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02/17/2009 04:40:48 PM · #126
Originally posted by Chinabun:

I never said the government shouldn't help people and I don't follow religion. Who is Ayn Rand? The government can help people who try to help themselves.


Ayn Rand was an American novelist (Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead), philosopher ("Objectivism"), and screenwriter, very famous and very provocative.

Objectivism

Rand saw her views as constituting a complete philosophical system, which she called "Objectivism". She embraced philosophical realism and advocated rational egoism, or rational self-interest, as a guiding moral principle. Her politics are generally described as minarchist and libertarian, though she did not use the first term and disavowed any connection to the second.[23] She wrote of Objectivism that it amounted to "the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute."[24] The individual "must exist for his own sake", she wrote in 1962, "neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself".[25]

She supported laissez-faire capitalism, holding that the sole function of government ought to be the protection of individual rights, including property rights. Rejecting faith as antithetical to reason, she opposed any form of mysticism or supernaturalism, including organized religion....


R.

02/17/2009 04:43:57 PM · #127
Originally posted by Chinabun:

It's funny how you twist words, because that isn't even what I said...

what does that have to do with what I said? You are automatically assuming...

Once again you don't read well...

Pot>Kettle>Black. Spaz didn't say anything about "people sitting around doing nothing but yet still expecting something in return," nor did I ever suggest you could "just quit my fulltime job, have a kid, and attend college fulltime so you tax payers can pay for it." I'm pretty sure neither of us are in any way suggesting handouts for able-bodied people to sit in a lounge chair and chug beer.

Originally posted by Chinabun:

Most people who vote democrat are people who are looking for someone to "help" them or others. ...The government can help people who try to help themselves.

You seem to be arguing with yourself. Either the government should help those who NEED it or not.
02/17/2009 05:29:05 PM · #128
Originally posted by David Ey:

Matthew, do you own anything and/or make a lot of money? What I mean is, did you work hard for what you have and wish to freely give it away to folks who don't wish to work as hard as you?


I work very hard. I earn a lot of money. I also pay a lot of tax. The reality is that I have more than I need but not as much as I might want.

Of course I don’t like the fact that some people cheat the system. However, I don’t reject the system – I just want it policed and managed, without pretending that it could ever be perfect, and accepting that there will be some waste.

The expenses of an (imperfect) social system are IMO vastly outweighed by the benefits.

The benefits are that I get to live in a society where people don’t starve, get healthcare to a good level, where the economic benefits of big business are balanced against the needs of individuals, where people can be different (and therefore free). Human frailties and failings are usually acknowledged and taken into account.

I accept the compromises that reality throws at us, but choose to be predominantly aspirational when it comes to human behaviour – while acknowledging that cynicism provides a useful check and balance.

My thoughts on this were partly formed when living in the US – I was appalled by the deprivation in Washington DC and the sight of dying people leaning against monuments to some of the greatest thinking of the last half millennium in the world's richest nation. There is no excuse for that – those dying are the same as me and you in all respects important to me.
02/17/2009 06:05:36 PM · #129
Thanks for the courteous reply Matthew.

"I was appalled by the deprivation in Washington DC and the sight of dying people leaning against monuments to some of the greatest thinking of the last half millennium in the world's richest nation. There is no excuse for that – those dying are the same as me and you in all respects important to me."

I am curious if you found out why these folks were in this condition and if you helped them in their time of need. There are places they can get immediate help. No one need go without food, shelter or medical attention in the U.S.
02/17/2009 06:35:24 PM · #130
Originally posted by David Ey:

No one need go without food, shelter or medical attention in the U.S.


This is sooooo not true and I could give you living, breathing examples that would break your heart if are a person with any feelings of empathy toward your fellow man/woman.
02/17/2009 06:55:59 PM · #131
Originally posted by scalvert:

... handouts for able-bodied people to sit in a lounge chair and chug beer.

Sounds to me like tax cuts for people who are already independently wealthy might possibly fit that description.
02/17/2009 07:05:12 PM · #132
Originally posted by David Ey:

No one need go without food, shelter or medical attention in the U.S.


Really?

Do you really believe this is the status quo?

This statement is so far removed from the truth it's beyond belief.

02/17/2009 07:05:41 PM · #133
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by scalvert:

... handouts for able-bodied people to sit in a lounge chair and chug beer.

Sounds to me like tax cuts for people who are already independently wealthy might possibly fit that description.


How about a $350B handout?
02/17/2009 07:09:22 PM · #134
Originally posted by David Ey:

No one need go without ... medical attention in the U.S.


You have GOT to be kidding me? Every DAY people go without medical care in this country. Thousands upon thousands of them. It's one of the great scandals of the world IMO. For all her supposed "greatness" (and as a nation she has done great things) America has failed at providing decent health care at an affordable price to her citizens, and anyone who doesn't realize how poorly we compare to countless other countries in this regard is simply deluding themselves.

