Recent posts by Pleasedonot5 on Kongregate

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Topic: Serious Discussion / The Giver recently became compulsory reading for 6-7th graders in Hungary

Jhco50,

Man I wish you guys would stop trying to destroy our society with your off the wall ideas of what should be. 11 to 13 year old kids are children. They are immature in their thinking and are not ready for sex of any kind.
(…)
And the book hamuka is talking about is nothing but liberals trying to indoctrinate our children to socialism.

Are you insane? I never said anything even remotely similar to “11-13 year olds should be having sex,” but rather, that we should reinforce that what they are feeling is normal at their age. This is the greatest example of a straw man argument that I have seen in years.

Also, how does the book promote socialism? It seems to me that the character is breaking away from socialist/communist ideals in the book, by returning society to its natural state and rebelling against the government’s control.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / The Giver recently became compulsory reading for 6-7th graders in Hungary

hamuka,

This need for over-sheltering our children that you purport — why is it necessary?

My brother, when he was in 6th-7th grade, had to read The Giver, and I don’t believe he was scarred from it. I also read it, and I loved it — I didn’t find anything socially or sexually explicit that concerned me while reading it. Nowadays, when kids are playing games like Grand Theft Auto V and Call of Duty, you are concerned about children reading a book that promotes freedom of thinking and emotion — one that shows the protagonist breaking out of a dystopia so that the people can be returned their natural emotions and feelings?

Also, keep in mind that 6th and 7th graders are going to be going through what the book calls “the stirrings,” or feelings of sexual desire. To prohibit and taboo these natural feelings as shown in the book seems wrong and unnecessary. Children at that age should be reinforced that what they are going through is normal, and they should start to be exposed to some of the questions of society so that they can start to critically think for themselves: “Is what the Elders are doing right? Why or why not? What is more important — order or freedom?” and the like.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Give me your tired, your poor

Pete,

You say,

Immigrants (legal or otherwise) also return more of their money into the economy. I don’t know how significant this factors in economist’s analysis.

but from your source,

“In 2010, the average unlawful immigrant household received around $24,721 in government benefits and services while paying some $10,334 in taxes. This generated an average annual fiscal deficit (benefits received minus taxes paid) of around $14,387 per household.”

which directly states that illegal immigration on average is detrimental to the U.S. fiscally (I know we are not talking strictly illegal immigrants here, but bear with me). Further, the source states that the tendency is that immigrants have less than a high school education. This is interesting seeing that the average U.S. household with less than a high school education generates an even larger fiscal deficit upwards of $35,000 annually (source). This means that if illegal immigrants became legal, we would roughly see a $20,000 increase in tax burden per naturalized uneducated family per year, until they become educated (this may take years or decades). Still, this tax increase on the country would be manageable, but there are the other factors that I mentioned as well, such as health detriment and job saturation which I discuss below.

What if we deported every illegal immigrant? Would that boost employment and increase QOL for citizens? That’s the premise, right?
What if we took it further and deported all non-naturalized citizens from the last 10 years or so? Would that further boost employment and QOL?

I see what you are saying, and it is important to note unemployment is just one figure of many in determining the quality of life of a country’s citizens. Those that are without jobs usually have less money to pay for necessities, and hence, this is why unemployment as a measure for QOL has come up. It would not be advisable for a country to accept a hundred million immigrants while they, hungrily, hold on for dear life as they cannot make money without employment.

And remember, I am for happy mediums. :)

The premise holds true up until a certain point where removing recently immigrated workers would be a detriment to society (i.e. less ability to get a job, or several jobs, done). In economics, there are a lot of bell-curves: the maximum benefit to society is going to be somewhere between 1 and all of the workers. Consider the following example.

There is an outdoor cleaning company X which employs skilled and unskilled workers in its labor market. The job entails mowing the lawn of a house with a provided lawn-mower and the general cleaning of the outside of a given house. How many workers should company X hire to ensure that the company can get to each one of their 2 clients in a 3-hour period? Hypothetically speaking:

If X employs 0 workers, no work is done.
If X employs 1 worker, some work is done
If X employs 2 workers, more work is done; the workers can split up or tackle both houses together.
If X employs 10 workers, the most work is done per hour.
If X employs 38 workers, the workers begin to bump into each other, have to make several car trips to get each worker to the locations; this scenario is less productive.

