mellyrn on April 25, 2011, 07:41:39 am
Studying a phenomenon is easier when the phenomenon has a rigorous definition.  "Intelligence" seems to be more like "art" -- "I know it when I see it."

Defining "men" and "women" should be straightforward enough.  And yet -- what do we call an XXY person?  What do we call an XY with androgen insensitivity syndrome -- this person appears to be female up until "she" doesn't menstruate and then tests reveal a male-normal amount of testosterone in "her" system (and these people tend to be unusually beautiful women)?  Do we classify homosexual people according to their genes or their psyches?

On amusing little tests that purport to tell your sex, I typically score "male" (despite having borne and suckled 3 kids) and my husband typically scores "female" (despite having sired said kids).  He does drive a little more boldly than I -- but he will also freely stop and ask directions, and I won't until I'm sick with desperation.

Oh, and I'm starting to think that "sam" is "jamesd" returned to us. . . .

Holt on April 25, 2011, 07:52:46 am
In terms of physical characteristics I would categorise the abnormalities as exactly that. Abnormalities.

J Thomas on April 25, 2011, 09:23:40 am

Oh, and I'm starting to think that "sam" is "jamesd" returned to us. . . .

The similarities are large and the differences small. More difference between Sam and Sams than between Sam and Jamesd.

But what difference does it make? It's basicly an anonymous medium with no proof whether two user names have the same brain behind them or not. Better to consider the ideas for themselves, unless the possibility of meeting for hot wet unsanitary sex is under consideration.

SandySandfort on April 25, 2011, 09:33:08 am
So the differences between men and women, you consider to be "glaringly obvious," turn out to be nothing more than statistical trends, correct? In fact, when a woman walks into a room, your "glaringly obvious" assumptions about her are of little use in dealing with her as an individual, correct? Is she in the majority who have more trouble (than most men), when dealing with spacial relations (maps and such)? Maybe, but by putting a label on her merely because she has XX sex chromosomes, you are just guessing, right? Tell me how that is "glaringly obvious."

BTW, politics has to do with the distribution of power within a group. The issue of market anarchy is just as much a position on politics as atheism is a religious belief. Under the ZAP, there is no difference between men and women ("No one has a right to initiate force...") and the ZAP is what we were talking about in the anarchistic society of the Belt.

One final note. You think men are braver than women? Try threatening a woman's children and see what happens. Bravery is all about what one is willing to be brave about. Wars are generally a fool's errand, that many men seem to enjoy. In my experience, protection of one's family, irrespective of the risk, seems to be more common on the distaff side of the aisle. YMMV


The physical and mental differences between men and women are glaringly obvious, and anyone who denies them is merely being pious.

Obviously, I am speaking about political equality

But in an anarchic society you do not really have politics, or at least should not have politics, hence no politics to be equal before.  The differences between men and women are such that men will do most of the enforcement and provide most of the protection, while women will do most of the housework.  This will have consequences significantly different from a society where the state does the protection, most of the childminding and much of the economic support of women with children.

Now here is something I would really like to know. What mental differences between men and women do you believe are "glaringly obvious"? This should be amusing.

Famously, or infamously, women cannot read the map, and men cannot find the butter.

Men are markedly braver than women, so much so that "pussy" means cowardly, and "man up" means "be brave"  Almost all men are braver than almost all women.

Upper body strength:  Any man whose upper body strength is no more than that of a strong woman is seriously ill.  There is zero overlap between healthy men and healthy women in upper body strength.  Some female athletes look like they are counterexamples to this, but those athletes look they are taking male steroids.

Most women are worse at judging position and motion than most men, thus almost all women perceive almost all men's driving as scary, and almost all men perceive almost all women's driving as incompetent.

Because of differences in ability to judge time, motion, and position, a woman, after backseat driving her husband all day, will take a painfully long time parking the car.

While her husband drives, a woman will frequently tell her husband "watch out for that thing", when there is no possibility that that thing will intersect with the car the husband is driving if the car and the thing continue on their respective courses.  When the wife drives, the husband will never do this.

Women talk a lot more than men, and are better at it.  We automatically apply higher standards to women speaking than men speaking.  If a woman speaks no better than a man, we think she is mighty stupid.

