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What the f*** is wrong with society? where did it go wrong and how do we fix it?

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Capitalism is a good system when it works for everyone. At the moment it is only working for the already wealthy, who are getting richer and richer, while making it harder for others to have a fair crack of the whip. 

Take housing for example. If my generation put in the hours, saved hard and were sensible it was reasonably easy to get on the housing ladder. It is practically impossible for the current generation. It does not matter if they put in a 60 hour week and live like a monk they still struggle to save even for a deposit.

The easily fooled will just blame it on immigration or some such cop out, but it is far more complex a problem and needs sorting before we have a really serious problem.

Land reform, rent reform, building reform are areas that need property looking at. Unfortunately the already wealthy are in control of this so getting the greedy few to change their mindset will be a very hard task. 

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11 hours ago, Rock The Boat said:

The target of your ire is misplaced. The real, deep problem in society is that people do not behave morally.

Capitalism has brought you a thousand, million benefits. You are going to live longer, healthier with more freedom, choice and enjoyment than at any other time in the past. A lot of that is due to capitalism and more precisely due to those who implemented  capitalism in an ethical and moral way. But we don't need to overstress the benefits of capitalism when we would be much better using our time to consider the importance of morality.

The guy sitting next to you on the bus listening to music without headphones isn't doing so because the fact that he lives in a capitalist society, it's because he is acting irresponsibly. He is a man-child who has yet to grow up and behave like an adult in an adult environment.In other words he is lacking a moral framework.

I think you are mistaken if you believe that the pursuit of wealth has been elevated above all else. Consider who you admire the most in the world. I doubt you will answer someone like Mark Zukerberg, and Kim Kardashian will be way off your radar, I suspect. And even if you were to admire a very wealthy person such as Bill Gates, his charitable work probably has a lot to do with it.

This holds true for left-wing figures, too. I don't think many people revere someone like Nelson Mandela for his socialist economic policies. He is remembered for his courage and bravery during imprisonment and for ending apartheid in a peaceful manner. In other words we elevate those who behave morally, especially when under duress.

Capitalism hasn't made people more selfish, and the core point from Solzhenityn's Gulag Archipelago is that Marxism doesn't make people more corrupt. The point is that we all as individuals make individual choices, and we can be either moral or immoral and that choice is up to us.

And because it is true, it is totally ridiculous to throw out generalisms such as the person taking home £15 million a year is somehow a bad guy. Because you make no distinction about how he made £15 million (perhaps he employs a thousand people?), or how he spends £15 million (perhaps he makes large donations to charity?). So instead of being overly stretched by a large amount of money, isn't it more important, from the chav on the bus to the rich guy in his Bentley, to consider that they (and by extension, we) are behaving in a moral manner?

I should stress I'm not saying capitalism is bad- however I do believe the current form of capitalism isn't working. 

I don't disagree with your point about morality but I believe the system we have an how society has developed has encouraged that. The pure, unfettered free market capitalism prides the individual above all else and plays a part in the 'I'm alright Jack' mentality so many people have.

I think you've also misread my point about people earning millions. I don't have an issue with people making money, I do have an issue when that person tries to minimise their tax payments. 

 

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7 hours ago, king canary said:

I should stress I'm not saying capitalism is bad- however I do believe the current form of capitalism isn't working. 

I don't disagree with your point about morality but I believe the system we have an how society has developed has encouraged that. The pure, unfettered free market capitalism prides the individual above all else and plays a part in the 'I'm alright Jack' mentality so many people have.

I think you've also misread my point about people earning millions. I don't have an issue with people making money, I do have an issue when that person tries to minimise their tax payments. 

 

You quite rightly identify the 'I'm alright Jack' attitude as a root cause of some of the problems in society, of course along with other root causes. But that exists everywhere, regardless of the system. It might even be correct that the capitalist system encourages that particular attitude more than other systems. I don't know if it's true but even if we accept it, the answer is to deal with the attitude and not restrict the capitalist system. If I had a workmate who had an 'I'm alright Jack' attitude, I'd want to know what I could do to change the attitude rather than change the workplace to accommodate the attitude.

