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Deep Thinker

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Just finished watching the  Bill Gates doc on NetFlix. Got me thinking and wanted to hear the opinion of this board. How do religious organizations justify spending the money they spend on glamours buildings, expensive travel and other things when we have millions upon millions of children suffering from starvation and dying by the millions from diarrhea. I’m not just pointing the finger at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (of which I am a card carrying member, but all religious organizations).  After watching this doc, I’m lead to believe that Bill Gates is following what our Savior would have us focus on as opposed to the things I mentioned earlier. If you haven’t seen the doc it is very worthwhile. 

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Well I can't ... but maybe name a thing that the Church wasted money on , no learJets eh? ... what do some preachers do .... ? Swaggert I think, spending it on ladies of the night.  Although I don't know everything, I certainly for one have not seen anything but frugalness from most especially the youth.  That' was my two bytes/bits and I'm sticking to it.  Disregard TYPOS  , YIKES ! but so far I can't edit, I guess I need a lot more posts ? yep 25 so LOTS OF TYPO FUN !


LATERZZZ oh thanks for the post there kiddo aaah what was it.. ah Deep THinker

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2 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

The Gates company (Microsoft) made billions by overcharging for their services and software: They cheated their customers.

Well, I was going to just reply to the OP, but I can't let this go by without commenting.  I've been using MS services and software for a long time, and looking at the market in general don't see anywhere where they cheated their customers.  I will say that Microsoft is a serious competitor with other businesses, and they were "guilty" of sharp business practices, if "guilt" be the right word for it.  So, in what way did Bill Gates cheat you?

And just because Microsoft charged more than you wanted to pay for the Windows operating system, you could have gone with Apple Mackintosh instead.  Oh, wait, they charge even more for that! Or go with the free operating system, Linux!  Or maybe MS Word cost too much?  Well, there were plenty of other office-related software suites that were much cheaper or even free.  I've used all of these, but the one thing I came away with was this: Microsoft's software worked better than many of the others -- on Windows, at least.  

Having run into plenty of Microsoft haters, one mostly common denominator has been resentment over Microsoft's success.  What a terrible thing to make lots of money while providing products that the market wants and needs.  

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6 hours ago, Deep Thinker said:

Just finished watching the  Bill Gates doc on NetFlix. Got me thinking and wanted to hear the opinion of this board. How do religious organizations justify spending the money they spend on glamours buildings, expensive travel and other things when we have millions upon millions of children suffering from starvation and dying by the millions from diarrhea. I’m not just pointing the finger at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (of which I am a card carrying member, but all religious organizations).  After watching this doc, I’m lead to believe that Bill Gates is following what our Savior would have us focus on as opposed to the things I mentioned earlier. If you haven’t seen the doc it is very worthwhile. 

The first question to ask is what is the purpose of the Church?  Is it to make sure there are no starving orphans in the world?  The commission Christ gave to the Church in ancient times (when there was certainly no shortage of starving orphans) was not to feed the world, but to bring the Gospel to them.  

Mattthew 28: 19,20: Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

When Jesus taught the world about feeding the hungry, he gave it as an individual commission. Read Matthew 25:31-46. The king says of those righteous who have fed, clothed and visited him that they are blessed for doing so, they are confused:

Matthew 25:37-40: Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

The point is this: the Church's primary responsibility is the spiritual salvation of God's children.  But does not the Church provide means for all of us to help feed and clothe those who are in need? Of course it does.  In Acts 11, it is prophetically foreseen that there will come a famine in which the saints in Judea will need assistance, so they combine resources to provide it:

Acts 11:27-30 And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch.  And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Cæsar. Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judæa: Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

This famine was actually quite widespread, and even the Romans in Rome mobbed Emperor Claudius about the problem.

I'm trying to say that every man, according to his ability, CAN help provide relief for those who struggle.  Besides actively assisting in your community, donating food to your local food bank, and money to legitimate charitable organizations, there is also this:

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Edited by Stargazer
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5 hours ago, Wellmired said:

Teh Bill Gates doc / docufilm  / docudrama .... okay got it, will check it out.

OH LOOK! a typo, 

 

some day oh someday over the Rainbow I"ll be able to fix my typos /SARC !

One more according to your profile. 

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58 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

Well, I was going to just reply to the OP, but I can't let this go by without commenting.  I've been using MS services and software for a long time, and looking at the market in general don't see anywhere where they cheated their customers.  I will say that Microsoft is a serious competitor with other businesses, and they were "guilty" of sharp business practices, if "guilt" be the right word for it.  So, in what way did Bill Gates cheat you?

