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  1. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    You never heard Republicans talk about single mothers like they are a moral failure?
    And ask Republicans if they think churches should still be tax exempt. See if that gets you any moral indignation.
    And of course, my favorite one, when Mitt Romney claimed to be a self made man because he gave away his father's inheritance in 1995. I guess being a son of the president of American Motors Corporation AND a state governor didn't give him a leg up over anyone else in the state of Michigan. No, he got it all through the sweat of his brow -- not like those mooches who get canned due a crisis not of their making. Their unemployment benefits should be cut, because "boot straps".

    I know you picked a side and you're going balls to the wall with it, but even if you don't admit that to anyone else, at least admit it to yourself.
    Who played more identity politics in 2012?

    Mitt Romney actually had to stay fairly quite on his background because, it turns out, people weren't too stoked on a hedge fund manager.

    Conversely, all we heard was from the left was Republicans hate women, Republicans hate minorities, Republicans hate immigrants, Republicans hate approved victim class 4 and on and on and on.

    It was as if the successful were guilty for having succeeded. Now we made our appeals too, but mostly to defend against the success of the rich people are bad trope the Obama campaign with no small amount of help from the kind folks at the NY Times, WaPo, CNN, The Nation, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, The New Republic, Slate, Salon, The Huffington Post, The Daily Kos, The Daily Beast, The American Prospect, Think Progress, Third Way, The National Journal, The American Prospect, The New Yorker, Bloomberg, Newsweek I can continue if you would like.

    I'm not naive enough to think anyone has clean hands in any of this. But fuck give it a rest, for like five God damn minutes. Give me economic reasons that benefit everyone to justify your policies, not:


  2. #162
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Who played more identity politics in 2012?
    Who gives a shit? I'm not here to defend the Democratic party.

    Mitt Romney actually had to stay fairly quite on his background because, it turns out, people weren't too stoked on a hedge fund manager.
    You can't make everybody like you. I'm sure there are some folks out there who hate Obama just because he's half black.

    Conversely, all we heard was from the left was Republicans hate women, Republicans hate minorities, Republicans hate immigrants, Republicans hate approved victim class 4 and on and on and on.
    I do not know if "hate" is on a general Republican agenda, but some of their stances do not make them look equitable to women, minorities, immigrants and so on. Things like anti contraception and anti abortion stances etc, or refusing to grant citizenship to a now grown immigrant child due to his/her parents immigrantory indiscretions.

    It was as if the successful were guilty for having succeeded.
    What is this "guilty of being successful" point you're trying to make? Are you referring to progressive income tax? Progressive income tax is an equitable concept in my opinion. Government collects taxes in return for certain guarantees and services. Things like protection (military, police etc), and other economic endeavors where government intervention is needed, such as infrastructure (bridges, roads etc). Now I'd say a person who is in possession of more property (be it land, business etc), uses more of those government guarantees and services -- his property requires more protection, and his business uses up more of the infrastructure.

    I'm not naive enough to think anyone has clean hands in any of this. But fuck give it a rest, for like five God damn minutes. Give me economic reasons that benefit everyone to justify your policies, not:

    A Republican mocking "think of the children" argument? lol. You're a riot man. I guess you forgot about the religious right part of your party.

    Anyway, I hope you realize that it takes more than just "economic reasons" to keep the country prosperous. Here's an example. Say Warren Buffet contracts a rare kidney disease and requires a transplant, and you are his only match. He is willing to pay $1 billion dollars, half of which will, of course be collected in income tax. You don't want to do it. Great economic reason for the country though. Should we drag your ass to an operating room? We have all the economic reasons to do so.

    But sure, let's talk about economy. A strong middle class is essential for the country's long term prosperity. A skilled middle class is required for technological progress, and since we have a consumer driven economy... economic stability as well. Without it, we'd be just like any other 3 world shithole where we have a handful of people who control all the wealth and everyone else who cleans their toilet. A certain investment in human capital is required -- I think the country would miss out in a long term if a kid with an potential to become a new Einstein is too busy losing his fingers working in a factory to help his mom put food on the table, instead of studying calculus etc. But it's worse than that though. What's worse than getting no help is being stifled. Considering the fact that conservative Supreme Court judges said that there is nothing wrong with the concept of "money is speech", that means we are quickly heading toward the direction of becoming a 3rd world shithole -- after all, if money can be used to pass laws, a rich person will be very keen to financially support law makers that will make him even richer at the expense of others. The way that's heading we will have our own royal families, if we don't have them already.