R.
02/17/2009 07:17:09 PM · #135
Even some folks with jobs and insurance go without medical attention in the U.S., or are denied treatment, and this trend is increasing. As for homelessness, there aren't enough shelter beds in most U.S. cities for all the homeless who need them, and that includes in D.C.
02/17/2009 07:46:41 PM · #136
Going back to a former topic, here is an excellent video by PBS on the role of the credit rating agencies in the financial meltdown (about 25 minutes long):

Credit and Credibility

And a good article on Credit Default Swaps, another major factor in the downfall of some banks and insurance companies, AIG among them:

Lust for Leverage
02/17/2009 07:53:37 PM · #137
I think some look at America as a country this has the answers to all of her problems when in fact we have little answers or should I say to few people that are willing to provide the answers to some of our problems such as health care. I don't have the answers but I will tell you there are millions that go without insurance or medication just so they can put food in their mouths. This should not be happening but it does. I know something needs to be done.

I do feel we have some of the best medical care and medications in the world....only if everyone of us could have economic access to it!
02/18/2009 02:47:01 PM · #138
CNN article on homeowner mortage assistance
Are the following questions - legitimate? In other words, is it fair to ask these questions?

• What will your plan do for the over 90 percent of homeowners who are playing and paying by the rules?

• Does your plan compensate banks for bad mortgages they should have never made in the first place?

• Will individuals who misrepresented their income or assets on their original mortgage application be eligible to get the taxpayer funded assistance under your plan?

• Will you require mortgage servicers to verify income and other eligibility standards before modifying mortgages? Watch more on the home foreclosure crisis »

• What will you do to prevent the same mortgages that receive assistance and are modified from going into default three, six or eight months later?

02/19/2009 08:26:55 AM · #139
Originally posted by David Ey:

I am curious if you found out why these folks were in this condition and if you helped them in their time of need. There are places they can get immediate help. No one need go without food, shelter or medical attention in the U.S.


I did not. There were a lot of people and I was not really in a position to do so, being a broke student myself at the time.

From the people I spoke to at the time, I got the impression that these people did not have much in the way of options - borne out by some of the responses in this thread.
02/19/2009 08:43:49 AM · #140
Originally posted by Flash:

Are the following questions - legitimate? In other words, is it fair to ask these questions?


I am reminded of the parable of the prodigal son.

People have undoubtedly been foolish, reckless or dishonest in relation to their mortgage arrangements. But it is probably better for everyone if some form of collective restitution is implemented rather than collective punishment.

The world is not fair. I know various people who have been financial "saints" - carefully saving and investing for a rainy day and for their long term future, only to see their investments reduced to miserable amounts by the market collapse and interest rates so low that they see no real income from what remains. Whereas there are plenty of financial "sinners" who have saved nothing, enjoyed spending their money in the good times, and are now reaping the rewards of low interest rates on their borrowings.
02/19/2009 09:21:27 AM · #141
Originally posted by Matthew:

People have undoubtedly been foolish, reckless or dishonest in relation to their mortgage arrangements. But it is probably better for everyone if some form of collective restitution is implemented rather than collective punishment.

The world is not fair. I know various people who have been financial "saints" - carefully saving and investing for a rainy day and for their long term future, only to see their investments reduced to miserable amounts by the market collapse and interest rates so low that they see no real income from what remains. Whereas there are plenty of financial "sinners" who have saved nothing, enjoyed spending their money in the good times, and are now reaping the rewards of low interest rates on their borrowings.

Very astute. Even if I've done the "right" thing with responsible investments and a mortgage that I can afford, it's in my best interest not to have foreclosure signs all over the neighborhood. Maybe the irresponsible neighbors don't deserve it, but if helping them keeps the value of my own property from going in the toilet...
02/19/2009 09:45:46 AM · #142
So doesn't that discourage people from making sound financial decisions and encourage reckless risk taking?

I bought the house I could afford, not the house I wanted. Had I bought the house I wanted and missed a couple payments, right about now I could have re-negotiated my loan and been paying the same thing I pay now for the house I can afford, but I'd have the house I wanted.

Guess what I'm doing next time?

edit: stupid spelling error

Message edited by author 2009-02-19 10:15:17.
02/19/2009 09:50:44 AM · #143
Originally posted by Flash:

CNN article on homeowner mortage assistance
Are the following questions - legitimate? In other words, is it fair to ask these questions?

• What will your plan do for the over 90 percent of homeowners who are playing and paying by the rules?

• Does your plan compensate banks for bad mortgages they should have never made in the first place?

• Will individuals who misrepresented their income or assets on their original mortgage application be eligible to get the taxpayer funded assistance under your plan?