Women are better at human relationships in a small number, close and intimate relationships.  Men are better at people in a large number of distant relationships.  Men are better than women in negotiating hierarchies, at acting within a hierarchy, within a team or large group.  Thus men are better at team sports, and enjoy them more than women.

Men are better at logic than women, which creates problems with efforts to affirmative action a sufficient number of women in science and such like.  A male computer science graduate can always parse a boolean expression, because he could not graduate if he could not.  A female computer science graduate usually cannot parse a boolean expression, indicating that if they required them to do that sort of stuff there would be very few female computer science graduates.

Similarly the fact that we are taught about so much about female scientists who are made famous for strikingly unimpressive accomplishments demonstrates that women just cannot do science very well.  If women could do science, those promoting women in science would have more impressive poster girls.

mellyrn on April 25, 2011, 12:38:04 pm
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But what difference does it make?

Not having to repeat rebuttals.

sam on April 25, 2011, 12:54:05 pm
If one really wants to break it down, men and women have different instincts, preferences, and mating rules. Still, there's not enough there to make different sets of laws.

There is enough there that it is absurd to have the same laws on family matters.  In all of history, no society other than our own has had laws for "spouses".  They have had one set of rules for husbands, and another set of rules for wives.

J Thomas on April 25, 2011, 12:57:31 pm
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But what difference does it make?

Not having to repeat rebuttals.

Nobody is forcing you to rebut the first time.

Try out the Hedonist's Rule?

"If it feels good, do it. Until it stops feeling good. Then quit."


Aardvark on April 25, 2011, 01:43:13 pm
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Me:

It's the bell curve of intelligence. The XX chromosomes tend to average instead of one being dominant. Men, having only one X chromosome, take all their intelligence from that. It means that there are a lot of women in the midrange of intelligence and fewer at either end. The men are spread out more along the curve. There are a lot more stupid guys than stupid women, but a lot more geniuses, too.

J Thomas
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That's a plausible story, and the evidence is weak.

In any one cell, the XX chromosomes mostly don't average out.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-inactivation
One of them is mostly inactive. (But not completely inactive.)

But different cell lines can have different X chromosomes active. So there could be room for some sort of averaging. The genetics of intelligence is not worked out well at all, and there are stories about difficulties getting funding to study it. Maybe a lot of people just don't want to know.

As you say, there's not an absolute averaging, but regardless if the theory is completely correct -- or fails to hold water at all -- there is something there. The sexes use different parts of the brain to think. I've also watched a program where a female to male transexual's spacial awareness increased and her language ability decreased after being on hormones for several months. I don't know. I bought "The Bell Curve" some years ago. The graph where they overlaid male and female intelligence was striking. The conclusions of that book are a PC minefield, but the statistics seem to hold up rather well, even allowing for some quibblers. Regardless of the cause, the patterns of male and female intelligence seem to be quite real.

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Me: That's why the top scientists are almost always men. There are also a couple of studies that show that average overall intelligence favors men, but the difference is slight: 5 IQ points in a study done in the UK and 3 points in a study in the US. I have no idea how rigorous these studies were, but I thought I'd mention them.

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J Thomas: It's a plausible JustSo story. Intelligence is in general hard to study. One of the problems is that it's hard to get good results studying people who are more intellingent than the researchers, and somehow the most intelligent researchers appear to consider this a field worth staying away from. I could make up JustSo stories why they might feel that way.

Granted, intelligence is a variable that's hard to quantify, but I don't see what the intelligence of the researchers or the subjects have to do with it. In any reputable study, the researchers wouldn't be directly evaluating their subjects' intelligence, they'd be using standardized tests.

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J Thomas: In general, if you make laws designed to discriminate on some criterion, there will be people who officially meet that criterion who do not in fact meet it who will manipulate the situation in their own favor. You'd have to look at individual laws to decide whether this is "ants at a picnic" or whether it's important enough to change the law.

I'm not in favor of elevating someone over another on the basis of an IQ test. Potential is one thing; harnessing that potential is another.

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J Thomas: I like the idea of paying close attention to individual circumstances.

In what way?

