Thomas
 
  0  
Reply Mon 14 Feb, 2011 01:20 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
I don't believe the motivations of the author are the matter under discussion here, but rather, the fact that her stated views and beliefs are not consistent with her actions.

Your belief is mistaken. You quote the author as authority for the truth about her stated views and beliefs. Partisan rants don't establish any credible authority. Neither does "a light-hearted movie review". Either way, citing it to support your point compromises your conclusions about her stated views and beliefs.

Cycloptichorn wrote:

Let us recall the famous Oath that John Galt took:

Quote:
I swear—by my life and my love of it—that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.

Where in there does it say 'unless I need assistance, in which case, sign me up?'

John Galt wouldn't have justified Rand's accepting Medicare on the basis of her need. He would have justified it on the basis that the money she got had never been the SSA's to give her. It had rightfully belonged to Rand's all the time, and the SSA had been morally wrong to take it in the first place.

Cycloptichorns wrote:
The fact that she 'paid into' the Social Security system is immaterial, because we all know that those payments aren't stored in a bank; they are spent on others. She literally DID live for the sake of another man and she DID ask others do do that for her, when she was 0lder and in need.

Only under the Social Security's worldview, not to Rand's worldview. And Rand's worldview is the only one that counts: The original post's charge was that she hypocritically betrayed her own worldview for her own benefit, not the SSA's.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Feb, 2011 01:25 pm
@failures art,
failures art wrote:
I understand the writer pseudonym bit. Eminem's real name is Marshal Mathers, and I'm sure his SS card doesn't say Eminem. It is that she mislead people into believing that she would never accept such things because it was immoral; "parasitic."

Please cite evidence for this claim. I can't find any such evidence in the article you cite in your initial post.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Mon 14 Feb, 2011 01:32 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

Cycloptichorn wrote:
I don't believe the motivations of the author are the matter under discussion here, but rather, the fact that her stated views and beliefs are not consistent with her actions.

Your belief is mistaken. You quote the author as authority for the truth about her stated views and beliefs.


No, I didn't. I thought she had an interesting take on the movie 'The Fountainhead.' I saw it a few years back and I believe the criticisms in this piece are dead-on.

Quote:
Partisan rants don't establish any credible authority. Neither does "a light-hearted movie review". Either way, citing it to support your point compromises your conclusions about her stated views and beliefs.


The point of that post - and it's the first one I've made in this thread - was asking people to review some of Rand's work and re-evaluate their position. If you don't like the substance of the piece about the movie I posted, fine with me.
Quote:


Cycloptichorn wrote:

Let us recall the famous Oath that John Galt took:

Quote:
I swear—by my life and my love of it—that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.

Where in there does it say 'unless I need assistance, in which case, sign me up?'

John Galt wouldn't have justified Rand's accepting Medicare on the basis of her need. He would have justified it on the basis that the money she got had never been the SSA's to give her. It had rightfully belonged to Rand's all the time, and the SSA had been morally wrong to take it in the first place.


But the SSA doesn't work that way and you know it! The money they 'gave' to her wasn't her money at all. HER money was given to someone else, long ago. Instead she took OTHER PEOPLE'S money. And there's every reason to believe that she received more money than she put in, because this happens all the time as the system is adjusted by politicians.

Your account works with some fantasy where the SSA is a government-owned bank account, where people's contributions just sit there waiting for them. Not in the real world.

Quote:
Only under the Social Security's worldview, not to Rand's worldview.


Her worldview is incorrect here. This isn't an opinion; this is a fact about how SS works. But you already knew that and are just being contentious. Right?

Quote:
And Rand's worldview is the only one that counts: The original post's charge was that she hypocritically betrayed her own worldview for her own benefit, not the SSA's.


And that's exactly what she did. Late in life, riddled with cancer, she produced nothing and had inadequate savings from her labor to pay for her own life or that of her husband. She had no further utility to society. But instead of accepting that and passing away, she took money from a system she consistently railed against.

She was a complicit partner in the system. Nothing forced her to do this other than her own self-interest. Saying that she was only receiving 'what she was owed' from the system that she was forced to participate in is a lousy cop-out; she wasn't forced to do so and she wasn't, under her own philosophy, entitled to expect others to assist her.

I can't help but notice a multitude of articles hosted at the 'Ayn Rand center for individual rights' that speak very poorly about SS and condemn those who support or rely upon it - such as this one:

http://www.aynrand.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=10857&news_iv_ctrl=1021

Cycloptichorn
Phoenix32890
 
  2  
Reply Mon 14 Feb, 2011 01:44 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Quote:
Abortions were as dangerous as they were common.


