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AuthorTopic: Native Americans
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #50
Anyone have any reasonable data on these supposed dearths of plumbers and electricians?

If it is a problem, it will really only be that plumbers and electricians get to cost even more than they do now. It will never be that a large country starts to fall apart for sheer lack of technicians. We're not talking about the last plumber dying without passing on the secret of drain traps.

Supply and demand, and pretty soon enough kids will decide they'd rather be rich as expert plumbers than starving as inept lawyers. The new equilibrium wage of plumbers will probably be higher than it is now. But on the whole that would probably be a good thing for society as a whole (c.f. the thread about income disparity).

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We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
The Establishment
Member # 6
Profile #51
I don't have much on plumbers and electricians, but a simple internet search for a decline in science or technical enrollments will show a pretty even trend.

As for the market correcting itself, sort of. The problem with the argument is that if the labor force does not exist in the US, it will get outsourced. This is partly due to cheap labor, but also the fact that the skilled labor does not exist here. Those jobs could come back, but in the short term there will be major economic consequences.

This means a dependency on foreign labor, never a good thing really.

[ Wednesday, May 10, 2006 12:13: Message edited by: *i ]

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Your flower power is no match for my glower power!
Posts: 3726 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
Profile Homepage #52
Maybe I'm misunderstanding what outsourcing is, but how the heck do you outsource a plumber?

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #53
Don't buy it. Firstly, I don't think the people who fix your overflowing pipe or wire your house can be offshored. But if we include skilled tradespeople who make products that could be shipped from overseas, well, why the sudden urge for autarky? Cabinetry isn't exactly a national security issue. Letting South Korea have most of the master carpenters runs only the terrible risk that, if South Korea ever cuts off trade, there will be a temporary price spike in fancy linen chests. Martha Stewart will be able to afford it.

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We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #54
quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:

If it is a problem, it will really only be that plumbers and electricians get to cost even more than they do now. It will never be that a large country starts to fall apart for sheer lack of technicians.
Well, eh. The wait times for plumbing work and building repair and such will get longer. If buildings or sewer systems or whatever go for long enough with damage that hasn't been fixed, problems aplenty could be had.

It is a significant economic problem, although probably not the most significant economic problem out there.

And I'm always skeptical of the idea that the market will self-correct anything.

[ Wednesday, May 10, 2006 12:31: Message edited by: Kelandon ]

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #55
quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:

Don't buy it. Firstly, I don't think the people who fix your overflowing pipe or wire your house can be offshored. But if we include skilled tradespeople who make products that could be shipped from overseas, well, why the sudden urge for autarky? Cabinetry isn't exactly a national security issue. Letting South Korea have most of the master carpenters runs only the terrible risk that, if South Korea ever cuts off trade, there will be a temporary price spike in fancy linen chests. Martha Stewart will be able to afford it.
The problem is: if America doesn't manufacture anything, what can it export to pay for all the t-shirts, computers, and soap that it's importing?

The danger isn't that China will stop trading with us, it's that if our only export is dollars, the value of that export could drop quite dramatically if the people get less interested in this "product".

How long does it take to train a million illiterate school dropouts into highly-skilled factory workers? (Not even talking about time to build the factories themselves and the money to accomplish the transition.) The transition from service economy into a normal economy can't happen overnight, or even in a year.

[ Wednesday, May 10, 2006 12:50: Message edited by: Zeviz ]

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Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #56
A service economy is just one in which the service sector is dominant, not one incapable of producing any material objects. The US is not going to lose the capability of making stuff. But, for that matter, there are lots of other things to offer in exchange for imported stuff: movies, industrial design, management consulting, surgery, education, advertising, tourism ...

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We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
The Establishment
Member # 6
Profile #57
Yes, the service jobs of plumbers and electricians will always, they are service jobs, not production ones. However, their profitability will decline as the more production mode jobs move overseas and fewer could afford them. I'm really concerned about engineers, auto manufacturers, electronics and computing, etc. We're losing these and it is not going to be easy to get them back.