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J Thomas: But I also like the idea of one-law-fits-all, particularly when I don't get to choose who tries the case. What if the other guy is rich or popular? I don't want him to get everything his way because that's taken too much into consideration.

I like a society that creates basic equal opportunity, but not equal outcomes. Sure, the quality of public schools vary, but a large part of that, in my experience, is due to culture, and dumbing down to the lowest common denominator out of fear of failing too many students. It's sheer stupidity because it rewards people who don't try with a pointless free ride to a useless diploma and brutally penalizes those who want to learn with a dull, mind-numbing slog to mediocrity when they are capable of so much more. What about the responsibility of the parents, or a single mother, who has no time for the kids or relies entirely on the school to educate her offspring, tells her kids that society is stacked against them, then blames others for her kids' failures? Ignoring reality is mental illness.

Thomas Sowell pointed out that black Harlem schools in the 1940's used to produce kids with test scores similar to the best white private schools. So what happened? Could it have been the breakdown of the family and the adaptation of an achievement-killing culture of quotas and ready-made excuses for failure?

This is yet another reason why I think the Left is mentally ill. Psychiatrists, who are almost always lefties, almost universally rejected the importance of the breakdown of the family. They did so based on PC. Despite the clear evidence, their prevailing "wisdom" was that poor educational achievement and high crime rates were due to the cumulative effects of centuries of racial discrimination and resultant low self-esteem. When enough studies forced them to admit the obvious, they grumbled and whined, and they still don't like to admit that they were wrong all along, partly because they helped doom a couple of generations to failure, but mainly, I think, because they see the role of family -- having a father and a mother in particular -- and the importance of culture as "conservative" positions.

I imagine that the Cerereans are less likely to deny reality about most things. It does concern me, though, that while there is a lot about ZAP and rights for kids in EFT and on the forum, there is a good deal of ambiguity in the role of the family.

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J Thomas: And yet, on the other hand, what's the point in being rich if it doesn't let you flout the laws? I might be rich someday, and then it would be good for me to be above the laws the peons have to follow.

These moral issues have a lot of complications.

Ah, did you forget the "/s" tag? :)

J Thomas on April 25, 2011, 03:03:03 pm
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Me:

The XX chromosomes tend to average instead of one being dominant. Men, having only one X chromosome, take all their intelligence from that. It means that there are a lot of women in the midrange of intelligence and fewer at either end. The men are spread out more along the curve. There are a lot more stupid guys than stupid women, but a lot more geniuses, too.

J Thomas
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That's a plausible story, and the evidence is weak.

In any one cell, the XX chromosomes mostly don't average out.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-inactivation
One of them is mostly inactive. (But not completely inactive.)

But different cell lines can have different X chromosomes active. So there could be room for some sort of averaging. The genetics of intelligence is not worked out well at all, and there are stories about difficulties getting funding to study it. Maybe a lot of people just don't want to know.

As you say, there's not an absolute averaging, but regardless if the theory is completely correct -- or fails to hold water at all -- there is something there. The sexes use different parts of the brain to think.

And people raised Japanese also use different parts of their brains to think. Is thinking in Japanese really so different?

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Me: That's why the top scientists are almost always men. There are also a couple of studies that show that average overall intelligence favors men, but the difference is slight: 5 IQ points in a study done in the UK and 3 points in a study in the US. I have no idea how rigorous these studies were, but I thought I'd mention them.

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J Thomas: It's a plausible JustSo story. Intelligence is in general hard to study. One of the problems is that it's hard to get good results studying people who are more intellingent than the researchers, and somehow the most intelligent researchers appear to consider this a field worth staying away from. I could make up JustSo stories why they might feel that way.

Granted, intelligence is a variable that's hard to quantify, but I don't see what the intelligence of the researchers or the subjects have to do with it. In any reputable study, the researchers wouldn't be directly evaluating their subjects' intelligence, they'd be using standardized tests.

Well, intelligence is a variable that's hard to quantify, so researchers try to quantify it using standardized tests that were created by rather stupid people. Is that enough of a hint?

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I'm not in favor of elevating someone over another on the basis of an IQ test. Potential is one thing; harnessing that potential is another.

