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Old 26th April 2020, 06:15 PM   #241
Roboramma
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
No, they would have no reason whatsoever to stay open during a pandemic.
What other reason could there be to ignore reports about the virus being spread at ski resorts than business considerations?
Why is the ski resort open in the first place? If they close the ski resort and the virus turns out to be a non-issue (say they'd closed when the original SARS epidemic was spreading), they may face repercussions from superiors for those actions.

Sometimes you can get perverse incentives in non-capitalist systems too. For instance:

https://fee.org/articles/why-the-sov...-the-cold-war/
Quote:
The Soviet whalers, Berzin wrote, had been sent forth to kill whales for little reason other than to say they had killed them. They were motivated by an obligation to satisfy obscure line items in the five-year plans that drove the Soviet economy, which had been set with little regard for the Soviet Union’s actual demand for whale products. “Whalers knew that no matter what, the plan must be met!” Berzin wrote. The Sovetskaya Rossiya seemed to contain in microcosm everything Berzin believed to be wrong about the Soviet system: its irrationality, its brutality, its inclination toward crime.
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Old 26th April 2020, 10:04 PM   #242
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
In this pandemic, it has become very obvious that some government are more concerned about business than about people's lives. Some governments weren't properly prepared for a pandemic even though they had been warned by medical scientists. Masks for medical use, for instance, aren't very expensive and they don't cost much to store, and yet they weren't there when needed.
And even when the pandemic was well under way some governments chose to ignore and publicly deny it in order to protect the stock market rather than their populations. I.e. business considerations!
I mentioned both the China and South Korea as countries with very efficient strategies. They are very different kinds of government ruling over very different kinds of countries.
I could mention Iceland and the Faroe Islands as countries with a similar, successful strategy: Testing, tracing, isolating - and if possible not at home. (In China they discovered very early on that about 75% of infections happened at home.)
You're repeating yourself without clarifying. Was my government unprepared because we elected an idiot in our highest office? Or are you claiming democracy/capitalism is fundamentally flawed in a way that made that inevitable?

Stop beating around the bush and clarify your claim.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
No, they would have no reason whatsoever to stay open during a pandemic.
What other reason could there be to ignore reports about the virus being spread at ski resorts than business considerations?
Who would make the decision? An administrator of the ski resort? Would the administrator of each ski resort/restaurant/sports stadium/whatever be making these decisions individually? Or would they answer to a higher authority.

If they make the decision individually, it seems likely to me that a good percentage of them would make the wrong decision, or make the decision too late.

If they answer to a higher authority, then that higher authority still has to weigh the cost/benefit of closing things down. I don't see how a capitalist/non-capitalist government is any more likely to make the wrong or right decision.

And quite frankly, non-capitalist governments have made some very appalling choices over the decades.

You seem to believe that only capitalist societies are concerned with profit and a strong economy, but that's a concern of every society.
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Old 26th April 2020, 10:25 PM   #243
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
...Theprestige is just very good at neglecting the atrocious conditions that workers in capitalism are exposed to...
Have you noticed a lot of that happens in China? You know like the iphone workers committing suicide, that was all happening in China.

I'm all for improving the lives of front line workers, and if you want to see some serious exploitation in the US of A look at the workers for Lyft, Uber, Grub Hub, and Instacart, but I just don't see trashing Capitalism for Marxism or Socialism as the way to do it.
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Old 27th April 2020, 01:08 AM   #244
dann
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Why is the ski resort open in the first place?

To make a buck! It's business

Quote:
If they close the ski resort and the virus turns out to be a non-issue (say they'd closed when the original SARS epidemic was spreading), they may face repercussions from superiors for those actions.

Yes, the owner of the business is only in it for the money, so of course he'll object to any kind of lockdown, and the mayor of Ischgl might tell the health authorities the same thing: 'We can't shut down, not even in a situation like this: We'll lose money if we do!.' That is what I have been saying the whole time. They will rather risk their customers' health and lives and have them return to their countries and spread the virus after they have been infected because the ski resort was opposed to being locked down.
Otherwise, what would have happened if they had closed the ski resort and the virus turned out to be a non-issued would have been .... nothing. In this case, however, they knew that the virus was an issue, they were told several times, so I don't really understand why you need to make up this imaginary scenario of the virus being a non-issue.

Quote:
Sometimes you can get perverse incentives in non-capitalist systems too. For instance:

https://fee.org/articles/why-the-sov...-the-cold-war/

Yes, I don't doubt it. What is your point?
Aren't you simply resorting to whataboutism, now?
I point out how capitalism and rich people help spread the coronavirus, and you prefer to talk about something completely different because it was bad and happened in the Soviet Union ...
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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 27th April 2020, 01:23 AM   #245
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
Have you noticed a lot of that happens in China? You know like the iphone workers committing suicide, that was all happening in China.

