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    UK EU Referendum
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      Being American is an accident

      Where you're born is an accident. True. Not fair, but also not something that can be controlled. It is not the duty of the leaders of wealthy nations to correct global inequality. Their primary obligation should be to protect the interests of their constituents. The onus should be on other poorer nations to raise their labor standards to a higher level.

      There have been historical injustices, but this excuse cannot be used forever. The United States, Canada, Western Europe, Australia and Japan (among others) have shown the model for relative prosperity, peace and freedom. It isn't perfect, but it's the best the world has seen. The governments of third world nations need to follow this blueprint. The answer is not to import unlimited numbers of third world migrants into the the first world. Those countries must be improved from within, and then all these problems would go away. In that scenario, we could have something more closely resembling mutually beneficial fair trade and a vibrant global economy.

      The question that needs to be asked is what is preventing these third world countries from joining the first world? I agree that some wealth redistribution is necessary. The crucial point is where the wealth is going. That's why labor standards need to be raised for workers in other countries. When jobs are shipped overseas, I want a good part of that money going to the foreign worker to raise their standard of living. It's absolutely appalling (albeit completely rational and predictable) for corporations to exploit cheap foreign labor. The big loser is the American (or UK) worker, the smaller winner is the foreign worker (although their working conditions will probably be deplorable), the big winner is the corporation and to a lesser extent the consumer. The only way this gap is ever going to close and this dilemma get solved is for the third world to join the 1st world. I just don't see it happening any time soon.

      In the end, this blurb is the crux of the disagreement:

      American income inequality is bad because it is regressing to the global mean. The global mean is the result of a system largely shaped by America and the actions of the American people. The correct approach, now that we're feeling the sting, is not to prevent the regression and prop up the system, it's to coordinate and fix the mean so that the regression doesn't hurt so much.

      Embedded in this paragraph is the assumption that the current 1st world nations are at fault for the state of the third world today. In other words, the United States, Europe, Canada, Japan etc. are successful because they took advantage of the third world and conversely the third world's state of relative poverty and turmoil is due to being exploited. Therefore, the first world has a moral obligation to make reparations and level the playing field.

      Certainly there is an element of truth in this evaluation, but at a certain point, the poorer nations need to be held accountable for their own self determination. They are at a historical disadvantage due to the actions of our ancestors, but those alive today are not responsible for those actions. The wealthy countries have shown the blue print. These other countries need to adopt the institutions of that we know work (democracy, free market, free speech, separation of church and state, and so on). But there seems to be so many barriers (corruption, instability, ethnic and religious conflict, extreme poverty and so on). that I'm not optimistic this will happen any time soon. Whenever the west intervenes, it rarely goes well and they tend to get criticized for meddling and imperialism. However, any calls for pull pack or withdrawal from the global scene are inevitably met with derision and accusations of "isolationism" and/or callous indifference. It's a no win situation.

      The post was edited 3 times, last by Bill ().

    • Politicians should not owe primary allegiance to their borders. No one should owe primary allegiance to their nation. Other than a vanishingly small number of people, the vast majority are the nationality they are due to factors outside of their control.

      People should have some loyalty to their country, if for no other reason than to keep the social contract functioning, but the first and foremost allegiance of people should be to...people. Why is it good, right, or just that third world countries exist? The only reason we still have them is because 1st world populations, nigh-universally, have decided that they've got what they need, and everyone who is living on the other side of an imaginary line can just fend for themselves.

      No one nation can save the world, of course, but the fact that so few are even willing to try, rather than spending time and money pulling the ladder up after themselves speaks volumes.

      The US routinely casts itself as a global saviour, and has made a huge deal about embracing globalism. Yet all it does is reap the benefits without paying its dues*. It uses globalism simply to offload costs onto countries that can't afford them and then claims that fixing the messes it has caused aren't its responsibility. But they are. Every harm that befalls a person is the responsibility of every other person to try and alleviate. Anything else is evil.


      *Some dues it pays, it's willing to risk the lives of its soldiers, and that does matter, but the people who create the policies and benefit from them are never called upon to risk anything. Soldiers see little benefit from jobs being shipped overseas, but CEOs see plenty.

      May those who accept their fate be granted happiness;

      Those who defy it, glory!
    • When you see a person drowning, assuming you know how to swim, you have a moral obligation to help that person (source: Christian Deontological ethic, Muslim Deontological ethic, Hindu Deontological ethic, Buddhist Deontoligcal ethic, Secular Ethic of Reciprocity, Secular and cultural Virtue ethics, Preference Utilitarianism, Utilitarianism of Felicity, etc.) and accordingly the west has a moral obligation to the east and south in spite of whose "fault" anything is, but I very much disagree that this is the crux of the argument.

      My thesis, as stated in the first reply I made, is that many problems cannot be solved without a coordinating effort which restricts the freedom of the coordinated parties. You seem to agree that restricting that the ability of international labor to bargain for employment in a way which harms their health and poisons their spirit is a good thing, and that we should pursue those sorts of restrictions - whcih have worked so well in the developed world - on a global scale. Perfect.

      The generalization of this idea is the EU.
      ~~~
      Although postsocratics like St. Augustine and Judith Butler explored a diverse set of ethical and metaphysical ideas, their unifying feature as a movement was a principled refusal to speculate upon which of the four elements the world was made out of.
      ~~~


      boxes is the best human and I am going to get her a kitten or 2 kittens
    • It has just occurred to me that my point had been made much more succinctly quite some time ago:


      “But you were always a good man of business, Jacob," faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself.


