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The Problem with Economic Progressives

Danielle
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7/28/2017 7:14:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Most of my friends are very liberal. It's intellectually exhausting trying to engage with the ones who really think capitalism is slavery. They don't seem to realize why they're so annoying which is interesting. Most of them in America enjoy internet, travel, electronics, inebriation, urban living, concerts, etc. These people who squawk on about the greed of others enjoy various amenities daily -- fully knowing that 2.4 billion people don't have access to adequate sanitation, and 844 million people in this world do not have clean water. Yet these economic justice warriors do not forego the luxury of probably most everything in their life, since only food/ water/ shelter is necessary to assist these have-nots as best they can.

So if they can acknowledge that they only support charitable giving to an EXTENT -- and certainly not to the extent of much of their own personal sacrifice -- then their philosophy on wealth redistribution ought to be reexamined for inconsistencies. IOWs, they seem to believe in wealth redistribution so long as it's other people's wealth and according to certain criterion which does not inconvenience them. These economic progressives have subjective and transient standards when it comes to property rights, which is very frustrating (and illogical) when they argue from a place of condescending self-righteousness.

Yes, you can easily argue that a millionaire who doesn't want to be generous is not very decent or kind. However what about the fact that a salary of $33,000 puts one in the 1% of wealth earners around the globe? This means most people in this country can be FAR more generous, both to citizens and people around the world, but we choose not to for our own convenience and comfort and security. A rich person certainly has resources to spare, but what's the moral difference in terms of prioritizing self-interest and luxury?
Danielle
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7/28/2017 7:18:08 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
In pointing this out, some have (finally) admitted that they are hypocritical, but claimed at least they didn't condone something that was apparently the worst thing to ever happen to the history of mankind: capitalism. They genuinely believe I'm some kind of troubled soul because I believe property/trade is helpful, fair and one's right but lol okay anyway. My one friend accused me of using an ad hominem in my logic: saying that because progressives were hypocrites, their economic proposals are wrong.

Using liberal hypocrisy as a premise would be an ad hominem, but in this case, it's not a premise - it's the argument. The premises I have used to prove this argument include things like

P1. Liberals suggest economic self-interest is immoral.
P2. Liberals spend money on things they don't need.
P3. Liberals could donate more money to help others.
P4. Liberals prioritize their own luxurious indulgences to charitable giving.
.: Therefore, liberals are hypocrites when it comes to wealth redistribution.

Certainly being a hypocrite diminishes the message. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Your analogue was not analogous because you compared wife beating to serial killing. Yale University researched the phenomenon of why people dislike hypocrites so much, and their findings are that a hypocrite's outspoken moralizing falsely signals their own virtue. People object, in other words, to the misleading implication " not to a failure of will or a weakness of character.

So the objection to hypocrisy is perfectly logical, because the principal offense of a hypocrite is not that he violates his own principles, but rather that his use of moral proclamations falsely implies that he himself behaves morally. If you look at my initial comment, it's not that the creed of generosity is wrong. I said economic progressives are hypocrites and their obnoxious, holier-than-thou, smug condescension is unwarranted.
Danielle
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7/28/2017 7:18:56 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
To slightly expand on this further: why not raise our taxes to well above 99 percent in order to help people in other nations? Why isn't that on the agenda if this is a moral issue?

If it's because that's not practical, then you concede the issue of wealth redistribution is about pragmatism and not morality. And if it's about pragmatism then it's about our self-interest. So the moral high ground is not justified. Thoughts?
FourTrouble
Posts: 16,245
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7/28/2017 8:02:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/28/2017 7:14:43 PM, Danielle wrote:
Most of my friends are very liberal. It's intellectually exhausting trying to engage with the ones who really think capitalism is slavery. They don't seem to realize why they're so annoying which is interesting. Most of them in America enjoy internet, travel, electronics, inebriation, urban living, concerts, etc. These people who squawk on about the greed of others enjoy various amenities daily -- fully knowing that 2.4 billion people don't have access to adequate sanitation, and 844 million people in this world do not have clean water. Yet these economic justice warriors do not forego the luxury of probably most everything in their life, since only food/ water/ shelter is necessary to assist these have-nots as best they can.

