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    (Original post by Don_Scott)
    There's a difference between bad policies and stupidity. He is bilingual for one thing.
    Given that I can't be bothered reading back, I'll assume you mean Dubya. He's nowhere near a fluent speaker and his brother is much better at it than he is.
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    (Original post by PGtips92)
    Later, describing his own biography, Obama noted that there were a few times in his youth when his mom had to get food stamps "so we had enough to eat," that he studied on scholarships...

    Certainly wasn't from a wealthy background.
    AFAIK he only spent a short time with his mother and had other relatives who were wealthy. he attended a private school and I can't find any authoritative account of his having won a scholarship. Biographies have a tendency to play up the 'hard times' and people tend to cherry-pick bits to support their opinion.
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    AFAIK he only spent a short time with his mother and had other relatives who were wealthy. he attended a private school and I can't find any authoritative account of his having won a scholarship. Biographies have a tendency to play up the 'hard times' and people tend to cherry-pick bits to support their opinion.
    I guess we'll never know. Although on Barack Obama . com it says Barack Obama was raised by a single mother and his grandparents. They didn't have much money, but they taught him values from the Kansas heartland where they grew up. He took out loans to put himself through school. He wasn't as privileged as Bush though.
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    (Original post by PGtips92)
    I guess we'll never know. Although on Barack Obama . com it says Barack Obama was raised by a single mother and his grandparents. They didn't have much money, but they taught him values from the Kansas heartland where they grew up. He took out loans to put himself through school. He wasn't as privileged as Bush though.
    Sure, I'm not suggesting that Obama was super-wealthy or super-privileged like Bush but I'm just a little sceptical at the inferences that are made about him being 'poor' without some convincing details.
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    (Original post by Liquidus Zeromus)
    True. true. From experience, I have come across several people who think like that.
    The problem is that they fail to distinguish hard theory from reality. It's a poor creed of economist who falls into that trap.
    Have you heard the old joke about the economist who, when presented with some phenomenon, says "Well I'm sure it works out very well in practice, but how will it look in theory?"

    Having said that, I think you do also need to be very careful to avoid falling into the Marxist historicist trap of thinking that history determines outcomes.
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    (Original post by DrunkHamster)
    Have you heard the old joke about the economist who, when presented with some phenomenon, says "Well I'm sure it works out very well in practice, but how will it look in theory?"

    Having said that, I think you do also need to be very careful to avoid falling into the Marxist historicist trap of thinking that history determines outcomes.
    Not that I'm a Marxist, but could you explain how saying that "history determines outcomes" is false? I mean, purely in terms of cause and effect, the impact of the past on the present appears largely undeniable, and the present social structures are all products of past events.

    Or have I misunderstood you?
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    (Original post by Andy the Anarchist)
    Not that I'm a Marxist, but could you explain how saying that "history determines outcomes" is false? I mean, purely in terms of cause and effect, the impact of the past on the present appears largely undeniable, and the present social structures are all products of past events.

    Or have I misunderstood you?
    I think "history influences outcomes" is obviously true, but the further claim which is commonly made in vulgar Marxist circles is something stronger, namely, that there is some kind of determinism which allows us to read off the 'laws of history' from the past and extrapolate them into the future, and it's this which I think is false.
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    (Original post by DrunkHamster)
    Have you heard the old joke about the economist who, when presented with some phenomenon, says "Well I'm sure it works out very well in practice, but how will it look in theory?"

    Having said that, I think you do also need to be very careful to avoid falling into the Marxist historicist trap of thinking that history determines outcomes.
    No, I haven't. :laugh:

    I'm not a Marxist historian, and I won't be falling into that trap. Whilst there are plenty of patterns throughout history, it's foolish to apply them in the wrong way.

    One issue where history seems to repeat itself might, indeed, be the social hierarchy. The presence of a hierarchy is something which never seems to change. The nature of hierarchies has changed, but they are always there. Lower class, middle class, upper class. There is a near certainty that such hierarchies will exist as a component of future systems, given the differences and inequality in ability between humans. The system is so complex, though. There is not bound to be a class revolt, at all. The attitude of people to their place within a hierarchy is determined by a multitude of human factors, and not a natural pattern.
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    (Original post by DrunkHamster)
    I think "history influences outcomes" is obviously true, but the further claim which is commonly made in vulgar Marxist circles is something stronger, namely, that there is some kind of determinism which allows us to read off the 'laws of history' from the past and extrapolate them into the future, and it's this which I think is false.
    Yes, the exact word is important.

    There are ways in which history can repeat itself. If you put people in the same ideological and economic situation as the Russian proles were in the early 20th century, they might react the same way. But people as well as circumstances brought about the revolutions. Also, if we have the hindsight of history, the wealth of historical experience will influence the actions of people put in similar situations to those in the past.
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    Classical liberal.

    Free markets
    Free society
    Minarchism

    I'm opposed to actually existing capitalism which is actually corporatism mixed with statism.
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    evil capitalist through and through (Y)
    people should be rewarded for success not criminalized for it ... if you've advanced in life to make a **** load of money fair play to you ... its just jealous people who complain about it.
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    As a labour supporter, I'm more or less neutral with a slight socialist leaning. Both have their good points and their bad ones
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    Social Democrat
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    Capitalist
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    I swing both way
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    Socialism will never work whilst there is even a hint of Capitalism.

    Is anyone else up for finding a third option not even on the scale??
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    (Original post by PAPAdawg)
    simple question i'm sure. Are you a poverty creator or a wealth creator?

    I'm a capitalist. A real liberal not like the crap namby pamby imitations we have today who mistook liberalism for populism. IMO socialists are outright idiots and almost always peasants.
    Sorry to be awkward but I reckon having both parents on benefits for the majority of my childhood shoves me into the "peasants" category and I happen to think that most job-title socialists are not living in the real world. Then again, most of the ones I've come across have been middle class princess types who blather on about the unfortunate working classes without actually looking at what their lives are like.
    Anyyyyway </rant> In answer to your question, capitalist.
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    Anarcho-capitalist. No, I'm not Satan.
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    I like how you ruin the question by writing "are you a poverty creator or a wealth creator" because that is a massive generalisation that isn't true at all, and so creates a loaded question.
    Socialism and capitalism aren't our only options either.
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    Social democrat or liberal in the Anglo-American sense.
 
 
 
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