This demonstrates the economic concept of diminishing marginal productivity: a fancy phrase that means that eventually, after a certain point, adding more workers to a task will make it less productive and henceforth less beneficial to the firm and society — it is important to take into account during benefit-cost analysis. So no, I do not propose going from, figuratively speaking, the healthy level of ten immigrant workers per firm to zero; that would be inefficient. But, I am also not a proponent of moving from the healthy ten per firm to 38, because that would be almost equally as inefficient. Of course, society is not just one firm, but I am sure that you understand what I am getting at.

When we keep going on about not having the resources, I think we should be looking at our neighbor’s Jet Ski and four-car garage. Maybe THAT’S why we turn away refuge children.

A very astute point; we need to take our overwhelming wealth as a society into account when denying those that are suffering out there without even the most basic necessities. We should give up a swimming pool as a community to save thousands of lives. I’m definitely with you there.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Give me your tired, your poor

Pete,

Thank you for the clarification in your last post! It previously seemed that you were in support of the aforementioned “wide-open door policy,” and that is what I was arguing against on both economic and humanitarian grounds.

I am totally with you on accepting more immigrants — that is, loosening the requirements of immigration and naturalization. Currently, the law in the U.S. is that of what, 14 years of living here before becoming a citizen, with numerous education tests, written only in English? That’s ridiculous, and so we are in agreement on that. Though, we probably would disagree on how large of a number of immigrants that the U.S. (or any country, really) should permit to bring in each year.

As for points 1, 2, and 3, of which you seem to be fairly skeptical:

1) Can I see a source on this? Not that I do not trust you — the internet is always correct — but this would do wonders for helping us to hold even more common ground.

2) With the U.S.’s current third party payer system, (although slightly helped with the ACA) this is a real issue. When our society finally catches up with the rest of the developed world and adopts universal healthcare, then it becomes only a taxation problem for the most part. Still, it is a detriment and a risk for more people to catch a sickness; even if the doctors can cure it, there are those patients that slip through the cracks before they realize what is going on (usually youth and the elderly).

3) I understand that the increased tax revenue that the increased legal immigrant population would bring in would seemingly cover their expenses, but this is not including the fact that there are only a finite number of employment opportunities in a given country. So, what happens if the immigrants cannot find work? Notice that this is much more likely with a high minimum wage — assuming firms are going to hire the amount of workers that will ensure them the highest profit, adding more workers to a firm will increasingly lower profit. This is because each additional worker’s wages are considered an additional cost to the firm, and so with a higher minimum wage, the firms are going to hire less workers. Currently, not everyone is employed (even though we are in a period of economic expansion), because, like I said, there is a scarcity of employment opportunities in our country. This would be a problem because the unemployed receive unemployment benefits and tax credits — they pay, depending on their situation, less than they receive (this is not to say I am against unemployment benefits or tax credits). Accordingly, accepting a huge influx of immigrants ourselves may be bad for the economy, depending on the magnitude of the influx.

The above are not to say that I disagree with you on principle — I believe we are in agreement there — I am just pointing out that there is a happy medium and that it may be a policy that accepts less immigrants per year than you would perhaps be satisfied with; it is essential to understand the drawbacks of excessive immigration.

Let me propose an alternate solution to the problem while I am on about the U.N. In the case of a genocide or otherwise horrible war that creates refugees, an international regulating body could allocate refugees according to participating countries. So, the refugees may not get their “first choice” country, but they would end up in a physically safer environment. This would cause considerably less stress on individual countries.
__________________________________________

beauval,

So we appear to be in agreement that an international governing body, given the proper tools, power, and credibility, could solve a lot of problems, including the world-wide immigration problem. How, then, should this movement gain political support without decades of slow and questionable cultural change, and how do we convince the other governments to assist us in this endeavor? That is the real question, and I am curious as to how you and others believe that this goal could be attained.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Give me your tired, your poor

Karma,

I will humbly state that I do not have all of the solutions, but I do believe I have the right general mindset. I know what it will take to resolve the immigration problem, but I do not necessarily know how we are going to get the rest of the world to contribute more than they are already giving. Here is a rough outline of the legislation I would like to see passed:

1. U.N. to send peacekeepers to war zones to uphold the peace and to use lethal measures if necessary instead of sitting idle and watching people die (as happened in the Rwandan genocide due to an ill-defined mandate).
2. U.N. political and economic pressure (i.e. sanctions on warring country from all members as long as the war persists, punishments to those who trade with the aggressor warring country).

