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  1. #51
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C.J.Woolf View Post
    When you identify yourself by what you're against, you don't have to ask yourself what you're for.
    As seen in the rise of "political correctness" following the fall of the Soviet Union. Luckily, we have something to define ourselves against, again. :rolleyes2:
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  2. #52
    Member warick's Avatar
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    Eternue, I'll get back to our discussion after I get home and I can pull out my copy of "The road to Serfdom". I think we agree on more than we disagree on, and perhaps it's more in how we define our words than anything else.

    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Just out of curiousity, since I follow US politics a lot but don't live in the states.

    Why the hell do I keep hearing "Except, he's a democrat". What the hell have republicans done for you, exactly? What exactly is it about "democrats" that you have been trained to hate, as a trigger, rather than even look at (either of) the groups' actual identities?

    I used to disbelieve that only 10% of the population has any political belief system... now I believe that it might be an overstatement. I would say ideologue (like) behaviour is more common than previously thought, and I'd say that more than 80% of voters are indeed irrationally inconsistent with their belief system.
    In American politics, if you vote for your candidate, you are essentially voting for the platform of their party. On most issues both parties have their opposite positions, so if you vote for a party because of one issue important to you, you're voting for all those other issues too, like it or not. Democrat and Republican politicians don't often vote counter to their party platforms for fear of losing respect of their peers and their constituencies.

    Obama, though I don't follow his campaign much because I already know I'm not voting for him, seems like a decent guy. I think I could be friends with him if we were peers. If someone asked me why I wasn't going to vote for him despite me liking his personality I could say "Because he's a democrat". and to me it would explain volumes in a few short words.

    You are right, many Republican politicians haven't lived up to the expectations of the people who did vote for them. You may be surprised (or not) that most Republicans are very unhappy with the people we voted for. But it's become a lesser of two evils situation, and we already know who the devil is (we're just praying we don't get double-crossed).


    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    That is what I mean by ideologues - the minority of the population that can actually grasp contradictory concepts, such as "lower taxes but more government programs" being mutually exclusive. It seems like the vast majority of the population hold contradictory political beliefs, meaning no coherent theory.

    You have those that talk about the sanctity of life, and stand firm on abortion... but somehow seem to warship war, military, and support such ventures, regardless of the viability or value in such an act.
    As far as irrationality with our belief system, I don't see it. I am against more government programs (that's a form of socialism and therefore a form of control aka- serfdom). But lower taxes actually does mean higher revenues for the government. It's counterintuitive, but bear with me please. Government lowers taxes => more incentive to invest in the private sector => economy grows with no extra effort required from the government. Or: A*B=C, where A=taxes, B= GNP, C=revenue. A goes down, B goes up, =>C goes up. I think the optimal tax rate is about 25-30%, the current tax rate in the US (when you take everything into account) is almost 50%.

    Worshipping war? Hardly. Al Qaeda attacked the US unprovoked, and killed thousands of US citizens. It wasn't even the first time, but it was the first time in 8 years with a President that would actually do something about it. Afghanistan was attacked in order to destroy Al Qaeda's power base, and most Americans/Republicans would have been happy to stop there. Iraq was attacked for many very good reasons, most of us weren't rooting for a war, but didn't lose any sleep over the decision to remove an evil dictator from power. The loss of life by US, Canadian, British and Iraqi soldiers (and many other countries) is sad, but it has to be weighed against the harm Saddam was causing and would have caused if we had done nothing.
    I was trying to formulate an argument of why killing in war is different than abortion dealing with the motivations behind it. But my conclusion for the former "They kill because someone has to die in order to meet their objective.", can be applied to abortion too. War is an impersonal thing for an invading army , killing in war isn't considered "murder", unless that person has surrendered already. I got this link from another thread. Basically liberals and conservatives have drastically different moral standards, and have difficulty understanding why the other doesn't see things the same way. Abortion falls under this dichotomy. Conservatives see it as immoral within or outside of a religious context. They just happen to use the Bible to justify their beliefs, because it's considered a credible source and is better than saying "Abortion is wrong because I think it is". Liberals see abortion as a moral non-issue, and the easiest way to justify it is to denounce Christianity and the Bible.
    Capital Punishment is easy, it can be argued three ways. Logically, by precedent and by the Bible. 1)There is substantive proof that for every murderer executed vice serving a life sentence, at least 10 murders are prevented (likely more). 2)Criminals have been executed by virtually every culture/government since time immemorial. 3)God said to do it. I have no problem executing criminals.
    I'm not being critical, I'm just trying to make you a better person.

