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  #251  
Old 08-01-2019, 06:03 PM
Max S. is offline
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Originally Posted by Scylla View Post
What does fault have to do with it? You are in the exact same dire situation either way. Your example above makes a big deal about saying the person is blameless. Does his blame change the scenario?

Because in his situation is at least partially a function of his choices, right?
I think blame or culpability is the primary criteria in determining whether one is personally responsible for something. "Is it my fault?"

Originally, I would have answered either "Yes it is my fault, therefore it is my responsibility" or "no, it is not my fault, therefore it is not my responsibility". You convinced me to drop the "no" answer. So now, according to my idea of personal responsibility, if something is my fault, it is almost definitely my responsibility*. If something is not my fault, then fault says nothing about responsibility. I'm not personally responsible but I still might have responsibility for it under some other doctrine.

*still not sure how to handle conflicts between my responsibility for a fault and my responsibility with eg: my dependents

Why does personal responsibility matter at all here? That's where our two sub-threads meet. Let's say you represent society. You get to decide whether I qualify for assistance; whether I am a responsible person, though I claim to be one now; ultimately, whether giving me assistance would be a net good or bad for society. You have to inconvenience a lot of people a little bit to help me. This is a sort of real-life trolley problem and the basis of welfare.

You may be a Stoic but society would collapse if people could not make these kinds of character judgements. You don't have to assume my state of mind, just the facts and history. There's harm and suffering on the line, and inaction is a decision. How do you rule?

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Originally Posted by Scylla View Post
Because in his situation is at least partially a function of his choices, right?
Partially, but not necessarily enough to say I am personally responsible for the dire situation. It could have been a single car accident as described upthread.

~Max
  #252  
Old 08-01-2019, 06:22 PM
Max S. is offline
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Originally Posted by Scylla View Post
So, if I am evaluating Fredís creditworthiness for a loan, I am not a making a personal judgement of him in the judgements sense (ďheís a loser,Ē. ďIím better than him.Ē) I am just evaluating whether or not the loan makes sense.
A lender evaluates whether or not Fred is a financially responsible person. Financial responsibility is a form of personal responsibility. "Fred has a sense of financial responsibility. He has not missed a single payment in the past ten years." "Fred has no sense of financial responsibility. I see that we have already given him multiple extensions on existing loans and he tends to make partial payments after the due date."

A hiring manager evaluates whether or not Fred is a responsible person. "Fred's references say he has a solid sense of personal responsibility. When Fred says he will have something done by Friday, he will have something done by Friday." "Fred's references say he has no sense of personal responsibility, and he routinely let projects slip past deadlines."

Even in advice to a friend about a prospective date, you may weigh your opinion based on a judgement of personal responsibility. "Fred is a real solid guy, solid job, solid family, solid friends if I say so myself. He never stands a girl up and he's not the kind of person to cheat. I think he'll treat you well." "Fred? That guy is a sleaze, he's got more debt than the Donald, he'll have you pay for dinner, and he's got a history of disappearing the morning after. Just ask Sue."

~Max
  #253  
Old 08-01-2019, 07:44 PM
Scylla is offline
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Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
A lender evaluates whether or not Fred is a financially responsible person.
No they don’t.

They just decide whether or not they will get paid on time, and whether the collateral is a desirable alternative. It’s a pretty strict numbers thing.


Quote:
Financial responsibility is a form of personal responsibility. "Fred has a sense of financial responsibility. He has not missed a single payment in the past ten years." "Fred has no sense of financial responsibility. I see that we have already given him multiple extensions on existing loans and he tends to make partial payments after the due date."
Nope. It’s not like that. Fred can have a perfect payment history and if his debt to income is too high, than his personal responsibility is moot. If his collateral is really good it might not matter how big a piece of shit he has been, because the lender might want the collateral.


Quote:
A hiring manager evaluates whether or not Fred is a responsible person. "Fred's references say he has a solid sense of personal responsibility. When Fred says he will have something done by Friday, he will have something done by Friday." "Fred's references say he has no sense of personal responsibility, and he routinely let projects slip past deadlines."
I think you are stretching to put it in these terms. I’d be surprised to hear a hiring manager do so, especially in today’s environment where references are tough to get because of liability. They are most likely going to look at qualifications, salary requirements and interviews. You are not going to learn the kind of things you are talking about until after they’ve been hired.

