Business Process Manager, Gordon Food Service

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Restrictions to control behaviors: When is enough . . . enough?

The idea that we can legislate, litigate, restrict, take away things or rights in an effort to control behaviors seems to be common and becoming more prevalent in our society. At the same time, common courtesy, that personal touch, care for your 'fellow man' seems to be disappearing. Are these two things related? Is it a fact that the more restrictions we place upon society as the measure of enforcing appropriate and accepted behaviors, we are actually creating a society dependent upon those very restrictions to provide their guidelines for living? Shouldn't we be re-educating society on how common courtesy and care for your 'fellow man' provides those same guidelines?

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    Jun 20 2011: My hunch is that you are falling for a golden age fallacy. Things in the past always seem better—kids were more polite, music was better, etc. But when you think about it, it wasn't so long ago that we had the McCarthy hearings, prohibition, and bizarre laws legislating behavior that we now refer to as blue laws. For instance, as a kid in Texas certain items could not be sold on Sunday. Entire aisles of stores would be taped off on Sunday. You could buy nails, but not a hammer. This was in the 80s. I think if you look at the past objectively, you will see that not much has changed and if anything we have more personal liberties today.

    I think the same is probably true of our behavior toward our fellow man. People really weren't that nice in the past. Perhaps a little more formal, especially in writing, but if you read through the history of the U.S. you will find many examples of what a cold, tough place it could be, especially if you were not from the upper echelon of society.
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    Jun 20 2011: spot on
  • Jun 22 2011: "Is it a fact that the more restrictions we place upon society as the measure of enforcing appropriate and accepted behaviors, we are actually creating a society dependent upon those very restrictions to provide their guidelines for living? Shouldn't we be re-educating society on how common courtesy and care for your 'fellow man' provides those same guidelines?"

    Any such phenomenon is most likely due to the perception of conflict within society, and the resulting stress. If someone is seen as being on the opposite side of an ideological divide it is less likely they will be helped.

    One of the most immediate of these conflicts currently, is the disparity in thought over whether society should be encouraging people to "earn as much money as possible" or whether it should be encouraging people to "only earn as much as you need to survive and be comfortable, and sell goods and services at a level where other people can benefit from the excess value that you do not need". This manifests as the anomalously high unemployment rate in seemingly 'advanced' countries like the United States, and can be fixed by introducing an additional progress metric that conflicts with total income earned: http://pastebin.com/Q86Zhgs9
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    Jun 21 2011: I think that maybe at one time in the past brokers were useful. That is until they started charging too nuch for their services. Since when is it concionable for a broker to skim 5 or 10 percent off the freight bill by simply investing in a telephone and pad and pencil in order to dole out transportation contracts which could be gotten directly from the shipper with no mddle man who adds nothing to the GNP but sucks off money that the transportation industry needs to at least cover expenses since diesel is sky high. These brokers do not provide the transportation agencies any transparency as to what the shipper is actually paying. It is almost impossible to make a decent living for a small business man because of the brokers.Also maybe the unions are pricing themselves out of the market by insisting on such high wages and benefits. And as for lobbyists...they are there to bribe those that can be bribed to vote a certai way to benefit special interests. I say do away with the blood suckers of the economy. What say you ?
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    Jun 20 2011: yes! i would say through such controls, it allows us to avoid responsibility for people, or to even care. like common drug charges. we could help that person, talk to them, or just say"law is law, sorry buddy" i think in general it cause people to think less about things.
  • Jun 20 2011: I would be curious to know specifically what areas you feel we are being restricted in. I can see many areas that we are much more "free" in now than before.