This is the one that resonated with me.
Obviously "the system" as a whole isn't objectively crumbling by traditional measures like GDP, but there were things that could give that feeling: Homeless sleeping in the subway and on the main streets, the smells, crime so rampant it's basically ignored (my car was broken into > 5 times), working relationships are brief and cold and high-pressure
The homeless problem is not caused by the tech industry, it is caused by the homeowners who have been blocking apartment building construction in 90% of the city for 50 years.
I'm glad not everybody had such a callous experience as mine.
> The homeless problem is not caused by the tech industry
I don't buy either tech nor housing as the root cause, but at the end of the day I didn't really care who to blame, I just wanted to be able to walk down the street without feeling like I was going to get ebola. But nobody felt safe even acknowledging the problem ("How dare you admit that a half-dressed drug-addict screaming sexual profanities at the woman in front of you makes you uncomfortable! Privilege much?"). People just wanted to blame someone or not even open that can of worms.
Are these people in need of help? Yes.
Should they be out in the street while getting said help? No.
Does their presence in the street present a problem? Yes.
Here's just one example: https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/09/13/550674476...
Ironically, you're the one being judgemental here.
I agree they need help, but this goes way beyond the deep sadness of seeing really sick people and wishing you could help them.
> This is an insanely privileged thing to say though.
The tech industry is doing what it's supposed to - building their business and making money. Along the way it's created a lot of jobs for a lot of people and paid them plenty of money. These are generally considered to be good things. If anything, industry would love lower housing prices because then they could justify paying lower salaries.
That the city can't/won't build enough housing for its inhabitants is the voters' fault, and theirs alone. Every voter in every Bay Area that opposes new construction is responsible for each and every single person rendered homeless due to rising rents.
With that said, it might be worth discussing where the blame for the problem that has been made worse might lie. To aggravate an underlying problem, one has to already exist. So let's talk about that problem, and its causes, rather than casting aspersions on every group who contributed marginally after the fact - that's a very long list, and it's not even a useful list.
Then maybe, having identified the problem and the causes, we can see about solving it. So let's talk about zoning, prop 13, and the way construction permitting processes work and the political systems that support them!
However, I think it might actually be possible to build homes rapidly enough to meet demand. We should at least try, and if we fail we'll have a lot of new housing. That's a nice prize no matter the outcome. What's convenient about this approach is that if we get rid of the political obstacles to construction, we almost certainly can build enough housing!
Failing that, how about we tax people who have helped perpetuate this state of affairs and benefit the most to help address the problem? How about a "created this mess" tax on everyone who has been in the Bay for ten years or more? Maybe they can contribute a little to solving the problem they created, rather than inflicting pain on other people and shouting "STOP HITTING YOURSELF!".
No, that's not a serious proposal. It makes more sense than slapping people with taxes for the privilege of moving to one of the most expensive places in the world, but that is not a high bar.
This is a multi-faceted problem and must be addressed hand in hand with transportation. What if we could house everyone but nobody could get anywhere? Higher density housing along transit lines, better public transportation, etc. are all things we should be working to improve. But we also need to consider the demand side of the equation. Is there a way to even out the demand. What if we build a ton of new high-density housing and the economy takes a major downturn or the tech industry gets distributed to other locales? Will we be left with a bunch of empty buildings that will be a drag on our regional economy and downtown areas for decades?
I feel the biggest immediate relief to the demand issue is legislating tax breaks for companies who allow some large percentage of their workforce to work full-time remote. This would immediately allow people to live in lower cost areas but still take advantage of the dynamic Bay Area tech economy. This is the quickest way to release a little pressure on both housing and transportation while working on the longer term solutions.
* You're completely right. Transportation needs fixing. This is mostly a governance problem, I think. There are too many agencies, too much overhead, and too little accountability.
* Demand management always struck me as needlessly authoritarian. Why do it so explicitly, when prices are doing it for us? And what keeps politicos from going "Well, we convinced a bunch of the evil rich techies to leave. Now they can be replaced by worthy natives! Mission complete!". It would be dangerously politically popular, and lots of local politics tend towards populist and short-term-ist.
Have you looked at how much of SF and the Bay works in tech? Most days, it feels like the answer is absolutely everyone. Yet, in SF the actual number is something like 6% of the workforce. That's half of the number working in finance. If a sixth of the tech workers left SF tomorrow, the population would be replaced within a year or two (recent rates are around 1% yearly). The approach might get some very short-term relief, but without major reform a lot more time would be needed to get long-term changes in place. Never mind the politics of handing tax cuts to tech companies!