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Even in advice to a friend about a prospective date, you may weigh your opinion based on a judgement of personal responsibility. "Fred is a real solid guy, solid job, solid family, solid friends if I say so myself. He never stands a girl up and he's not the kind of person to cheat. I think he'll treat you well." "Fred? That guy is a sleaze, he's got more debt than the Donald, he'll have you pay for dinner, and he's got a history of disappearing the morning after. Just ask Sue."

~Max
I will give you this last one, but that seems to be a case where judging is specifically called for.

Last edited by Scylla; 08-01-2019 at 07:45 PM.
  #254  
Old 08-01-2019, 07:46 PM
Scylla is offline
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Max:

I noticed you didnít respond to my comments that perhaps we are not talking about the exact same thing. Thoughts?
  #255  
Old 08-02-2019, 11:18 AM
Max S. is offline
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Originally Posted by Scylla View Post
No they donít.

They just decide whether or not they will get paid on time, and whether the collateral is a desirable alternative. Itís a pretty strict numbers thing.

Nope. Itís not like that. Fred can have a perfect payment history and if his debt to income is too high, than his personal responsibility is moot. If his collateral is really good it might not matter how big a piece of shit he has been, because the lender might want the collateral.
Will you admit that personal/financial responsibility is sometimes a factor when evaluating a loan application? Not everybody owns a house or car to put up as collateral. Some people rent/lease, many people already took our loans to finance their house/car.

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Originally Posted by Scylla View Post
I think you are stretching to put it in these terms. Iíd be surprised to hear a hiring manager do so, especially in todayís environment where references are tough to get because of liability. They are most likely going to look at qualifications, salary requirements and interviews. You are not going to learn the kind of things you are talking about until after theyíve been hired.
Think what you may, I made hiring decisions in that manner last week. The references factor into the beginning and the end of the hiring process - either it gets the applicant's foot in the door, or it is the critical factor in the final round, or both. Especially with an entry-level position, references are important.

Besides, the same sort of thing comes up during the annual review. That's when I base my evaluation on personal experience, but the effect is usually upon wages instead of hire/fire.

~Max
  #256  
Old 08-02-2019, 11:42 AM
Max S. is offline
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Among those of us who I think identify as conservative, I found these definitions:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
"Personal responsibility" means I am personally responsible for the things I personally did.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
On the one hand, "It is right to give every man his due". This is Plato's definition of morality, and equivocal to personal responsibility.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scylla View Post
Personal responsibility is just the ethic for how you choose to live your life, hence the ďpersonal.Ē It has nothing to do with anybody else.

The idea is that you be prudent and self reliant and avoid becoming becoming a burden on loved ones, or society at large. Itís a powerful tool. Itís about deciding not to be a victim and continuing to strive and believe that you are in control of your destiny when life knocks you down.

All it really is is an attitude. Itís telling yourself that you are still in the fight when all you want to do is quit.
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Originally Posted by Kearsen1 View Post
Personal responsibility: You are free to make whatever decision you wish, those decisions come with consequences.
I think puddleglum is a conservative, and I think he equates personal responsibility with self reliance (not totally sure):
Quote:
Originally Posted by puddleglum View Post
What Romney get right is that the first responsibility for everyone is to take care of themselves and their family. If everyone did that then there would be no need for other people to do it for them... The only thing that can help people is self reliance and if universally practiced it would solve nearly every political problem.
And then I believe WillFarnaby is a libertarian, but his definition seems in line with the conservative ones:

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Originally Posted by WillFarnaby View Post
I have no responsibility towards anyone other than those I voluntarily interact with including my family, friends, employers, business associates, coworkers, and in some cases neighbors.
I believe thorny_locust is not a conservative (I'm she's new here), but she offers the following which I pretty much agree with:
Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
I get the impression that what conservatives mean by "personal responsibility" is a combination of two things:

1) each person is responsible for their own actions, and the socially-expected results of those actions.

2) each adult is financially responsible for paying their own bills, and those of any minor children they have.
I'm not sure how Crane identifies and I don't fully agree with the rest of his argument, but he says this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crane View Post
In the military I was taught that there is no responsibility without commensurate authority. That should apply to the Conservative concept of personal responsibility.
To a certain extent, I think you stand out from the pack in saying the judgement of others' personal responsibility has nothing to do with personal responsibility. I have trouble separating the idea of being "prudent and self reliant" from simply taking responsibility for one's own actions. You seem to think there's a difference, and further, that the difference somehow precludes judgement of others. I don't follow you there.