Even those things you mention will eventually erode if the value of our goods drops. Also they are all intangibles and will most likely be easier to do in other countries as the expertise moves overseas. We'll still produce them, it's just that we won't be competitive anymore.

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Your flower power is no match for my glower power!
Posts: 3726 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #58
I just finished installing a hardwood floor in a new house last week and asked the homeowner about the doors and windows they had installed. It turned out they were made in China. They had used a website, entered in the rough opening sizes and the types of windows desired, and paid. 6 weeks later they were delivered to their door. I got another quote from Simpson, a USA company, and they required 7-9 weeks lead time.

China is the number one importer of logs. Every day fishing in the Columbia I see freighters filled with logs, steaming to distant ports, while other freighters filled with finished goods return to this country. It feels kinda weird losing out on the value added side of things.

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Well, I'm at least pretty sure that Salmon is losing.


Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 3980
Profile Homepage #59
quote:
Originally written by Zeviz:

The problem is: if America doesn't manufacture anything, what can it export to pay for all the t-shirts, computers, and soap that it's importing?
Government bonds, real estate ownership, shares, lobbying service, etc. The Chinese have been the biggest buyer of US-bonds for many years.

The long term effect is just that the US electorate's interest become less and less decisive in determining goverment policy in comparison to what big funds manager decide and are payed for to decide under global aspects. Do not blame them for being unamerican, because you would not invest with them either if they put America first instead of maximizing profits.

My point is that the economic decisions are being made on the global scale since decades and the governments compete with each other to create favorable conditions for investors while trying to keep the better-off minority of the population who vote happy. They cannot just raise taxes to pay for better education because a lot of volatile funds would just shift elsewhere and the US would have to raise interest rates to keep the US$ attractive. They might save on hand-outs and gain on future taxes if they started to educate the loser social groups but ...
1. investing in a tax cut would do more to increase party donations.
2. the investors would rather educate six Indian software developers rather than one US native for the same money.
3. educating the underdogs might lift their awareness to the level that they might go and vote - and most likely for the wrong party.

Do you need a special course to understand the Spiel?

quote:
Originally written by Zeviz:

The danger isn't that China will stop trading with us, it's that if our only export is dollars, the value of that export could drop quite dramatically if the people get less interested in this "product".

It is happening already. The Chinese have decided recently to decrease their investment of US government bonds and the US$ interest rate is on a long term rise. Do not be afraid that the Chinese sell their bonds suddenly because the US$ exchange rate would decline so that they would lose money.

quote:
Originally written by Zeviz:

How long does it take to train a million illiterate school dropouts into highly-skilled factory workers? (Not even talking about time to build the factories themselves and the money to accomplish the transition.) The transition from service economy into a normal economy can't happen overnight, or even in a year.

Even if it could, where do you want to find the money? For investment you need TRUST. Trust is worth big $$$. And if you start to follow more national isolationist policies you lose the trust of international investors in reality-oriented politics - in fact the government might as well start to burn the money from your piggy-bank.

You want a positive way out for the Natives?

[sarcasm] Learn from the Israelis:More than 60 percent of Israeli Jews believe the government should encourage Arabs to leave the country. Just turn them into immigrants somewhere else. It is well established that immigrants do better.[/sarcasm]

[ Thursday, May 11, 2006 00:23: Message edited by: too kraut, don't read ]

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The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference.
And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.
Because of indifference, one dies before one actually dies. (not mine)
Posts: 311 | Registered: Friday, February 13 2004 08:00
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #60
quote:
Originally written by too kraut, don't read:

...
You want a positive way out for the Natives?

[sarcasm] Learn from the Israelis:More than 60 percent of Israeli Jews believe the government should encourage Arabs to leave the country. Just turn them into immigrants somewhere else. It is well established that immigrants do better.[/sarcasm]

This attack was unnecessary and irrelevant to the thread. (Considering that some Jewish families have been continuously living in Israel since long before the Arab conquest, Jews are the ones you should be comparing to Native Americans.)

