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  • posted a message on Richard Feldman's Website (excerpt from SCG)
    The site just started out, which is why the userbase is so small. That's why Feldman's trying to promote it; he needs a bunch of early adopters to make it get better.

    The articles on the site all come from wikipedia, so if there's something missing from the site, it might be missing from wikipedia. I think they have some amount of automated "get new stuff" periodically. As for getting new stuff right away, or stuff they missed or whatever, right now you can just post on the boards there and the admins get back to you pretty quick and can add stuff. I think they're planning on letting users submit new wiki article titles at some point.
    Posted in: Talk and Entertainment
  • posted a message on Richard Feldman's Website (excerpt from SCG)
    Richard Feldman posted a brief (well, brief compared to the rest of his article) plug in his Thursday SCG column for a website he's been working on. Its pretty cool, so I reproduced what he had to say below in case anyone is interested.

    ******************************************

    Bonus Section: Is That One Good?

    For the better part of a year now, some friends of mine and I have been working on a massive project. It’s a powerful website that (we hope) might someday change the way people use the Internet to discover new and exciting things. We had a small group of handpicked beta testers working with us for most of the year, but now there’s an invite-based beta that was launched as of... tonight.

    I’ve set up a special invite code that will admit SCG readers to try it out — the code is, intuitively, starcitygames — so any of you that give it a shot will be getting in on the ground floor of the Big Beta, as we developers call it. If you’re already interested enough to give it a whirl, head to http://www.isthatonegood.com and check it out.

    Otherwise, I’ll explain how the site works.

    The original idea behind the IsThatOneGood website (ITOG for short) was that movie recommendations from friends and critics never take into account your personal tastes. Oh, so the New York Post says “the dialogue in Transformers was trite,” does it? Thanks for the help. Were there freaking giant metal robot battles? Were said battles totally freaking awesome? Because that’s what I’m looking for in a movie like that.

    How does ITOG solve that? Basically, you log onto the site and rate a bunch of movies you’ve seen, one to five stars. One star means it sucked, five stars means it was great. Now let’s say you’re trying to figure out if you’ll like Transformers or not. You bring up its page, and the site instantly runs all sorts of complicated algorithms to look at people whose tastes are similar to yours (that is, they’ve given similar ratings to things you’ve rated) and see what they — the users on the site most similar in taste to you — thought of Transformers.

    Then voila! A prediction for what you’ll think of it pops up, such as “four stars” (go see it!) or “one star” (stay away). If you want more specific feedback than that, you can read reviews written by other ITOG members, and you can see what their percent similarity in tastes is to yours before you decide whether or not to trust what they’ve written. That’s the simple part of the project.

    Since we started in September, there have been a couple of other sites to do similar things. Flixster does exactly what I’ve just described, and iLike does the same (with a thumbs-up, thumbs-down system instead of star ratings) for music.

    The reason our site is so much cooler? We don’t just do movies. We don’t just do music.

    We do things.

    Already we let you rate and get recommendations for Movies, Books, TV Shows, Games, Albums, Songs, and even Graphic Novels. If you feel like it, you can also rate Actors, Directors, Authors, Recording Artists, and Game Systems. Our system is designed to be flexible so that we can add more things as time progresses; we’re in the process of branching out into new areas like Soft Drinks, Alcoholic Drinks, Fictional Characters, and even Countries and Cities (as travel destinations).

    If that’s not enough for you, there are social networking features like friend lists, clubs, discussions, polls, lists of things you like (or hate, or think are funny-looking - whatever you want, really), and private messaging.

    Sound cool? Give it a shot, for ol’ Feldman’s sake. Just use the invite code starcitygames to register your account at http://www.itog.com and you’re all set.

