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But you have just agreed with my point.  To me, there is a huge distinction between saying: "your system and moral principles are created to intentionally create a poor underclass"
and "your policies are deficient in that they are more likely to create a poor underclass".
I don't find this parsing words.  First, the former is IMHO not true in America.  and more pragmatically, if you're closing off debate with 50+% of America, if you say the former.  Questioning people's motives is often a poor approach.  (I could make this point with some crude American jokes about the reason French and Germans have not joined Americans in Iraq--which question their character and motivations, rather than what I believe is a pure disagreement on policy.  But it's not my intention to win a debating point by pissing off many on this site.  But that is what this comment does to a lot of Americans.)  the comment I was challenging was specifically about intent and motivation of Americans.

As to the practical point on policy, is there not data that would allow us to compare the deciles of income between France, Germany, etc., and the US?  I think it's a little difficult to anecdotally compare jobs across countries.  I think I have a little higher opinion of American waiters and retail employees (WalMart, for example) than you might.  I'm sure you know we have some high class restaurants over here where waiters work professionally all their lives.  We're not quite as backward as your question implies. :)

by wchurchill on Wed Oct 12th, 2005 at 06:39:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"I don't find this parsing words."

Really?

Colman said: "it is the system." You chose to take that to mean he was "saying the objective of the American system is to produce an underclass" (your emphasis). Now you have embroidered further on that: "your system and moral principles are created to intentionally create a poor underclass".

Colman can make his meaning clear himself, but I think it's perfectly reasonable to take what he said as meaning simply that poverty in the US is systemic. You may disagree with that, or point out that, in your view, the same could be said of Europe, or, as Migeru suggests, that poverty is globally systemic. But don't tweak people's words out into spurious "quotes" in this way.

And let me say that, when you write: "I could make this point with some crude American jokes about the reason French and Germans have not joined Americans in Iraq--which question their character and motivations...", that you have in fact put that down black on white. In other words, if you want to refrain, just refrain. And no, that kind of thing never wins any debating points.

You haven't been at the Napa wine again, by any chance? :-)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Oct 12th, 2005 at 07:23:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, afew, I must admit you may be right on points 1 and 3, and perhaps 2.  (Sounds like a clean sweep)  I did think that was what Coleman was saying, objective that is, but going back and rereading that is not the only possible interpretation, even though I think that is what he meant.  He may choose to elaborate, and we'll see. I may have to plead to unintentional parsing.  Point 2 was meant to distinguish policy from intention--could have been left unsaid.  Guilty on point 3--heck of a memory you have.

Thanks for your post.

by wchurchill on Wed Oct 12th, 2005 at 07:42:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Concerning wine, maybe...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Oct 12th, 2005 at 07:52:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yes, :)
by wchurchill on Wed Oct 12th, 2005 at 01:43:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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