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Old 03-26-2004, 02:44 PM   #31
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So, Ricky... Buckeye's dragged you back into the fold. Wahoo!

I'm going to suggest an edit of your term 'multicultural' to one of the following: 'urban' or 'metropolitan.'

Metropolitan probably works best here, because it indicates urbanity without the associated racial judgments that certainly go along with your use of 'multicultural,' and have become associated over time with the term 'urban.'

Although, what you mean to say (if you truly want to dissociate yourself from racial judgments) is urban. Unfortunately, in today's politic-speak, you can't say "urban" without the "black" part being assumed, nevermind the local realities, whatever they be.

Meanwhile, while sounding like a bit like the politically correctness police, I want to indicate here I'm not charging racism, and fully understand where you're coming from. I'm suggesting the edit because a different choice of words would have permitted you to make your point without having to say "I'm not a racist." Sad fact, though, is that the way you've used multicultural, in today's language and race mentality, sounds racially motivated.
(Same goes for the word "urban" whether or not it's fair, and we have the political-correctness folks to thank for that abomination.)

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Old 03-26-2004, 03:57 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ricky the Kid
As far as crime goes, the main reason the crime rate in America is higher than in Sweden is because Sweden is not a multicultural nation like we are. This is a very, very pollitically incorrect thing to say, but it's the truth. I'm not making a racist comment here, I assure you. But just look at where the highest crime rates are--it's in the cities where there is the highest concentration of mixed populations. I'm not trying to make any larger judgements here on why that is, I'm just stating a fact. If you took the crime rates of everywhere in America minus the major cities I'm pretty positive we'd stack up very nicely against Sweden, or anywhere else.
Bzzt! Wrong, Heston. If that were true, their wouldn't be much crime in Haiti, Colombia, Sub-sharan Africa, etc.

It's poverty, not multiculturalism, that breeds crime. Sweden is not impovershed, hence, very little violence. The US is somewhat impovershed, hence, a fair amount of violence. In sub-saharan Africa, a lot of the populace is starving and disease-ridden, and you would be alot safer walking down any NYC street than, say, one in Kinshasa.
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Old 03-26-2004, 06:40 PM   #33
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But, Kevin, it runs a tad deeper than that, and then I think it stands to reason that something having to do with culture and race actually does play its role in violence levels (if not actual reported crime rates).

Nations like DR Congo or Rwanda, we can sort of assume to be fairly evenly impoverished... yet rural crime is astoundingly high... due nearly wholly to tribal/racial rivalries. Yet, we would never really call DR Congo or Rwanda metropolitan in anyway.

Conversely, much of China is relatively impoverished, but violence is also relatively low.
Why? Well, not to take Ricky's side too strongly, but there isn't a lot of racial integration, there aren't a lot of multiple cultures trying to co-exist in China. (Add to that the fact that truth flows slowly and the goverment turns a blind eye to much of its population until they require being shot or trampled in some way, and that Asians--in my obviously American, extremely limited experience--aren't necessarily prone to high levels of interpersonal violence anyway...)

I won't argue that poverty doesn't play its role. It certainly does. (Maybe moreso in this nation than in others.) But, I will contend that it's not that simple.

Lack of diversity and lack of wide differences in status help in Sweden's case, and in China's. But, consider Sub-Saharan Africa, where wide differences in status don't exist, but diversity is an issue, and leads to incredible amounts of unspeakable (and much of it untold in our media) violence.

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Old 03-27-2004, 01:37 AM   #34
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Well, I was answering Ricky's generalization with another one. I'm not here to say that multiculturalism doesn't play a role in violence, I'm saying poverty plays a far, far greater role. In the U.S., there is actually not very much cross-racial (i.e., black-on-white, white-on-black) crime, which renders the influence of multiculturalism on crime in this country indirect. The influence of poverty on crime, however, is about as direct as you can get.

I concede your point about Africa, but that shoe fits less well in my other examples (Haiti and Colombia), unless you are counting rival drug cartels as multiculturalism, but then I would ask, why is their a thriving drug trade in Colombia anyway, if not for poverty?

As far as China goes, I am inclined to attribute their non-violence to the harsh role of government, which regulates every facet of life rigorously. So do a lot of third world countries where violence is rife, but unlike China, third world countries don't have a military/police force that is unbreakable and firmly in support of the government.

