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The WOKE Thread (Merged from WTF?)

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Baseops, like most military social circles, is an echo chamber of people who have never had their views confronted.
You ever sit back and just let the irony that you all live and work in a socialist paradise wash over you? Once you're in, your job is secure (you face no chance of an immediate layoff, and the VAST majority of people can make it to 20-40 years if they want to), your healthcare is paid for, you get an affordable housing allowance based on your status in the system (oh and it changes based on where you are in America), you have a perception that budget doesn't matter (who cares how much that FHP or those TVs costs, just fly it and buy it so we get more money next year), you get basically guaranteed promotions that are based more on timing than on merit, you're handed a ridiculous retirement package that requires no self-involvement or contributions, the worst workers are paid the same as the best, you get paid when a pandemic causes you not to work at all for weeks, you get regular wage increases that keep up with or exceed inflation, you have 30 days of paid leave a year. The military organization keeps hundreds of thousands of people on payroll (in a money bleeding way) just in case they need them, paying them way more than the value we get out of them (the vast majority of the military is a self-licking ice cream cone when we aren't at real war). The military system is the antithesis to self-reliance, meritocracy, accountability, ROI, or profitability. But it sure is nice to be in it right now when the system out there isn't taking care of people.

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1 hour ago, Erthwerm said:

For the most part, even in the civilian world, once you're in your job is also secure (barring any large screw-ups.) In the civilian world, your healthcare is also pretty much paid for and I've never worked a job that didn't have a pretty good PPO for a meager sum ever month (<$20). Depending on your organization, budgets can operate exactly like the military. 

Tell that to the 13.3% unemployment rate. Or better yet, the employees of Tesla who got told to stay at home due to COVID-19, then given termination notices.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/06/25/tesla-plant-firings/

Civilian employment is far from being as secure as the military. Even in the military when you’re removed from your position due to misconduct or incompetence, your current pay doesn’t change. When 2008/2009 recession happened, I knew I wasn’t losing my job, I was in the Air Force. I bought a truck at 0% APR that year. And I’ve had healthcare plans that had HSA’s, some that didn’t, some that had higher deductibles, some didn’t. One’s experience completely depends on a multitude of variables. 

1 hour ago, Erthwerm said:

The military doesn't really manufacture anything, it just uses things manufactured by contractors (for the most part,) so the whole socialist portion is a little misleading. Realistically, a government is only socialist when it owns the means of production, which is not the case here. Yes, we have certain safety nets, but given the fact that a 19 year old can have his ass shot off at a moment's notice in a far-off land with no creature comforts, I'd say that's a fair trade. 

One could argue that the military manufactures war. It doesn’t just happen with one party. They also manufacture requirements for equipment to use in war. Contractors just don’t randomly come up with designs of equipment that doesn’t meet government listed requirements. 

1 hour ago, Erthwerm said:

Now, to your credit, the military is rife with admin bloat and tons of money wasted on contractors who do things service members are trained to do and should be doing. I don't know how the USAF works, but in my short tenure in the Army, my pay has been messed up, my Enlisted Record Brief is still jacked up no matter how many times I go to S-1 and give them copies of my "I love me book." So in a lot of senses, it is kind of like a communist government.  

Once again, sorry if I've stepped on any toes or spoken out of turn. Admins, please let me know if I'm in the wrong place by posting here and I'll happily edit/remove this post. 

You quoted responding to me, but I didn’t say this. However, I wouldn’t say “wasted on contractors.” I don’t think you fathom how expensive military personnel are when you factor in pay, that socialized healthcare, allowances, etc. Also, that retired Lt Col instructor pilot is more qualified to be teaching academics with experience than that young Captain who’s a new instructor pilot. And that goes back the military promotion system, which relates to positions within a unit. It’s not that one is “the most qualified.” A lot of the time it boils down to the more senior ranking person.

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13 hours ago, brawnie said:

Baseops, like most military social circles, is an echo chamber of people who have never had their views confronted.

You ever sit back and just let the irony that you all live and work in a socialist paradise wash over you? Once you're in, your job is secure (you face no chance of an immediate layoff, and the VAST majority of people can make it to 20-40 years if they want to), your healthcare is paid for, you get an affordable housing allowance based on your status in the system (oh and it changes based on where you are in America), you have a perception that budget doesn't matter (who cares how much that FHP or those TVs costs, just fly it and buy it so we get more money next year), you get basically guaranteed promotions that are based more on timing than on merit, you're handed a ridiculous retirement package that requires no self-involvement or contributions, the worst workers are paid the same as the best, you get paid when a pandemic causes you not to work at all for weeks, you get regular wage increases that keep up with or exceed inflation, you have 30 days of paid leave a year. The military organization keeps hundreds of thousands of people on payroll (in a money bleeding way) just in case they need them, paying them way more than the value we get out of them (the vast majority of the military is a self-licking ice cream cone when we aren't at real war). The military system is the antithesis to self-reliance, meritocracy, accountability, ROI, or profitability. But it sure is nice to be in it right now when the system out there isn't taking care of people.

