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Old 9th March 2019, 03:14 PM   #1
BobTheCoward
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Human suffering and the social contract

As someone who doesn't recognize a social contract, I don't really understand what makes into the social contract. Here are the big pieces

-taxes
-draft
-some want mandatory voting
-jury duty

I understand the sense that there are costs to society and we need to pay them. But the contract doesn't find these costs and distribute them. When I think of the costs of society I think of the following..

-the people who clean up after suicide victims
-the people who inform somebody their family member died
-the cops having to watch child pornography for evidence
-unskilled labor in mental facilities, hospices, shelters, etc

For a social contract, it seems we are not distributing the emotional toll created by modern civilization.

Is this something that should be distributed?
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Old 9th March 2019, 03:50 PM   #2
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Old 9th March 2019, 04:02 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Is this something that should be distributed?
Maybe. What kind of distribution mechanism did you have in mind?

Also, a point of order: In this thread, do you intend to make and defend arguments, in support of positions you actually hold?
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Old 9th March 2019, 04:29 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Maybe. What kind of distribution mechanism did you have in mind?

Also, a point of order: In this thread, do you intend to make and defend arguments, in support of positions you actually hold?
I don't have a position. That is why I posted a question rather than stated a position.
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Old 9th March 2019, 04:36 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I don't have a position. That is why I posted a question rather than stated a position.
And there it is.
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Old 9th March 2019, 04:37 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
As someone who doesn't recognize a social contract, I don't really understand what makes into the social contract. Here are the big pieces

-taxes
-draft
-some want mandatory voting
-jury duty

I understand the sense that there are costs to society and we need to pay them. But the contract doesn't find these costs and distribute them. When I think of the costs of society I think of the following..

-the people who clean up after suicide victims
-the people who inform somebody their family member died
-the cops having to watch child pornography for evidence
-unskilled labor in mental facilities, hospices, shelters, etc

For a social contract, it seems we are not distributing the emotional toll created by modern civilization.

Is this something that should be distributed?

Nothing you mention has anything to do with the social contract.

The things on your list - taxes, draft, jury duty - are all various aspects of geographically and/or population-wise huge societies wherein most people are unknown to each other. But the social contract as a philosophy holds for a nomadic tribe of 60 who lived 60,000 years ago just as well as for modernity. It's just a statement that personal liberty is earned at the expense of respecting the liberties of others.

You give a strange list of things you find disgusting or emotionally difficult, like cleaning up after suicide victims. This has nothing to do with personal liberty. In any case, all the people who do that are already compensated. They accept money in exchange for doing difficult tasks. It may not be a lot of money, but that's a whole different question. I, personally, would pay not to have to do any of those things. And I do. Through taxation, I pay so I don't have to clean up suicides (or any dead bodies) and so that I don't have to gather child pornography evidence. I pay the nursing home where my mother lives and they, I assume, pay their workers.

But all of us are participating in the social contract. We all - taxpayers and government employees alike - are respecting the liberties of others in order to secure those same liberties for ourselves.

If you want to argue that police should be paid more or that the minimum wage needs to be increased, start a thread on those issues. They have nothing to do with mutual respect for various freedoms.
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Old 9th March 2019, 06:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
Nothing you mention has anything to do with the social contract.

The things on your list - taxes, draft, jury duty - are all various aspects of geographically and/or population-wise huge societies wherein most people are unknown to each other. But the social contract as a philosophy holds for a nomadic tribe of 60 who lived 60,000 years ago just as well as for modernity. It's just a statement that personal liberty is earned at the expense of respecting the liberties of others.

You give a strange list of things you find disgusting or emotionally difficult, like cleaning up after suicide victims. This has nothing to do with personal liberty. In any case, all the people who do that are already compensated. They accept money in exchange for doing difficult tasks. It may not be a lot of money, but that's a whole different question. I, personally, would pay not to have to do any of those things. And I do. Through taxation, I pay so I don't have to clean up suicides (or any dead bodies) and so that I don't have to gather child pornography evidence. I pay the nursing home where my mother lives and they, I assume, pay their workers.

But all of us are participating in the social contract. We all - taxpayers and government employees alike - are respecting the liberties of others in order to secure those same liberties for ourselves.

If you want to argue that police should be paid more or that the minimum wage needs to be increased, start a thread on those issues. They have nothing to do with mutual respect for various freedoms.
We could have a system where we pay to have people do jury duty. There are nation's with mandatory military service while others use an all volunteer basis. I'm asking why we choose to pay for some things but require everyone to participate in others.
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Old 9th March 2019, 06:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
And there it is.
I'm sorry I don't make posts on subjects I already haver answers to.
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Old 9th March 2019, 07:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
We could have a system where we pay to have people do jury duty. There are nation's with mandatory military service while others use an all volunteer basis. I'm asking why we choose to pay for some things but require everyone to participate in others.

We do pay people for jury duty. We don't pay a lot, but we pay. We also have a system where the price of one being offered a jury trial is the requirement to occasionally sit for a jury. There's a pretty clear quid pro quo.