    Hell, even if it sounds lame, do me a favor and try the thing out. (And tell your friends!) We’ve worked our asses off on this project, and we really want it to spread. Plus, I never do shameless plugs... so let’s make this one count!
    Posted in: Talk and Entertainment
  • posted a message on [GP] Nivix, Aerie of the Firemind
    Quote from Theomnifish »
    Then how do cards like Panoptic Mirror and Eye of the Storm work? They both let you play sorceries at times you otherwise wouldn't be allowed to, IIRC. (edit: Also Mind's Desire.)

    All of these cards make specific allowances for non-standard casting times for sorceries. Panoptic Mirror explicitly dictates that the spell is cast during your upkeep. Mind's Desire does not actually allow you to cast sorceries as instants. Eye of the Storm explicitly tells you that you may play sorcery (copies) "whenever you play an instant".
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [GP] Nivix, Aerie of the Firemind
    loran16 et al. are correct; the wording given does not allow you to play sorceries as instants. Whether the card is RFGd or in your hand or in the grave yard (cf. flashback) or on the moon, the only time you can play sorceries as instants is if a card explicitly tells you that you may. In order for that to be the case with this card, it would have to say "may play any time you could play an instant" with reference to the RFG'd card.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [GP] creature types
    Quote from Grote Braak »
    Hmm, Weird should be a supertype, not a subtype. Weird Creature - Human Squirrel for instance. Smile

    Quote from Rath »
    Weirds?? That makes no sense.. it's an adjective...

    Quote from The Dictionary »
    Weird:Archaic. Of or relating to fate or the Fates.


    Get it now?
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [RAV] balcony artwork?
    I have no idea if this is actually in Ravnica, but I really like it in general and would love to see it on a card. It is odd however that its not the proper dimentions; most images we find for cards are originally the proper size.

    Quote from rancored_elf »
    It's nice art, but I'm not sure how it would look on a card. All the city detail would be lost when it got cropped, left with just a rectangular picture of the balcony and the cleric standing on it.

    To be fair, I think this would actually still look cool as card art; if you crop it to the same dimentions as the land art we already have without zooming in at all, you get the following which still shows a good deal of the city:
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on The War on Drugs makes -45 hectafortnights of sense
    Quote from bardo_trout »
    Note: you should edit the post above me Alatar and put the first paragraph in [ quote]s. It's confusing if you don't know that you're replying to someone (me, in this case).

    Lol thanks, I've fixed it. This is what I get for posting quickly.

    Quote from bardo_trout »
    Heroin is a biologically addictive agent regardless of purity, etc. Just so you know.

    Yes, of course. In fact, its more addictive the more pure it is. That's not what I was implying though; my argument is that the legalization of heroin would create market incentives to create a less harmful version.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on The War on Drugs makes -45 hectafortnights of sense
    Quote from bardo_trout »
    True, all legislation that impacts individual rights must be made in light of the unintended consequences. How do you reconcile the harmful externalities of drug use in society with the benefits legalization would include?


    This is a very good question and the toughest part of this entire debate. The way to reconcile this within the framework of a society would be to censure acts resulting from drug use which harm others, much as we do with any other potentially dangerous activity (such as driving a car, drinking, etc). As I alluded to in my opening post, driving under the influence of drugs should of course be illegal (and in my opinion drunk driving should carry a much stiffer penalty). The same can be said of individuals who engage in abuse or neglect as a result of drug use; this is illegal when its alcohol related, so logically it would be if related to other drugs as well.

    Finally (I don't remember if I mentioned this yet or not:p), legalization of drugs would lead to careful regulation of dosage and purity, thereby decreasing the negative effects and chance for biological addiction.

    Side Note: I'd absolutely love to get into the Second Amendment debate in another thread, but I'm gonna stick to the issue at hand here. 8^)
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on The War on Drugs makes -45 hectafortnights of sense
    Quote from Plastik »
    I'm arguing with you still out of kindness. You misquoted me. You lost. I said they are either selfish or mentally disordered. not both.

    Alright. I'm going to be very patient with you. When one is engaged in an argument, party A does not lose the argument to party B because party A replaced the word "or" with the word "and" in a quotation. Does that make sense to you? Do you understand that? Can you stop being puerile and debate reasonably, or are you actually in second grade?