And just because Microsoft charged more than you wanted to pay for the Windows operating system, you could have gone with Apple Mackintosh instead.  Oh, wait, they charge even more for that! Or go with the free operating system, Linux!  Or maybe MS Word cost too much?  Well, there were plenty of other office-related software suites that were much cheaper or even free.  I've used all of these, but the one thing I came away with was this: Microsoft's software worked better than many of the others -- on Windows, at least.  

Having run into plenty of Microsoft haters, one mostly common denominator has been resentment over Microsoft's success.  What a terrible thing to make lots of money while providing products that the market wants and needs.  

Charging a fair price is simply the most ethical and moral thing to do.  A fair price will give you a nice profit and even make you wealthy.  It will allow funds for adequate R&D and expansion.  However, according the Gordon Gecko, "Greed is good."  That's what America is all about.  Whatever the market will bear.  The elites in America never feel guilt for overcharging, but feel entitled.  Jesus had no patience or mercy for them.

In America, we love our robber barons.  We even vote for them....

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1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Charging a fair price is simply the most ethical and moral thing to do.  A fair price will give you a nice profit and even make you wealthy.  It will allow funds for adequate R&D and expansion.  However, according the Gordon Gecko, "Greed is good."  That's what America is all about.  Whatever the market will bear.  The elites in America never feel guilt for overcharging, but feel entitled.  Jesus had no patience or mercy for them.

In America, we love our robber barons.  We even vote for them....

Robert, you are a brilliant writer. For the most part, I love reading what you write, at least when you're writing within your sphere of knowledge.  I don't know what you do for a living, but you are clearly clueless when it comes to economics.  

Gordon Gekko is an over-the-top caricature created by an over-the-top hater of capitalism named Oliver Stone. I'm not saying that there are no businessmen that resemble him, but characterizing the entire business world using Gekko as a sterotype?  Ridiculous.  And Jesus, as far as I have been able to determine, never said one word about overcharging, or gave any pronouncements on price theory.  What is overcharging, anyway?  Do you even have any idea what that is?  I think you've been taking Oliver Stone too much to heart.

How about we deal with reality? Ever taken an economics course?  I recommend Microeconomics as a good starting point.

I'm sure you have no interest in this, because Economics, but how do you think prices are set?  In some smoke-filled room filled with rapacious "robber barons"?  "Let's sell our ten-penny nails for $1 each!  We'll make a fortune!"  Uh, no you won't, because nobody with a brain will buy your nails -- unless they were gold-plated, and even then probably not.  When I studied to be a computer programmer, they forced me to take a class on Microeconomics.  I don't know why.  I thought it was stupid, because all I wanted to do was to tell computers what to do.  But it opened my eyes.

You make a product that costs 50 cents to make in labor, materials and overhead.  You charge buyers 51 cents per item.  If you can sell a million of them a year, you make $10,000.  Great return on investment?  You can't live on 10 grand, so you have to discontinue the product and go get a job at McDonalds, flipping burgers, because your business acumen is clearly subnormal. The people who thought the product was a good investment gave you a million dollars to build your factory and do all the things needed to get you started, well, they get screwed.  Fine, they are in business to take chances and that's just one of those things.  You ever hear the phrase "Profit is theft!"?  It's something every clown with a degree in Marxist Philosophy is thinking every time they hear that someone made a buck.  That's why the Soviet Union and the Peoples Republic of China murdered millions of people: because Profit is Theft.

I publish two books.  The demand for the books is low, because I don't know much about advertising. But guess what I found out about price?   I set the prices for the books rather low, because I didn't want to price myself out of the market.  When someone advised me to raise the prices, at first didn't believe them, even with my class on microeconomics.  But finally I did it, like any common "robber baron".  And guess what? Sales jumped by 50%.  Why do you think that is?  To hold to your apparent philosophy, I should have sold them for a little as I could possible sell them for.  Some people might be wanting to call me a thief because I raised my prices to what the market could bear.  I don't actually know what the market would bear, because I didn't raise the price again after that.  Maybe I should have, because 98% of the profit from both those books goes to my aged sister-in-law, who wrote one of the books.  But the problem is, I can raise the price until only so far before fewer and fewer people will buy them.  That's how capitalism works, and if you think it's immoral you can refuse to take part. I'm sure there's a communist country somewhere that will be happy to let you in.  After they apply your chains.