On this issue of minimising tax payments, you must hate me then, because I minimise my tax payments by paying a big chunk of my salary into my pension pot which has the effect of reducing my tax bill. I don't really think you have an issue with people avoiding tax - you should celebrate it! - but of course, it is immoral to evade paying taxes, and once again the issue really comes back to morality once again, and the choice we have to do the right thing.

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10 hours ago, Herman said:

Capitalism is a good system when it works for everyone. At the moment it is only working for the already wealthy, who are getting richer and richer, while making it harder for others to have a fair crack of the whip. 

Take housing for example. If my generation put in the hours, saved hard and were sensible it was reasonably easy to get on the housing ladder. It is practically impossible for the current generation. It does not matter if they put in a 60 hour week and live like a monk they still struggle to save even for a deposit.

The easily fooled will just blame it on immigration or some such cop out, but it is far more complex a problem and needs sorting before we have a really serious problem.

Land reform, rent reform, building reform are areas that need property looking at. Unfortunately the already wealthy are in control of this so getting the greedy few to change their mindset will be a very hard task. 

I'm interested to now who you think are the greedy people in the housing market and what they are doing?

I don't think you mean the people who are in the market for a home? Incidently, Herman, our generation paid about the same as the current generation does during the lifetime of the mortgage. What has changed is that we had relatively lower entry costs as the deposit was more affordable but our interest rates were much higher than what a mortgagee pays today, so our higher costs were spread out over a longer time period. Today, someone who is lucky enough to have a deposit it is a better position that we were because of the lower interest rates. But like I said, over the length of a mortgage the costs are not that much different than we paid relative to income. So why did deposits become so much more expensive? That is mainly due to rise in house prices - and that partly is a result of not enough housing stock to meet demand but even more as a result of low interest rates due to QE and the encouragement of debt.

It could be easily fixed and the market returned to how it was for our generation, by measures such as raising interest rates and restricting who is allowed to issue home loans,  allow building on Green Belt, for example. But it's not done because of the negative effects on the rest of the economy and for environmental concerns. 

But yeah, tell me about the greedy few.

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Posted (edited)

Ben Habib?! There's one name for you to investigate. 

Land bankers as well. 

Leasehold speculators. 

Edited by Herman

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3 hours ago, Herman said:

Ben Habib?! There's one name for you to investigate. 

Land bankers as well. 

Leasehold speculators. 

Buy to let landlords, second home owners...

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16 hours ago, Rock The Boat said:

You quite rightly identify the 'I'm alright Jack' attitude as a root cause of some of the problems in society, of course along with other root causes. But that exists everywhere, regardless of the system. It might even be correct that the capitalist system encourages that particular attitude more than other systems. I don't know if it's true but even if we accept it, the answer is to deal with the attitude and not restrict the capitalist system. If I had a workmate who had an 'I'm alright Jack' attitude, I'd want to know what I could do to change the attitude rather than change the workplace to accommodate the attitude.

Again, I'm not against 'the captialist system' but I am against completely deregulated, free market capitalism. When profit becomes the aim above all else then inevitably the human element suffers. Just look at private healthcare in the states for instance- people going bankrupt because they get cancer. No humane society should want this yet it happens because insurance companies are businesses whose main duty is to making profit and appeasing shareholders. Similarly check out the working conditions at an Amazon fulfillment plant. Amazon could easily afford to pay and treat their workers much better but the bottom line is all important.

16 hours ago, Rock The Boat said:

On this issue of minimising tax payments, you must hate me then, because I minimise my tax payments by paying a big chunk of my salary into my pension pot which has the effect of reducing my tax bill. I don't really think you have an issue with people avoiding tax - you should celebrate it! - but of course, it is immoral to evade paying taxes, and once again the issue really comes back to morality once again, and the choice we have to do the right thing.

I don't hate you- I don't agree with your choice but there you go. You do lose me when you say it should be celebrated though.

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On 15/05/2019 at 17:08, Rock The Boat said:

You quite rightly identify the 'I'm alright Jack' attitude as a root cause of some of the problems in society, of course along with other root causes. But that exists everywhere, regardless of the system. It might even be correct that the capitalist system encourages that particular attitude more than other systems. I don't know if it's true but even if we accept it, the answer is to deal with the attitude and not restrict the capitalist system. If I had a workmate who had an 'I'm alright Jack' attitude, I'd want to know what I could do to change the attitude rather than change the workplace to accommodate the attitude.