Yes, I've noticed. I have also noticed that it doesn't seem to worry Apple stockholders much.

Quote:
I'm all for improving the lives of front line workers, and if you want to see some serious exploitation in the US of A look at the workers for Lyft, Uber, Grub Hub, and Instacart, but I just don't see trashing Capitalism for Marxism or Socialism as the way to do it.

Are you also for improving the lives of Apple workers in China? Or are you only all for improving the lives of frontline workers being exploited by American companies in the USA, not the ones that American companies exploit in other countries?
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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 27th April 2020, 01:53 AM   #246
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
You're repeating yourself without clarifying. Was my government unprepared because we elected an idiot in our highest office? Or are you claiming democracy/capitalism is fundamentally flawed in a way that made that inevitable?

Stop beating around the bush and clarify your claim.

You appear to be the bushbeater around here. Your country was unprepared because nobody was interested in following the advice of experts who pointed out that the country was in dire need of pandemic preparation, which would have cost money. I mean, who wants to be prepared for pandemics when you can have tax cuts for billionaires instead? Billionaires sure as hell don't need pandemic response, secure as they are on their private islands in the Caribbean or the Pacific.
(And you also elected an idiot. You actually elected several, which has become obvious when you watch the pandemic response in many of the United States.)

Quote:
Who would make the decision? An administrator of the ski resort? Would the administrator of each ski resort/restaurant/sports stadium/whatever be making these decisions individually? Or would they answer to a higher authority.

I assume that the local health authority would confer with administrators and explain to them why it wouldn't be safe to have the resorts stay open. In the actual case in Ischgl, I don't think that the health authorities contacted individual owners or administrators of ski resorts. I think they probably talked with their Austrian colleagues in charge of the area, which would be the obvious thing to do, in my opinion.

Quote:
If they make the decision individually, it seems likely to me that a good percentage of them would make the wrong decision, or make the decision too late.


If they answer to a higher authority, then that higher authority still has to weigh the cost/benefit of closing things down. I don't see how a capitalist/non-capitalist government is any more likely to make the wrong or right decision.

No, I guess you don't. I mean, that is why you invent a whole scenario of a non-capitalist government that makes capitalist cost-benefit calculations, isn't it?!

Quote:
And quite frankly, non-capitalist governments have made some very appalling choices over the decades.

Yes, they have. But they weren't in charge of ski resorts in Ischgl, were they? So I don't really see what they have to do with what happened there.

Quote:
You seem to believe that only capitalist societies are concerned with profit and a strong economy, but that's a concern of every society.

With profit, yes! That is kind of the major idea in the book about Das Kapital. Abolishing profit and all the **** it causes is the whole idea of abolishing capitalism. The Russian and Chinese revolutionaries never understood that part of the book.
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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 27th April 2020, 01:56 AM   #247
dann
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It’s no different in Moscow:

Quote:
Hospitaler er på jagt efter respiratorer og andre værnemidler, men ifølge Moscow Times er det utrolig svært at få fat i dem, fordi de rige har købt dem til deres familier.
»Vi har fået en respirator, og vi forsøger at købe to mere,« siger et medlem af en milliardær-familie i Rublyovk, en forstad til Moskva.
Putin i problemer? Beskyldt for en corona-løgn (BT, April 26, 2020)
Translation:
Hospitals are on the lookout for ventilators and protective gear, but according to Moscow Times, it is incredibly difficult to get them because rich people have bought them for their families.
”We got one respirator, and we are trying to buy two more,” says a member of a billionaire family in Rublyovk, a suburb of Moscow.
Putin in trouble? Accused of corona lie
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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 27th April 2020, 06:45 AM   #248
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
To make a buck! It's business
Okay, so they'll still be motivated to stay open, won't they?

To be clear: You are aware that we're talking about what happens in a socialist system, right?


Quote:
Yes, the owner of the business is only in it for the money, so of course he'll object to any kind of lockdown, and the mayor of Ischgl might tell the health authorities the same thing: 'We can't shut down, not even in a situation like this: We'll lose money if we do!.' That is what I have been saying the whole time. They will rather risk their customers' health and lives and have them return to their countries and spread the virus after they have been infected because the ski resort was opposed to being locked down.
You seem to be back to talking about the capitalist system? My point is that while money might motivate people to stay open when they shouldn't, there are other motivations as well. It's not clear that the motivations that cause ski resorts to exist in socialist systems would be any less prone to cause them to stay open than the motivations present in capitalist systems.


