What are we working for, exactly?

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What are we working for, exactly?

Postby Sarvis » Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:59 pm

One of the big Conservative points is that wealthy people deserve their money because they've contributed more to society. That they improve things for everyone by investing in new ideas.

But when you get right down to it, what are most of us working for these days? How many investors are truly investing in something that moves society forward? For every "cure for cancer" there are dozens of "cheaply-made-cartoon-toy" to be made into profit generation powerhouses.

For that matter, as people who work for a living... how many of us are actually working towards something useful to society? Sure, my software maybe makes life easier for my coworkers... but does my company actually do anything important? Our biggest customers are banks, but they just move money around. Unless those investors are investing in some new technology, we could just be supporting more worthless toys.

Couldn't most of us just start working half the time, and still the world would progress as fast as ever?

Hmm... apparently I didn't get enough sleep last night... :(
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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:02 pm

Not that you can read this, but if it helps, the American middle class owns the majority of stocks, bonds, and other publicly reportable investments.
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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby Ragorn » Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:05 pm

One of the big Conservative points is that wealthy people deserve their money because they've contributed more to society. That they improve things for everyone by investing in new ideas.

I believe the conservative point is that wealthy people deserve their money because they've created a product people want to buy. Making money IS their endgame... if you're smart enough to be good at making money, you deserve to make it. If you're curing cancer, you don't deserve to be paid for it on merit, you need to market that shit.
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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby Corth » Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:31 pm

If someone out there is willing to pay me money for a product or service I am providing then BY DEFINITION, I am doing something of value.
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth

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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby Sarvis » Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:34 pm

Corth wrote:If someone out there is willing to pay me money for a product or service I am providing then BY DEFINITION, I am doing something of value.



So then what's the point Corth? Is money the end goal of our society?
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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby Ragorn » Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:04 pm

Sarvis wrote:
Corth wrote:If someone out there is willing to pay me money for a product or service I am providing then BY DEFINITION, I am doing something of value.



So then what's the point Corth? Is money the end goal of our society?

Money is the end goal of our economy, certainly.
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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby Sarvis » Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:09 pm

So then, primarily, we work to ensure that people who already had money can get more of it?

No wonder our society is so fucked up.
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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby Corth » Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:24 pm

Money is just a store of value. The classic definition is stored labor. Time (labor) gets converted into a scarce store of value (money). I could amend my statement to "If someone out there is willing to give me <object> in exchange for a product or service, then BY DEFINITION I am doing something of value", and it would make just as much sense. The fact that people value something, and are willing to give it to me in exchange for my product or service, is what is important.
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby Ragorn » Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:39 pm

Sarvis wrote:So then, primarily, we work to ensure that people who already had money can get more of it?

No wonder our society is so fucked up.

If you have a salaried job, you work so that you can make your salary. Your company's CEO probably makes far more money as a result of your labor than you do, yes.

I don't work for money, I work for happiness. I work a job that pays me enough that I don't have to worry about money in my day to day life. I'm not a CEO and I'm not wealthy, but I also work 40-45 hours a week and enjoy my leisure time however I please.
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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:40 pm

Sarvis wrote:So then, primarily, we work to ensure that people who already had money can get more of it?

No wonder our society is so fucked up.

No, we primarily work so we can have more money,
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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby Corth » Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:23 pm

Look at it this way. Every morning, most of us wake up, make ourselves look and smell half decent, and then go somewhere and spend the day doing things. Some of us are inventing things. Others are building things or fixing them. And besides things there are services. Day care workers watch your kids for you. Your cleaning lady cleans your house. Your accountant prepares your taxes. So on and so forth. Products and services.

And of course it's a good thing that people are waking up each day and doing things for other people. We set up a system where money is the medium of exchange... but it doesn't have to be money. It could be anything else of value. But the basic exchange is something of value for something of value. And at the end of the day, with all these people doing all these things, the quality of our lives increase. We live longer and more comfortably. And that I think is really the point.
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby kiryan » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:46 pm

Its a conservative point that wealthy people deserve their money for the benefit to society?