Nobody forces you to buy Microsoft Word.  You do so because you want to, or at least need to.  But you don't have to contribute to Bill Gates' wealth if you don't want to: try LibreOffice instead! It's totally free, and can even read Microsoft documents.  But Microsoft/Gates keeps making money because they provide a good product at a good price.  Why doesn't LibreOffice outsell Microsoft Office?  Maybe for the same reason that I sold more books after I raised my prices.

If you don't like "robber barons" maybe you need to volunteer to take a drastic pay cut at your work.  If you're retired, maybe you should donate all your excess retirement pay not needed for your bare living expenses, to some worthy institution, or just burn it to stay warm during the winter. Doesn't Jesus want you to do so?  You are a market, you with your labor, and you are getting the market value for your labor -- all the market will bear!  Go ask for a raise, and if you get it, guess what, you're raising your prices to what the market will bear, you robber baron!  Remember that labor is no less subject to price theory.  If your employer will only pay $15,000 per annum for a computer programmer to write programs, guess what?  No programmers will apply, and no programs will get written.  Why would that be?  Because programmers are robber barons?  No!  Because programmers know their work is worth more than that, and other employers are paying a minimum of $40,000 per year for even fairly inexperienced programmers. A friend of mine is a brilliant software developer who charges $150 per hour for his work!  And companies hire him to do it!  Is he a "robber baron" who should charge minimum wage for his work?

I really get the dander up when people who should know better start spouting Marxist rhetoric while living comfortably in the most prosperous country that has ever existed.

 

Edited by Stargazer
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13 hours ago, strappinglad said:

I think there are several diseases that could be nearly eradicated  with the money spent on a couple of new fighter jets..One can blame the churches for wasting money but NOBODY does it better than the military industrial  folks. 

Maybe the U.S. federal government? We give money to our enemies as well as other stupid programs.....fighter jets are cool. 

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15 hours ago, Deep Thinker said:

Just finished watching the  Bill Gates doc on NetFlix. Got me thinking and wanted to hear the opinion of this board. How do religious organizations justify spending the money they spend on glamours buildings, expensive travel and other things when we have millions upon millions of children suffering from starvation and dying by the millions from diarrhea. I’m not just pointing the finger at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (of which I am a card carrying member, but all religious organizations).  After watching this doc, I’m lead to believe that Bill Gates is following what our Savior would have us focus on as opposed to the things I mentioned earlier. If you haven’t seen the doc it is very worthwhile. 

This is supposed to be deep thinking?

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9 hours ago, Stargazer said:

.......................  In Acts 11, it is prophetically foreseen that there will come a famine in which the saints in Judea will need assistance, so they combine resources to provide it:

Acts 11:27-30 And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch.  And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Cæsar. Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judæa: Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

This famine was actually quite widespread, and even the Romans in Rome mobbed Emperor Claudius about the problem..............................

OTOH, Amos 8:11 "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:"

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7 hours ago, Stargazer said:

Robert, you are a brilliant writer. For the most part, I love reading what you write, at least when you're writing within your sphere of knowledge.  I don't know what you do for a living, but you are clearly clueless when it comes to economics.  

Gordon Gekko is an over-the-top caricature created by an over-the-top hater of capitalism named Oliver Stone. I'm not saying that there are no businessmen that resemble him, but characterizing the entire business world using Gekko as a sterotype?  Ridiculous.  And Jesus, as far as I have been able to determine, never said one word about overcharging, or gave any pronouncements on price theory.  What is overcharging, anyway?  Do you even have any idea what that is?  I think you've been taking Oliver Stone too much to heart.

How about we deal with reality? Ever taken an economics course?  I recommend Microeconomics as a good starting point.

I'm sure you have no interest in this, because Economics, but how do you think prices are set?  In some smoke-filled room filled with rapacious "robber barons"?  "Let's sell our ten-penny nails for $1 each!  We'll make a fortune!"  Uh, no you won't, because nobody with a brain will buy your nails -- unless they were gold-plated, and even then probably not.  When I studied to be a computer programmer, they forced me to take a class on Microeconomics.  I don't know why.  I thought it was stupid, because all I wanted to do was to tell computers what to do.  But it opened my eyes.

You make a product that costs 50 cents to make in labor, materials and overhead.  You charge buyers 51 cents per item.  If you can sell a million of them a year, you make $10,000.  Great return on investment?  You can't live on 10 grand, so you have to discontinue the product and go get a job at McDonalds, flipping burgers, because your business acumen is clearly subnormal. The people who thought the product was a good investment gave you a million dollars to build your factory and do all the things needed to get you started, well, they get screwed.  Fine, they are in business to take chances and that's just one of those things.  You ever hear the phrase "Profit is theft!"?  It's something every clown with a degree in Marxist Philosophy is thinking every time they hear that someone made a buck.  That's why the Soviet Union and the Peoples Republic of China murdered millions of people: because Profit is Theft.

