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  1. #31
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    The problem was economic malaise...

    And he was arguing that too much government was the problem...
    And at the time, Reagan wasn't wrong. Now the problem is lack of demand, so supply-side approaches are not the solution. Too much government also wasn't the cause of the great recession.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    I agree that he is largely a pragmatist, but he does actually have strong socialist tendencies and sympathies.

    You don't have the NY Times asking you if you're a socialist after you've been inaugurated for no reason whatsoever...
    Nope, there was a reason: response to hyperbole (calling Obama a socialist) on the right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    Why is that?
    Because ObamaCare is fundamentally based on Republican proposals from years before, and extremely similar to RomneyCare (as has been pointed out many times). RomneyCare was praised by the Heritage Foundation, who had a hand in some of its provisions. The individual mandate was created as a conservative solution to the "free rider" problem (yes, that's a bit of a simplification). It's far from a socialist single-payer system.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    And at the time, Reagan wasn't wrong. Now the problem is lack of demand, so supply-side approaches are not the solution.
    Lack of demand is one of the problems, but it is not the only problem.

    There are other problems as well, including:
    • fear of the costs of Obamacare holding back hiring
    • fear of investing in business in general because our country's fiscal house is so out of whack and is clearly on an unsustainable path
    • fear of rising taxes and non-Obamacare regulations

    And a more small-government, fiscally-conservative, supply-side-friendly approach would help alleviate these issues.

    (simply not passing Obamacare would've been a pretty decent start...)



    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    Too much government also wasn't the cause of the great recession.
    That's not entirely accurate.

    Some of the causes had to do with too much government:
    • the Basel II banking regulations, and the way they incentivized banks to increase mortgage lending, by making capital requirements on mortgages lower than on other assets.
    • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were huge causes of this crisis, in general, enabling the entire system of mortgage securitization and the belief that risk could just be passed on to the next guy down the chain.
    • The requirements that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac increase mortgage lending to poorer minority groups -- pushed by Bill Clinton, Barney Frank, and yes, Barack Obama -- incentivized the mortgage system to extend too much credit to subprime borrowers.

    There are also causes of the crisis that had to do with too little government, and especially ones that had to do with just poorly administered government, but to say that big government had no role in causing this crisis is completely false.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    Nope, there was a reason: response to hyperbole (calling Obama a socialist) on the right.
    I think the whole tone of that exchange tells a different story.

    Even Obama didn't sound fully convinced when he said that he is not.

    I'm not saying it didn't have anything to do with people on the right calling him a Socialist.

    But, I mean, let's be real, I have liberal friends who actually have the balls to openly call themselves Socialists.

    And, frankly, most people who vote Democrat are just like them, and are, to some degree, Socialists.

    The word just has such a nasty connotation here, people don't like to admit it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    Because ObamaCare is fundamentally based on Republican proposals from years before, and extremely similar to RomneyCare (as has been pointed out many times). RomneyCare was praised by the Heritage Foundation, who had a hand in some of its provisions. The individual mandate was created as a conservative solution to the "free rider" problem (yes, that's a bit of a simplification).
    This is all true, but RomneyCare was a state solution, not Federal, and still, just because it solves the free-rider problem or came from conservative thinkers in the early 90s doesn't necessarily mean it's not essentially a Socialist policy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    It's far from a socialist single-payer system.
    It's increasing government control over the economy, is it not?

    It's expanding government spending, is it not?

    It's doing so in order to help the disadvantaged, is it not?

    Frankly, I'm not necessarily against the ideas in Obamacare, I just thought it was absolutely stupid and wrong to pass it at the time that they did. It created a giant regulatory uncertainty for businesses, which is undeniably bad for hiring, right in the midst of the worst economic crisis and employment environment in 80 years. Fucking retarded move. Reason why they got their asses thrown out of Congress in 2010, and more-or-less the catalyst behind the Tea Party movement.

  3. #33
    Senior Member Wolfie's Avatar
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    I heard about this yesterday. I barfed in my mouth a little bit.
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  4. #34
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    Lack of demand is one of the problems, but it is not the only problem.