Of course abortions were dangerous and common. They were illegal, and were performed in a back alley, in less than sanitary conditions. And who made abortions illegal? THE GOVERNMENT.

Abortions were common because there were no government handouts to care for unplanned children. Now people who are financially unable to care for children, have them, knowing that the government will take care of them.

I recently read an article that noted the increase of single motherhood, together with ensuing poverty, over the years. The numbers are appalling.

Poverty in the early 20th century was crushing, but by the next generation, many people had worked themselves out of poverty.

I am not so sure that public works have done society such a good service. We have a situation where there are a lot of babies born to mothers who don't have the slightest notion about appropriate parenting.
Cycloptichorn
 
  3  
Reply Mon 14 Feb, 2011 01:51 pm
@Phoenix32890,
Quote:

I am not so sure that public works have done society such a good service. We have a situation where there are a lot of babies born to mothers who don't have the slightest notion about appropriate parenting.


Yup - but this isn't materially different than it used to be, at all. These same parents were having kids back then.

And a lot of those babies grow up to be productive members of society; the public works we've instituted help give them a chance. Is this such a bad thing? You seem to be positing that without public works, we wouldn't have these problems. I am positing that they would be far, far worse.

Quote:
Poverty in the early 20th century was crushing, but by the next generation, many people had worked themselves out of poverty.


I'd like to see more about which time period you are talking about here. There were some serious changes to the way our society ran in the middle here, and a gigantic financial crisis which put huge segments of our society into poverty. Not sure how that squares with this sentence.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Feb, 2011 01:52 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Well, this is true. But it's also true that living conditions for the poor at that time were perfectly horrid, poverty was crushing, and diseases amongst the poor and indigent were for the most part untreated. Abortions were as dangerous as they were common.

If you Google for terms like "inequality 20th century United States", you will find that inequality in America today is about the same as it was in the early 20th century. (It was much lower in the mid-20th century.) The much-improved condition of America's poor, then, is mostly a consequence of productivity grown, not of redistribution.

Disclaimer: This comparison is between the early 21th and early 20th century.The much-worsened plight of today's poor compared to the poor of, say, 1970, does owe a lot to decreased income redistribution. But Phoenix had specifically talked about the early 20th century, and you had specifically responded to that.

Cycloptichorn wrote:
I have no problem with nostalgic looks into the past, but let us be honest: private charity did not do the job that public works have done. Not in the slightest.

I agree in principle; you're just overstating your case. (See above.) You are also ignoring all the horrible stuff that public works have done and private charity hasnt. For details, Google "euthanasia" or "nigger removal projects".
Thomas
 
  0  
Reply Mon 14 Feb, 2011 02:02 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
But the SSA doesn't work that way and you know it! The money they 'gave' to her wasn't her money at all. HER money was given to someone else, long ago. Instead she took OTHER PEOPLE'S money.

That's between the SSA and those other people. It doesn't affect the relationship between the SSA and Ayn Rand. When a thief who has stolen $10,000 from you 10 years ago gives you $5000 back now, is it hypocritical of you to just take it, or do you first have to check into all financial transactions the thief may have had with other people?

Thomas wrote:
Only under the Social Security's worldview, not to Rand's worldview.

Cycloptichorn wrote:
Her worldview is incorrect here. This isn't an opinion; this is a fact about how SS works.

You are changing your charges in mid-trial. The original charge was that she was a hypocrite, not that she was wrong. If she followed the implications of a wrong, but honestly-held view, that wouldn't have made her a hypocrite.

Cyclopticorn wrote:
But you already knew that and are just being contentious. Right?

Wrong. But even if I was, my intentions aren't the issue of this thread any more than the intentions behind your "light-hearted movie review".
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Mon 14 Feb, 2011 02:06 pm
@Thomas,
Quote:
That's between the SSA and those other people. It doesn't affect the relationship between the SSA and Ayn Rand. When a thief who has stolen $10,000 from you 10 years ago gives you $5000 now, is it hypocritical of you to take it, or do you first have to check into the financial transactions between the thief and other people?


This completely ignores the Social Contract that Rand signed onto and benefited from. Rand had nothing 'stolen' from her, because she agreed to give up those funds. At any point she wished, she could have stopped paying money into the SS system in the US, by either

A - stopping producing anything and 'going Galt,' lol

or

B - moving to another country where there was no social security.

It is clear that Rand made a conscious choice to participate in and abide by the rules of the game here in America. To say that something was 'stolen' from her is a risible lie. You can't steal something from someone who willingly gives it up.

Rand made a name for herself and a career by playing both ends of the game: denouncing the social safety net while both participating in it and benefiting from it. Her actions could not be more diametrically opposed to those of the mythical Galt if she tried.