      "Business!' cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. "Mankind was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The deals of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”

      May those who accept their fate be granted happiness;

      Those who defy it, glory!
    • Bill wrote:

      Nutrition science is a case in point. The bio-chemistry that comes out such research is very valuable, but a lot of the mainstream nutritional advice over the years has been wrong, inconsistent, or incomplete at best. This is partially a result of the complexity of the subject but also a natural result of differing agendas.
      off-topic, but that's largely because the vast majority of mainstream nutritional advice is given not by actual scientists but by "nutritionists", a term which is not legally protected and can be claimed by any Tom, Dick, or Harry. It's not that nutrition science is bunk, it's that mainstream nutritional advice isn't based on science at all.
      PM me about the LGBTA+ discord server | #WontBeErased

      gender of the moment: | pronouns: it/its
    • John wrote:

      Politicians should not owe primary allegiance to their borders. No one should owe primary allegiance to their nation. Other than a vanishingly small number of people, the vast majority are the nationality they are due to factors outside of their control.

      People should have some loyalty to their country, if for no other reason than to keep the social contract functioning, but the first and foremost allegiance of people should be to...people. Why is it good, right, or just that third world countries exist? The only reason we still have them is because 1st world populations, nigh-universally, have decided that they've got what they need, and everyone who is living on the other side of an imaginary line can just fend for themselves.

      No one nation can save the world, of course, but the fact that so few are even willing to try, rather than spending time and money pulling the ladder up after themselves speaks volumes.

      The US routinely casts itself as a global saviour, and has made a huge deal about embracing globalism. Yet all it does is reap the benefits without paying its dues*. It uses globalism simply to offload costs onto countries that can't afford them and then claims that fixing the messes it has caused aren't its responsibility. But they are. Every harm that befalls a person is the responsibility of every other person to try and alleviate. Anything else is evil.


      *Some dues it pays, it's willing to risk the lives of its soldiers, and that does matter, but the people who create the policies and benefit from them are never called upon to risk anything. Soldiers see little benefit from jobs being shipped overseas, but CEOs see plenty.

      This type of policy would only ever work if everyone agreed to work together and try to make things better for everyone. Except as we've seen from, well, all of human history, this is a pipe dream.

      Third World governments are interested in looking out for the interests of their own people and their own pockets, so we see a race to the bottom in economic globalization to provide the cheapest production conditions so that money can be drained away from the first world.

      So the end product doesn't turn out to be Americans and Vietnamese working together in a common market with prosperity for all. The end product is massive redistribution of wealth from the American middle and lower classes, largely to the upper classes and to a lesser degree to foreigners.

      You cannot achieve global industrialization and global prosperity unless you're willing to make two concessions to the human condition:

      1) For the governments of the first world to be pragmatic enough about their idealism to select targets for trade equity and work slowly to bring those countries up to first world standards while maintaining trade and taxation structures that counter the draining of wealth to the upper classes.

      2) For the government of the first world to force third world governments to adhere to common labor standards, environmental standards, concepts of justice and rights, and so on, whether by refusing to trade outright with them or by using some other method of force to ensure compliance.

      Of course by this point, you've essentially gone White Man's Burden redux, so I'm not sure that would be a popular choice in the West.
    • Just a general note: I'm pro-Remain and so are most of the people I know. The polls on the BBC news this morning showed that the Leave campaign seems to be slightly in the lead - I think it was 49% Leave to 48% Remain - which is an interesting oddity because the majority of people I know wouldn't benefit from it.

      There are quite a few reasons for this: for instance, the Prime Minister and most of the big players in the Govt. are against Brexit, so it's unlikely that the minor changes that have been mentioned (and it's important to note that these are only mentioned, not promised or pledged) such as lower VAT will come about. And, more recently, it's been released that state pensions will drop significantly if the Leave campaign wins out; as a result I expect that the OAPs (who seem to form a large chunk of the Leave support) will rapidly change their mind at this.
    • If BRexit wins, I will seriously consider looking for a job overseas. Not going to leave immediately or anything, but I will definitely feel less welcome than before in this country and I firmly believe that the nationalists across Europe (not just UK) are going to see an increase in numbers. I'm personally not voting, I didn't come here to tell British people what to do with their country, and I believe I don't have the right to vote in the first place. I could apply for citizenship in a while and I would have no VISA issues or anything, but that's not really what I'm worried about in case of BRexit.
      "Can't post that on a Christian forum."
    • Please Understand wrote:

      If BRexit wins, I will seriously consider looking for a job overseas. Not going to leave immediately or anything, but I will definitely feel less welcome than before in this country and I firmly believe that the nationalists across Europe (not just UK) are going to see an increase in numbers. I'm personally not voting, I didn't come here to tell British people what to do with their country, and I believe I don't have the right to vote in the first place. I could apply for citizenship in a while and I would have no VISA issues or anything, but that's not really what I'm worried about in case of BRexit.

      Nationalists across Europe are going to see increases in numbers either way.

      This is inevitable, because regardless of if globalists see victories in the short term (Brexit, Austrian Presidential Election, ect), in the long run the issues that have given rise to nationalism in the first place and continue to drive support of it will still be there (migrant crisis, Eurozone insolvency, Islamic terrorism, EU going more and more 1984 in its speech and propaganda).

      The only way to apply brakes on this figurative train would be for the political elite to admit that they've made enormous mistakes in how they've handled the EU ship for the last decade or so and make serious efforts to address them. But they've mostly just doubled down on everything.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Great White North ().