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Passions in Poetry

Alan Kreuger.....good or bad?

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Balladeer
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50 posted 09-08-2011 08:16 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Yet,despite what Mike thinks....? You've made it clear you have no idea what I think, Bob. You only mission seems to take whatever I say and fashion in such a way as you can to twist it to your own benefit, as you have done here by taking one simple sentence like people expecting fire and police to show up when they are in need and going on an encyclopedia-sized tirade attaching it to taxes, collective bargaining, political bickering, job-cutting, and anything else your creative mind can conjure up.  Don't talk about what I think, please, because you obviously have no idea.

Ok, Ron. You have me stumped. How long WILL it take two women to have a  baby?????
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51 posted 09-09-2011 07:23 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     It is difficult to answer politely, Mike.

     How will you give these folks safe working conditions if you won't allow them enough backup and equiptment?  Cutting budgets does that.  You are in favor of cutting budgets in some cases past the point of safety for the public and for those workers involved, and one example is the example I've just discussed, and which I've discussed before.  The thinking that lies behind the logic is beyond me.

     I asked if you would tell me what part of this isn't clear or what part you would disagree with.

     You responses have  returned without telling me.

     Start someplace.

You're not being specific enough to address any gaps in your understanding of any of my statements.  In fact, you suggest I've given you too much information.

     What you're thinking may be beyond my ability to understand without being told;.but I can reconstruct flaws in logic, as can anybody.  Your logic is flawed.

    
Balladeer
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52 posted 09-09-2011 09:42 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Bob, I'm going to try one last and final time because I believe you really just don't get it...and after that I'll just assume you are incapable of understanding what we are saying here. I made one simple comment in response to LR's question of whether someone whose house is on fire wants to be left alone.

(No, they want the fire departments they pay for to do what they are paid by them to do.)

That was it, Bob. Let me pose the same thing to you. If your house is on fire and you live in a town with a fire department, do you expect the fire department to arrive? If you say no, then I don't want to live in your town. If you say yes, then you are simply agreeing with what I said. Would you expect the fire department to show up because part of your city taxes go to that end, because perhaps you may also have a fire tag, which is a small tax that some cities use? If you say no, then you are expecting them to show up because they are just a bunch of nice guys. If you say yes, then you are simply agreeing with what I said.

So, assuming that you WOULD expect the fire department to respond and assuming that one of the reasons why you WOULD expect them to respond is because you are a taxpayer in that town, what part of your answer would have anything to do with your assuming that these firefighters would not do what they are paid to do or that they are not worthy of their hire???? Do you see how nonsensical and even insulting your responses have been. "Would you expect the fire dept to respond?" "Yes, I'm a taxpayer". Nothing to do with safe working conditions, budget cutting, collective bargaining, equipment allocation, etc, etc, etc. Would you expect them to respond? Yes? Period. End. Finale. Fini. Das es alles. Se acabo.
Bob K
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53 posted 09-09-2011 10:43 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



quote:


If it takes one woman nine months to have a baby, Bob, how long would it take two women? There are a LOT of jobs in this world where adding more manpower doesn't have the effect you seem to be assuming it always does.

However, in any event, whether you're right or wrong about safety issues, neither cutting back on personnel nor even putting them in greater danger, implies that Mike think they will do less than the job for which they were hired. It appears you think so, though?



     Two women to have a single baby can take  a very long time indeed, and tends to be very much more expensive and dangerous than one woman having a baby, Ron.  Among other things, lawyers are almost always involved, and then there is the cost of doctors and the amount of medication and medical supervision from ancillary personnel.  

     That's in a fairly uncomplicated surrogate situation.

     I suspect you didn't want to present me with an answerable question, however, and simply wished to present the sort of situation that would make my case look stupid.  I actually don't think it is stupid and take the notion that what happens when cuts into the safety net of social services take serious hold can prove to be catastrophic for the economy and for the country as a whole.

     I also take seriously Ron's notion that we are not in the correct thread for this discussion, which seems to have nothing in common with "Alan Kreuger.....good or bad?" the original subject.

     Can we take the discussion to another thread and continue it there?  Is there enough of an actual discussion here to be worth the transfer.  I have no desire to get locked into an unproductive waste of time here.  I do believe that the current rush to cut budgets is dangerous without an appropriate tax increase, especially on upper income folks, and I think that we are trying to come to grips with what that means here; although I don't say that I deserve any points for grace in the matter, I am trying to lay out a case in a fairly reasonable manner.

