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Post 20

Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 6:10amSanction this postReply
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Agree with you Ashley - have used unemployment benefits a couple of times over the years - but only for short time, as it didn't take long for me to find another job... but after 35 years of work, and becoming disabled, took the SSI as means of both getting that back - and gaining me opportunity of becoming what always wanted to but never had time to do so - be an artist... if in doing so, can again gain to self employment, fine... but if am on SSI rest of life, no regrets...

At the same time, oppose this system, because do realize that it does lessen incentive to support self...   if system fails, of course will seek some means of self support [but in all honesty, for myself, doubt it will]...
(Edited by robert malcom on 11/12, 6:11am)

(Edited by robert malcom on 11/12, 6:15am)


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Post 21

Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 9:19amSanction this postReply
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"Is it also "toxic" and "lazy" to receive Social Security checks after paying 7-15% of your paycheck into this system for all of your working life?"

Sigh...

Yes. These are not legitimate functions of government. You are not "paying in", the money is being forced from you whether you opt to participate or not. You do not get "your money" back, but money being forced against their wills from other people. Do what you think you have to do, but you'll never know what you might have been capable of doing if you'd chosen otherwise.

Is there anyone who agrees with me on this issue?

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Post 22

Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 9:24amSanction this postReply
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Mike Erickson wrote, "I'm quite disappointed in this group. ...Consider your 'sense of life' and self respect. Why taint your savings and personal wealth with stolen money?"

Mike, if it were possible to rectify the injustice of the stolen money by not taking it, I would agree - don't take it. But how does your refusal to take it do that? It doesn't enable the taxpayers from whom it was stolen to get it back. The government will just use it for some other, less worthy purpose than supporting a fine Objectivist like yourself.

- Bill

Post 23

Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 9:24amSanction this postReply
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If this were a 'metaphysical' and not a 'manmade', I would agree with you - but otherwise, it is seeking to gain back stolen property..

Post 24

Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 9:33amSanction this postReply
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Mike wrote: "Is there anyone who agrees with me on this issue?"

No, not so far.

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Post 25

Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 9:41amSanction this postReply
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It's just not PLANNING your own life. I feel like cattle being herded down a chute by even showing up at the DMV let alone one of these government handout offices.

Look, I spent a couple of years in an orphanage as a young child as a ward of the state. I don't ever want to feel that "dog in a kennel" feeling again. It's a personal "sense of life" and morality and self esteem thing with me. I'm a little surprised that no one here feels the same way. I have to give this some thought.

Post 26

Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 10:16amSanction this postReply
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Can understand your view - but a ward of the state is a compulsoryness; this is not...

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Post 27

Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 10:20amSanction this postReply
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Thank you all for sharing your ideas, which have really helped me sort it out and reach a conclusion.

 

Ed, in your first post in this thread, you wrote if you need it, take the damn money.  Now the truth is, I dont need the money.  So initially I thought that maybe since this is not an emergency, since being temporarily unemployed will not leave me destitute, I should not take advantage of unemployment.  But then it occurred to me, since when is need a decent means to determine the re-distribution of wealth? So, at that point, I was thinking of taking the damn money anyway!

 

Bob, your quote of Ayn Rand from The Objectivist was particularly helpful.  Id already read a similar bit of hers in Ayn Rand Answers. In both instances, she lumps collecting unemployment in with Social Security and state scholarships.  But theres a difference with unemployment, in that in my claiming it, it is not money that comes from the looters per se, but it will come in part from my former employer.  I need to consider that it is not a general redistribution of wealth, but a burden that I would be choosing to place on one particular entity, as opposed to the collective.

 

So Ethan, when you suggested that I take as much back as I paid in taxes, I most definitely would, if it were only taking from the pot into which all my taxes were collected.  But this money would come from another pot.  Imagine Reardon Steel is forced to shut down, and all the former employees claim unemployment, its primarily Hank Reardon who will carry the burden.

 

Aaron, you are the one who really inspired me to consider this fact; to look at the specific context of how this money flows.  In the final analysis, it was with the awareness of this context that I was able to arrive at my decision. Thank you.

 

Joe and Glenn, you both implied that the right to file for unemployment comes from the fact that I have paid into the system, and that Im only getting my own money back.  Is that true?  I got out an old pay stub and there are tons of deductions including FED W/H, FICA INS, FICA MED,NY W/H, NY DISB, NYC TAX, and Union. Does unemployment use the money from any of these?  Im unclear about this.

 

So, Mike, youve been arguing the other side all on your own in this thread, finally asking, Is there anyone who agrees with me on this? 

 

Well, I do.  Or at least I do in my particular situation.  Ive decided that given the specific context, it is wrong for me to collect unemployment.  Your points about self-esteem and sense of life are part of it, as well as considering my relationship and respect for my former employer, whose burden I dont want to increase. Perhaps in another context, if I felt I could not survive without it, or if I felt my former employer owed me, I would reach a different conclusion.

 

Thank you all again for a good discussion and many terrific insights.   


Post 28

Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 10:22amSanction this postReply
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Mike Erickson personally rejects using/taking all government handouts, it seems. I wonder if he would also include Workers Compensation payments under this rubric.

In my province, the compensation board sits on a $9 billion fund collected from payroll premiums over the years (in many cases, individual contractors must also pay premiums).

So, Mike, buddy gets bashed up at work. Should he take a handout until fit to return to work?