Prudence is just being reasonable. Self-reliance flows from self-discipline (pushing yourself to do what you need to do). If you keep discipline, you will realize that you can in fact do what you need to do. That is called self-confidence. After some time you will make the inference that you will do what you need to do, and come to rely on your self-confidence. That is called self-reliance. Once you have self-confidence and self-reliance, you can start keeping promises to other people. Not just explicit promises, but implicit ones too - for example when borrowing a lawnmower you implicitly promise to return it in good condition. If there is a reasonable expectation for you to do something after taking a certain action, then taking that action means you make the implicit promise.

Other people notice that you keep your promises, and a pattern emerges. A person who keeps their promises is called a responsible person. These other people who notice a pattern of responsibility make the same inference as a judgement of your character, but this time it is called personal responsibility. Personal responsibility is like a AAA rating. It basically means that you keep your word; you take responsibility for your actions. Other people constantly rely on that, and you constantly rely on your judgement of other people's personal responsibility.

So really, the difference between personal responsibility and self-confidence is the difference between the words "a person's house" and "my house". Both are used to describe possession of a house, and similarly both personal responsibility and self-confidence describe the same concept. Self-reliability is therefore analogous to reliance upon someone's personal responsibility.

~Max
  #257  
Old 08-02-2019, 12:40 PM
Shodan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
I'm not sure how Crane identifies and I don't fully agree with the rest of his argument, but he says this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crane
In the military I was taught that there is no responsibility without commensurate authority. That should apply to the Conservative concept of personal responsibility.
To a certain extent, I think you stand out from the pack in saying the judgement of others' personal responsibility has nothing to do with personal responsibility.
Crane can speak for himself, but to me the idea of personal responsibility includes authority over yourself. You make your own decisions to the extent possible, and are allowed to suffer or enjoy the consequences to the extent possible.

Whether or not other people think I am personally responsible shouldn't matter - I am responsible. And I am, or should be, prepared to take the consequences without excuse. But if I make a decision and someone else makes a different decision, and it turns out well for me and badly for them, that's not my fault any more than it's theirs if it's vice versa.

Obviously these are general principles rather than 100% in every situation. But above you mentioned student loan debt, and child support.

If I decide to take on student loan debt, and so does Joe X, and I wind up employed in my career field and Joe graduates with a degree in Communication and winds up in retail, we are both responsible for our outcomes. His choice of majors does not obligate me, nor does mine obligate him. Or I decide to have a child, and so does Joe. I get married first and stay married and support my child. He doesn't get married, or he gets divorced, and has to pay child support.

We are both still responsible for our child. Nothing about our differing circumstances absolves us - both on the hook, and the fact that it might be more difficult and painful for him to pay than for me to pay changes nothing.

Now, we both lose our jobs. Guess what - nothing has changed for either of us.

Sometimes no excuse is good enough.

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But "I will do what I want and if I fail someone else should pay for it" is not "personal responsibility". That's more like the "privatize profits and socialize risk" that liberals seem to object to with banks.

Regards,
Shodan
  #258  
Old 08-02-2019, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Wrenching Spanners View Post

I disagree with the authors of the BOEís paper
For the purposes of this thread, the BOE and I will agree to disagree with you.
Quote:

Youíre taking a general concept, that banks receive loan payments and then reloan those funds, a concept that fractional reserve banking, the subject that you brought up, depends on and you're trying to refute it by bringing up a specific circumstance, and then using a poor cite that only marginally relates to that circumstance. Youíre also arguing that lending is at a low point but ignoring that as recently as 2017, lending was at an all-time high. Most economists are worried that worldwide debt is too high, not too low.
I used to have a bookmark with a real time listing of the excess reserve, but the computer that that was on is no longer with us, and I just grabbed the first cite that proved my point, that banks are not waiting on money to come back before they can make loans, and that cite did prove my point. Contrary to what you assert here, I did not argue that lending is at a low point, and so did not ignore that it was at an all time high, so that entire paragraph of yours is trying to attack a point I never made.

