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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    The issue with the social safety net is that the people who are required to pay into it, in order for it to function, do not want to do so. Furthermore, they have the political power to assure that they do not have to pay into it. They have this political power as a result of their vast fortunes. Others no longer have the power to shift policy in another direction that they once did, as their relative wealth has diminished.

    As long as campaigns cost money, wealth disparity leads to political inequality. Political inequality leads to social problems, because people have competing interests. As wealth disparity grows, so does the competition between those interests. It's a self-perpetuating cycle.
    I do agree with the cyclical issues you mentioned surrounding inequality, but there are also some very structural issues with our healthcare system, and entitlement programs that will need to be addressed (read modernized) for us to be able to move forward.

  2. #32
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    I definitely agree. The party system has commandeered what used to be system of smart individuals allowed to use their best judgement.

    Now we have parties basically enforcing entrenched group think to the extent that not many exciting or promising ideas come out of our politicians these days for fear of stepping over the party line.

    We need to allow our leaders to have original thoughts. Leaders like the moderate stalwart Olympia Snowe.
    Yes, well said.

    I'm tremendously flattered that you think so.
    That's how us INFP's inspire and take care of our ESTJ's / ENTJ's ...

    I'll be back to share some more thoughts ... I am happy you are interested in having a dialogue here and am interested in your opinions. It might not change my more liberal stance on certain matters, but it is always useful to engage in productive discussion. Living in the US has certainly broadened my feelings on the topics at hand.
    "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
    Eleanor Roosevelt


    "When people see some things as beautiful,
    other things become ugly.
    When people see some things as good,
    other things become bad."
    Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

  3. #33
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    I do agree with the cyclical issues you mentioned surrounding inequality, but there are also some very structural issues with our healthcare system, and entitlement programs that will need to be addressed (read modernized) for us to be able to move forward.
    We can't fix those structural issues, because effective solutions are contrary to the interests of most of the rich in this country. The system remains broken because they can exploit the flaws to their advantage.

  4. #34
    Junior Member nharkey's Avatar
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    I certainly agree with you that electing Romney, ( or any serious conservative candidate) is only a small step in the right direction. I think people see Bill Buckley's idea of the conservative position (rough quote) "standing athwart history yelling Stop", as meaning that conservatives are against all change, in principle, but I think not. In my mind he was reflecting the fact that the history of left and right has been a slow, jerky, but never ending slide to the left, and if there is hope for the future, that has to stop. William Voegeli's book "Never Enough" makes this point very well. What conservatism needs is a thorough going examination of what it would propose as a best possible world of capitalist accomplishment and humane provision of a safety net for those who truly will sink without it. This needs to look honestly at the fact that people (and groups) genuinely differ in intelligence, motivation, etc. and will never have equal results in an equal opportunity world (but what politician wants to touch that), and it needs to recognize that beyond a certain point, having money gives you the great advantage that money can make money, as well as your labor making money--something we seldom admit. Questions like how we help people who genuinely need help without undermining the will to strive in others who merely would like help are all part of this. It is not "what is your fair share" but what is your fair-enough share. We certainly have conservative writers and intellectuals thinking about all of this, but we have no public long-range goals that I am aware of.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    We can't fix those structural issues, because effective solutions are contrary to the interests of most of the rich in this country.
    We agree on much, and as always I greatly value your opinion and have in the past had my personal understanding of issues broadened by your enlightening perspective, but here we disagree.

    Just because the financial incentives for the corporate oligarchy necessarily lead them to fight against structural change, does not mean that the people (should they be well informed on the issues, and prepared to vote in those who will look out for their best interests) can't vote in those that do have the courage and political will to govern in the best interests of the nation, not just in the interest of getting reelected.

    Should things keep stagnating or slowly getting worse the people will eventually spit on their hands hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats to quote Mencken. I hope this doesn't happen literally. I just think we will get to a point where the people will have had enough and change things (by whatever means necessary).

    This is why I'm excited whether or not the gov't fixes things.

    If they do then great.

    If they don't... well I do keep my powder dry.

  6. #36
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    We agree on much, and as always I greatly value your opinion and have in the past had my personal understanding of issues broadened by your enlightening perspective, but here we disagree.

    Just because the financial incentives for the corporate oligarchy necessarily lead them to fight against structural change, does not mean that the people (should they be well informed on the issues, and prepared to vote in those who will look out for their best interests) can't vote in those that do have the courage and political will to govern in the best interests of the nation, not just in the interest of getting reelected.

    Should things keep stagnating or slowly getting worse the people will eventually spit on their hands hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats to quote Mencken. I hope this doesn't happen literally. I just think we will get to a point where the people will have had enough and change things (by whatever means necessary).

    This is why I'm excited whether or not the gov't fixes things.

    If they do then great.

    If they don't... well I do keep my powder dry.
    It's hard to vote for the right people when the right people won't get nominated. That's because they can't afford the campaign, the (corporate) media won't give them equal time, or will cast them as a "fringe" candidate, even when their positions are concurrent with most of the population.

    Maybe things will come to a head, but that process would be thoroughly unpleasant, if it were to come to pass.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    It's hard to vote for the right people when the right people won't get nominated. That's because they can't afford the campaign, the (corporate) media won't give them equal time, or will cast them as a "fringe" candidate, even when their positions are concurrent with most of the population.

