...a place that works close enough to a meritocracy.
Oh, no! We drag around way
too much dead weight for that. Overall, our society is not very meritocratic.
Especially since you previously said that poor stay poor there. I suppose that no poor people where you live work hard. I don't think that that is impossible, but I find it highly improbable.
Many of them are pensioners, students (who I like to count although it's not a standard thing to do; they are
likely to cross the class lins at some point), immigrants and garden variety social saety net cases. Some are single parent families with like eight kids. Some are hard-working, yes, but are either not very good at their craft or their craft is not a "prized commodity," so to speak. Meritocracy is not just
about how hard you work at your dead-end job. There is room to recognise that some people are "just" more capable when it comes to gnerating what the society percieves as success for themselves than others and there are other variables than meritocracy in play. Failed integration efforts, for starters. Various saety nets and the availability thereof. Etc.
The gaps are much larger than that in the US, and there is still a lot mobility both ways. While we have a lot of poor at or below $25k USD, middle class is closer to $100k USD. We could get into specifics if you want, but I don't find them that important.
This article isn't too long and explains things pretty well.
This is interesting... I see that I've neglected to household-adjust mine. Not surprising for someone who lives alone, but still... Sloppy. I'll see if I can correct it with a bit more number crunching. Indeed, it's not very important for the purpose of this conversation. I was merely getting around to pointing out as a curiosity, that the divide between the middle class and the rich in terms of purchasing power and economic stability is far narrower in Norway than that between the middle class and the poor. Long live socialism!
Using your voting analogy. A voting place doesn't allow women voters even though there is no law saying that women can't vote. So the big bad Government comes in and makes a law that says that all voting places must allow women to vote.
Yes. Excellent. Getting places.
That right there is an oppressive law. A well-balanced law would not go beyond clearly stating that people can vote regardless of their gender at any eligible location... If it needed to go that
far. This also addresses the part of your argument in this paragraph, not included in my quote.
You know, I think we may actually get this thing off the ground - like *really* get somewhere - if we address this and the implication I keep coming back to.
Ok... I'm editing in afterthoughts now, and I will need to re-state your position, so bear with me and correct where applicable. Feel free to throw the rest of this post (outside the edit "tags") unless still interested in it.
What I am saying is, that any law which makes distinctions based on "normal, natural" (terrible wording, but do let us leave that for another debate, unless my implication is unclear) traits in order to influence the distribution of some commodity, be it wealth, work or... Imaginary (here: much desired) Rolls Royces, is an oppressive law. A balanced law states that equal individuals can do equal things equally. That's it. From there, you can go into anti-discriminatory laws, more or less saying that, for instance, A shall not evaluate B based on C,D,F and/or R. As long as C, D, F and R are traits applicable to "all" Bs (if "B" is "people," those may be gender, hair colour, sexual orientation, height, skin tone... We all have those), the law is still balanced.
You seem to be, and do correct me if I'm still not getting it, of the opinion that a law may clearly state or strongly imply that Bs posessing trait D must
be specially considered and included, to the point where a certain percentage of Bs must
posess a certain amount of whatever it is the law is distributing, without it being an oppressive law. (Pretty-much-period. Bs posessing other traits are not mentioned at all. This is important, as I shall explain)
It is, of course, possible and even probable that I do not understand the affirmative action laws in the USA. Therefore, I based my reasoning around a Norwegian law that does, in fact, say more or less that a public stock company must have a certain percentage of its board and/or upper management occupied by women. That law makes no such provision for men or any one who defines themselves otherwise than along them classical gender lines.
I would be perfectly OK with the abovementioned law if it did, in fact, take into consideration other groups than those it is specifically designed to advance. 40% women on the board of directors? Not a problem, as long as it also states that at least 40% must be men and, given that the percentage of those who define as "other" (another terrible word, but as I said, I'm editing in afterthoughs, always mindful that while I dally over wording, someone may be replying to a post which will have its centre of gravity shift after editing) so, given that the percentage of "others" is so small, as long as parallel anti-discriminatory laws exist, which at least largely compensate for them not being specifically mentioned in the law in question.
To turn it back to my-your-my example, "All places where voting takes place must allow women, men and people of other gender identities to vote." Do you see my position as any more clear now? Reasonable? Less so? Unchanged? In any case, I hope I've managed to steer this conversation onto a more productive track.
It has something to do with this, "You don't need to swap my imaginary Rolls Royce for a bus ticket to give poor people car loans." I certainly never said anything close to that. If you can't see how that is not a wild misrepresentation from anything I've said, I don't know what to do. Nothing in your statement comes close to representing what I've been saying. I could understand a bit of exaggeration, a bit of stretching... but it's like you're off on a completely different planet from what I said.
I think you may not have read "imaginary" in the way, in which it was written. In this case, "potential" would be a closer substitute than "much-desired/lamented."
Beyond that, yes, it was an exaggerated example, but workable in addressing the issue above.
I never said it was rampant. If you understood it as I said it, you might not think it such a poorly made argument. Can you see the difference between me saying that something exists, from me saying that it is rampant?