Quote:
Otherwise, what would have happened if they had closed the ski resort and the virus turned out to be a non-issued would have been .... nothing. In this case, however, they knew that the virus was an issue, they were told several times, so I don't really understand why you need to make up this imaginary scenario of the virus being a non-issue.
I'm not as convinced as you that they knew of the degree of the problem back them. I closed my business in January 23rd, but I'm in China. And a lot of people I talk to online were at the time convinced that the problem was being blown out of proportion, some still are. So I think it's quite possible that they simply interpreted the problem poorly.




Quote:
Yes, I don't doubt it. What is your point?
Aren't you simply resorting to whataboutism, now?
I point out how capitalism and rich people help spread the coronavirus, and you prefer to talk about something completely different because it was bad and happened in the Soviet Union ...
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 27th April 2020, 08:49 AM   #249
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
In this pandemic, it has become very obvious that some government are more concerned about business than about people's lives.
Business affects people's lives. Shuttting down a lot of business affects a lot of people's lives, and no just the capitalists.

Too, even non-capitalist economies need goods and services. Even non-capitalist economies need people getting together to produce and consume goods and services. Even non-capitalist economies can cause a lot of damage to a lot of people's lives by shutting down their means of production to enforce a quarantine.
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Old 27th April 2020, 08:51 AM   #250
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Theprestige's presumptions about how "workers in a socialist state would be motivated to keep factories and farms running even if it mean they might get sick" sound an awful lot like the way workers in capitalist countries all over the world are toiling in spite of the risk of infection, because maintaining a functioning economy for the present and future businesses is more important than the health and well-being of the working classes.

Is that just a coincidence? No, I don't think so. Theprestige is just very good at neglecting the atrocious conditions that workers in capitalism are exposed to. Instead of noticing the conditions that workers in his own capitalist county are working under this very moment, he prefers to imagine that socialism would be just as brutal.
Not neglecting. Actually the opposite. It's just that non-capitalist systems are even worse.
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Old 27th April 2020, 08:55 AM   #251
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
You seem to be back to talking about the capitalist system? My point is that while money might motivate people to stay open when they shouldn't, there are other motivations as well. It's not clear that the motivations that cause ski resorts to exist in socialist systems would be any less prone to cause them to stay open than the motivations present in capitalist systems.
My theory is that ski resorts in a socialist system would stay open for the same reason they stay open in a capitalist system, and with the same results:

They'd stay open to cater to the system's power elite, who refuse to be inconvenienced by a pandemic.

And they'd have the same result: the system's power elite spreading the contagion through their privileges of luxury travel and social contact.

The only real difference is that in a capitalist system, the "power elite" extends to pretty much the entire middle class. In a socialist system, it would mostly be confined to the party leadership and their corrupt apparatchiks.
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Old 27th April 2020, 10:19 AM   #252
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Yes, I've noticed. I have also noticed that it doesn't seem to worry Apple stockholders much.
True, but neither does it bother the Chinese government.

Which is the point I’m trying to make. Does the government of China, unburdened by the needs of Capitalism, make its decisions based only on the wellbeing of its citizens? Apparently not.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
Are you also for improving the lives of Apple workers in China? Or are you only all for improving the lives of frontline workers being exploited by American companies in the USA, not the ones that American companies exploit in other countries?
This seems like you’re trying to change the topic. I’d like to see the working conditions of all peoples who are exploited, especially those who work in appalling situations overseas. Now are you done trying to smear me personally and able to get back on topic?
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Old 27th April 2020, 10:54 AM   #253
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
You appear to be the bushbeater around here. Your country was unprepared because nobody was interested in following the advice of experts who pointed out that the country was in dire need of pandemic preparation, which would have cost money. I mean, who wants to be prepared for pandemics when you can have tax cuts for billionaires instead? Billionaires sure as hell don't need pandemic response, secure as they are on their private islands in the Caribbean or the Pacific.
(And you also elected an idiot. You actually elected several, which has become obvious when you watch the pandemic response in many of the United States.)
I agree Trump is an idiot, but Obama wasn’t. Obama’s handling of the H1N1 pandemic was great, such that we hardly remember it. His response to Ebola was great too. Trump was the one who, thinking he has a mandate to undo everything Obama did, slashed the CDC budget and dismantled US government’s ability to respond to pandemics.