Your monoculture concerns are real, valid, and rooted in reasonable worries. You are absolutely right to have them! Yet, they could be better-aligned with reality.
I really wish these two things were bound together.
With that said, prop 13 has wreaked havoc on budgets all across California. School funding is a state-wide problem. And I would go so far as to say that the whole of the Bay Area experiences a housing shortage for what is mostly the same set of reasons.
So while you're right, there may be some commonalities to be found.
Why so? Even if high-paid populations are being shifted around, it's better for the region as a whole to have more highly-paid people. They'll spend more and pay more in taxes (sales, property, income). The pre-existing population presumably owns property, whose value has increased now because it's close to high-paying jobs so they too benefit. This is exactly what has happened in the Bay Area btw.
Yes, rich people will spend more. But this is bad for all the regular people, who can't spend that much, and will be outbid on housing+rent, schooling, childcare, entertainment, etc. Yes, rich people will pay more in taxes, but this is generally bad for all the regular people, because taxes are calculated by averages, so rich people increasing property values also makes property more expensive for everyone else. Yes, more rich people help other rich people demand higher salaries, but literally none of this money trickles down into regular people's salaries, which stay roughly locked to the same dollar figure, regardless. (See how San Francisco has some of the highest salaries in the entire US, but their regular people still had to fight just to get $15/hr wages, which in SF is insultingly low to anyone working in any line of work whatsoever).
> The pre-existing population presumably owns property, whose property has increased now because it's close to high-paying jobs
That's never a safe assumption. Lots of pre-existing populations do not own property. And even for the people who do own property, it's not like those property values actually become cash -- you can only sell out if there's somewhere cheaper to move to. Increasingly, those 'cheaper places' no longer exist anywhere.
We have people being gentrified out of their homes in my small hometown city (Grand Rapids, Mich). And they say what you've said, "who cares, they can just sell out their property, take the money and profit". But in truth, they can't do this. Where are they supposed to live? They can't afford to leave for SF, or NYC, or Seattle, or Chicago. Hell, they couldn't afford Minneapolis. They'd have to live in the literal middle of nowhere to afford something cheaper, and there's no jobs in the middle of nowhere, so it's a non-starter.
This "property owner wildcard" myth needs to die. You absolutely can (and a meaningful number of people will) economically suffer due to development, even if you/they own property in the newly developed area, and even if you/they sell that property for much more than you bought it for.
If zoning allows for building more densely (which in the US, it often does not) existing residents can trade their single-family homes for a condo in the same location + some cash. It comes down to a zoning issue in the end, not some special problem with economically developing an area.
If you evaluate the last 30 years using, for example, TV's or telephones as a benchmark, it looks like we've been amazing at everything, and capitalism is awesome. But if you evaluate the last 30 years using, for example, housing or healthcare as a benchmark, we look like a country that's on the brink of total collapse
Part of being a free country, is the freedom to abstain completely. The freedom to walk away. Television sets or movie theatres, for instance, can never get too corrupt, or too expensive, because you can always just walk away. There's a limit to how exploitative a transaction can get on many products, because eventually people can just throw up their hands and say "fuck it, I'm out, I'm done with this whole mess".
But you can't walk away from healthcare. You can't opt-out of the housing market. As we transition to exploiting needs instead of wants, people can't opt out, so the potential for exploitation in those particular fields is almost limitless -- limited only by total income.
Just because the previous population can no longer afford to live in SF or many parts of the Bay does not mean we have a problem or someone's rights are being violated.
No, that's not at all axiomatic. Consider a place like Aspen: formerly a small mountain town, now an enclave of incredibly wealthy people. People who support the area have to make a treacherous daily commute from nearby towns, because none can afford to live in the area.
Sure, some people become wealthy from owning land in Aspen before it became famous. Most residents did not.
If all you focus on is tax revenue, median income, etc., everything looks peachy, but that's a myopic view. One can easily argue the same thing is happening in San Francisco.
Even in the case of Aspen, now that the town is an enclave of incredibly wealthy people, there are presumably more jobs in town for locals (largely in the tourism and service industry, but still). If it wasn't a world-renowned ski destination it would be a sleepy mountain town with a limited economy. Most of its young people would have to leave the area entirely to build their lives and careers. So there is still some good with the bad. Some old residents will say things were better before, others will say they're better now.
To the point you made at the end, are you thinking of "average income" rather than "median income"? If median income goes up it means most people are now making more money.