    Quote from Plastik »
    Rigth now, I'm fairly certain that the only people who die en masse from drug cartels are people who are buying drugs, IE: people engaged in an illegal activity. That's their choice. Once we make it legal, it's lawsuit city, just like for people who die of lung cancer from cigs. If you do somethign illegal and you die, you had fair warning. If you do something legal and you die, you sue.

    In spite of your certainty, you're wrong. The vast majority of the harm caused by the war on drugs is 1) economic, due to the expendature of resources to fight them, 2) the funding of organized crime within the US and 3) the funding of paramilitary forces in drug-growing countries who are fighting wars (Hint: Wars cause people to die who don't do drugs).

    Quote from Plastik »
    and my justification for calling you retarded or selfish is because you are sacrificing something that isn't yours (the lives of innocent people) for something that will in some way benefit you (los drogas). If you cannot make this connection, you're not selfish, but that does make you retarded. GG.

    First of all, I never have nor do I have interest in using the illegal drugs we're talking about. Second and most importantly, the fact that drugs are illegal now does not stop them from harming people who abuse them. You're somehow concluding that everyone will start doing drugs if they are no longer illegal, where this is clearly false.

    Quote from Plastik »
    Aww, you said GG. How cute. I thought you could only say that when you had obviously won and any responses to you are just trolling. Guess I was wrong. Also, GG.

    Ok, your an idiot. I'll stop arguing with you and try to address real questions.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on The War on Drugs makes -45 hectafortnights of sense
    Quote from LJustus »
    Valid yes. Sound no. Smile

    Touché. :p
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on The War on Drugs makes -45 hectafortnights of sense
    Quote from extremestan »
    Using harmful drugs, as in those that, in general, devalue or destroy the welfare of self, family, and society, is not a right. So the comparison is sound.

    The comparison is sound; LJustus was incorrect in this. However, your initial logic isn't. In order for society to function, there has to be an established "age of majority"; prior to that age, you are prevented from engaging in certain activities because society deems you too young. Now, this is neccessarilly arbitrary and arguable not fair; I mean, if I'm old enough to drink responsibly at 14 and another guy isn't until he's 40, its not fair to either of us to make the age of majority 18 (or 21), but there is no remedy for this, so we live with it. In your case of 12 year olds driving, they are legally prevented from doing so because the age of majority has been set higher, so this has nothing to do with the legalization debate. If drugs were legalized, they too would have an age of majority.

    The larger point that LJustus was trying to make though is that the right to drive, as well as the right to smoke or drink etc, is governed by the broader right to liberty. Simply because driving is dangerous (and it is; it kills far more people than illegal drugs every year) doesn't mean that the government should stop us from doing it.

    Now you may argue that this is unfair because driving is useful for work, commerce, etc, but lets come back to the point I made in my first post. Just because something is harmful to an individual doesn't mean that the government ought to prevent them from doing it to themself; as per the example I gave, it should not be the government's business whether I nail my feet to the floor with a nail gun or not. Its harmful, but it shouldn't be illegal.

    Quote from Plastik »
    The risks far outweigh any benefits I have seen in this thread. Especially because regardless of cost, selling marijuana is still selling, and it will encourage theft by those who don't have enough money to get it. It's inherently selfish to want marijuana legalises, and unless you have a mental disorder which disallows you from conceptualising the global view of an issue, you're being a selfish bastard by arguing that drugs should be legal. You're talking about killing people here.

    I recommend that you go back and re-read my first post at the beginning of this thread. It quite clearly outlines the severe down sides of the illegality of drugs, including explicity the killing of people via organized crime, the instrument for the distribution of drugs. As an empirical example, look at alcohol, a fairly dangerous and moderately addictive drug by any standards, yet very few people get shot picking up a six pack.

