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  1. #21
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    Re: 75 Ways Socialism Has Improved America

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Hmm, that is a pretty broad definition I think. I could fit Amazon into that definition since their ownership is public.
    Not sure what the problem is with returning to an excellent thread...especially when it's mine.

    Sure, "corporations are people" aren't they? As is often expressed on the right.

    ---------- Post added at 12:45 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:38 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Likewise, the post office being able to send paper to all over the place is neat and all, but if you are arguing it is an improvement, you have to compare to what. Was it an improvement on 1780s American systems (maybe), is it an improvement on current delivery services (much harder to argue).
    I think that's what I did. Current delivery services still don't do what the USPS does - that is why they use the USPS for the last mile. I live 5 minutes from a major downtown urban area (on a peninsula) and FedEx sometimes sends my packages with the regular mailman. I could also add the "poison pills" the USPS had had to swallow at conservative's request because they desire the privatization of the system in addition to the restrictions on allowing them to add services.

    So the service could be even better.
    "Real Boys Kiss Boys" -M.L.

  2. #22
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    Re: 75 Ways Socialism Has Improved America

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    Not sure what the problem is with returning to an excellent thread...especially when it's mine.
    Fair enough, just a bit of playful fun.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cowboy
    Sure, "corporations are people" aren't they?
    No, they aren't.

    Its this poor understanding of language which has caused all the uproar over the Citizens United case. Corporations are persons not people. A person can be a representative, including a representative of a group. It is the same legal principle that applies the First Amendment to The New York Times rather than just the reporters who work at the New York Times.

    Returning to the main point of this thread, your definition clearly is overly broad. So when you say "social ownership" what exactly do you mean? Who comprises that group? What is their method of ownership? How are the individual wills of all the individuals on that group collected into guidance for management?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cowboy
    I think that's what I did. Current delivery services still don't do what the USPS does - that is why they use the USPS for the last mile.
    Is/Ought fallacy. Showing that Fedex, for example, uses USPS for the last mile of delivery (and this has virtually ended since you posted this thread I believe, especially with Amazon) has no relevance on whether the world would be a better place without the USPS. For example, in that world, lets say Fedex would have to charge another dollar to cover that last bit of delivery, but that would save $1.50 of debt incurred or inflation caused by USPS' unprofitable activities.

    The point of that is that the world is far more complex than simply saying "look they can move mail, that must be a net benefit." That is why I asked about counterfactuals. https://conceptually.org/concepts/co...tual-thinking/ Unless you can show that this state of affairs is better than the counterfactuals, you can't coherently argue that these systems improved our lives.

    Let's take a ridiculous example to prove the point. Let's say you are a political prisoner in the gulag. You get 1 piece of bread every three days. You are starving and cold. Now, let's say they increased your ration to one piece of bread every two days. You are still starving, but slightly less so.

    Would you say that the existence of the gulag improved your life? No, of course not. The most you could say is that the gulag improved the conditions it had imposed upon you. Likewise, here, you could only argue that these systems improved their own services, not that they improved society compared to other options.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions. -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


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  4. #23
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    Re: 75 Ways Socialism Has Improved America

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Returning to the main point of this thread, your definition clearly is overly broad. So when you say "social ownership" what exactly do you mean? Who comprises that group? What is their method of ownership? How are the individual wills of all the individuals on that group collected into guidance for management?
    Well, yes, if you want to define social ownership I'd say that yes, Amazon could fit into that. We're talking about things humans do socially...together. So all of the elements of social ownership are more on a sliding continuum. So maybe an egalitarian form of membership on one side where every worker has the same amount of stock to a more drastically stratified on the other. Who comprises the group? A few buddies from college on one side up to every person in a country on the other. Broad, yes, the false dichotomy of socialism/capitalism no.

