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Conservatism and intelligence

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Scarfman, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. Scotty David Codey (61)

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    It was pretty obvious where you were heading, don't know why you tried to string it out so long. Are you a teacher?

    On the happiness point - academics will argue about almost anything. That doesn't always make it worthwhile for the rest of us to spend time thinking about. The definition of happiness however doesn't change, but of course different people have different things that make them happy, and also I agree that it is hard to measure.

    On the economic point - of course I agree. It isn't the sole road to happiness. I don't think that Joe Mac is actually saying this either.

    My understanding and opinion of the relationship of happiness and money - money can't make you happy, but a lack of money can certainly make you unhappy.
  2. Cutter Nicholas Shehadie (39)

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    Well that's that then. Thanks Scotty, brilliant.
  3. Scarfman Knitter of the Scarf

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    One thing that I don't like about modern life in the West is that it's dominated by mindless desire. We are being stimulated towards desire all day long and it's no wonder we are on the commodity treadmill. For me, getting off that, or at least slowing it down to walking pace, is the greatest success of my life and the one I'd most like to share with other people.

    But the message from product makers is very very very loud. I vote for the Greens because they are the only party that seems to want to promote simplicity in one's lifestyle. And yet, when they spread that message, that are ridiculed for being hopeless dreamers out of touch with reality.

    Further reading: Rene Girard is the principal theorist of desire today. He makes the bold claim that our entire lives are structured by desire, and furthermore, that we learn desire from others. We want things precisely (and only) because other people seem to want them. Even physical desire is subject to this. We learn what is sexually attractive from our peers, not from our balls. Since reading Girard, I have tried to pay attention to the feeling of desire rising in me. Whenever I hear "I want that car / stereo / dishwasher / 6-pack abs / etc", I try to arrest the moment and figure out where the desire is coming from. Very quickly, I find that it recedes. Sort of a Buddhist / French literary theory combination.
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  4. Scotty David Codey (61)

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    I imagine it recedes quicker for the six pack once you realise what it takes to get it!

    How about the 'I want another beer'?

    Ps I have the discussion with my wife all the time about the difference between want and need. 'I need more clothes' - 'No, you don't need them, you just want them, you won't die if you don't get them'.
  5. Joe Mac Arch Winning (36)

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    Agreed a life of simplicity is a great luxury in this world. A vote for the Greens for this reason seems fair enough. They have done some fantastic things for this country but their policies (if they were to get their way) would compromise the international competitiveness of many facets of our economy. That would really hurt people across the spectrum from the richest to the very poorest and so for that reason I find it immoral personally to vote for them. I suppose they know that they are never going to be in a position of enough power to really implement a lot of their claims (and if they were they would probably tone down a lot of policy) but I still find them a little extreme as a party. That's not supposed to be a go at you, just my personal opinion.

    Scarfy, can you tell me more about what you have done to simplify your life?
  6. Scarfman Knitter of the Scarf

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    Sure. But first, tell me what is immoral about simplifying your life. And frankly, your tone suggesting that simplicity is a "luxury" makes me sound like a wanker before we even start. I'm not talking about being a "gentleman of leisure." There's nothing about my brand of simplicity that anyone in Australia couldn't afford. How much does it cost to not have a TV, or a mobile phone?
  7. Joe Mac Arch Winning (36)

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    I don't think there is anything immoral about simplifying your life and I am genuinely interested to hear about what you have done. Tell me more.

    I think some of the Greens policies are immoral (not a simplified life). They would cripple much our industry and take away jobs from the people that need them most. I would caveat that with what I said earlier about them likely curbing their views if they were in a real position of power, but in their current position; I would not vote for them. That is why I vote conservative, because my personal view is that the best path to prosperity for all memebers of society is good economic management.
  8. Scarfman Knitter of the Scarf

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    You talk around and around and around in circles, man.

    You claim to be interested in thinking about the meaning of propserity and how to lead a good life, then you a priori assume that we need more and more money to be happy. Once again I give up. This time for good.

    Good luck with the rest of the 1%.
  9. Joe Mac Arch Winning (36)

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    You are impossible Scarfy. Where have I not been clear? I like to think I live a pretty simple life and I was interested to hear what you are have done. If you don't want to talk about it then don't say "a simpler life. is the greatest success of my life and the one I'd most like to share with other people."

    As far as politics go, economic growth means jobs and that is the best way to help people that are struggling to pay bills, not give them handouts. I didn't realise you were another misinformed Occupy wallstreet type, full of contradictions. Otherwise, I wouldn't have bothered posting in this thread.
  10. Jiggles Alex Ross (28)

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    I don't think you can judge how rewarding ones life is or how they live life based on how much they do or don't buy material items.
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  11. Joe Mac Arch Winning (36)

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    I'm not trying to judge anyones life, I asked Scarfy to tell me more about what is making him and his life happy.

    My statement that you refer to Jiggles, was about the Greens, politics and the role of the government. In my mind, the role of the government is to act in the best interests of its citizens.

    For someone like Scarfy, that's the choice to live a simple life. For some people, its the chance to find a job and improve their life and the lives of their family. For some people it might be the difference between buying dinner at the supermarket or resorting to crime due to a lack of other opportunities. I have no interest in questioning anyones way of life, the statement is what is the best way for the governement to provide the most opportunities for its members to do whatever they want.

    And in my view. the best way for the governement to provide the opportunities that each of us seek, is through economic growth. More jobs available in the economy = more opportunities for people to acheive whatever they want in life.