Now to the substance: How else should Isrealis react to your Palestinians' election of a party whose platforms says: "... nevertheless, the Hamas has been looking forward to implement Allah’s promise whatever time it might take. The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!" After Palestinians elected the party whose charter calls for completion of Hitler's work, you can't blame Israeli Jews for feeling just a little threatened.

EDIT: Remove the irrelevant quote about "Lands conquered by Islam by force". We are talking about present day anti-semitism, not ancient Arab Imperialism. If you want to see this quote, read the Hamas charter linked above. I found it a very revealing reading.

[ Thursday, May 11, 2006 17:22: Message edited by: Zeviz ]

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Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #61
That Hamas document was interesting, if repetitive.

Question for Kelandon: why are you dubious about the market correcting itself? There are some things for which free market self-correction evidently does not work all that well, but keeping enough plumbers around is precisely the sort of thing for which it works very well. It seems obvious why it should work, and there seems to be ample evidence that in fact it does (for instance, the mere fact that the first world economies have changed so radically in the past century, without grinding to a complete halt).

Of course, the time scale for self-correction may leave something to be desired. The theory of ideal market capitalism is all about 'in the long run' equilibrium, and as John Maynard Keynes succinctly put it, in the long run we are all dead. But it really doesn't take that long to train a plumber; the Keynesian critique would seem to apply to broader and subtler problems than this.

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We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #62
quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:

It seems obvious why it should work, and there seems to be ample evidence that in fact it does (for instance, the mere fact that the first world economies have changed so radically in the past century, without grinding to a complete halt).
Were First World economies pure laissez faire free-market economies without any government intervention throughout the twentieth century? Think about that one for a second.

Free market economics, at best, tends to rely on the assumption that people all act in their own best interests all the time, and that's already not happening. Many people who could be getting reasonably well-paying jobs in the trades are already not doing so and ending up with lower-paying jobs (or unemployment) because they've tried to go to some kind of college and failed, instead of going to a vocational school.

Skilled tradesmen are already paid pretty well. (The people who aren't are the people who work in fast food or in any way handle a register or do agriculture labor or whatever, which is a separate issue.) If the price for skilled tradesmen goes up significantly, I'm not sure that our economy can absorb the transition without going into some kind of depression (which is something that laissez faire economies tended to do all the time, cf. the Panics of Every Twenty Years in the 19th c.).

Anyway, I'm skeptical of market self-correction in general because, well, if the market really self-corrected most things quickly enough without serious side-effects, we wouldn't have any economic problems to address, would we?

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #63
Hey, I'm not saying pure laissez-fair ensures paradise. But there is clearly something to the concept that free markets can correct problems. That there is some tendency to do so seems obvious, and I don't understand how one can be skeptical about that. The stronger claim is, still not that laissez-faire ensures paradise, but that free market self-correction is in most cases more efficient than dirigiste solutions, which even when they work are more apt to have bad unintended consequences. And I also find it hard to deny that this claim has a lot of validity. Thousands of humans with their own interests pressingly at stake are very apt to be collectively smarter, and more in touch with the relevant facts, than a handful of do-gooding bureaucrats.

The limitations of free market adaptability tend to appear in Prisoner's Dilemma-like situations, where everyone's individual and immediate self-interest sharply contradicts the longer-term collective interest. Such situations are by no means academic cases; from time to time they really occur and can be horrendous. The Great Depression alone is a sufficient example.

So perhaps we are speaking at cross purposes. I'm not denying that a shortage of plumbers could bring some short-to-intermediate-term economic pain. But my premise is that nothing can prevent periodic bouts of this kind of pain: if it weren't the plumbers it would be something else. Most enthusiasm for capitalism is not naive faith that it makes everything perfect, but disbelief that anything can. Life is bound to be rough; the problem is preventing it from being absolute hell.