    And as for people who argue for the legalization of drugs being "selfish bastards" with "mental disorders", what is your justification for saying this? You don't provide any logic at all! Did you actually read this whole thread, or do you just enjoy being acerbic?

    Quote from Plastik »
    The best solution is eliminating drugs. Raze and burn the fields, eliminate the seed, until one day there's none left. Sure, it lacks realistic doability, but it's the best solution. And you're arguing that legalization would help many, not all. I'm arguing that you're a selfish bastard because that "many" includes you, and te legalisation of drugs would have a toll in human lives, therefore, since you're wiling to sacrifice something priceless that doesn't belong to you, you're a heartless, selfish bastard. GG.

    And your a fool who can't seem to make a logical argument to save his life. If you would read this entire thread you would see how I explain how the so-called war on drugs already has a toll in human lives. Also, your "best solution" is absurd for the very reason its impossible! That's like arguing that the best deck in standard is one that contains 60 copies of the same 0CC instant that says "Target Player Wins the Game".

    GG.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on House Passes Central American Free Trade Act (CAFTA)
    There's nothing like waking up to a bracing Free Trade discussion first thing in the morning! This is an in-depth attempt to clear up a number of the misconceptions that have been floating around.

    First though, @Alfred: Thanks for taking care of that one for me. That article was indeed exorbitantly silly :-).

    Quote from Jedit »
    That's a nice, bloodless way of describing business speculation using a million lives as playing chips.

    No matter how beneficial things are in the long term, in the short term - and by short term here we're talking at least five to ten years - the working classes get the purple shaft. After that, the outcome is still not certain to be good for the economy.

    First off, its not the "working class" as a whole that gets the proverbials "shaft", as you put it, only specific sectors of manufacturing. People like to toss around phrases like "this is bad for the Working Class" without any real justification; its by no means bad for the entire sector. Second and more important however, every new change and inovation brings temporary hardship to some group of people somewhere; the advent of iron smelting harmed bronzeworkers, the development of textile manufacturing harmed the home weaving sector, and the development of cell phones harmed the payphone industry, yet in the end each of these developments wound up helping the vast majority of society. It might sound cold and heartless, but its the way things are.

    Quote from bardo_trout »
    @ Alatar. That's a great post (#32 above).

    Thanks! Your latest was as well.

    Argument: Free Trade Agreements erode the manufacturing base of a nation and its middle class, thereby harming it in the long term and only helping evil corporations.

    Made in the following post exerpts:

    Quote from bardo_trout »
    You can only shrug off the trade deficit to 'comparative advantage' because reckless consumer spending (which may create other negative externalities, environmental ones, mainly), of shoddy Asian goods allows you to accept the erosion of the manufacturing base that made this country such an economic juggernaut 60 years ago.

    Yet the middle class, created out of the manufacturing orgy of the 1940-60s, is shrinking and no sane economist will disagree with this. And all of the cool high-tech "New Economy" jobs that were to sustain the middle class in a post-manufacturing economy are a bust as well. With the revolutions in global telecommunications, those jobs are being shipped to India and South America where US business can pay those workers $0.15 on the dollar. And without a middle class, who's going to buy homes, savings bonds, corporate stock, or invest in pension funds? And if those things aren't purchased what will happen to the bond market? Economic apocalypse, that's what.

    The US economy is basically on a binge-and-purge cycle right now. Binging on cheap imports as we purge decent jobs that help people raise families and make durable good purchases (homes, cars, etc.) And we can see this inverse relationship by looking at the trade deficit.

    Quote from Jedit »
    CAFTA is an extension of NAFTA. NAFTA did not achieve anything other than to increase the profits of a few big corporations at the cost of sending thousands of American small farmers into receivership.
    Capisce?