WSS

Post 29

Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 10:50amSanction this postReply
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Mike E., I think you're arguments have been adressed by Ragnar's confrontation with Reardon in AS, it's no surprise that your view is not finding much sympathy. But you're at least thinking towards the non-corruption of one's sense of worth, I can respect that.

Post 30

Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 11:09amSanction this postReply
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Mike,

You wrote:

It's a personal "sense of life" and morality and self esteem thing with me.

Which I understand, particularly given your context. But then you went on to say:

I'm a little surprised that no one here feels the same way.

Uh, OK... have you considered the idea that maybe the rest of us havent been wards of the state, etc.?

Post 31

Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 11:15amSanction this postReply
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WSS,

Over twenty years ago I had a nerve entrapment in my right arm that was work related. It resulted in paralysis of the thumb and forefinger of my right hand. Virtually every visit to Kaiser hospital while they were diagnosing and treating this injury they recommended that I apply for disability "benefits". I declined. The fact is, I never stopped working. I even changed jobs twice in the year and a half that it took for this problem to completely resolve itself. I wrote a technical manual with my left hand I remember. I was surprised at how readily I could learn how to write left handed. I was slower that with my right hand, but if anything it was more legible.

If "buddy" has an emergency situation and the money is set aside into a fund and earmarked for that purpose I don't see anything morally wrong about accepting the money. I don't judge people personally about their personal choices in this regard. I just see these programs as a corrupting influence on people's sense of independence and personal responsibility and I will certainly try to minimize their effect on MY sense of individualism. Sometimes people are TOO adaptable. How many generations of this kind of adaptation does it take to result in a truly collectivist state? Would we know one if we saw it? Figure it out for yourself.

Eric Scott,

Glad to be of some help. Thank you for your thoughts and for starting the thread.

Joe,

Thanks for your sympathy. I haven't read AS again for a long time but I'll try to find the part you are referring to.

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Post 32

Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 3:57amSanction this postReply
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Mike Erickson sounds like the guy who tells women who get raped, "it was because you were dressed so sexy that got you in trouble." Reality, facts, and context don't matter because he has memorized some words. Its like watching a child say words he doesn't know the meaning of. But the funny part is the stomping of feet at "this website" for not giving "support" for his point of view, he is "quite disappointed in this group."  

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Post 33

Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 1:21pmSanction this postReply
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Fuck you Glenn Heppard. You are a total complete moron. You peruse every written and spoken word of AR's to rationalize your preconceived notions, you are the farthest thing from an individualist. You have earned my contempt long before this thread.

Post 34

Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 1:39pmSanction this postReply
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Thanks, Mike, for the clear and consistent answer.

I administrate relations with the Compensation Board where I work, and noted the preceding system (basically, "cut your leg off at work, did ya? Oh well. Sue . . . or something. Good luck. Next.").

In most Western jurisdictions, this kind of worker insurance was the first 'social insurance' system voted into existence. Fewer bankrupcies, fewer wrecked lives, fewer dire consequences of injury? I dunno, but it is truly one of the sacred cows of the Canadian 'safety net.' Even with an Objectivist majority in legislatures, I don't see this feature being disposed of in the great O revolution to come.


WSS

Post 35

Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 6:02pmSanction this postReply
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Would Howard Roark or John Galt have signed on to the government dole? 


Post 36

Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 6:29pmSanction this postReply
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Eric you noted to me:

But this money would come from another pot.

It's hardly my responsibility to take back from the governemnt only those bills whose serial number I know. It's in the same thief's account, it's all the same money. That's why money is used to stand in for a specific piece of property or effort. It's a generic method of exchanging value.

In your example, the government robs Rearden and the government robs you. So when you have a chance to get back some of that stolen money, you suggest that you shouldn't because the theives will steal some more. Will your not taking it make them steal less? Is this sacraficing yourself for another, rather than refusing to be a another cog in the theif's machine? Why do you think Rearden and the others shrugged? What a knife edge this is. By your rationale if you take back what was stolen from you, you give some validity to the thiefs crimes. So Rearden then helps out some government thief with a little bit of a donation and a free trip or two, now he gets some temporary immunity from the thief. Politics of pull.

Food for your thoughts

Ethan

(Edited by Ethan Dawe on 11/12, 6:30pm)


Post 37

Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 7:11pmSanction this postReply
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Eric, you won't gain any self-confidence in taking that moolah. If you need it to get yourself through for a short period of time then there's nothing wrong with it. That's what it's there for. The danger is in its becoming something that distracts from your central purpose.

Post 38

Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 8:50pmSanction this postReply
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Mike:It's a personal "sense of life" and morality and self esteem thing with me. I'm a little surprised that no one here feels the same way.

I do!


Post 39

Sunday, November 13, 2005 - 7:30amSanction this postReply
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Mike-

I admire you taking the consistent hard-ass stance on accepting government assistance. I see there are cases where it is ethically legitimate (when truly getting back some of the money taken from you), but such situations are not as prevalent as many here have regarded them. Your point about the victims of theft varying over time is a good one. I have to agree with you that because of it; frustratingly, collecting social security would be invalid.

Eric-

Thanks for the update on your thought process and decision. I'm glad my comments helped. I wasn't familiar with how unemployment insurance worked. From what you said, it sounds like it would involve using government to force a transfer payment from former employer to employee, so you definitely made the right decision.


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