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Are we going the way of dinosaurs?

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These are only a few of the recent examples (mostly political, in the context of this site, but other cases can be cited, from everyday life). In each example, multiple comments have been made about "difficulty", "misunderstanding" of the proposed solution. But does it speak for problems with the solution, or us, who decide its fate? Can we continue to rely on "majority always right" rule?

1. Proportional representation.

How could a statement that part of seats will be allocated according to party's take of the popular vote be of any mental challenge?

2. Green shift

(note - I'm not making any statements about viability, or otherwise, of the plan. Only understanding it).

How could this proposal, to put a price on an unwanted commodity, accompanied by a symmetric reduction in the average income tax be a difficulty so many complain about?

I'm trying to understand the reason, the source of that staunch believe that anything worthy of our attention should take no more that 5 min of layman's already limited alert time to figure out.

I mean, it didn't use to be like that. Then, people could go months and years of work creating new social instruments and schemes; constitutions; laws; universal suffrage.

From these, and other, cases, I came up with this list of symptoms describing our present condition:

- fear and avoidance of even slightest mental effort, if at all possible;

- strong preference for self satisfaction (in the array of ways) and/or mindless (to a varying degree) entertainment;

- inacceptance of change and avoidance of major decisions creating change, at all costs and till at all possible;

- and on the other hand, readiness to accept any acts (however questionnable) if they intend / allow continuation of the status quo.

Is it serious? Are we becoming more and more like that "electrode" mouse, that would keep pushing the pleasure button, no matter what's going on around? Effects of plain old aging? Something else? Both? Or nothing to worry about, on the big scale of things?

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Nihilists (among others) would tell you that your very question is a self serving microcosm of importance, priority, and privilege where none actually exists save for artificial means, social and otherwise. In other words, enjoy it while it lasts.

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An interesting topic, and a cynical yet bang-on reply...I would say that 'Judgement Day' is near...not that sort of apocalyptic, religious claptrap type of day, more like 'decision day'...Sadly, though, we will likely also avoid making the right 'no-brainer' decision until it may be too late...

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Nihilists (among others) would tell you that your very question is a self serving microcosm of importance, priority, and privilege where none actually exists save for artificial means, social and otherwise. In other words, enjoy it while it lasts.

It is noticable that the Nazis did win the war. Hilters medical and scientific henchmen had a program where they were trying to breed apes with woman in order to create a slave race so some of us could live the life of demi-gods. Seems that his dream was accomplished through gayafying and the promotion of abortion where millions of potential high quaitly genetics were nipped in the bud - I distinctly remember that the abortion promoters would only go after fine and intelligent woman about to bare life - and dupe them into not breeding....hence all that is left on the damned bus are drooling pea brained trolls - that may as well have been Hitlers success - which in fact they are - extinction? I would say yes - all people playing God and attempting to socially and genetically engineer slaves - end up fools living in a fools paradise.

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In each example, multiple comments have been made about "difficulty", "misunderstanding" of the proposed solution.
The reason is simple: the proposed solutions are pure nonsense and can be easily discredited by people who do understand the complexities. In the long term democracy has succeeded in making important decisions on complex topic even if there is short term pain. For example, voters supported need to cut the deficit and free trade. The problem with the solutions that you put forward is they are not that great and people instictively understand that any solution comes with costs which could easily outweigh any benefit. Edited by Riverwind

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The reason is simple: the proposed solutions are pure nonsense and can be easily discredited by people who do understand the complexities.

Interesting point but I don't see how it would address the issue that's been raised. I.e why is it, that in mass expectation (ostensible, cultivated, or real), every decision to be taken has to be about as simple and shining, as a nickel. I mean, nobody there, God or otherwise, has given us any assurances about that. Yet, any problem, it has to hit average Joe right on the head, or Joe will never believe it existence.

To b-c.:

I understand, but that prospect is extremely gloomy. Although very much in line with the row nature's approach to its problems. So, no matter how we'd try, we'll never exceed the limits we were born into (the logical equivalent of your statement).