I publish two books.  The demand for the books is low, because I don't know much about advertising. But guess what I found out about price?   I set the prices for the books rather low, because I didn't want to price myself out of the market.  When someone advised me to raise the prices, at first didn't believe them, even with my class on microeconomics.  But finally I did it, like any common "robber baron".  And guess what? Sales jumped by 50%.  Why do you think that is?  To hold to your apparent philosophy, I should have sold them for a little as I could possible sell them for.  Some people might be wanting to call me a thief because I raised my prices to what the market could bear.  I don't actually know what the market would bear, because I didn't raise the price again after that.  Maybe I should have, because 98% of the profit from both those books goes to my aged sister-in-law, who wrote one of the books.  But the problem is, I can raise the price until only so far before fewer and fewer people will buy them.  That's how capitalism works, and if you think it's immoral you can refuse to take part. I'm sure there's a communist country somewhere that will be happy to let you in.  After they apply your chains.

Nobody forces you to buy Microsoft Word.  You do so because you want to, or at least need to.  But you don't have to contribute to Bill Gates' wealth if you don't want to: try LibreOffice instead! It's totally free, and can even read Microsoft documents.  But Microsoft/Gates keeps making money because they provide a good product at a good price.  Why doesn't LibreOffice outsell Microsoft Office?  Maybe for the same reason that I sold more books after I raised my prices.

If you don't like "robber barons" maybe you need to volunteer to take a drastic pay cut at your work.  If you're retired, maybe you should donate all your excess retirement pay not needed for your bare living expenses, to some worthy institution, or just burn it to stay warm during the winter. Doesn't Jesus want you to do so?  You are a market, you with your labor, and you are getting the market value for your labor -- all the market will bear!  Go ask for a raise, and if you get it, guess what, you're raising your prices to what the market will bear, you robber baron!  Remember that labor is no less subject to price theory.  If your employer will only pay $15,000 per annum for a computer programmer to write programs, guess what?  No programmers will apply, and no programs will get written.  Why would that be?  Because programmers are robber barons?  No!  Because programmers know their work is worth more than that, and other employers are paying a minimum of $40,000 per year for even fairly inexperienced programmers. A friend of mine is a brilliant software developer who charges $150 per hour for his work!  And companies hire him to do it!  Is he a "robber baron" who should charge minimum wage for his work?

I really get the dander up when people who should know better start spouting Marxist rhetoric while living comfortably in the most prosperous country that has ever existed.

You are equivocating, Stargazer.  Calling for honesty and fairness is not a Marxist (or neo-Marxist) plot,  and providing an accurate critique of the rapacity of the robber barons of this country -- who afterward became well-known philanthropists -- is not a Commie plot.  When I took economics 101 at UC Berkeley in 1965 (a required intro), no one ever mentioned anything like the absurd extremist comments you have made here.  You need to do three things: (1) apply the Gospel of Jesus Christ to your economic POV,  (2) read the Economic Declaration of the First Presidency and Twelve of 1875,* and (3) try to understand the actual debate which goes on within economics.**

*  First Presidency Letter, July 10th 1875, in Dyer Daniel Lum, Social Problems of To-Day, or The Mormon Question in its Economic Aspects: A Study of Co-operation and Arbitration in Mormondom from the Standpoint of a Wage-Worker (Port Jervis, NY: Lum & Co., 1886), pages 17-19, online at https://archive.org/stream/socialproblemsof00lumd/socialproblemsof00lumd_djvu.txt

**  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTQnarzmTOc (“Fight of the Century,” Roberts & Papola producers, 10 min rap video, 2011):  Malthus vs Jean-Baptiste Sey, J. M. Keynes vs F. A. Hayek, Hicks vs von Mises, Galbraith vs Friedman.  Cf. Nicholas Wapshott,  Keynes Hayek: The Clash that Defined Modern Economics (W. W. Norton, 2011).

 

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19 hours ago, sunstoned said:

I hold a lot of respect for Bill and Linda.  They do give many millions to charitable causes.  

Are they friends of yours? ;) :D 

(Sorry; had to ask! :unknw: :huh:)

By the way, Melinda Gates's closest friends actually know her real name. :D:rofl::D

Edited by Kenngo1969
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7 hours ago, Stargazer said:

... Gordon Gekko is an over-the-top caricature created by an over-the-top hater of capitalism named Oliver Stone. I'm not saying that there are no businessmen that resemble him, but characterizing the entire business world using Gekko as a sterotype?  Ridiculous. ...