So if we talk about the plumber shortage as a noteworthy problem, I presume that the question is whether this is going to be a grave and intractable crisis. And it seems to me that the real, if finite, power of market self-correction ought to suffice in this case to prevent that. Or at least, that anyone who wants to bewail the coming dearth of plumbers should be obliged to explain first why the market won't just bring more plumbers in a couple of years.

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We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #64
quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:

So if we talk about the plumber shortage as a noteworthy problem, I presume that the question is whether this is going to be a grave and intractable crisis.
I thought we were talking about what the best thing to do about it was. Letting it become a serious issue, cause a depression, and then fix itself over the course of a couple decades, all in the name of capitalist non-intervention, seems astonishingly stupid. If it's going to become a problem, it seems obvious that the best thing to do is to try to prevent it.

I'm not saying that I know exactly what to do, but I'm saying that "The market will correct itself" is too often a cop-out.

EDIT: The problem is the "in a couple of years" part. The market corrects itself eventually, but how long does it take, and what damage is done in the meantime? That's hard to predict.

[ Saturday, May 13, 2006 09:26: Message edited by: Kelandon ]

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 3980
Profile Homepage #65
quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

The problem is the "in a couple of years" part. The market corrects itself eventually, but how long does it take, and what damage is done in the meantime? That's hard to predict.
And it is even harder to speed up the correction. A well functioning market mechanism is extremely intelligent on a short term scale but the fact that long term public costs are not accounted for is a sure road to desaster. We need the desasters in order to arrive at a consensus about priorities. The problem is that more or less democratically legitimized administrations need not do much better than the market. It starts with the public (i.e. we) who do not want to know, it goes on with limited election periods.
A new interesting Ansatz is emission trading. Do you think this will survive or spread to other sectors?

[ Saturday, May 13, 2006 11:37: Message edited by: too kraut, don't read ]

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The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference.
And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.
Because of indifference, one dies before one actually dies. (not mine)
Posts: 311 | Registered: Friday, February 13 2004 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 6388
Profile #66
quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:

So if we talk about the plumber shortage as a noteworthy problem, I presume that the question is whether this is going to be a grave and intractable crisis.
I thought we were talking about what the best thing to do about it was. Letting it become a serious issue, cause a depression, and then fix itself over the course of a couple decades, all in the name of capitalist non-intervention, seems astonishingly stupid. If it's going to become a problem, it seems obvious that the best thing to do is to try to prevent it.

I'm not saying that I know exactly what to do, but I'm saying that "The market will correct itself" is too often a cop-out.

EDIT: The problem is the "in a couple of years" part. The market corrects itself eventually, but how long does it take, and what damage is done in the meantime? That's hard to predict.

The ideology of the free market is fundamentally opposed to conceptualizing what you refer to as 'damage'. To the free-market economist, the market turning down, people losing their job, and a few hundred thousand more homeless cropping up in the streets is a natural and healthy part of the economy.
Posts: 794 | Registered: Tuesday, October 11 2005 07:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #67
Any other questions on how Native Americans get treated?

Like most land animals, they require large areas to roam and collect forage. They also like interaction with others of their own species and tend to appreciate being noticed.

We've taken their land and confined them to limited areas of unfamiliar terrain. We've insisted that they learn a foriegn language and abandon all their customs. We mock them, insult them, name loser sports franchises after them, and now we seem to prefer discussions of economics over them.

IMAGE(http://stuff.ermarian.net/salmon/sucks.gif)

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Well, I'm at least pretty sure that Salmon is losing.


Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6785
Profile #68
The Clinton administration tried to correct for job imbalances by offering training programs in order to correct for the lack on local jobs in outsourced fields. Two main problems occurred. First the new jobs tended to pay less so the standard of living dropped and the ability to pay other workers diminished and thereby endangered their jobs. The second was that the new jobs were outsourced so the workers had to start over with training.