     I have made a request for comments on where I've been unclear.  I recognize that it's certainly possible that I may end up in the wrong on the matter history judges these things more nicely than we do but I don't want to be misunderstood or unclear in the way I make my case.  If I'm wrong I want to be wrong clearly enough to identify it later myself, and perhaps have others identify it for me now.  If I'm right, I want to be clear anyway.  It doesn't obligate people to agree.  The Romans were clear about the need for an occasional dictator when times got tough;  they were clear, but I think wrong as well.

     In the same way, I'd like clarity coming in the other direction.  I'll strive for polite as well.  There's nothing incompatible with being clear and polite.
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54 posted 09-09-2011 11:13 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Yes, this is an unproductive waste of time. We are done, Bob.

I have nothing further to say to you.
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55 posted 09-10-2011 02:17 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


quote:


That was it, Bob. Let me pose the same thing to you. If your house is on fire and you live in a town with a fire department, do you expect the fire department to arrive? If you say no, then I don't want to live in your town. If you say yes, then you are simply agreeing with what I said. Would you expect the fire department to show up because part of your city taxes go to that end, because perhaps you may also have a fire tag, which is a small tax that some cities use? If you say no, then you are expecting them to show up because they are just a bunch of nice guys. If you say yes, then you are simply agreeing with what I said.

So, assuming that you WOULD expect the fire department to respond and assuming that one of the reasons why you WOULD expect them to respond is because you are a taxpayer in that town, what part of your answer would have anything to do with your assuming that these firefighters would not do what they are paid to do or that they are not worthy of their hire???? Do you see how nonsensical and even insulting your responses have been. "Would you expect the fire dept to respond?" "Yes, I'm a taxpayer". Nothing to do with safe working conditions, budget cutting, collective bargaining, equipment allocation, etc, etc, etc. Would you expect them to respond? Yes? Period. End. Finale. Fini. Das es alles. Se acabo.



     I see nothing insulting about my responses.  Nor should you, especially if you've lived in low income areas of large cities and know that police response times may be much slower than they would be in better served higher income parts of the city.  An emergency call that would get a very quick response in an upscale neighborhood might get a slow or non-existent response in a low income high crime area.  Mostly, they will get responses, though frequently not as rapid in some cities.  Is that insulting to you?  

     I would call this a description of facts.  The response you have to the facts is up to you.

     And that's the situation at a time when the police services have not been all that bad, given the federal contributions to the funding.

     Fire services are somewhat the same.  Everybody wants to have fire services show up right away when they're called.  The speed with which that's possible depends, among other things, on the locations of the fire houses in a large city.  A greater number of fire stations will frequently mean a faster response time, especially if there are a dependable number of engines and a dependable number of fire fighters available.

     Do I expect the fire fighters will show up?  Yeah.

     Will they be able to show up as quickly as they were once able to if the number of fire fighters the cities are willing to hire declines and if the pay and benefits they offer declines with them?  I think not.  My expectation may be more hope than it once was.  The fewer fire-fighters and fire stations, the more forlorn that hope becomes.  Does that insult you?

     Why?

     It simply means that reality tends to win over fantasy in the long run, and that if you want services you actually have to pay for them.  There is an age at which many of us experience that as an unbearable insult, but you and I, Mike, are well past that age.  It doesn't mean that fire-fighters and cops aren't good folk or teachers or any other municipal employee, for that matter; there are the usual sad sacks and goldbricks among them, of course, but you'll find them almost everywhere.

     So, when it comes to living in areas of the Bronx, or in areas of LA or Miami or Chicago or Boston, it works out as you suggested it would work out, more specifically about the cops, but also in terms of the fire services,"If you say no, then I don't want to live in your town. "

     In fact, people who can afford better tend not to live in those parts of those particular towns.  

     My prediction is that the less money is spent on those services, the larger those areas will grow.

     I've had friends who were cops and EMTs working for the fire departments in the Boston area.  I myself worked for a very long time in a collapsing mental health system with insufficient staffing, low pay and wretched benefits and took quite a lot of verbal and physical abuse for it in return for what I happen to believe were some fine contributions.  I watched what happened as staffing levels and staffing requirements fell.  I saw the same things happen the police and fire departments.  The police especially were in terrible shape, hardly able to talk to anybody who wasn't a fellow officer, and many of them very close to suicidal with isolation, frustration and rage at the impossible conditions of their work.

     Having fewer resources to turn to is not going to be helpful to them at all; nor the fire-fighters, who enjoy a great deal more community support on the whole.  Their work may be, if anything, more dangerous.