So if they can acknowledge that they only support charitable giving to an EXTENT -- and certainly not to the extent of much of their own personal sacrifice -- then their philosophy on wealth redistribution ought to be reexamined for inconsistencies. IOWs, they seem to believe in wealth redistribution so long as it's other people's wealth and according to certain criterion which does not inconvenience them. These economic progressives have subjective and transient standards when it comes to property rights, which is very frustrating (and illogical) when they argue from a place of condescending self-righteousness.

What's illogical about supporting limited wealth redistribution?

Yes, you can easily argue that a millionaire who doesn't want to be generous is not very decent or kind. However what about the fact that a salary of $33,000 puts one in the 1% of wealth earners around the globe?

$33,000 means something very different in this country than it does in, say, Indonesia. You can't compare.

This means most people in this country can be FAR more generous, both to citizens and people around the world, but we choose not to for our own convenience and comfort and security. A rich person certainly has resources to spare, but what's the moral difference in terms of prioritizing self-interest and luxury?

Our system has built-in advantages for people with high incomes. Turning $100 million into $110 million is much easier than turning $100 into $110. And that's the problem. If you don't create policies to solve the problem, you end up with constantly-rising levels of inequality.
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FourTrouble
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7/28/2017 8:06:33 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/28/2017 7:18:08 PM, Danielle wrote:

Distilled to its essence, your argument is, "because liberals enjoy luxuries while supporting limited wealth distribution, they're hypocrites." I don't see the problem with enjoying luxury while supporting limited wealth distribution. Liberals aren't talking about absolute equality. They're talking about policies that reverse the built-in advantages that people with high incomes have.
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FourTrouble
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7/28/2017 8:09:50 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/28/2017 7:18:56 PM, Danielle wrote:
To slightly expand on this further: why not raise our taxes to well above 99 percent in order to help people in other nations? Why isn't that on the agenda if this is a moral issue?

The issue here isn't wealth distribution, it's whether we owe anything to people in other nations. I think you'll find that liberals are split on that issue.

If it's because that's not practical, then you concede the issue of wealth redistribution is about pragmatism and not morality. And if it's about pragmatism then it's about our self-interest. So the moral high ground is not justified. Thoughts?

I don't see a difference between "pragmatism" and "morality," nor do I think "pragmatism" is about "self-interest."

The moral high ground comes from being right. If liberals are right, they have the moral high ground. Liberals support the right policies. Therefore, the moral high ground is justified.
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Danielle
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7/28/2017 8:12:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/28/2017 8:02:45 PM, FourTrouble wrote:
What's illogical about supporting limited wealth redistribution?

I explained why it was hypocritical, not illogical, and why the smug condescension in moral accusations are unwarranted per the hypocrisy.

$33,000 means something very different in this country than it does in, say, Indonesia. You can't compare.

Then why do liberals complain about sweatshops where people make pennies on the dollar? In those countries, those are decent wages. Research show so-called sweatshops pay more than regular jobs in the third world, but you don't hear liberals chirping about the disparate economies in that scenario.

The 33K remark relates to the fact that even "poor" people in this country are very wealthy in comparison to the poor in other nations. By wealthy I mean they have access to more resources. You could live (even in the U.S.) on far less than that by being frugal.

Our system has built-in advantages for people with high incomes. Turning $100 million into $110 million is much easier than turning $100 into $110. And that's the problem. If you don't create policies to solve the problem, you end up with constantly-rising levels of inequality.

Here's my statement to which you responded: This means most people in this country can be FAR more generous, both to citizens and people around the world, but we choose not to for our own convenience and comfort and security. A rich person certainly has resources to spare, but what's the moral difference in terms of prioritizing self-interest and luxury?

Even if your point about wealth inequality were legit (I believe it only is somewhat) what does that have to do with the moral virtue signaling? That's the point of this post. I'm complaining about how obnoxious it is when liberals speak self-righteously about how they are much more decent people because of their alleged "generosity" a.k.a. willingness to do good things with other people's money at the expense of little to no personal sacrifice of their own.
Danielle
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7/28/2017 8:14:33 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/28/2017 8:09:50 PM, FourTrouble wrote:
The issue here isn't wealth distribution, it's whether we owe anything to people in other nations. I think you'll find that liberals are split on that issue.