You seem to be claiming that the US government in inherently terrible about responding to pandemics because of capitalism. I say you lack any evidence to support that.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
I assume that the local health authority would confer with administrators and explain to them why it wouldn't be safe to have the resorts stay open. In the actual case in Ischgl, I don't think that the health authorities contacted individual owners or administrators of ski resorts. I think they probably talked with their Austrian colleagues in charge of the area, which would be the obvious thing to do, in my opinion.
So…the exact same thing as it happened in Capitalistic nations, right? Only without capitalism they would be magically empowered to only make the right decisions?

Originally Posted by dann View Post
No, I guess you don't. I mean, that is why you invent a whole scenario of a non-capitalist government that makes capitalist cost-benefit calculations, isn't it?!
Are you claiming that China doesn’t make cost-benefit calculations? How about the former Soviet Union?

It seems to me that every government does.

Also, it seems to me that you believe that cost/benefit analysis will always rule to let people die.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
Yes, they have. But they weren't in charge of ski resorts in Ischgl, were they? So I don't really see what they have to do with what happened there.
You’re claiming it’s the type of government that matters and are using ski resorts in Ischgl as an example. How would a different type of government acted differently and why?

Originally Posted by dann View Post
With profit, yes! That is kind of the major idea in the book about Das Kapital. Abolishing profit and all the **** it causes is the whole idea of abolishing capitalism. The Russian and Chinese revolutionaries never understood that part of the book.
This is really what makes Marxism more religious than reality. Your type of fantasy utopia can’t be achieved, and you dismiss the horrors that happened when it was attempted as it’s acolytes misunderstanding their gospels.

If only you could be the High Priest and have total authority to implement the scriptures the way you understand them, the utopia could be realized, right?

The basic claims of Marxists are always the same. Whatever faults you can identify in society are blamed on Capitalism regardless that the same faults also appear in non-capitalist nations. And somehow, through magical thinking, Marxism is the obvious cure despite its inability to cure those faults wherever it’s practiced.
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Old 27th April 2020, 11:06 AM   #254
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Does Communism actually abolish profit, though?

My understanding is that it's more about who's allowed to control the capital and enjoy the profits.

The profit never actually gets removed from the system. That would be unworkable, actually. The whole point of using the means of production is to produce more value for people - to profit.

The Soviet Union collapsed not because they abolished profit, but because they couldn't figure out how to operate the means of production in a profitable way, without leveraging the capitalist profit motive that comes with the ownership of private property.
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Old 27th April 2020, 05:37 PM   #255
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
My theory is that ski resorts in a socialist system would stay open for the same reason they stay open in a capitalist system, and with the same results:

They'd stay open to cater to the system's power elite, who refuse to be inconvenienced by a pandemic.

And they'd have the same result: the system's power elite spreading the contagion through their privileges of luxury travel and social contact.

The only real difference is that in a capitalist system, the "power elite" extends to pretty much the entire middle class. In a socialist system, it would mostly be confined to the party leadership and their corrupt apparatchiks.
Yeah, I think you're right.
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Old 28th April 2020, 10:32 AM   #256
dann
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What exactly makes you think that theprestige is right? Out of thin air, he fabricates a tale about an imaginary "ski resort in a socialist system" being exposed to an imaginary pandemic. And all because he doesn't want to discuss what actually happened in actual Ischgl, Austria, in February and March of 2020.

And the most ridiculous part of his fairytale is that even in his grotesque imaginary "socialist system", the virus would have been so damn easy to get under control since the imaginary people exposed to his imaginary disease "would mostly be confined (!) to the party leadership and their corrupt apparatchiks." It sounds like a group that would be pretty easy to trace, test and isolate - unlike his just as imaginary "capitalist system", where "the "power elite" extends to pretty much the entire middle class."

I am sure that the actual 'pretty much entire middle class' are enjoying the corona holidays on their yachts in the Caribbean ...
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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 28th April 2020, 10:49 AM   #257
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
It’s no different in Moscow:

Translation:
Hospitals are on the lookout for ventilators and protective gear, but according to Moscow Times, it is incredibly difficult to get them because rich people have bought them for their families.
”We got one respirator, and we are trying to buy two more,” says a member of a billionaire family in Rublyovk, a suburb of Moscow.
Putin in trouble? Accused of corona lie

Exclusive: Rich Russians Are Hoarding Ventilators to Protect Themselves Against the Coronavirus - Meanwhile, doctors worry that Russia’s regions don’t have enough. (Moscow Times, March 21, 2020)
Could coronavirus topple Vladimir Putin? As oligarchs buy up ventilators for their dachas, businesses go bust and badly-paid doctors quit in droves, the oil price collapse has left Russia's coffers running dry (Daily Mail, April 26, 2020)

Quote:
It should be noted that in 1991 when communism collapsed in Russia, the country had a decent health system. After the outbreak hit Russia, it had more ventilators per capita than the UK but most of them are old and many of them are in Moscow and St Petersburg.
Kremlin used emergency funds to help affected regions in the country, but hospitals seeking ventilators understood that they were being grabbed by Russia's rich families planning to self-isolate in splendour. One supplier told Moscow Times, "We've sold everything in our warehouse," while another supplier said that she had such a long waiting list for the £20,000 devices that "we've had to stop taking orders." A member of a billionaire family with a mansion in Rublyovka admitted that they have got one ventilator and were planning to buy two more.

