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Everything posted by DocWatts

  1. Projecting much? Actually I'm curious as to what you think a conscious approach to politics is supposed to mean (you are on a conscious politics forum, after all). Because compassionate concern for your fellow beings is foundational to conscious politics, and the libertarian stance you seem to be embodying just ain't gonna cut it here.
  2. @Devin If your views are that a quality education is something that should be considered a privilege for those able to afford it rather than a Right, I have to wonder what you're seeking to gain from participating on a conscious politics forums. Because your view is the opposite of compassionate.
  3. This was done via an executive act. He did this now specifically to help his party in the midterms, as voters have a notoriously short memory. I'll post a link with the actual details, but here's the TLDR: $10k debt forgiveness for people making under $120k That goes up to $20k if you are/were a Pell Grant recipiant (something like half of all college students received this) If your income is under %225 of the federal poverty line your monthly payments go down to 0 A revised Income Based plan with a maximum rate of %5 of monthly income (down from %15). If you're on the lower/mid end of the earnings scale, expect your monthly payment to go down substantially Under this new Income Based Plan, loans that are paid on time each month no longer accrue interest
  4. The problem with that solution is that it does nothing at all to address the inflated cost of education. (Which to be fair, student loan forgiveness does not address either). The reason that college is so insanely overpriced in the US is a glaring lack of public funding for higher education, combined with bandaid "solution" of the easy availability of loans, and also a college degree being a barrier of entry for the majority of jobs that pay a livable wage The way you address this is by replacing student loans with a publicly funded higher education system that's divorced from the private market, ala what already exists in much of the developed world.
  5. Okay fine, let's actually use that example then. And let's be charitable and try to pay that loan off in 4 - 5 years instead of two. That's about $32k a year after taxes, and less than that if you're paying health insurance premiums. Anyone who's actually tried surviving on their own on around $30k a year (after taxes) when asked to set aside literally half of thier take home pay for student loans, would most likely laugh in your face at the suggestion. The only way that becomes even remotely feasible is if you're being subsidized by someone else (such as your parents) paying your other living expenses. And hey no shame in that if you're fortunate enough to have that option, but let's not pretend that a $50k in debt isn't a real burden on a typical person graduating college.
  6. How much do you think people with a bachelor's degree are earning right out of college? lol. Either you're trolling or have no idea how the real world works.
  7. I also live in the area and went to Wayne State, so I know what I'm talking about lol. Tuition costs are about $14k a year. Over 4 years that comes out to about $48k. Add in books and supplies and that's over $50k. That's around $50k of debt after graduating, not $50k a year in case that wasn't clear from my earlier post.
  8. Wayne State University in Detroit (a very poor city) is considered one of the more affordable public universities in this region of the country, and even then base tuition costs $50k - 60k. And that's excluding room and board, not to mention books, supplies, parking, etc. College tuition is broken in many of the same ways as our privatized health care system in America; elite services for the affluent, and a crippling debt burden for everyone else. Hopefully I don't have to explain to you why entire generations having to forestall (or simply not being able to) buy homes and start families because basic necessities (such as education, healthcare, and housing) have become unaffordable is a really bad thing for society. If we're not ready to join the rest of the civilized world by making public education free (or at least highly subsidized), at least stop charging interest on the loans we have to take out in order to have the opportunity to transition to a job that pays a livable wage.
  9. I'll second this. 20 years seems to strike a good balance between the value of having experienced and knowledge legislators, and nudging Congress to be more age representative of the rest of the country (median age in the US is 38 years old). That said, term limits for legislatures is secondary in importance to having term limits for the Supreme Court, and the difference in importance is not even close.
  10. Perhaps surprisingly, the debt forgiveness is actually going to be less impactful than some other things contained in this act for a lot of people. As someone with about 80k of student loans, the lowered cap on income based payment to %5 of gross income will have a far bigger impact on my life than having $10k of debt forgiven. Also (and this is huge), the loans won't accrue interest as long as payments are being made every month under this new income driven repayment plan. What this means in practice is substantially lower payments for most people with federal student loans. In addition, for people making under %225 of the federal poverty line won't have to make any payments at all.
  11. While it's par for the course for Sam Harris to have bad political takes as part and parcel of his "enlightened centrism", on this count I don't think he's entirely wrong. (1) Hitler didn't have access to nuclear weapons. And was never going to, if only because of the irrationality of Nazi ideology that rejected nuclear physics as "Jewish science". (2) Hitler wasn't in position to prevent the most powerful country in the world from taking urgently needed steps to avert a potentially civilization ending climate apocalypse. That's not to say that Trump is 'worse' that Hitler (however you define worse), just that because of technological advancements States are far more impactful and dangerous today than they were in the 1930s and 40s. Far more is required of heads of State these days than a century ago, and bad judgement could literally lead to hundreds of millions of deaths; either through a bad judgement call that unintentionally triggers a nuclear war, or through large swaths of the planet literally being rendered uninhabitable for humans due to runaway Climate Change.
