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08/14/2011

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Christopher Graves

While I agree with the tripartite breakdown of types of people in regard to their attitude toward the law and respect for the rights of others (which is the fundamental purpose of law), I see Professor Becker's analysis as missing a key component of the problem in England. What Professor Becker misses is the importance of fraternity and the lack thereof in the riots in England as well as the riots several years ago in France. A lot of these people in England who are rioting are not English descent. Not everyone in the world is suited to living in a modern European social/economic/legal/political system. There might be a religious component to some people's difficulty in participating as equals in a modern economy and political system. Those who cannot adapt to the dominant way of life in First World nations are much more likely to feel alienated, frustrated, & resentful. These attitudes open people to rioting when they feel that they can get away with it.

There are benefits to rioting that especially appeal to the two groupings of folks delineated by Professor Becker who are not as respectful of others. As sociologist Edward Banfield observed in an essay, "Rioting for Fun and Profit," regardless of the underlying reasons that set the stage for riots, once the riot begins, people are tempted to join in because rioting can be exciting as riots present opportunities to pick up expensive goods at no cost with little chance of detection and apprehension. So, it is important for Western nations to control immigration. They must also allow people to protect their own property as the government finds ways to identify & punish those who choose to violate others' rights.

Discount Herve Leger

Perhaps because they pay into it. I would imagine that those of us who are required by law to pay into Medicare or Social Security despite having a preference for providing for their own retirement would not take kindly to in addition get nothing in return.

Jim

Another example of the road to hell being paved with good intentions. In the 60's we did away with the mental health system, ubanized and depersonalized our society and undemined the idea of restraint and personal responsibility. What a surprise that we now have anarchy in the streets!!!

damer

I with you completely agree, since riots are the result of social behavior and the ease of communicating over the Internet will surely lead in the future to greater group protests.

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Jim Neal

@Christopher Graves. "Not everyone in the world is suited to living...", "....a lot of these people living in England...are not of English descent" and "it is important for Western nations to control immigration:.

Neo-fascist bollocks.

Christopher Graves

Ad homimem, Jim. Do you have an argument?

Jim

Christopher,

Ad hominem? I am quite sure that you mean anecdotal. An argument? Well, yes. Let's start with the de facto argument that Reagan decided to defund residential and inpatient mental institutions because the psychiatric and lefties convinced him that those institutions were cruel and inhuman and that the folks therein could be treated with drugs in community mental health centers. Well, those centers were never developed and funded, the drugs were less effective than thought and the patients did not take them anyway. Psychotherapy became expensive and unpopular and there you have it. Add the liberation of the sixties, the disintegration of community and the family, political correctness, fear of discipline and the de facto argument is made. Urbanization and the fragmentation that goes with it is difficult to disput.

You might also want to read the piece in the website below. If the numbers are anywhere near correct there could be as many as twelve million sociopaths in the United Sataes, unrecognized and susceptible to causing chaos. When people with the tendency get the idea that anarchy is OK and are encouraged by what they see and hear, Katie bar the door.

http://www.sott.net/articles/show/204905-Ponerology-101-The-Psychopath-s-Mask-of-Sanity

Jack

Slightly off topic: But mebbe not; when a lower paid individual pulls up to fill his tank so he can commute from the "lower priced homes out there" areas to has fairly crappy job with long stagnant wages at twice the cost as in recent memory and perhaps 4 hours of take home pay ---- MIGHT there be an urge to lash out and break something? with the urge being amplified by a bunch of chattering twits ignoring the plight of those who've been so impacted by the WS thieves and others?

"The CBO has calculated much of its projections using a 2.9% GDP growth rate between 2012 and 2021. That may be just a tad optimistic. Over the last ten years, GDP has increased about an average of 1.7% per year."

Well stated and perhaps likely. And????? We KNOW that our per capita productivity HAS been increasing at about 2%. And that our population is increasing at about 2%. Sooooooo, we KNOW in advance that yet more WILL be joining those many of the long term unemployed, while many of them have gone beyond the 99 week extensions more than justified by the miserable job market.

So WHAT do you do about knowing you'll have even higher numbers of desperate folks, some newly on the unemployment rolls, others having exhausted there 99 weeks, while those flooding out of HS and college next year and the year after have few prospects and are yet to be eligible for unemployment?

Yet......... for all the caterwauling about being "broke" "bankrupt" and "uncompetitive" GDP is plugging along at about the rate it has been doing, with AVERAGE per capita productivity gaining each year. Where'd all the benefits of that "rising tide" disappear?

The 2nd graph down depicts it well:

http://lanekenworthy.net/2008/...

Well......... we know, but None Dare Call it All for the Rich, mostly to those of the top 5%, even more to the top 1% and even more to the top .1% Those of the top 20% have made some gains, while those of median incomes and below have been stagnant or even had declining purchasing power.

NOT good it seems in an economy 75% dependent on consumer spending. As all economists learn those of upper incomes have higher propensities to save and lower incomes have far higher propensities to spend.......... as all who've spent time living hand to mouth well know.

So what does that set of facts point to? Obviously that the long delayed (fantasy) of "trickle down" must at least "trickle" if not gush like a frozen waterfall in the Alaskan spring.