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I.e why is it, that in mass expectation (ostensible, cultivated, or real), every decision to be taken has to be about as simple and shining, as a nickel.
I thought I addressed that. All issues worthy of a political discussion are complex. If simple solutions existed then there would be no need to discuss them, I think voters understand that. The argument that the "green shift is too complicated" is simply an excuse used by its proponents to explain why people don't support it. That said, sometimes hysteria and fear mongering dressed up as simple "solutions" do work. But that does not mean that every complicated plan is worth considering or that people cannot understand complicated plans. Edited by Riverwind

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Is it serious? Are we becoming more and more like that "electrode" mouse, that would keep pushing the pleasure button, no matter what's going on around? Effects of plain old aging? Something else? Both? Or nothing to worry about, on the big scale of things?

The problem is inherent to any social system that accept unqualified input on complex matters. When you want to get people's support you have to water down an idea until you reach a level that can be absorbed by the lowest common denominator.

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These are only a few of the recent examples (mostly political, in the context of this site, but other cases can be cited, from everyday life). In each example, multiple comments have been made about "difficulty", "misunderstanding" of the proposed solution. But does it speak for problems with the solution, or us, who decide its fate? Can we continue to rely on "majority always right" rule?

1. Proportional representation.

How could a statement that part of seats will be allocated according to party's take of the popular vote be of any mental challenge?

2. Green shift

(note - I'm not making any statements about viability, or otherwise, of the plan. Only understanding it).

How could this proposal, to put a price on an unwanted commodity, accompanied by a symmetric reduction in the average income tax be a difficulty so many complain about?

I'm trying to understand the reason, the source of that staunch believe that anything worthy of our attention should take no more that 5 min of layman's already limited alert time to figure out.

I mean, it didn't use to be like that. Then, people could go months and years of work creating new social instruments and schemes; constitutions; laws; universal suffrage.

From these, and other, cases, I came up with this list of symptoms describing our present condition:

- fear and avoidance of even slightest mental effort, if at all possible;

- strong preference for self satisfaction (in the array of ways) and/or mindless (to a varying degree) entertainment;

- inacceptance of change and avoidance of major decisions creating change, at all costs and till at all possible;

- and on the other hand, readiness to accept any acts (however questionnable) if they intend / allow continuation of the status quo.

Is it serious? Are we becoming more and more like that "electrode" mouse, that would keep pushing the pleasure button, no matter what's going on around? Effects of plain old aging? Something else? Both? Or nothing to worry about, on the big scale of things?

You have described the symptoms of corporate conditioning.

By "towing the line" being "afraid of change", "acceptance and apathy towards injustice", "avoidance of confrontation" and "supporting the status quo" corporations can maximize profitability and control their ranks to unquestionably serve the corporation. Those who go against the grain, are independent thinkers and who are not afraid of standing up for injustices don't last long under the corporate regime, even if they are members of the lower ranks or are unionized. Even our politics are driven and controlled by corporatism. That is why there can be no democracy so long as we accept their hierarchical control of our our political institutions.

True capitalism is the antithesis of corporatism in that it encourages independent thinkers and pragmatic grass roots exploration of solutions. In contrast, corporatism demands that solutions be corporate generated so that they can control the release of solutions to either maximize profits or to gain market advantage over competitors.

People have been conditioned to believe that corporatism equals capitalism and society has been conditioned to believe that corporations have our best interests at hand - either through innovation of products or through the protection of our economy. Without society's blind compliance with corporate agendas, we would not be living in a society where nearly 20% of the population are at or below the poverty line, or where resources are recklessly scratched from the ground and the process wastes poured into our lakes, rivers and forests.

Corporatism is the destruction of independence and freedom and we all know that if too many complain they would simply be replaced with robots or computers, in the blink of an eye.

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I thought I addressed that. All issues worthy of a political discussion are complex. If simple solutions existed then there would be no need to discuss them, I think voters understand that. The argument that the "green shift is too complicated" is simply an excuse used by its proponents to explain why people don't support it.

One can find any number of complaints citing green shift as too complicated. What is worrying is not inacceptance of the plan, but that proud cultivation of "I'm dumb and proud for that" approach to problems and issues. If that's how things start, the result is certain to be nothing short of dumb either. Self fulfilling prophecy.

