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Old 10th May 2020, 11:50 AM   #281
P.J. Denyer
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
And kind of like how the rich partied in the USA while the workers and their children suffered in poverty - before the pandemic:
6 startling facts about child hunger in the U.S. — and how you can help (Mashable, July 14, 2016)

It's actually funny. I wouldn't have expected you, of all people, to be the one to point out how similar conditions in the USA in this millennium are to those in the USSR 30 years ago.
But are you sure about the suffering of the proletariat? Did children actually go hungry there and then to the degree that they do in the USA nowadays? I was never in the USSR, so I don't really know. When I google hunger children USSR, I get stories about hunger in the USSR in the 1930s.
I'd say it's more like how the rich partied (and maintained their wages and bonuses) while the poor had their wages frozen or cut after the crash of 2008.
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Old 10th May 2020, 11:54 AM   #282
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
And kind of like how the rich partied in the USA while the workers and their children suffered in poverty - before the pandemic:
6 startling facts about child hunger in the U.S. — and how you can help (Mashable, July 14, 2016)

It's actually funny. I wouldn't have expected you, of all people, to be the one to point out how similar conditions in the USA in this millennium are to those in the USSR 30 years ago.
Conditions in the USSR were way worse, though. You keep trying to cast this as a problem of capitalism, but your argument is just special pleading.
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Old 10th May 2020, 01:57 PM   #283
dann
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Conditions in the USSR were way worse, though. You keep trying to cast this as a problem of capitalism, but your argument is just special pleading.

I'm not the one who came up with the idea that it would make the USA look good if it was compared with the USSR. That was you, obviously.
Nor would I dream of using the example that conditions in the USA are better than conditions in Venezuela 2020. That was Trish Regan.
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Last edited by dann; 10th May 2020 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 10th May 2020, 02:28 PM   #284
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
I'm not the one who came up with the idea that it would make the USA look good if it was compared with the USSR. That was you, obviously.
Nor would I dream of using the example that conditions in the USA are better than conditions in Venezuela 2020. That was Trish Regan.

So where are conditions the best so we can compare?
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Old 10th May 2020, 05:51 PM   #285
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
And kind of like how the rich partied in the USA while the workers and their children suffered in poverty - before the pandemic:
6 startling facts about child hunger in the U.S. — and how you can help (Mashable, July 14, 2016)

It's actually funny. I wouldn't have expected you, of all people, to be the one to point out how similar conditions in the USA in this millennium are to those in the USSR 30 years ago.
But are you sure about the suffering of the proletariat? Did children actually go hungry there and then to the degree that they do in the USA nowadays? I was never in the USSR, so I don't really know. When I google hunger children USSR, I get stories about hunger in the USSR in the 1930s.
I don't know so much about life in the USSR, but I know people who lived in China in the 70's. And yes, hunger is a big part of the story.
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Old 10th May 2020, 09:52 PM   #286
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Wikipedia has a whole list of famines in China, so if you would rather talk about hunger in China in the 1970s than about how capitalism and Its beneficiaries, rich people, are the spreaders of coronavirus, why don't you visit the hunger-in-China-in-the-1970s thread in History, Literature, and the Arts instead? Why are you here?

If you find the articles in post 275 or the videos in post 276 completely irrelevant and uninteresting, I don't understand what you are doing in this thread.
Do you?!
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 10th May 2020, 11:39 PM   #287
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Wikipedia has a whole list of famines in China, so if you would rather talk about hunger in China in the 1970s than about how capitalism and Its beneficiaries, rich people, are the spreaders of coronavirus, why don't you visit the hunger-in-China-in-the-1970s thread in History, Literature, and the Arts instead? Why are you here?

If you find the articles in post 275 or the videos in post 276 completely irrelevant and uninteresting, I don't understand what you are doing in this thread.
Do you?!
I was just commenting in reply to your post.

Why? Because I don't think that capitalism's record with respect to poverty is worse than other systems.

No one thinks it's perfect, but if your point isn't that it's worse than some potential alternative, then... okay, I should probably unsubscribe to this thread because we're not learning anything here.
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Old 11th May 2020, 01:05 AM   #288
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No, you weren't just commenting in reply to my post where I was poking fun at another derail attempt by theprestige, which had gone hilariously wrong.

OK, so maybe you also haven't noticed that this isn't the whataboutism thread or the Is-capitalism's-record-with-respect-to-poverty-better-or-worse-than-other-systems? thread. It's the capitalism-and-Its-beneficiaries,-rich-people,-are-the-spreaders-of-coronavirus thread.
Nobody stops you from having a discussion about hunger (or anything else) in China (or any other place) in the 1970s (or any other time), but I have a hard time seeing why it has to be here.
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 11th May 2020, 05:46 AM   #289
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I addressed this earlier in the thread:
Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
My point is that we have to run our society some way. We can't look at the problems of any system in isolation, we need to look at them as compared to some other system. This is similar to the way that in medicine new drugs are compared to the currently recommended drug for any particular treatment. I certainly agree with you that the incentives were skewed and probably led to people staying open longer than they should have. But if you want to blame that problem on capitalism, there must be an alternative system in which the incentives are better aligned with our values, and it's not clear to me that such a system exists.

Or, rather, I do certainly think that regulations can help, but if the solution involves getting rid of an underlying capitalist framework entirely I don't think it will work.