I think the conservative point is that you deserve to keep the fruit of your labor. I don't think it has anything to do with societal good. That's a liberal/socailism/communism value... that you're only purpose and freedom is to do what is good for the public.
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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby amena wolfsnarl » Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:07 am

The way I've always looked at it is, the rich will always make their money off the labor of the poor, it's just with capitalism there are more opportunities to become rich. Capitalism communism, feudalism and a couple other 'isms' are all based on this concept. Hard work, good ideas and a strong desire will get you far in the capitalist world though.
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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:18 am

You know, there's quite a gradient. Rich and poor are terrible labels applied to stoke emotions. Ownership of future profits is something open to all. Hell, you barely need $50 to start an investment account.
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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby Kindi » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:56 pm

but then someone "providing value" charges you 5% load and a 2% ER, hidden in some fine print at the bottom of your "top shelf" (read: sold on commission) investment, and you lose money every year. yay wall street
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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:49 pm

Kindi wrote:but then someone "providing value" charges you 5% load and a 2% ER, hidden in some fine print at the bottom of your "top shelf" (read: sold on commission) investment, and you lose money every year. yay wall street

Oh no, someone might try to con you out of your money! No one ever, ever saw that coming from anywhere. Ever.
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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby Kindi » Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:05 am

it's just depressing how many ppl fall for it since they're buying "respectable" products from "respectable" companies
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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:10 pm

Kindi wrote:it's just depressing how many ppl fall for it since they're buying "respectable" products from "respectable" companies

People research "respectable" about as well as they research everything else.
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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby Kindi » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:47 am

right, not at all
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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby Corth » Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:32 am

Liberals tend to assume everyone (but themselves) are stupid..
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby Kifle » Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:15 pm

Corth wrote:Liberals tend to assume everyone (but themselves) are stupid..


I think this is a universal human trait...
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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby kiryan » Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:23 pm

Kifle wrote:
Corth wrote:Liberals tend to assume everyone (but themselves) are stupid..


I think this is a universal human trait...


I agree with Corth. Let me translate Obama for you

"We didn't do a good job explaining" = People are too stupid to realize whats in their best interests even though we did explain it to them.
"get out of the echo chamber" = Stop blindly following Fox News like a bunch of stupid sheep.
"wrongheadedness" = people who disagree with me are stupid.
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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby Sarvis » Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:08 pm

kiryan wrote:"get out of the echo chamber" = Stop blindly following Fox News like a bunch of stupid sheep.


Says the guy who tried to prove he wasn't blindly following the media by quoting a journalist...
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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby kiryan » Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:47 pm

I faintly remember that, please remind me.

I quote things all the time because they agree with my positions. I'm not following their position.
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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby Sarvis » Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:17 pm

kiryan wrote:I faintly remember that, please remind me.

I quote things all the time because they agree with my positions. I'm not following their position.


It was a few weeks ago, faint remembrance is close enough. Anyone can CLAIM they thought of it first and the other guy explained it better... but that doesn't mean they are being honest. Even with themselves.
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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby kiryan » Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:43 pm

Man you should go to work for US Weekly or Rachel Maddow who both within the last week reported completely made up crap about Sarah Palin using your same thinking; If it sounds good and fits with your narrative, its true.

Conservatives =B
B^2+47=Fox News
Z = All conservatives just lip sync Fox news.

but you're right, it is easy to just assume all conservatives are dumb regurgitators. Its scary to consider that we actually independently come up with and believe this crap. Even scarier, you are actually communicating effectively, we actually understand what you are saying we just come to a fundamentally different conclusion.
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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby Sarvis » Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:04 pm

If I'd ever seen an original idea come from you, I'd be more likely to believe you.
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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby kiryan » Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:19 pm

Have you ever come up with a new idea that not one of the 6 billion people on this earth ever came up with? I guess I'm just as much of a talking head as you are.
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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby Sarvis » Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:48 pm

kiryan wrote:Have you ever come up with a new idea that not one of the 6 billion people on this earth ever came up with? I guess I'm just as much of a talking head as you are.