• Will you require mortgage servicers to verify income and other eligibility standards before modifying mortgages? Watch more on the home foreclosure crisis »

• What will you do to prevent the same mortgages that receive assistance and are modified from going into default three, six or eight months later?


I don't think it's unfair to take steps to prevent future poor lending practices, however, I see a good deal of posts from people seemingliy looking for someone to "punish" for their "sins".

The problem is that such "punishments" hurt everyone, not just the guilty few. Now is not the time for a Phyrric victory.
02/19/2009 09:53:21 AM · #144
Originally posted by LoudDog:

So doesn't that discourage people from making sound financial decisions and encourage wreckless risk taking?

I bought the house I could afford, not the house I wanted. Had I bought the house I wanted and missed a couple payments, right about now I could have re-negotiated my loan and been paying the same thing I pay now for the house I can afford, but I'd have the house I wanted.

Guess what I'm doing next time?


Joining the ranks of the stupid and greedy? :o/ No offense meant by this.

If you've been financially responsible up until now I think you'd find it hard to be financially irresponsible in the future.

Message edited by author 2009-02-19 09:55:15.
02/19/2009 10:20:26 AM · #145
Originally posted by cpanaioti:

Joining the ranks of the stupid and greedy? :o/ No offense meant by this.

If you've been financially responsible up until now I think you'd find it hard to be financially irresponsible in the future.


You're right. But I really feel like the stupid one when people making less then me live in nicer houses with a lower monthly payment because the govt bailed them out.
02/19/2009 10:35:06 AM · #146
Originally posted by LoudDog:

So doesn't that discourage people from making sound financial decisions and encourage reckless risk taking? ...Guess what I'm doing next time?

Could it not also serve as a warning shot across the bow of the irresponsible? I'm sure no small percentage of those people now see the error of their ways and realize just how close they are/were to total ruin. Banks have taken an extreme turn against reckless risk taking, hence the current credit crisis. The coin has two sides ya know, and people who choose the reckless path in the future will likely face far more obstacles with no promise of a happy ending.
02/19/2009 10:36:47 AM · #147
Originally posted by Spazmo99:

I don't think it's unfair to take steps to prevent future poor lending practices, however, I see a good deal of posts from people seemingliy looking for someone to "punish" for their "sins".

The problem is that such "punishments" hurt everyone, not just the guilty few. Now is not the time for a Phyrric victory.


Punishment is a part of life. If you make a very bad financial decision it should hurt. If it doesn't, what keeps you from making the same mistake again? What keeps anyone from making the mistake if there is no punishment? Also, bailing out people that made bad decisions punishes people that made good decisions. I have the same house, the same monthly payment, but my taxes will go up because of their mistakes.

Going a step further, from my perspective people are getting rewarded for bad decisions. Not being punished would mean someone that got into a loan they could not afford and then got upside down on their loan are allowed to walk away from the house without owing the bank too much money (slpit the losses with the bank). the bank loses some money as punishment for giving the bad loan, the homeowner loses some money for accepting the bad loan.

What I'm seeing is people keeping their home and paying less. The bank is punished, the tax payer is punished (because the govt helps out the bank), but the homeowner keeps their home and can now afford it. How is this okay to anyone (other then homeowner who gets a pretty sweet deal)?
02/19/2009 10:38:01 AM · #148
Originally posted by LoudDog:

I really feel like the stupid one when people making less then me live in nicer houses with a lower monthly payment because the govt bailed them out.

I feel no such envy. Those people aren't out of danger yet. Better to feel like the smart one for not putting yourself in that position to begin with.
02/19/2009 10:43:33 AM · #149
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by LoudDog:

So doesn't that discourage people from making sound financial decisions and encourage reckless risk taking? ...Guess what I'm doing next time?

Could it not also serve as a warning shot across the bow of the irresponsible? I'm sure no small percentage of those people now see the error of their ways and realize just how close they are/were to total ruin. Banks have taken an extreme turn against reckless risk taking, hence the current credit crisis. The coin has two sides ya know, and people who choose the reckless path in the future will likely face far more obstacles with no promise of a happy ending.


I respectfully disagree. I heard on the radio this morning that 55% of people that have already had their loans modified to a payment they could afford miss payments again within 6 months.

I do hope you are right though because this is sad and will be expensive.
02/19/2009 10:43:56 AM · #150
Originally posted by LoudDog:

Punishment is a part of life... What keeps anyone from making the mistake if there is no punishment?

Fear. A narrow escape is a powerful motivator. Those morons who got caught on drifting ice in Lake Erie last week were stupid, but they were rescued at taxpayer expense. One died, but there's no need to kill off the others as punishment and hurt their friends and family in the process. Few will make the same mistake again.
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