Cycloptichorn
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Feb, 2011 02:08 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:
For details, Google "euthanasia" or "nigger removal projects".

Mindo on my part. This should have been "eugenics", not "euthanasia"
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Feb, 2011 02:18 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
This completely ignores the Social Contract that Rand signed onto and benefited from.

Ayn Rand became an American citizen in 1931. Social Security started under Roosevelt. Hence, when Rand "signed up" for her Social Contract with America, that contract didn't yet involve Social Security.

Cycloptichorn wrote:
Rand had nothing 'stolen' from her, because she agreed to give up those funds.

Only in the sense that women "agree to be raped" by walking on their University campus alone, at night, and in short skirts. That's a pretty lame usage of the word "agree".

Cyloptichorn wrote:
At any point she wished, she could have stopped paying money into the SS system in the US, by either

There are many non-hpocritical ways to deal with people one regards as thieves. Just because you picked one, that doesn't make your failure to pick the others an act of hypocrisy.
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Mon 14 Feb, 2011 02:22 pm
@Thomas,
This last post is basically a retreat on your part into Appeals to Extreme.

Rand had a choice: she could have done several things to exempt herself from having to pay for anyone else. She chose not to do those things. To then turn around and say that she was 'robbed' is completely and totally false.

Her character - her ideal person - Galt had the guts to do what she didn't. Thus the hypocrisy. When you see people say or write, 'Who is John Galt?' He's a person who never existed, who never COULD exist. Yet he is held up as some sort of ideal by all sorts of right-wingers.

Cycloptichorn
wandeljw
 
  3  
Reply Mon 14 Feb, 2011 02:25 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:
Ayn Rand became an American citizen in 1931. Social Security started under Roosevelt. Hence, when Rand "signed up" for her Social Contract with America, that contract didn't yet involve Social Security.


As a self-employed writer, it is possible that she avoided paying Social Security taxes. She apparently was entitled as a spouse on her husband's SSA record.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Feb, 2011 02:34 pm
@wandeljw,
I'm not a Randian, but I don't see anything about her taking Social Security that's hypocritical.

She's probably ethically bound to vote against social security and similar programs, but if others create such programs, and she's entitled to the money, then self interest would dictate that she should take the money.
Thomas
 
  0  
Reply Mon 14 Feb, 2011 02:38 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
This last post is basically a retreat on your part into Appeals to Extreme.

No, it only mirrors your extreme usage of the word "agree".

Cycloptichorn wrote:
Rand had a choice: she could have done several things to exempt herself from having to pay for anyone else.

In exactly the same sense, women who don't want to get raped have a choice: they can do several things to exempt themselves from having sex with men they don't want sex with. For example, they can stay at home, or always go out with a chaperone. If you find that statement "extreme", I agree. It's exactly as extreme as your charge about Ayn Rand's "choice".

Cycloptichorn wrote:
She chose not to do those things. To then turn around and say that she was 'robbed' is completely and totally false.

Likewise, "some women choose to walk in the park chaperone-less, short-skirted, after dark. To then turn around and say she was "raped" is completely and totally false." Sound extreme? It should! That's the point!

Cycloptichorn wrote:
Her character - her ideal person - Galt had the guts to do what she didn't. Thus the hypocrisy.

Discrepancies between fiction and nonfiction are rarely considered hypocritical. Take my own ideal person, Superman. He had the guts to jump out the window and fly. If I ever authored a Superman fan-fic comic, would it make me a hypocrite not to do the same? I don't think so.
wandeljw
 
  3  
Reply Mon 14 Feb, 2011 02:40 pm
@DrewDad,
Supposedly, Rand advised others not to accept government assistance. She herself did, however.

Thomas compared what Rand did as merely accepting $5,000 from a thief who once stole $10,000 from her. Actually the reverse is true: most people get FAR more in Social Security and Medicare benefits than they paid in F.I.C.A. or Medicare taxes during their work life.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Feb, 2011 02:45 pm
@wandeljw,
wandeljw wrote:

Thomas wrote:
Ayn Rand became an American citizen in 1931. Social Security started under Roosevelt. Hence, when Rand "signed up" for her Social Contract with America, that contract didn't yet involve Social Security.


As a self-employed writer, it is possible that she avoided paying Social Security taxes. She apparently was entitled as a spouse on her husband's SSA record.


Look back at my post. Her husband O'Connor received far less per month on his social security. She must have been collecting her own.

As you said many people collect more SS than they put in. However, if the figures I found are true, she more than likely did not take more than she contributed.
In her case, it was Exactly like getting some money back from someone who took it from you.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Mon 14 Feb, 2011 02:45 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

Cycloptichorn wrote:
This last post is basically a retreat on your part into Appeals to Extreme.

