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Debates Forum

  1. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    06 Oct '09 08:59
    For all those wonerful people out there who have taken it upon themselves to contribute pages worth of non-debate declaring their innocence or the guilt of their opponents in what they may have said or not, etcetera... etcete in whatever slanderousness, involving some strawman or ad-hominem, HERE IS YOUR CHANCE!

    Only the pointed and truly witty will be allowed to stand, the jury being the vote of your peers. So here's your chance, get it off your chest, make it count and go for it!
  2. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    06 Oct '09 09:47
    Just to alert every invited participant, where the action will take place.
  3. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    06 Oct '09 14:35 / 1 edit
    I just had a most enjoyable and most fortuitous evening here. There are three seminars 'in town'. And as chance would have it some of their various participants converged on the same eatery/watering hole, where I hooked up with them. One of the seminars was for "small scale" self-employed farmers - it was apparently about marketing their produce, and moves to promote organic methods and the like. The second one was junior high school teachers on some kind of active learning training thing. The third was people with disabilities - they're on a 3 day livelihoods thing. Sounded interesting.

    Anyway. To cut a long story short. We're talking about an interesting cross section here: pretty much approximately second quintile to a man and woman - the 20%-39% bracket. Poor. But noth the poorest 5th. So anyway we had this long discussion about prices and wages. And here we go. Back of a fag packet (a beer coaster, in fact, in my case, as it happens) but authentic, I reckon, and borne out by my own experience here over the last 20 or so years. Last 20 years wages have increased FIVE-FOLD - while a basket of Sembako - the nine basic foodstuffs - over those years, has increased TEN-FOLD. Example: junior high school teachers in 1990 earned 300,000 Rp +/-. per month while, at that time, a basket consisting of 1kg of each of the nine basic foodstuffs cost approximately 8,000-9,000 Rp. Fast forward to 2009 and the junior high school teachers now earns 1,500,000 Rp. an increase of near enough 500% (there's that "tide" that raises all "boats" ) and a basket of 1kg of each of the nine Sembako costs about 100,000-120,000 Rp, an increase of more than 1,000%.

    Over the last 10 years the income for the quintile in question - the poor, but not the poorest fifth - has doubled, while a basket of the nine Sembako foodstuffs has increased 5x in price. In other words, the last 10 years of ostensibly cheery and encouraging progress has seen the bottom 40-60% struggle and battle and suffer endlessly, even as rich people here have done very well indeed. Ostentatiously so. This is something I already knew. But over a beer and some noodles I had this great oppportunity to chat with a few people from a few walks of life and cough up this grassroots data. I wonder what a "scientist" would make of it. Oh yes, and I got the phone numbers of a few characters too. A good, positive evening was had by all.
  4. 06 Oct '09 17:22
    this is supposed to be a smackdown thread - and you make a legitimate serious post - kind of like going to a WWE event and seeing actual wrestling matches - oh well

    But I see the point here - the rising tide may indeed lift most of the boats, but it just floods the leakiest 20-40% of boats.

    The idea here is to find a way to get more of the wealth into the hands of the poorest sectors of the population. One approach would be for the government to raise taxes on the wealthy and use it to raise living standards and increase opportunity. But this would be quickly denounced as "socialism", and it could drive many of the wealthy people to leave the country and seek "friendlier" business climates elsewhere.

    What ideas do you have for solving this problem?
  5. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    06 Oct '09 21:46 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by FMF
    I just had a most enjoyable and most fortuitous evening here. There are three seminars 'in town'. And as chance would have it some of their various participants converged on the same eatery/watering hole, where I hooked up with them. One of the seminars was for "small scale" self-employed farmers - it was apparently about marketing their produce, and moves to pr the phone numbers of a few characters too. A good, positive evening was had by all.
    Boooooring....

    You're a leftist rightist terrorist hermaphrodite!


    What do I win?
  6. Standard member DrKF
    incipit parodia
    06 Oct '09 21:49
    Originally posted by sh76
    Boooooring....

    You're a leftist rightist terrorist hermaphrodite!


    What do I win?
    You win nothing. FMF owes me from the time we trod the boards on the West End. I was Lucky, he my Pozzo. We raised the roof for two glorious months, with rave reviews in all the press, but the CIA were on to him for his subversive activities in Latin America and he fled...
  7. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    07 Oct '09 00:19 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    One approach would be for the government to raise taxes on the wealthy and use it to raise living standards and increase opportunity. But this would be quickly denounced as "socialism", and it could drive many of the wealthy people to leave the country and seek "friendlier" business climates elsewhere.
    The wealthy here are taxed enough I think. And besides there are not really that many wealthy people so tax revenue from them would be somewhat of a drop in the ocean. Their businesses could be taxed more though. And I don't see the wealthy leaving the country and seeking "friendlier" business climates elsewhere, al la Mick Jagger in the 70's Britain. At least not in significant numbers. My brother in law is a fairly senior civil servant in the national tax office in Jakarta. He has plenty of stories about how little tax many businesses pay - especially foreign businesses.

