What entitlement attitude? I would say that the average American is not getting nearly enough. The main reason why the United States is in the financial state it is in is because of a lack of revenue due to reduced corporate taxes, the lack of a tobin tax, and reduced taxation on the wealthy coupled with an insane expenditure on the military (you could cut your military budget by 80% and still have the largest military in the world). Gutting essential services, such as infrastructure spending and social services, is just going to cripple the real economy and make things worse for most people. Not to sound like I am bragging, as our current administration has bought this whole "spending without revenue" boondoggle as well and has generated the largest deficit in our countries history (when they came to power we had a healthy surplus) and yet continues to try and sell the line that they a good financial managers based on phony projections of increased revenue. The days when we could brag are long over.
Originally Posted by duby229
Last edited by Hamish Wilson; 07-23-2013 at 02:16 PM.
Had forgot about this thread for a few days, found some of the following snippets pretty funny though and figured I would jump back in for a minute.
Originally Posted by dee.
Lol, you guys do realize that my post on private infrastructure was in response to Hamish's bonehead statement that there would be no infrastructure if it weren't for governments, which is still complete BS. Private interests exist whether you like it or not, and they drive most of the advancements we take for granted today. I've said before that I know that private infrastructures aren't perfect, but you would have to be exceptionally dim to not recognize the prominent hand that private interests have played in forming nearly every infrastructure available today and their continued part in maintaining and advancing them. While I have noted a few cases where private interests are doing a better job and how often governments are helping to make bad situations worse due to rampant corruption and a general lack of accountability, I did so more as an acknowledgement of the reality we live in rather than my endorsement for that system. So far I have said almost nothing about my own personal beliefs on this topic and have limited myself to observations of the world around me.
Originally Posted by Hamish Wilson
For all intents and purposes I am actually quite apolitical and take as little part in politics as possible; as long as I get to do the work I enjoy every day I couldn't care less what the government does. I find both the liberals and the conservatives to be quite off the mark on most subjects and they seem to be melding into one as time passes. For the sake of discussion though I suppose my own opinions are egalitarian in nature. I believe all people are equal and should be treated as such, both in rights and accountability. Unless we lived in a perfect ideal world I would never for a second espouse any desire to totally eliminate the government. In a world with plenty of messed up people it is useful to have some government. To me though government should be mostly limited to ensuring public health and safety, which includes some business oversight to keep greed in check enough to prevent intentional harm to the public. I believe that people are generally selfish in nature and in fact our selfishness is what drives us to voluntarily cooperate with others. To live comfortably and indulge in our personal interests we need a wide array of resources and skills that we can't possibly acquire on our own, so it is in our best interest to seek out and help others who can help us; to me this is what society is based on. Too often the government has little to do with it other than as an avenue for those with a fondness for power to take advantage of others, and often those same people are the ones deeply involved with private interests as well. Both sides are rife with sociopaths and one can only hope that there are enough honest people involved to help keep them in check. This is still mostly idealist talk though, the world is a complicated place and finding the right balance of appropriate government intervention is a constantly moving target and well outside the scope of my interests.
Last edited by IanS; 07-24-2013 at 04:20 PM.
And yet you have failed to back up any of your assertions after it was shown that a lot of the things you attributed to private hands were in fact false. Like it or not, a good deal of the long-term global systems we use today were built for the needs of the public by funds taken from the public purse. I have recognized the contributions of private interests in my posts, but the fact that they do exist does not negate the fact they are still highly dependent on public infrastructure, and seem chronically so. Dismissing this fact and calling me a bonehead is not going to change that. And for someone who does not claim to care, you sure do seem to be personally affected by my challenging of your worldview. Often apathy is used as a blind after one has demonstrated that they are in fact not as qualified as they themselves believed. I wonder if that is the case here.
Originally Posted by IanS
Yes, you got me; I have been affected by your "challenges", so much so that I post here to try and make a difference in the world, because we all know how much sway the Phoronix forums have when it comes to changing the minds and will of the people worldwide. There is absolutely no chance that I come here as one of several excuses to shirk off work when I need a break and want to keep up with gossip on Linux current events and to occasionally have a laugh when people say stupid things. Yes, I only respond when my world view has been rocked and feel a need to defend myself, I would never ever comment here for purely entertainment value. Ok, I got to stop now before I find myself coaching the Phoronix sarcastaball team.
