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Sharon McCann

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If Victor Frankl is correct and we must expect the best in people how do we still anticipate the worst?

Our current economic and governmental issues relate very clearly to the nexus between expecting that which is best in people and anticipating that which is the worst in people and determining how to balance both. If we expect people to be honest and good they do not always prove us right. How do we establish a governmental or regulatory system which includes both? How does a society allow for freedom while balancing our freedom to behave as we see fit with our freedom from the behavior of others?

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  • Nov 18 2011: I am not sure I would use the word anticipate, perhaps "be prepared for". Anticipate sort of means you are expecting bad things to happen. This may lead to jumping to conclusions and not giving someone the benefit of the doubt. A lot can be gained for free by carrying a positive attitude into a situation. In situations where I was ready to jump to the conclusion that someone had done me wrong, a crime had been committed, or someone seemingly acting mean, I generally wait to make sure that I fully understand the whole situation before taking actions. Often, say 30-50% of the time, there is some sort of misunderstanding, underlying circumstance, or unknown information that would make my impulse reaction wrong in high insight.

    I say this because the government has to apply this to the general public to maintain the balance you describe. The boundary in general involves overlapping rights between people. This overlap creates a need for a law to define the boundary, a need for a police force to enforce the boundary, and the need for a judicial system to constantly look at the fairness of boundary interpretation to all. Societies with persons that know these boundaries, respect these boundaries, and do not require enforcers or adjudicators are rewarded by a lower price for freedom.
    • Nov 18 2011: Robert, Do you think we (the US) has strayed from this with The Patriot Act? What about how police are responding to OWS movement as opposed to how they (and regulators in general) have responded to the mortgage fraud crisis?
  • Nov 30 2011: So how is the balance achieved? People do not want more regulation. They want less government, but they are angry at what those who had the ability to riun the entire economy to enrich themselves and did so, often through illegal means. How do we have an "unregulated free market" when we can anticipate that people will misbehave when they can?
  • Nov 19 2011: WRT the Patriot Act: No. The act came as a result of an act of Terrorism that perhaps could have been prevented had such measures been in place prior to the event. I think it is intended to permit being ready to thwart such an action again, given the opportunity.

    WRT: The OWS movement: No. The response was not immediate and severe. In some instances it was severe, and there is general outrage among people angry at the mortgage fraud and other financial crises, so there is outrage because of these scandals.

    WRT: the mortgage fraud crisis: Yes. I view a large portion of wall street as speculative parasites that are gaming the system at the expense of the average investor and worker. I believe there should be regulations preventing this sort of exploitation out in place. I believe the CO of each bank involved in the scandal, and all those with responsibility for or awareness of the exploitation, should have his assets seized and be jailed for at least a year, followed by 20 years of community service to unscrew the problem. I think this type of stick is needed to keep such actions from taking place again.
    • Nov 30 2011: SO why do you think this has not happened? Has the role of letting the market decide winners and losers been taken too far or not far enough?
      • Nov 30 2011: I think the rules that govern the market have not caught up to the existing tools and capabilities of those trying to exploit it. I believe that judicial action associated with breaking or bending the rules is not taken seriously. I believe that by not holding those that accepted the benefits of a high risk investments without being held accountable for losses when those risks did not pan out has set a bad precedent, and will further encourage and en-bolden bankers into taking similar risks, then expecting to be saved when things go sour, so the downside of a market based economy has not been taken far enough. I believe if the economy and government is so sensitive to such market swings that we cannot allow such failures to occur, then we need to check why this dependency exists and take measures to free ourselves of it to enable the down-swings of the economy to crush the high risk takers, thus making the banks and investors with a more reasonable investment practices to prosper.