Are you seriously comparing the military to socialism? Are you implying that military members can’t criticize the deranged narrative of Marxism because the military is socialist? You’re obviously a shoeclerk who sits at a desk all day because no one who understand the sacrifice that military members make, along with their families, would spout such new age BS.   
 

“Never had their views confronted,” you don’t know what you’re talking about.  Many of us are college or masters educated individuals, you might be too who knows.  To say our views aren’t confronted displays your ignorance in full force.

If you are so fond of the failed experiment of socialism, I highly suggest you move to a country that espouses it, no one will stop you, I promise.  Take your buddies on the street whining about capitalism and tax cuts with you. Otherwise get off your high horse and see the forest for the trees for once. 

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@Erthwerm Don’t feel like you can’t have different opinions, and you don’t have to justify your cred before posting. On the Internet, we’re all the same and I personally wish more discourse about things like this happened here and in real life. People nowadays are too damn polarizing trying to win arguments just throwing out words like “tyranny” and “Marxism.”

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, dream big said:

Are you seriously comparing the military to socialism? Are you implying that military members can’t criticize the deranged narrative of Marxism because the military is socialist? You’re obviously a shoeclerk who sits at a desk all day because no one who understand the sacrifice that military members make, along with their families, would spout such new age BS.   
 

“Never had their views confronted,” you don’t know what you’re talking about.  Many of us are college or masters educated individuals, you might be too who knows.  To say our views aren’t confronted displays your ignorance in full force.

If you are so fond of the failed experiment of socialism, I highly suggest you move to a country that espouses it, no one will stop you, I promise.  Take your buddies on the street whining about capitalism and tax cuts with you. Otherwise get off your high horse and see the forest for the trees for once. 

Trying to character assassinate an anonymous person on the internet when you have no idea what they do seems risky, but I’ll allow it.

My point is that you can’t just say “deranged ... Marxism” or “socialism” and have everyone clap. If you want to engage on effects of specific policies, I’d be happy to talk.

For example, I’m not fond of socialism as a whole system of governance. But I feel like if I told you that I believe that top bracket marginal tax rates should be doubled from 37% because I think that the system in its current incarnation isn’t working as intended, you would call me a socialist. Even though we had 70-91% tax rates from 1950-1980, one of the greatest economic growth periods in US history.

The word is meaningless in discourse because it’s thrown around at everything that is even remotely progressive.

Edited by brawnie
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58 minutes ago, dream big said:

Are you seriously comparing the military to socialism? Are you implying that military members can’t criticize the deranged narrative of Marxism because the military is socialist? You’re obviously a shoeclerk who sits at a desk all day because no one who understand the sacrifice that military members make, along with their families, would spout such new age BS.   
 

“Never had their views confronted,” you don’t know what you’re talking about.  Many of us are college or masters educated individuals, you might be too who knows.  To say our views aren’t confronted displays your ignorance in full force.

If you are so fond of the failed experiment of socialism, I highly suggest you move to a country that espouses it, no one will stop you, I promise.  Take your buddies on the street whining about capitalism and tax cuts with you. Otherwise get off your high horse and see the forest for the trees for once. 

Speaking of echo chamber...

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3 hours ago, Sua Sponte said:

You quoted responding to me, but I didn’t say this.

Ah, you're right, I accidentally quoted you quoting Brawnie. 

3 hours ago, Sua Sponte said:

I don’t think you fathom how expensive military personnel are when you factor in pay, that socialized healthcare, allowances, etc.

Again, you're right. I suppose a more elaborate way of illustrating my point is this: the government pays military members and then covers all of the associated living costs and then pays contractors to do that work while relegating SMs to do other work for which they're either unqualified or is not in their wheelhouses. I can't tell you the number of walls I've painted as an infantryman, and I'm not sure how the DFACs work in TFOT or downrange, but I know in a lot of BCT posts in the Army, all of our chow was made by contractors, not cooks, who could've used the practice, let me tell you. And look at how many contractors were used in convoys to deliver protected items during GWOT, it's insane. Those tasks could've been performed by infantrymen/cavalry dudes, or even SOF.

BTW, I love your username. Were you ever in Batt or associated with them?