I have been quite enjoying how you continue to skirt around the topic of your statement that infrastructure wouldn't exist without governments by trying to turn the focus on me rather than just admitting it was a stupid thing to say with no basis in reality. I do also like how you keep claiming that government funding is what keeps infrastructure afloat without acknowledging that governments can only spend what they can extort from others, primarily from private citizens and businesses who can afford to pay them because of the success of private interests. So basically even when an infrastructure is acquire by a government, it is still funded by proceeds taken from private sources, and then most of that funding usually winds up in the pockets of private contractors who will often use some of their new found wealth to buy influence with the politicians in charge so that they can go on abusing the system.
When you get down to it, infrastructure rises out of the demands of commerce and that has always been the realm of the private sector. When a government gets involved it is usually for political reasons or to make the war machine more efficient, such as with the roadworks of the Roman Empire and the interstate highway system here in the states. Here is an interesting article on this: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jimpowel...dges-possible/
Taxation is not the only source of public government revenue. Royalties, revenue from crown/state corporations, direct sale or lease of assets such as land or timber, service fees, and other means of generating revenue are all actively practiced. Besides, even if taxation was the only source of public funds, that does not change anything in the slightest. The fact that a public pool of money is needed to promote public interests, no matter who contributes to that pool, does not change the actions of that pool or negate its usefulness. Neither does paying that money to private contractors to achieve public ends, although I must admit to being just as weary of that as you are. I also like how you say that infrastructure is acquired by the government, when I have already shown that in my country the reverse has almost always been true.
Originally Posted by IanS
As to that rather disingenuous Forbes article, I fully accept that merchants formed the initial trade routes that would become roads. That does not change the fact that without state support those roads would not have been maintained. The silk road, for instance, only came to prominence because of significant support by the Mongol and Russian Empires, mostly in the form of security. A public force is needed in order for public services to function, and a roadway can only be successful if it can be used by all who need to use it. That article ignores that aspect.
In fact, I find the conclusion to that article to be nigh on offensive, with its snidely comment about America's economic growth as compared to the Soviet Union. No matter what you think of the latter, anyone with a view of real economics must admit that going from a feudal state to an industrial powerhouse, and then having to do it all over again in the course of five years after being bombed flat by an invading foreign army, is a very impressive achievement no matter how it was bought. The fact that Russia still exists as a powerhouse is still even more impressive. America had none of this, it never had this crucible. So try being flattened before bragging about your economic miracles.
But at least you are trying to back up your claims now.
One can not exist without the other.
/*cuts rant to simple two line post*\
And the misogynistic claptrap starts up right away because the grand poobah of Linux dares to be called out for being a bully and insufferable ass to work with. Sorry, folks, but bullying is no longer socially acceptable, period. Like racial slurs, you just can't expect to get away with it anymore.
Originally Posted by peppercats
What's worse, instead of realizing he's upset people and taking a conciliatory tone, Linus ups the obnoxiousness in this post, stokes the flames and belittles those with a different opinion. This post reads from top to bottom as "your concerns don't exist". It's all "water cooler gossip" or something else imaginary. "There's nothing to see here; move along". That's not going to work for him either.
Linux is saddled with Richard Stallman's anti-social behavior, rants and general luddite tendencies on the one hand and Linus Torvalds' positive EMBRACE of being offensive on the other (hint: telling people to kill themselves in an age when we realize bullying causes just that isn't going to fly). What Linux really needs is a spokesperson who's not a complete embarrassing social misfit (giving the middle finger to companies does not make them want to work with you more, surprisingly enough). Stephen Fry did a Linux video a while ago; maybe he could become the new face of Linux? I'm tired of cringing whenever Stallman or Torvalds' name pops up in the news, because I know it's almost invariably going to be something embarrassing that will make Linux and/or open source look bad.
Learn about it!
As you don't even know the difference between "Linux" & "GNU/Linux" and "Open Source" & "Free Software", you'll never be able to understand Richard Stallman's philosophy.
Originally Posted by alcalde
If you consider him to be a social misfit, I wouldn't even want to know the society you're living in.
Nevertheless, having Steven Fry as a public figure to promote GNU/Linux for what it is (not Linux, the kernel only, for god's sake!), that would be great, under the condition he does it right and _not_ wrong like you do.
Maybe you should read some books about the topic (Free as in Freedom 2 [free PDF available], Free Software Free Society [free PDF available], ...) to prevent yourself from writing embarassing posts like this one in the future.
Yeah, Stephen Fry, a man who feels acute separation anxiety anytime he is expected to walk a few steps away from his iPhone, would make a great spokesman for free software. Right.