    There are other problems as well, including:
    • fear of the costs of Obamacare holding back hiring
    • fear of investing in business in general because our country's fiscal house is so out of whack and is clearly on an unsustainable path
    • fear of rising taxes and non-Obamacare regulations
    Honestly, I feel like you are getting more into "alternative facts" territory here. Trying to play the confidence game (via austerity) during recessions has proved ineffective where it has been tried.. it mostly leads to massive deleveraging (how could it not, by removing one of the sources of income and spending not directly affected by demand). Lack of demand is killing small business and hiring, not tax and regulation (and uncertainty about the same). Freddy and Fannie were not the primary creators of demand for sub-prime mortages, and Obamacare largely keeps private insurers and employer paid healthcare.

    I'd personally love a single-payer alternative, but that's not currently available if one is under 65.

    Meanwhile, our healthcare system is broken, with the US paying more than other industrialized nations for worse outcomes. At least ObamaCare broadens the ranks of the insured and helps solve the free rider problem. From a Heritage Foundation article on Romney's plan in 2006:
    … to allow people to go without health insurance, and then when they do fall ill expect someone else to pay the tab for their treatment is a de facto mandate on providers and taxpayers. Romney proposes to take that option off the table, leaving only two choices: Either buy insurance or pay for your own care. Not an unreasonable position, and one that is clearly consistent with conservative values.
    ObamaCare is messy and shows all the signs of being a compromise, and one based mostly on a conservative approach. Yes, it's not free but, conversely, it should greatly expand healthcare coverage to populations lacking now (horrible, I know). One of its key provisions is introducing actual healthcare markets via exchanges, something not really possible today with the choice of insurance provider being tied to employment. Trying to apply the power of the market to health insurance? Clearly socialist!

    Personally, though, I'm dubious about market forces being highly effective at controlling costs of healthcare. (Can you point out a single good example of this?) There is a disparity of knowledge, information, and need. When you need healthcare badly, you need it right then and you are not in a position to rationally evaluate what's most effective or worthwhile. For healthcare it seems like we'd need whole new levels of transparency and unbiased analysis, something that seems to be lacking from newer financial markets (which should be more amenable to dispassionate market analysis).

    Forgive me if I'm unmoved by the federalism argument, given that it tends to be an argument of convenience (see Scalia's inconsistency, DOMA, and Romney's stance that gay marriage should be decided at the federal level, yet he backs away from RomneyCare by claiming it should be decided at the state level).

  5. #35
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    Heres an article from the economist that echoes my sentiments on the pick:

    Paul Ryan
    Romney makes his choice


    IN THE polarised world of American politics, achieving bipartisan agreement on any topic is a rare feat nowadays. So perhaps it's worth celebrating the fact that, had it been put to a vote, the pick of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney's running-mate likely would've gained support from both parties. Less encouraging is the prospect that both sides will now use Mr Ryan, and his controversial budget plan, to further divide the electorate.

    The momentum behind Mr Ryan's candidacy had picked up steam in the past week. Editorials in the Wall Street Journal, Weekly Standard and National Review had urged Mr Romney to select the representative from Wisconsin in order to clear up his own ideological fuzziness and clarify the stakes of the election.

    The choice certainly does that. Nothing has defined the Republican agenda more than Mr Ryan's budget proposal, which aims to slash the deficit in the near term and bring the budget into balance by around 2040. Noble goals both, but in order to achieve these ends, the Congressional Budget Office says the plan would decimate nearly all government programmes except for Social Security, health care and defence by 2050.

    This is unlikely to squelch the caricature of Mr Romney as a heartless elitist. While programmes for the poor would be cut, the "path to prosperity", as Mr Ryan's plan is titled, is paved with tax cuts for businesses and individuals. The plan would also transform Medicare into a voucher system aimed at controlling costs. Democratic attack dogs are salivating. The new ticket will undoubtedly face charges of "ending Medicare as we know it", an attack that was successfully field-tested in an upstate New York House race last year.

    With the pick, Mr Romney has shored up his base. But conservatives already seemed rather motivated to boot Barack Obama from office. Will Mr Ryan cost him a share of the centre, just as Sarah Palin did John McCain? Mr Ryan is a different political animal—more substantive and less vitriolic—but coming from the House he is associated with a specific form of conservatism that is all about insurgency, purity and Washington dysfunction. Remember, it was Mr Ryan's polarising budget plan that attempted to scupper an earlier bipartisan deal.

    Conservatives are rejoicing. They welcome an honest fight over entitlement reform and the budget. In a contest of personalities, Barack Obama would likely defeat Mr Romney. The poor economy doesn't seem to be taking a toll on the incumbent. But the Republicans feel they have the upper hand if the election is seen as a choice between two divergent views of the role and size of government. Democrats, of course, feel the same way.