So to be clear, liberals only believe the health and livelihoods of Americans matter?

I don't see a difference between "pragmatism" and "morality," nor do I think "pragmatism" is about "self-interest."

Why wouldn't we be generous with everyone possible if not for pragmatism i.e. self interest?

The moral high ground comes from being right. If liberals are right, they have the moral high ground. Liberals support the right policies. Therefore, the moral high ground is justified.

Do you believe in objective morality?
Danielle
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7/28/2017 8:19:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/28/2017 8:06:33 PM, FourTrouble wrote:
At 7/28/2017 7:18:08 PM, Danielle wrote:

Distilled to its essence, your argument is, "because liberals enjoy luxuries while supporting limited wealth distribution, they're hypocrites." I don't see the problem with enjoying luxury while supporting limited wealth distribution. Liberals aren't talking about absolute equality. They're talking about policies that reverse the built-in advantages that people with high incomes have.

I've addressed this already in the 2nd post.

P1. Liberals suggest economic self-interest is immoral.
P2. Liberals spend money on things they don't need.
P3. Liberals could donate more money to help others.
P4. Liberals prioritize their own luxurious indulgences to charitable giving.
.: Therefore, liberals are hypocrites when it comes to wealth redistribution.

Certainly being a hypocrite diminishes the message. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Yale University researched the phenomenon of why people dislike hypocrites so much, and their findings are that a hypocrite's outspoken moralizing falsely signals their own virtue. People object, in other words, to the misleading implication " not to a failure of will or a weakness of character.

So the objection to hypocrisy is perfectly logical, because the principal offense of a hypocrite is not that he violates his own principles, but rather that his use of moral proclamations falsely implies that he himself behaves morally. If you look at my initial comment, it's not that the creed of generosity is wrong. I said economic progressives are hypocrites and their obnoxious, holier-than-thou, smug condescension is unwarranted.
Danielle
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7/28/2017 8:19:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Every single time a liberal makes the choice to buy a beer (instead of drinking cheaper tap water) and donating the extra money of whatever they don't need to say a water charity, they are saying "my luxurious enjoyment is more important than an African's access to water." When liberals purchase cable television instead of donating that money, they are saying their entertainment is more significant than the life and starvation of some East Indian. And that is perfectly fine. I don't mind the pragmatic preference of prioritizing Americans.

My point is that the smug liberal condescension is hypocritical, unfair, obnoxious and unwarranted. Because at the end of the day, they value their own life and their own people (American rights) because it is most convenient and practical for them. Those of us who admit to self-interest are demonized by these unpalatable charlatans.
FourTrouble
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7/28/2017 8:21:44 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/28/2017 8:12:40 PM, Danielle wrote:
At 7/28/2017 8:02:45 PM, FourTrouble wrote:
What's illogical about supporting limited wealth redistribution?

I explained why it was hypocritical, not illogical, and why the smug condescension in moral accusations are unwarranted per the hypocrisy.

$33,000 means something very different in this country than it does in, say, Indonesia. You can't compare.

Then why do liberals complain about sweatshops where people make pennies on the dollar? In those countries, those are decent wages. Research show so-called sweatshops pay more than regular jobs in the third world, but you don't hear liberals chirping about the disparate economies in that scenario.

I don't know anything about sweatshops, so I can't talk about that. If I had to guess, I'd imagine the issue isn't the wage so much as the conditions in which those people work. They lack the proper health/safety regulations, a separate issue from their income level.

The 33K remark relates to the fact that even "poor" people in this country are very wealthy in comparison to the poor in other nations. By wealthy I mean they have access to more resources. You could live (even in the U.S.) on far less than that by being frugal.

Eh, that's not entirely true. Basic necessities (food, shelter, etc.) cost much more in the US than in other countries.

Our system has built-in advantages for people with high incomes. Turning $100 million into $110 million is much easier than turning $100 into $110. And that's the problem. If you don't create policies to solve the problem, you end up with constantly-rising levels of inequality.