"Class warfare" I can hear being howled. A bit late, I'd retort; as the graph clearly shows the war began 30 years ago and has been won hands down by the smaller and smaller fractions of America's workforce.

Another peek?
http://lanekenworthy.net/2008/...

And..... a bit of old science fiction that like lot's of science fiction is no longer fiction:

Most of us must have read one story or another of robotics providing all of our consumer goods while we had lots of leisure time to enjoy the arts, pursue education or just enjoy being with our families and friends.

Are we approaching something of that time? With but 80% of our workforce truly engaged there are no shortages and the major flaw in virtually every business plan is "over capacity" and "lack of demand" for their products. Suppose that something close to this is the "new normal?"

We KNOW for example that the days of 2.5 million new housing starts will never be seen again. The current rate is under 400,000 and the sustainable rate (assuming an increasing population can afford to buy) is 700,000 that covers population increase and teardowns. A huge sector when you multiply a "missing" 2 million starts by a median price of $225,000 plus the related "new home" biz. Several million once employed in housing will never ply their crafts again in that sector.

Problem is idealistic Sci-Fi scenario assumed the hopes of JFK's "rising tide that lifted ALL of the boats". Indeed! had we maintained the same (GINI) wage disparity ratios of the 70's the very rich would be somewhat less rich while most hovering around median income level would have $10,000 more per household with which to "Go shopping".

Indeed...... to go shopping and perhaps help keep a college kid in school a bit longer, or to supplement the meager SS of an elder family member, or just to have something left after paying soaring H/C premiums and oil price gouging.

Now truthfully, from and econ standpoint, partisan hrsht aside, WHAT is slashing the federal budget going to do in any reasonable time horizon to deal with what we KNOW is taking place? Lower a near zero interest rate? While 30-40 million of a 150 million workforce remain idled? or "patching it together" with a part time min wage job and food stamps?

So........... we're sitting here in about 1937 with a no growth, HIGH unemployment mess, and along comes the clouds of WWII. We found means of not only paying for it but mobilizing millions of troops our of just 120 million population. In five years the depression was ended, we were swamped in debt and embarked upon the greatest 30 year economic boom the world has ever seen.

Let's skip the war...... but we can't have 40 million desperadoes out there unemployed with kids living in poverty. The choice then is that of curling up and slashing hither and yon to no avail or embarking on projects that will benefit us all in the next decade after this mess is over.

Those are clearly tackling the, at least, two trillion of delayed road and bridge, and weary public buildings maintenance.

It's a miracle that the nearly nationwide heatwave has only experienced a few, and localized grid failures as it's being tested by every A/C in the region running full tilt most of the day. It should not only be upgraded so we can ship wind, solar or other energy long distances but "hardened" that it not be as vulnerable to purposeful nuclear magnetic explosions that would take it down in its current state.

Curiously and coincidentally the ongoing trade deficit is just about the same amount as we are paying to import costly oil. We use twice the energy per GDP dollar generated as does the EU, so we're twice as vulnerable to energy prices be they manipulated by our "own?" WS thieves or by OPEC. Today's "Apollo" program should be that of conserving what we now waste, adopting viable alternatives and spurring one of our main mfg sectors to replace the gas hogging fleet we build while being lulled to sleep by $18 oil.

In short there is much to do. Some of it will result in more short term debt..... but the slash and throw folks onto the unemployment/welfare,food stamp/subsidized housing lines will bring us debt as well. The difference? Proud American's going to work on the solutions rather than living in poverty and grumbling outside the unemployment office or "free" H/C clinic. Courage? or Cowardice?

Jack

Jim -- Good stuff! And while not Reagan's fault the seeds of today's MESS were sown in that era as corpies turned to computers and later, pagers and then cellphones to run their companies "lean and mean".

Yep! Rational moves, consistent with capitalist principles and living up to their obligations to reward their stockholders (and even moreso! themselves) but zipnada for those displaced. Not even a tattered and torn WWII surplus parachute.

NEH

Jim, Interesting analysis of the collapse of the Mental Health Care System in America. Well... at least we didn't handle it like the Third Reich did. Leastways, they didn't have them wandering the streets like we do now. Now translate that over to our current Health Care Crisis as some in Congress and the Public would like to do. I predict that the outcome will be similiar, if not the same.

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since riots are the result of social behavior and the ease of communicating over the Internet will surely lead in the future to greater group protests.

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Christopher Graves

Jim, thanks for your reply. I am just now replying since I was out of town until late last night. Yes, I meant and still mean ad hominem attack in your post directed toward me dated August 18 at 8:24 a.m. What you presented in that post was a type of Genetic Fallacy where you (wrongly) identified the source of the argument and then dismissed it without offering reasons. The "fascist" reference struck me when I responded and still strikes me as abusive.

On the substance, a conservative argument for racial/ethnic/linguistic/cultural diversity over the world and even within regions of a nation is very different from a fascist view that de-values social evolution that fosters such niche specializations and attachments to a particular place and people. Taking notice of people feeling alienated due to being disconnected from their natural and social environment does not denigrate the person as you seemed to suggest in the post that I found objectionable. In fact, my goal is to recognize and protect the individual within a natural social context that I see the many on the left and the authoritarian right completely miss.

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The idea that anybody has some sort of obligation to answer every comment strikes me as absurd as claiming that blogs should be disregarded because they have no editors or

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