Agreed. By some criteria the very idea is ridiculous. "If you're so smart, how come you need special privileges to get by?" It reminds me of an old New Yorker cartoon. There are windows with smoke coming out of them, and a fireman on a ladder at one window where a woman is passing him a baby, and at the next window over a chubby guy with a goatee and a beret is saying "Quick! Over here! I'm a creative person!"

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I like a society that creates basic equal opportunity, but not equal outcomes.

Agreed. I wouldn't have any particular problem with a society that had a 100% inheritance tax, You can get whatever outcomes you can create for yourself. But I feel OK without even that much basic equal opportunity too.

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This is yet another reason why I think the Left is mentally ill.

Project much? Is it sane to mix up your orders of abstraction so far? "The Left" is not an entity that is even capable of holding a unified point of view, it can hardly be coherent enough to be insane.

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J Thomas: And yet, on the other hand, what's the point in being rich if it doesn't let you flout the laws? I might be rich someday, and then it would be good for me to be above the laws the peons have to follow.

These moral issues have a lot of complications.

Ah, did you forget the "/s" tag? :)

Yes, and yet doesn't it make sense directly too? Lots of people have so very much sympathy for the rich, from the dream that they might become rich themselves. Or from some sort of peculiar identification.

Aardvark on April 25, 2011, 04:29:30 pm
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Me: As you say, there's not an absolute averaging, but regardless if the theory is completely correct -- or fails to hold water at all -- there is something there. The sexes use different parts of the brain to think.

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J Thomas: And people raised Japanese also use different parts of their brains to think. Is thinking in Japanese really so different?

Yes. Male brain: left brain or / right brain. Female A mix.

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Me: Granted, intelligence is a variable that's hard to quantify, but I don't see what the intelligence of the researchers or the subjects have to do with it. In any reputable study, the researchers wouldn't be directly evaluating their subjects' intelligence, they'd be using standardized tests.

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J Thomas: Well, intelligence is a variable that's hard to quantify, so researchers try to quantify it using standardized tests that were created by rather stupid people. Is that enough of a hint?

A hint that you're jumping to all sorts of conclusions? Yes.

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Me: I like a society that creates basic equal opportunity, but not equal outcomes.

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J Thomas: Agreed. I wouldn't have any particular problem with a society that had a 100% inheritance tax, You can get whatever outcomes you can create for yourself. But I feel OK without even that much basic equal opportunity too.

I have a hard time knowing if you're being sarcastic or not. There are so many wild ideas running around, I really think we need them. Are you truly okay with the state taking a person's life work just so everyone can start "clean?" Have you considered the consequences? There would be little reason to hold onto anything. The end of one's life would be a rush to spend it all. The state would have a nice plot of land or bank account to pass on to their favorites. The poor man or woman would be denied the right to pass on his wealth to children, spouse, or charity of choice. Dreadful idea.

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Me: This is yet another reason why I think the Left is mentally ill.

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J Thomas: Project much?

Not at all. Consider my argument: Is it reasonable, does it hold water? I say that willfully ignoring reality is a sign that one is mentally ill. Socialism and PC have been proven to be non-rational policies. I forgive the uninformed, but those who know better and still support those policies are simply mentally ill.

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J Thomas: Is it sane to mix up your orders of abstraction so far? "The Left" is not an entity that is even capable of holding a unified point of view,

To the contrary, I've found the vast majority of leftists to remarkably monolithic across a wide spectrum. It's like a secular religion with certain tenets of belief: for instance, that conservatives are the devil. Of course there are branches like Greens and Reds, but underneath the recycled T-shirts, peace signs, "save the whales," and Sarah Palin fake quotes banners are those that vote only one way.

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J Thomas: It can hardly be coherent enough to be insane.

I'm not crazy enough to even try to parse that phrase. :)

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J Thomas about becoming rich to flout the law:: Yes, and yet doesn't it make sense directly too? Lots of people have so very much sympathy for the rich, from the dream that they might become rich themselves. Or from some sort of peculiar identification.