Maybe the problem is that I do actually agree with your premise to some extent, but think that the discussion should actually go to the point, which "Okay, so?" and that requires some sort of comparison with other systems.
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Old 11th May 2020, 07:46 AM   #290
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
No, you weren't just commenting in reply to my post where I was poking fun at another derail attempt by theprestige, which had gone hilariously wrong.

OK, so maybe you also haven't noticed that this isn't the whataboutism thread or the Is-capitalism's-record-with-respect-to-poverty-better-or-worse-than-other-systems? thread. It's the capitalism-and-Its-beneficiaries,-rich-people,-are-the-spreaders-of-coronavirus thread.
Nobody stops you from having a discussion about hunger (or anything else) in China (or any other place) in the 1970s (or any other time), but I have a hard time seeing why it has to be here.

Even if I accepted the premise of your thread, I still think Capitalism is the best system currently available. Like any other system, it has flaws. I prefer the flaws of Capitalism to other systems.

Every system, and it’s beneficiaries (and every other human in the system), will spread disease. What you are basically saying is, “Fiji Water is wet,” and I think myself and others are saying, “Find me the water that isn’t wet.”

Now, I know you started the thread, but you don’t get to dictate the terms of a public discussion.
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Old 11th May 2020, 09:45 AM   #291
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
What you are basically saying is, “Fiji Water is wet,” and I think myself and others are saying, “Find me the water that isn’t wet.”

No, that's not at all what I'm saying, basically or otherwise.
I started a thread about how capitalism and its beneficiaries, rich people, are the spreaders of coronavirus. I began with a description of the way it had happened in Denmark and Northern Europe, and since then I have followed up on it and shown (with plenty of links) how it has continued, how billionaires flee into luxurious hiding places and spread the virus to new places - and to the people who work for them.
All this time, you have insisted that 1) billionaires are "humans" (as if anybody had claimed that they were aliens or poodles) and 2) you would much prefer a thread about water in Fiji.
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 11th May 2020, 10:51 AM   #292
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
No, that's not at all what I'm saying, basically or otherwise.
I started a thread about how capitalism and its beneficiaries, rich people, are the spreaders of coronavirus. I began with a description of the way it had happened in Denmark and Northern Europe, and since then I have followed up on it and shown (with plenty of links) how it has continued, how billionaires flee into luxurious hiding places and spread the virus to new places - and to the people who work for them.
The only problem with your thesis is that it singles out capitalism for no good reason. The truth is the same dynamic would operate to spread the virus under any other system, too.

And historically, the kinds of systems that would be effective at mitigating that dynamic would tend to be systems that achieve that mitigation by causing even worse problems of human suffering in exchange for that "win".
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Old 11th May 2020, 11:23 AM   #293
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
No, that's not at all what I'm saying, basically or otherwise.
I started a thread about how capitalism and its beneficiaries, rich people, are the spreaders of coronavirus. I began with a description of the way it had happened in Denmark and Northern Europe, and since then I have followed up on it and shown (with plenty of links) how it has continued, how billionaires flee into luxurious hiding places and spread the virus to new places - and to the people who work for them.
All this time, you have insisted that 1) billionaires are "humans" (as if anybody had claimed that they were aliens or poodles) and 2) you would much prefer a thread about water in Fiji.
Yes. Humans spread Coronavirus. I do insist that. Because it’s true.

You are blaming a specific system that most humans in the world live under. But it has spread in socialist countries, in dictatorships, in theocracies, in anarchies . . . Every corner of the globe, pretty much. Rich people exist in all those systems. And it’s not just the billionaires spreading it. It’s everybody who doesn’t take precautions.

I do think there is a wealth gap and economic inequality is too high. I do think we are putting economic concerns ahead of public health. I am willing to discuss those problems. But this whole “Capitalism is responsible,” schtick is just ridiculous. Human nature, which includes wanting to live a life with freedom and economic security along with a fair amount of hubris and downright stupidity, is the real problem here. That problem exists in any form of economic structure we can think of.
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Old 11th May 2020, 12:14 PM   #294
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The only problem with your thesis is that it singles out capitalism for no good reason. The truth is the same dynamic would operate to spread the virus under any other system, too.

Obviously! If a certain dynamic spreads the virus, then this dynamic will spread it in the systems where it is present.

Quote:
And historically, the kinds of systems that would be effective at mitigating that dynamic would tend to be systems that achieve that mitigation by causing even worse problems of human suffering in exchange for that "win".

And now we seem to be moving on to the realm of fantasy again - in spite of the word historically. What exactly are the systems that have been effective at mitigating the dynamic, historically, i.e. that capitalism and its beneficiaries, rich people have been spreading the coronavirus in 2020? And how did those systems achieve that mitigation by causing even worse problems of human suffering, historically?
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 11th May 2020, 12:30 PM   #295
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Yes. Humans spread Coronavirus. I do insist that. Because it’s true.

It's true, indeed! In spite of what people like David Icke might claim, the coronavirus has so far been spread by capitalism and its beneficiaries, rich people. Not a single documented case has been spread by reptilian humanoids.

Quote:
You are blaming a specific system that most humans in the world live under. But it has spread in socialist countries, in dictatorships, in theocracies, in anarchies . . . Every corner of the globe, pretty much. Rich people exist in all those systems. And it’s not just the billionaires spreading it. It’s everybody who doesn’t take precautions.

So why don't you make a thread about how coronavirus has spread in "socialist countries, in dictatorships, in theocracies, in anarchies"? How did the business concerns that I have pointed at as the reason why it wasn't contained in Ischgl, Austria, make the virus spread in those (alleged) countries? It sounds extremely interesting, so please make a thread about it!

