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RSS BenWalters

Reward Points:1508
Efficiency: Efficiency is a measure of the effectiveness of your arguments. It is the number of up votes divided by the total number of votes you have (percentage of votes that are positive).

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10 most recent arguments.

Two points.

First of all, as you said, that isn't MAD - it's a very imperfect form of a justice system, which would encourage capital punishment, rampant violence, and remove access to a fair trial for anyone. If that's your idea of a good structure for society, then hey, make sure you invite the rest of the NRA ;)

Secondly, empirical evidence seems to suggest that the opposite brings less violence. Gun crimes and gun ownership is positively correlated across countries, quite strongly. While your idea works, it doesn't work at stopping crime - only punishing it.

Even though I know you're joking, I can't let this go unchallenged.

MAD stands for Mutually Assured Destruction. It is used in the context of nuclear arms, to state that no one will fire upon each other, for they would also be fired upon: if you destroy another, then you will also be destroyed. So far, it's worked.

This idea does not apply to guns. If I shoot someone else, they will not automatically return fire upon me - they'll be dead. Obviously there is a form of retribution, in the form of the justice system, but this is very different from the absolute response that nuclear weapons would incur.

And anyway, MAD is ridiculous - it isn't an argument for nuclear weapons, and against disarmament, it's an argument of how nuclear weapons don't necessarily have to be as dangerous as people can think. It does not mean that governments should not disarm - simply that the problems are not as great as they could be, that the importance of disarming is (somewhat) reduced.

Yes you are.

Joe, I know perfectly well that you're making a joke out of a hyperbole, but I would just like to confirm that I can support something in moderation, without supporting it in an extreme. I feel like that's an important message for people to remember. Just because extreme redistribution of wealth is bad, does not mean that some redistribution of wealth is bad.

The also earn the majority of income, hold a huge majority of the wealth of the country, while their incomes are growing at a much faster rate than the lower + middle class.

While it certainly is true that the rich are paying a higher percentage of income as tax than the poor, there is a huge misconception over just how much higher. This pdf makes things very clear what the actual difference is.

In most news articles talking about the issue, only federal income tax is looked at - which often implies that large percentages of people pay no tax at all. This is far from the truth. Federal income tax is one of the few (or only?) taxes in the US that is progressive - almost all are regressive, so they take more from the poorest members of society. The result is a taxation system in which almost everyone pays a 'fair' share.

It's also worth noting that this 'fair' share only looks at income. Many of those in the top 1%, or top 20%, will have large houses, mansions, and the upper classes share of wealth (fourth page) is massive in comparison to those below. In the face of such fundamental inequality, there is surely a case for a slightly progressive tax system (all things not being perfect, as they are in the society which we live in).

BenWalters(1508) Clarified
2 points

In the US schooling system, they use a grade point system, in which they rank grades out of 4. For example, 97-100 gives you 4.0, 94-96 would give you 3.8, 90-93 makes 3.6, or something along those lines. So a 4.0 GPA (if he's telling the truth) is very impressive.

Come on, it's the French, they'll just give up within ten minutes and apologize a bunch of times. Could be a laugh, even if a little pointless

4 points

Your wife ...

2 points

The government is extremely inefficient.

Smaller government isn't necessarily more efficient (economies of scale v diseconomies of scale, there is a balance between the two). And are you suggesting that government intervention should be ended simply because it is inefficient?

1. There are plenty of opportunities here. I joined the army for 2 years and had enough money to pay for 6 years of college and get my B.S.

Did you use a grant, parents money, or some other form of loan to do that? And also, a) college fees have increased significantly b) a degree is far from an assurance of jobs nowadays, in many countries.

Lowering the bar is detrimental.

What do you mean? Most forms of social support, in America especially, requires people to put in work to get anything (your unemployment benefits only last 6 months, where most countries are 2 years or so, I believe). Black people are not being given a free ride to do whatever they want, people who are unable to afford certain things that would help them - and society - in the long run are being given certain opportunities to work for these things, things which those born into better positions typically take for granted. Although I'm not really going to get into a debate over social support, I'm on holiday and just really can't be fucked.

Is disingenuous.

Agreed.

Democrats want to set up a society where tolerance is nigh on universal. However, to reach such a point, intolerance is necessary.

Any theory of justice that does not include some form of punishment is a utopian dream (if punishments include not getting a reward which everyone else does). If people act in ways that are negative for society (go against ideals of tolerance, for example), then it is perfectly legitimate not to tolerate this.

And that is what I meant to say last time, but I was simplifying the idea.

But this is not what this debate is about. All I want to know is..., are you for Obama come November ;)

I am, yes. But I a) don't agree with libertarianism, or b) put liberty at the top of my agenda and c) I am not a democrat. I just think Obama's a better person for the job than Romney, for various reasons.

As far as I'm aware, both liberals and republicans and libertarians all want liberty, for all. However, they differ on how this aim can be reached.

Libertarians believe in a minimum level of government intervention (or often none), and believe that this increases the maximum freedom that any individual can attain.

Republicans believe in a low level of government intervention, in order to maintain a structure in which personal freedom can grow. For example, a strong military, to defend the nation, or the application of certain moral values, to teach and protect the population against evil.

Democrats also believe in government intervention in order to maximize personal freedoms, more so in some regards. However, they believe that dreams of America the meritocracy are dishonest, and that attempts to support those of the lower class are requirements of justice, as these people have a lack of opportunities through reasons beyond their control. They believe that a different structure is required to maximise freedom (less focus on traditionality, and more on tolerance for all, as well as social support for those who need it).

While their main targets may all align (somewhat, rhetoric is rhetoric, and very simplified), it is mainly through their methods that they differ.

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About Me


Biographical Information
Name: Ben 
Gender: Male
Age: 29
Marital Status: Single
Political Party: Democrat
Country: United Kingdom
Religion: Atheist
Education: High School

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