Is that what people long for, to become rich to flout the law? I would love to be rich, not to flout the law, but to enjoy my largesse. Now, to flout the law to become rich.... :)

sam on April 25, 2011, 04:50:59 pm
So the differences between men and women, you consider to be "glaringly obvious," turn out to be nothing more than statistical trends, correct?

Yes indeed.

In fact, when a woman walks into a room, your "glaringly obvious" assumptions about her are of little use in dealing with her as an individual, correct?

Incorrect.  On most of the qualities listed, there is little overlap between men and women.   For example, to a very good approximation, there are approximately zero competent female software engineers, apart from database management.  If a female engineer walks into the room, you can safely assume she is an affirmative action hire who will need a male colleague to actually do her job.  If you meet a female “firefighter”, you know she is actually a fiire watcher.  How many female “firefighters” do you think got killed in 9/11?    There are zero female firefighters, just as there are zero female software engineers, in the one case for lack of brains, in the other case for lack of guts.

The differences are greatest on matters related to reproduction, where the number of men who can bear children is statistically a bit on the low side, and as a result we have a huge problem with fatherless children, but no significant problem with motherless children.  Because of this enormous disparity, treating husbands and wives equally as “spouses” leads to ludicrous results.

Another way to look at the problem is that marriage is a contract, and the terms of that contract should approximate supply and demand.  Unfortunately it is an intimate long term contract, so the terms reflect social and coercive enforcement, rather than being readily negotiable. 

Since the old contract where wives were supposed to “love honor and obey” did approximately balance supply and demand, we should be unsurprised if the new contract does not, possibly explaining the present very large levels of fatherlessness.

BTW, politics has to do with the distribution of power within a group. The issue of market anarchy is just as much a position on politics as atheism is a religious belief. Under the ZAP, there is no difference between men and women

And if A gets pregnant by B, and B throws her out, who is aggressing?

When it comes to family matters and family law, the Zero Aggression principle does not help.

("No one has a right to initiate force...") and the ZAP is what we were talking about in the anarchistic society of the Belt.

And is a shotgun marriage initiation of force?  Is divorce initiation of force?  Does the Zero Aggression Principle imply divorce at the whim of either party?  If so, does it imply the same thing for other contracts?  And if it does imply that, what about children and property?

One final note. You think men are braver than women?

How many female firefighters died in 9/11?

There simply is not much overlap between men and women.  If a random male, and a random female walk into a room, you can be pretty sure which one is better at chopping wood.    And you can be pretty sure which one is more willing to fight fires.   

And you can be perfectly sure that one of them is not going to get knocked up by some random thug, so laws and customs that relate to that problem are quite definitely going to apply to women and only women, and not to “spouses” or “partners”.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 05:04:49 pm by sam »

Tucci78 on April 25, 2011, 06:19:48 pm
I wouldn't have any particular problem with a society that had a 100% inheritance tax, You can get whatever outcomes you can create for yourself. But I feel OK without even that much basic equal opportunity too.

You wouldn't?  Think about it.  You die, and all of a sudden your dependents (wife/husband, kids, worthless brother-in-law) suddenly have everything you'd owned taken away from them, and everything to which you'd had any arguable partial ownership rights gets entailed and subject to liquidation so that the taxing authority can receive the monetary value of that "100% inheritance tax

The violently aggressive resentful vicious cement-headed egalitarianism of the those who lust for massive inheritance taxes as a way to secure "basic equal opportunity" in an orgy of punishment inflicted upon the heirs of people who have managed to accumulate any kind of wealth in the course of their lives betrays a level of respect for their fellow human beings so low that shooting these tax enthusiasts on sight - like rabid dogs - is nothing more than a salubrious public health measure.

Heck, as if this determination to reduce other people to pauperism weren't enough, think about the effects of putting any more spending power in the hands of government thugs.