Like the way US President Donald Trump stated on several occasions that everything is under control, Putin also did the same and later he turned up at a Moscow hospital in a yellow hazmat suit where he met with the chief doctor who tested positive for the virus a few days later since the meeting.
Coronavirus: Putin 'doesn't care' about loss of life, says former world chess champion Garry Kasparov (International Business Times, April 27, 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 28th April 2020, 10:58 AM   #258
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
True, but neither does it bother the Chinese government.

Which is the point I’m trying to make. Does the government of China, unburdened by the needs of Capitalism, make its decisions based only on the wellbeing of its citizens? Apparently not.

This seems like you’re trying to change the topic. I’d like to see the working conditions of all peoples who are exploited, especially those who work in appalling situations overseas. Now are you done trying to smear me personally and able to get back on topic?

How on Earth can the government of China be unburdened by the needs of capitalism?
No, I'm not trying to change the topic like the rest of you. I've stuck to the point from the OP that Capitalism and Its Beneficiaries, Rich People, Are the Spreaders of Coronavirus. My example in the OP was from Northern Europe, and later examples of the same phenomenon from other parts of the world turned up.
I know very little about the spread of the virus in countries like China or South Korea. But I get the impression that they didn't let business concerns get in the way of their attempts to get the virus under control - like in the USA and (most of) Europe.
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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 28th April 2020, 12:02 PM   #259
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
What exactly makes you think that theprestige is right? Out of thin air, he fabricates a tale about an imaginary "ski resort in a socialist system" being exposed to an imaginary pandemic. And all because he doesn't want to discuss what actually happened in actual Ischgl, Austria, in February and March of 2020.

It's possible that dann claims that capitalism and its beneficiaries, rich people, are the spreaders of coronavirus. We might well ask if this is actually the case. Does dann claim capitalism and its beneficiaries, rich people, are the spreaders of coronavirus?

I've reviewed the entire thread carefully, and my opinion is that dann does indeed claim that capitalism and its beneficiaries, rich people, are the spreaders of coronavirus. Anyone arguing that dann does not claim that capitalism and its beneficiaries, rich people, are the spreaders of coronavirus are failing to understand the point of thread. Those bringing up objections to the claim that capitalism and its beneficiaries, rich people, are the spreaders of coronavirus, are disregarding the topic of the thread, which is that dann claims capitalism and its beneficiaries, rich people, are the spreaders of coronavirus.

The only conclusion I can reach is that dann claims that capitalism and its beneficiaries, rich people, are the spreaders of coronavirus.

(And that, friends, is how you stay on topic in this thread! Live and learn.)
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Old 28th April 2020, 01:30 PM   #260
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Capitalism and its beneficiaries, rich people, are the spreaders of Grey Poupon.
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Old 28th April 2020, 02:21 PM   #261
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
How on Earth can the government of China be unburdened by the needs of capitalism?
No, I'm not trying to change the topic like the rest of you. I've stuck to the point from the OP that Capitalism and Its Beneficiaries, Rich People, Are the Spreaders of Coronavirus. My example in the OP was from Northern Europe, and later examples of the same phenomenon from other parts of the world turned up.
I know very little about the spread of the virus in countries like China or South Korea. But I get the impression that they didn't let business concerns get in the way of their attempts to get the virus under control - like in the USA and (most of) Europe.
I get the impression that their attempts to get the virus under control are purely business decisions.
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Old 29th April 2020, 06:20 AM   #262
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I get the impression that their attempts to get the virus under control are purely business decisions.