On this issue of minimising tax payments, you must hate me then, because I minimise my tax payments by paying a big chunk of my salary into my pension pot which has the effect of reducing my tax bill. I don't really think you have an issue with people avoiding tax - you should celebrate it! - but of course, it is immoral to evade paying taxes, and once again the issue really comes back to morality once again, and the choice we have to do the right thing.

 

9 hours ago, king canary said:

Again, I'm not against 'the captialist system' but I am against completely deregulated, free market capitalism. When profit becomes the aim above all else then inevitably the human element suffers. Just look at private healthcare in the states for instance- people going bankrupt because they get cancer. No humane society should want this yet it happens because insurance companies are businesses whose main duty is to making profit and appeasing shareholders. Similarly check out the working conditions at an Amazon fulfillment plant. Amazon could easily afford to pay and treat their workers much better but the bottom line is all important.

I don't hate you- I don't agree with your choice but there you go. You do lose me when you say it should be celebrated though.

Again, I'm not against 'the captialist system' but I am against completely deregulated, free market capitalism

Me, too. Though I see regulation as mainly for creating a level playing field and intervening to prevent harm to people, the environment and such like.

Health care is a very good example. Almost all new medical drugs are produced by companies operating in a competitive market, and while a lot of research is done through government funded grants, it is countries with flourishing market economies who are able to raise the necessary funds through taxation who are able to fund the research. How many ground-breaking medical advances can you name that have occurred in pre-capitalist Russia or China, for example? 

The work at amazon won't be for everyone. It involves a lot of walking and movement. If you're overweight or unfit then it's probably not a job for you. But that's hardly Amazon's fault. And they pay the market rate. If they didn't then you wouldn't work for them. Yet at Christmas Amazon took on 15,000 seasonal workers in the UK, and were able to offer full-time employment to 2,300 of them the following January. And after two years permanent employment those same people would be eligible for Amazon stock options. So that's a whole bunch of people who got jobs who didn't have a job previously and have been literally rescued from the dole by one of the most successful examples of the free market economy in action. And that's why the bottom line is so important. It is the incentive that makes it worthwhile for entrepreneurs to take the risk and start up totally new businesses from an idea. Something that governments just aren't good at. And because of the rewards of capitalism it comes back to what I wrote in my very first point in my first post. You are going to live longer, healthier with more freedom, choice and enjoyment than at any other time in the past. 

 

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18 hours ago, Rock The Boat said:

 

You are going to live longer, healthier with more freedom, choice and enjoyment than at any other time in the past.

Certainly this was true but there are alarming indications that this has gone into reverse in the poorer parts of the UK and US. For me this in part of the unwinding of the post war social democratic consensus since the eighties. The neo-liberals/monetarist/Thatcherites/whatever you want to call them took the benefits of the consensus, the UK's one off North Sea Oil bounty, the one off sales of assets and a private debt bubble to reform the economy. Unfortunately the financial crash demonstrated the limitations of this approach. Growth is not now driven from the productive economy because there has been massive underinvestment but rather through asset bubbles, borrowing and rent. Effectively a giant Ponzi scheme. The low wage, low investment, low productivity, low tax economy has successfully created this jobs miracle but is unsustainable.

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3 hours ago, Herman said:

Capitalism done the good way, where everyone benefits. Bosses, workers and customers.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/may/18/richer-sounds-boss-julian-richer-has-no-regrets

Good spot, Herman. Backs up what I am saying, that there is no good or bad capitalism but there are good and bad people operating within the system. The answer is not to change the system but to get the bad guys to stop and encourage the good guys to continue.

Socialism on the other hand is inherently bad because it is a system predicated on taking away the rewards of those who work and giving it to those who don't (while skimming off a percentage for those who perform the giving and taking). It's theft, even if some of it is of the Robin Hood variety.

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"The answer is not to change the system but to get the bad guys to stop and encourage the good guys to continue."

As has been shown in the US, UK, Europe, South America etc the bad guys are being actively encouraged by being voted into power.

 

And as to socialism being inherently bad it depends what type you mean. The Nordic model style of social democracy has worked rather well (could include Germany in this?!) and Chinese "socialism" has worked, although not pleasant.