    ---------- Post added at 11:32 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:25 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    For example, in that world, lets say Fedex would have to charge another dollar to cover that last bit of delivery, but that would save $1.50 of debt incurred or inflation caused by USPS' unprofitable activities.
    Would they though? And would that bring the same amount of service. Let's say in the realm of security. I'm a fan of the hilarious videos of porch pirates stealing Amazon boxes - it's a thing - people know to stay away from mailboxes, just like they know to stay away from police dogs and horses because the penalties for screwing with them are so high. So would the security be equal or would it be passed on to the customer to take it up with local law enforcement.
    "Real Boys Kiss Boys" -M.L.

  5. #24
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    Re: 75 Ways Socialism Has Improved America

    Just for information:

    https://www.ttnews.com/articles/amaz...ommerce-sector


    “One thing that may change is you may see someone coming up to your neighbor’s sidewalk with a package,” he said. “The Amazon people don’t necessarily have any logos or anything on the truck that says Amazon. So there may be some questions there.”

    Amazon is hiring contract workers, many driving white rental vans, who handle last-mile, ground deliveries to homes and businesses. These contract workers have been noticed in St. Joseph for the past couple of weeks.

    I have to admit that I used the amazon drop-off at my local 7/11 once and I liked it. Does anyone know if they have a similar pick-up type service and have you used it? There's no reason the USPS couldn't do a similar thing.

    Non-uniformed contract workers? I'm sure they're filling some kind of niche, like Uber, and Uber sure has had its problems with labor. Since this is only in a trial stage I wonder how it will develop and if there will be similar problems.
    "Real Boys Kiss Boys" -M.L.

  6. #25
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    Re: 75 Ways Socialism Has Improved America

    Quote Originally Posted by Cowboy
    Well, yes, if you want to define social ownership I'd say that yes, Amazon could fit into that. We're talking about things humans do socially...together.
    Which brings me back to my original complaint about the use of the term socialism or social ownership in this thread. It is so broad as to be meaningless. This definition is so milk toast that we could pretty easily shoehorn capitalism into it. Capitalism is, after all, something that people do socially together. A definition that can fit everything from anarcho-capitalism, to fascism and socialism into it is a meaningless definition.

    Its why socialism was never defined in the way you are using it here until recently. Its an attempt to coopt communalism and broaden it for popularity's sake.

    If we adopt your definition for the sake of discussion, I'll grant you that it is responsible for all the things listed in the OP. But you also have to grant that it is responsible then for slavery, racism, war, poverty, murder, rape, eugenics, genocide, etc. After all, those are all activities that humans did socially...together.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cowboy
    Would they though? And would that bring the same amount of service.
    Yes to the former question. That is definitionally true. Unless you are arguing that the USPS could just "be better."

    Probably no to the latter. There are certain activities that USPS engages in that cost more than people are willing to pay for them. IE things we don't really want at the actual cost of providing them.

    And if you think that mail theft isn't a thing, I'll forward you to google and you can find a host of examples to show otherwise. People just don't have as many cameras pointed at their mailboxes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cowboy
    There's no reason the USPS couldn't do a similar thing.
    Except they've had lets say 80 years and never adopted it. Why? Because USPS faces no pressure to innovate or improve service via competition until recently. It isn't a surprise that tha vast, vast majority of USPS innovations occurred following the rise of Fedex and UPS.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions. -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  7. #26
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    Re: 75 Ways Socialism Has Improved America

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    If we adopt your definition for the sake of discussion, I'll grant you that it is responsible for all the things listed in the OP. But you also have to grant that it is responsible then for slavery, racism, war, poverty, murder, rape, eugenics, genocide, etc. After all, those are all activities that humans did socially...together.
    Except, as I had to correct someone else recently, Marx and Engels were pointing out how inequity leads to conflict and all of the ills you are describing and they were proposing a system to alleviate it. So we institute laws and provide for their just enforcement. As opposed to, say, a system a sovereign citizen might want to see.
    "Real Boys Kiss Boys" -M.L.

 

 
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