Here's my statement to which you responded: This means most people in this country can be FAR more generous, both to citizens and people around the world, but we choose not to for our own convenience and comfort and security. A rich person certainly has resources to spare, but what's the moral difference in terms of prioritizing self-interest and luxury?

Even if your point about wealth inequality were legit (I believe it only is somewhat) what does that have to do with the moral virtue signaling? That's the point of this post. I'm complaining about how obnoxious it is when liberals speak self-righteously about how they are much more decent people because of their alleged "generosity" a.k.a. willingness to do good things with other people's money at the expense of little to no personal sacrifice of their own.

Oh, I don't know any liberals who speak about how "generous" they are on a personal level. That's the sort of sh!t that would be obnoxious from anyone, regardless of their beliefs, and I don't think it's limited to liberals.
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FourTrouble
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7/28/2017 8:24:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/28/2017 8:14:33 PM, Danielle wrote:
At 7/28/2017 8:09:50 PM, FourTrouble wrote:
The issue here isn't wealth distribution, it's whether we owe anything to people in other nations. I think you'll find that liberals are split on that issue.

So to be clear, liberals only believe the health and livelihoods of Americans matter?

It's not that "only" Americans matter, but that how much. How you come out on that question has nothing to do with whether you're a liberal. You could be a liberal and think others matter, or you could be a liberal who doesn't think others matter. It's independent of the liberal position.

I don't see a difference between "pragmatism" and "morality," nor do I think "pragmatism" is about "self-interest."

Why wouldn't we be generous with everyone possible if not for pragmatism i.e. self interest?

Pragmatism isn't "self-interest." I don't understand your question. if you're asking whether self-interest is the only thing that stops us from being generous with everyone, I'd say there's other reasons (e.g. collective wellbeing doesn't mean absolute equality; not everyone is the same; different people want different things in life, not everyone can get everything they way, sort of consideratrions).

The moral high ground comes from being right. If liberals are right, they have the moral high ground. Liberals support the right policies. Therefore, the moral high ground is justified.

Do you believe in objective morality?

Depends what you mean by that.
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FourTrouble
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7/28/2017 8:27:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/28/2017 8:19:34 PM, Danielle wrote:
Every single time a liberal makes the choice to buy a beer (instead of drinking cheaper tap water) and donating the extra money of whatever they don't need to say a water charity, they are saying "my luxurious enjoyment is more important than an African's access to water." When liberals purchase cable television instead of donating that money, they are saying their entertainment is more significant than the life and starvation of some East Indian. And that is perfectly fine. I don't mind the pragmatic preference of prioritizing Americans.

I think you're over-simplifying the calculus. It's more, "I worked X hours for money so that I could enjoy this luxury and donate money; I didn't work X hours solely to donate money."

My point is that the smug liberal condescension is hypocritical, unfair, obnoxious and unwarranted. Because at the end of the day, they value their own life and their own people (American rights) because it is most convenient and practical for them. Those of us who admit to self-interest are demonized by these unpalatable charlatans.

I don't know what you're even referring to when you say "smug liberal condescension." Yes, people value what's closer to them more than what's distant, not solely because it's "convenient" or "practical" but because there's strong moral reasons to start with what's close and move outwards from there.

I don't think anyone denies that people act on their own interests all the time. We're human beings. If a liberal denies acting on self-interest, they're a fvcking idiot, not a liberal.
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FourTrouble
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7/28/2017 8:28:56 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Also, the whole "donating" thing is sort of challenging, because it's hard to know where the money is going.

You're also missing how complex the issue is.
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Danielle
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7/28/2017 8:35:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/28/2017 8:21:44 PM, FourTrouble wrote:
Oh, I don't know any liberals who speak about how "generous" they are on a personal level. That's the sort of sh!t that would be obnoxious from anyone, regardless of their beliefs, and I don't think it's limited to liberals.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about, an article from the Huffington Post called "I Don"t Know How To Explain To You That You Should Care About Other People." This is an article that many of my friends shared on Facebook. The assumption that one who might disagree with certain policy (even healthcare) simply "doesn't care" about other people is incredibly fallacious, smug and unbearably condescending.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

Everything about this article is bullshit and it's the way economic progressives think; that's why so many of them that I know shared it. From the article, "I"m perfectly content to pay taxes that go toward public schools, even though I"m childless and intend to stay that way, because all children deserve a quality, free education. If this seems unfair or unreasonable to you, we are never going to see eye to eye."