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17 hours ago, brawnie said:

Trying to character assassinate an anonymous person on the internet when you have no idea what they do seems risky, but I’ll allow it.

My point is that you can’t just say “deranged ... Marxism” or “socialism” and have everyone clap. If you want to engage on effects of specific policies, I’d be happy to talk.

For example, I’m not fond of socialism as a whole system of governance. But I feel like if I told you that I believe that top bracket marginal tax rates should be doubled from 37% because I think that the system in its current incarnation isn’t working as intended, you would call me a socialist. Even though we had 70-91% tax rates from 1950-1980, one of the greatest economic growth periods in US history.

The word is meaningless in discourse because it’s thrown around at everything that is even remotely progressive.

Not character assassinating, but to imply that the military = socialism and that military members warning about its’ historically documented failures because they live under a safety net comes from a place of ignorance, is intellectually dishonest.

Valid points on trying to frame everything as socialist or capitalist.  Economic structures exist on a scale for sure.  However, economies are more likely to collapse the closer they go to the left end of that scale.  Scandinavia is learning that the hard way, their inherent wealth has prevented them from learning it in too hard of a fashion.  

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1 hour ago, dream big said:

Not character assassinating, but to imply that the military = socialism and that military members warning about its’ historically documented failures because they live under a safety net comes from a place of ignorance, is intellectually dishonest.

Valid points on trying to frame everything as socialist or capitalist.  Economic structures exist on a scale for sure.  However, economies are more likely to collapse the closer they go to the left end of that scale.  Scandinavia is learning that the hard way, their inherent wealth has prevented them from learning it in too hard of a fashion.  

What’s going on with the Scandinavian economy? Not an accusatory question. Genuinely interested. 

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Prozac said:

What’s going on with the Scandinavian economy? Not an accusatory question. Genuinely interested. 

I’ll probably butcher this, read about it a few months ago, but Sweden went hard socialist economic policy and by the late 90s ish they made a hard course correction to a capitalist economic  system because their country was in danger of collapsing. Still recovering if you will. 
 

When people point to Sweden, they’re not a socialist economic structure anymore. They’re probably on par or more strictly capitalist than the US in some ways. Ruthless capitalism in article below, but because of their error in trying to implement socialist economic structures. 
 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-bernie-sanders-is-wrong-about-sweden-11566596536

Edited by SurelySerious
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13 hours ago, SurelySerious said:

I’ll probably butcher this, read about it a few months ago, but Sweden went hard socialist economic policy and by the late 90s ish they made a hard course correction to a capitalist economic  system because their country was in danger of collapsing. Still recovering if you will. 
 

When people point to Sweden, they’re not a socialist economic structure anymore. They’re probably on par or more strictly capitalist than the US in some ways. Ruthless capitalism in article below, but because of their error in trying to implement socialist economic structures. 
 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-bernie-sanders-is-wrong-about-sweden-11566596536

Ok, so not necessarily something that’s happened recently. So here we may have an example of where many of us talk past each other when arguing for our causes. While there certainly are people making an argument for real socialism, I don’t think that’s the mainstream progressive argument in the United States. Let’s look at why so many progressives (and I consider myself one much of the time) like to point to Scandinavia. Sweden currently has a successful capitalist economy. Yet they also have a robust social safety net, high wages, massive union participation, universal healthcare, and a government funded education system that’s considered one of the best in the world, amongst many other “socialist” leaning policies. So it’s possible to have your cake and eat it too. Now, I realize that the Swedish economy has had its struggles and that the country is currently grappling with issues as varied as immigration and pandemic response. Not perfect. I get it. But.....when you hear the “lefties” argue for “socialism” in our country, take the time to listen to what they’re actually advocating. It’s usually not literal socialism. We most definitely do not have to agree with each other (Royal ‘we’, not necessarily referring to you and I specifically), but it helps to know what the other guy’s actual position is when it comes to good, constructive debate. Fox/CNN/Facebook, etc. have been extremely unhelpful in this regard. 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Prozac said:

Ok, so not necessarily something that’s happened recently. So here we may have an example of where many of us talk past each other when arguing for our causes. While there certainly are people making an argument for real socialism, I don’t think that’s the mainstream progressive argument in the United States. Let’s look at why so many progressives (and I consider myself one much of the time) like to point to Scandinavia. Sweden currently has a successful capitalist economy. Yet they also have a robust social safety net, high wages, massive union participation, universal healthcare, and a government funded education system that’s considered one of the best in the world, amongst many other “socialist” leaning policies. So it’s possible to have your cake and eat it too. Now, I realize that the Swedish economy has had its struggles and that the country is currently grappling with issues as varied as immigration and pandemic response. Not perfect. I get it. But.....when you hear the “lefties” argue for “socialism” in our country, take the time to listen to what they’re actually advocating. It’s usually not literal socialism. We most definitely do not have to agree with each other (Royal ‘we’, not necessarily referring to you and I specifically), but it helps to know what the other guy’s actual position is when it comes to good, constructive debate. Fox/CNN/Facebook, etc. have been extremely unhelpful in this regard. 