  12. Most scientists (or at least those with any degree of sophistication) would readily concede this point. But most would stop short of questioning the metaphysical assumption that Reality itself is "objective", even if they are willing to admit that science itself can't reach the lofty goal of pure objectivity. To a mind that's not construct aware the only alternative to an "objective" Reality is solipsism, but that's only the case if one seeks an Absolute ground in one of the two poles of subject-object dualism. The thought that we can live in a shared Reality that's intersubjective (non-determinate and unable to be fully articulated) takes some epistemic work to arrive at. Even something as seemingly self evident as an "object" isn't something that exists in nature, because Reality itself is undifferentiated. Rather, "objects" are how Reality is disclosed to embodied beings such as ourselves who need to manipulate our surroundings in order to survive.
  13. The integration of marginalized groups as socially accepted members of society will always bring with it some growing pains. This is as true for LGBT acceptance as it was for women being able to fully participate in society, to list just one example.
  14. Objectivity does not (necessarily) equate to Truth. Objectivity is a construct that attempts to bypass the role that consiousness plays in constituting the world, in an attempt to gain a "view from nowhere." Of course a "view from nowhere" is a contradiction in terms, because Reality is always viewed from a somewhere; from particular perspective. The shared world we live in intersubjective rather than objective. Insofar as science forgets that objectivity is a second order derivation from our direct experience, it falls into epistemic error.
  15. Also it should be noted that in psychological research it's been found that people who place more on value traditional gender roles are also more likely to conflate feelings of personal discomfort as a moral deficit towards whatever behavior is causing them to feel uneasy (ie two men kissing, or a non gender conforming person).
  16. Pro tip: don't begin inquiries around race with the phrase "I'm not racist, but..." Just ask whatever you're going to ask without prefacing it in a defensive manner.
  17. There are a handful of avenues you could take for learning political epistemology, which include: Studying sociology, history, and political science Becoming more media literate Studying general (non-political) epistomology Gaining a general knowledge of how biases work, and learning how to apply that to your own cognitive processes Studying how paradigms work Learning how rhetoric is used in political forms of speech (so you can begin to recognize rhetorical tactics like dog whistles for instance) Cultivating dialectical and systemic forms of thinking Cultivating a compassionate outlook on life, which includes empathetic listening and genuine curiosity about people with different life experiences than your own Learning how to unpack ideologically loaded terms such as: socialism, fascism, postmodernism, etc. Learning how conspiracy theories work
  18. The difference in how the issue is framed (and thus understood) from differing perspectives, and then how we are to evaluate the relative validity of those perspectives, is exactly the issue at heart. As far as my assumptions, I'll fully admit to being biased towards finding dialectical systems thinking on the whole to be more Truthful than Nationalism. Not because Nationalism came earlier, but because Nationalism is a far more partial and ultimately selfish way of looking at the world.
  19. The difference between the Left wing and Right wing critiques of globalization is the difference between critiqueing something from Below rather than from Above. Those critiquing from Below (ie Right wing critiques of globalism in this instance) will tend to misconstrue sociological critique that's rooted in systems theory as a Conspiracy Theory, simply because they don't understand the former. It's really not all that different from the ways that the Right wing misunderstands something like Critical Race Theory, which they misconstrue as a plot by Leftists to make white people feel bad about their history and culture, versus what it really is (I'd a systems level theory of structural inequality, where whether or not individuals are personally racist is entirely besides the point).
  20. Well, there's a portion of his supporters that are willing to start a Civil War on his behalf.....
  21. Looks like the Trump's passports were seized by the FBI in the raid, which is generally something that happens when a suspect is considered a flight risk. Which naturally leads to asking what form will the inevitable violence from Trump's followers will take when their leader is formally charged.
  22. The normalization of political violence as a symptom of fascism is a troubling sign of a potential civil conflict in our future.
  23. While what they were able to pass is far less than what we were hoping for with the far more ambitious $2T Build Back Better plan, all due credit for still being able to get a sizable Climate Change bill passed considering the obstacles that Democrats are facing in getting any major legislation passed with a razor thin majority that includes two conservative Senators with ties to the fossil fuel industry.
  24. The selfishness and utter disregard of any underlying principles of the MAGA crowd can be quite clearly seen in the whiplash of these folks going from 'back the Blue' to 'defund the FBI' in a heartbeat when it's someone they're simping for who's implicated. "Law and order for thee, not for me."