No, it only mirrors your extreme usage of the word "agree".

Cycloptichorn wrote:
Rand had a choice: she could have done several things to exempt herself from having to pay for anyone else.

In exactly the same sense, women who don't want to get raped have a choice: they can do several things to exempt themselves from having sex with men they don't want sex with. For example, they can stay at home or always go out with a chaperone. If you find that statement "extreme", I agree. It's exactly as extreme as your charge about Ayn Rand's "choice".


No, it isn't. For no other reason than SS is a legal act, codified within our society, and one that is approved of by the overwhelming majority of citizens and successfully defended by various courts.

Your comparison to rape - an illegal act condemned by all - is totally false and off base. An Appeal to Extreme.

Quote:

Cycloptichorn wrote:
She chose not to do those things. To then turn around and say that she was 'robbed' is completely and totally false.

Likewise, some women choose to walk in the park chaperone-less, short-skirted, after dark. To then turn around and say she was "raped" is completely and totally false. Sound extreme? It should! That's the point!


See above. Your analogy is a false one.

Quote:
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Her character - her ideal person - Galt had the guts to do what she didn't. Thus the hypocrisy.

Discrepancies between fiction and nonfiction are rarely considered hypocritical. Take my own ideal person, Superman. He had the guts to jump out the window and fly. If I ever authored a Superman fan-fic comic, would it make me a hypocrite not to do the same? I don't think so.


This is another false analogy. You don't jump out the window and fly like superman out of a lack of desire but a lack of ABILITY to do so. If you had all the powers of Superman and espoused him as an ideal, but chose to do nothing that he did - instead following a Randian model of self-interest - that would make you a hypocrite.

Rand had every ability to move to a location where she would be responsible for nobody but herself. She CHOSE not to do so. Therefore it's fair to say that she CHOSE to comply with a law that she wasn't forced to comply with.

You're batting pretty low today with these analogies. Your argument isn't so great to begin with but you don't have to stab it in the back like this by picking terrible examples for the point you try to make.

Cycloptichorn
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Feb, 2011 02:54 pm
@wandeljw,
wandeljw wrote:
Supposedly, Rand advised others not to accept government assistance. She herself did, however.

Will you supply specific evidence of what she advised, or do you intend to leave it at "supposedly"?

wandeljw wrote:
Thomas compared what Rand did as merely accepting $5,000 from a thief who once stole $10,000 from her. Actually the reverse is true: most people get FAR more in Social Security and Medicare benefits than they paid in F.I.C.A. or Medicare taxes during their work life.

In Failures Art's initial post, there is no showing, nor even an assertion, that this was the case with Ayn Rand.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Feb, 2011 03:01 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
No, it isn't. For no other reason than SS is a legal act, codified within our society, and one that is approved of by the overwhelming majority of citizens and successfully defended by various courts.

Since Ayn Rand's complaint was moral rather than legal---she never took any legal action on the SSA, or shirked any legal obligations she had to it---I don't see how that makes a difference that's relevant to your charges of hypocrisy.

Cycloptichorn wrote:
You're batting pretty low today with these analogies. Your argument isn't so great to begin with but you don't have to stab it in the back like this by picking terrible examples for the point you try to make.

If you don't like my batting, why your choice to keep pitching? You have no valid complaint against me---only yourself to blame that this keeps going on! Smile
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Feb, 2011 03:02 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

wandeljw wrote:
Supposedly, Rand advised others not to accept government assistance. She herself did, however.

Will you supply specific evidence of what she advised, or do you intend to leave it at "supposedly"?

wandeljw wrote:
Thomas compared what Rand did as merely accepting $5,000 from a thief who once stole $10,000 from her. Actually the reverse is true: most people get FAR more in Social Security and Medicare benefits than they paid in F.I.C.A. or Medicare taxes during their work life.

In Failures Art's initial post, there is no showing, nor even an assertion, that this was the case with Ayn Rand.


I will answer the second question first. The article linked by failures art mentioned she received medicare benefits when she was afflicted with lung cancer. It is reasonable that she received more in medicare benefits than she had paid in Medicare taxes.

Your first question: I was unable to find a quote from her on government assistance. However, on the website of the Ayn Rand Institute, they provided a hilarious quote from her about libertarianism:

Quote:
Libertarians are a monstrous, disgusting bunch of people: they plagiarize my ideas when that fits their purpose, and they denounce me in a more vicious manner than any communist publication, when that fits their purpose. They are lower than any pragmatists, and what they hold against Objectivism is morality. They’d like to have an amoral political program.
 

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