The most difficult part is making the U.N. government one of its own — instead of advancing the political desires of the biggest members (like in a game of Civilization 4), it should seek to enhance the quality of life for all humankind. The first step is to have nations giving a damn and contributing. How we have them contribute may have to come culturally, which would take hundreds of years, probably, or through a little economic and political persuasion. I am being purposely vague because I have no idea as to what the specifics would be — I am no foreign policy expert yet.
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Pete,

It’s okay for members to dispute how important the humanitarian as opposed to the economics side of things is in this debate, but it is also essential to acknowledge that the two are incontestably linked, as long as we are not talking about economics solely in terms of monetary gain.

Additionally, it is important to note that there are a lot of drawbacks to a large influx of immigrants into a society. Consider the following which are risks we take when accepting new immigrants.

  1. Public goods, such as national defense, social security, welfare, free education, availability of medicine and etc. will apply to them. (This can of course be paid by taxes, but if the people coming in are poor, they will pay less of the share than they are taking)
  2. The more crowded a city, state, or nation becomes, the more prone to the spread of disease it is (humanitarian stance: we don’t want people getting more sick more often; economic side: workers are less productive, and there is a greater health care bill that will come out of the taxpayers’ dollars)
  3. Immigrants tend to be willing to work at a lower wage than citizens that have been here for several generations. (This means that families, especially middle class and impoverished families, less likely to be educated and skilled workers, are less likely to obtain a job — or if the minimum wage drops from societal pressures, they will take a huge blow.)

These are just a couple I could think of off of the top of my head — I am sure there are plenty more out there that we have to take into consideration; we should agree that there really is a happy medium that we need to search for in this debate.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Give me your tired, your poor

Pete,

After perusing a lot of this thread, you seem to have the right moral mindset… why do we get to sit around our diamond-studded swimming pools when there are people without homes? Surely we could give up some our our diamonds to shelter those who need it. I agree with you there completely; a loss to the rich in that sense is not as significant as the gain to the poor, which in this scenario is the domestic citizens vs. the foreign immigrants. If we can provide them with a nonviolent home at a low cost to us, then there is no reason we should not help them. Further, in a humanitarian sense, as long as the benefit of humankind is greater by our open immigration policy, then we should accept the immigrants, unless there is an even better method for solving the problem. On these, both equally important economic and humanitarian grounds, should we decide which is the best policy. This is most likely something we can all agree upon.

I start to worry about the accepting of the entire hypothetical influx of immigrants where, as Kasic pointed out, there is a lack of concern for the carrying capacity of our society. Yes, it is our responsibility as citizens of the world to help out our fellow humans, but it is not our responsibility to cause immense suffering on ourselves to help the less-advantaged a little. The amount we lose in giving up a diamond stud in one of our swimming pools is incomparable to sacrificing our health, welfare, and economic well-being to assist the genuinely disadvantaged: my family should not become impoverished or sickly to meet the needs of the disadvantaged. What this means is that benefits and costs to both parties should be taken into account, instead of just one party. For example, consider the following utility scale (1-10):

(1) 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 (10) = 11 utils

If this is the quality of life scale that we use (1-10, with 1 being the worst and ten being the best), certain foreign immigrants occupy 1 on the scale while we occupy 10, it may be advisable to see a small shift on our end to see a greater shift on their end:

1 2 (3) 4 5 6 7 8 (9) 10, for example, giving a total benefit of 12 utils: a better policy for society.

The danger I see in your posts is that I feel that you are willing to help immigrants — out of the kindness of your heart, sure — at any cost to our society, such as that illustrated below:

1 2 3 ((4)) 5 6 7 8 9 10, which brings us to 8 utils: a policy that is worse for society, although we do see a sharp increase in the quality of life from the immigrant end. Accepting this policy, we would have sacrificed so many of our resources to help the disadvantaged and caused society as a whole to have a lower average quality of life… This is not a policy that I would willingly accept.

Instead of sharing our scarce resources in the finite land of the U.S. with all of the immigrants in the world, why don’t we strengthen the U.N. to push for policies that improve the quality of life in the countries from where everybody is emigrating? If many other countries significantly contribute to the U.N., then there would be less of a sacrifice on the nations that would accept the influx of immigrants.
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Karma,

“Consider this parable about “no-kill” policies: You’re walking next to a river and you see a kitten floating past. You jump in and save the kitten. Then another one floats by, so you save that one, too. Then another and another and another float by, and you soon realize that you can’t save them all. So you run upstream to see who’s throwing kittens into the water—and you stop that person.”