    Also, I think inheritance tax on sums over $10 million should be at least 75%. Do you have an economic reason against that? I mean after all, we are not punishing a person for success -- he's dead already. All we'll be doing is limiting the amount of wealth being passed to somebody who had no part in earning it. That money would find a much better use in lowering a tax burden on real entrepreneurs, wouldn't you say?
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  3. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    Who gives a shit? I'm not here to defend the Democratic party.
    You're here to defend your opinion.

    You can't make everybody like you. I'm sure there are some folks out there who hate Obama just because he's half black.
    I don't doubt it.

    I do not know if "hate" is on a general Republican agenda, but some of their stances do not make them look equitable to women, minorities, immigrants and so on. Things like anti contraception and anti abortion stances etc, or refusing to grant citizenship to a now grown immigrant child due to his/her parents immigrantory indiscretions.
    The post 20 week abortion ban polls past 51%. Rubio and others where a part of the gang of eight, immigration with strong border enforcement polls well. Parts of the left aren't thrilled with immigration either. It's not anti contraception, it's anti being forced to pay for others contraception, or forcing religious institutions to pay for contraception. We've sponsored the Kids act vastly similar to the Dream act.

    What is this "guilty of being successful" point you're trying to make? Are you referring to progressive income tax? Progressive income tax is an equitable concept in my opinion. Government collects taxes in return for certain guarantees and services. Things like protection (military, police etc), and other economic endeavors where government intervention is needed, such as infrastructure (bridges, roads etc). Now I'd say a person who is in possession of more property (be it land, business etc), uses more of those government guarantees and services -- his property requires more protection, and his business uses up more of the infrastructure.
    Really? Check out this excerpt of an article from the Atlantic from Connor Friedersdorf:

    Redistributing Wealth Is the Wrong Way to Fix a Rigged Game

    Elites shouldn't be forced to share ill-gotten gains -- they should be prevented from ever getting them.

    With apologies for the violence a one-sentence summary necessarily does to a subtle, book-length argument, Hayes emphasized the need for affirmative action and redistribution of wealth. Discouraged about the prospects of remedying unfairness, he wanted to address its consequences, causing me to worry that alleviating the symptoms would make the disease easier to ignore.

    As I put it at the time:

    If rich Americans are gaming the system to illegitimately increase their wealth, if they are pulling up the ladder so that they can never be replaced as elites, if they are too socially distant from the people over whose lives they wield great influence, and if they aren't even punished like regular people when they break the rules, surely there are urgent policy changes needed that are a lot more targeted to reforming the elite than 'raise their taxes and spread the wealth.'

    Better to eliminate ill-gotten gains than to redistribute them.
    To be clear, there is a lot about which Hayes and I can and do agree. I favor enough redistribution to fund a safety net for the least well-off, and he favors eliminating ill-gotten gains. Where do we disagree? He is more comfortable than I am with redistribution of wealth to the non-poor; more confident that a more redistributive government would advance the common good, rather than ending in abuse; and less confident that direct remedies of injustice would succeed.

    Our varying approaches were brought to mind by an exchange between Jonathan Chait, a redistributionist, and Will Wilkinson, a proponent of focusing on ill-gotten gains.

    Both are exceptional writers and forceful proponents of their very different perspectives. I recommend reading their full posts, as the discussion that follows won't capture everything about them. Chait writes:

    ... You could eliminate every business subsidy in Washington, and you'd still have in place a massive income gulf and a wealthy elite able to pass its advantages on to the next generation (through proximity to jobs, social connections, acculturation, spending money on education) that have nothing to do with government. The egalitarian laissez-faire economy is a fantasy ...

    Republican populists are obsessed with the role of elites using the government to reinforce their privilege. Certainly examples of this exist. But the main driver of inequality today is the marketplace, and the main bulwark against that inequality is the federal government. The federal government disproportionately taxes the rich, and it disproportionately spends on the poor.
    Wilkinson responds:

    Mr Chait has set up a false alternative. To say that the "main driver of inequality today is the marketplace" is a fairly empty observation. The marketplace is a complex system of institutions itself created by legal rules, and these rules are mostly established by government.

    The law constitutes and codifies the corporate form.

