace from its worst effects (a race to the bottom in wages coupled with a race to the top in pricing). This includes strong social security networks, from unemployment insurance to health care, it also includes worker participation in corporate decision making through worker's councils and unions.

The big problem with american-style neoliberal capitalism, and the reason why I call it hell, is simple: It is not resilient. Its foundation is that everyone offers their labour on the free market, receiving money, goods and services in return. This system encourages employers to pay their employees the least amount they can get away with, while everyone else is incentivized to sell their goods and services at the highest price the market will bear, which creates a segment of the population that lives paycheck to paycheck.
This can work out for a time, but when something like Corona comes along, the whole system crashes hard and creates suffering and misery; when all you have to offer on the market is a good noone is buying, you're pretty much screwed unless you managed to put away a nest egg -- which a neoliberal capitalist system makes very very hard!
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Re: Time to read THE LAST CENTURION?
Post by Daryl   » Wed Apr 08, 2020 5:20 pm

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Very best wishes Anna. Hopefully they can fix this. Nothing worse than your situation, with not knowing.
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Re: Time to read THE LAST CENTURION?
Post by TFLYTSNBN   » Wed Apr 08, 2020 5:35 pm

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The E wrote:
TFLYTSNBN wrote:When numbers of onfirmed infections or deaths attributed to the virus per million people are compared, the US is doing much, much better than most Wester European countries.

I have. O doubt that you are smart enough to understand the math. You are simply to dishonest to acknowledge the math.


And you're clearly not smart enough to accurately see the limits inherent in the data due to a lack of testing. As we saw in some cities in Italy, there are a number of deaths that aren't counted as covid-related because the people who passed were never, not before and not after death, tested for covid.

Only in countries with comprehensive testing regimes that cover a lot more people than what testing in the US is currently able to can we make accurate statements about the death rate.

So, in other words: The raw data available to us is painting a misleading picture of the state of covid in the US. There are very few countries where we can actually make statements with confidence; South Korea is the prime example here.

The final picture will only emerge in a couple of weeks or months, but we can already say that unless China is massively underreporting things, the US will end up as the single worst outbreak amongst first-world nations, Italy included, both in absolute and relative terms.



As usual, you are full of feces. As documented on the Worldmeters web site, the rate of testing in the US is getting very close to the testing rate in Germany or even Italy. Given the well documented lethality rate in other countries, I have no doubt that Germany is intentionally undercounting Coronavirus related fatalities to make themselves feel superior.

And you wonder why I refer to you as Eurotrash.
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Re: Time to read THE LAST CENTURION?
Post by TFLYTSNBN   » Wed Apr 08, 2020 5:51 pm

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I came across this interesting report. I suspect that it raises valid points.

https://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-06-20-00300.asp

What offends me is how the author of the report disseminated (and not inseminated although the lady is not unattractive) report. Rather than pass it on up through the bureaucracy to the President, she distributed it to selected journalists. The result was a very well coordinated attack on President Trump during a press conference. Dr Fauci was obviously in on it.

We are threatened by a pandemic that could kill hundreds of millions of people if we don't get it under control. In spite of these enormous risks, there are bureaucrats in the US government that are willing to endanger lives by withholding information from the President to advance a political agenda.
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Re: Time to read THE LAST CENTURION?
Post by Joat42   » Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:39 pm

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TFLYTSNBN wrote:I came across this interesting report. I suspect that it raises valid points.

https://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-06-20-00300.asp

What offends me is how the author of the report disseminated (and not inseminated although the lady is not unattractive) report. Rather than pass it on up through the bureaucracy to the President, she distributed it to selected journalists. The result was a very well coordinated attack on President Trump during a press conference. Dr Fauci was obviously in on it.

We are threatened by a pandemic that could kill hundreds of millions of people if we don't get it under control. In spite of these enormous risks, there are bureaucrats in the US government that are willing to endanger lives by withholding information from the President to advance a political agenda.