An even better analogy.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Give me your tired, your poor

I hear your concern, but it is essential to acknowledge that the U.N. has great potential in solving the worldwide warring, and therefore, immigration problems, given the proper checks-and-balances and mindsets of the participating countries, wouldn’t you agree?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Give me your tired, your poor

Let me present you all with a pertinent scenario. Suppose we are all both firefighters and neighbors to a burning building, responding to a wave of destructive fire that is spreading to our homes and loved ones. Do we spend our precious and scarce resource, water, continuously and separately on the flames approaching our respective homes? Or, do we focus our efforts on actually solving the problem, the burning building, through sharing our resources?

Clearly, the scenario is rhetorical and the latter is the more practical means of solving the problem for everyone. The metaphor teaches us that, unless we focus our efforts on the source of a propagating problem, the problem will continue. Accordingly, we should prioritize the causes of the unmanageable influxes of immigration, instead of simply responding to the immigration policies of our own countries. This means prioritizing the end of the wars causing the massive immigration influxes by any moral means necessary. The problem, if we all accept this ideology, is exactly how to do it.

Well, ideally, we would have a world organization of countries that has the power to pass world-wide legislation and place peacekeeping forces in the midst of troublesome countries. Ideally, we would call this organization the United Nations, and they would have international regulating power.

Okay, so clearly we have such an organization, but the problem remains. This, I would argue, is largely due to countries’ lack of participation in resolving global conflicts. Although there are U.N. and other peacekeeping forces (such as NATO), these are headed by the United States which contributes way more money than any other U.N. country to the peacekeeping forces, and a vast super-majority of troops to NATO peacekeeping forces, which hints at the rest of the world’s lack of willingness to contribute.

The lack of faith in the U.N.‘s peacekeeping potential is also present in the lack of troops provided by the key U.N. members. This lack of faith is dangerous, and a main reason why the first international political regulating organization, the League of Nations, failed to work together to prevent WWII. Ideally, the world would invest more in U.N.’s peacekeeping potential and, together, would physically prevent the wars from continuing; an organization has more political power if it is supported by all nations of the world rather than just three or four. As a developed world, it is essential for us to come to the realization that war is regressive, morally wrong, and only justified in self-defense (if everyone operated on this principle, there would be no war; there would be no aggressor) and to work together as a globalized society to stopping war and genocide anywhere it appears on the globe. This would prevent the influxes of refugees, keep unemployment steady in immigrant-accepting countries, and would increase the quality of life for everyone on the globe.

Fire extinguished.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Torture, Its Legality and its effectiveness,

I thoroughly perused the contents of this thread, and I saw that some, particularly karma, seemingly equated war to torture and, more importantly, torture to self-defense. I would like to make it clear that although it is appropriate, legally, given the context to sometimes use self-defense, it is not as legally appropriate to torture someone. The Supreme Court has been setting a legal precedent for the use of self-defense since the Runyan v. State case in 1877 (“When a person, being without fault, is in a place where he has a right to be, is violently assaulted, he may, without retreating, repel by force, and if, in the reasonable exercise of his right of self defense, his assailant is killed, he is justifiable.”), and whereas the Supreme Court has not set a permanent legal precedent for government-endorsed torture facilities to my knowledge, such as that at Guantanamo Bay, I will show how we can call torture in a previous scenario unethical on legal grounds.

If we use the following definitions for torture and self-defense,

torture (n.)
1. the act of inflicting excruciating pain, as punishment or revenge, as a means of getting a confession or information, or for sheer cruelty [we could even omit “excruciating” if we so desire]

self-defense (n.)
1. the act of defending one’s person when physically attacked, as by countering blows or overcoming an assailant

(http://dictionary.reference.com/)

then there is clear distinction between the two. Self-defense is allowed, but not all types of violence are by U.S. law. In the scenario presented months ago by karma (I will call it Scenario 1 for simplicity, since there have been many discussed), in which I know that a child or loved-one is being detained until death, I have complete access to the perpetrator and torture tools, and there are no negative legal or societal consequences to any actions I take, if I did decide to torture the individual, it would not be self-defense. Consider the following scenario:

A has committed an action against C which affects B. B can now decide to torture A or abstain; the first action has already been completed. Any subsequent violence is then post-facto. That is to say, if A punches B, and then clearly abstains, and then B punches A in retaliation, it is just that: retaliation after the fact, not self-defense. Further, if X shoots at Y with intent to kill, and, after the fight is clearly over Y shoots at X with intent to kill, then there are two legal and criminal infractions, all other variables controlled. If a wife slaps a husband, and then post-facto he slaps her back, there are two wrongs, legally — not just one. The same would be true of the hypothetical torture in Scenario 1.

A commits action of violence/kidnapping against C which affects B; A is detained and is currently doing no harm; B tortures (committing violence in retaliation of) A.

Regardless of intent, the violent action is post-facto and therefore illegal by the aforementioned logic/legal standard. The proper (and, as I have seen from my perusing of the thread, most effective) method would be a citizen’s arrest (which would already be happening) and notifying the relevant authorities as soon as possible. However, this is different from a scenario where the perpetrator is currently torturing the loved-one, and torturing back is the only way to stop it according to our knowledge which is third party self-defense and allowed per the law.

Additionally, war is a forest wherein torture hides among the individual trees. That is to say, war is not torture, but torture often happens in war. All can agree, though, that war is definitely torturous for all parties involved.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Mandatory Automobile Insurance (and more!)

Cromagin2,

The millennials that you seem to have had to deal with in your experience sound like just a load of joy to work with, haha.

Protip: students are SUPPOSED to be poor and indebted. They are students. They have not proven their worth to society yet.

I strongly disagree with this argument. When teaching someone to swim, we do what? We give them PFDs and educate them so that they can learn the proper form. Sure, we have not proven ourselves to society yet, but that does not mean that society should chain an anchor to our ankles to see if we can swim; they should provide us with PFDs, or at least leave us be. In all seriousness, it would be best if the costs of education and other student-related costs are kept low, so that we can establish a foothold on our careers, on our investments, and on our credit. This is better than the current system of ensuring our students are made to be in excessive amounts of debt, paid off over the next 20 years of their lives… reluctant to start a family, purchase a house, and move on with their lives.

I suggest you focus on the studies. It sounds to me you can’t handle the course load and working at the same time. Ask for a low interest loan from family members and sign a legal contract. They will still profit, but you will not get raked over the coals from a traditional loan.

I can handle the work load just fine with discipline and with late nights.

I am maintaining a high GPA (3.83), but my work environment is one which I do not fit into. My student supervisor is out to get me, and vicious rumors have been started about me slandering the position (which I would never do non-anonymously, or with potential recruits), which has reached my employer who now views me as a problem employee, and hence the bad reference.

but you do have some of the aspects of them that greatly annoy myself.

I apologize for the arrogant-sounding comments about myself, as they were not intended for bragging purposes. I merely aimed at showing that I am an above-average student, yet still struggling, which would imply that my peers may be struggling even worse financially.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is Gay Marriage OK from a Biblical Perspective?

Ah, I misinterpreted the tone of your post. Interesting. I am glad that you do not find delight at the aforementioned thought of me burning forever, haha. We can agree, therefore, that the Bible is not the utmost authority on the rights of the LGBTIQA community, and if it actually is divinely inspired, that it is still wrong from our perspective?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is Gay Marriage OK from a Biblical Perspective?

Cromagin2,

Yes, I would be annihilated instead, according to the Bible. Am I interpreting delight from your post in that you believe I am going to burn in Hell? Is that something from which a Christian should receive delight, or a sense of superiority? While we are on the subject, is (divine) torture ever justified?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Mandatory Automobile Insurance (and more!)

Beauval,

Young drivers are statistically far more likely to have an accident, so they pay a lot higher premiums. Simples.

Right, which makes sense, however independent students are statistically among the most poor, most indebted demographics in the United States (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_in_the_United_States#Poverty_and_age (we see a declining trend in poverty levels as age increases)) . Capitalism and Darwinism alike say “who cares,” but I am saying that this not only has drastic effects on individual lives, but also hampers consumption, happiness, and education levels, hindering the economy and society. Everyone does better when everyone does better, ya know?