    The law defines the scope of property rights, including intellectual property rights. These political artifacts specify the contours of the marketplace and have vast, systemic distributive consequences. These facts are usually trotted out to correct free-market enthusiasts in the grip of the fallacious idea that "the market" somehow exists outside politics, and that the pattern of income and wealth emerging from the operation of market exchange is therefore "natural" and not already thoroughly political. I'm sure Mr Chait has made these points himself, so it should be be easy for him to see that to say that the marketplace drives inequality is just to say that government does, because the marketplace is a creature of politics.
    I don't expect that people like Chait and people like Wilkinson are ever going to resolve all their disagreements. But what most struck me in the above exchange was Chait's dismissal of non-redistributive attempts to improve outcomes. Wilkinson goes on to write, "I deny that rooting out all corporate welfare would do so little and that progressive transfers would do so much," adding later that "egalitarian anti-corporatism is a genuinely excellent, genuinely egalitarian idea."

    I'd like to broaden the discussion a bit more.

    Say we want "a really solid scheme of social insurance," since everyone mentioned, myself included, favors it; and set aside the argument about the wisdom of progressive redistribution on top of that. There are numerous, significant injustices and suboptimal policies that could be remedied, in part or in full, through means other than additional progressive redistribution. And those remedies would make life in America significantly better for the poor, the working class, and the lower middle class, largely at the expense of rent-seekers and incumbents enjoying unfair gains.

    Some of the remedies fit more comfortably than others into what's recently been called "libertarian populism." What every suggestion has in common is addressing unfair gains that accrue to elites, who have arranged or manipulated the rules of the game in order to inflate their status.

    The financial sector: As Kevin Drum once put it, "The mammoth profits of the financial industry are bad for the economy because they suck money away from other activities with actual value. They're doubly bad because they were built on, and encouraged, vast amounts of fraud and corruption."

    As well, financial-industry profits are increasingly disconnected from the success of the economy. And if there was ever any doubt that Wall Street banks have grown too big to regulate, in part through the implicit subsidy they receive as so-called "too big to fail" institutions, it vanished during the recent cycle of financial crisis and bailouts (both acknowledged and hidden). The rules of the game are broken, and the amount of lobbying done by the big banks, the revolving door between the public and private sector, and the serial failure of the state to prosecute wrongdoing are further signs that successful reform will require breaking up the big banks.

    Housing policy: Tax law ought to treat renters and owners equitably, rather than permitting mortgage interest but not rent to be deducted. In high-rent cities, permitting more construction at a lower cost would be a huge boon to most renters. Matt Yglesias has made this point over and over again with respect to the building-height limit in Washington, D.C. In suburbs, there is a much higher demand among working-class families for apartments than there is supply, because incumbent homeowners, fearing crime and traffic, almost never want multifamily units built near their neighborhoods. Eliminating all zoning laws isn't the right fit for every community, but moderate free-market reforms that reduce incumbent veto power would benefit poor and working class households.

    Corporate welfare: The Export-Import Bank, ethanol subsidies, sugar subsidies, the part of the Pentagon budget that is protecting the interests of American-run multinationals more than taxpayers: End it all, along with the countless other examples of corporate welfare coursing through our system. There is so much of it that one could go on for pages about this problem alone.

    Teacher incentives: One of several factors that prevents public education from performing as well as it might is a system of incentives for teachers, defended by powerful teachers' unions, that makes it (a) very difficult to fire the worst teachers and (b) very difficult to incentivize better teaching with pay, because so much of compensation is based upon seniority (along with masters degrees in education that don't seem to do much to improve teacher quality). Merit based pay need not be tied to test scores. In fact, I'd much prefer a system that empowered principals to reward the best teachers in their schools from a larger total pool of salary money.

    The payroll tax: As Tim Carney puts it, "It's a tax on employment. It's a tax on someone's first dollar. And it's specious to say that it funds Social Security and Medicare -- both entitlements are funded on the margin by general revenues. So give up the charade and abolish a regressive federal tax."

    Occupational licensing: One nonprofit that gets less attention than it deserves is the Institute for Justice, a public-interest law firm that fights on behalf of the rights of small food-truck entrepreneurs to compete against established restaurants, monks to sell simple wooden caskets without jumping through hoops favored by the funeral industry, eyebrow threaders to service clients without attending expensive beauty schools that don't even teach the technique, and interior designers to practice their art without obtaining permission from a professional cartel. Throughout the economy, entrenched interests and politicians with college degrees are passing laws that have the effect of disadvantaging would be entrepreneurs who lack the start-up capital of wealthier analogs, or else have more trouble navigating the bureaucracy, whether because they are immigrants with a language barrier or unable to afford attorneys or consultants.

    The tax code: The complexity of the current system effectively rewards tax attorneys, accountants, and the people rich enough to pay the best of them, at a huge deadweight cost to the economy.

