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  1. #181
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Opposing the influence of corporations in politics is a lot like opposing big government; its a statement of broad ideological principle, not a list of 'clear-cut' policy options.
    Not really, if you do it indirectly. It can just be a reinstatement (with ameliorating revisions) of the policies that corporate and financial lobbyists have eroded over the years. For instance, Glass-Steagall. Perhaps the campaign contributions issue is a bit tougher to tackle, I'll admit.

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Its also difficult to pursue the former agenda without extreme restrictions on free speech and political association rights, and without empowering the Party leadership at the expense of the accountability of individual representatives to their constituents (wich would result in, uh, oligarchy)-which is exactly why 'clear-cut' policy demands are needed when protesting on that basis.
    Not really. If we waited until we had "clear cut" solutions for these complex problems, we'd probably not do anything at all. Also, could you explain the bolded a little more?
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

  2. #182
    Senior Member redcheerio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    Most sane people reject warfare. This is class warfare, after all. Demanding transparency in campaign funding is class warfare. The notion of the wealthy paying a larger share of taxes than the poor is class warfare. Forming a union is class warfare. Providing health care is class warfare. We are America. We are war.
    OK, so I take it you are a hardcore libertarian, maybe an anarchist? Or are you being facetious?

    Even with a flat tax system, which some libertarians support, the wealthy would pay a larger share of taxes.

    But if you're referring to income tax and increasing percentages of income tax at higher incomes, and equating that to class warfare, then you're saying that every first world country in the world operates by class warfare.

    Or maybe I'm missing something. Got any examples of first world countries that don't do this?

  3. #183
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redcheerio View Post
    OK, so I take it you are a hardcore libertarian, maybe an anarchist? Or are you being facetious?

    Even with a flat tax system, which some libertarians support, the wealthy would pay a larger share of taxes.

    But if you're referring to income tax and increasing percentages of income tax at higher incomes, and equating that to class warfare, then you're saying that every first world country in the world operates by class warfare.

    Or maybe I'm missing something. Got any examples of first world countries that don't do this?
    Income tax is only one tax. There are many more.

  4. #184
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    Erm. Yes. But You're misinterpreting the facts.

    Have any of you seen those countries? Or compared standard of living between a middle class person there, and the middle class here?
    Yes, there's higher income disparity, but there are more people who are wealthier HERE than there are anywhere in the world. We've got it pretty good here in America. The people living on welfare here live better than most anyone else in the world. India being a perfect example.
    Maybe if you want to compare us to Africa. Compare us to the rest of the first world, however, and I wouldn't say that. There is a point where people in a country with a low GDP PC and a lower GINI can actually be fairing better than people in a country with the higher GDP PC and GINI.


    Quote Originally Posted by INA View Post
    Actually, there are pockets of population in the U.S. where life expectancy is lower and infant mortality is higher than in places like India/third world countries.
    For example:
    The CIA has figures on general life expectancy, infant mortality, and maternal mortality rates. It is interesting to see what nations are ahead of us.
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  5. #185
    Senior Member captain curmudgeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redcheerio View Post
    OK, so I take it you are a hardcore libertarian, maybe an anarchist? Or are you being facetious?

    Even with a flat tax system, which some libertarians support, the wealthy would pay a larger share of taxes. But if you're referring to income tax and increasing percentages of income tax at higher incomes, and equating that to class warfare, then you're saying that every first world country in the world operates by class warfare.

    Or maybe I'm missing something. Got any examples of first world countries that don't do this?
    I'm pretty sure he was being facetious.

  6. #186
    Senior Member redcheerio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    Income tax is only one tax. There are many more.
    Quote Originally Posted by wheelchairdoug View Post
    I'm pretty sure he was being facetious.
    I figured probably, but you never know. And I didn't read his other posts for a background perspective of his opinion. But I guess that smartass smirk on his avatar's face gives it away.

  7. #187
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    Not really, if you do it indirectly. It can just be a reinstatement (with ameliorating revisions) of the policies that corporate and financial lobbyists have eroded over the years. For instance, Glass-Steagall. Perhaps the campaign contributions issue is a bit tougher to tackle, I'll admit.

    Not really. If we waited until we had "clear cut" solutions for these complex problems, we'd probably not do anything at all. Also, could you explain the bolded a little more?
    The Glass-Steagall act concerns economic regulation; one could argue that its elimination has negative economic/social-political affects and/or is a byproduct of Corporate influence, but it doesn't address Corporate influence itself. As for (direct) campaign contributions, that's the easiest aspect of Corporate influence to address; simply limit the amount they and other organized groups can contribute to political campaigns. Its the indirect contributions (such as issue ads and supplementary interests groups) that run into Constitutional and rights infringement issues.