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The argument that the "green shift is too complicated" is simply an excuse used by its proponents to explain why people don't support it. That said, sometimes hysteria and fear mongering dressed up as simple "solutions" do work. But that does not mean that every complicated plan is worth considering or that people cannot understand complicated plans.

I fail to see why cutting taxes on good things like income and shifting taxes onto bad things like pollution is so complicated and difficult to understand. Its like trying to understand why we tax booze and cigarettes but not oranges and apples. How in depth do you need to explain something so bleedingly obvious before it sinks in?

If there's any reason to believe we're going the way of dinosaurs I'd have to conclude dinosaurs must have been stupid too.

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I fail to see why cutting taxes on good things like income and shifting taxes onto bad things like pollution is so complicated and difficult to understand.

It isn't complicated nor is the idea that taxes shifted on to bad things will be shifted to consumers in spades.

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I fail to see why cutting taxes on good things like income and shifting taxes onto bad things like pollution is so complicated and difficult to understand. Its like trying to understand why we tax booze and cigarettes but not oranges and apples. How in depth do you need to explain something so bleedingly obvious before it sinks in?
Taxing "bad" things only makes sense if people actually have choices. For example, (most) people can choose to drink less alcohol or smoke less so increasing the price of those products does result in a decrease in consumption. Emitting CO2 is not a choice for consumers or businesses because goods and people need to be transported and buildings need to be lit and heated. IOW, it is unlikely that the carbon tax will actually result in lower emissions and it will end up reducing the amount of disposable income even after factoring in the tax breaks. The only people that would be further ahead are people who are already low emitters because they live in a province with a lot of CO2 free electricity. Edited by Riverwind

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One can find any number of complaints citing green shift as too complicated. What is worrying is not inacceptance of the plan, but that proud cultivation of "I'm dumb and proud for that" approach to problems and issues. If that's how things start, the result is certain to be nothing short of dumb either. Self fulfilling prophecy.

The Green Shift was an attempt at a political solution. The hope was that Canadians would hop onto the shift taxes to things we don't want bandwagon. The problem is that it doesn't translate to the real world. In the real world corporations exist to make profits for their shareholders, so the idea that they'll just take one on the chin and not just pass the buck on to the consumer is simply stupid. So really all it is is a change to the way the government collects taxes. And that's not broken.

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Don't forget corporations will pay less income tax too. Like real people they'll be just as free to avoid or reduce consuming or producing bad things, like tobacco, booze, dirty energy etc etc.

So really all it is is a change to the way the government collects taxes. And that's not broken.

Its a change in the relationship between our economy and the ecosystems its based on, a relationship that is so broken that its completely ass-backwards at present. Its just that simple.

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The Green Shift was an attempt at a political solution. The hope was that Canadians would hop onto the shift taxes to things we don't want bandwagon. The problem is that it doesn't translate to the real world. In the real world corporations exist to make profits for their shareholders, so the idea that they'll just take one on the chin and not just pass the buck on to the consumer is simply stupid. So really all it is is a change to the way the government collects taxes. And that's not broken.

And here's yet another example, as if we needed anymore.

#1 A price is put on unwanted commodity

#2 Corporations interested in keeping and improving their profit margins can do two things: 1) increase the price; 2) reduce the use of unwanted commodity; 3) both. So at least some corporations will see the incentive to reduce the output of GHG;

#3 Consumer is faces with higher price on some products, but also has more disposable income. They can decide to not do anything (tax cut equals price increase), or to change their behavior by buying less of GHG intensive products, and save some $($$). Some consumers sure won't bother, others will see the incentive.

In all ways, the real economic incentive is created to reduce the use of unwanted commodity.

As rightfully said, it integrates the issue of GHG emissions with the economy by creating correct signals within the economy itself.

Now I'm not saying all is nice and clear in the plan, but what of the above requires more than first 3 grades of elementary school and/or mental effort of calculating a tip on a jar of beer?