    The patent system: There is reason to believe that it is doing as much to stifle innovation as to encourage it. Additionally, as Tim Lee writes, "a 'property' system that makes it impossible to figure out who owns what is economically inefficient, and should be reformed for that reason alone. But a property system that exposes anyone who enters a particular industry to unavoidable and potentially crippling legal liability should also offend our sense of justice. People should have a reasonable shot at following the law, and at a minimum the penalties for failing to do the impossible shouldn't be too harsh. A legal regime that's practically impossible to comply with, and which imposes potentially crippling liability on infringers, is incompatible with the rule of law."

    Drug policy and the criminal-justice system: Take a poor kid from a rough neighborhood and a rich kid from a wealthy suburb. Each is pulled over with an eighth of marijuana in their car. What's likely to happen to them next, on average, illustrates one of the most profound inequalities in how rich and poor people are treated in the criminal-justice system, and that the effects touch everything from incarceration rates to job prospects to the likelihood of having an absent father. It seems to me that, along with all its other unintended consequences, drug prohibition and the black market it spawns imposes far higher costs on the worst off Americans -- and higher costs still on even poorer people who live in countries with cartels empowered by black markets.

    (There is, as well, something deeply pernicious about a private prison industry and public-employee unions composed of prison guards who lobby for policies that would incarcerate more people.)

    Foreign policy: Working-class Americans, who disproportionately serve in the military, would benefit from fewer wars of choice, like the conflict in Iraq, that kill thousands of them, maim tens of thousands, and damage many others with terrible consequences ranging from PTSD to suicide. But there are powerful lobbies that will benefit financially from more wars of choice, and that benefit in any case from often wasteful spending on various weapons systems of choice. At the very least, defense contractors that perpetrate fraud ought to be pursued mercilessly.
    A Republican mocking "think of the children" argument? lol. You're a riot man. I guess you forgot about the religious right part of your party.

    Anyway, I hope you realize that it takes more than just "economic reasons" to keep the country prosperous. Here's an example. Say Warren Buffet contracts a rare kidney disease and requires a transplant, and you are his only match. He is willing to pay $1 billion dollars, half of which will, of course be collected in income tax. You don't want to do it. Great economic reason for the country though. Should we drag your ass to an operating room? We have all the economic reasons to do so.

    But sure, let's talk about economy. A strong middle class is essential for the country's long term prosperity. A skilled middle class is required for technological progress, and since we have a consumer driven economy... economic stability as well. Without it, we'd be just like any other 3 world shithole where we have a handful of people who control all the wealth and everyone else who cleans their toilet. A certain investment in human capital is required -- I think the country would miss out in a long term if a kid with an potential to become a new Einstein is too busy losing his fingers working in a factory to help his mom eat, instead of studying calculus etc. But it's worse than that though. What's worse than getting no help is being stifled. Considering the fact that conservative Supreme Court judges said that there is nothing wrong with the concept of "money is speech", that means we are quickly heading toward the direction of becoming a 3rd world shithole -- after all, if money can be used to pass laws, a rich person will be very keen to financially support law makers that will make him even richer at the expense of others. The way that's heading we will have our own royal families, if we don't have them already.

    Also, I think inheritance tax on sums over $10 million should be at least 75%. Do you have an economic reason against that? I mean after all, we are not punishing a person for success -- he's dead already. All we'll be doing is limiting the amount of wealth being passed to somebody who had no part in earning it. That money would find a much better use in lowering a tax burden on real entrepreneurs, wouldn't you say?
    Someone please think of the insert victim class here.

    I suggest going to the Atlantic and reading the whole article it really is a duesy.

  4. #164
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Mitt Romney actually had to stay fairly quite on his background because, it turns out, people weren't too stoked on a hedge fund manager.
    What? He trumpeted his status as a successful real-world-savvy job-creating businessman who knew how the economy actually works. From the primaries on. That was seen as essential to challenging Obama on the economy. Obama the ivory-tower idealist who didn't actually know how to make money and create jobs vs Romney the semi-selfmade man who had proven in the business world that he knew how things work.

  5. #165
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    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    What? He trumpeted his status as a successful real-world-savvy job-creating businessman who knew how the economy actually works. From the primaries on. That was seen as essential to challenging Obama on the economy. Obama the ivory-tower idealist who didn't actually know how to make money and create jobs vs Romney the semi-selfmade man who had proven in the business world that he knew how things work.
    I'll get back to you tomorrow.

  6. #166
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    The post 20 week abortion ban polls past 51%. Rubio and others where a part of the gang of eight, immigration with strong border enforcement polls well. Parts of the left aren't thrilled with immigration either.
    What do polls have to do with it? Just because something polls well it doesn't make it rational or morally justified. One of the reasons Bill of Rights was created was to prevent dumb shit that polls well from becoming law.