Quote:
I do think there is a wealth gap and economic inequality is too high. I do think we are putting economic concerns ahead of public health.

Unlike you, I don't think that we are putting economic concerns ahead of anything. I don't even think that humans as such are. But certain humans, yes, definitely

Quote:
I am willing to discuss those problems.

So why don't you? Who's stopping you??!

Quote:
But this whole “Capitalism is responsible,” schtick is just ridiculous. Human nature, which includes wanting to live a life with freedom and economic security along with a fair amount of hubris and downright stupidity, is the real problem here. That problem exists in any form of economic structure we can think of.

So once again, human (unlike reptilian) nature and the desire for freedom and economic security is somehow to blame for spreading the virus. Interesting. I hope you'll explain it in your thread about how the virus was spread in anarchies and other countries.
Won't you, please?!
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 11th May 2020, 06:25 PM   #296
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
And now we seem to be moving on to the realm of fantasy again - in spite of the word historically. What exactly are the systems that have been effective at mitigating the dynamic, historically, i.e. that capitalism and its beneficiaries, rich people have been spreading the coronavirus in 2020? And how did those systems achieve that mitigation by causing even worse problems of human suffering, historically?
Here's what theprestige said:

Quote:
And historically, the kinds of systems that would be effective at mitigating that dynamic would tend to be systems that achieve that mitigation by causing even worse problems of human suffering in exchange for that "win".
You seem to be responding to something else. Maybe you could say in your own words what you think theprestige actually means with this quote? Because I read it very different from you. For instance he's pretty clearly talking about the spread of disease in general rather than coronavirus in particular.

Further, "that dynamic" is the dynamic you've been talking about of, for instance, keeping businesses open when the danger was already clear such that they should have closed, and billionaires traveling away from danger centers during a pandemic disease, thus risking bringing that disease to as yet uninfected areas.

Those are dynamics that we can examine historically.
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Old 11th May 2020, 07:41 PM   #297
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The dynamic is rich people doing whatever they want, to the detriment of their fellow citizens.

This dynamic is not unique to capitalism. Communism also produced rich people, and they also did whatever they wanted to the detriment of their fellow citizens. Communism mitigated this dynamic by having fewer rich people. They achieved this mitigation by visiting horror on their societies much worse than the spread of coronavirus.

From this review of history I conclude that the problem isn't capitalism, but rich people. And since rich people exist under systems other than capitalism (including systems opposed to capitalism), I further conclude that the problem isn't capitalism.

I think it's possible that a totalitarian communist state would be more effective at limiting the spread of a contagion, simply because it's more effective at limiting freedom in general. But again, the techiniques they use would be even worse than the results of our "laissez-faire" capitalism.

It's probably more likely that a totalitarian communist state would set aside social distancing rules in order to keep the factories running. They'd end up with a huge bodycount anyway, and cover it up for years.

So that's how I see it. Dann blames capitalism, but the problem he highlights is not unique to capitalism, other systems tend to be worse, and dann won't suggest an alternative system anyway.
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Old 11th May 2020, 07:45 PM   #298
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
It's true, indeed! In spite of what people like David Icke might claim, the coronavirus has so far been spread by capitalism and its beneficiaries, rich people. Not a single documented case has been spread by reptilian humanoids.




So why don't you make a thread about how coronavirus has spread in "socialist countries, in dictatorships, in theocracies, in anarchies"? How did the business concerns that I have pointed at as the reason why it wasn't contained in Ischgl, Austria, make the virus spread in those (alleged) countries? It sounds extremely interesting, so please make a thread about it!




Unlike you, I don't think that we are putting economic concerns ahead of anything. I don't even think that humans as such are. But certain humans, yes, definitely




So why don't you? Who's stopping you??!




So once again, human (unlike reptilian) nature and the desire for freedom and economic security is somehow to blame for spreading the virus. Interesting. I hope you'll explain it in your thread about how the virus was spread in anarchies and other countries.
Won't you, please?!

Nah, this thread is perfect for it. My goal here is to either get you to move on from the “capitalism and it’s beneficiaries, rich people, are spreading coronavirus” schtick (because it’s repetitive and boring) and tell us what you think should be done (because that might be an interesting discussion) OR continue to argue against such a ridiculous statement.

The ski resort continued to operate because the owners of the business want to make money, their employees want to make money and their customers want to have fun. The business exists in the first place because people want to ski. Rich people AND not so rich people like to ski. I know a few people who like to ski who are not rich. They save up and spend their money and vacation time to go.

People, rich and poor, like to ski, go to casinos, go to Disney World, etc. We want those places to exist and we want to spend our money at those places. The people that own those places are rich because they have done well providing us with exactly what we want at a price we want to pay. Capitalism is the system that provides this variety of leisure activities.

Now, we could have a system where none of that stuff exists or is run by the State or whatever. I don’t want to live in that world. Maybe you do.

I’m happy with the world we live in: people want to continue their lives and economic activity; the State’s job is to ensure public health and safety. Thus, Capitalism needs regulation. Some places do this better than others but no place has done it perfectly. I don’t think perfect exists.