Homelessness is not a trivial problem that can just be solved by throwing a lot of money at it. It's certainly a start in SV though, all things considered.
Rather, tt's a trivial problem that can just be solved by throwing a lot of housing at it.
Incidentally, housing is the one thing that everywhere between Ocean Beach and Diridon are allergic to...
I don't understand how someone can believe in something, but only when it's convenient.
Because “social-mindedness” without at least some opposition to Capitalism is meaningless given the scale of problem that Capitalism creates when things like healthcare and housing are surrendered to it.
Independent investigations now show that there was actually a lot of everyday crime. Even serial killers were just as common in USSR as they were in US, I've read a whole book about the notorious cases - but while in US media elevated them to celebrity status, in USSR the whole thing was heavily suppressed, and most people only heard rumours.
Please, don't perpetuate soviet propaganda.
That sounds utterly horrifying. It’s amazing how people were able to survive in those conditions.
Also, don't forget that USSR is not only Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kiev and few other big cities. Rural USSR was very poor, and full of all sorts of crimes. Life in SU was not rosy as they might have tried to describe.
Meanwhile the criminal that took my mattress is sleeping in luxurious comfort on two mattresses, so he got his reward.
Having lived in SU there absolutely was normal crime - violent and nonviolent. Levels of crime were presumably like everywhere else.
Why wouldn't there be property crime?
There absolutely was everyday crime:
Stealing (personal and state property)
Hooliganism (always a favorite in the news)
Frauds / Confidence Games
Firearms and Narcotics related offenses were less prevalent than in the US
Rapes (not mentioned loudly)
Sex related crimes in general were suppressed in the news
Murders (also rarely heard at the time but they were there)
only one I cant find is Carjacking.
There were also economic crimes which even had a special KGB section to deal with them in addition to police.
-Meaning large scale stealing within state enterprises(ie stealing from the corporation that you work for) by higher up directors
-Various black markets / money exchanges
-Illegal enterprises down to midnight video services
In fact during that time official newspapers did not cover the murders as much as they did cover the lesser property crimes and performed various awareness rising functions.
Now with the opening of police archives a lot of more brutal crimes have been brought up.
Whaaaaaaaat? Well, according to official statistics.
From my father's side, we had relatives living in a closed down military city, but they were totally paranoid about break-ins during "Peak Brezhnev." Break ins were 50/50 annual events.
Street poverty existed as well, just not in big cities, where classless were either branded as substance abusers and locked away in jail, or being labeled as mentally ill and locked away in jail.
The regime tried really, really hard to make it appear that there were something wrong with the classless people, and "you keep your head low and everything be alright"
It really depends on the city and region. For example some of the people I went to school with ended up as serial burglars and pickpocket. Most came from broken homes with alcoholic or otherwise absent parents. Many were caught, sent to prison, then back out again presumably becoming even more hardened criminals. Others from the same school though ended up as software devs in the West, accountants and CEOs.
Going by personal narratives you can basically support either point of view. I've lived in more dangerous places in US in general, yet I've experience more personal harassment and bullying in the Soviet Union in the 80's than here in US. It's just hard to compare overall without good statistics.
This isn't about the Soviet Union, but another Communist country. I recently visited China, and was surprised to see that literally every apartment window had aftermarket bars installed (and every enclosed balcony was surrounded by a cage), even 20 stories up. Apparently there are buglers that will repel down from the top of a tall apartment building, so no apartment was safe from them. On buses and public places, the locals I was with were constantly warning to be on the lookout for pickpockets and thieves on public transit.
I don't know what the official crime statistics say there, but the perception of property crime risk was certainly very high.
I grew up in the Eastern Bloc, now I live and work in the Silicon Valley, and the whole thread resonated with me.
I don't know who he is but I really like this quote. That's consistently my biggest surprise on the internet. The #1 question I get for my posts is "Is that sarcasm?"
I never answer.
I wouldn't be so sure that the reader is always at fault.
To expand on such, text doesn't carry any of the social cues that human beings learn during their development. There's no facial expressions, tone of voice, any form of body language such as posture or hand gestures. Communicating and being understood via text is very difficult, especially when one is attempting to be succinct. "Brevity is the soul of wit" does not only mean that one should strive to be brief but also that it takes great ability to accomplish such a feat aswell.
*edit. Maybe that was sarcasm....
once you don't see face of the other person clearly, misunderstandings will happen, better learn how minimize them or you and people around you will suffer from unnecessary conflicts
[Edit: I got a severe telling off once from an Intel lawyer for using very mild humour in a conference call.... I learned my lesson. I think in the middle of a multi hour conference call of mind numbing tedium I said 'I'm not sure what a Quad Pump AGP Port is but I want one...' - I got a bollocking for a good 15 minutes].