I did say that banks are sitting on capital that they would like to lend out to qualified borrowers, but that in no way fits to your description of my argument.
Quote:


I'm suggesting it. If you forgive a set of student loans, you better ensure that no equivalent of future student loans is available. Because if it is, the next set of borrowers who've made bad lending decisions will expect their debt to be forgiven and will howl with outrage if they don't receive the same giveaway the previous borrowers received.
Yeah, I do think that the first step is to address how the students got into debt in the first place, then to address the debts that students have acquired already. I've pointed this out a few times, so for you to repeat this as an issue makes me wonder what exactly it is that you are trying to argue here.

No moral hazard there.
Quote:

At the start of the thread, didn't you object to whataboutism? I'm happy to respond, but I don't want to react to something you object to.
No, I did not object to whataboutism, I accused you of whataboutism, as this is a thread about "whether or not personal responsibility is even a value, and JohnT's point about (if it is a value) it's uniquely conservative. " as stated in the OP. Which would put my point about CEO's writing giant paychecks on the back of bankrupting corporations a very valid question as to conservative values, and pointing at democrats being concerned about student loans is not.
Quote:
No.
The would you say that the person that the party that is affiliated with conservatives nominated someone who exemplifies the ideals of personal responsibility?
Quote:


I've already refuted that. The students paid for their education. Their payments entered the economy. Those payments were based on borrowed funds. If the students made poor forecasting decisions about borrowing for their education, then their personal economy is certainly hurt. However, the effect that subset economy is offset by the subset that received the funds, the university economy.
No, you disagreed with that. A disagreement is not a refutation.
Quote:
Anyway, enough about banking and economics.
Fair enough, but I do recommend you just google the words "Lending creates money", or "paying a loan destroys money", as it seems that these are things that you are unaware of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrenching Spanners View Post
This is a thread hijack, which I started, but within modern times, I donít think you can find a better government investment than vaccinations. The benefit/cost ratio is probably in the hundred-thousands. I agree and have stated that education is a societal investment. However, at some point, the beneficiaries of that investment need to pay it back. This is especially true if the students have received greater benefits than someone who opted out of those benefits due to cost.
A better investment, as far as medical dollars and lives saved, sure. As an investment in stimulating the economy, especially into the future, not really.

You say that at some point, the beneficiaries need to pay it back, and they will, in the form of taxes that go towards educating the next generation. When is the generation that got free education to the standards needed for a living wage, along with much cheaper college education if they wanted to go further going to "pay that back"? The students who receive the greater benefits will be higher earners, which means higher tax payers.
Quote:

Because at a certain point, societally necessary education turns into personally beneficial education. Thereís no clear dividing line between the two, and indeed the point isnít binary, but a crossing of a variable percentage threshold. Nevertheless, American society has determined that point to be high school graduation. Students who pursue college education are generally expected to pay for at least a part of their education and often the entirety. The students borrow student loans to receive the personally beneficial education. No one is forcing them to do so, and if the education is not personally beneficial to them, they can choose not to pursue it.
We used to only give a 5th grade education, as that was what was needed in the workforce. We had about the same fight in making later grades paid by the public as we are now. I don't know that American society has decided the point of "personally beneficial" education is high school. I think that is simply the status quo, that is simply how it is, and has been since the last time that American Society decided that it needed to better educate its citizens in order to have the workforce with the skills it needed.

The entire point of this is to recognize that American society has declared that a high school diploma is not enough to be a fully engaged and productive member of society. You may disagree, but the companies out that that won't talk to you without a degree show that your disagreement is based on your opinion on what you are willing to allow someone else to have, but is not based on the facts.

As is, college education is highly subsidized by the state. Is that also something that you disagree with?
Quote:

The students are making an investment in their university education that they will have to pay off later, unless that debt is relieved. While attending university, they are undergoing an expense which they are not paying off with an asset, but are instead accepting a liability. My argument is that they are knowingly accepting this liability, which will need to be paid off later.
My argument is that they are also making an investment into the future of society. They are making an investment in some companies future workforce. The investment they are making in themselves is one that is made with inadequate information and even fewer choices.
Quote:

If Iím not creating a strawman, why are you accusing me of doing so? Also, in a thread discussing personal responsibility, to state that a question relating to personal responsibility is a false question is a dodge of the question.
How does my point that your question is not relevant to anything I said indicate that you are *not* creating a strawman. That is exactly what a strawman is. You demanded to know what statement you were strawmanning, when I said none, that was not getting you off the hook for making things up, that was pointing out that your fabrication was not related to anything I had said. In fact, the question that you are asking there is a strawman question as well, as once again, it assumes facts not in evidence.

