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Topic: Social Issues

Results in this view: Yes 47% - Convince Me 7% - No 47%
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By Ray Benter Capitalism served our nation well from the beginning up until now, but now the disparity between the extremely rich and the middle class and the poor has become a reason to question whether it will continue to serve the needs of a majority of the population. Do we want to become an oligarchy (like Russia) or a plutocracy (we might already be there - being ruled by the wealthy)? What seems certain, is that with automation and artificial intelligence, workers are being replaced at a very fast rate.
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By Mark Tracey What you blame on capitalism is actually Crony Capitalism . In a capitalist system, corperate welfare distorts the market and breeds corruption, resentment and waste. . The special deals, subsidies, tax credits, regulations and laws favoring certain companies and industries must go. For a free market to work, it must also be free from government legislators, regulators and administers from picking winners and losers and in some cases lining their own pocket. Too many lobbiests with too much money to spread around in cities, state capitals and DC.
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By Andrew Herzman We now have crony capitalism and want you want, is not sustainable nor moral.
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By Ray Benter Unregulated capitalism (free trade) is probably impossible to achieve and we might be shocked at what happened if we did achieve it. Greed, which is the basis of capitalism can become a rampant beast if no restrictions are in place. The environment is perhaps the most consequential victim and in these few decades before climate change sets in witn a vengeance, it seems unwise to deregulate environemntal controls. Free trade also mandates lower wages worldwide.
The pros and cons of free trade show that it can be beneficial, but it must be approach by looking at the long-term consequences will be. The goal for any company is to improve profits. The goal of any government is to provide the best possible protections for its people. Full trade protectionism will not do this, but neither will free trade. The best solutions tend to be a mixture of the two so that safeguards can be put into place to protect everyone.
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By Mark Tracey Greed is human nature and why capitalism works. The producers greed drives them to want to produce a product or service for profit and the greed of the consumer makes them want the best quality and price for a product they wish to purchase. The completion of of producers for customers and customers for the best product creates a self regulating situation. In order for a capitalist to gain profit, they must provide a product or service that others are interested in having. The providers of products and services each must produce a more innovative, our higher quality, or lower priced in order to compete successfully. In the process of making a product for their own profit, the purchasers of the product gain something they want or need and both parties have gained from the exchange.
In current times, when everyone has a recording device in the form of a cell phone and access to millions of people via social media, how long would it be before the producer of a faulty product or a polluter compete or even stay in business with other competitors eager to gain the market share of the miscreant capitalist? The competition for customers in the age of mass public expose creates another self regulating environment.
There is no mandate for free trade to lower wages, labor is no different then any other resource. The work goes to the highest productivity for the lowest cost. When labor moves to less developed countries it improves the the prosperity in the form of higher wages then is normally available in that place. Free trade is beneficial to both parties, protectionism only distorts the market and raises costs to the end use of the product.