Ollie Stone's an anti-capitalist, huh?  So if I decide to see one of his movies, he'll let me in for free, then?  I think it's hi-freaking-lar-ious how so many Hollywood types are against other people making money! :huh: :rolleyes: 

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19 hours ago, Deep Thinker said:

Just finished watching the  Bill Gates doc on NetFlix. Got me thinking and wanted to hear the opinion of this board. How do religious organizations justify spending the money they spend on glamours buildings, expensive travel and other things when we have millions upon millions of children suffering from starvation and dying by the millions from diarrhea. I’m not just pointing the finger at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (of which I am a card carrying member, but all religious organizations).  After watching this doc, I’m lead to believe that Bill Gates is following what our Savior would have us focus on as opposed to the things I mentioned earlier. If you haven’t seen the doc it is very worthwhile. 

Let me see if I can help, “Glamours Buildings”, are usually (well almost always in our case) Temples, built “unto the most High God”, per scripture, by example of Holy and ancient Scripture, revealed by that very God. They are in very many cases, cannot even compare to the “glamorous”, homes and mansions built by the rich, where I answered calls as a police officer, or as inspector did inspections, while working for the City of Atlanta. Even most of our Temples pale in comparison, to most of the world’s largest religious organizations structures, that advertise their good deeds (almost constantly) they perform around the world. So, as a very small Church by comparison, our Temples are built the way they are, to honor our Father in Heaven, and his Son Jesus Christ, upon which these buildings that bear his name. As an example, the Atlanta Temple, does not even measure up to a hundred or more homes, on the “glamorous scale”, within a four mile radius of it. In fact, one home not more than 1/2 a mile away, makes our Temple in Atlanta, by comparison, look like a three bedroom ranch level house. Other Temples are even less, and even smaller, in many places. Our Conference Center, is just a very, very large well built building, for both Conference Meetings twice a year, and Christmas programs, otherwise it can serve for other functions. Travel, is always expensive, and that travel is designed to enable Prophets and Apostles, to travel far and wide to spread the Gospel message, just as the early Apostles did. They, due to their poverty, had to take boats or ships, or walk, but would have taken whatever means of travel was available, to carry out their calling to the world. Thankfully, we are fortunate to be able to pay our way now, but our early Prophets, Apostles, Missionaries, did the same, due to our poverty, on foot, on wooden ships, on horseback, etc. There was a time in our early history, many Apostles and Missionaries, spent a third of their mission (if not more), just getting there, and getting back. In many cases leaving, wife and children, only to make it home to either a wife or child who were deceased, and buried. Maybe some would prefer, they traveled this way again, but why. So they too could lose a wife and child, and subsequent burial, so that a few more of the poor might be fed, or have a few more coats? But, thankfully today, and thanks to those who tithe, give fast offerings, and other charities, we are now able to do both, as it is our calling to do both. A calling that all, from the President of the Church, to the youngest missionary, to the local unpaid leadership on the Ward or Branch level, who all take it very seriously. Having been in the Bishopric, Elder’s Quorum Presidency, High Priest Group Leader, and Stake Clerk, I bear witness that in every Ward and Stake in Zion, every Sunday, $1,000’s are paid out to care for the poor, for housing, electricity, heat, car payments,  and for the temporarily unfortunate. None who ask, go hungry. Also, if we suspect some are to proud to ask, we insure they too, do not go hungry. In addition to the millions that are also spent to care for the poor, in and outside the Church, monthly, or the billions worldwide every year, maybe every quarter when needed. In addition to this the countless man hours given by members, each and every time the horrifying strikes themselves, and their neighbors. When I was able, I answered such calls, offloaded $10,000’s, in food, water, clothing, medical supplies, in many natural disasters throughout the Southeast, where I live.       

Simply put, if we can do both, why complain that we don’t do enough, because you cannot see, or know,  all that we do? It is very easy, and the human condition, be it the “natural man or woman”, or be it arrogance, to point the finger at others, be it individuals or institutions. But, it Is the truly humble, and those who are truly self aware, who can point that same judgmental finger inward. I have spoken of what the Church does, what it members do, and even what I have witnessed and helped do. But there are many other things that I have done, that few but my family know I have done for others. Things that those few, and my family know I have done for others, that I will take to my grave, this because of the example and teachings of the Church, whose finger you took the time to point at, and “fingers” to type out these criticisms. I don’t know if you are a member, were a member, but may I humbly suggest, direct your gaze, away from man for a moment, and (to coin a phrase), “keep you eye on the prize”, and also, so much important, upon the Savior’s example(s)and his servants example(s). In any event, you are not required to give, your “time, talents, and everything which the Lord has blessed you with” (a partial quote), but “Charity”, is never a bad idea, be it in thought or deed, be ye believing, or not. 