As regards nations with mandatory conscription, all those soldiers get paid. And, when out of the military, they get the benefit of being protected by the next generation. (Some very backwards places excepted.)

Everybody in those situations is being compensated, both in money and in kind. Your premise is wrong.
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Old 9th March 2019, 07:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
We do pay people for jury duty. We don't pay a lot, but we pay. We also have a system where the price of one being offered a jury trial is the requirement to occasionally sit for a jury. There's a pretty clear quid pro quo.

As regards nations with mandatory conscription, all those soldiers get paid. And, when out of the military, they get the benefit of being protected by the next generation. (Some very backwards places excepted.)

Everybody in those situations is being compensated, both in money and in kind. Your premise is wrong.
I never said they were unpaid. Nations with mandatory military service of course pay the people. But they don't distribute the labor in a volunteer basis. Why do we debate that one but hospice employment is determined completely on a non conscription basis?
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Old 9th March 2019, 10:04 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I never said they were unpaid. Nations with mandatory military service of course pay the people. But they don't distribute the labor in a volunteer basis. Why do we debate that one but hospice employment is determined completely on a non conscription basis?

I'm just going to assume that there's a language in which whatever you're saying constitutes an argument.
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Old 9th March 2019, 10:23 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
I'm just going to assume that there's a language in which whatever you're saying constitutes an argument.
It isn't an argument.
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Old 9th March 2019, 10:34 PM   #13
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There is no such thing as "unskilled labor".
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Old 9th March 2019, 10:39 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Lambchops View Post
There is no such thing as "unskilled labor".
Fair enough...let us substitute not currently requiring a license.
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Old 9th March 2019, 10:55 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Fair enough...let us substitute not currently requiring a license.
You are so close to getting it. But you are looking in the wrong direction.
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Old 9th March 2019, 11:03 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Lambchops View Post
You are so close to getting it. But you are looking in the wrong direction.
Then substitute whatever you wish. I'm not committed to any particular definition.
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Old 10th March 2019, 12:36 AM   #17
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If you are living under a legitimized form of government, if said government decides it needs x people for task y, and not enough sign up, conscription is the best method to maintain social coherence.
Most people would rather have some of their family serve ib the military than risk occupation by a hostile force.
A strong argument can be made that the military adventures of the US since 9/11 are only possible because of the massive reliance on Contractors (i.e. mercenaries) and people from lower income backgrounds serving in the military.
Conscription would give politicians more pause before sending troops anywhere.
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Old 10th March 2019, 08:43 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
As someone who doesn't recognize a social contract, I don't really understand what makes into the social contract. Here are the big pieces

-taxes
-draft
-some want mandatory voting
-jury duty
The social contract is a fairly simple way to rationalize and justify the coercive measures employed by the state in general. Basically, people "chose" to give up their freedom in return for protection and other benefits bestowed by the state.

The notion is pretty much never discussed with regards to the very specific subjects you brought up since it only deals with justifying the states power in general.
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Old 10th March 2019, 09:47 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
-the people who clean up after suicide victims
Typically people who are paid to do it. And usually paid a lot.
This Is What It's Like to Be a Crime Scene Cleaner
Quote:
Most jobs take 9 to 12 hours and average $12,000. A lead supervisor like Vogel charges $144 per hour, while Vogel’s basic technicians earn $126 per hour.
Quote:
-the people who inform somebody their family member died
-the cops having to watch child pornography for evidence
-unskilled labor in mental facilities, hospices, shelters, etc
These too are generally done by people who choose these occupations and are compensated accordingly.

Quote:
For a social contract, it seems we are not distributing the emotional toll created by modern civilization.

Is this something that should be distributed?
It's not really practical and I see no reason to attempt it. The reason why people who clean up crime scenes, suicides and other dead bodies are paid such a high hourly wage is because most people prefer to not do such work. Others will do it because the money is good. They wear hazmat suits to protect them. It's a solution that works for an unpleasant job that has to be done by somebody.
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Old 11th March 2019, 06:06 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post

It's not really practical and I see no reason to attempt it. The reason why people who clean up crime scenes, suicides and other dead bodies are paid such a high hourly wage is because most people prefer to not do such work. Others will do it because the money is good. They wear hazmat suits to protect them. It's a solution that works for an unpleasant job that has to be done by somebody.
If we lived in a system where courts contracted out to private companies to provide jurors, you could write the same answer. Some foreigner would ask why we had private jurors and you could write, "it's a solution that works for an unpleasant job..."

Unpleasant jobs can be solved by either conscription or a private contracting. How do we choose which one is which?
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Old 11th March 2019, 08:24 AM   #21
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The main function of the state is to resolve conflicts. Now, there are a lot of institutions that resolve conflicts, but what makes government unique is that it has ultimate authority in a society. Going back to Hobbes, government arises because life in a state of nature is nasty, poor, solitary, brutish and short. Outsourcing violence to a relatively neutral third party spares us of the war of all against all, facilitating commerce and peaceful civil society.