You did read the summary on the page you linked to, right?

---
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Re: Time to read THE LAST CENTURION?
Post by Joat42   » Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:55 pm

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TFLYTSNBN wrote:As usual, you are full of feces. As documented on the Worldmeters web site, the rate of testing in the US is getting very close to the testing rate in Germany or even Italy. Given the well documented lethality rate in other countries, I have no doubt that Germany is intentionally undercounting Coronavirus related fatalities to make themselves feel superior.

And you wonder why I refer to you as Eurotrash.

~6600 vs ~11000 counts as "very close"? :roll:

I wonder who really suffers from a superiority complex here...

---
Jack of all trades and destructive tinkerer.


Anyone who have simple solutions for complex problems is a fool.
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Re: Time to read THE LAST CENTURION?
Post by gcomeau   » Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:57 pm

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TFLYTSNBN wrote:I came across this interesting report. I suspect that it raises valid points.

https://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-06-20-00300.asp

What offends me is how the author of the report disseminated (and not inseminated although the lady is not unattractive) report. Rather than pass it on up through the bureaucracy to the President, she distributed it to selected journalists. The result was a very well coordinated attack on President Trump during a press conference. Dr Fauci was obviously in on it.

We are threatened by a pandemic that could kill hundreds of millions of people if we don't get it under control. In spite of these enormous risks, there are bureaucrats in the US government that are willing to endanger lives by withholding information from the President to advance a political agenda.


Explain how the IG doing her job and publishing the results of her audit is "witholding information from the president".

And the primary person who has spent months endangering lives in the US is said president.
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Re: Time to read THE LAST CENTURION?
Post by n7axw   » Thu Apr 09, 2020 12:13 am

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The E wrote:
n7axw wrote:You kinda tripped across one of my pet peeves...That word socialism... Classicly what it refers to is public ownership of the means of production. But that word has gotten pretty greasy. So it would be helpful at least to me if you would define yourself...


Public ownership of the means of production (in the original, Marxian sense, not the distorted "no private ownership of anything" that a lot of people think is meant by that phrase) is a good, maximalist end goal.

I am a believer in european social democracy. I believe in a state that actively intervenes on behalf of the population and that works to keep the good parts of capitalism (i.e. competition, drive to innovate) while shielding the populace from its worst effects (a race to the bottom in wages coupled with a race to the top in pricing). This includes strong social security networks, from unemployment insurance to health care, it also includes worker participation in corporate decision making through worker's councils and unions.

The big problem with american-style neoliberal capitalism, and the reason why I call it hell, is simple: It is not resilient. Its foundation is that everyone offers their labour on the free market, receiving money, goods and services in return. This system encourages employers to pay their employees the least amount they can get away with, while everyone else is incentivized to sell their goods and services at the highest price the market will bear, which creates a segment of the population that lives paycheck to paycheck.
This can work out for a time, but when something like Corona comes along, the whole system crashes hard and creates suffering and misery; when all you have to offer on the market is a good noone is buying, you're pretty much screwed unless you managed to put away a nest egg -- which a neoliberal capitalist system makes very very hard!


There is much to what you say, but I think you are over simplifying. So here are a few thoughts.

We will start by noting that the public does normally expect the government to step in during times of emergency such as we are facing now. Money allocated by Congress and signed off on by the president for dealing with the situation is in the pipeline. That Washington has been ineffectual has been largely due to the reality that either by ideological design, incompetence or both our executive branch has been rendered impotent.

Upward mobility is still possible here. The key to that is education. Skip out on education and upward mobility vanishes. Even a couple of years in a tech school can help a lot. But all too many young people skip out on education for low paying jobs and then end up stuck. And education is expensive. Mitigating this situation somewhat is the growth of online education making it possible to obtain a degree by working at home and supporting a family at the same time.

Our situation with minorities creates a large underclass. Blacks have made a lot of progress. But all too many are still living in substandard communities with substandard chances at good employment. Latinos have a better shot. They are good family people and industrious. But as a group they still have a ways to go. As for poor whites, things are a bit easier. If they live in economically challenged communities, it is easier for them to relocate to where jobs are.