So, to sum up: Capitalism allows people to open businesses and other people to spend their money at those businesses. It’s a system that allows people to provide a multitude of services based on consumer demand. It isn’t perfect and it carries risks. But I will take those risks over a system that mitigates risk but does it by suppressing freedoms.
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Old 11th May 2020, 09:10 PM   #299
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The dynamic is rich people doing whatever they want, to the detriment of their fellow citizens.
To the extent that this is the case, it seems to me that the solution is probably some sort of regulation with respect to the activities that rich people want to do but which have negative externalities for the rest of society. This certainly isn't all activities that that want to engage in, but only some subset. A severe example of this is in the current situation lockdowns.

One problem with this approach is when the system is corrupt those with power (including but not limited to the rich) will tend to oppose regulations that limit the things that they want to do. As you say, this problem exists in every economic system. Finding a way to build strong institutions that limit corruption is the best solution I know to this problem.

Another issue is that regulations themselves often have negative externalities, some of them unforeseen, for the rest of society. We should be careful about enacting regulations to deal with one problem which create new ones.
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Old 12th May 2020, 06:34 AM   #300
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The dynamic is rich people doing whatever they want, to the detriment of their fellow citizens.

That is not how I usually see you describe capitalism, but good for you!

Quote:
This dynamic is not unique to capitalism. Communism also produced rich people, and they also did whatever they wanted to the detriment of their fellow citizens. Communism mitigated this dynamic by having fewer rich people. They achieved this mitigation by visiting horror on their societies much worse than the spread of coronavirus.

Communism never existed, so I assume you are talking about the USSR again, and you are probably right about it having fewer rich people (and nowhere near as rich as the oligarchs in Russia or the USA, nowadays). I don't understand your idea of the rulers having achieved any kind of mitigation by visiting horrors on their societies. How do you mitigate anything by visiting horrors on the rest of the population? I have read enough about the history of USSR to be familiar with Stalin's atrocities, but I still don't understand the "dynamic" that you refer to.

Quote:
From this review of history I conclude that the problem isn't capitalism, but rich people. And since rich people exist under systems other than capitalism (including systems opposed to capitalism), I further conclude that the problem isn't capitalism.

It sounds as if you would like to get rid of rich people, then, if they are the problem, not capitalism. It's an interesting idea, but I don't really see your point. I have no idea what it has to do with capitalism and its beneficiaries, rich people, spreading the coronavirus. It sounds as if you would like capitalism to continue but without rich people, which was the idea that the Soviet Union was based on. It's why their socialist tradition always portrayed capitalists as the guys with top hats riding around in carts drawn by the ragged-trousered peasants and workers. Their idea of socialism was to abolish the top-hat guys and let the state take over the ownership of capital. It may have been to your liking, but it wasn't to mine.

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I think it's possible that a totalitarian communist state would be more effective at limiting the spread of a contagion, simply because it's more effective at limiting freedom in general. But again, the techiniques they use would be even worse than the results of our "laissez-faire" capitalism.

A lot of countries are getting the knack of coping with the pandemic, even my own, in spite of taking too long to stop denying what was going on (with the ski tourists, for instance; see OP), but the Danish health authorities seem to have learned much from the experience of a couple of small territories of the Danish Realm, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, as well as a country that used to be a part of the realm, Iceland.
Now, I'm not sure whose "laissez-faire" capitalism you are talking about, but the techniques of an authoritarian regime don't seem to be necessary at all to curb the virus if that's the idea you are comforting yourself with in the present situation. I'm guessing something along the lines of, 'China may be much better at coping with the virus, but they're evil, so in the choice between an effective (but authoritarian) struggle against the pandemic and freedom (USA! USA!), we should vouch for freedom!'
However, as several examples in there real, actual world already show, it can be had without authoritarianism - and probably much better than with authoritarianism. (Over the years, I've had a couple of Faroese and Icelandic colleagues, and they didn't strike me as particularly authoritarian.)

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It's probably more likely that a totalitarian communist state would set aside social distancing rules in order to keep the factories running. They'd end up with a huge bodycount anyway, and cover it up for years.

And so we have returned to your favourite fantasy game again: Let's imagine what it would be like in an imaginary totalitarian communist state - "probably. more likely". In the realm of fantasy, at least the imagination is free to dream of the imaginary "huge bodycount", while the actual virus is running wild in the USA and actual workers in actual factories are being exposed to the actual setting aside of social distancing rules, which actually results in an actual "huge bodycount".
Let's comfort the workers of this actual dystopia with the idea that in the imaginary dystopia things would have been even worse. Let's count ourselves blessed and include Trump in our prayers.

Quote:
So that's how I see it. Dann blames capitalism, but the problem he highlights is not unique to capitalism, other systems tend to be worse, and dann won't suggest an alternative system anyway.

The problem that I have been highlighting throughout this thread has been very unique to capitalism, which is why you and your allies have resorted to the realm of fantasy all the way through as your best and only way of denying the deaths that capitalism and its beneficiaries have contributed to so far.
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 12th May 2020, 06:41 AM   #301
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
As you say, this problem exists in every economic system.

And it is particularly awful in the imaginary ones, as has been amply proved by theprestige at this point.
Throughout this thread, I have given you one example after another of how "those with power (including but not limited to the rich) will tend to oppose regulations that limit the things that they want to do." Except, of course, I have given you actual examples instead of fantasies about what they "will tend" to do.
From you guys, so far, nothing but imaginary scenarios.
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 12th May 2020, 07:27 AM   #302
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Nah, this thread is perfect for it. My goal here is to either get you to move on from the “capitalism and it’s beneficiaries, rich people, are spreading coronavirus” schtick (because it’s repetitive and boring) and tell us what you think should be done (because that might be an interesting discussion) OR continue to argue against such a ridiculous statement.