Sarcasm can be culturally dependent. As a child and high schooler, I thought that my parents didn't understand sarcasm. I remember when I realized that my immigrant parents just had a different form of it than I did in grade school and high school.
No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!
That might cause you to be declared a "class enemy". The downfall will be swift.
Damore's poorly constructed arguments also line up with the suggestions of so-called rationalist personalities online and in print, who have major media distribution and significant representation in media that the American government favors (by not relentlessly attacking).
Tell me again how the ruling party controls everything around you, comrade. But while you're at it, we could maybe talk about how it's not okay to fire Damore for saying women should be paired up to code because they're genetically predisposed to be less good at it, but it's evidently extremely good that Tesla uses at-will employment to fire potential union organizers. We can find out how deep the rabbit hole of his victim complex is together. I brought rope and torches!
There's currently 1 vote for that (Clarence Thomas). If Trump's pick joins that bandwagon there will be a whopping 2. None of this hysteria is good for America.
Is that because you are trolling ?
It probably doesn’t help that there are some inveterate literalists about...
Better inveterate literalists than invertebrate figurativists.
I thought it was a documentary!
"everyone knew the system was failing, but as no one could imagine any alternative to the status quo, politicians and citizens were resigned to maintaining a pretense of a functioning society... Over time, this delusion became a self-fulfilling prophecy and the "fakeness" was accepted by everyone as real"
Corporations, The UN, Governments, borders, the value of the $20 bill in your wallet, only exist because everybody accepts it's real.
So true. The USA is viewed worse than China, Russia or Saudi Arabia.
I also see a lot of it on HN.
A friend of mine made the same comment recently in regards to condemning human rights abuses in Israel. You can condemn until your face is blue the human rights violations in Iran, but there's not a lot the Iranian population can do about it. Israel is a democracy, and therefore (at least in theory) the government represents the people.
Another point to note is that HN is US-centric. Most people here will have first-hand experience of the USA, but not necessarily of China, Russia, or Saudi Arabia.
Israel has a different problem: its political spectrum is defined as doves on the Left, hawks on the Right, and real dovishness became a causalty of the Second Intifada. Coupled to extensive corruption, the Israeli system has become considerably less democratic than it used to be, but it still has the problem that nobody is willing to run against the current government on a winning platform more than that legions of candidates or parties aren't allowed to stand for election.
Israel is a democracy. On level with USA, England, etc. It also has many of the same problems.
Multi parties are encouraged. Courts are independent and respect and very powerful. Freedom of speech is respected.
Property rights are strong. Business is free. Work force is protected.
If you want a change - please fight for it. But don't start by making horrible comments about your country.
It is a long, long, long way from Indian corruption, east European dictatorship, or Arab social breakdown.
The problem with that line of thinking is that it twists perceptions, which can and does lead people to believe falsehoods. Harm can come when those falsehoods are acted upon (for voting, policy, activism, etc.).
To use a little hyperbole: if you focus on condemning democracies for human rights abuses and ignore (to various degrees) the worse abuses of non-democracies, you may end up just delegitimizing democracy in the eyes of many, because you've created the impression that democracies are the bad guys and are the main human rights violators.
Netanyahu says the West Bank is Israel, and within Israel de facto and de jure it is. Yet Palestinians in the West Bank can not vote, and there is talk in the Knesset of disenfranchising Palestinians outside of the West Bank. Yet a Jew from Brooklyn can move to the West Bank, seize a Palestinian's land, and vote in elections.
Yet this is termed a democracy in comparison to Iran.
It's funny, because I never saw huge red signs warning me "if you're israeli, don't come here, you're gonna get killed" around Petakh Tikva.
> Yet Palestinians in the West Bank can not vote
They can vote in PA elections - if they finally to end their political clusterfuck and do something, of course.
I can vote in my local Elks Club elections as well.
People in the West Bank live in Israel but can not vote in Israeli elections.
Actually - Palestinians living in Israel in the West Bank can't vote. A haredi Jew from Brooklyn who arrived in the West Bank yesterday and stole land from a Palestinian family who has been there for centuries, he has a right to vote in the elections of the country he is living in.
To me this implies on some level that the people of the country like their government.
You seem to be living in a phantasy world where subjects of a dictature are just "asking for it", and a 50%-or-more majority should magically change everything. That's not how power works. Money and bullets, you see, matter more than ballots.