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By Ray Benter So, the government should not regulate or hold corporations to standards? Their faulty products will be found out by customers and simply left on the shelf? What if that product is –– like one instance recently –– a shampoo that contains cancer-causing chemicals? Who is going to discover that and make the company change it? What if two corporations collude to fix prices?? Can they be prosecuted? It's their product and they are getting what the traffic will bear, so isn't that their right and another product will come along to beat their price? Then, what if that product is insulin which is needed daily and it takes years for another company to go through testing and come up with a similar product to compete? Seriously, you would leave it up to individuals with thier phones out taking pics of polluters to make a change without any laws to be enforced, people would just not buy from the polluter even though his product costs half as much because he uses the rivers to dispose of the toxic waste produced in making the product? You think poor folks would not buy his product at half the price at WalMart and ignore the more costly one sold at other higher priced stores?
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By Mark Tracey Corporations are still responsible to follow criminal laws. The interference I speak of is special, incentives, subsidies, laws and regulations that only apply to certain companies within an industry and give them unfair advantage in the market place, or immediate direct hazard to citizens or consumers.
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By Andrew Herzman "Greed is human nature" So? That doesn't make it right or moral.
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By Mark Tracey It may not be the way you wish it, but greed is built in to humans by evolution to provide for survival of the fittest. In capitalism, each side of the transaction acts out of desire (greed) for the best deal to their mutual benefit . Greed is a one-way street for socialists taking property from one citizen to distribute to another by the force of law and a gun, not a mutually fair or acceptable deal.
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By Ray Benter Sometimes it is in the best interest of We The People to give special treatment as a way to stimulate or sustain a business. One example is farming. Weather is non-negotiable. Farmers live or die by the weather. It would be unwise and disruptive to just leave food producers at the mercy of nature. At one time, government subsidized oil exploration because of the rise of the internal combustion engine. Yes, it can be a clumsy tool because, in this case, It is long past due to cut those subsidies and turn to energy producing ways to cut carbon emissions. These two areas demonstrate how sustaining ongoing needs for food and power and jump-starting new technology need incentives. Brainless competition will not sustain ongoing or introduce new technologies. Yes, there are certain areas where pure competition does the trick, but not in all areas.
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By Mark Tracey All businesses live and die by factors out of their control, it’s not the governments job to pick winners and losers. Food or oil will be provided regardless of the risks without the corruption in the agriculture or energy department guaranteeing the flow of funds to their cronies and at higher prices to the consumers.
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By Mark Tracey This timely article appeared after my last response to your comment and addresses some of your points.

https://fee.org/articles/the-french-government-is-deliberately-increasing-the-price-of-food/?utm_campaign=FEE%20Daily&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=69921933&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8Pi1KIrLQA9pa69cDJPwfMWrO8SxaWCT8APhcctYavygJhe-iSjZhD-7PRGNygTBE87lqAZC0tC14OZuptewVsc-NTlA&_hsmi=69921933
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By Ray Benter There are sometimes overriding needs of a society and a planet; those are needs that governments should address because they are the largest power entity.

If you do not recognize the scientific evidence of global warming, you obviously will not recognize government's role in preventing it to the degree that certain industries are given help and others are encouraged to stop. Similarly, if you do not realize how a farmer has to invest each spring in what can totally wipe him/her and millions of other farmers out in a single season, then you also will not realize how important it is to make sure the farm-to-market connection is protected. We can't live without a human-friendly planet and without food produced by a reliable workforce of farmers on a year by year basis.
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By Mark Tracey The climate has changed for millennia and will continue to do so regardless of human attempts. Warming and cooling has cycled for millions of years. Once there was a mile of ice where I sit now, there was obviously warming for centuries since then to melt it all. Even a cursory look into climate history would reveal that the earth is at the peak of one of many warming periods that started hundreds of thousands of years ago. Has human activity contributed to this cycle? Perhapes but it is the foolish self importance to believe that humans begain this cycle or have the power to end it. That is not to say that conservation of resources and finding more efferent means of powering our scocity is not a worthy goal. But few have considerd that those in power could be using this notion of human caused climate change and the calls for drastic regessive solutions which would cause severe economic hardships on all, particularly the poorest among us to solidify power and control?
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By William Dykeman science has pretty much determined this time we are doing it and doing it so fast we may very well screw the pooch
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By Ray Benter https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/
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By Ray Benter Yes, climate scientists have also documented what you say; that climate has changed over the millennia. Please take a look at NASA's web site below. It presents a chart that shows those fluctuations over the last 400,000 years from data based on the comparison of atmospheric samples contained in ice cores. NASA scientists tell us that Earth's climate has changed throughout history. Just in the last 650,000 years there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat, with the abrupt end of the last ice age about 7,000 years ago marking the beginning of the modern climate era — and of human civilization. Most of these climate changes are attributed to very small variations in Earth’s orbit that change the amount of solar energy our planet receives. The SPIKE in carbon dioxide in the air since the industril revolution indicates what you suspect, that the cause is manmade. Please don't offer weakly thought out conspiracy theories to replace real scientific evidence and decades of work by well-meaning climate experts. I assure you that science is not interested in your political theories while they try to save the only planet we have.
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By Mark Tracey We are free to discuss all ideas on this forum. The political aspect of the climate hysteria cannot be denied. As a point, why would the Paris Accord place the biggest economic and financial burdens on the US when we have made the most progress in reducing per capita emissions over the past few decades and both China and India having the worst record of per capita carbon emmisons are completely exempt? That’s not political? As far as AOCs “Green New Deal” is more of a socialist manifesto then a serious solution to carbon emissions. It will set back progress rather then advice clean fuels.
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By Mark Tracey Many of these issues are addressed in a more practical way by
Bjørn Lomborg,in this video, along with other world issues.
27 climate economists and 3 Nobel Laureates examine where a dollar can do the climate the most good: https://bit.ly/2BWSe4j
The Paris Accord: Minimal outcome, $1.2 trillion cost (https://bit.ly/2zfYweU): explained in a short video: https://bit.ly/2L43DST
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By Ray Benter Did you get a chance to look at the Nasa site with that chart showing 400,000 years of climate change? It ended up above my other message instead of below as I said in that message.