     If we, as a society, actually believe these guys are worthy of their hire, where is the support we owe them?  Saying you're insulted is not, to my mind, enough.  These guys are part of the social support network that we, as a nation, depend on in good times and bad; and it stinks that we feel that it's this simple to take their collective bargaining rights away, and to cut back the number of fire stations and personnel.
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56 posted 09-10-2011 05:08 AM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


Bob,

I think the problem here may be that you are arguing about apples and Mike is arguing about oranges, both of you have valid points but they're different points, granted they're based  around the same subject but they're only marginally related.

If you rewind the conversation you'll probably see what I mean.

Mike posted this comment:

"I think most Americans beyond basic services simply want to be left alone."

There's nothing unreasonable in that, reducing the part that government bodies, both local and national, play in people's lives is a common sentiment. Of course, the problem inherent in that statement is setting the level of government involvement, which is where LR's response comes in:

"Americans who have houses on fire... want to be left alone?"

LR was questioning where Mike's level of basic services lay and highlighting that the level differs from person to person, that point's very clear in his closing statement:

"one man's extravagant expense, another man's basic service"

Mike's reply, if you boil it down, was simply saying that fire fighting was a basic service that should be managed by local government via local taxes.

"(No, they want the fire departments they pay for to do what they are paid by them to do.)"

Taken in isolation the way this comment is worded makes it easy to misconstrue the meaning, it does sound like Mike is complaining that the fire departments aren't doing their job and, given the respect that I think everyone here has for the fire-fighters, it's natural to take umbrage at the unintended notion.


Krueger?

Personally I don't like the look of him, he's got "mad eyes" but looks aren't everything, he should get credit for amending his findings with regard to the paper Mike mentioned in the first post. When improved data was presented in a later study he analysed it and rolled back his original claim.

To me anyone who can admit that he was wrong can't be all-bad - regardless of whether he's got "mad eyes" or not.

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57 posted 09-10-2011 07:51 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Mike's reply, if you boil it down, was simply saying that fire fighting was a basic service that should be managed by local government via local taxes.

Taken in isolation the way this comment is worded makes it easy to misconstrue the meaning, it does sound like Mike is complaining that the fire departments aren't doing their job and, given the respect that I think everyone here has for the fire-fighters, it's natural to take umbrage at the unintended notion.


I am only responding one more time because I find this discussion so incredible!

Yes, I said that fire fighting was a basic service. It's a basic service that our taxes pay for. It is a service to be expected, just as police protection should be expected, such as trash pickup should be expected, just as providing electricity should be expected when we pay our bills, such as dead animals being picked up by Animal Control should be expected, such as any service that we pay for and are told will be complied with should be expected. There was nothing said to indicate that I feel that  the service was inadequate, badly done, not being complied with or anything else - only that it was a service to be expected because we do pay the taxes to provide it. Why is that so hard to understand? What is there to misconstrue? The only way someone can misconstrue it is to look for something they can try to misconstrue it with.

A boy is asked about his allowance. He responds that his dad gives him an allowance in return for his doing chores around the house. Has the boy complained that his dad is not giving him his allowance, or that his dad is late in giving him his allowance, or that his dad does not do a good job in giving him his  allowance because his dad's hours have been cut back at t he factory and, with the collective bargaining issues spurred on by disputes between labor and management? No, he is simply saying that his dad gives him an allowance in exchange for him doing his chores. I am saying that fire departments respond in exchange for the taxes that we pay to maintain them and we are right to expect that. What in the world is easy to misconstrue about that????  I just don't get it. The only thing I DO get is that someone looking for something to misconstrue will find it, no matter what is said.
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58 posted 09-10-2011 08:05 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

The only  way I COULD relate to what you are saying is if there had been no LR comment preceding mine. If I were to simply say "I expect fire departments to show up because I pay my taxes!" it could sound like a complaint, much like a fellow complaining to a policeman, "Hey, don't forget I pay your salary!" ( a comment I've heard more than once!)

However, it strikes me that both of you are ignoring the complete conversation. Huan said people basically want to be left alone by government.

LR decide to play a little cutesy and asked if people wanted to be left alone if their house was burning down, which he knew was not what Huan meant but, like I said, cutesy.

I said, no, they expect the fire department to show up, based on the fact they, as taxpayers, have a right to expect it.