Sweden, Denmark are able to do that for multiple reasons.  Inherent wealth, low comparative population, and let’s not forget cultural factors as well, like a highly homogeneous** population.  Easy to have a strong collective safety net when most individuals think the same. Also think about the lifestyle and health of your average Scandinavian compared to Americans, of course healthcare costs are manageable. 

I can’t think of many conservatives that are advocating for removing our safety nets, but a Scandinavian type of welfare/healthcare system simply wouldn’t work in America.  What has proven to work is robust capitalism, free markets, individual responsibility with a safety net for those who truly cannot provide for themselves. 

Edit: words are hard 

Edited by dream big
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Wasn't Obamacare supposed to be part of that safety net?

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39 minutes ago, dream big said:

Sweden, Denmark are able to do that for multiple reasons.  Inherent wealth, low comparative population, and let’s not forget cultural factors as well, like a highly monogamous population.  Easy to have a strong collective safety net when most individuals think the same. Also think about the lifestyle and health of your average Scandinavian compared to Americans, of course healthcare costs are manageable. 

I can’t think of many conservatives that are advocating for removing our safety nets, but a Scandinavian type of welfare/healthcare system simply wouldn’t work in America.  What has proven to work is robust capitalism, free markets, individual responsibility with a safety net for those who truly cannot provide for themselves. 

 

*homogenous population, I think what you meant there. Who knows what relationships the Swedes are up to, though. 

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On 6/25/2020 at 11:05 AM, brawnie said:

Baseops, like most military social circles, is an echo chamber of people who have never had their views confronted.

You ever sit back and just let the irony that you all live and work in a socialist paradise wash over you? Once you're in, your job is secure (you face no chance of an immediate layoff, and the VAST majority of people can make it to 20-40 years if they want to), your healthcare is paid for, you get an affordable housing allowance based on your status in the system (oh and it changes based on where you are in America), you have a perception that budget doesn't matter (who cares how much that FHP or those TVs costs, just fly it and buy it so we get more money next year), you get basically guaranteed promotions that are based more on timing than on merit, you're handed a ridiculous retirement package that requires no self-involvement or contributions, the worst workers are paid the same as the best, you get paid when a pandemic causes you not to work at all for weeks, you get regular wage increases that keep up with or exceed inflation, you have 30 days of paid leave a year. The military organization keeps hundreds of thousands of people on payroll (in a money bleeding way) just in case they need them, paying them way more than the value we get out of them (the vast majority of the military is a self-licking ice cream cone when we aren't at real war). The military system is the antithesis to self-reliance, meritocracy, accountability, ROI, or profitability. But it sure is nice to be in it right now when the system out there isn't taking care of people.

 

On 6/25/2020 at 11:10 PM, ImNotARobot said:


A masterpiece.

I think that BODN is a place where views are "confronted."  Just look at this topic. 

 I've never lived in a socialist state, so I don't know what that is like, nor have I visited a socialist paradise.  I do live in a state that has fewer restrictions than others and lets me live the way I want.  So that's pretty cool (except for the no beer sales on Sunday, that's just un-American!)

2. My military job was secure, except for the RIFs, non-continuations for not promoting, medical discharges, or taking a mortar while sleeping in Iraq.  I think 26 years is mandatory retirement for Os unless you make general?  Who goes to 40?

Anyway, I could spend all afternoon trying to counter all you're echo chambered points, but I got garage work to do and beer to drink, paid for my that ridiculous retirement package, all while wondering what my next job will be as I get laid off soon. 

Out

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Breckey said:

Wasn't Obamacare supposed to be part of that safety net?

Allegedly, but it was a not-well-thought-out Frankenstein; also no floor debate happened on a what, several thousand page sweeping bill? Maybe next time we should actually legislate.  