The ski resort continued to operate because the owners of the business want to make money, their employees want to make money and their customers want to have fun. The business exists in the first place because people want to ski. Rich people AND not so rich people like to ski. I know a few people who like to ski who are not rich. They save up and spend their money and vacation time to go.

People, rich and poor, like to ski, go to casinos, go to Disney World, etc. We want those places to exist and we want to spend our money at those places. The people that own those places are rich because they have done well providing us with exactly what we want at a price we want to pay. Capitalism is the system that provides this variety of leisure activities.

Thank you for finally making your point clear - even when it wasn't your intention: On the one hand, "the owners of the business want to make money," and on the other hand, "Rich people AND not so rich people like to ski." This means that the rich people go skiing at luxury hotels in the Alps (or Aspen), and not-so-rick people scrimp and save to go to Norway or Sweden every two or three years. (It goes without saying that poor people stay at home.)

What fun-loving tourists don't usually want, however, is to come down with a nasty virus, so if it comes to their attention that it's running rampant at a ski resort, they'll stay away. And what's even worse for business: The respective governments of the fun-loving ski tourists also aren't too keen on having them import a nasty virus. They have this concept called public health, which might make them consider a ban on tourists going to a virus hotspot, which interferes with the interests of "the owners of the business (who) want to make money."

The capitalist solution is obvious: the three-wise-monkeys approach: **** the fun-loving ski tourists and their fellow citizens if fear of the virus interferes with my business interests!

Quote:
Now, we could have a system where none of that stuff exists or is run by the State or whatever. I don’t want to live in that world. Maybe you do.

Yes, I actually do want to live in a world where business owners like you or the ones in Ischgl (and their local government officials) are more concerned about their businesses than about the health and lives of their customers.

Quote:
I’m happy with the world we live in: people want to continue their lives and economic activity; the State’s job is to ensure public health and safety. Thus, Capitalism needs regulation. Some places do this better than others but no place has done it perfectly. I don’t think perfect exists.

Yes, people actually want to continue their lives!!! They don't want to get sick and die! They also don't want to continue economic activities that may kill them or their relatives, but sometimes capitalism don't leave them a choice: They are forced to put up with working (and transport) conditions that expose them to contaminations (and not just in a corona crisis) because capitalism doesn't offer them a living wage. (In your imaginary scenario, they are probably saving for the next ski trip to Aspen, but it is much more likely that these fun-loving workers are trying to feed their children and pay for their education.)

And while people are exposed to these atrocious conditions, you comfort yourself with the idea that "I don’t think perfect exists." (By the way, don't let your president hear you say that!)

Quote:
So, to sum up: Capitalism allows people to open businesses and other people to spend their money at those businesses. It’s a system that allows people to provide a multitude of services based on consumer demand.

It's a system that incentivizes business owners to be utterly indifferent to the suffering of their employees and their customers. Money doesn't care.

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It isn’t perfect and it carries risks.

Yes, for some people it's perfect, because others carry the burdens and the risks.

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But I will take those risks over a system that mitigates risk but does it by suppressing freedoms.

Yes, I know you will, and your freedoms as a business owner deserve to be suppressed.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 12th May 2020, 08:25 AM   #303
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
That is not how I usually see you describe capitalism, but good for you! : )
This is dishonest. You know that I'm not describing capitalism. I'm describing people under any system. My entire rebuttal is that you are committing the fallacy of special pleading. You are attributing to capitalism a problem that is not specific to capitalism.

Try again.
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Old 12th May 2020, 08:33 AM   #304
dann
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
This is dishonest. You know that I'm not describing capitalism. I'm describing people under any system. My entire rebuttal is that you are committing the fallacy of special pleading. You are attributing to capitalism a problem that is not specific to capitalism.

Try again.

Try again!
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 12th May 2020, 08:52 AM   #305
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Try again!
I succeeded on the first try.

Are you really arguing that only rich people under capitalism behave this way?
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Old 12th May 2020, 10:00 AM   #306
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Thank you for finally making your point clear - even when it wasn't your intention: On the one hand, "the owners of the business want to make money," and on the other hand, "Rich people AND not so rich people like to ski." This means that the rich people go skiing at luxury hotels in the Alps (or Aspen), and not-so-rick people scrimp and save to go to Norway or Sweden every two or three years. (It goes without saying that poor people stay at home.)

What fun-loving tourists don't usually want, however, is to come down with a nasty virus, so if it comes to their attention that it's running rampant at a ski resort, they'll stay away. And what's even worse for business: The respective governments of the fun-loving ski tourists also aren't too keen on having them import a nasty virus. They have this concept called public health, which might make them consider a ban on tourists going to a virus hotspot, which interferes with the interests of "the owners of the business (who) want to make money."

The capitalist solution is obvious: the three-wise-monkeys approach: **** the fun-loving ski tourists and their fellow citizens if fear of the virus interferes with my business interests!




Yes, I actually do want to live in a world where business owners like you or the ones in Ischgl (and their local government officials) are more concerned about their businesses than about the health and lives of their customers.




Yes, people actually want to continue their lives!!! They don't want to get sick and die! They also don't want to continue economic activities that may kill them or their relatives, but sometimes capitalism don't leave them a choice: They are forced to put up with working (and transport) conditions that expose them to contaminations (and not just in a corona crisis) because capitalism doesn't offer them a living wage. (In your imaginary scenario, they are probably saving for the next ski trip to Aspen, but it is much more likely that these fun-loving workers are trying to feed their children and pay for their education.)