Having said that, the premiums you quote do seem to be extremely high compared to what you would pay over here

Right? It is pretty dang high over here, especially for my peers and me. This may be an individual or extreme case, living in the suburbs/at a university outside of an automobile-based city that is not doing well, so there’s that.


VikaTae,

I can afford a car, but among other expenses, not the car insurance, which is keeping me from browsing other off-campus alternatives to employment (hence this thread post). But, I’m sure that it is not your point, as you are probably including car insurance in with the total automobile cost.

Fortunately, I am not handicapped in that manner and you are right, I could run, walk, or purchase a bicycle to ride to work, among carpooling opportunities once I meet the other employees there. However, with the academic schedule that I am imposed with as well as having employment that has been causing me significant psychological turmoil, it has been difficult to find time during the week to browse options farther away, especially considering that I may have to walk/run there in the future, if I obtain said hypothetical miles-away job. I suppose I will just have to keep my fingers crossed and survive until the end of the semester, when then I can start working towards a decent job farther away.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Mandatory Automobile Insurance (and more!)

Cromagin,

Yes, and thank you for the link. I perused it and found some very helpful information that I did not disagree with. Regarding your questions, I am merely suggesting situations that perhaps would work better. I am not pinpointing my beliefs on anything in particular, but simply offering alternatives and seeing what you all think for my learning purposes.

If I may offer a bit of advice to you: millennials, in my personal experience (they are my peers) are less likely to listen to you if you hold a superior, hateful attitude towards millennials. This is not me, fortunately, as I came here to learn from others as I have in the past, but may hold better for you in the future. The attitude that you are showing me (by placing me stereotypically in with my peers in most or all aspects), has been shown throughout history by racist and sexist institutions, among others. Please be careful in assuming that all of us more or less are the same. Everyone of every group brings something different to the table.

VikaTae,

Thank you for your post. That makes a lot more sense and seems more friendly to citizens of the country/state that mandates car insurance, though it targets those with less driving experience, even those with no at-fault accidents in their driving careers (more often than not university students). I am curious as to how you would believe we should solve this cost-allocation problem… if at all.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Mandatory Automobile Insurance (and more!)

If I am an arrogant person, would that change the validity of any of my points?

Besides the personal attacks, which are not appreciated, you have some valid points.

I am highlighting my personal achievements in order to show that I am above average in skill-set and qualifications, and describe how I am still struggling financially. Whether or not I am trusted in my post is irrelevant. Assuming that I am telling an accurate description of my personal achievements and my financial situation, my argument still holds weight. I ask you to think of those students who are not above average, and if I am above average and struggling financially, to think of how much worse it must be for my fellow peers. This is not an arrogant intention: I wish to better help the population I am a part of by raising awareness of the issue, and also to learn more myself in case this ever comes up in real-world discussion. Debating like this helps to highlight the outstanding arguments of both sides, and through this, we learn.

You are the perfect example of the damage the “Everyone wins” parenting style of the 90’s has caused in society

My parents never rewarded me unless I received all A’s. They were not proud of me athletically until they realized I was qualified to run in college due to my hard-work and hours of training I put in to distinguish myself from my peers. They have never spoken out about me to others unless I have deserved it with my achievements. Frankly, if you trust me, then I would say my parents’ style was to bring out the best in me, and quite frankly was the opposite. “Participation medals” piss me off, so we are actually in agreement here. Hard work earns achievements, but surely you acknowledge those who work hard and are still thrown under the bus, no? To not acknowledge that some are un- or underemployed with a large skill set, that some are extremely disadvantaged and in debt despite their work-ethic is ignorant of the real world.

Sure, “no one cares,” but they should.

“Without mandatory insurance, the victims of automobile accidents would be very unlikely to see much compensation from the individuals at fault”

Alright, now I am seeing an argument which is not also a personal attack. I like it. :)

This is a very valid point: without mandatory car insurance, individuals who cannot pay the high cost of the victim’s claim are not required to pay. However, this could be resolved from a system of universal healthcare coverage, no? In which the health and repair costs are covered by the government, which are covered through an annual tax at a flat rate on the citizens (instead of targeting certain poorer demographics). Surely there are other viable systems… sure, no one likes to pay taxes (even my peers and I are not looking forward to it), but taxes cover large state and national projects such as infrastructure construction and repair, and are obviously provided by the government. Of course, you may complain that to shift everything to taxes is burdening citizens who are not worrying about the situation, such as older adults. How many older adults, however, do not have children or grandchildren, nieces or nephews, for whom they wish all the best in their lives. If it does not affect you, it surely affects your family in one way or another. That, and countries with some provided welfare services like healthcare and education rank among the happiest in the world.