Off the top of my head, I can think of two places that are quite multicultural and non-violent: Switzerland and Belgium (where you will find rivalries between the Flanders and the W...W....damn it. The Wallendas?).
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Old 03-30-2004, 09:27 PM   #35
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There are many, many reasons behind crime. I wasn't saying all crimes are due to having a multiculturalistic society, which I embrace by the way. If people want to come to this country legally to better themselves, I say great, and I hope they make it huge here. I love hearing success stories like that. But back on topic, I don't know how Kevin can deny multiculturalism plays a role when I'm sure he would agree that for most of the country's history, black people have had no chance to succeed. This has bred what I believe to be a defeatist attitude among many black and hispanic people and it's sad, it needs to change. That's where the poverty and crime comes in. Because we have delt with racism head on, granted very poorly for most our history, but most other countries never had to deal with it at all, and this has caused problems and created a much higher poverty level...which has led to more crime. Sorry that sounds jumbled, I hope you guys get the jist of it, I'm tryin to get this done quick. lol
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Old 03-30-2004, 11:43 PM   #36
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by KevinBeane
[B]
Quote:
Originally posted by Ricky the Kid
But back on topic, I don't know how Kevin can deny multiculturalism plays a role

Read my last post more carefully. I don't deny it....I just think it trails poverty, by a long shot, as the #1 indicator of crime/poverty. Other than that, I can't take disagree with anything you said in your post.

You said that we deal with racism dead on, most of it very poorly. I assume you're referring to affirmative action (what other ways have we dealt poorly with racism?)

This is a tricky subject....I would like to see income-based affirmative action, rather than race. Then you're truly helping the people who need help the most, help themselves.

But it would be hard to implement such an idea, becuase it would be too easy to cheat it (just as people cheat on their taxes, welfare claims, etc.) Affirmative action as it is now takes care of....let me just throw a number out....80% of that problem, since I'm guessing that perhaps 80% of blacks are economically disadvantaged, and blacks probably comprise 80% of the economically disadvantaged populace of the country, if I pretend for a second all poor people are urban. . And, you can't cheat it.
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Old 03-31-2004, 03:40 PM   #37
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BACK ON-TOPIC:

Interestingly enough, I listened to a show on the disappearance of rural America on a locally produced show on NPR. Wal-Mart wasn't a big discussion bullet point, but it did come up.

A mayor in some little town (population 980 and dropping) in Ohio (Malta, to be precise) noted that prior to the imposition of Wal-Mart on their town, the downtown section (which I imagine is pretty sparse anyway) had as many as seven small business operations that Wal-Mart efficiency completely obliterated.

What was interesting to note, and what got left out of this discussion hertofore, was his note that Wal-Mart, sure, did supply jobs for those who wanted them, but the very vast majority of those jobs were part-time and, hence, bereft of benefits of any kind.

The picture was quite bleak, as would be expected, for this town and a number of others that they discussed.

In particular, they spent a brief amount of time discussing crime in rural America, and noted that there were two segments of the criminal activity that were actually on the INCREASE relative to more urban trends. Those two segments were:
1. Drug use, owing a good amount of this to the use of crystal meth by the rural kids
2. Bank robbery, as in more urban settings, every bank has a security officer, a camera, and a cop not too far away. Rural banks are less secure in nearly every way, and rural folk are poor enough to be looking for the quick buck.

Ultimately, rural America is becoming an increasingly smaller and insignificant portion of the nation.

Whether this is good or bad, I don't know. I'd been imagining retiring to a small town. If they're all but gone when I retire, well, I guess I'll retire to a big town...

Dave
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Old 03-31-2004, 05:38 PM   #38
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Dave, if you're trying to say it's all good if small businesses close in rural towns because workers can readily get jobs at Wal-Mart, I'm not sure that's entirely accurate. When one business literally employs most of the town (eek, scary thought), it's kind of like a monopoly and they can set whatever wages and benefits they want, leaving workers with few options.

As for small towns, I respect them, but I would never like to live in one as I need things like six Starbucks a block from me and readily available WiFi access. I've grown up in suburbs and like living in or outside cities.
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Old 03-31-2004, 06:39 PM   #39
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No, Marc. I wasn't saying that at all. In fact, I was pointing out that while the good folk at WalMart may be willing to employ all those whose storefronts they destroy, they underemploy them and under-benefit them... Very much the opposite of being good for small towns, I'd say.

Ravi has the belief that destruction of small town businesses (and hence, the towns themselves) is orth trading for cheap prices and under-employment, not me.

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Old 03-31-2004, 09:47 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally posted by KevinBeane


You said that we deal with racism dead on, most of it very poorly. I assume you're referring to affirmative action (what other ways have we dealt poorly with racism?)

What I meant was that throughout our history we have dealt with race very poorly with slavery and segregation. Now those things don't exist, but there is still a lot of negative feeling out there on both sides that I believe causes black people to feel that they have no chance at, all so why try.

Although I do believe affirmitive action is not the answer to anything, because it clearly hasn't helped.
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Old 04-05-2004, 02:56 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally posted by MountaineerDave
BACK ON-TOPIC:

Interestingly enough, I listened to a show on the disappearance of rural America on a locally produced show on NPR. Wal-Mart wasn't a big discussion bullet point, but it did come up.