The people are the power, paper money is no match.
The whole concept of a dictatorship is that the ruling party has more power and can keep the people subjugated. The civilian populace don't have tanks and helicopters.
I think this is a reaction to the perceived hypocrisy of the US. Like any country, the US has a complex history as well as a variety of cultural and political issues that need addressing. However the US also consistently and loudly bills itself as "The Greatest Country on Earth". I think this contradiction fuels a lot of hyperbole about how bad the US is when it fails to live up to its own marketing.
All of this is exacerbated because US cultural exports (Movies and Television) have such huge global reach. When you're a kid - whether in the US or not - and you see the pro-American messaging in many popular films you definitely believe it. The disillusionment can hit hard.
Now, if you want to argue that somewhere else is in fact better, that could be valid, but it's a different argument.
Living in the US I definitely don't like that a lot of people here think that the US is the greatest nation on Earth. It's a mindset that blocks the country from learning from others and I think is doing a lot of damage (see health care and conditions for the poor). Interestingly people who have that mindset often never have been in another country for an extended time. The only thing they know is the US.
If you're the richest and most powerful nation in history, why do you have the highest incarceration rate in the world? Why do so many sick and injured Americans end up bankrupt or die prematurely? Why do parts of Michigan look post-apocalyptic? Why are many of your schools still de-facto segregated? Why is there a Wikipedia article titled "List of tent cities in the United States"?
We could understand a claim like "America is really weird - we're ridiculously wealthy, but our government is profoundly dysfunctional in ways that are hard to fix, which causes a great deal of avoidable suffering". That makes sense to us. A claim like "America is the greatest country the world has ever seen" sounds obscenely callous without some very strong caveats attached.
I'll echo GP's statement. America isn't perfect, but from the many countries I've visited (and with the many challenges that the US has to face), it's "The Greatest Country In the World".
Four of the 28 EU member states have a higher rate of infant mortality than the US average - Croatia (9.3), Romania (9.4), Bulgaria (8.4) and Cyprus (7.9). The first three are ex-communist countries and have only been democracies since the early 1990s.
25% of the Croatian economy was destroyed in the Croatian War of Independence of 1991 to 1995; it still has a number of active minefields. Romania was utterly brutalised by the Ceaușescu regime until 1989; you may dimly remember the horror of Ceaușescu's orphanages. If you don't, I suggest you steel yourself and have a stiff drink before Googling it. Bulgaria has a GDP per capita of just over $8,000 - a quarter of the GDP per capita of the poorest US state.
Cyprus suffered a coup d'etat by Greece and an invasion by Turkey in 1974, creating a lasting political division. There was a wall separating the Greek and Turkish sides of the island until 2007 and UN peacekeepers still maintain a demilitarized buffer zone.
That's what we're dealing with in the EU. Those are our excuses. What are yours?
> Why do so many sick and injured Americans end up bankrupt or die prematurely?
Because we don't have a national healthcare system. Why? Because people vote against it. The party in charge of the entire country would cut the government by half if it had the power to do so, and they keep getting elected because a large portion of the country agrees with them. Even within the Democratic party, large portions don't want a national healthcare system (though polling on this has changed in recent years). Why? Because if you have a job you probably have a healthcare plan, and a good portion of the country doesn't want their taxes raised to pay for healthcare ran by the government. Even liberals in the US have trouble understanding this.
> Why do parts of Michigan look post-apocalyptic?
Michigan is a gorgeous state (you'd know this if you were at all familiar with it) with one of the best universities in the world, and a GDP higher than most EU countries. If Michigan is post-apocalyptic, then most EU countries are favelas in Rio after a nuclear holocaust.
> Why are many of your schools still de-facto segregated? Why is there a Wikipedia article titled "List of tent cities in the United States"?
We have income inequality. We don't have a consensus on what to do about it.
> We could understand a claim like "America is really weird - we're ridiculously wealthy, but our government is profoundly dysfunctional in ways that are hard to fix, which causes a great deal of avoidable suffering". That makes sense to us. A claim like "America is the greatest country the world has ever seen" sounds obscenely callous without some very strong caveats attached.
Sure, but many Americans don't understand why you guys are so reliant and on your government and refuse to take ownership of your own lives. Many would argue that your constant need for government to provide for you is why the EU, for being almost twice the size of the US, lacks the cultural and political influence, and innovation that the US has.
The US, for better or worse, is a "get mine and don't worry about anyone else" country. Even the "left" in the US gets upset when something of "theirs" is threatened to be taken for the better good - just look at the housing situation in liberal San Francisco.