  3. #53
    Senior Member htb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by warick View Post
    If someone asked me why I wasn't going to vote for him despite me liking his personality I could say "Because he's a democrat". and to me it would explain volumes in a few short words.
    Yes, and that's especially possible with a firm grasp of American politics as they have become over the last, say, fifteen years. For example: one who desires tax rates at levels lower than those of the present, is not only supportive of international trade without tariffs but celebrates outsourcing, eschews judicial assertions of penumbras "formed by emanations" and specifically impugns Roe v. Wade, among other convictions, will not likely find a national representative in the Democratic Party.

    But lower taxes actually does mean higher revenues for the government.
    Art Laffer recently gave better than he got.

    Basically liberals and conservatives have drastically different moral standards
    As I know the rhetoric, equivocation is necessary to compare the killing of a fetus with the killing of an armed man (in most cases in Afghanistan and Iraq, those deliberately without insignia, without openly carried arms, exclusively targeting civilians, etc.).

  4. #54
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by warick View Post
    As far as irrationality with our belief system, I don't see it.
    It wasn't a comment, it was a statement - applicable to both sides.

    But lower taxes actually does mean higher revenues for the government. It's counterintuitive, but bear with me please. Government lowers taxes => more incentive to invest in the private sector => economy grows with no extra effort required from the government. Or: A*B=C, where A=taxes, B= GNP, C=revenue. A goes down, B goes up, =>C goes up. I think the optimal tax rate is about 25-30%, the current tax rate in the US (when you take everything into account) is almost 50%.
    Higher taxes within an extremely large middle range has extremely high correlation with higher revenue, even over the long term. The Laffer curve is based solely upon the two tail ends and extrapolated theory. It shows no evidence for intermediate tax rates, nor allocation of taxes. Even if that was so, the argument would normally be about distortions vs externalities since the marginal differences tend to show up as stratification (read: corporatism in the modern world, or state owned factories previously, or any other form of forming plutocracy). If taxes are applied to externalities, the argument would be opposite - that government interference increases the long term GNP/Economic growth.


    See, the irony here is, of course, that republicans are less fiscally responsible and push the tax burden of their spending down to the middle class (via tax cuts to the top end). The net burden increases under republicans. So they don't reduce taxes at all - or rather, they do, but then increase spending, passing the burden down the line. Either way, specific to republicans or not, I don't see the statement being supported and I don't see how it would apply to republicans rather than libertarian. It'd actually apply to democrats before republicans, but more to any form that advocated lower government interference (which is neither democrats or republicans as a logical choice).

    However, this is interesting because this had absolutely nothing to do with anything I said in my OP. The research shows that there is no two party division on opinions or ideologies. In fact, you have a range of 5-7 core ideologies. The ideology that you brought up is associated to republicans but actually is unrelated.

    The triggers are entirely trained into the two party system - I want to know what those triggers are. Clearly taxes and abortions are two of them... and equally interesting is that the most common irrational and conflicting ideology happens to be along... taxes and government spending.

    Al Qaeda attacked the US unprovoked, and killed thousands of US citizens.
    definition: motiveless: occurring without motivation or provocation

    This is obviously not true since the "motive" was clearly expressed for over 15 years.

    As far as "unprovoked" goes, I suppose the same could be said about Saddam, right?

    Anyway, that's beside the point. The original survey more or less involved contradicting the value of life of a civilian vs an abortion, with conservatives siding strongly towards killing a civilian (or torturing, depending on the survey)... so long as it wasn't American. But this is just an extension of previous research - from the 40's when the first ideologue and consistency came up, all through the cold war and beyond.

    Iraq was attacked for many very good reasons, most of us weren't rooting for a war, but didn't lose any sleep over the decision to remove an evil dictator from power. The loss of life by US, Canadian, British and Iraqi soldiers (and many other countries) is sad, but it has to be weighed against the harm Saddam was causing and would have caused if we had done nothing.
    Anyway, again - I was talking about the last 100 years of politics, not this adminstration or the current wars. I see this administration as beyond either group - I can't imagine that people would defend their actions at this point... Although I suppose on it's own, it clarifies my original confusion.

    Basically liberals and conservatives have drastically different moral standards.
    My comment had nothing to do with different moral standards. It had to do with conflicting internal moral standards. Both sides are equally likely (although liberals tend to have more ideologues - less conflicting views, but I figure that once adjusted for education level, this would be gone) to have a lack of coherent political opinions.

    Actually, looking at the demographics and ideologies, I think I did resolve this for myself... and I think the original response is correct: it's religion. That's the most defining thing of the conservative movement. White church goers, that is. Although I suppose of equal significance is the level of education... but then that that gets into correlated effects. Regardless, it seems that, cause or correlation, it is religion and being white that causes the dominance in the one particular trained view (conservatism, as separate from libertarianism).

    So, the democratic triggers are trained from the conservative social climate. That makes sense since any attempt to break from the climate has a very powerful negative conditioning that would cause both external and internal feedback.