A few things.

One, just because they are willing to pay taxes to educate children doesn't mean it is automatically righteous. Some people are willing to pay taxes to ramp up the War on Terror, but not all liberals support that. Does that mean they simply "don't care" about other people or the horrors of terrorism?

Two, even if someone agrees that children deserve a quality education doesn't mean they believe a) the state ought to provide it or b) increasing money on schooling is the right way to achieve it. I value education VERY much, but don't believe we should invest one more red cent in education at this time, and in fact should scale back on it. Without hearing or more importantly understanding my perspective, is one justified in writing me off as uncaring? No, but again, that is the M.O. for these quacks.
Greyparrot
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7/28/2017 8:36:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/28/2017 7:18:56 PM, Danielle wrote:
To slightly expand on this further: why not raise our taxes to well above 99 percent in order to help people in other nations? Why isn't that on the agenda if this is a moral issue?

If it's because that's not practical, then you concede the issue of wealth redistribution is about pragmatism and not morality. And if it's about pragmatism then it's about our self-interest. So the moral high ground is not justified. Thoughts?

Are you saying wealth-distribution is immoral or Amoral?
The extinction of the species is worse than the extinction of the nation, which is worse than the extinction of the tribe, which is worse than the extinction of the family, which is worse than the extinction of the individual. The second he reverses that list of priorities, he becomes a coward, and would be summarily disposed of by any civilized society that values its own survival.
FourTrouble
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7/28/2017 8:43:01 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/28/2017 8:35:31 PM, Danielle wrote:
At 7/28/2017 8:21:44 PM, FourTrouble wrote:
Oh, I don't know any liberals who speak about how "generous" they are on a personal level. That's the sort of sh!t that would be obnoxious from anyone, regardless of their beliefs, and I don't think it's limited to liberals.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about, an article from the Huffington Post called "I Don"t Know How To Explain To You That You Should Care About Other People." This is an article that many of my friends shared on Facebook. The assumption that one who might disagree with certain policy (even healthcare) simply "doesn't care" about other people is incredibly fallacious, smug and unbearably condescending.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

Everything about this article is bullshit and it's the way economic progressives think; that's why so many of them that I know shared it. From the article, "I"m perfectly content to pay taxes that go toward public schools, even though I"m childless and intend to stay that way, because all children deserve a quality, free education. If this seems unfair or unreasonable to you, we are never going to see eye to eye."

A few things.

One, just because they are willing to pay taxes to educate children doesn't mean it is automatically righteous.

What's wrong with believing in your positions?

Some people are willing to pay taxes to ramp up the War on Terror, but not all liberals support that. Does that mean they simply "don't care" about other people or the horrors of terrorism?

They think the War on Terror is wrong. It has nothing to do with caring about other people. I don't see what you're trying to say here.

Two, even if someone agrees that children deserve a quality education doesn't mean they believe a) the state ought to provide it or b) increasing money on schooling is the right way to achieve it.

I'm sure most liberals are open to discussing the particulars of implementation once you've decided on the primary value at stake - children getting quality education regardless of their circumstances, circumstances beyond their control.

I value education VERY much, but don't believe we should invest one more red cent in education at this time, and in fact should scale back on it.

I agree, with you and I'm a liberal. How much money you invest isn't inherently indicative of your values. The article you cited is talking about fundamental values, not the particulars of how to pursue those values.

Without hearing or more importantly understanding my perspective, is one justified in writing me off as uncaring? No, but again, that is the M.O. for these quacks.

I don't think they're writing you off if you've expressed agreement with their fundamental values. They're disagreeing with implementation at that point.
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FourTrouble
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7/28/2017 8:51:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Most Republicans are either stupid, ignorant, or evil. The evil ones, of which there are many, are the ones that the article is taking issue with. The stupid/ignorant ones are obviously addressed in a different manner.
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