And while people are exposed to these atrocious conditions, you comfort yourself with the idea that "I don’t think perfect exists." (By the way, don't let your president hear you say that!)




It's a system that incentivizes business owners to be utterly indifferent to the suffering of their employees and their customers. Money doesn't care.




Yes, for some people it's perfect, because others carry the burdens and the risks.




Yes, I know you will, and your freedoms as a business owner deserve to be suppressed.

I totally disagree. People didn’t and aren’t staying away from the things they want to do. People are out in the streets protesting because they want to go get haircuts, for crying out loud. The people of Las Vegas want the casinos open and people want to go back to Vegas. People are finding ways around restrictions and having house parties and underground bars are operating. Too many people see this as no big deal and we should just go on living our lives to get through this. Public Health and Science be damned.

That’s a problem with people, not with Capitalism. Any system needs 1)Good regulations 2) A strong government system to enforce them and 3) A compliant populace.

Some places have this -Denmark? Iceland? South Korea?- others don’t -USA? UK? Italy?

Those are problems with one of the 3 factors I outlined and I think it’s mostly #3. Texas had locked down and enforced the lock down. The people want “Reopening now!” The government is caving in.
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Old 12th May 2020, 11:34 AM   #307
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
I totally disagree. People didn’t and aren’t staying away from the things they want to do. People are out in the streets protesting because they want to go get haircuts, for crying out loud. The people of Las Vegas want the casinos open and people want to go back to Vegas. People are finding ways around restrictions and having house parties and underground bars are operating. Too many people see this as no big deal and we should just go on living our lives to get through this. Public Health and Science be damned.

Yes, some people, very few people, actually, are protesting. Most people appear to despise the protestors - for good reason. Casino owners are impatient, but people are free to lose their money online - which, of course, is what worries the casino owners. And the poor suckers who work for them depend upon the income. Some of them in order to feed their children. That's capitalism at its best, isn't it?

And yes, a few people are finding ways around restrictions, but most people aren't - and don't want to. Health and Science be praised.
So that's actually all a problem with capitalism, not people, for the most part, unlike what you would like to think:
Quote:
That’s a problem with people, not with Capitalism. Any system needs 1)Good regulations 2) A strong government system to enforce them and 3) A compliant populace.

What no system needs is a leader so obsessed with the goodwill that the stockmarket was supposed to give him that he encourages his minions to break the rules that were introduced (by him!) to save people's lives. For a brief moment, he listened to the experts, but I guess we all knew that it was too good to last.

Quote:
Some places have this -Denmark?

After a few mistakes and a lot of confusion at the beginning of the local outbreak - maybe also due to fear of being seen as authoritarian if they dared put a ban of ski trips for the rich - the opening after the lockdown appears to be cautious and prudent. The science of health be praised - and the guts to put business idiots in place.

Quote:
Iceland? South Korea?- others don’t -USA? UK? Italy?

Iceland did a pretty good job at the beginning. They were the ones who discovered the contagion taking place at Ischgl, reported it to the authorities there, who chose to ignore the warning because ... business!
SK did a good job very early on. And China, too, especially considering that they were the only country that didn't get any kind of warning.

Quote:
Those are problems with one of the 3 factors I outlined and I think it’s mostly #3. Texas had locked down and enforced the lock down. The people want “Reopening now!” The government is caving in.

Your use of the word people is just as spurious as your use of the word humans. How do you know what people in Texas want? Did you ask them? Did they have a referendum? Did you watch it on Fox or OANN? Do you think that POTUS has anything to do with the local government "caving in"?

You can't be unaware of the fact that sometimes governments encourage protests and then use the protests as an excuse to do what they always intended to do. Much like Hitler's excuse for starting WW2: „Seit heute früh schießen wir zurück!"

The success of protests often depends of the interests that they serve, and in the case of state 'rebellions' they obviously served the interests of short-sighted businessmen, which made the local governments unusually responsive to their claims.
Trump be damned ...
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 12th May 2020, 05:52 PM   #308
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
And it is particularly awful in the imaginary ones, as has been amply proved by theprestige at this point.
Throughout this thread, I have given you one example after another of how "those with power (including but not limited to the rich) will tend to oppose regulations that limit the things that they want to do." Except, of course, I have given you actual examples instead of fantasies about what they "will tend" to do.
From you guys, so far, nothing but imaginary scenarios.
Well, I neither disagree that corruption exists, nor feel much obligation to demonstrate that it exists in different systems.

ETA: I do think that we can do things about corruption, about abuses of power, and about negative externalities. I think there's actually a useful conversation to be had where you say: look at the behavior of this group of people that has negatively affected society! Here's some ways I think we should try to prevent this sort of thing in the future!
My own thoughts about how to reorganize society to mitigate future pandemics (and other low-frequency, high-danger events) are focused in other directions, but I think there's a good case to be made to focus more on the things you're discussing.
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Old 13th May 2020, 12:34 PM   #309
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Capitalism and Its Beneficiaries, Rich People, Are the Spreaders of Coronavirus

Originally Posted by dann View Post
Yes, some people, very few people, actually, are protesting. Most people appear to despise the protestors - for good reason.
Some people get it, some don’t. I would say my circle of friends and acquaintances is pretty evenly split. Even doctors, if you can believe it, want to open up.
Quote:
Casino owners are impatient, but people are free to lose their money online - which, of course, is what worries the casino owners. And the poor suckers who work for them depend upon the income. Some of them in order to feed their children. That's capitalism at its best, isn't it?
It’s human nature, for better or for worse. People want to gamble, so casinos exist. I’d rather live in a world where casinos are allowed than one where they aren’t.