Just a few thoughts. 

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Thank you Raingirl, I did not start out to preach a sermon, and say so much. It just started, and it just began, flowing out of me, as it was like a facet, I could not turn off. So, for your point, I give you here is a +1, since I can not, give a rep point, .just because you gave me 1, for what I wrote, so in return. I will thank you for your kindness, and your thoughtfulness, making the effort.

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On 9/23/2019 at 9:15 PM, Deep Thinker said:

Just finished watching the  Bill Gates doc on NetFlix. Got me thinking [...] How do religious organizations justify spending the money they spend on glamours buildings, expensive travel and other things [...]

Um...have you seen Bill Gates' house? It's easily $100M+ (and that's just one of his real estate holdings). And as far as expensive travel goes, Bill Gates owns a private jet - which he casually refers to as his one 'guilty pleasure' in a way that only a multi-billionaire would be able to do with a straight face. 

The church doesn't disclose costs for temple construction, but I can't possibly believe that most of them would run anywhere close to that kind of money. The SLC temple would probably be on par, and I suspect there are some other (not sure what the right word to use here) 'signature' temples would be pricier - say, in the $50M+ range, but those aren't the norm. And many will be significantly less - especially the smaller temples and those in developing countries. 

I'm not sure that the church is especially wasteful when it comes to travel expenditures. I know that Huntsman used to make is personal jet available to President Monson and other leaders for travel. But I also know that church leaders frequently fly commercial as well. I suppose you might consider business class to be expensive travel, but I'm willing to cut my octogenarian brothers and sisters a bit of slack when it comes to that department. I've heard rumors that the church occasionally charters jets in ways that are suggested as being wasteful, but I've never seen that really substantiated. And what may look like waste might, in fact, not be - depending on the contracts that are in place.

 

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People unfairly pick on the Mormons for this, compared to what others here stateside have pulled they're tame, far as i've seen.  That being said i'll just leave this here, i've yet to see any of the LDS leadership pulling something this bold. 

*this dope filled world, in a tube full of demons...Lol

 

Edited by poptart
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On 9/24/2019 at 7:22 PM, Robert F. Smith said:

You are equivocating, Stargazer.  Calling for honesty and fairness is not a Marxist (or neo-Marxist) plot,  and providing an accurate critique of the rapacity of the robber barons of this country -- who afterward became well-known philanthropists -- is not a Commie plot. 

Did I say that calling for honesty and fairness is a Marxist plot?  Pretty sure I didn't.  Are you trying to put words in my mouth? 🙂  

I understand "honesty", but what is "fairness"?  It is frequently in the eye of the beholder, you know.  Is it fair that you are more highly educated than I?  Give me your excess education, Robert!  Why do you think you need more than I?  (Don't worry, I know that education is not a zero-sum game, I can get as much of it as you, if I want).

Do you understand that the very term "robber baron" is a pejorative that tries to enforce a stereotype that may not actually reflect reality? 

"The originators of the Robber Baron concept were not the injured, the poor, the faddists, the jealous, or a dispossessed elite, but rather a frustrated group of observers led at last by protracted years of harsh depression to believe that the American dream of abundant prosperity for all was a hopeless myth. ... Thus the creation of the Robber Baron stereotype seems to have been the product of an impulsive popular attempt to explain the shift in the structure of American society in terms of the obvious. Rather than make the effort to understand the intricate processes of change, most critics appeared to slip into the easy vulgarizations of the "devil-view" of history which ingenuously assumes that all human misfortunes can be traced to the machinations of an easily located set of villains—in this case, the big businessmen of America. This assumption was clearly implicit in almost all of the criticism of the period."  -- John Tipple, "The anatomy of prejudice: Origins of the robber baron legend" (Business History Review 33#4 (1959): 510–523, quoting pp 510, 521.)

