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  1. #61
    Feline Member kelric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aelan View Post
    there's sometimes a sense that America does not always know what she is doing/does not consider the consequences all too well?
    Unfortunately, I strongly suspect that those really making the decisions know *exactly* what they are doing. They may or may not know (or care, likely) much about the likely consequences of their actions on others, but some folks are making a lot of money off of all this. I bet they're pretty happy about it. Anyway, need to go run errands and get off of this topic before the steam starts coming out of my ears



  2. #62
    mrs disregard's Avatar
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    We need to quietly reform our country, keep to ourselves, and with effort and time, earn back our dignity.

  3. #63
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zergling View Post
    The "underdeveloped ESTJ" bit does make sense, though. The U.S. in the past has seemed to have had a more ESTP type of culture, but a lot of underdeveloped ESTJ issues some people have talked about here seem to resemble how an ESTP might be expected to act. It does seem that, with becoming a superpower in the 20th century, economic growth, and in general becoming an older, more built up country, that people would adjust to a more security and tradition oriented viewpoint, but would not have developed into that role all that well.
    I think the U.S. is essentially undergoing the same process that all empires undergo. There is always an era of assention where bold choices are made which place the empire "on top". After that the nation has to undergo a personality change to become more conservative. Once in this conservative phase the empire will gradually decay until replaced by another empire.

    This makes sense if you think about it though. One can only reach the top by making bold and "risky" decisions. Most nations that try this will fail, but a few will succeed and reach the "top". However once at the "top" it is not in a nation's best interest to change, because they have a lot more to risk in changing. A powerful military and a plea to cling to the "good old days" are just ways to encourage conservatism and retain the top spot as long as possible. All empires must come to an end, so the goal is really to retain the top spot as long as possible.

    America's eventual decay will likely come from our national debt which will eventually grow to a cripling size, because it is not in any leader's best interest to pay down the debt. At that point we will either fade quietly into obscurity or start declaring wars on our the ones we are indebted to. I think we still have a least a couple of decades though before we start seeing the more serious problems.
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  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelric View Post
    I agree with most of your post, Aelan, except for the line about


    Now I'm a long-time Bush administration hater, so I'm assuming that you're referring primarily to the current administration that centers around his viewpoints. Fact is, these viewpoints aren't in the best interests of many Americans who voted for him. Lowering taxes for the very wealthy, reducing support for public services, deceiving as an excuse to invade Iraq, reductions in civil liberties in the name of "combating terrorism", reductions in environmental standards, rendition and torture of prisoners, breaking the Geneva conventions, "signing statements" - I could go on, but you get the idea.

    The problem is that with the overwhelming power of media and its ability to influence voter opinion, the more important an election, the more important fund raising and campaigning are, and the less important actual leadership skills and actually doing what's best for the constituents are. So we wind up, more and more, with people in leadership roles who are good at getting elected, bought and paid for by those with something to gain (campaign contributors). Especially when the media is "hands off" with respect to reporting on information that people really need in order to make an informed decision. The strategy seems to be to gather a set of "pushbutton issue" positions to get people rabidly focused more on voting for you or against your opponent based on specific, often irrational fears rather than on an overall evaluation of a candidate's position and past actions.

    Wish I had an answer.
    Kelric, this was what I was referring to, that interest groups sway votes too much, and as you've pointed out, not always for the common good of America herself, let alone global policy?

    My question (and frustration, I'll admit) is, wouldn't the general voting public have learnt from the Bush lessons, but how are they making their choices this time around? Still the same, based on what buttons are pushed? How could there be an effective change if the choices are being made on the same grounds?

    And it frustrates me even more when folks do not vote as well. By not making a choice, aren't you making a choice too?

    Re economics & tax reductions for the rich, I came across this interesting barstool philosophy:

    "Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

    The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
    The fifth would pay $1.
    The sixth would pay $3.
    The seventh would pay $7.
    The eighth would pay $12.
    The ninth would pay $18.
    The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
    So, that's what they decided to do.

    The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20." Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.


    The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?' They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay. And so:


    The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
    The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
    The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
    The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
    The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
    The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

    Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

    "I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man," but he got $10!"

    "Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!"

    "That's true!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

    "Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

    The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

    The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

    And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier."

  5. #65
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    Excellent analogy. I've always been opposed to increasing tax brackets.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

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    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  6. #66

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    Aelan, I love that story. I think that while it's generally true, there is something left out of it, and that is the salaries of each man. They are only described as poor, middle class and rich.