    Aside @Jedit: Try to make arguments that aren't just a regurgitation of political slogans; criticising something for harming the "working class" as a whole (above) and then claiming that something only helps a few big heartless and evil corporations isn't terribly helpful for debate :p

    Response: This argument is indicative of historic paranoia, particularilly in the US, of having jobs "stolen away by dirty foriegners", whether they be Irish, Chinese, Hispanic or South Asian. In reality however, this argument has little basis in fact. In the US, for example, free trade agreements have become increasingly common over the last decade, yet the US economy continues to grow robustly (as reported by the AFP just yesterday and boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates among developed nations. All this in spite of numberous free trade agreements and a brief recession in 2001.

    Furthermore, the existence of NAFTA and other free trade agreements have not resulted in overall detrimental harm to the US manufacturing sector. While there has indeed been a shift in the number of manufacturing jobs in the US (temporarilly unfortunate but beneficial in the long-term, as discussed above), this has not been because of an overall weakness in US manufacturing. Rather, globalization has allowed US companies to become more efficient, thereby actually improving the strength of the sector (albeit not the number of employees), as reported by the Congressional Budget Office (http://www.cbo.gov/showdoc.cfm?index=5078&sequence=0):

    Quote from Congressional Budget Office »
    Over recent decades, U.S. manufacturers have continually invested in more and better capital goods and manufacturing techniques in order to remain competitive in world markets. That investment has enabled them to raise their output and keep pace with overall economic growth without a corresponding increase in the number of workers that they employ. Since 1979, the productivity of manufacturing workers has grown at an average annual rate of 3.3 percent, significantly faster than the 2.0 percent growth of labor productivity in the nonfarm business sector overall.

    Finally, the overall benefit to the US economy of NAFTA specifically (and free trade agreements in general) is indeed measurable. On top of that, the benefits to less economically powerful nations is even more pronounced and also provides additional benefits that I discussed above in post #32. This has also been measured by the Congressional Budget Office, for anyone who's interested in such things (http://www.cbo.gov/showdoc.cfm?index=4247&sequence=4)

    Quote from Congressional Budget Office »
    Applying the ratio to the estimates from CBO's model leads to the conclusion that NAFTA has increased U.S. GDP, but by a very small amount--probably no more than a few billion dollars, or a few hundredths of a percent (see Table 2). The trade increases wrought by NAFTA raised Mexican GDP by much larger percentages than they raised U.S. GDP--quite likely 16 to 21 times the U.S. percentages--because of the much smaller size of the Mexican economy.

    Argument: Trade deficits are bad because they increase the US treasury deficit.

    Quote from bardo_trout »
    You're right, trade deficits aren't bad, per se, but when it begins to impact domestic employment and income creation, then the trade deficit discourages foreign investors from buying US Treasury bonds. And the continued sale of stable treasury bonds are one of the ways we pay off our staggering debts, which is several trillion dollars at this point ($7.8 T to be more exact).

    Response: This is another very common argument based on general misconceptions of the nature of the US treasury deficit. People like to say things like "deficit" and become incredibly paranoid, but there are few very important points that must be made.

    First, when judging the deficit it is important to look not at raw dollar amounts but rather as the deficit as a percent of GDP, for obvious reasons; if a country has a debt of $1 million and a GDP of $2 million, this is far different from the same raw dollar amount in a country with a GDP of $200 million. Looking at the US then, the current budget deficit is significantly smaller as a percent of GDP than it was for most of the 1980s (though the dollar amount is higher due to inflation and the growth of the US economy). This can be easily visualized in the following chart: http://traxel.com/deficit/deficit-percentage-50-years.png

    Second, deficit spending is not inherently bad provided it is a relatively small percent of GDP (as the US deficit has always been). Indeed, the vast majority of people run "deficit spending" in their daily lives; anyone who has a home mortgage, for example, yet continues to buy other products before they pay it off in entirity is engaging in "deficit spending", yet this doesn't cause problems. Indeed, it is often the best way to grow your personal microeconomic "economy". Problems only arise when your debt become an overwhelming percentage of your gross income. The same is true of nations, and with the US deficit under four percent of GDP and shrinking, this is not a terribly dangerous problem.