    The primary system is a major component of the institutions that make representatives in the United States more accountable to their constituents than to oligarchic party bosses; candidates that are not favored by the party leadership rely on interest group assistance (either through indirect advocacy or donations) to compete against the favored candidates. Even candidates who recieve most of their campaign money through individual contributions (which is almost all of them) rely on various civic groups to put their name out there, especially when they lack the capacity to fund their own campaign (i.e. they are not rich).

    When you interfere with indirect Corporate influence, you handicap the system in favor of political machines and against the capacity of Civic interests groups of all kinds to organize in favor of policies and political candidates; that's why 'clear cut' policy proposals are necessary, to limit the unintended consequences of populist agendas.

  8. #188
    Senior Member redcheerio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    The Glass-Steagall act concerns economic regulation; one could argue that its elimination has negative economic/social-political affects and/or is a byproduct of Corporate influence, but it doesn't address Corporate influence itself. As for (direct) campaign contributions, that's the easiest aspect of Corporate influence to address; simply limit the amount they and other organized groups can contribute to political campaigns. Its the indirect contributions (such as issue ads and supplementary interests groups) that run into Constitutional and rights infringement issues.

    The primary system is a major component of the institutions that make representatives in the United States more accountable to their constituents than to oligarchic party bosses; candidates that are not favored by the party leadership rely on interest group assistance (either through indirect advocacy or donations) to compete against the favored candidates. Even candidates who recieve most of their campaign money through individual contributions (which is almost all of them) rely on various civic groups to put their name out there, especially when they lack the capacity to fund their own campaign (i.e. they are not rich).

    When you interfere with indirect Corporate influence, you handicap the system in favor of political machines and against the capacity of Civic interests groups of all kinds to organize in favor of policies and political candidates; that's why 'clear cut' policy proposals are necessary, to limit unintended consequences.
    It sounds like you are making an important point, but I don't quite understand the bolded part. Elaborate?

  9. #189
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redcheerio View Post
    It sounds like you are making an important point, but I don't quite understand the bolded part. Elaborate?
    Political machines rely, in part, on an oligarchy that controls a.) who represents specific districts and b.) the votes of such representatives by controlling the resources necessary to compete in the political sphere. Primary candidates (as well as representatives who wish to vote differently than the way the party leadership desires) need to be able to independently raise campaign resources and develop a support base in order to overcome the leverage that the party leadership would otherwise hold over them. This is why political campaigns are so expensive in the United States; in most other countries, the party leadership holds sufficient leverage to control the votes (and to a large extent, even the candidancy) of national representatives, in effect making political campaigns a national duel between political parties rather than at least 435 separate duels between individual candidates, after such candidates had previously dueled against primary opponents.

    As for the capacity of civic groups to organize, Corporate-influenced civic groups organize the same way and under the same legal principles as other interests groups; regulations intended for the former will necessarily affect the latter.

  10. #190
    Senior Member Wanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Maybe if you want to compare us to Africa. Compare us to the rest of the first world, however, and I wouldn't say that. There is a point where people in a country with a low GDP PC and a lower GINI can actually be fairing better than people in a country with the higher GDP PC and GINI.
    I suppose the reason I find this hard to believe is because my economics textbook did something interesting; it showed a photo of an average American family with a median income outside their home/property with all their possessions. And did the same for England, France, and so on, all the way down to africa where it was a mud hut and a bunch of people with baskets and one or two metal pots. [Principles of Macroeconomics, Gregory Mankiw, 8th edition]

    We *did* have the largest "pile" of stuff. We also had the nicest stuff.
    And I know the CIA factbook has lots of figures in it; But I also agree with Mark Twain when he said that "There are lies, there are damned lies, and then there are statistics."

    One of my parents is an immigrant, and none of the immigrants I've known (german, canadian, ecuadorian, mexican and filipino) have tried to tell me that America's standard of living is worse than their country's was.. just the opposite. The Canuck's said that their health system was better for checkups and vaccinations etc, but shit for anything major (yay waiting lists)

    America needs reform, yes, but I think the way to reform it lies in reduction of government and changing the tax code - last time we had a public outcry against the greedy rich - we passed the 16th amendment (Federal Income tax) on the slogan "SOAK THE RICH"; and the rich wrote laws with loopholes to save their money, and the middle class still pays the brunt of that income tax. Lawyers work for the rich, and the common man is screwed whenever he gets into a fight with the law. I'd prefer reduction of social programs and switching to something like a flat income tax or a national sales tax.

    To me, it looks a lot like the people at these rallies are chanting "soak the rich"
    Historically speaking, that's never worked out well for us.

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