Your "question" is not relevant, and is purely meant as an accusation. This is not a good faith debating tactic. It is meant only as a gotcha question, and has no reason or ability to advance a productive conversation.
Quote:
Iím sure thereís more to the remainder of your response to debate, but I think this current post is long enough.
There's a bit you did skip there, but that's fine. Some quick summaries, I do not agree with Warren's position on student loans as the best thing to do, but I do agree with her position as a starting negotiating point when dealing with people who want to do nothing. I also do not feel as though students are given a real choice. They are told to either go into an enormous amount of debt, or they will have to struggle to even find a living wage job.

I also had a question that you avoided, but I would guess the answer, based on what you have said here, is "No." The question, "Do you think that society should provide our next generation with the tools that are required to succeed? " (If I wanted to make it a strawman, as in your accusatory questions, I would say, "Why do you want future generations to fail?")

Given that tuition is raising faster than inflation, and that there are fewer and fewer opportunities for those without a college diploma to get ahead, this is a problem that will only get worse. How bad are you willing to let things get before you will allow it to be addressed as more than a problem for the individual students to deal with?

Personally I think that if we allow our future generations to have fewer opportunities and resources than we do, then that is the definition of the failure of civilization.
  #259  
Old 08-02-2019, 07:42 PM
thorny locust is online now
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Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
I believe thorny_locust is not a conservative
Correct. I'm occasionally idiosyncratic but usually mostly in the liberal camp.

-- will probably have more to say in this thread again eventually; but I need to go back and sort through several pages and think about what I'm saying, and don't have a lot of time to spare right now.
  #260  
Old 08-09-2019, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Technically that would be what I'm talking about, but I had in mind situations more along the lines of my post #218. People with heavy obligations that cannot be discharged with bankruptcy, such as medical, student loans, child support. To the point that they work multiple jobs and still don't make a "living wage".

~Max
Max, are you under the assumption that the people with bankruptcies, student loans, and/or child support are blameless for their own choices? Because they don't make enough to fulfill those obligations?
  #261  
Old 08-12-2019, 05:51 AM
Max S. is offline
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Originally Posted by Kearsen1 View Post
Max, are you under the assumption that the people with bankruptcies, student loans, and/or child support are blameless for their own choices? Because they don't make enough to fulfill those obligations?
No and no. I started writing out a detailed reply but there are so many possible reasons for you to ask me this question that I had better leave it at "no". Why do you ask?

~Max
  #262  
Old 08-12-2019, 05:55 AM
Max S. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
Crane can speak for himself, but to me the idea of personal responsibility includes authority over yourself. You make your own decisions to the extent possible, and are allowed to suffer or enjoy the consequences to the extent possible.

Whether or not other people think I am personally responsible shouldn't matter - I am responsible. And I am, or should be, prepared to take the consequences without excuse. But if I make a decision and someone else makes a different decision, and it turns out well for me and badly for them, that's not my fault any more than it's theirs if it's vice versa.

Obviously these are general principles rather than 100% in every situation. But above you mentioned student loan debt, and child support.

If I decide to take on student loan debt, and so does Joe X, and I wind up employed in my career field and Joe graduates with a degree in Communication and winds up in retail, we are both responsible for our outcomes. His choice of majors does not obligate me, nor does mine obligate him. Or I decide to have a child, and so does Joe. I get married first and stay married and support my child. He doesn't get married, or he gets divorced, and has to pay child support.

We are both still responsible for our child. Nothing about our differing circumstances absolves us - both on the hook, and the fact that it might be more difficult and painful for him to pay than for me to pay changes nothing.

Now, we both lose our jobs. Guess what - nothing has changed for either of us.

Sometimes no excuse is good enough.

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But "I will do what I want and if I fail someone else should pay for it" is not "personal responsibility". That's more like the "privatize profits and socialize risk" that liberals seem to object to with banks.

Regards,
Shodan
Sorry, I had meant to address that post to Scylla. I agree with most everything you have written, but I would put more emphasis on the 'doesn't apply 100%' because life is complicated.

~Max
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