http://www.nyhealthinsurer.com/2013/blog/the-worlds-happiest-countries-and-their-health-care-systems/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denmark#Education

So maybe the mandatory car insurance is not the issue. Maybe it is public education costs… if it were provided, independent students would not be as worried about automobile insurance costs, because they would not be freaking out about $80,000 for a bachelor’s degree, which is practically required these days to obtain a viable career outlook in a job.
_______________________

Something additional to think about: if you are not in a car crash, you do not have to pay for repair damages. If you are in one, you can pay out of pocket, or purchase another vehicle at perhaps a lower cost than it would take to repair your vehicle. The part where insurance would come in would be to pay for the other person’s vehicle if you are at fault, but I am arguing for perhaps another system that is provided by the government, payed for by a flat tax on citizens instead of having private insurance companies that target a specific demographic of those struggling financially. Either that, or reducing other costs of those people struggling financially (like health care or insurance costs) to better allow such a demographic to pay for this mandatory car insurance.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is Gay Marriage OK from a Biblical Perspective?

From a Biblical perspective it is morally incorrect. If the Bible is the truth on moral law, though, then I am proud to be in (divinely determined) immoral support of the LGBTIQA community and their rights.

I reject the Bible’s twisted morality and substitute my own.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Mandatory Automobile Insurance (and more!)

Hello all,

I would like to briefly introduce a topic with some preliminary information, as well as describe my personal financial situation within my state (to best represent the financial situation of my fellow peers), and then see what you all think.

I live in Michigan, U.S.A., where it is mandatory that one, upon purchase of an automobile, new or used, also purchases car insurance to be paid monthly.

My information on insurance is taken from: http://www.carinsurance.com/state/Michigan-car-insurance.aspx:

These costs range, according to the site, from $3,601 to $6,841 paid annually, with Detroit, Michigan (about 45 minutes from where I live) having the most expensive car insurance rates in terms of large cities. ($300.08-$570.08 monthly)

As a moderate-liberal, I can see the benefit of services provided like health insurance; in fact I am a huge proponent of universal health care coverage, funded through annual taxes of the citizens — I support a high minimum standard of living for all U.S. citizens. However, as a student currently attending a public university, although I have a full tuition scholarship based on academic merit, the costs of college living if one is independent is already extremely high. The tuition and housing costs of my university together amount to $21,000 for the fall and winter semesters. Now, I did not have to pay for any of it last year, due to working for the university’s housing department, and having a merit-based full-tuition scholarship, as aforementioned. However, the working conditions of my staff were sharply declining my mental health (to a point where I was not enjoying my life, afflicted with anxiety, and seeking psychological counseling), and I made the decision that I would not like to continue working under that staff for the upcoming semester. I applied for an RA position under a different staff and set of supervisors, which was going very well as I am over-qualified for the position, until I was dropped cold, presumably due to a bad reference by my serial bully of a boss. I was also turned down by some other departments due to them filling up spots with student-employees, I admit, that are more qualified than I am for the job. I am now going to be unemployed for the upcoming fall semester, as the university, which for my first year was treating me like a superstar (featured in a nationally broadcasted commercial, hired for three reputable positions), is now leaving me in the dark (hired for no positions, not being “re-hired”).

This leaves me searching for an off-campus job, which is impossible where I live without an automobile in my possession. Now, with my current earned life-savings, I could perhaps afford one of those used automobiles that are put up for sale in a residential drive-way, however, I cannot afford the monthly costs of car insurance without taking out student loans (that have a higher factor of insurance rates than most types of loans due to the higher risk of loaning out money to students in America, which would leave me insurmountably in debt for half of my life), lowering my overall consumption later in life.

I understand, that, car insurance covers medical costs, repair costs and worker compensation for work missed for those in untimely automobile accidents (cited below in quotations):

“Michigan car insurance requirements
Michigan state law requires the following minimum car insurance coverage:
Minimum bodily injury liability $20,000/$40,000
Minimum property damage liability $10,000
Personal injury protection Medical and work loss
Property protection insurance $1,000,000”

However, to what extent are we going to force our citizens to purchase car insurance, on top of having to pay for health insurance, ridiculously high costs of education, and etc? Mandatory car insurance for me, assuming I am someone who is over-qualified for student-leadership positions, called “(my university)-famous,” and with a full tuition scholarship for 8 semesters is a huge burden.