Most Americans have supported some form of public healthcare for most (but not all) years for about two decades (scroll to end of article for stat):
So in fact you want the same thing as Europeans, you just don't live up to your own standards.
As for your comment on "favelas after a nuke" in Europe, I'll just remind you you're not on Reddit, you're supposed to come up with real arguments.
You probably know this, but "US liberal perspective" is center-right to the rest of the world (not only Europe). I'd argue they're critiquing from the political center.
My system two thinking, given what people say about things rather than personal experience, puts a lot of caveats on top of the China comparison.
However, basing my judgement purely on direct personal experience: regarding “greatest the world has ever seen”… I’d rather have been born a random citizen of France, Netherlands, (west) Germany, Switzerland, or the UK, than a random citizen of the USA — and again, that’s just out of the places I’ve actually visited or lived in.
Going back to second hand impressions: Canada, Ireland, and most of Scandinavia seems better than the impression I have of the USA from three visits of one month each.
Something tells me you have not seen (let alone lived in) that many countries.
If you had, you'd know different societies have different ups and downs. Some countries have more taxes, they also have more perks (e.g. schools and healthcare are not a lottery); some have less money, but also less problems (lower crime rate, low pollution). "Greatest" is meaningless.
How the bloody heck can you quantify this, and provided you can, why not just throw out the blindly nationalistic rhetoric and use the measurements?
What makes you believe that what you say is true?
Depends on whether you have lived in an advanced Western European country.
It also depends of your tolerance of rednecks, prudes, puritans, and ignorant people (which exist everywhere in the world, but have particularly large concentrations there).
Or on your tolerance of a messed up party system, a messed up legal system, a messed up prison system (and the biggest incarceration rates in the world), cops that have an open license to shoot people, and the worse and more widespread racism this side of South Africa. Or on your tolerance on very bad statistics on violence (especially gun violence).
Or on your tolerance for businesses having near feudal reign on their workers.
That said, if you have the money, and the connections, the US is a pretty good deal to spend them. Not to mention very nice landscapes, and generally good hearted and optimistic people (besides the aforementioned negatives).
Plus, for some industries (basically IT and movies), they're tops.
FYI, using "redneck" as a pejorative, as in this context, can be interpreted as pretty offensive, and maybe this is unintentional. I for one consider it offensive.
I also enjoy the pejorative aimed at a sectarian group immediately followed by decrying "ignorant people".
If the OP was using it in this way, I don't see the issue. If he/she was using it to just describe laboring, rural whites, I agree; it's offensive and inappropriate. Given the context of the statement, I assumed the former.
On the topic, Randy Newman's song "Rednecks" is a scathing critique of Northerners and their "hidden" racism and hypocrisy on the subject.
>Yes he's free to be put in a cage
In Harlem in New York City
And he's free to be put in a cage
On the South Side of Chicago
And the West Side
And he's free to be put in a cage
In Hough in Cleveland
And he's free to be put in a cage
In East St. Louis
And he's free to be put in a cage
In Fillmore in San Francisco
And he's free to be put in a cage
In Roxbury in Boston
They're gatherin' 'em up from miles around . . . (apologies for the formatting)
To many people, redneck simply describes a particular rural lifestyle. If the OP wanted to call out bigotry, they should have called out bigots.
(This, admittedly, might have been a difficult sell given that it was immediately followed up an attack on a religious group)
- Residents of European cities were less welcoming to foreigners like me. (Maybe due to language issues? I speak accented German, a bit of Spanish and English, which can explain why Parisians were rude).
- Immigration to USA, along with path to its citizenship, was a hard but straightforward process (6-7 years once you get H1B). In Europe, I found that UK and Switzerland has a simpler process, but other countries (eg. France) make it very hard to be their citizen.
- Stereotypes abound on both sides of Atlantic (eg. "socialist countries stuck with horrible economies", "rednecks, puritans, prudes, ignorant" as your comment says), which seem highly exaggerated.
- both US and Western Europe offered a far better quality of life compared to my home country. And such debates (USA vs Western Europe) seem farcical from that perspective, or "first world problems" as they say.
All of which enjoy the shadow of nuclear security provided by the United States.
psst They're also quietly better at cybersecurity than the US government.
The EU is under the security blanket of the US, whether it likes to believe it or not. Hell, most of those countries pay less than 2 percent of their budgets towards their own defense, and they get pissy when the past three US Presidents call them out on it.