As for what makes it into the social contract, a lot of the things mentioned are the result of "muddling" over the centuries.

Taxes are compulsory because if people didn't have to pay them, people wouldn't pay them.

Conscription in the modern era is first considered a violation of liberty, but for some time it could be viewed as a safe-guard against oppression (better to have a military composed of citizens somewhat loyal to each other rather than mercenaries loyal to gold).

Juries of peers are a similar safe-guard because professionals are removed from one's community (and not chosen by the defense).

As for what ought to be in the social contract, the greatest modern theorist, John Rawls, provided an interesting mechanism called the Original Position.
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Old 11th March 2019, 08:41 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
You give a strange list of things you find disgusting or emotionally difficult,
Boy, you got that right. What an odd start to a thread.
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Old 11th March 2019, 08:56 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
As someone who doesn't recognize a social contract, I don't really understand what makes into the social contract.
I think it's the other way around.
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Old 11th March 2019, 08:58 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Maybe. What kind of distribution mechanism did you have in mind?

Also, a point of order: In this thread, do you intend to make and defend arguments, in support of positions you actually hold?
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I don't have a position. That is why I posted a question rather than stated a position.
Bobbed at post 4. Nice.

Well at least we've got you figured out. That's at least one positive.
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Old 11th March 2019, 09:00 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
We could have a system where we pay to have people do jury duty.
Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
We do pay people for jury duty.
Typical.
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Old 11th March 2019, 09:06 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Typical.
I wasn't clear. I meant pay an amount such that jurors are choosing to participate rather than forced.
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Old 11th March 2019, 09:13 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I wasn't clear.
Yeah, typical.
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Old 11th March 2019, 09:14 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I wasn't clear. I meant pay an amount such that jurors are choosing to participate rather than forced.
That would skew the jury pool toward certain demographics, which is bad.
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Old 11th March 2019, 09:16 AM   #29
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How much _do_ they pay for jury duty, anyway?
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Old 11th March 2019, 09:18 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
How much _do_ they pay for jury duty, anyway?
50 bucks a day for federal.
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Old 11th March 2019, 09:19 AM   #31
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Should probably up that a bit.
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Old 11th March 2019, 09:19 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
How much _do_ they pay for jury duty, anyway?
I got called for Federal Jury duty about 3 months ago. 50 (60 if you are called to a Grand Jury) bucks a day plus travel and lodging expenses if you incur them.

Our local city court gives jurors 15 bucks a day for the first 3 days and then 30 bucks a day for any day beyond that. No expenses reimbursed.
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Old 11th March 2019, 09:22 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
That would skew the jury pool toward certain demographics, which is bad.
A) I'm not arguing for that policy

B) we can look at all the methods used in voir dire to target demographics to argue whatever skew a paid system would cause, it isn't competing against an unskewed system.
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Old 11th March 2019, 09:24 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Should probably up that a bit.
The fact that it's not even minimum wage is kind of effed up.
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Old 11th March 2019, 09:25 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
A) I'm not arguing for that policy
We know Bob.
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Old 11th March 2019, 12:26 PM   #36
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The notion of juror-as-a-full-time-job evaporates pretty quickly when you imagine what the hiring process would look like.
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Old 11th March 2019, 04:00 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
B) we can look at all the methods used in voir dire to target demographics to argue whatever skew a paid system would cause, it isn't competing against an unskewed system.

Lawyer tend to use voir dire to, you know, find the people they think will be most sympathetic to their client. It might be a little much to ask them to be the gatekeepers of whatever nebulous effect well-compensated jury duty could possibly have.

In any case, we have democracies with well-compensated juries - basically full-time judges who sit as a panel. We have systems where the judge is the lead investigator. We have systems where there's no lawyers allowed at all. I don't think the "social contract" has much to do with how we choose one form or another.
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Old 11th March 2019, 04:29 PM   #38
BobTheCoward
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post

In any case, we have democracies with well-compensated juries - basically full-time judges who sit as a panel. We have systems where the judge is the lead investigator. We have systems where there's no lawyers allowed at all. I don't think the "social contract" has much to do with how we choose one form or another.
Exactly. So how do we determine what get handled one way and what gets handled the other? And people think some demands should be spread around the community. Why do some things make that list? And why isn't the misery of society included?
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Old 11th March 2019, 04:50 PM   #39
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I think that in the Jim Carrey "Grinch" movie where the Grinch stuffs people stocking with Jury Duty Notices shows how a great many people feel about Jury Duty.
Granted, it's a lot less painful where I live since they have a call in system, which means you call in for a week and only have to go in if your group is drawn..and then you only have go to the court room and sit around for one day unless you are actually chosen for a jury. A lot better then when you had to go in every day for a week waiting to see if your name was called.
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Old 11th March 2019, 04:52 PM   #40
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I think somebody wants all of the benefits of belonging to an organized society,but none of the duties and responsibilities.
I think the term "freeloader" applies.
But that is a problem I have with many Libertarians....
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