Bad choice of words. "Enough of a problem to be regulated by targeted law." A bit too weak, but apropos, yes?
I don't find that to be a useful definition of the term "freebie" and don't see how a nuanced conversation would be possible when using a term with a definition like that that also has other very different meanings.
A freebie: in broad terms, something you get for nothing, with no strings attached. This needs not include objects, but may also apply to services, social constructs and the like, no?
You said, "Start at the bottom and kiss influential ass all the way to the top, just like the rest of us losers.[...]" because of the response to what I said, it gives the impression that you think that I don't think people should have to work hard to get jobs. It's not an uncommon thing to think when talking about this kind of thing and I never brought up any point saying or even implying that people shouldn't have to work hard to get a job or that people should just be handed jobs.
In an attempt to correct that, I said, "I'm not saying that people should just be given a job just because they fall into some group, if you think that or keep trying to argue against that position, then I'm not sure what I can do to correct it after this."
Then you said, "In a way, you are." Which would mean that you're saying that in a way I am saying that people should be given a job just because they fall into a group. Which is not something I've ever said in any kind of way.
Ok... I think I see where you are coming from. Yes, I did challenge you to clarify that you do not indeed mean that someone should get a job "just" because they fall into a certain group (Which of course applies to falling into groups one has little to no control over
I still maintain this challenge. I'll give you a somewhat less muddy scenario, after I've muddied it up a tiny bit. You live in a place where the law states that 40% of all executive positions in public stock companies must be held by... Luxemburgers. Traditionally, 8 out of 10 o those positions were held by Asmos. This is also the case in your company. Your company is now looking to replace a retired... Let's not make him a CEO. CFO, perhaps. You are looking for someone who wants a stable position, in other words, someone who is likely to stick around for a decade or two. You have two outstanding candidates - an Asmo who is more than happy to stay until he retires if he finds the job nice enough, and a Luxemburger who will stay for three years, then move to Singapore because Luxemburgers are generally more appreciated there. Both have comparable experience, skill set and personality. Do you hire the Asmo you want and go to court? Or do you hire the Luxemburger? Or do you keep looking for another Luxemburger to hire while the perfectly good Asmo goes to a competitor?
If your answer is b or c, how is that law not oppressive to your business? How are you not
giving a job to someone "just" because they fall into a certain group?
So there we are. When it comes to the very first quoted line, the one about licking influential balls or some such... That's my solution in getting ahead in the world for those who want ahead. Men, women, North Koreans... Especially North Koreans. If getting somewhere is the goal, few things will propel you right to the middle of your journey faster than kissing the right ass. And yes, that ass usually sits on a middle-aged white man, but I doubt that will be the case to anywhere close to the same extent in a generation or two - regardless, or perhaps even in spite of, the inequality laws.
How can I present my argument clearly to a person with such imprecise terminology as you've demonstrated above with "freebie," who throws in Red Herrings like talking about people should work hard to get better jobs when I've never said anything otherwise, who takes my objections and thinks it's OK to wildly speculate I mean something I've never said, and who seem to refuse to listen to my corrections? I can only do so much, the rest is on you to listen to what I say, to not put in things I didn't say, and to listen when I try to correct what appears to me to be your interpretation of what I said. I try my best to do the same.
Perhaps the above will help. "Freebie" is an umbrella term, used as such. If I wanted a more precise term, I would use a sentence in stead. It would not change much; I put no negative connotations into the word itself, so it... Works. "Something given/bestowed/granted/pick-your-semi-synonim to someone at no price" or, if you will, with no strings attached. Or, without expectations of any returns - reasonable or otherwise. Does affirmative action come with strings attached? For instance, are employment contracts time-binding on a different level than those not issued under affirmative action? (It needs not be time or generally lower salary or whatever - but if there are indeed strings attached, I will withdraw my one-word statement, even though no such strings exist in the original context in which I was operating.)
You have listened to some of what I said, but the other things are things you keep doing. So yeah, after trying several times to correct the issues, I now take it as willful and hostile.
Also I don't understand your usage of calling me "passive-aggressive." A quick google definition defines it how I am familiar with the term:
of or denoting a type of behavior or personality characterized by indirect resistance to the demands of others and an avoidance of direct confrontation, as in procrastinating, pouting, or misplacing important materials.
I feel that I am very direct and that I do not avoid confrontation. As can be seen by my directly addressing your statements and discussing them directly with you. Aggressive, sure a little, but that in itself doesn't make me passive-aggressive.
I do not see this point as worth arguing. However, if you are willing to defend your definition of "hostile" given that I have not displayed hostility towards your opinion, much less your person, then I will indulge in the semantics of passive aggressiveness. (Broadly speaking, I was aiming at your avoiding challenges to your points or refuting such challenges by restating your point. It may be a case of talking past each other, but it does whiff a little of passive aggressive behaviour)
Again, we can spend some time debating whö's the more despicable human being, but this does nothing to further either of our agendas. I am willing to let it lie.