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Take a look at this article from the Guardian which for me explains one of the biggest problems we currently face in the UK:
60's to Now

The comparisons are stark, with only a single wage coming in, a family of five could not only afford to get a mortgage on a nice 3-bed semi, but also own a nice car, and even have the relative luxury of a TV as well. Compare this to now where even families with 1-2 children (sometimes none) and with BOTH parents working, are STILL struggling to get a mortgage even with TWO wages, never mind just one...

Political correctness, the right to be offended at pretty much anything, and a growing sense that our own government are so far detached from the average man or woman that they have no idea how to represent us accordingly only add to the mire, and have thus led to situations such as where many parents feel completely at the mercy of their children who now apparently have the right to just tell you to f**k off, and there's not much you can do about it other than put them on a naughty step (but not for too long as they have rights you know), all for fear of being hauled up on child abuse charges should you dare to do anything more stringent.

Respect for people in positions of authority such as the Police has gone down the drain (not helped at times by their own behaviour, or the crazy amount of paperwork now needed to accompany every single incident), schools are increasingly teaching in ways that favour female students, suppress competition whilst promoting the ridiculous "Everyone's a Winner" motto, and all whilst teaching more and more things that bear frankly no relevance in the real world (After 40 years I have yet to discover the value of knowing that Wat Tyler was the leader of the peasants revolt outside of a potential pub quiz question), and even what were previously viewed as unarguable facts of science such as gender, are now open to full interpretation, with Women saying they are Men, Men being Women, and still others stating they are in fact aliens or attack helicopters...

Climate change is speeding towards us like a Bullet Train, with natural resources depleting increasingly by the second, accompanied by massive overpopulation globally, yet instead of diverting the necessary time, money and effort into dealing with these issues, instead the Ostrich routine takes front of stage, or even worse - flat out denial of facts despite all evidence to the contrary, but hey, some rich guys are still making billions right?

Celebrities used to be actually famous people that pretty much had done something to earn their fame, whereas nowadays 'talent' can be anything from cementing your head into a microwave, not knowing which country borders England to the West, or simply from posting incessant photos of yourself in more and more meaningless situations for the apparent gratification of others. Dogs have gone from "Man's best friend" to being a fashion accessory, modern cars have all the fluency of design shown by a 5-year-old with a box of lego (they're all basically the same shape with 4 wheels),  and there is more interest shown in a cat with a grumpy face than there is in people actually bothering to attend a polling stating to decide the future of the country.

The whole thing has gone to hell in a handbasket, for all our technological and scientific breakthroughs, common sense has been ditched along with the bathwater (and probably soon the babies as well), selfishness and the "right" to act like a complete a$$hole are favoured over decency, integrity and simple honest morals, and sadly, nice guys STILL finish last even though half of woman kind regularly complain about there being no decent men anymore, yet get offended if someone dares to display chivalry and traditional values in front of them as a mark of respect.

I'm not even sure things CAN be saved, because it would take a GLOBAL change to have any sort of real impact, and after thousands of years, we can't even stop arguing over which fictional sky deity is apparently the right one, never mind look for a common consensus on a way forward which not only stops us from destroying everything, but which brings back simple, basic respect and decency to ALL others, regardless of Gender, Sexual Orientation, Skin Colour or preference over what colour the ideal slice of toast should be...

Still, I keep getting told that "We've never had it so good", so maybe I'm just getting old, or maybe I'd rather live in the past that face an increasingly sad and pathetic looking future?

 

 

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On 19/05/2019 at 14:24, Indy_Bones said:

Take a look at this article from the Guardian which for me explains one of the biggest problems we currently face in the UK:
60's to Now

The comparisons are stark, with only a single wage coming in, a family of five could not only afford to get a mortgage on a nice 3-bed semi, but also own a nice car, and even have the relative luxury of a TV as well. Compare this to now where even families with 1-2 children (sometimes none) and with BOTH parents working, are STILL struggling to get a mortgage even with TWO wages, never mind just one...

Many parents feel completely at the mercy of their children who now apparently have the right to just tell you to f**k off, and there's not much you can do about it other than put them on a naughty step (but not for too long as they have rights you know), all for fear of being hauled up on child abuse charges should you dare to do anything more stringent.