From this point on, assuming I have little-no support from my parents, I am going to have to pay $10,000/2-3 more years for living costs ($25,000), book costs ($500/semester), health insurance under the ACA ($120/month), cell phone plan ($100/month), and_ if I buy a car to obtain an off-campus job to help pay for these costs, a used car (say, $3,000 used, with $300 minimum per month car insurance, although it is usually higher for my demographic, hilariously)._

If I obtain a student-loan to help me with these costs, in good credit standing, there is a 4.66% interest rate on those loans which is growing rapidly (3.86% last year). From https://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/interest-rates.

And please do not get me started on law school after obtaining my bachelor’s degree.

Now, as a disclaimer, I may receive some financial assistance from my family in terms of the costs of living. However, think of other students in this terrible financial situation. Most, speaking from personal experience, do not have the qualifications, experience from reputable on-campus jobs, or skill-set that I bring to the table, and most do not have a full-academic scholarship. Most are not university/state-famous (take famous with a grain of salt, I’m on tv in a 30-second commercial). Some do not have any financial assistance from their families due to poverty or family-related issues. And we are going to force them to pay car insurance (at a higher rate, remember, due to more accidents from the millennial demographic) on top of the other costs, preventing them from obtaining off-campus employment?

What are your opinions on this issue? Do you believe automobile insurance costs should be mandatory? Healthcare? Education… for (y)our citizens? What effect does car insurance have on the economy, along with healthcare and education costs? What effect would this have on the economy and welfare of (y)our citizens if some of these costs were reduced or not forced?

I will be pleased to see what you all think regarding these issues.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Sleep apnea

@cromagin2:

You seem to take it as an offense that they are obese, when no offence was intended.
If it’s not obesity, perhaps the family has a genetic flaw?
I simply went by what you said here, the tone was of disappointment of their increased lbs:

I am not offended at all, actually! No worries :)

It is most likely a genetic flaw, but thankfully I am told that I do not exhibit any of the symptoms!

 
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Topic: Off-topic / You walk over to investigate a pile of logs...

…only to discover that it isn’t logs at all, it’s a black and bluish dress that could be mistaken for white and gold, if someone has poor enough eyesight. I decide to post the picture on the internet, effectively trolling the masses and laughing hysterically as I frolic back into my castle, monocle in hand.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Sleep apnea

@cromagin2:

Sounds like many family members are obese or quickly heading towards obesity.

Don’t think so. :) If you saw my family, you would think we are a bunch of twigs, save for my dad who is a little bulky. I am a distance runner, and my brother is a tri-sport athlete, skinnier than myself. Obesity does contribute to — but is not necessary for — obstructive sleep apnea, and there are other kinds of sleep apnea as previously mentioned by other users before me that have little to nothing to do with obesity.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Sleep apnea

My father has sleep apnea, and he is not overweight, but he is on the heavier side of the healthy range. However, additionally, I am suspicious that my brother has it; he is 15 weighing 120 pounds. Also, my roommate definitely has sleep apnea, which may be seasonal, if possible. The dry air of the winter here in Michigan might be a contributor to the problem — it is not his weight as he is 18 and I would say skinny, maybe 5’11" 155 lbs?

Although obstructive sleep apnea is catalyzed by obesity, there are varieties of sleep apnea that come about simply due to genetics, or possibly some other environmental factors.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Did the holocaust actually happen?

@Zaminick:

Well, you haven’t yet PROVED the holocaust happened. So theoretically I’m winning.

What criteria are necessary for valid proof, according to you?

 
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Topic: Off-topic / It's time to make OT a bigger war than it already is.

Everything is grey.

 
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Topic: Off-topic / Remember when OT was actually good?

I remember, probably farther back than you all, though. OT was the shit in ’09.

 
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Topic: Off-topic / What are bad situations in your life right now?

Unsure of where to take my career, returning home to unsatisfying home life soon. my job is overbearing and sucks; because of these things my social skills are declining; making it all the more possible that I will mess things up with my love. I really hope that doesn’t happen — this anxiety sucks.

Thanks for the venue, I needed to say something.