Maybe, maybe not, hard to say. There's a big difference between that and only having ideas you hear every day from major media outlets.

Hmm.. here's an example: At one point I believed that "God" would do whatever you believed in with your soul when you died. I came up with the idea, and it made sense to me and seemed like a great way to reconcile a Compassionate God with one who would send you to Hell for not believing in a specific religion. Thus atheists would just cease to exist, agnostics would get into some version of heaven, Christians would get Judged, etc...

Then, I moved back home and was reading some old books. The Incarnations of Immortality series, in particular, which I had originally read when I was probably 10-11. In the first book Death goes to collect the soul of an Atheist, and the soul just melts away instead... because that is what the Atheist believed would happen.

Turns out this great original idea I came up with had come from a cheap fantasy novel, and I didn't even realize it.

Now, you claim to have original ideas... but you're generally exposed to people who "think like you" so in a very similar fashion your thoughts will "follow" theirs, perhaps without you even realizing it.

You might be thinking the same is true of Ragorn or myself, and you're probably right... though I don't pay much attention to news so I'm a bit more likely to have an opinion NOT shaped by something I heard on the news. Though I'm sure I'd have thoughts cobbled together from half-remembered things other Liberals have said.
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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby kiryan » Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:02 pm

I think you're completely off the mark. I do expose myself to different ideas. I regularly read the arena on huffingtonpost.com because you get responses from both sides of the spectrum. I also on a daily basis read news.google.com, politico, huffingtonpost, fox and drudge. I would call that a balanced reading list. I also generally have a daily lunch debate with 1 flaming liberal, 1 small government social liberal, 1 devout Mormon, and a conservative woman. I hear all sorts of perspectives on a daily basis. Not to mention the opposing viewpoints I get here.

Your conjecture, that I have no original ideas or no opinion of my own just because I take an avid interest in these subjects, is incredibly insulting. I can't have my own opinion if I'm interested in the opinion of others? What kind of nonsense is that?

I agree with Rush Limbaugh and Fox probably 99% of the time because we both have conservative values. People with similar values are going to often come to similar conclusions. If this was not the case, how come I don't have more/any liberal positions given that I read liberal articles just as often as I read conservative ones?

Rush is credited with 20 million listeners. Who knows how many Fox has. If people are just going to believe whatever opinion is spoon fed to them, how come liberal talk radio doesn't have 20+ million listeners? How come the 2nd place news network has 1/3 of Fox's viewership? If its just conservatives that are stupid and just take whatever opinion they are given, then isn't that the same as saying that is their opinion since they don't switch to NBC? Is your opinion somehow better because you claim to be independent?

Lastly, I find it incredibly funny that you claim some sort of righteous mantle of independent thought by declaring that you don't follow the news. You should instead take the label of ignorant and close minded. (I don't mean that as harsh as it probably sounds).
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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby Sarvis » Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:17 pm

kiryan wrote:You should instead take the label of ignorant and close minded. (I don't mean that as harsh as it probably sounds).


Not closed minded so much as lazy and uninterested.
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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby kiryan » Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:22 pm

uninterested in what other people think = close minded in my book.
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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby Sarvis » Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:54 pm

kiryan wrote:uninterested in what other people think = close minded in my book.


Closed-minded is refusing to listen. I don't refuse to listen, I just don't go out of my way to do so.

You refuse to listen...
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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby Kindi » Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:36 am

seems very US-centric. what about BBC or al-jazeera?
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Re: What are we working for, exactly?

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:03 am

kiryan wrote:Conservatives =B

You forgot the <
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