Respect for people in positions of authority such as the Police has gone down the drain (not helped at times by their own behaviour, or the crazy amount of paperwork now needed to accompany every single incident), schools are increasingly teaching in ways that favour female students, suppress competition whilst promoting the ridiculous "Everyone's a Winner" motto, and all whilst teaching more and more things that bear frankly no relevance in the real world

The whole thing has gone to hell in a handbasket, for all our technological and scientific breakthroughs, common sense has been ditched along with the bathwater (and probably soon the babies as well), selfishness and the "right" to act like a complete a$$hole are favoured over decency, integrity and simple honest morals, and sadly, nice guys STILL finish last even though half of woman kind regularly complain about there being no decent men anymore, yet get offended if someone dares to display chivalry and traditional values in front of them as a mark of respect.

 

 

Lots of very good points in that post Indy and one could probably write a book to describe how it has all gone wrong, but I highlight just a part of what you say to make a couple of observations.

Feminism is one of the major root causes of the problems. Take your first paragraph about affordability. Since the sixties, feminists have been downplaying the role of the woman as home maker and encouraged women to go out to work. The result is a massive increase in the number of people seeking employment and thus driving down wage rates. Essentially women were competing with their husbands for the same job and the outcome we have seen is little or no wage growth as the wage now goes to two people.

The problem is compounded by the fact that there is now no mother at home to care for children and so this has to be paid for. The net benefit of women working is only marginal as a large part of their wage goes in child care costs.

Then these kids get out in some playgroup and no longer get the individual attention of their mothers. In working-class areas these playgroups may be provided by the local authority and therefore the groups will be much larger and the amount of individual attention a child receives is minimal, and of course the quality is much lower than that provided by an interested parent.

Finally, a parent that has been out at work all day is naturally tired by the end of the day and is unlikely to be able to spend quality time with the kids. The result of all this neglect during a child's formative years means that kids grow up lacking the skills and the knowledge to conduct themselves properly. When this cycle repeats for a few generations the social problems become deep-rooted and self-fulfilling.

One is accused of sexism for saying these things but in reality we would be socially and economically better off with one parent assigned to the role of home carer.

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17 hours ago, Rock The Boat said:

One is accused of sexism for saying these things but in reality we would be socially and economically better off with one parent assigned to the role of home carer.

So why does that have to be the woman?

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So I see Love Island starts again soon. If that doesn't convince Kim Jong Un to press the red button then I don't think he ever will.

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On 29/05/2019 at 09:30, king canary said:

So why does that have to be the woman?

It doesn't, but the key problem is that in many cases it's extremely difficult to afford even a relatively simple lifestyle if both parents are on minimal wages.

As pointed out, childcare costs verge on exorbitant at times, and I know many years ago when my wife and I were looking at this, we found that the childcare cost alone was basically the same as a day's wage for someone on the lower end of the wage scale, so in essence they are going to work almost purely to pay for the childcare needed because they're not at home, which is utterly pointless.

Current figures suggest that childcare averages around £242 per week for full-time coverage (which is approx £48.40 per day), the current minimum wage is £8.21, so on an average of 7.5 hours per day (37.5 hours per week, which is normal) that's a daily wage of £61.58, take away tax and NI of around 20% and you get £49.26 per day, minus the £48.40 for childcare and you're left with an actual wage of 0.86 pence, so £4.30 a week left after childcare costs...

I wouldn't choose to basically give up parental responsibility during the day and have someone else looking after my kids in exchange for 86p a day, it's utterly ludicrous.

As the article I linked pointed out, this was a family of 5 living on a single wage, who could happily afford a house, car, TV and live quite comfortably, this is a complete pipe dream in the current market, as even couples with BOTH people working can struggle to even get on the housing ladder, and thus we see the ever-widening gap, with no sign of abatement either.

It doesn't make a difference if it's the man or woman staying at home (apart from limited situations e.g. Breastfeeding where the woman can't express enough at night to cover the man in the day), but the fact that finances these days make this impossible instead of personal choice is the sticking point.

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1 hour ago, Indy_Bones said:

It doesn't, but the key problem is that in many cases it's extremely difficult to afford even a relatively simple lifestyle if both parents are on minimal wages.

As pointed out, childcare costs verge on exorbitant at times

Current figures suggest that childcare averages around £242 per week for full-time coverage (which is approx £48.40 per day), .