    Maybe things will come to a head, but that process would be thoroughly unpleasant, if it were to come to pass.
    Totally agree.

    Although if well prepared for, a collapse wouldn't be that unpleasant to weather.

  8. #38
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    I think the major flaw in the American system right now comes down to two unequivocally opposed views that must be meshed together to create a stable form of government. I'm talking about capitalism and socialism of course, but since those have become loaded terms nowadays, I would like to think of it as individualism vs. egalitarianism.

    Let's assume we have a group of 25 hardworking people and a farm. 1 person "owns" the farm and can comfortably employ only 19 people to work on it in a typical year. (By comfortably, let's say to a standard in which all who work on the farm may achieve a comfortable living.)

    The owner employs his workers, screening for the most productive workers. Five remain unemployed. They can do odd jobs here and there, but there's no consistent work for them. They might not make ends meet to survive.

    Let's say it was a typical year for the farm, and the 20 were able to make it, and 3 weren't. 2 scraped by. We have 22 workers. The farm owner made a profit.

    The next year comes by. It is a really bad year all around. The farmer has to lay off three people to save expenses. At the end of the year, 18 made it, 1 scraped by, and 3 couldn't make it. There are 19 workers. The farm owner made a profit, albeit less than expected.

    The next year is typical or pretty good, but the farmer doesn't have enough workers to make full use of his farm. All 19 make it, but the revenue to sustain two more is lost. The farm owner made a physical profit, but could have made much more had s/he been able to hire more workers.


    Just like it is now in the U.S. the owners make the most profit while those at the bottom suffer. In this very, very crude scenario, it would have made more sense for the employed group to share some of its revenue with those who were struggling. It makes economic sense; however, we come into the problem of figuring out how to divide their revenue streams. Does everyone take a cut so everyone is a little worse off (except the original five?) How would it then be fair for those who didn't work to receive the same amount as those who did? In real life, very few workers would stand for such treatment especially if they will not recover their potential earnings in a prolonged recession.

    Say we find a way we can tax the workers and provide for the ones who aren't. We still run into the problem of those who would try to game the system, whether it be through malice or opportunity as well as the problem of figuring out how they must be dealt with. Does the potential for scammers reduce the merit of the welfare tax? This just infuriates the hard-working individuals more, which makes them want to revert the system so that it won't happen...even though it doesn't work in a recession.

    The problem I see with the U.S. is that there is no rational discussion surrounding this topic. We cannot come to an agreement that would make people give up what they feel they've earned to those who are less fortunate without huge backlash. Furthermore, even if we did come to a consensus agreement, its implementation is likely to fail due to bureaucratization and political backlash from its detractors and those who would try and exploit the system.



    tl;dr:

    My question, simple as it is, I still don't have a satisfactory answer for: What is the proper balance between individual growth and economic protection?
    Ti = 19 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Te = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ne = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fi = 15 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Si = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ni = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Se = 11[][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fe = 0

    -----------------
    Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
    Man got to sit and wonder why, why, why;
    Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
    Man got to tell himself he understand

  9. #39
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    I will not support someone that supports increasing military spending by the trillions by creating a military-industrial-complex. I will not support someone that follows Grover Norquist's example. I will not support a group of people who don't follow their word (the GOP actually wanted to stop the automatic across the board spending cuts, but only the military portion of the bill.)

    I will not support someone who believe we can fix this economy and job market by cuts alone, nor will I support someone that sympathizes with corporations.

    I will not support a party bases' issues if all they were trying to do for 4 years were to be an obstructionist.

    I will not support them until they let go of Grover Norquist. I'd rather support no one than support Romney.

    I will not support the GOP as it is because I've seen their agenda.

    And that is my rant. Only 2016 can we tell if there is a better president. As of now, I really don't like either of them but Romney is a de facto NO!

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rail Tracer View Post
    I will not support someone that supports increasing military spending by the trillions by creating a military-industrial-complex. I will not support someone that follows Grover Norquist's example. I will not support a group of people who don't follow their word (the GOP actually wanted to stop the automatic across the board spending cuts, but only the military portion of the bill.)

    I will not support someone who believe we can fix this economy and job market by cuts alone, nor will I support someone that sympathizes with corporations.

    I will not support a party bases' issues if all they were trying to do for 4 years were to be an obstructionist.

    I will not support them until they let go of Grover Norquist. I'd rather support no one than support Romney.

    I will not support the GOP as it is because I've seen their agenda.

    And that is my rant. Only 2016 can we tell if there is a better president. As of now, I really don't like either of them but Romney is a de facto NO!
    If you had read the article, or had been following what I've been saying you would know that I'm not on the wrong side of any of the things you mentioned.

    I personally think that our foreign policy perspective, is far too interventionist to be sustainable. Basically we spend so much on our military that other countries spend less on theirs and benefit from our policy of global policing.

    We can't expect the US do fight every ally's war for them. We will need to reduce our commitment to foreign military bases, and entrenched land assets abroad.

    With the force projection capabilities of the Navy, we could maintain a substantial global presence without having the massive commitment to foreign bases.

    Also, nowhere did I say I cared one fig what Grover Norquist thinks.

    And in fact, his brand of nay saying is exactly the problem.

    In fact given the vagueness of your platitudes, I wonder whether you've understood anything we're talking about here at all.

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