    This supports the individual personalities research too - essentially conservatives currently are made up of the RWA section of the populace, thus embracing unity and ethnocentrism... those are the visual and cultural ties that cause the group to hold the same views - it naturally follows that visual cultural views would become the triggers for the conservative group.

    Course, liberals have a segment of authoritarian groups (typical left institutions like environmentalism and animal rights)... It shifts back and forth. It's only recently - with the religious movement towards conservatism - that it has become so pronounced.

    [/rambling]

  5. #55
    Member warick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    It wasn't a comment, it was a statement - applicable to both sides.
    I just assumed it was because the rest of it seemed aimed at Republicans, not used solely as merely one example out of many that could have been used about either side.



    Higher taxes within an extremely large middle range has extremely high correlation with higher revenue, even over the long term. The Laffer curve is based solely upon the two tail ends and extrapolated theory. It shows no evidence for intermediate tax rates, nor allocation of taxes. Even if that was so, the argument would normally be about distortions vs externalities since the marginal differences tend to show up as stratification (read: corporatism in the modern world, or state owned factories previously, or any other form of forming plutocracy).
    There is a direct correlation between the drastic tax-cuts of JFK and Reagan and the subsequent economic growth and increased revenues. The long-term effects of this are difficult to judge, because some new clueless president (Nixon/Bush Sr, and yes I do realize they are both Reps.) always come along and raise taxes again.

    If taxes are applied to externalities, the argument would be opposite - that government interference increases the long term GNP/Economic growth.
    I'm not sure I understand, please explain.


    ...So, I've got to cut this short, I'll try to get back on later and finish....
    I'm not being critical, I'm just trying to make you a better person.

  6. #56
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by warick View Post
    I just assumed it was because the rest of it seemed aimed at Republicans, not used solely as merely one example out of many that could have been used about either side.
    I meant it specifically for those disliking democrats... but I guess I instinctively came from the POV of having multiple parties... I forget how polarised the US is/has become.



    There is a direct correlation between the drastic tax-cuts of JFK and Reagan and the subsequent economic growth and increased revenues. The long-term effects of this are difficult to judge, because some new clueless president (Nixon/Bush Sr, and yes I do realize they are both Reps.) always come along and raise taxes again.
    There is a potential correlation. There is no way to know if this indeed have an effect. (Although I would consider the old tax rates to be ridiculously high, so I don't discount the possibility). Similar situations have shown no correlation... the multitude of factors make it impossible to isolate that as a sole variable.


    I'm not sure I understand, please explain.
    In any situation where the free market offers inefficient management (environment, many forms of infrastructure, probably healthcare), the overall economy does better having some form of regulation, control or ownership by the public/central planner.

  7. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Just out of curiousity, since I follow US politics a lot but don't live in the states.

    Why the hell do I keep hearing "Except, he's a democrat". What the hell have republicans done for you, exactly? What exactly is it about "democrats" that you have been trained to hate, as a trigger, rather than even look at (either of) the groups' actual identities?
    Well, I'd say that it's because you're not voting for a candidate...you're voting for a brand. To reach the point where you are the nominee for either party, any independent thought has been hammered out of you. Personal views on a variety of issues are just window dressing. Let's say for example that Obama is named the Democratic nominee. (Just to be clear, everything I'm about to say is also true of any Republican.) Anything you previously related to Obama as a person is now irrelevant. I think by now American voters grasp this instinctively, which is why it might sound odd to you. This is why you can geniuinely like Obama as a person and say "Except, he's a Democrat". It's like having personal affection for someone who gets a job as an executioner. He may have been charming to you and he may even be ambivalent about capital punishment. But once he puts the cloak and mask on, he's a killer.

    Also, not to change train of thought completely, but your identification of religion as the main difference between Republicans and Democrats seems to be true right this second, but the religious right has only had a hand in Republican politics for 15 years or so. The proud Republican party of Barry Goldwater has been outright stolen by Christian wingnuts. I think the true difference is the idea of self-reliance vs. the idea of the benevolent state. Now, that may not be reflected in the behavior of elected leaders, but it's still the defining difference among the rank and file.

  8. #58
    Member warick's Avatar
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    Hey all. I'm just here to say I'm not trying to dodge this conversation. I'm on the last week of my college courses and my wife is having surgery in a few days: life has been busy. I'll respond when things settle down a bit.
    -Warick

  9. #59
    Senior Member lazyhappy's Avatar
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    I don't know much about obama but how the people on this forum are talking about him... i think i'd choose him over hilary... i mean i think hilary is deffinatley smart but i lost much respect for her when she went on the ellen degenerous (sp) and said she was against gay marriage... grrr

    and i agree with the others about how hilary is going to win...

    and i want to know:
    what's obama's oppinion on the war and gay marriage b4 i choose which one i like better... and hilary cliton's oppinion on the war too...

    so tell me...

    i don't want to read all ur posts to find out (if u said those facts atleast) and i am too lazy to look at websites or watch thier debates for all they say is too much shit.