I’d also like to live in a world where, when a crisis like this strikes, the government is strong enough to help people out. We’ve had mixed results and there’s room for improvement. But those problems would exist in any system. Unless we are talking about the fantasy utopia world described in that thread about a moneyless society.

Quote:
And yes, a few people are finding ways around restrictions, but most people aren't - and don't want to. Health and Science be praised.
. If most people didn’t want to, the virus would have been stopped in its tracks. We would have all just stayed home, no leaving the house. But that isn’t happening and can’t actually happen. Because humans.
Quote:
So that's actually all a problem with capitalism, not people, for the most part, unlike what you would like to think:



What no system needs is a leader so obsessed with the goodwill that the stockmarket was supposed to give him that he encourages his minions to break the rules that were introduced (by him!) to save people's lives. For a brief moment, he listened to the experts, but I guess we all knew that it was too good to last.
Right a people problem, not a systemic problem.

Quote:
After a few mistakes and a lot of confusion at the beginning of the local outbreak - maybe also due to fear of being seen as authoritarian if they dared put a ban of ski trips for the rich - the opening after the lockdown appears to be cautious and prudent. The science of health be praised - and the guts to put business idiots in place.




Iceland did a pretty good job at the beginning. They were the ones who discovered the contagion taking place at Ischgl, reported it to the authorities there, who chose to ignore the warning because ... business!
SK did a good job very early on. And China, too, especially considering that they were the only country that didn't get any kind of warning.
Even they opened up to some extent and are now having a new round of cases. You can’t get around it. People, and the activities of people, is spreading Coronavirus. No one will actually shelter in place and the only way you can get it to work is through an authoritarian system. Which no one wants to live in.
Quote:
Your use of the word people is just as spurious as your use of the word humans. How do you know what people in Texas want? Did you ask them? Did they have a referendum? Did you watch it on Fox or OANN? Do you think that POTUS has anything to do with the local government "caving in"?
I live in Texas. I see and hear it first hand. Beyond the protests, everyday people are saying that this whole thing is overblown, that we need to open up, that, “if you are scared stay home but let the rest of us live our lives.”

Quote:
You can't be unaware of the fact that sometimes governments encourage protests and then use the protests as an excuse to do what they always intended to do. Much like Hitler's excuse for starting WW2: „Seit heute früh schießen wir zurück!"
Why did you Godwin the thread?

Quote:
The success of protests often depends of the interests that they serve, and in the case of state 'rebellions' they obviously served the interests of short-sighted businessmen, which made the local governments unusually responsive to their claims.
Trump be damned ...
It serves the interest of the people protesting.
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Old 13th May 2020, 06:10 PM   #310
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
. If most people didn’t want to, the virus would have been stopped in its tracks. We would have all just stayed home, no leaving the house. But that isn’t happening and can’t actually happen. Because humans.
Not necessarily. You can have a collective action problem where everyone thinks they should stay home, but because others aren't, they can't, and those others don't for the same reason. If everything stayed open and staying home meant being fired from your job, you'd probably go to work. And the next guy will be faced with the same dilemma. So you need some sort of leadership (government action would be a nice one, but more bottom up organization would probably happen in its absence).

If it was literally everyone, it wouldn't take much to push the system into the new equilibrium where everyone stayed home, but collective action problems are real.
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Old 15th May 2020, 07:17 PM   #311
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Not necessarily. You can have a collective action problem where everyone thinks they should stay home, but because others aren't, they can't, and those others don't for the same reason. If everything stayed open and staying home meant being fired from your job, you'd probably go to work. And the next guy will be faced with the same dilemma. So you need some sort of leadership (government action would be a nice one, but more bottom up organization would probably happen in its absence).

If it was literally everyone, it wouldn't take much to push the system into the new equilibrium where everyone stayed home, but collective action problems are real.

I don’t disagree. But if everyone wanted something, they wouldn’t fight so hard when the government gives them what they want. The “rational person,” dreamed of in economics does not exist in reality. People are not rational, which is why collective action problems are hard to solve.
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Old 15th May 2020, 08:21 PM   #312
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All those rich doctors, dentists and physicians spreading diseases as they go on vacation.

Under socialism they would sent to work abroad in the capitalist countries and earn precious hard currency used to prop up socialism with critical imports such as luxury goods to make the elite and upper-middle class of beurocrats content.

Truly this is an incredible improvement. Just ask any Cuban, life there is like heaven.
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Old 16th May 2020, 01:08 AM   #313
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That is one of the many differences between socialist Cuba and capitalist Sweden.
Cuba helps countries all over the world in the fight against the pandemic: Cuba sends health aid to 15 countries to fight coronavirus (Atalyar, April 12, 2020)

Al Jazeera (March 22, 2020): Cuban doctors head to Italy to fight coronavirus
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

Jamaica Gleaner (March 22, 2020): Cuban medical professionals arrive in Jamaica
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

Sweden would rather spread the virus to neighboring countries and is upset when they won't allow that.