A mayor in some little town (population 980 and dropping) in Ohio (Malta, to be precise) noted that prior to the imposition of Wal-Mart on their town, the downtown section (which I imagine is pretty sparse anyway) had as many as seven small business operations that Wal-Mart efficiency completely obliterated.

What was interesting to note, and what got left out of this discussion hertofore, was his note that Wal-Mart, sure, did supply jobs for those who wanted them, but the very vast majority of those jobs were part-time and, hence, bereft of benefits of any kind.

The picture was quite bleak, as would be expected, for this town and a number of others that they discussed.

In particular, they spent a brief amount of time discussing crime in rural America, and noted that there were two segments of the criminal activity that were actually on the INCREASE relative to more urban trends. Those two segments were:
1. Drug use, owing a good amount of this to the use of crystal meth by the rural kids
2. Bank robbery, as in more urban settings, every bank has a security officer, a camera, and a cop not too far away. Rural banks are less secure in nearly every way, and rural folk are poor enough to be looking for the quick buck.

Ultimately, rural America is becoming an increasingly smaller and insignificant portion of the nation.

Whether this is good or bad, I don't know. I'd been imagining retiring to a small town. If they're all but gone when I retire, well, I guess I'll retire to a big town...

Dave

Then again this phenomenon is hardly new: Way back in 1983, the Pretenders sang these lyrics:

The farms of Ohio,
Have been replaced by shopping malls -
And Muzak filled the air,
From Seneca to Cuyahoga Falls.


Interestingly, the song that includes these lines - My City Was Gone - is used as the opening theme of Rush Limbaugh's radio show (although it fades out before any of the words begin).
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Old 04-05-2004, 04:16 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally posted by MountaineerDave
Ravi has the belief that destruction of small town businesses (and hence, the towns themselves) is orth trading for cheap prices and under-employment, not me.

Dave
I would prefer if you didn't put words into my mouth. Whether I agree or disagree with the closing of small town businesses because of the likes of Wal-Marts is not the issue, nor has it ever been. My point in this post, which you possibly missed, is that it is the nature of the business cycle, as I already said...if it wasn't Wal-mart doing the closing, it would be some other big company. On and off this board, we've read so many Americans boast of their capitalist economy, Wal-mart(s) are the consequence of such a system, so what's the problem?

And your comment regarding unemployment only tells half a story (if even that), so I'm not going to defend it because I don't even think it's a fair comment. Maybe you should go back and find out how many people were employed by those seven small businesses and compare that to the number of people employed by the Wal-mart.

Quote:
When one business literally employs most of the town (eek, scary thought), it's kind of like a monopoly
Com'on, what world do you live in?? Go back in history and see how little towns were formed, and you will notice alot of them were formed by a successful business. Steel manufacturing, etc etc. It has never been uncommon to have the majority population of a small town employed by one company.
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Old 04-05-2004, 04:32 PM   #43
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The Talking Heads had a different take on the matter, but making the same point, with their ironic (and a little post-apolcalyptic) (Nothing But) Flowers:

There was a shopping mall
Now it's all covered with flowers

This used to be real estate
Now it's only fields and trees
Where, where is the town
Now, it's nothing but flowers
The highways and cars
Were sacrificed for agriculture

Once there were parking lots
Now it's a peaceful oasis

This was a Pizza Hut
Now it's all covered with daisies

I miss the honky tonks,
Dairy Queens, and 7-Elevens

And as things fell apart
Nobody paid much attention



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Old 04-08-2004, 02:18 AM   #44
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You guys definetely picked a powderkeg discussion. Like it or not, this is capitalism in its "glory". With the good comes the not so good. I moved to a small town (7000) & saw Walmart come to town to the dismay of some small business owners. While I agreed it's a shame to run out those businesses, I found it very hypocritical of some to point out the low wages at Walmart while they themselves were paying minimum wage. Bulk buying power has sunk many a business. When my business was killed by 2 larger companies, I took it as the way it was. It's just the nature of the beast.

I would like to see Walmart "contained" to some degree but that goes against the principle of free enterprise. I think this will always be the by-product without much that can be done. A catch-22 if you will. If someone finds a happy medium, I'd be willing to listen....
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Old 04-08-2004, 03:49 PM   #45
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Tarkus-- I think the time for happy mediums is dead, sorry to say.

Unless we all stop consuming at rates that make it reasonable to shop at low-cost stores like Walmart, et al, their likes will always have sway.

In time, there'll be one grocery, one dept store, one auto shop, one fast food place, and one hardware store. And then... well, it'll be too damn late, because we were kicking around being pissed off that Walmart came to town. The only way slow down the beast is not to shop there. But, for too many already, it's the endallbeall...

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