Suggesting the EU "needed" this is a bit misleading. And I say this as an American exasperated at our refusal to reduce force projection on foreign nations.
NATO was originally formed to be a defense alliance of democratic countries against communism and Russia. Russia, while a threat to the United States, poses more of a threat to Europe (for geographic reasons) than to the United States.
It’s just waves of blowback from bad decisions without any concept that the groundwork for more blowback is being laid.
>Depends on whether you have lived in an advanced Western European country.
Some people prefer not to sign over 3/4 of their pay to the government.
The debt levels Americans sustain purely to avoid the “taxman” is astounding!
I still don't get why someone has to say A is better than everything else. The second someone says A is better, there's an army of people frothing at the mouth who will (usually justifiably) say the opposite. There doesn't seem like any happy mediums anymore. One person is wrong, one person is right, but I'm pretty sure they're usually both right and both wrong.
People are silly.
It's weird how a lot of people simultaneously hold a view of the US as an uncorruptible beacon of freedom but can also name heinous things the US is doing or has done that they hate. Not paying sufficient deference to the former ideal (often, dispensing with it as perfunctory performance in the vein of a daily pledge of allegiance to a flag) often makes people think that the US is regarded as especially evil.
For background, as facts matter:
"After 9/11, the Bush Administration national security team actively debated an invasion of Iraq. On the day of the attacks, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld asked his aides for: "best info fast. Judge whether good enough hit Saddam Hussein at same time. Not only Osama bin Laden." President Bush spoke with Rumsfeld on 21 November and instructed him to conduct a confidential review of OPLAN 1003, the war plan for invading Iraq. Rumsfeld met with General Tommy Franks, the commander of U.S. Central Command, on 27 November to go over the plans. A record of the meeting includes the question "How start?", listing multiple possible justifications for a U.S.–Iraq War. The rationale for invading Iraq as a response to 9/11 has been widely questioned, as there was no cooperation between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda."
Is this good, neutral, evil?
But, is there really anyone who thought Saddam was a good guy? He was very obviously a brutal dictator. So, at the very least there's one fewer of those around.
Sure, WMD turned out to be a total fabrication and the Iraq War ended up being a misguided attempt at democracy building.
But saying that it shows America's inherent evil nature is very odd from my point of view. Even if the only outcome (as it seems to be) is getting rid of a dictator, that seems like a good thing. Though, you could argue the cost doesn't seem to have been worth it looking back now.
I guess I'm failing to imagine how it could possibly be in the evil bucket and not just neutral or good.
Innocent people died, friend.
It puts us in the situation of weighing the suffering and death of the war against the continued Saddam rule. That's an interesting debate where it is possible that the invasion was less good.
It's not geopolitics to try and determine if fewer people would die with or without Saddam in power. Saddam's chemical attacks against civilians are well documented and not widely disputed. His internal security apparatus was open with their brutality in order to induce fear on the population.
I think that the 2nd Iraq War was a mistake, particularly how the government misled the people, but I find it absolutely baffling when people will not even honestly address the situation in good faith. You cannot simply argue that "many people civilians died as a result of the Iraq War therefore it's bad" without addressing the situation beforehand. Lots of people died during the Allied invasion of Germany, but I think most people would agree that it was the correct thing to do.
The justification for the war was obviously fabricated, so I don't know what sort of good faith you are asking for. Perhaps to debate some post hoc justification for a thoughtless decision that was paid for with the lives of people who didn't have a choice in the matter? People who touch such questions are only going to injure their humanity.
By the way, when you think about the question of WW2 in terms of "when to intervene" instead of "whether to intervene at all", it becomes as murky and vicious a question as can be, and it ought to make anyone queasy to examine in close detail the decisions made throughout the period. That said, the neoconservative methodology of deciding who to bomb has no justification and people who want to debate that have more urgent issues to address.
I absolutely agree that talking about intervention is murky, which was precisely my point.
It also empowered radicals and created perfect conditions for them to thrive. By radicals I mean terrorists, proponents of Islamic state and such. Guns and ammunition ended in their hands that would not ended there.
Regardless of results, calling it merely misguided honest mistake in search of democracy building is naive or a lie. The war was not motivated by altruism and so called mistakes were simply lies. There us such thing as too much of benefit of doubt.
That does not mean other countries leaders are less cynical or more altrustic through, merely they have less power.
Yes. The US, just 20 years prior during the Iran-Iraq war . That's kind of the point. Since WWII the US engages in or supports wars (which kill lots of people) out of naked self-interest while trying to paint themselves as morally good.