    In America today, the difference in the salaries of the first eight or nine men would be statistically insignificant when compared to that of the tenth man. While the tenth man pays a lot more than the others, the money he pays impacts his real-world standard of living much less than it does to the other nine. The tenth man would also have lawyers and accountants that would make shady side deals with the bartender to avoid paying his full share. Finally, due to his stature and economic power, an argument could be made that the tenth man is served a fine Belgian ale while the other nine are served Budweiser in a can.

    This is why I'm in favor of a flat tax with no deductions. If that were the case, your story would end happily before the bartender offers the $20 refund. Different tax brackets are all fine and well, except that they are easily circumnavigated with deductions and fancy lawyering, which is expensive and not available to all.

  7. #67
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dana View Post
    We need to quietly reform our country, keep to ourselves, and with effort and time, earn back our dignity.
    Hell yeah.

    Is it just me or does it seem like America is a rugby scrum and the ball is "the american dream"? It just seems to me like America has no idea what a heart of democracy should do and the only thing the hands are doing is trying to pick the next guys pocket. There's no washing involved.

    Definitely ESTJ though. The whole well defined parameters which neatly circumnavigate all the areas which really need addressing but which will involve pain and directly address any issue which can be bullied or smote into surrender. That's ESTJ. If it was an ESTP they wouldn't recognise the "don not touch areas" and certainly wouldn't have stayed in Iraq. It would have been boring after only a couple of weeks.

    Let's face it, any country which has that much discrepancy between the haves and the have nots should really be looking at what they are doing wrong. Has all the tornado damage been fixed yet? Are you supposed to wait until the president has secured his Caviar supplies for the net twenty years with military action before he looks into it or is it higher up the agenda?

    Anyhow I think that divorcing from trying to "lead by example" and looking more toward perfecting what is would reap more benefit than forming a committee on how wonderful the states is.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    Definitely ESTJ though. The whole well defined parameters which neatly circumnavigate all the areas which really need addressing but which will involve pain and directly address any issue which can be bullied or smote into surrender. That's ESTJ. If it was an ESTP they wouldn't recognise the "don not touch areas" and certainly wouldn't have stayed in Iraq. It would have been boring after only a couple of weeks.
    You seem to have read my posts wrong. i was saying that the U.S. in the past seemed to be more of an ESTP oriented country, that as it got older, developed institutions, etc., developed into an more ESTJ oriented country, but hasn't had time to develop in that role, and still has a lot of leftovers from the past culture, which cause the "immature ESTJ" effect. (A lot of descriptions of immature ESTJs have qualities that resemble what an ESTP might be expected to do.)

  9. #69
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zergling View Post
    You seem to have read my posts wrong. i was saying that the U.S. in the past seemed to be more of an ESTP oriented country, that as it got older, developed institutions, etc., developed into an more ESTJ oriented country, but hasn't had time to develop in that role, and still has a lot of leftovers from the past culture, which cause the "immature ESTJ" effect. (A lot of descriptions of immature ESTJs have qualities that resemble what an ESTP might be expected to do.)
    Sorry the response wasn't tailored to answer you completely.

    It's always been ESTJ. America has always been about groups, cliques, teams, etc etc. It's always been organised into groups and those groups have always been insular.

    All I can see throughout all I've seen of the USA is "We are the bestest and yuz poo" from each and every organisation. Of course the refined ones try to conceal it in fancier words and the more proactive ones write it on bullets. It's all roses to me.

    Oh one thing I did forget to address which you said, there's a large yawning gap in between not being very good at speeches and being that bad. Also the whole body language, eyes and mannerisms just tell you that the guy couldn't have won the presidency in a theocracy even if the opposition were five year olds!
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  10. #70
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    It's always been ESTJ. America has always been about groups, cliques, teams, etc etc. It's always been organised into groups and those groups have always been insular.

    All I can see throughout all I've seen of the USA is "We are the bestest and yuz poo" from each and every organisation. Of course the refined ones try to conceal it in fancier words and the more proactive ones write it on bullets. It's all roses to me.
    Honestly, I agree. I can see some of this attitude even in the original opposition to British policies. The colonies did get a little too accustomed to not paying British taxes and then balked when the laws were enforced. On some level, after reading the history, I feel like the United States brought a lot of the negative regulatory policies on itself by resisting lighter ones so vehemently. So they weren't completely justified in declaring independence. Although I like the principles of the nation we eventually became.

    Not to mention that to this day, people who aren't energetic enough to participate strongly in community activities and get an education at the same time are still looked down on in many ways when seeking employment.
    Oh one thing I did forget to address which you said, there's a large yawning gap in between not being very good at speeches and being that bad. Also the whole body language, eyes and mannerisms just tell you that the guy couldn't have won the presidency in a theocracy even if the opposition were five year olds!
    I do think that I could have delivered a speech better than he usually does after taking Communications Applications in High School.

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