I was unable to see the site you sent. Maybe the address isn't all there??
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By Mark Tracey Yes, I did see that. There are two issues, this graph only goes back 700,000 years and secondly, there are several opinions that CO2 levels have a diminished effect on climate heating as levels rise. I would agree that lower levels would be preferable, but the side effects as of high CO2 levels substantially and positively plant growth leading to a greening effect world wide. The other positive is that humans are less in danger of deaths caus3d from warm climates then cold climates. I believe a less hysterical well thought out approach would get more favorable by-in the the current approach.
Try this link, https://youtu.be/prrbooi9PNw
This is a You Tube video of a conversation with Bjørn Lomborg on climate change as well as other pressing word issues.
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By Ray Benter Thanks for the Lomborg referral. He is animated in his arguments and presents some good directions for study. Of course, he has his critics too, so I'm not sure anything solid comes out of all of it for me. However, using cost-benefit analysis is certainly one way to look at all the various problems and he draws attention to several world problems that I had not heretofore thought of as especially important such as reducing and perhaps eliminating tuberculosis.

One critic wrote: "His [Lomborg's] purpose, beyond sowing confusion, is to justify this claim in his press release “Lomborg shows Paris commitments will reduce temperatures by just 0.05°C in 2100.” In reality, China’s commitment alone — which Lomborg explicitly ignores — reduces projected future temperatures by 0.4°C in 2100!

The experts at Climate Interactive looked at Lomborg’s new paper and concluded that his collection of assumptions “appears to have no basis in fact” and that his “optimistic” cases “are, in fact, deeply pessimistic.” John Sterman, Professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and Director of MIT’s System Dynamics Group, told Climate Progress: “Dr. Lomborg sets out to show that the INDCs are useless. To do so he grossly misrepresents the pledges. He constructs an incomplete accounting of the pledges that omits the pledges of many nations, ignores China’s pledge to cap its emissions by 2030, and assumes that the [European Union countries] abandon their commitment to emissions reductions as soon as their pledges are fulfilled.”

The experts at Climate Interactive looked at Lomborg’s new paper and concluded that his collection of assumptions “appears to have no basis in fact” and that his “optimistic” cases “are, in fact, deeply pessimistic.” John Sterman, Professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and Director of MIT’s System Dynamics Group, told Climate Progress: “Dr. Lomborg sets out to show that the INDCs are useless. To do so he grossly misrepresents the pledges. He constructs an incomplete accounting of the pledges that omits the pledges of many nations, ignores China’s pledge to cap its emissions by 2030, and assumes that the [European Union countries] abandon their commitment to emissions reductions as soon as their pledges are fulfilled.”

So, I'm not convinced by what he had to say in the vid, but I acknowledge there are still questions and we all need to keep open minds. Thanks again.