    Finally, the power of the US economy and its ability to sustain a deficit are fueled by globalization. Contrary to what critics claim, Free Trade does not hurt the US economy by creating a deficit; rather, the US economy runs a deficit because Free Trade allows it to do so, spending money to build up domestic and global infrastructure. David H. Levey and Stuard S. Brown argued this most eloquently in the March/April 2005 edition of Foreign Affairs:

    Quote from Foreign Affairs »
    The United States continues to reap major gains from what Charles de Gaulle called its "exorbitant privilege," its unique role in providing global liquidity by running chronic external imbalances. The resulting inflow of productivity-enhancing capital has strengthened its underlying economic position. Only one development could upset this optimistic prognosis: an end to the technological dynamism, openness to trade, and flexibility that have powered the U.S. economy. The biggest threat to U.S. hegemony, accordingly, stems not from the sentiments of foreign investors, but from protectionism and isolationism at home.

    Argument: Evil companies export workers abroad.

    Quote from bardo_trout »
    On the contrary, the pressure exists to keep working conditions poor and wages cheap, otherwise foreign investment will just go elsewhere to find the prices they're looking for.

    Response: This argument, though it may sound quite seductive to someone convinced of the evil inherent in making money, is empirically disproven. Lets begin at the beginning however. First off, it is certainly true that companies move to undeveloped nations out of a desire to make money. This however is not evil; its the way companies work. The point of a business is to make money.

    Now, the reason they move to these undevloped nations is because making money is easier. Why is this the case? Primarilly due to lower competition for workers and a lower cost of living This lower cost of living in turn makes lower wages possible; but this too is not evil. While the fact that people in some countries make less than people in others seems to offend the sensabilities of some, this isn't as aweful as some would love to belive. Although I'm sure it would give said individuals a wonderful and fuzzy feeling to give hundreds of thousands of dollars and a new Lexus to Nike workers in south asia, this wouldn't actually solve any of the long-term economic issues faced by that nation and indeed would cause all manner of problems.

    But what happens when these vile companies move into undeveloped nations with their insidious money-making ways? Well, in order to make said money they need a somewhat educated workforce and therefore set the foundations for a modern infrastructure. In addition, inspite of the relatively low wages, they do indeed put money into the local economy. These factors in turn make the nation even more attractive to foreign investment, now from smaller companies, for much of the initial infrastructure has been laid. Eventually, home-grown infrastructure and education begins to develop.

    "Oh, hold on now", you say. "This is just wishful thinking and theorizing, but it doesn't happen in real life. Why don't you look at what really happens in actual examples". Alright then, lets. Take if you will a variety of impoverished, undeveloped islands and peninsulae in east Asia. The time is the 1950s and the nations are South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong. All are in various states of disarray and suffering from a massive lack of infrastructure and education. Undeveloped and economically week, they have been pawns in wars and colonialism for over a century. Yet their leaders pursue an open economic model, choosing to encourage foreign investment rather than engaging in protectionism with local industries. The result? Today each of these nations is easily fit in the category of well developed nations with standards of living equivalent to Western Europe and the US.

    But why aren't all nations this well off? Converse examples hold the answer. At the same time that several of its neighbors were opening their economies, China, India and North Korea engaged in severe protectionism and nationalization of native industries. The consequence? None of these three nations grew at the rate of their Asian neighbors and remained undeveloped. But wait! Aren't China and India doing well economically today? Indeed they are, and the reason only goes further to prove my point: In the 1980s, China and India both reversed course and began opening their economies to foreign investment and trade. Consequently, while each nation is about 25 years behind South Korea, Taiwan, etc, they are now experiencing massive economic growth and an increase in living standards. Left out of this picture is South Korea, which has been isolated in terms of trade throughout its entire existence, as well as nations in the Middle East and Africa which have suffered from violent uprisings and protectionist totalitarian rulers which prevented the growth of trade. See a pattern?