It's a stretch even for those of us earning average wages. I'm a fairly new teacher and earn roughly the national average. My partner is completing her teacher training at the moment.

Without the generous bursary offered for training, due to shortage of specialist teachers in our subject, there's no way we could have both been able to afford to go to work.

Our childcare, for one child - 3 days per week in nursery is £850ish per month.

We would have been financially better off if I hadn't gone to work this year, as student finance pick up 85% of childcare costs if your income is below a certain threshold, but my wage is above it. There's no scale based on income, it's just 85% or nothing at all depending on if your household income meets their arbitrary threshold. I'm practically working for free this year - I work 25 miles away, so it costs me £50 a week in petrol just to commute. So between childcare and petrol, that eats up over £1000 per month.

Counting down the days until my daughter turns 3 as then we pick up the 15 hours free childcare which will make a HUGE difference to our monthly expenditure.

 

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13 hours ago, Indy_Bones said:

It doesn't, but the key problem is that in many cases it's extremely difficult to afford even a relatively simple lifestyle if both parents are on minimal wages.

As pointed out, childcare costs verge on exorbitant at times, and I know many years ago when my wife and I were looking at this, we found that the childcare cost alone was basically the same as a day's wage for someone on the lower end of the wage scale, so in essence they are going to work almost purely to pay for the childcare needed because they're not at home, which is utterly pointless.

Current figures suggest that childcare averages around £242 per week for full-time coverage (which is approx £48.40 per day), the current minimum wage is £8.21, so on an average of 7.5 hours per day (37.5 hours per week, which is normal) that's a daily wage of £61.58, take away tax and NI of around 20% and you get £49.26 per day, minus the £48.40 for childcare and you're left with an actual wage of 0.86 pence, so £4.30 a week left after childcare costs...

I wouldn't choose to basically give up parental responsibility during the day and have someone else looking after my kids in exchange for 86p a day, it's utterly ludicrous.

As the article I linked pointed out, this was a family of 5 living on a single wage, who could happily afford a house, car, TV and live quite comfortably, this is a complete pipe dream in the current market, as even couples with BOTH people working can struggle to even get on the housing ladder, and thus we see the ever-widening gap, with no sign of abatement either.

It doesn't make a difference if it's the man or woman staying at home (apart from limited situations e.g. Breastfeeding where the woman can't express enough at night to cover the man in the day), but the fact that finances these days make this impossible instead of personal choice is the sticking point.

I agree with all of that but then it gets wrapped up in RTB's sexist **** about ' the role of the woman as home maker' and your own rather random point about chivalry and 'nice guys finishing last.'

In my view society would be better off if families could afford to live comfortably off one wage but also if society was more accepting of the stay at home dads and women being the bread winners if that is what the parents prefer. 

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On 28/05/2019 at 15:43, Rock The Boat said:

The result of all this neglect during a child's formative years means that kids grow up lacking the skills and the knowledge to conduct themselves properly.

Is that what happened to you?

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22 hours ago, king canary said:

I agree with all of that but then it gets wrapped up in RTB's sexist **** about ' the role of the woman as home maker' and your own rather random point about chivalry and 'nice guys finishing last.'

In my view society would be better off if families could afford to live comfortably off one wage but also if society was more accepting of the stay at home dads and women being the bread winners if that is what the parents prefer. 

It's all part of the same point King.

Many stay-at-home dads are ridiculed for doing so, being described as 'unmanly' and 'turning into a woman', rather than being respected as a loving and responsible parent who isn't bound by gender stereotyping.

My statement about chivalry and similar is that we live in a society where many claim that respect has gone out of the window, yet often when performing actions that have always traditionally conveyed respect, instead many men are painted as being chauvinists, or treating women contemptuously for daring to offer to open a door, pay for a meal, or even walk on the side of the pavement next to the road (the final of which is something I've ALWAYS done, and will never stop doing). By trying to be the 'nice guy', we're instead vilified as an unwanted throwback to a bygone era, then told in the next breath that men have no respect for women any more...

Simply explaining something politely and clearly is now 'mansplaining', purely sitting comfortably (bearing in mind we do have something between our legs that does get in the way) is now 'manspreading', and it appears that there is a concerted effort to make men behave as though they were, in fact, women, leaving many men utterly confused as to what their place is supposed to be in the new world order that feminism created.