The National Endowment for the Humanities also expresses a certain "reservation" about the use of the term:

"In academe, the education division of the National Endowment for the Humanities has prepared a lesson plan for schools asking whether "robber baron" or "captain of industry" is the better terminology. They state:

"In this lesson, you and your students will attempt to establish a distinction between robber barons and captains of industry. Students will uncover some of the less honorable deeds as well as the shrewd business moves and highly charitable acts of the great industrialists and financiers. It has been argued that only because such people were able to amass great amounts of capital could our country become the world's greatest industrial power. Some of the actions of these men, which could only happen in a period of economic laissez faire, resulted in poor conditions for workers, but in the end, may also have enabled our present day standard of living."  The Industrial Age in America: Robber Barons and Captains of Industry  (emphasis added)

It's easy enough to come up with pejorative terms to buttress one's opinions of the actions of others, but insults are not arguments.

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When I took economics 101 at UC Berkeley in 1965 (a required intro), no one ever mentioned anything like the absurd extremist comments you have made here. 

Which comments were absurd?  Which were extremist?

Whose works were you studying, by the way?  Who were your professors?  Angela Davis?  (Yes, I know, she wasn't an economist...)

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You need to do three things: (1) apply the Gospel of Jesus Christ to your economic POV, 

How does one apply the Gospel of Jesus Christ to economics?  

Quote

(2) read the Economic Declaration of the First Presidency and Twelve of 1875,* and

*  First Presidency Letter, July 10th 1875, in Dyer Daniel Lum, Social Problems of To-Day, or The Mormon Question in its Economic Aspects: A Study of Co-operation and Arbitration in Mormondom from the Standpoint of a Wage-Worker (Port Jervis, NY: Lum & Co., 1886), pages 17-19, online at https://archive.org/stream/socialproblemsof00lumd/socialproblemsof00lumd_djvu.txt

Would the current First Presidency subscribe to this document in today's economy, do you think?

I read the full First Presidency Letter, and while I appreciate it might have been "of moment" back then, the letter doesn't seem to have had an impact upon the country, and what happened in the end.  One thing I noticed, was the authors believed that the concentration of wealth was resulting "in the formation of societies of grangers, of patrons of husbandry, trades' unions, etc., etc...." which seems to have been considered a negative.  Was it, really?  I was under the impression that unionization had been a useful stage in the evolution of our modern economy -- even if I believe that the union has largely outgrown its usefulness.  And in some cases turned into an instrument of oppression while serving to increase the wealth of shady characters such as Jimmy Hoffa and his fellow-travelers in organized crime.

Whatever.  I do think that referring me to a nearly 150 year old document that doesn't actually deal with a doctrinal subject is rather irrelevant, given that conditions then versus now are not truly comparable. Are Brigham Young's thoughts on economics really relevant to today?

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(3) try to understand the actual debate which goes on within economics.**

**  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTQnarzmTOc (“Fight of the Century,” Roberts & Papola producers, 10 min rap video, 2011):  Malthus vs Jean-Baptiste Sey, J. M. Keynes vs F. A. Hayek, Hicks vs von Mises, Galbraith vs Friedman.  Cf. Nicholas Wapshott,  Keynes Hayek: The Clash that Defined Modern Economics (W. W. Norton, 2011).

 

"Try to understand..."?  Is it your opinion that understanding such is perhaps at the boundaries of my intellectual capability?  That may be, I freely admit.  But I don't think it is.  I think I have a pretty good understanding of the debate within economics.  And it's an important debate, you have to admit!  Following the precepts of the economist Karl Marx, for example, has resulted in the murders of hundreds of millions of people.  Hayek thought Keynes had a poor understanding of economics.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8l47ilD0II  And yet, that man's economics models have been slavishly followed by western government for decades.  It hasn't been a pretty picture.

And you surprise me with your choice of YouTube video: watching a rap-music video is hardly a debate, or a means to gain understanding. 

So, are you a Keynesian or a Hayekian?  Keynes believed in intensive government intervention in the economy; Hayek was laissez faire. Which is where I stand.

One of my favorite economists (other than Hayek and Friedman) is Thomas Sowell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOMksnSaAJ4

Another is Walter E. Williams: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZGvQcxoAPg

 

 

 

 

Edited by Stargazer
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On 9/24/2019 at 7:30 PM, Kenngo1969 said:

Ollie Stone's an anti-capitalist, huh?  So if I decide to see one of his movies, he'll let me in for free, then?  I think it's hi-freaking-lar-ious how so many Hollywood types are against other people making money! :huh: :rolleyes: 

Ok, then, he's a self-hating capitalist, then.

 

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6 hours ago, Stargazer said:

Did I say that calling for honesty and fairness is a Marxist plot?  Pretty sure I didn't.  Are you trying to put words in my mouth? 🙂  

Since I was initially calling for honesty and fairness, and your response was to attribute Marxism to me, I drew the reasonable conclusion.