    Without economic growth these opportunities don't exist. Take a look at the countries currently in recession and the problems that are created by high unemployment. Spain has more than 55% youth unemployment because of poor economic decisions by their government over many years. A mate of mine who was a lawyer in Spain until a year ago has moved to Australia because there is no work and no opportunity in his country. All because of poor policy and economic management by the government.

    Hence, I replied to Scarfies post;

    "Agreed a life of simplicity is a great luxury in this world. A vote for the Greens for this reason seems fair enough. They have done some fantastic things for this country but their policies (if they were to get their way) would compromise the international competitiveness of many facets of our economy. That would really hurt people across the spectrum from the richest to the very poorest and so for that reason I find it immoral personally to vote for them."

    How anyone can argue that economic growth is not beneficial for a country and its citizens is beyond me.
  12. Jiggles Alex Ross (28)

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    definitely not having a go at you Joe Mac, just questioning the premise of Scarfman which seems to be simple = better.
  13. Jiggles Alex Ross (28)

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    for the record, when it comes to fiscal and economic policy I am a conservative, which I suppose in this country puts me more towards the liberal party. I wrote my Thesis back in Uni on the applications of Black-Scholes in environmental and commodity markets. I bring this up as I saw you reference Scholes previously.
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  14. Joe Mac Arch Winning (36)

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    Not having a go at you either Jiggles. I just dont understand how Scarf has inferred from me saying:

    "I don't think there is anything immoral about simplifying your life and I am genuinely interested to hear about what you have done. Tell me more."

    Followed by;

    "I think some of the Greens policies are immoral (not a simplified life)."

    Then, he somehow takes offence and responds with this ludicrous statement;

    "You talk around and around and around in circles, man.

    You claim to be interested in thinking about the meaning of propserity and how to lead a good life, then you a priori assume that we need more and more money to be happy. Once again I give up. This time for good."

    His comments make me think that Scarf is actually a pimply hipster uni student camped, no sorry "occupying" Martin place, hating against the evil world "man."

    It certainly would make this final piece of bullshit more believable;

    "Good luck with the rest of the 1%."
  15. Joe Mac Arch Winning (36)

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    That's an interesting thesis. Do you work in the finance industry?
  16. Jiggles Alex Ross (28)

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    Definitely no point arguing with absolutists, Joe Mac.

    I did a bit of work as a graduate economist for MS but now I work for an Australian miner on the trading side of things. Its a great job with lots of time spent in HK & Shanghai and the hours are normal.
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  17. Cutter Nicholas Shehadie (39)

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    Very condescending of you. It is a simplistic prism through which you and Scotty view complex issues.

    It is not contradictory to recognise that this is a far more nuanced area than you appreciate. Economic growth is not the panacea for inequity. There comes a point in an advanced economy where further economic growth doesn't advance the position of the disadvantaged; their position is entrenched. What economic growth does at that point is increase the wealth and living standards of, in descending order, the wealthiest, the middle class and the aspirational middle class (who are already very comfortable).

    Scotty will say that equality of opportunity is all that matters. However, not everyone is equally equipped to take advantage of the opportunities presented. We've had a great thread on mental illness but the sentiments expressed in that thread are inconsistent with telling everyone to get on with it and too bad if they don't take the opportunity presented to them. Mental illness isn't the only reason someone may not be able to make the most of an opportunity. There are a host of reasons.

    Ultimately, whether someone is successful in life should be measured by how much they contribute to society not how much they contribute to GDP. Similarly, government shouldn't be measured only on the extent to which it has overseen economic growth.
  18. Joe Mac Arch Winning (36)

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    Cutter, Economic growth benefits everyone in the economy. Yes, people with a lot of money will, as a proportion, make more money than someone with little money. That is obvious, but economic growth still provides more benefit to the so called "99%" than any singular direct funding, Robin Hood type policy. It's not the be-all and end-all but it's damn important. Of course there are small groups of people who you say don't directly benefit, but indirectly they do. More money in the coffers, gives a government more flexibility in how they help people in the economy that need it the most.

    The real question is how does a government creates economic growth, not whether it is beneficial.

    This all stemmed from my statement that some policies that the Greens advocate are very detrimental to economic growth. That is a fact and no, it's not "a simplistic prism through which you and Scotty view complex issues."

    There are also policies that the Greens advocate which provide different types of improvement to our society, hence I said; " A vote for the Greens for this reason seems fair enough. They have done some fantastic things for this country but their policies (if they were to get their way) would compromise the international competitiveness of many facets of our economy."

    And then you go off on your high horse with this ridiculous statement, arrogantly trying to tell people how they should measure their own success; "Ultimately, whether someone is successful in life should be measured by how much they contribute to society not how much they contribute to GDP. Similarly, government shouldn't be measured only on the extent to which it has overseen economic growth."

    Well mate, if some signficantly adds to our GDP they significantly contribute to society, well done to them. But if they don't, and their best success is being a good dad, or a good footy coach, well that's great as well.

    Get back on topic, I have never said economic growth is the only goal of the government, just that it should be one of a governments key goals.
  19. barbarian Nick Farr-Jones (63)

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    Guys I think this thread has reached a conclusion of sorts, and is now just a tit for tat slanging match.

    No-one has particularly covered themselves in glory, so I'd recommend walking away at this point.
    .
  20. Lindommer Andrew Slack (58)

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    Totally agree, b. Surely it'd be civilised to agree to disagree at this point.

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