There should be no debate about which gender can or indeed should be the 'breadwinner', both options are equally viable, as it's equally viable for the father to be the parent who stays at home whilst the mother is out at work, yet this is not readily accepted either.

To give a perfect (and personal) example, about 5 years ago, my wife and I decided to switch round in terms of being the parent at home, and she went to work in a school whilst I left my job as a team manager to stay at home to deal with childcare, housework and all the things my wife had been doing previously.

Interestingly, during this period I received a lot of VERY disparaging remarks from people claiming I was a lazy dole bludger (I wasn't claiming JSA, Disability or anything outside of a small amount of tax credits), that I wasn't a 'real man', as a 'real man' goes to work so his wife doesn't have to, and numerous other comments which were in no way supportive of the choice we'd made together in regards to bringing up our children and how the work arrangements were made.

Yet when I tried to point out how 'old-fashioned', stereotyped or ridiculous these views were to other people, it made not a blind bit of difference, as apparently, I should have been at work, doing DIY at the weekends, and expecting my wife to provide the happy home on my return from said work. That was the view of society that I experienced personally, and I wonder how many others are getting the same response when they try to adapt and develop to a modern relationship, when society itself still views this area in the same way they have for the past few millennia, yet I open a door for a woman and I'm some sort of sexist scumbag...

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I dropped down to part-time after my wife returned to work after maternity leave for our first, I hold doors open for women (and men) and I sit comfortably on trains without squashing my baby making equipment and I've explained stuff to women and have never, ever had anyone say I've done anything untoward or been accused of being unmanly. 

I wonder why it's different in your experience? Not being provocative, for a change, just intrigued. 

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15 hours ago, Indy_Bones said:

. By trying to be the 'nice guy', we're instead vilified as an unwanted throwback to a bygone era, then told in the next breath that men have no respect for women any more...

What you see as being a 'nice guy' some women find patronising. I think if I insisted on walking a certain side of the pavement to protect my wife from... cars? she'd probably wonder what the **** I was doing.

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12 hours ago, king canary said:

What you see as being a 'nice guy' some women find patronising.

 

Therein lies my major contention, why is it now considered patronising to do things for the potential safety and security of someone?

When walking at night, I've always made the effort to cross the road if possible when a female is walking in front of me, so as to not make them worry they are being followed and possibly attacked, this is purely to make them feel safer and not in any way threatened - especially if they are alone.

Similarly, if I position myself on the roadside of the pavement, odds are that if a car, debris or anything else comes towards the pavement, I'm likely to be first in the firing line and can actively work to get the other person out of the way if necessary. This doesn't mean that a woman cannot look after herself or anything like that, but seriously, what is actually wrong with acting in a way as to show you're looking out for their best interests in order to protect against possible danger???

Why does genuine consideration for another human being now have to be constantly analysed to look for potential offence, instead of it just being taken in the manner intended, which is respectful in its entirety?

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21 hours ago, Indy_Bones said:

Therein lies my major contention, why is it now considered patronising to do things for the potential safety and security of someone?

When walking at night, I've always made the effort to cross the road if possible when a female is walking in front of me, so as to not make them worry they are being followed and possibly attacked, this is purely to make them feel safer and not in any way threatened - especially if they are alone.

Similarly, if I position myself on the roadside of the pavement, odds are that if a car, debris or anything else comes towards the pavement, I'm likely to be first in the firing line and can actively work to get the other person out of the way if necessary. This doesn't mean that a woman cannot look after herself or anything like that, but seriously, what is actually wrong with acting in a way as to show you're looking out for their best interests in order to protect against possible danger???

Why does genuine consideration for another human being now have to be constantly analysed to look for potential offence, instead of it just being taken in the manner intended, which is respectful in its entirety?

I don't know you'd have to ask them.

Are you standing on the outside when you walk next to men as well? Or is it just women you feel need this protection from debris?

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'As an intelligent species'? Are you sure we are intelligent enough to sort out our greed for more oil; and gas, for more of the same pollution that kills our children, to make peace and reverse our addiction to longer shelf life with one way plastic, can we rely of the civil obedient s in the media to report a little more disobedient when poor people die of poverty hunger disease and war crimes?