There is also this difference between capitalist Sweden and socialist Cuba:
Coronavirus deaths per million
#8 Sweden: 361
#86 Cuba: 7

Sweden and Cuba have populations of approximately the same size.

ETA: I don't know how reliable this comparison is:
Sweden: #13
Cuba: #15
The countries with the best value healthcare in the world revealed (msn.com, May 7, 2020)
And I don't know if it takes into account the many things that the corona crisis has revealed about health care in Sweden.
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 16th May 2020 at 02:31 AM.
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Old 16th May 2020, 08:35 AM   #314
xjx388
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
That is one of the many differences between socialist Cuba and capitalist Sweden.
Cuba helps countries all over the world in the fight against the pandemic: Cuba sends health aid to 15 countries to fight coronavirus (Atalyar, April 12, 2020)

Al Jazeera (March 22, 2020): Cuban doctors head to Italy to fight coronavirus
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Jamaica Gleaner (March 22, 2020): Cuban medical professionals arrive in Jamaica
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Sweden would rather spread the virus to neighboring countries and is upset when they won't allow that.

There is also this difference between capitalist Sweden and socialist Cuba:
Coronavirus deaths per million
#8 Sweden: 361
#86 Cuba: 7

Sweden and Cuba have populations of approximately the same size.

ETA: I don't know how reliable this comparison is:
Sweden: #13
Cuba: #15
The countries with the best value healthcare in the world revealed (msn.com, May 7, 2020)
And I don't know if it takes into account the many things that the corona crisis has revealed about health care in Sweden.

If your message is, “let’s all be like Cuba,” no thank you.
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Old 16th May 2020, 08:52 AM   #315
dann
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My message is obviously in answer to Arcade22's post, so your "no thank you" is superfluous. If it had been an invitation, I wouldn't have sent it to you.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 16th May 2020 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 16th May 2020, 08:58 AM   #316
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The lawsuit against business owners and health authorities in Ischgl, Austria

Quote:
- Vi er med for at sige, at det simpelthen ikke er i orden at gamble med folks sundhed og sikkerhed på den måde, siger Anne Jorsø, Frederiksberg, til Ritzau.
(…)
- Vi er ret sikre på, at myndighederne kendte til det her udbrud, men ikke fik stoppet det i tide. Måske fordi der har været økonomi i at holde det kørende så længe som muligt, siger Anne Jorsø.
Allerede 5. marts frarådede Island rejser til Ischgl, og 9. marts fulgte den danske udenrigsministerium trop.
Men først 13. marts blev området lukket ned.
- Det er da påfaldende, at skandinaviske lande går ud og fraråder rejser til området på grund af coronasmitte. Men landet gør ikke noget selv. De gør det i hvert fald meget sent, siger Anne Jorsø.
(…)
Det er den østrigske forbrugerorganisation VSV, der står bag søgsmålet.
Dansker i gruppesøgsmål: Ikke i orden at gamble med folks sundhed (BT.dk, May 16, 2020)
Translation:
- We are a part of this lawsuit in order to say that it just isn’t OK to gamble with people’s health and safety in this way, says Anne Jorsø, Frederiksberg, to Ritzau.
(…)
- We are pretty sure that the authorities knew about the outbreak, but didn’t stop it in time. Maybe because it was profitable to keep it running as long as possible, says Anne Jorsø.
As early as March 5, Iceland recommended that people stay away from Ischgl, and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs was next on March 9.
But the region wasn’t locked down until March 13.
- It is striking that Scandinavian countries warn against visiting the region due to corona contagion. But the country does nothing. Or they don’t do anything for a long time, says Anne Jorsø.
(…)
The Austrian consumer organization VSV is behind the lawsuit.
Dane in collective lawsuit: It is not OK to gamble with people’s health
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 17th May 2020, 08:15 AM   #317
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People in deprived UK areas 'four times likelier' to get COVID-19 (Al Jazeera, May 16, 2020)

Quote:
We found that COVID-19 is not the great equalizer.
• While Manhattan, on average, has higher incomes and better access to healthcare, the Bronx is up against generations of food deserts, income inequality, crumbling public housing, and poor clinical care. Plus, more frontline workers and subway riders are coming from the Bronx right now.
• With 50% more Latino and black residents in the Bronx than Manhattan, you begin to see why being a person of color living in the Bronx makes COVID-19 two times deadlier.
Why the Bronx has almost double the coronavirus cases as Manhattan (Business Insider, May 15, 2020)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 20th May 2020, 01:47 AM   #318
dann
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The Daily Social Distancing Show (May 19, 2020):
Rich People in the Time of Corona
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Second Thought (March 28, 2020):
Capitalism and the American Pandemic Response
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 20th May 2020, 02:52 AM   #319
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Why did you Godwin the thread?


**** Godwin. Seriously. When reasonable comparison can be made between a current event and actions of the nazi party in the 30s and 40s then such comparisons should and must be made.

Godwin can go **** himself with this made up, bollocks rule, it bugs the **** out of me.
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Old 20th May 2020, 08:12 PM   #320
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
**** Godwin. Seriously. When reasonable comparison can be made between a current event and actions of the nazi party in the 30s and 40s then such comparisons should and must be made.

Godwin can go **** himself with this made up, bollocks rule, it bugs the **** out of me.
It's never a reasonable comparison. That's the point.

Sooner or later, someone in an Internet debate will make a Nazi comparison. And when they do, meaningful discourse is effectively over.

I think it was probably over in this thread long before then, but still.
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