In that context, does it still sound like I'm complaining about the fire department.......or is it still too hard to acknowledge?
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59 posted 09-10-2011 06:11 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     What percentage of your services do you expect to get now from your police, fire, water and other public services, Mike?
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60 posted 09-10-2011 07:17 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

That has nothing to do with the statement I gave, Bob, nor my explanation of the statement, nor does it answer the question I asked.
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61 posted 09-10-2011 10:52 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     I would have to assume that you left out the "in my opinion" there because you can only imagine that services either function or don't function in the same way that a light on a switch is either on or off.  If you saw the possibility of operation on a continuum, as with a dimmer switch, or of occasional operation as might be postulated by other models, you would not answer the way you do.  The way you do answer suggests you imagine that things work in a yes or no fashion, as does your suggestion earlier.

quote:



That was it, Bob. Let me pose the same thing to you. If your house is on fire and you live in a town with a fire department, do you expect the fire department to arrive? If you say no, then I don't want to live in your town. If you say yes, then you are simply agreeing with what I said. Would you expect the fire department to show up because part of your city taxes go to that end, because perhaps you may also have a fire tag, which is a small tax that some cities use? If you say no, then you are expecting them to show up because they are just a bunch of nice guys. If you say yes, then you are simply agreeing with what I said.



     Roughly half the brain works this way, the digital half.  It is very good for many things, and misses the point entirely on others.  I spoke about the difference in services between areas of various cities.  You became selectively deaf and remain selectively deaf to what this means in a democracy, as though this didn't mean that we are doing something wrong with our distribution of services and with our gathering of resources.  We are conducting a massive redistribution of resources from the bottom upward, and the people who are least likely to complain are those who identify with or belong to the people at the top.

     I will make a point of saying that this is my opinion here.  I happen to believe it's the truth, but it's my opinion nevertheless, and I know there are other ways to see it.  And any time anyvbody wants to take this to another thread, that's fine with me.  I have no sense of what poor Alan Kreuger would think of this discussion, and what it might have to do with him.

    
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62 posted 09-11-2011 12:07 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

That has nothing to do with the statement I gave, Bob, nor my explanation of the statement, nor does it answer the question I asked. It certainly has nothing to do with your insulting me.

We are finished, Bob. I won't be coming back to this thread so don't waste your time wasting mine. Goodnight...
Bob K
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63 posted 09-11-2011 02:32 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



      Goodnight, Gracie.
Local Rebel
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64 posted 09-13-2011 10:35 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

as a homeless man, I find your fire department to be purely a special interest....
Bob K
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65 posted 09-14-2011 09:21 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

]

[This message has been edited by Bob K (09-14-2011 10:43 PM).]

Bob K
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66 posted 09-14-2011 09:22 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



quote:


That has nothing to do with the statement I gave, Bob, nor my explanation of the statement, nor does it answer the question I asked.



    
     From your responses to me when I tried to ask questions and get answers from you, Mike, I was under the impression that you believed there was no such obligation.  Has that changed?

     In any case, I believe I have answered , in detail.  My last comment, about percentages, was in fact a follow up to one of those answers.  I am curious about payment for follow up health care for first responders and your position on that issue, for example, and the vilification of the families of some of the first responders who wanted some possible payment for their losses due to the deaths and the disabilities of the police and firefighters involved.  For example.

     No amount of money can compensate them for the losses they suffered, either the first responders or their families; and certainly suggesting that there is a limit on what our debt is to these people is at best a shoddy response to their actions.

     What is the Republican voting record around these issues, Mike?  Does that record say that these workmen are worthy of their hire?  Or does it say otherwise?  That the only Republican concern is that these folks show up and lay their lives on the line without backup or significant show of real respect.  When it comes time to put up or shut up, the Republicans tend not to shut up at all, but keep talk-talk-talking a great patriotic game without putting up funding or programs to make them work.  Acting offended is not a substitute for acting responsibly, not as far as I can tell.

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/worker-safety/132907-health-bill-for-911-workers-fails-key-vote

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/17/senate-republicans-explai_n_798349.html

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_12/027005.php

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/nyregion/10health.html

http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/republicans-block-911-health-bill/

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/12/18/chamber-commerce-lobbied-kill-911-responders-bill/

http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/is-the-media-ignoring-the-911-first-responders-bill/question-1397343/
Bob K
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67 posted 09-14-2011 09:36 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K




     The point of the above is that the Republicans have managed to smother the vote on a bill to provide money to pay for the health care of 9/11 first responders.  There were 57 votes that wanted to bring the bill up for a vote, three short of the 60 required.  All but one Democrat voted in favor.

  To my mind, this is a vote that says asw clearly as possible exactly what the Republicans think of fire-fighters and police as well as other vital public servants.  Among other things, they are not worthy of their hire, and they are disposable.  

     Had they believed otherwise, they might have shown it here, with this bill.

     They decided to put their priorities out for everybody to see.  Since I find this sort of thing predictable, I may be nauseated, but I am not surprised.  These are the same people who don't want these same public servants to have the right to collective bargaining, either.
 
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