    Vote Ron Paul.

    Meanwhile, Obama?...

    Weak. And a democrat. Two very bad things.
    OMG! i knew someone was going to pull that guy out of thier ass!...

    (in the words of my entp sister):

    i mean... ron paul's stupid too-good-to be-true lies are stealing the votes of the librals and democrates (the people who would vote for obama)...

    all politicians care about votes and ron paul is no exception... he's republican and he is trying to get the democratic and college student votes just like how hilary is trying to get the republican votes. they are lying it seems...

  10. #60
    Member warick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    There is a potential correlation. There is no way to know if this indeed have an effect. (Although I would consider the old tax rates to be ridiculously high, so I don't discount the possibility). Similar situations have shown no correlation... the multitude of factors make it impossible to isolate that as a sole variable.
    John Maynard Keynes:

    When, on the contrary, I show, a little elaborately, as in the ensuing chapter, that to create wealth will increase the national income and that a large proportion of any increase in the national income will accrue to an Exchequer, amongst whose largest outgoings is the payment of incomes to those who are unemployed and whose receipts are a proportion of the incomes of those who are occupied...
    Nor should the argument seem strange that taxation may be so high as to defeat its object, and that, given sufficient time to gather the fruits, a reduction of taxation will run a better chance than an increase of balancing the budget. For to take the opposite view today is to resemble a manufacturer who, running at a loss, decides to raise his price, and when his declining sales increase the loss, wrapping himself in the rectitude of plain arithmetic, decides that prudence requires him to raise the price still more--and who, when at last his account is balanced with nought on both sides, is still found righteously declaring that it would have been the act of a gambler to reduce the price when you were already making a loss.

    Testifying before Congress in 1977, Walter Heller, President Kennedy's Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, summarized:
    What happened to the tax cut in 1965 is difficult to pin down, but insofar as we are able to isolate it, it did seem to have a tremendously stimulative effect, a multiplied effect on the economy. It was the major factor that led to our running a $3 billion surplus by the middle of 1965 before escalation in Vietnam struck us. It was a $12 billion tax cut, which would be about $33 or $34 billion in today's terms, and within one year the revenues into the Federal Treasury were already above what they had been before the tax cut.
    Did the tax cut pay for itself in increased revenues? I think the evidence is very strong that it did.

    The Reagan Tax Cuts
    Prior to the tax cut, the economy was choking on high inflation, high interest rates, and high unemployment. All three of these economic bellwethers dropped sharply after the tax cuts. The unemployment rate, which peaked at 9.7 percent in 1982, began a steady decline, reaching 7.0 percent by 1986 and 5.3 percent when Reagan left office in January 1989.
    Inflation-adjusted revenue growth dramatically improved. Over the four years prior to 1983, federal income tax revenue declined at an average rate of 2.8 percent per year, and total government income tax revenue declined at an annual rate of 2.6 percent. Between 1983 and 1986, federal income tax revenue increased by 2.7 percent annually, and total government income tax revenue increased by 3.5 percent annually.
    The Laffer Curve: Past, Present, and Future

    The Laffer Curve does not address questions of envy and redistributionist politics. It only addresses the question of how to have the healthiest economy producing the highest income tax revenue.

    The Laffer Curve does not claim to know exactly what tax rate is the "right" tax rate. In fact, the only way to know if the current tax rates are too high is to lower them, and see whether revenues increase or not. If the revenues increase, the rates were too high. If the revenues decrease, the rates were too low. Of course, it would be equally valid to run the experiment the other way around: raise the tax rates and observe the results. The choice is the politicians' to make, based upon whether the current rates "seem" to be high or low. In 1981, the rates seemed rather high. The Laffer Curve experiment showed that the rates were, indeed, too high.

    Now, let us consider whether the Laffer Curve "failed" to deliver on its promises during the Reagan administration. Remember, the Laffer Curve does not promise to balance the budget. The Laffer Curve does not promise to solve social problems. The Laffer Curve does not promise to force elected representatives to propose and enact lower spending programs. The Laffer Curve only promises that, if the tax rates are too high and they get lowered, revenues will increase. Income taxes were lowered (and "flattened") during the Reagan administration. Income tax revenues increased. In fact, they increased a great deal. Unfortunately, neither the Republican Reagan administration nor the Democrat-controlled Congress were interested in lowering the rate of growth in federal spending. While the income tax revenues increased substantially, federal spending increased even more. The result was that the federal government ran up a staggering national debt. But please, let's not blame it on the Laffer Curve!
    Defending the Laffer Curve
    I'm not being critical, I'm just trying to make you a better person.

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