In every polity where the concept of taxing the dead became prevalent, people with the resource (material and intellectual) to do so have evaded such taxation by divesting themselves before death of the valuta sought by the grasping sons of bitches who seek government office.  In modern America, they have for many decades bought themselves laws which permit them to turn their material wealth over to effectively immortal legal fictions such as "foundations," which enjoy immunity from death taxes and other exactions. All sorts of other trickeries are employed, and we can readily anticipate that anybody stupid enough to think that "a 100% inheritance tax" is going to do anything in the way of securing any kind of "basic equal opportunity" for the people who do not have family members thoughtful enough to leave 'em bucketsful of money is going to find in this aspect of his/her life as much disappointment as the miserable asshole more than sufficiently deserves.
"I is a great believer in peaceful settlements," Jik-jik assured him. "Ain't nobody as peaceful as a dead trouble-maker."
-- Keith Laumer, Retief's War (1966)

qoheleth on April 25, 2011, 06:37:28 pm
...  On most of the qualities listed, there is little overlap between men and women.   For example, to a very good approximation, there are approximately zero competent female software engineers, apart from database management.  If a female engineer walks into the room, you can safely assume she is an affirmative action hire who will need a male colleague to actually do her job.
That would be seriously and woefully incorrect based on my experience.  (Yes, I'm aware, being versed in statistics, that personal experience never translates into actual figures.)  Still, I've met many highly competent electrical, chemical, and software engineers in my time, enough to render your "approximately zero" factually challenged by sheer number of examples alone.

As I see it, the problem with male-female equality is the same as most other forms.  What is to be desired for fairness' sake is to have equality of opportunity, not a forced equality of results.  Where women are as capable as men (and vice-versa), they should be allowed to compete equally.  Where certain factors such as body size, mass, and strength come into play, one would expect that males will probably outnumber females.

Tucci78 on April 25, 2011, 06:46:59 pm
I like a society that creates basic equal opportunity, but not equal outcomes.

I find it remarkable that anyone with enough intelligence to string words in a row should succumb to the fallacy that "society" in this sense is in any way an entity with conscious purpose and volition instead of being merely the process by which individual human beings interact without aggression.  Thomas Paine opened his Common Sense with a perfectly satisfactory differentiation between "society" and "government" in 1776, and it's as if that straightforward appreciation soars way to hellangone over the heads of people today.

How is it that anyone should ever expect "society" to serve any function in creating "basic equal opportunity" of any kind for any person?  This isn't the way society functions to begin with, and society can never assume such a capability and remain "society" as it is correctly defined. To expect that such were possible - not to mention that it could be of any benefit whatsoever - is simply not sane.
"I is a great believer in peaceful settlements," Jik-jik assured him. "Ain't nobody as peaceful as a dead trouble-maker."
-- Keith Laumer, Retief's War (1966)

J Thomas on April 25, 2011, 07:04:13 pm
I wouldn't have any particular problem with a society that had a 100% inheritance tax, You can get whatever outcomes you can create for yourself. But I feel OK without even that much basic equal opportunity too.

You wouldn't?  Think about it.  You die, and all of a sudden your dependents (wife/husband, kids, worthless brother-in-law) suddenly have everything you'd owned taken away from them, and everything to which you'd had any arguable partial ownership rights gets entailed and subject to liquidation so that the taxing authority can receive the monetary value of that "100% inheritance tax

It would be a blow, yes, but if you try to cushion that too much then you wind up with a bunch of rich people controlling everything. If my other family members are doing adequately with their own businesses then they'll get by.

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The violently aggressive resentful vicious cement-headed egalitarianism of the those who lust for massive inheritance taxes as a way to secure "basic equal opportunity" in an orgy of punishment inflicted upon the heirs of people who have managed to accumulate any kind of wealth in the course of their lives betrays a level of respect for their fellow human beings so low that shooting these tax enthusiasts on sight - like rabid dogs - is nothing more than a salubrious public health measure.

Ah, you have deep feelings about it. I don't, so I'll just back off. I can understand your position. After all, as one of the 1% of the public who owns 49% of the wealth, or one of the top 20% who owns 87%, mostly by inheritance, of course you want to keep what's yours. How could you live without it? There's no possible chance you could pick yourself up and earn it again if you lost it -- you aren't that kind of guy.

So of course you'd be ready to pay for somebody to shoot the people who might threaten your livelihood.

Yes, I'll just back off. It isn't any big deal to me. We have unsolved problems and no really effective solutions in mind. While super-rich people are definitely part of our problems, government is another part and trusting either of those to deal with the other is probably not going to have good results.