I believe public forums are great to post facts and questions, but horrible to debate opinions.
So, I am actually happy to see another poster's short comment about civilian casualties, destruction, and other impacts of war.
That was kinda a perfect answer I think. You could see it as evil from a utilitarian standpoint because the suffering under Saddam was less than the suffering it took to displace him.
I have no idea how to weigh those two, but that's an area where I could see someone coming down on the side of letting the dictatorship continue is "less bad". Though I don't really agree with that position.
Also popular in these parts.
edit: Every one of these is hysterical. Can we write a pilot?
I think a lot of people view it worse than the propaganda image it presents (we export democracy, we put human right first etc). Russia, China and SA don't go out of their way to publicize their human right record or freedom or exporting any such values to other parts of the world. At least not in any believable way.
Another way to criticize something is to compare a place based on its history. Things are better or worse than before during the era of <X>. We were so much better then and now things are worse. Or vice versa.
And then there is comparative criticism, that is criticize like you mentioned, US vs Russia, China or SA. I have lived in Soviet Union and US, never lived in SA or China. But I would at least say US is much better place for me than the old Soviet Union was. But even then it is not black and white. For example at least hope of getting some subsidized housing, free medical care, university degrees etc was there.
The same can't be said for the US.
They might be whatever they are internally, but that's a problem for their citizens.
Granted though, not on the same scale that US wars do.
American Expeditionary Force, North Russia -
American Expeditionary Force, Siberia
Second Opium War -
...I could point to dozens more for China, the latest article would probably be...
Hainan Island Incident
United States withdrawal from Saudi Arabia
Second: The US withdrew from Saudi Arabia. That doesn't mean they got there by invading. They didn't.
The US says Russia invaded Afghanistan. How did the US occupation of Saudi Arabia differ from what the US always termed as an invasion of Afghanistan?
I mean just the usage of the term "Saudi" Arabia, as if one puppet family had the divine right to rule a peninsula is itself some US/Aramco propaganda.
Also the US withdrew from Arabia because Saudi patriots fought the US military occupation - on Saudi soil and on US soil.
> So, soon they'll invade Afghanistan and get monthly limits for buying sugar and socks?
> I don't want to alarm u but they've been in afghan for 17 years
This one has become terrifyingly normalized - even within the industry, people who don’t live this way are decadent irresponsible pigs. People who resent living this way are entitled redneck whiners. And despite all that, don’t you dare suggest you’re not really a member of the evil elite 1%.
Many of the younger employees do live in shared housing, but then, so did I when I moved to SF and that was nearly 3 decades ago.
Loved this thread, but I think this one lost me. Does anyone know to what this is referring and mind explaining? Is this a comment on news feeds in apps, or is it a comment on the odd housing supply / zoning decisions? Or neither?
Edit: I based my guess about Google using Hyperion for their financial planning based on the job adverts....
and thus nobody wants to work in somewhere more affordable than SF, e.g. Charlotte, where a roving pack of bloodthirsty rednecks will surely swarm out of the woods and tear them to pieces.
> - 'totally not illegal taxi' taxis by private citizens moonlighting to make ends meet
> - the plight of the working class is discussed mainly by people who do no work
> - the currency most people are talking about is fake and worthless
So true it hurts.
> - mandatory workplace political education
Is it really a thing?
Not quite sure what that is a dig at. Unless you are dealing in fresh produce or something, everything can be considered fake and worthless...
As for the political education thing: I don't think they would be overt (or perhaps even conscious) but they do have various team building exercises, no?
A U.S. hating defeatist will point to this list as proof that the U.S. is just as bad as Russia while giving no room for evidence to the contrary.
A loyalist can laugh all this off as hilarious while ignoring the reality of Trump's autocratic leanings.
In polls most voters are crying for moderate representatives and they just want people to reach across the aisle and get things done. But then come election day the polarizing extremist candidates end up getting the votes. As a population, the U.S. is in this self-torturous cycle where they cry for movement and change but in action they only perpetuate the gridlock and partisanship.
This climate really gives me respect for Sam Harris's approach: he really tries to interview others that have just enough of a different opinion so as to give rise to alternative viewpoints and interesting conversation while simultaneously striving to maintain an open, honest, and dispassionate discourse on emotional topics.
That's my pick of the bunch
>thinks bitcoin is worthless
So this guy is the person that serves the programmers... right? People arent trusting him with user data at facebook... right?
Edit: I accept that I didn't get the joke.
For what it's worth, I agree with you and still found the thread to be very funny.