There’s a decent write up about how Germany and the Netherlands do their public-private healthcare in today’s WSJ. Pretty thought provoking, I think. 
 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/covid-19-will-transform-health-insurance-as-we-know-it-11593179876?st=12zkdvi47pbisy7&reflink=article_copyURL_share

Edited by SurelySerious
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4 hours ago, Prozac said:

Ok, so not necessarily something that’s happened recently. So here we may have an example of where many of us talk past each other when arguing for our causes. While there certainly are people making an argument for real socialism, I don’t think that’s the mainstream progressive argument in the United States. Let’s look at why so many progressives (and I consider myself one much of the time) like to point to Scandinavia. Sweden currently has a successful capitalist economy. Yet they also have a robust social safety net, high wages, massive union participation, universal healthcare, and a government funded education system that’s considered one of the best in the world, amongst many other “socialist” leaning policies. So it’s possible to have your cake and eat it too. Now, I realize that the Swedish economy has had its struggles and that the country is currently grappling with issues as varied as immigration and pandemic response. Not perfect. I get it. But.....when you hear the “lefties” argue for “socialism” in our country, take the time to listen to what they’re actually advocating. It’s usually not literal socialism. We most definitely do not have to agree with each other (Royal ‘we’, not necessarily referring to you and I specifically), but it helps to know what the other guy’s actual position is when it comes to good, constructive debate. Fox/CNN/Facebook, etc. have been extremely unhelpful in this regard. 

Somewhat, but for instance when I listen to what Bernie describes when he figuratively points to “Nordic model” and Sweden, his words are not what they have in Sweden. Maybe that’s my perception. 

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28 minutes ago, SurelySerious said:

Somewhat, but for instance when I listen to what Bernie describes when he figuratively points to “Nordic model” and Sweden, his words are not what they have in Sweden. Maybe that’s my perception. 

An important aspect of the "Nordic model" that I don't often hear about, which is germane to the discussion about the U.S. healthcare system, is the massive disparity in medical technology and advancements.  The U.S. accounts for 91% of the entire world's medical advances measured by patented devices, therapies, and procedures, as well as peer-reviewed research.  That's the power of the profit-motive, for better or worse.  For example, the average cost of bringing to market a generic drug (i.e.,Tylenol knockoff) is $500 million.  The average cost of a brand new drug is $2 billion.  These accounts for research, development, compliance, FDA protocols, and trials.  The prices could be lowered, but there's a deleterious effect on safety in doing so.

I'm not arguing one way or the other, just pointing out that with a single-payer, Nordic style system, profit motive is diminished if not removed since that system necessitates price controls.  Now we could certainly move to that system, but we have to accept a lower level of progress in medical research breakthroughs.  This is an area I research and I haven't seen a way around that trade-off.  Maybe we're at a point where that's an acceptable policy; after all, medicine has come a long way and universal coverage could arguably be worth it.  On the other hand, the medical breakthrough that enables us to repair a damaged spinal cord and reverse a patient's paralysis, which is maybe 10 years away, will now be about 40-50 years away.  That's the trade-off, and it's kind of a crappy one to consider no matter which side you take.

Medical research is a little expensive, doing it safely is REALLY expensive.  Without a profit motive, those breakthroughs will slow; they just will.

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Appreciate the discussion on the Nordic model but my intent wasn’t to derail the thread. Rather, I wanted to present an example of how flawed the debate process is in our society as of late. Media, whether “liberal” or “conservative” tends to present extreme examples of the other side as representative of what that side is advocating. The BLM protests are a great example. Liberal media seems to focus on and present long standing deficiencies in police departments as representative of all police, all the time. Conservative media seems to want to present all protesters as a highly organized ANTIFA mob bent on systemically burning down the suburbs now that they’ve gutted downtown Seattle and Minneapolis. Of course, neither narrative is true. Media is shaping the debate based on its own interest: increasing viewership through sensationalism. We are all being played here and in the process we are losing the ability to have an effective debate and worse, losing the ability to be civil and treat each other with respect. I may lean to the liberal side of the spectrum, but I don’t see my conservative friends as the enemy. Just like me, they want this country to be In a better place. We just happen to disagree at times on how to get there. 

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12 hours ago, GrndPndr said:

I don't know, it seems alot like the Wall St. 99% thing from a few years back.  The faces [sic] are the same.  Here's an interesting take on it:

https://youtu.be/O-253uBJap8?t=32

While their are similarities, our situation now is a lot more violent and nasty.  Someone can maybe prove me wrong but I don’t believe anyone died from rogue “protestors” shooting up people; the occupy wall street, albeit full of loons, was mostly peaceful.  OWS also didn’t have racial undertones to it which complicates matters. Antifa also didn’t exist in full force back then which is now a present day domestic terror threat. 
 

Believe me I hope to god this dies down but I have a bad feeling this is going to get uglier before it gets better, especially based on the outcome of the election. 

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8 hours ago, dream big said:

Believe me I hope to god this dies down but I have a bad feeling this is going to get uglier before it gets better, especially based on the outcome of the election. 

It is going to get much worse.  Just wait until the police officers in Atlanta are acquitted.  

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