I won't rule out that possibility. It could be that that the Chinese and South Korean rulers are just better at making long-term business decisions than the rulers of the USA and Western Europe.
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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 30th April 2020, 02:03 AM   #263
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
I won't rule out that possibility. It could be that that the Chinese and South Korean rulers are just better at making long-term business decisions than the rulers of the USA and Western Europe.
Long term plans are easier to carry out when you don't have to think about re-election and when the next fella in won't cancel your project out of spite. Ask Nasa, they'll tell you all about it.
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Old 30th April 2020, 03:29 AM   #264
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No doubt, but I'm not sure what you are accusing South Korea of:

Quote:
Although South Korea experienced a series of military dictatorships from the 1960s until the 1980s, it has since developed into a successful liberal democracy. Today, the CIA World Factbook describes South Korea's democracy as a "fully functioning modern democracy".
South Korea: Government (Wikipedia)
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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 30th April 2020, 04:13 AM   #265
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
No doubt, but I'm not sure what you are accusing South Korea of:

Ah, the CIA, that bastion of truth and accountability...


Sorry, I just think there's something deliciously ludicrous about the CIA assessing democracy. While I realise that the dodginess of the CIA doesn't invalidate their data, I looked here, , which notes it as a flawed democracy.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democr...y_country_2019


I would note also that a quick google tells me:

In 2016, the country spent 5.4% of its GDP on all levels of education – roughly 0.4 percentage points above the OECD average.


Perhaps they just have a higher class of politician? Or a polulation that has a better understanding of how government actually works? Or, perhaps they haven't been manipulated by a dodgy press corps into a gross distrust of the very apparatus that prevents them from being peons?

Short answer, I don't know.
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Old 30th April 2020, 04:21 AM   #266
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Well, at least in this situation, it appears to be working:
S Korea reports no new domestic coronavirus cases: Live updates - Local infections in South Korea fall to zero for first time since its coronavirus outbreak worsened in February (Al Jazeera, 38 min. ago)
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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 1st May 2020, 05:39 AM   #267
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OK, guys, you heard it here first - in the OP, which I wrote a little more than a month ago:

Quote:
COVID-19. Nordsjællandske skiturister bragte virussen hertil. Nu hænger Vestegnens lavtlønnede på den. Sygdomsepidemiernes sociale slagside er fraværende i både forskningen og danske myndigheders beredskabsplaner.
Fattigmandssygen (Weekendavisen, May 1, 2020)
My translation:
Ski tourists from North Zealand brought the virus here. Now low-paid workers in the western suburbs are stuck with it. The social inequality of pandemics is absent from both research and the contingency plans of the Danish authorities.
The Poor People's Disease

North Zealand is Copenhagen and in particular the area north of Copenhagen mainly populated by rich people. As I wrote in the OP, the three areas that were affected the most at the beginning of the outbreak in Denmark were Gentofte, Rudersdal and Frederiksberg, in that order. But in the meantime, they have slipped down the list to #11: Frederiksberg, #16: Gentofte, and #20: Rudersdal.
The five hardest-hit areas are now the relatively poor suburbs west and south of Copenhagen: Glostrup, Vallensbæk, Hvidovre, Ishøj, Albertslund. For the first few weeks, Ishøj, a municipality with many poor immigrants, was one of the least affected areas of the Copenhagen region.
Nyeste corona-tal fra Danmark og verden (TV2, May 1, 2020)

By the way, Weekendavisen is a conservative, anti-socialist newspaper.
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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 1st May 2020, 09:49 AM   #268
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Does Communism actually abolish profit, though?

My understanding is that it's more about who's allowed to control the capital and enjoy the profits.

The profit never actually gets removed from the system. That would be unworkable, actually. The whole point of using the means of production is to produce more value for people - to profit.

The Soviet Union collapsed not because they abolished profit, but because they couldn't figure out how to operate the means of production in a profitable way, without leveraging the capitalist profit motive that comes with the ownership of private property.
The specific economic system probably isn't the main reason that the USSR collapsed. All the reasons are connected to some degree, but in the end it all comes down to a government that thinks facts and truth are things to be manipulated. Nothing works when this happens so it eventually collapses.

Stalin was where this started to get really bad there...

I mean, put the USSR in a world that from 1917 on respected it's right to exist and treated it like any other country and it probably does somewhat fine. It would be more apt to swiftly abandon some of the more unworkable aspects (like they abandoned their attempt to end money when it became obvious it was just stupid) because not having the world actually out to get you makes you less prone towards autocracy and autocracy ends up being about it's own power and that is when that unsustainable denial of reality sets in.

Or not. Who knows. I'm just not buying the idea that communism or socialism in general isn't workable because the USSR sphere became a mess. Too many other things at play.