    I quote myself from my above post #32:

    Quote from AlatarIstarion »
    For the first time in the history of mankind, mass poverty is explicitly avoidable and has been or is being eliminated in a sizable portion of the world.

    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on The War on Drugs makes -45 hectafortnights of sense
    Quote from Darth Cow »
    Explain to me how using say, Meth, is a victimless act. Meth users become essentially useless to society and everyone around them, including, not infrequently, children. Not to mention increased sexual activity and spread of STDs like AIDS.

    Just as consuming alcohol is only victimless if you aren't driving, most drugs are only victimless under limited circumstances. Maybe we can lock everyone up in a safe house and let them get high all they want. But there are still the costs borne by society of caring for people who have intentionally screwed up their health in a severe way.

    Let's give everyone a contract when they buy a pack of cigarrettes: I forfit all rights to emergency or other state guarenteed medical care related to lung/throat cancer and all other tobacco related diseases.

    The science and risks of illegal drugs are very clear, although I agree that double standards for marijuana are unfair.

    That's true, people who abuse drugs definitely harm people other than themselves. Nonetheless, this still does not mean that drug use should be illegal as this does nothing to solve the problem and indeed causes many more.

    Quote from Darth Cow »
    As for legalizing drugs helping poor farmers in third world nations, consider the power of America agriculture. If they could grow pot legally, they certainly would and would beat out third world producers. Illegal drugs would become cheap, no longer such a cash cow, but that would also mean reduced income for those poor farmers elsewhere. A bolivian farmer gets a lot less money for growing corn than coca. The flip side is that it would also hurt the drug cartels and regimes that rely on the income. But I don't think this is a good reason to legalize drugs.

    I do, and you made my point pretty concisely; drug production in these nations would certainly go down as it became less lucrative (farmers would then switch to other crops) while at the same time removing the ability of drug cartels to perpetuate violence. I think that's worth it.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on House Passes Central American Free Trade Act (CAFTA)
    Quote from Denver »
    Well, I think we've managed to hit the ball back and forth plenty, AI, and unless you want to continue to say the same things forever, I'll just call it quits. I'm certain neither of us will convince the other, and I'd much rather not offend anyone (which I'm prone to doing), so I'll just stop.

    Smile

    Fair enough! Smile
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on House Passes Central American Free Trade Act (CAFTA)
    Quote from Denver »
    You mean... Detroit, right? Right?! :redface:

    Lol yes of course... I got so focused on answering accurately that I forgot to pay attention to what city I typed... lol then I tried to be clever... that'll show me :p

    Quote from Denver »
    Ah, but to say that one city should change itself to help it's locally based yet nationally reaching industry is a bit far-fetched, no? Granted, local government often times do act on the behalf of commerce or industry, I tend to think that there would have been little Michigan could have done to stop Asian and European cars. It would have had to have been a national thing. Unless, of course, GM and Ford went overseas to manufacture so that there products could be comparably priced and of comparable (poor) quality, but then we're back to where we were before. (I am aware that yes, Chevy and Ford do have overseas plants.)

    No, I'm not saying that the government of Detroit ought to have tried to stop European and Asian cars at all! My point is rather that it ought to have helped the city adjust to an altered economic model now that the auto industry is not nearly so prevelant in Detroit as it once was.

    Quote from Denver »
    People working in Chinese industry: Many. Albeit low-skilled, low-payed peasants.
    People working in American industry: Few. Albeit mostly-skilled, mostly well-payed middle class.

    This is accurate, but I don't belive its bad or relevant to the free trade discussion.

    Quote from Denver »
    despite their apparent irrelevance, I see few ways to modernize factories and plants without an input of money from somewhere.

    Of course that's true. I'm arguing however that a post-WWI depression (which began in Germany in the 20's, true, but worstened and spread globally in the 30's) is impossible under the current global situation because the circumstances are so very different.
    Posted in: Debate
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