    Regardless of the merits of Mr Ryan's views, his willingness to deal in the details is admirable. In this way, Mr Romney's pick is a boon to the campaign. Over the next three months, America will have a serious argument about fiscal and governing philosophy. Too bad about the demagoguery that will accompany the debate.

  6. #36
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Heres an article from the economist that echoes my sentiments on the pick:

    Paul Ryan
    Romney makes his choice
    Allow me to retort with this selected opinion piece from America's finest news source.


    Eeeeeeuuuuuwww! The Economist says! The Economist says! I read The Economist! Aren't I cool? Aren't you impressed with me?

    What do you read? Time? Newsweek? Those are for people who can't handle a real news magazine like the one I read. That's because you're not as smart or sophisticated as me.

    On weekends, I like to sit out on my porch in my wicker chair with my bifocals and my subscription copy of The Economist. Then, when I go to a professor's wine-and-cheese party later that night, I can casually mention all the fancy stuff I read about NASA and Venezuela and Gen. Pervez Musharraf in my fancy magazine and impress everybody.

    Question: Do you think I'm smarter than everyone else because I read The Economist, or do I read The Economist because I'm smarter than everyone else? Now, there's a conundrum! I should mail that one in to The Economist and see what they think!

    Oh, no! My brain just got larger! Help! I need more knowledge to fill up the new brains! Get me the new issue of The Economist at once! I can't live if I'm even remotely unaware of anything that is happening in the universe! I must have my weekly issue of The Economist, or I risk de-evolving into the sort of mouth-breathing rabble by which I am surrounded daily!

    I say, old chap, here comes Lord Smartingford of Braintonshire! Shall we dine upon a nice cup of tea, then? We can discuss the economy, and the global situ-AYYY-tion, and ever so many other matters! I am so very versed in such matters, reading as do I The Economist, just as soon as the postman delivers it by the estate, don't you know. I find that only the right cracking coverage of The E-CON-omist keeps me jolly-well informed and all that, wouldn't you agree? Mmm, yes, I did think you would!
    http://www.theonion.com/articles/acc...trial-s,11532/
    Take the weakest thing in you
    And then beat the bastards with it
    And always hold on when you get love
    So you can let go when you give it

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    Allow me to retort with this selected opinion piece from America's finest news source.




    http://www.theonion.com/articles/acc...trial-s,11532/
    How droll.

    Although I think that attack would be better levied at The New Republic or The New Yorker.

  8. #38
    Klingon Warrior Princess Patches's Avatar
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    This has me increasingly frustrated with the two-party system. I'm certainly probably perceived as more liberal because of my feelings on gay marriage, abortion, whatever hot button social policy is the flavor of the week. In that sense, I'll often be disgusted by some of the Republican candidates. I'm pretty disgusted by Paul Ryan. But fiscally, I lean much more conservative. And I greatly favor more privatization of more government services. Things of that nature.

    Both parties have me annoyed right now. And the choice of Paul Ryan just further increases how polarizing the right looks to me.

    I'm an unhappy panda bear.
    “Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside
    them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe.” -Neil Gaiman

    ~

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patches View Post
    This has me increasingly frustrated with the two-party system. I'm certainly probably perceived as more liberal because of my feelings on gay marriage, abortion, whatever hot button social policy is the flavor of the week. In that sense, I'll often be disgusted by some of the Republican candidates. I'm pretty disgusted by Paul Ryan. But fiscally, I lean much more conservative. And I greatly favor more privatization of more government services. Things of that nature.

    Both parties have me annoyed right now. And the choice of Paul Ryan just further increases how polarizing the right looks to me.

    I'm an unhappy panda bear.
    Paul Ryan actually avoids social issues when compared with the rest of the party.

    The more time I have to think about the pick, the more I think its the right one.

  10. #40
    Klingon Warrior Princess Patches's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Paul Ryan actually avoids social issues when compared with the rest of the party.

    The more time I have to think about the pick, the more I think its the right one.
    Even if he hasn't been vocal, his voting history still suggests he HAS a stance. And almost always a stance I disagree with. http://www.ontheissues.org/House/Paul_Ryan.htm/
    “Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside
    them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe.” -Neil Gaiman

    ~

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