Plus, the Russians managed to take Monarchy, Communism, and Democracy and turn them all into corrupt bureaucratic nightmares that sucked other states into its pit within about a century give or take. ]So not the go-to culture for testing out these things...
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Old 1st May 2020, 09:37 PM   #269
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Capitalism and Its Beneficiaries, Rich People, Are the Spreaders of Coronavirus

Originally Posted by dann View Post
OK, guys, you heard it here first - in the OP, which I wrote a little more than a month ago:


My translation:
Ski tourists from North Zealand brought the virus here. Now low-paid workers in the western suburbs are stuck with it. The social inequality of pandemics is absent from both research and the contingency plans of the Danish authorities.
The Poor People's Disease

North Zealand is Copenhagen and in particular the area north of Copenhagen mainly populated by rich people. As I wrote in the OP, the three areas that were affected the most at the beginning of the outbreak in Denmark were Gentofte, Rudersdal and Frederiksberg, in that order. But in the meantime, they have slipped down the list to #11: Frederiksberg, #16: Gentofte, and #20: Rudersdal.
The five hardest-hit areas are now the relatively poor suburbs west and south of Copenhagen: Glostrup, Vallensbæk, Hvidovre, Ishøj, Albertslund. For the first few weeks, Ishøj, a municipality with many poor immigrants, was one of the least affected areas of the Copenhagen region.
Nyeste corona-tal fra Danmark og verden (TV2, May 1, 2020)

By the way, Weekendavisen is a conservative, anti-socialist newspaper.

There’s been a lot of beating around the bush in this thread, dann. You keep making an argument, but I still don’t understand what the upshot of it is. You post editorials in newspapers, like this one, as if they are gospel. We get it: dann doesn’t like capitalism.

Now get to the berries on the bush: what is the alternative?
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Old 2nd May 2020, 01:20 AM   #270
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We get it! xjx388 loves capitalism, so he doesn't want to read about the way it kills people.
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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 2nd May 2020, 05:11 AM   #271
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How Are Rich People Getting Richer During the Coronavirus Pandemic? (GQ, April 28, 2020)
The xjx388 version:
How are (some) humans (a very limited number, actually) getting richer during the coronavirus pandemic? (while others are losing everything)
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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 2nd May 2020, 08:32 AM   #272
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
We get it! xjx388 loves capitalism, so he doesn't want to read about the way it kills people.

Is there a system of economics that doesn’t end up killing people? If there is, I’d love to hear about it. If not, then it seems “killing people” is an unavoidable consequence of any system and I’m not sure why you are hating on capitalism so much.
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Old 2nd May 2020, 09:14 AM   #273
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One of the many things I love about capitalism is that everybody is so willing to discuss everything that is wrong with it. Hardly anybody is in denial about it at all, not even business owners, which is why any new report about its shortcomings is met with openness and immediately considered and acknowledged.
For instance, nobody would ever think of dismissing criticism of capitalism with the argument: Nah, nothing could possibly be wrong with capitalism. The problem is humans!
In the old Soviet Union, everybody would be in denial about the failures of the system, but in capitalism it's difficult to find anybody who is.

This is why I have loved the discussion in this thread:

Is it true that rich ski tourists could travel without any restrictions to infected regions to indulge in the kind of entertainment that is offered on the slopes of the Alps (or in Colorado) as well as at the after-ski bars?
Did the local businessmen as well as health authorities actually refuse to acknowledge that there was a health problem that needed to be addressed immediately?
Can it really be true that billionaires are hiding from the virus on yachts in the Caribbean while people are dying in the inner-city slums and in nursing homes?
Does the president actually stoop to accusing hospital workers of stealing medical masks and ventilators and selling them on the black market?
Are low-wage workers much more likely to lose their jobs because of the virus? And are those who keep their low-wage jobs much more exposed to the virus than people who can work online from home? Is the percentage of poor Afro-Americans and Latinos dying from Covid-19 significantly higher than that of wealthy WASPs?

Your willingness to discuss questions like these and to do something about these problems has been overwhelming. I am so grateful for that.
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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 2nd May 2020, 03:55 PM   #274
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One of the things I love about capitalism is that with all it’s acknowledged flaws, no one-even its most vocal critics- can posit a different system that works better.
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Old 3rd May 2020, 10:54 AM   #275
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How exceptionally well capitalism works - when spreading the virus

I particularly like the first article for showing one of the ways that the virus is transferred from the upper classes to the working classes when it is imported into a new country.