6 hours ago, Stargazer said:

I understand "honesty", but what is "fairness"?  It is frequently in the eye of the beholder, you know.  .........................

Correct.  WWJD or say?  I specifically asked you to reflect on that.

6 hours ago, Stargazer said:

Do you understand that the very term "robber baron" is a pejorative that tries to enforce a stereotype that may not actually reflect reality? 

If I assume that you do know that history, then would it be fair to say that American robber baron participation with the British in conquest of China and the forcing upon them of opium was merely sharp business practice?  It  might be well to reflect on how many of America's first families enriched themselves in this fashion:  FDR, John Kerry, Henry Cabot Lodge, et al., were the heirs of such robber barons.  Or is that just Marxist folderol?

6 hours ago, Stargazer said:

............

It's easy enough to come up with pejorative terms to buttress one's opinions of the actions of others, but insults are not arguments.

Which comments were absurd?  Which were extremist?

All of them were either extremist POVs, or were completely irrelevant and absurd.

6 hours ago, Stargazer said:

Whose works were you studying, by the way?  Who were your professors?  Angela Davis?  (Yes, I know, she wasn't an economist...)

Angela Davis, who is a few years younger than me, was busy getting a degree in French (Brandeis, Sorbonne, and Biarritz) when I was studying elementary economics at UCB.  Aside from commtting murder, she later became a student of Herbert Marcuse, a Marxist ideologue at UCSD.

6 hours ago, Stargazer said:

How does one apply the Gospel of Jesus Christ to economics?  

Would the current First Presidency subscribe to this document in today's economy, do you think?

Can't say.  They do not seem to be ideologues.  Instead, they follow the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Is there anything in that Gospel which might be related to economics?

6 hours ago, Stargazer said:

I read the full First Presidency Letter, and while I appreciate it might have been "of moment" back then, the letter doesn't seem to have had an impact upon the country, and what happened in the end.  One thing I noticed, was the authors believed that the concentration of wealth was resulting "in the formation of societies of grangers, of patrons of husbandry, trades' unions, etc., etc...." which seems to have been considered a negative.  Was it, really?  I was under the impression that unionization had been a useful stage in the evolution of our modern economy -- even if I believe that the union has largely outgrown its usefulness.  And in some cases turned into an instrument of oppression while serving to increase the wealth of shady characters such as Jimmy Hoffa and his fellow-travelers in organized crime.

"shady characters," but never "robber barons"?  Is there a double standard operative here?

6 hours ago, Stargazer said:

Whatever.  I do think that referring me to a nearly 150 year old document that doesn't actually deal with a doctrinal subject is rather irrelevant, given that conditions then versus now are not truly comparable. Are Brigham Young's thoughts on economics really relevant to today?

You bring up "doctrine," but Mormonism has always been known for its pragmatism, and for focus on orthopraxy rather than orthodoxy.  What could that tell you in an economic context?

6 hours ago, Stargazer said:

....................  I think I have a pretty good understanding of the debate within economics.  And it's an important debate, you have to admit!  Following the precepts of the economist Karl Marx, for example, has resulted in the murders of hundreds of millions of people.  

It sounds as though you agree with me and Jordan Peterson on this.  See?  We do agree on something.  8)

6 hours ago, Stargazer said:

Hayek thought Keynes had a poor understanding of economics.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8l47ilD0II  And yet, that man's economics models have been slavishly followed by western government for decades.  It hasn't been a pretty picture.

And you surprise me with your choice of YouTube video: watching a rap-music video is hardly a debate, or a means to gain understanding. 

I have a sense of humor, Stargazer.  😎

6 hours ago, Stargazer said:

So, are you a Keynesian or a Hayekian?  Keynes believed in intensive government intervention in the economy; Hayek was laissez faire. Which is where I stand.

One of my favorite economists (other than Hayek and Friedman) is Thomas Sowell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOMksnSaAJ4

Another is Walter E. Williams: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZGvQcxoAPg .

To take a specific example from the real world, I very much appreciated the article in WSJ which Milton Friedman authored many years ago in which he pointed out  (with a nice graph) that the War on Drugs was as meaningless and counterproductive as Prohibition.  It never reduced the rate of production & usage of the bad stuff, and only resulted in needless incarceration of huge numbers (which is great for the prison-industrial complex), thus wasting human and monetary resources.  The ideologues among us consistently ignore reality and persist in their destructive behavior. -- even ignoring calls by the late Bill Buckley for an end to the War on Drugs.

Only an idiot would conclude from this that booze and drugs are good.  Reality is not the same as divinity.  We must ask once again, What Would Jesus Say?

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