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#2 Corporations interested in keeping and improving their profit margins can do two things: 1) increase the price; 2) reduce the use of unwanted commodity; 3) both. So at least some corporations will see the incentive to reduce the output of GHG;
You forgot the most likely action: 4) outsource all CO2 emitting activities to more permissive juristitions or (in the case of resource extraction) leave the resource in ground and use the capitial to develop resources elsewhere in the world.
#3 Consumer is faces with higher price on some products, but also has more disposable income.
The consumer will face price increases on virtually every product because the cost of energy increases. This cost will be incurred even if businesses switch to low GHG alternatives because the alternatives cost more.
In all ways, the real economic incentive is created to reduce the use of unwanted commodity.
The market has a nasty habit of responding in unexpected ways. For example, carbon taxes could reduce CO2 emissions by forcing the economy into a recession.
As rightfully said, it integrates the issue of GHG emissions with the economy by creating correct signals within the economy itself.
This, of course, assumes that GHGs are the only environmental problem worth worrying about. Wasting money on GHGs will result in less money being spent on other issues. For example, water pollution is a huge problem in the tar sands but you can bet governments will be reluctant to pressure companies to deal with those issues if they are already being clobbered by a carbon tax. Given a choice between clear water and an hypothetical problem I think resources are better spent on clean water.

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As already mentioned, this is not the thread to discuss the details of Green shift plan. It was only used as an example of what many complain (and some deliberately cultivate perception) of enormous complexity where none exists.

Mental laziness, unwillingness or inability to find out things for oneself is a serious concern. If it becomes a widespread behavior, it may be a sign that society has entered into its final stages.

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As already mentioned, this is not the thread to discuss the details of Green shift plan. It was only used as an example of what many complain (and some deliberately cultivate perception) of enormous complexity where none exists.
Actually, you have got it completely backwards. People who claim that the "green shift" is simple to understand are either ignorant or deliberately deceptive. I have pointed out why your "simple" talking points only appear to be simple because you choose to ignore the counter arguments. Edited by Riverwind

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Actually, you have got it completely backwards. People who claim that the "green shift" is simple to understand are either ignorant or deliberately deceptive. I have pointed out why your "simple" talking points only appear to be simple because you choose to ignore the counter arguments.

If green shifting is re-cycling - and at the same time creating more and more packaging and supporting China the planet poisoner - then greening is a joke. The reason that we will be extinct in time is because we have turned our backs on the ancient doctrines of Christianity that built and prospered our society......why so you ask? Religion? _ NOPE - original Christians worshipped the truth - also called reality - at present we are dellusional...and THAT is a major problem when it comes to GREENING...most don't have a clue about the natural or the extended super natural world - so how can you provide steward ship to the earth - when you support green on one side of the planet and raging industrialization on the other side - see what I mean? You are coo coo.. :P

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Actually, you have got it completely backwards. People who claim that the "green shift" is simple to understand are either ignorant or deliberately deceptive.

Not necessarilty. The basic idea is quite easy to grasp. The details can be daunting and may require serious discussion. What is being stated is that because something may appear to have complexities in it, does not necessarily makes it bad or wrong. Most good things we know (your car, eg.) are quite complex.

The point is not, "A is simple for Joe, so A is good" but rather, "A,B,C should all be considered for the best solution to the problem, if Joe really wants the best solution to the problem".

I have pointed out why your "simple" talking points only appear to be simple because you choose to ignore the counter arguments.

In a thread devoted to the plan, all rational arguments, no matter how complex, should be accepted. What is at issue is that lauded by some attitude to dismiss anything out of hand, if it has any resemblance of potential complexity in it.

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Not necessarilty. The basic idea is quite easy to grasp. The details can be daunting and may require serious discussion. What is being stated is that because something may appear to have complexities in it, does not necessarily makes it bad or wrong. Most good things we know (your car, eg.) are quite complex.

The point is not, "A is simple for Joe, so A is good" but rather, "A,B,C should all be considered for the best solution to the problem, if Joe really wants the best solution to the problem".

In a thread devoted to the plan, all rational arguments, no matter how complex, should be accepted. What is at issue is that lauded by some attitude to dismiss anything out of hand, if it has any resemblance of potential complexity in it.

No thought should be dismissed - rule number one - never underestimate anyone - rule two - there is no rule two..All the pieces are useful when assembled..they are called collaborative solutions. The stupids person may blurt out a statement that may save the world - so keep your ears open. :rolleyes:

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