In Brazil:
Quote:
The first Covid-19 death in the state of Rio de Janeiro was 63-year-old Cleonice Goncalves, a maid who worked for a wealthy family in the upmarket Rio neighbourhood of Leblon. State officials say Ms. Goncalves contracted the virus from her employer, who had been holidaying in Italy and fell ill on return but allegedly refused to inform her housekeeper of the risk of contamination.
On Monday, March 16, Ms. Goncalves began showing Covid-19 symptoms while at work.
Brazil’s Covid-19 Socialite Superspreaders (Brazilian Report, March 31, 2020)

In the USA:
Quote:
Blaine County, where Sun Valley is located, is dealing with over 450 reported cases of the coronavirus among its 22,000 residents. The outbreak in the county, as noted by Amanda Holpuch of The Guardian, has overwhelmed the local medical system, with one local hospital partially shutting down earlier in the month as healthcare workers became infected with the virus themselves.
Inside the Idaho jet-set ski destination with one of the highest COVID-19 infection rates in the US (Business Insider, April 16, 2020)

In Wales:
Quote:
The Office for National Statistics has undertaken a major study of the number of deaths from Covid-19 and the wealth or poverty of the areas where people lived.
It shows that the rate of deaths in the most deprived areas of Wales was signficiantly higher than in wealthier parts of the nation.
Wales' most deprived communities, those that ranked in the bottom 20% of communities in the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation, have seen 44.6 deaths involving Covid-19 for every 100,000 people who live in the area. This is twice as high as in wealthier communities.
Higher coronavirus death rates in Wales' poorest communities - Twice as many people are dying in our poorest communities (Wales Online, May 1, 2020)

And the rest of the world:
Quote:
A bit of analysis said to be from an Indian physician (I cannot find the original; it may be a fabrication) that has been rocketing around lefty Twitter catalogues the sundry coronavirus privileges (hand-washing means you have running water, etc.) and concludes: “A disease spread by the rich as they flew around the globe will now kill millions of the poor.”
‘A Disease Spread by the Rich’ (National Review, April 2, 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 8th May 2020, 02:57 AM   #276
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Man, I just hate so be so damn right::

Quote:
That’s what this is all about. They just want to protect themselves, while telling you that you need to be a warrior and get back out there to get the economy going, fires be damned.
(…)
The point is, they are looking out for themselves, not you. That’s why they are testing themselves and stuffing bailout money into the pockets of big corporations and the wealthy.
(…)
But the point is not that the president shouldn’t get tested. It’s that, if he wants to force working people back into the economy prematurely in the middle of a deadly pandemic, he should make sure everyone else can get tested, too. But Trump actually doesn’t care about that.
(…)
Don’t accept the false dichotomy between staying locked down and reopening the economy. There’s a third option where we can safely reopen. It involves doing exactly what Trump and his allies are doing for themselves – widespread testing. But Trump and his allies are only interested in protecting themselves, while they use you as cannon fodder to rev up the economy. If you believe Trump or his toadies were ever really populace champions of the working class, it’s only because he tricked you.

Late Night with Seth Meyers (May 8, 2020):
Trump and His Allies Have a Plan for Protecting Themselves, Not You (14:30 min.)
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



ETA: Also desribed here:
Chris Hayes: The White House Has A Plan. It Just Doesn’t Involve You Or Me. MSNBC

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I AGREE
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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; 8th May 2020 at 04:43 AM.
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Old 9th May 2020, 04:30 PM   #277
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Hawaii seems to be handling the COVID19 pandemic very well.

https://www.bigislandvideonews.com/2...aturday-may-9/
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Old 10th May 2020, 10:42 AM   #278
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The Hill (May 7, 2020):
Krystal Ball: Why the rich are partying while country burns (12 min.)
Krystal Ball discusses why Dow futures jumped 300 points while working people continue to go to food banks, lose jobs, and 1 in 5 children are going hungry in the U.S.

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I AGREE


The Hill (May 9, 2020):
Krystal and Saagar discuss the coronavirus class war with Johnny Burtka (10:30 min.)
Executive Director of The American Conservative Johnny Burtka discusses how the crisis exaggerates the class divide and explains why attitudes about reopening the economy have more to do with geographic and class conflict, as opposed to party affiliation.

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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 10th May 2020, 11:00 AM   #279
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
The Hill (May 7, 2020):
Krystal Ball: Why the rich are partying while country burns (12 min.)
Krystal Ball discusses why Dow futures jumped 300 points while working people continue to go to food banks, lose jobs, and 1 in 5 children are going hungry in the U.S.
Kind of like how the rich partied in the Soviet Union while the proletariat suffered in poverty, and there wasn't even any pandemic to explain it?
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Old 10th May 2020, 11:44 AM   #280
dann
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Kind of like how the rich partied in the Soviet Union while the proletariat suffered in poverty, and there wasn't even any pandemic to explain it?

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.
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/dann
"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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