    It's not anti contraception, it's anti being forced to pay for others contraception, or forcing religious institutions to pay for contraception.
    What are you talking about? Who is forcing religious institutions to pay for it? Not only are they not forced to pay for contraceptions - they are waived from taxes that everyone else has to pay.

    And why am I paying to subsidize corn producers, paying for militias that fight FARC in Columbia, paying DEA to tell what I can and cannot put in my body, and paying for NSA to read this very post? Do you take offense to that too?


    Really? Check out this excerpt of an article from the Atlantic from Connor Friedersdorf:
    Dude, I'm not reading that wall of text. I was just talking to you. I have no interest in turning this into a battle of partisan authors.

    Someone please think of the insert victim class here.
    Poor oppressed Christians and seven figure earners.
    Listen to me, baby, you got to understand, you're old enough to learn the makings of a man.

  7. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    What do polls have to do with it? Just because something polls well it doesn't make it rational or morally justified. One of the reasons Bill of Rights was created was to prevent dumb shit that polls well from becoming law.



    What are you talking about? Who is forcing religious institutions to pay for it? Not only are they not forced to pay for contraceptions - they are waived from taxes that everyone else has to pay.

    And why am I paying to subsidize corn producers, paying for militias that fight FARC in Columbia, paying DEA to tell what I can and cannot put in my body, and paying for NSA to read this very post? Do you take offense to that too?




    Dude, I'm not reading that wall of text. I was just talking to you. I have no interested in turning this into a battle of partisan authors.



    Poor oppressed Christians and seven figure earners.
    Get used to hearing the words libertarian populism, because you are going to be hearing them a lot more.

    The Atlantic and Conor Friedersdorf are both on the left.

  8. #168
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Get used to hearing the words libertarian populism, because you are going to be hearing them a lot more.
    Oh yeah, Republican party is the epicenter of libertarian ideals. With all them foreign wars, subsidies, religion-and-state mix, and drug prohibition.
    Listen to me, baby, you got to understand, you're old enough to learn the makings of a man.

  9. #169
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    Is everything a Republican does have to do with corporate appeasing?
    They tend to be only slightly more influenced by corporate interests than the Democrats, albeit they are less apologetic about it.



    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    My "position" is that gubmints are capable of more destruction, and have caused more destruction, than corporations.
    Did you forget what I said in the post where I pointed out that you were making the anthropomorphic fallacy? Governments and corporations are abstract institutions operated by people who make decisions on their behalf. Quite often, the official members of these institutions are heavily influenced by people from other powerful institutions. For example, members of the government are often influenced by corporate leaders in their decisions to enter destructive international conflicts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    Perhaps you're not seeing the ultimate point, so here it is: given a choice between "big corporations" and "big gubmint," I choose the side that is less capable of destruction.

    There is no such choice because the decision-makers responsible for the actions of the corporations and governments tend to alternate between their positions in these institutions: one year they may act as corporate executives and they'll be in Congress or on President's Staff shortly thereafter or vice-versa.

    And my point about Obamacare is also more mundane than you might believe: I don't want Obamacare because it is too expensive.[/QUOTE]
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  10. #170
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    They tend to be only slightly more influenced by corporate interests than the Democrats, albeit they are less apologetic about it.
    That's hard to say. I was just responding to your stating "conservative cronyism" as if those two terms naturally belong along side each other. As far as which side is slightly more influenced by it and is slightly less apologetic about it, it doesn't matter to me. Both sides are equally immoral in their methods no matter how much they practice cronyism or how much they apologize for it.



    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Did you forget what I said in the post where I pointed out that you were making the anthropomorphic fallacy? Governments and corporations are abstract institutions operated by people who make decisions on their behalf. Quite often, the official members of these institutions are heavily influenced by people from other powerful institutions. For example, members of the government are often influenced by corporate leaders in their decisions to enter destructive international conflicts.
    No, I haven't forgotten your obvious point that starts with me "anthropomorphizing" and ends with you blaming corporate leaders for influencing gubmint evils. But you, apparently, have forgotten every single thing I had to say about that.




    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    There is no such choice because the decision-makers responsible for the actions of the corporations and governments tend to alternate between their positions in these institutions: one year they may act as corporate executives and they'll be in Congress or on President's Staff shortly thereafter or vice-versa.

    And my point about Obamacare is also more mundane than you might believe: I don't want Obamacare because it is too expensive.
    [/QUOTE]

    This post was already repetitive, and now you're repeating for both of us.
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