I'm encouraging a friend to have his kids grow up to be elected goverment officials so they have jobs that are guaranteed by law not to be offshored,

Even some service jobs are being outsourced. They are testing having fast food drive thru order taking being done in one location for all franchise stores. The peak demand will be at different times so they will use few employees than the current system.

Letting the market adjust itself means a severe dislocation because of not only the training time to teach new workers, but that the teachers may no longer be here when the market readjusts. By making the system be worldwide means that some areas will collapse into depression while the world is doing fine. If you are in the collapse you don't think this is working.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 3980
Profile Homepage #69
quote:
Originally written by Indifferent Salmon:

now we seem to prefer discussions of economics over them.
It is all about economics, i.e. who should pay, is it not? The problem is that the economic "we" at present is much more difficult to define than the cultural "we". Even with the cultural "we", the passing of generations makes a huge difference.

How much are you personally willing to pay in order to redress past evildoing of your cultural predecessors and how much do you think a democratically elected government could spend without compromising on reelection chances?

Maybe compensation has to go beyond financial support in order to be effective, even not be delegated to the government but start at the grassroots level. You do not want to perpetuate some collective victimhood but allow a cultural counterpart to recuperate including self-esteem and belief in their capabilities. This might even put healers of Anti-americanism out of business.

[ Saturday, May 13, 2006 22:40: Message edited by: too kraut, don't read ]

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The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference.
And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.
Because of indifference, one dies before one actually dies. (not mine)
Posts: 311 | Registered: Friday, February 13 2004 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 6388
Profile #70
quote:
Originally written by Indifferent Salmon:

Any other questions on how Native Americans get treated?

Like most land animals, they require large areas to roam and collect forage. They also like interaction with others of their own species and tend to appreciate being noticed.

We've taken their land and confined them to limited areas of unfamiliar terrain. We've insisted that they learn a foriegn language and abandon all their customs. We mock them, insult them, name loser sports franchises after them, and now we seem to prefer discussions of economics over them.

IMAGE(http://stuff.ermarian.net/salmon/sucks.gif)

OH MY GOD

TOPIC DRIFT

QUICKLY FORM A TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMITTEE
Posts: 794 | Registered: Tuesday, October 11 2005 07:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
Profile Homepage #71
That's what spidweb needs. A Cultural Revolution!

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #72
WE ARE ALL MAO.

Sorry.

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Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 3980
Profile Homepage #73
quote:
Originally written by The Worst Man Ever:

OH MY GOD

TOPIC DRIFT

QUICKLY FORM A TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMITTEE

OOC:Is this the terrified all-capitals-league striking "back" preemptively before the discussion could address the topic in serious detail? How come that I have the déjà-vu of topics eliciting the same furious "tl, dr" response in various guises?

IC: The Truth and Recociiation Committees have been established in South Africa following a remarkably nonviolent demise of the Apartheid Regime. Together with the peace process in Northern Ireland the demise of Apartheid may serve as a model on how to solve a problem peacefully that our generation has inherited from an empirical past with "superior" immigrants of a different religion or race vs. some "native" or "inferior" population. Zimbabwe and Israel/Palestine are the bad counterexamples at present. The suggestion of Truth and Recociiation is right on topic, imho, even if empirialist evil has left little basis for any realistic reconstitution in the US after the eradication of the Native Americans. I am wary of mentioning Germany after the holocaust in this context, because of personal bias.

I am somewhat proud to mention that the first common history book for highschools is being published now by the former "arch-enemy" nations of France and Germany.

[ Sunday, May 14, 2006 11:56: Message edited by: too kraut, don't read ]

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The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference.
And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.
Because of indifference, one dies before one actually dies. (not mine)
Posts: 311 | Registered: Friday, February 13 2004 08:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
Profile Homepage #74
You realllllly need to learn to recognize sarcasm if you're gonna hang out on the internet, kid.

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00

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