    There's a whole load of stuff in the ground here. Growing on top of it too. And the 4th biggest population in the world: an enormous pool of relatively low cost labour and potentially an enormous market. I am unconviced by the "they'll walk away" threat. Foreign companies didn't walk away when they had to bribe the Soeharto clan and deal with grotty generals and look the other way as people-talking-to-other-people were helpfully murdered. Having been through all that, I can't see how a slightly more muscular tax regime or a minimum wage or some regulations and safeguards are going to send them running for cover. Doesn't make any sense.
  8. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    07 Oct '09 00:32
    Originally posted by sh76
    Boooooring.... You're a leftist rightist terrorist hermaphrodite! What do I win?
    Nothing yet. Not until I take an exaggerated screeching unprotected heart string plucking dive to the mat and play trembling dead with blood oozing from my righteous ears. Like that other guy whose law suit landed on my doormat this morning. Then you win.
  9. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    07 Oct '09 00:41
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    What ideas do you have for solving this problem?
    I'm up for an exploratory discussion on this. But (a) not right now because I've got to make a presentation to a group of middle ranking ASEAN diplomats in an hour from now, and (b) I'm not entirely convinced of the merits of having that discussion under the banner "Debate Smackdown FMF V Allcomers". LOL.
  10. 07 Oct '09 03:34
    Originally posted by kmax87
    For all those wonerful people out there who have taken it upon themselves to contribute pages worth of non-debate declaring their innocence or the guilt of their opponents in what they may have said or not, etcetera... etcete in whatever slanderousness, involving some strawman or ad-hominem, HERE IS YOUR CHANCE!

    Only the pointed and truly witty will be al ...[text shortened]... vote of your peers. So here's your chance, get it off your chest, make it count and go for it!
    Hmmm, I'll politely decline. Wittiness competition when the opponent can barely make sense... not sure there's much to be gained by participating. Easier to just ignore nuissances than compete against them and give them the attention they're desperate for, though if there were a challenge in an adapted thread with better competition some fun could be had.
  11. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    07 Oct '09 04:00
    Originally posted by eljefejesus
    Hmmm, I'll politely decline. Wittiness competition when the opponent can barely make sense... not sure there's much to be gained by participating. Easier to just ignore nuissances than compete against them and give them the attention they're desperate for, though if there were a challenge in an adapted thread with better competition some fun could be had.
    He's all the way from [wherever]. He's 6 foot four. He's 200 lbs. He's coming for you. Muscles glistening. Knuckles white. He's hungry. He's real mean. He's not one to be messed with. Heeeeeeeeeere's... Big Wet Blouse! In the ring with Smackdown's reigning World Champion... after this message from our sponsors...

    Wait.

    "With better competition some fun could be had."??

    Ooof.

    No. No. Sorry. Change of plan. Get Grim Reaper on the phone. Or Mr. Doomsday Machine. Or The Exhumer. Big Wet Blouse is a no go.
  12. 07 Oct '09 15:34 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by FMF
    The wealthy here are taxed enough I think. And besides there are not really that many wealthy people so tax revenue from them would be somewhat of a drop in the ocean. Their businesses could be taxed more though. And I don't see the wealthy leaving the country and seeking "friendlier" business climates elsewhere, al la Mick Jagger in the 70's Brita ions and safeguards are going to send them running for cover. Doesn't make any sense.
    perhaps you can respond to this by starting a new thread.


    You mention about all the "stuff that's in the ground". And you're probably right that you could raise taxes to some extent on these businesses without worrying about them fleeing.

    But if you really want to improve things for the poor, there needs to be a much wider array of businesses doing a lot of things that don't involve pulling stuff out of the ground. Especially businesses that can offer the kind of jobs that offer a large increase in the living standards of the current poor.

    There are things that a nation can do to make itself more attractive to investors. (But don't tell Lou Dobbs - he'll just start complaining about how this will just cause more US jobs to move overseas).
  13. 07 Oct '09 16:46
    Originally posted by FMF
    He's all the way from [wherever]. He's 6 foot four. He's 200 lbs. He's coming for you. Muscles glistening. Knuckles white. He's hungry. He's real mean. He's not one to be messed with. Heeeeeeeeeere's... Big Wet Blouse! In the ring with Smackdown's reigning World Champion... after this message from our sponsors...

    Wait.

    "With better competition some ...[text shortened]... per on the phone. Or Mr. Doomsday Machine. Or The Exhumer. Big Wet Blouse is a no go.
    LOL
    and you're the one accusing me of being stoned while posting.
  14. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    08 Oct '09 03:07
    Originally posted by generalissimo
    LOL
    and you're the one accusing me of being stoned while posting.
    I'm glad to see you've joined the fray, its saved me having to personally go and find and invite you.
  15. Standard member uzless
    The So Fist
    08 Oct '09 03:26 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by generalissimo
    LOL
    and you're the one accusing me of being stoned while posting.
    Ok Frank, take it easy. BJ and I just polished off the last of the still and spearchucker's gonna be back here any minute now. So you and Hot Lips better get down to the Swamp and find Henry before those choppers arrive or else!!!