I salute your optimism. This is how Howard Zinn would reply to the original question.

Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leaders…and millions have been killed because of this obedience…Our problem is that people are obedient allover the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves… (and) the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem.

 

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8 hours ago, king canary said:

I don't know you'd have to ask them.

Are you standing on the outside when you walk next to men as well? Or is it just women you feel need this protection from debris?

For men - no, for women, children, the elderly or similar - yes.

Men, in general, take action quicker and more decisively than Women - particularly in times of danger (this has been demonstrated in a number of studies btw), Men tend to have greater physical strength as well, which means they are more likely to be able to do what is necessary to get someone out of the way if a problem arises also.

Being fair, in 40 years of being on this planet, I've only had to react a handful of times to these type of situations, but in every occasion, the person next to me was thankful for my actions, rather than feeling I was being sexist or condescending.

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Lots of very interesting posts here. 

Society in this country was killed by the Thatcher Government. It has never recovered and probably never will. 

I've travelled extensively over the last few years and other countries in Europe just aren't like the UK. People still care about where they live. Coming back to the UK is quite depressing. It is a sh*thole compared to the rest of Europe. At the very least we could stop throwing rubbish in the street. 

 

 

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Today the media is starting a campaign that is asking us to accept a different law for hypocritical politicians from all parties who have taken illegal drugs, in the past. This at the same time when the Atkins MP's are running a multimillion cannabis business and have cornered the export market ion all sorts of medicinal tinctures and sprays, with some 40 acres under cultivation that never will face a raid from the police.

And then they say 'forget about the past, just look at our policies.... well, we are looking but apart from tax cuts to a wealthy minority, I have not heard much, where are the policies that funds our vital services, from child poverty to mental health provisions and the prospect of a privatised NHS, we have not heard one peep.

Some 182K, less than 0.1% of the populace will now decide what leader, and past class A drug user, we will get,. This is democracy in the UK in the 21st. century. Where both main parties reject fair proportional election systems for us to choose in future, but make do with what we get from this better class of drug users who rule the roost.

As a result of this top dog shock show, will we now debate and talk about decriminalising drugs? about legalising and prescribing dearly needed CBD oils for epilepsy cures, a  medical research fact that has been censored for decades.

 

https://www.healthnutnews.com/censorship-1947-epilepsy-study-harry-anslingers-concern/

Drug use is rife in all circles of society and the genie is out of the box, we have to deal with it unless we want this society to destroy itself, demean the law even further and show bad examples to the next generation.

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Posted (edited)

I get that this debate is looking to slew off into a right vs left thing. Political or economic reasons are not the cause -besides which communism doesn’t work. If it did every communist country would  have a free press because communism would be such a raging social and economic success. None do. 

There are a multitude of other arguments besides. Rational self interest for one and the fact that Marx overlooks the very definition of economics which is that economics is the allocation of scarce resources. Scarce. That means poverty exists even in rich countries. It cannot be eradicated in relative terms. Not everyone can have a limo and live in a palace like the great leader. Even in communist countries there is huge poverty. 

So communism historically just replaces one elite with another as the party or party elite supplants what came before. Besides which the data proves that global poverty in absolute terms has decreased radically due to capitalism. That’s not to say that capitalism is all good. It’s the best of a bunch of less than perfect options though.

To my mind the change in society is due to technology. Technology has made us more isolated and created an enhanced need for instant gratification. It has reframed what is important for societies with what is best for the short term needs of the individual. Dynamic web pages serve up content we can agree with and censor conflicting opinions. Is this the root cause of a new found intolerance?

Despite this humans have not changed a great deal. I believe that even without religion or politics that humans are on the whole largely moral creatures. Not entirely, but largely. 

If you want society as it was back in the day. Get out of your car, walk to the shop, talk to you neighbour, stay off your smartphone and associate with your fellow human beings. You may not agree with them but you will be experiencing society. You may recall how people used to look out for one another. They had more direct contact with those in their locale. Now people hardly know one another.

It is little wonder that they seem less caring. That is what has changed. People still have the same capacity to care for their fellow human beings (even those they disagree with) they just have less opportunities to do so. 

 

 

Edited by Bonzo

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