I disagree that public ownership of the means of production is a good goal. You incentivize capable people by encouraging them to get ahead by doing that to which their hand turns and allowing them to enjoy the fruit of their labor. There has been no successful society that has not honored that basic law of human nature. Socialist societies place too much attention to how the pie is divided and not enough to growing the pie. And, the only way for socialist societies to do capital formation is through totalitarian forms of control. Marx refers to the dictatorship of the proletariat. The old Soviet Union tried that and eventually it collapsed. China eventually had to introduce a private sector to avoid collapse.

Sooo, what about us? Capitalism does have its flaws. For one thing, It's predicated on pure greed which can devolve into a nasty form of social Darwinism. Capital formation is all very well, but when it progresses to the point where a tiny group of people control roughly half the country's wealth, things have gone too far. And matters get worse when Washington is unwilling to enforce laws put in place to deal with this. Capitalism really works best when it operates in a regulated environment where the laws on trusts and monopoly are enforced and our markets are regulated to keep the high rollers from rolling over everybody else.

So I agree with much of what you said about government actively intervening to ensure the public welfare. One can always ask how much "welfare" a country can afford to pay for. After all, somebody pays. There is no such thing as a free lunch. That is a valid discussion and is perpetually being relitigated.

So to conclude, consider the following about a cow. The Capitalist says, "Stay away from my cow!" The Communist and Socialist say, "Let's shoot the Capitalist, butcher the cow and divide up the meat!" The Liberal says, "Let's milk the cow and skim the top enough to share, but leaving enough for the Capitalist to prosper, thus encouraging capital formation and investment." I am a liberal. And as I read your post so are you. We both want enough wealth held back to care for the folks who for whatever reason can't compete, knocking the rougher edges off of Capitalism's heedless ways. Perhaps socialism is a term that is ok in Europe. But on this side of the pond it is a poison pill, most wisely avoided,

Don

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When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: Time to read THE LAST CENTURION?
Post by Daryl   » Thu Apr 09, 2020 1:14 am

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Well said, Don.
Just for trivia nights, a dairy cow produces about the same amount of protein in a year as she ontains. So keeping her alive and milking her is at least ten times better than eating her. Plus when she's too old to calve you can still stew her if you are desperate.
From what I've seen Australians are about half way between the EU and the US. We prefer a regulated capitalist production system, but also expect a universal welfare and health safety net. The term "socialism" doesn't provoke the knee jerk reaction that some in the US seem to have.
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Re: Time to read THE LAST CENTURION?
Post by The E   » Thu Apr 09, 2020 1:58 am

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TFLYTSNBN wrote:As usual, you are full of feces. As documented on the Worldmeters web site, the rate of testing in the US is getting very close to the testing rate in Germany or even Italy.


Is it?

Let's check!

Image

Oh. By "getting very close" you apparently meant "still at less than half the number of tests per capita".

Given the well documented lethality rate in other countries, I have no doubt that Germany is intentionally undercounting Coronavirus related fatalities to make themselves feel superior.


Whereas the US isn't doing any undercounting?
See, the problem with your theory here is that our health care system is better than yours. There is no reluctance to get to a doctor or to a clinic when things go bad, thus people with respiratory illnesses will be more likely to get tested earlier than they are in the US. I have no doubt that there are "hidden" deaths, people who contracted corona and die in their homes without getting the help they need, but I am also pretty sure that that number will not be as egregious as it turned out to be in Italy or the US.

Also: We do not need to do any intentional undercounting to prove that we are handling this situation better than the US is. We are doing better on every relevant metric that measures outcomes, and we aren't consigning millions of people to joblessness and all the unpleasantness that implies in the process.

And you wonder why I refer to you as Eurotrash.


Because you're a moron who makes statements that are easily disproven using the sources you claim to use?
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